Archives For TiVo

Along with the introduction of the TiVo Bolt came two highly publicized new features: QuickMode and SkipMode. QuickMode allows one to plow through recordings at 1.3x speed with minimal audio distortion, while SkipMode introduced TiVo’s take on commercial avoidance. Existing Roamio DVR owners were promised a QuickMode upgrade, but told SkipMode would remain out of reach. And we didn’t like it.

As promised, TiVo has reevaluated that approach … and come to a favorable ruling.


Based on a holiday promo and image assets hosted by, we now know SkipMode should begin hitting Roamio units December 10th. And one can safely assume the behavior will also extend to TiVo Mini extenders.

Don’t miss your chance at big discounts on TiVo Roamio DVRs before they’re gone forever! For a limited time, we’re offering a year of free service when you purchase TiVo Roamio. Roamio DVRs will include innovative features, like SkipMode (in select markets*) and QuickMode, so you can jump past commercial breaks with a single click or watch recordings and shows with a buffer 30% faster with pitch-corrected audio. So act now and take advantage of this offer while supplies last. There aren’t many left! *SkipMode available in San Francisco/Bay Area and Chicago markets.

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TiVo Priority List Now Open

Dave Zatz —  November 20, 2015 — 39 Comments

While TiVo’s CEO is (finally) moving on and though it may be too late to salvage their retail business ambitions, the product team continues cranking away. As such, TiVo has just opened the Priority list for Premiere, Roamio, and Mini customers looking for an early 20.5.6 software update. I’ve got no intel on this round and assume it’s mostly bug fixes… hopefully to include the one which will finally allow their WWE app to be published. It’d also be real swell it the Bolt’s commercial skip functionality made an appearance. But given its recent uncertainty, even if a favorable decision has been made, it could take some time to implement.

Boxes will be updated in groups. If you would like your TiVo Roamio, TiVo Mini, or TiVo Premiere to be in one of the first groups to be updated, please enter your TiVo Service Number below. Note: Only TiVo boxes purchased directly from or a retailer are eligible for this update. Boxes provided by cable companies will be updated on a different schedule.

Refurb TiVo Mini @ $70

Dave Zatz —  November 13, 2015 — 13 Comments

Those looking to stream live and recorded TiVo Bolt, Roamio, or 4-tuner Premiere video to other televisions around the house have a nice deal to contemplate today… As Woot’s offering up the first gen TiVo Mini is on sale for a low $70. Sure it’s a refurb that only ships with an IR remote (versus RF on the latest model), but this minimal expenditure adds a whole lot of value to existing TiVo households – as it also includes Lifetime Service.


In fact, I’m tempted to add another as we set up our guest bedroom. While we’re not wired for Ethernet at that location, our networking needs would be covered by the Mini’s integrated MoCA capabilities using the existing coaxial outlet. However, integrated WiFi would make Mini infinitely more flexible and I keep holding out for a Verizon FiOS Roku app. Looks like I have about 8 hours to decide…

(Thanks Elias!)

As promised, some of the new elements found in the TiVo Bolt have begun trickling down to Roamio (and Premiere?) environments. TiVo Mini is up first with newly applied guide logos and “Quick Mode” to playback content at 1.3x speed.

While I’m happy to see older gear continuing to receive updates, neither of these features does much for me. Given the wide array of presentation, channel logos in the guide mostly clutter things up – it remains to be seen if I’ll more quickly identify what I’m looking for. Not that I use the guide very often… as a DVR owner… with highly competent search functionality (frequently accessed via TiVo’s smartphone app) . Even though I don’t have a use case, I do imagine my wife would enjoy the pitch-perfect Quick Mode to get through long award show presentations or episodes of Dancing with the Stars, assuming she remembers it exists and how to toggle it – it’s not exactly intuitive.

But, what would interest me, despite its limitations, is TiVo’s new SkipMode commercial avoidance feature. Also, the generally modernized interface would be a welcome addition. And at least one of these is bound to happen.

(Thanks Dan and Nick!)

TiVo to give away viewership data in 2016


TiVo, Now on Fire TV

Dave Zatz —  October 8, 2015 — 35 Comments


As promised (to me, personally;), the TiVo Fire TV app has arrived today … in “beta” form and without live television. Having only played with it about five minutes, my initial observation is that this was clearly designed for or tested against something other than a television given little thought to overscan. Without adjusting my Fire TV’s settings, elements in the lower left, upper left, and upper right were clipped on my television. Indeed, from Amazon’s design guidelines:

The amount of space a TV uses as overscan varies across manufacturers. That real estate is not available to your app. Although the Amazon Fire TV platform provides a way for the user to adjust for television overscan in the settings, for the safest possible behavior we recommend that you avoid placing any of your app’s UI elements within the outer 5% of any edge on the screen. The focused item and on-screen text, especially, should be fully within the inner 90% (the safe zone) of your user interface.

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As Best Buy is wont to do, new inventory sometimes ends up on shelves and available for purchase before a manufacturer may have intended. As such, several have been tinkering with TiVo Bolt for a few days now. And, the good news is, internal hard drive replacements are a go.


While Bolt may only be offered with only a 2.5″ 500GB or 1TB WD drive, we can go larger and there’s enough clearance in the enclosure for models taller than 9.5mm. Having said that, I still worry about power consumption and heat dissipation given the new form factor … and would probably recommend this 2TB Samsung ($94) — it’s a proven product at a reasonable price point that will provide sufficient DVR storage for many. Continue Reading…

TiVo-Roamio-OTA-dealThe new TiVonomics got you down? Fortunately for you, TiVo is blowing our select Roamio inventory post Bolt intro. And this Roamio OTA is bundled with Lifetime service for a very attractive $300. For comparison, the 4-tuner Bolt starts at the same $300 but, after year one, requires either $150/year for ongoing service or $600 for Lifetime. Granted, Bolt does 4k… but, with a limited selection of content, it’s likely not yet a motivating for most. The main thing you give up is the Bolt’s controversial new look and integrated stream capabilities. One is likely irrelevant and the other can be corrected with an even more capable $130 Stream accessory, should you so choose. But you better strike while the iron is hot as TiVo will run out of inventory at some point and will surely cease sales once the OTA-only Bolt is unveiled later this year to prevent cannibalization. (Thanks David!)

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