After several weeks of leaked info, there’s not really much I can add at this point. The “TiVo HD” ($299.99) is basically a Series3 TiVo ($799.99 MSRP) without the S3 price tag. The most visible cost cutting moves were made by dropping the OLED display and Glo remote, plus reducing hard drive storage by about 1/3. Though it seems that the bulk of the savings were obtained by re-engineering the internals. Interestingly, industrial design and hardware layout began about 14 months ago – prior to the launch of the Series3. TiVo HD pre-orders begin today with units shipping, and hitting retail, in early August.
Having played with the TiVo HD a couple of weeks, I can definitely recommend it over the Series3 to those looking to buy a high def TiVo. Though you’ll want to expand that storage (internal or external) and should consider the much more polished Glo remote as an accessory. I’ve had such good luck with Comcast lately that I didn’t want to tempt fate in requesting a CableCARD or two, so I used a combination of analog cable and OTA while testing the DVR… and it works exactly as you’d expect it to. At first I didn’t care so much for the exterior design of the new unit, but it’s grown on me and I actually prefer it over the original Series3. I also prefer seeing the CableCARD slots located up front — it’s a smart design move to make them more accessible. And speaking of those slots, TiVo now officially supports the M-Card. Meaning if you can find a cable provider that offers them, you can dual tune digital cable using one card instead of two. (TiVo wouldn’t confirm that M-Card support is coming to the Series3, though they didn’t rule it out either.)
I can confirm some of the rumors posted on Engadget yesterday… TiVo does intend to officially enable external storage (eSATA) this fall, plus multi-room viewing and TiVoToGo are still under development for the Series3/HD platform.
TiVo HD pictures after the jump and the opening animation over at YouTube…
Right at home.
CableCARD slots smartly located in front.
A Series3 by any other name…
One card, or two?
160GB is not enough. Expand with eSATA.
The gory internals.