The eagle has landed. And my TiVo Premiere review loaner, with new HD Flash UI (in places), is firing on at least one core. I haven’t had much time to play with it yet, but I did grab the opening animation (above) for your viewing pleasure, along with a few interesting screengrabs (below).
Yes, like Engadget I’m seeing the discovery bar and various menus populating slower than you’d expect. On the other hand, indexing on my unit probably isn’t complete and, maybe because I’m driving or due to the excitement in fondling new hardware, it’s not nearly as painful as it is watching their videos. Having said that, there’s work to be done in a variety of places. And to truly live up to their promise as THE ONE BOX, I’m going to need a better Netflix app.
As I wrote in my TiVo Premiere launch coverage, “I expect to see a variety of improvements and additions over the next 12 months.” Which does indeed appear to be the plan, given a recent post in the forums by TiVo’s Director of Product Marketing:
It’s the first time since that original Series1 that we’ve redone the hardware and the software simultaneously. And there are an amazing number of changes to the service infrastructure as well (although most of that isn’t visible to you all). A complete reboot of our product, across all fronts. Series4 is a new start. While you’re reading this, I’ll head straight into the wind – is Series4 perfect? Nope, absolutely not. We know that. There are plenty of things to tweak, and the team is busy working on the next release. Just like any of the products we’ve launched over the years, there are improvements coming, and always more features to be added.
However, you generally only get to launch a product once. And many of the initial reviews were lukewarm. The DVR competition is catching up to TiVo in many cases, exceeding them in others. Then there’s the flank attack from the Rokus and connected Blu-ray players. Rich Demuro, Techmeme‘s lead editor and someone you may remember from CNET, covers this angle as he questions his longterm TiVo love affair:
At the end of the day, people will always want their HD (3D?) programming, live sports and favorite TV shows big and clear on their HDTV. TiVo delivers that experience without a hitch. But these days it’s all about the apps. Find a way to build them into this box. Combine that with a truly competitive price point and there’s less risk early adopters like myself will ditch TiVo and a better chance the average consumer will buy it, or at least consider one.
With all that being said, I appreciate the opportunity to spend some quality time with the Premiere and digging deeper. I also look forward to seeing some visual and performance improvements. Hopefully in the not so distant future. Longer term, I sure hope DLNA and MRV streaming, with whole-home collaborative scheduling, are on the roadmap. It probably wouldn’t hurt TiVo to telegraph such moves…
Click to enlarge: