More TiVo Premiere Q Details

TiVo’s pushed out a press release that expands upon earlier news of a new four tuner TiVo Premiere Q and non-DVR TiVo Preview (pictured). An excerpt:

Consistent with TiVo’s mission to bring the TiVo experience to every screen in the house, these new products enable TiVo’s operator partners to provide a superior advanced television experience to non-DVR households, single DVR households, as well as multi-room DVR households. With its four tuners and support for broad range of video on demand content over IP, the TiVo Premiere Q serves as an advanced video gateway, while TiVo Preview provides the full TiVo user experience for non-DVR households and also functions as a thin client complement to those using a TiVo DVR, creating a fantastic multi-room viewing experience. Both set-top boxes support the full integration of operator services such as Video on Demand, PPV, CallerID on the TV and linear programming, plus access to broadband applications and services.

Unfortunately, for at least the moment, these products will only be available through MSOs… as the announcement goes on to say:

TiVo plans to make both new products available to its cable operator partners later this year.

Further, I reached out to TiVo this AM for clarification. Their response:

Premiere will continue as our primary retail offering. Premiere Q is digital-only, built specifically for distribution by cable operators.

So that answers the tuner question. And for the time being, those of us who prefer purchasing home entertainment gear without involving our cable provider are out of luck. However, a “primary” retail offering doesn’t necessarily preclude a “secondary” retail offering… online or via Magnolia. And I did confirm the Preview contains a CableCARD slot.

I’m preparing follow-up questions for TiVo, Inc. Get yours in below and I’ll report back with anything notable.

73 thoughts on “More TiVo Premiere Q Details”

  1. CC slot in the Preview? So we can basically be ASSURED that it will bring along with it subscription fees? Super super weak!

  2. I’ve had TiVO’s since 2000. Two of the original grandfathered lifetimes. If I cannot upgrade to these, it’s finally time to move on.

  3. As someone who was looking to pick up another TiVo since I need access in one more room, this is incredibly disappointing especially since people were asking for more tuners before the release of the Premiere even at the loss of OTA tuners. It looks like I may just be buying a Ceton card this summer since I refuse at this point to buy anything with less than 4 tuners these days now with other options.

    How much storage are they planning to offer in the Q? I would think they would be smart and offer a 2 TB but it is TiVo.

  4. If the cable operator supplies the boxes are they still going to require a tuning adapter for SDV?

  5. It sounds like the Preview won’t have any real internal storage, but from the press release it sounds like it will still be able to do trick play functionality? Also will it still have a 30 minute buffer?

  6. Can I use a Preview with my existing Premier so I can stream recorded TV to another room?
    Does the Preview require any monthly TiVo fees?

  7. TiVo’s response was actually a non-response. The only information it contained was that Q has four CC tuners and no OTA tuners. Use of “primary” qualifier is strange if they meant to say “only available from cable operators”.

    Anyhow, I’d like a concrete confirmation/denial on whether Preview or Q will be offered in retail (e.g. directly from TiVo, Amazon, etc.; not necessarily B&M)? And if Preview will be available in retail, will it work without a cable card (my PremXL is OTA-only )?

  8. Like Mike Williams, I wonder if I can use the Preview with my existing Premier unit. That would allow me to sell off one (or both) of my S3 units since both have lifetime and I’m sure would get a decent price on ebay.

  9. I’m one of many ZNF readers who will gladly buy one of these if they are available at retail or online. TiVo corp – please take notice!

  10. For the moment, “Preview only for cable operators” – that’s a direct quote. As I tweeted, hopefully they have additional (retail) plans or reconsider in time for the holidays…!

  11. Just read & replied to your Twitter message, Dave. Bottom line – TiVo there’s no good reason for NOT sell those units in retail, so I hope they change their mind.

  12. I’m also curious about SDV support. It doesn’t appear to support it based on the announcement which makes it a difficult sell to many of the large MSOs.

    Also would like some details about the performance of the Premiere Q compared to the current dual-tuner Premiere. Is it using a different Broadcom chip set with higher performance? Will it have better HDUI flash performance?

    Will it still support MRV copy or will it be streaming only? I assume it will continue to support MRV copy for content that permits copying.

  13. Based upon that data, it looks like the Preview is intended to provide the TiVo UI to cable customers who do not pay for a DVR. It also streams from a PremiereQ in the same household via MOCA.

    The PremiereQ is an integrated DVR STB for cable companies with the TiVo UI. It uses cablecard only because cablecard is mandated by law.

    As for people “preferring” to buy their own– I’m sure these people exist, but there can’t be many of ’em. I would love to rent a TiVo DVR from my cable company for $20-$30/month, assuming they didn’t remove the capability to remove QVC/etc from the “channels I watch” list.

  14. “I’m also curious about SDV support. It doesn’t appear to support it based on the announcement which makes it a difficult sell to many of the large MSOs.”

    You don’t need SDV support if you have an IP backchannel…

  15. Yes I would also like to know about the Q’s performance. Same, better, worse.

    If they’re holding to the MSO thing, then I guess the purpose of their poll a while back becomes a little clearer — gauging retail interest.

    I’m interested in both, but remain gun-shy due to their lack of adequate support for existing products, as well as the theoretical subscription cost of a Preview. Sell it for a profit at retail if they must, but anything higher than a small, nominal fee (like $5/mo) would kill it. I’d go so far as to say anybody with an existing Tivo sub shouldn’t have to pay the extra sub fee.

  16. “As for people “preferring” to buy their own– I’m sure these people exist, but there can’t be many of ‘em. I would love to rent a TiVo DVR from my cable company for $20-$30/month”

    I’d rather pay $200+ up front, own the hardware, (handy if I ever want to switch cableco’s), and pay TiVo $10 a month for scheduling data.

    You’d rather rent a TiVo at a higher monthly price.

    I’ve always thought TiVo should have a variety of pricing schemes that accommodate different kinds of customers.

  17. @Chucky, can you clarify your statement, “You don’t need SDV support if you have an IP backchannel…”?

    Are you saying that my MSO, Bright House Networks, could support SDV with a TiVo as long as they enable a back channel IP communications to request the channel? Is this already in the plans for the Premiere for any of the MSO deployments (i.e., does the Premiere software already support this back channel comms for requesting SDV channels)?

  18. Rodalpho, I agree with you. However, I don’t see Verizon offering TiVo units. Especially given that pesky lawsuit. So for me to remain with TiVo, it’d have to be via a purchase.

    Chucky, yeah seems like IP back channel could be the solution. Will definitely follow up on that point. I’d think they’d have advertised a DOCSIS modem if indeed there was one. Although, perhaps cable operators will drop all analog to free up more bandwidth and skip SDV entirely. I think that’s what Comcast has been trying to do.

    Sam, TiVo uses an IP backchannel for at the very least provide two-way communication to handle on demand offerings. Who knows how much of that is SeaChange technology and what the total IP back channels capabilities are in relation to how hard they may be to implement on the headend, DVR, and such.

  19. I wonder how this will fit in with Comcast saying that they will support OnDemand with “retail” models. Will this maybe replace the POS Moto boxes (and Moto Boxes w/ Tivo)?

  20. Not that they would reveal numbers, but I would be curious if Tivo would tell you which way the survey results faired with regards to a 4 tuner box vs an extender and how close they were.

    Like others have said I would love to hear about what internals they went with and other than tuners if there was a difference from the Premiere.

  21. I really would like a Q that support 4 OTA tuners.

    I have no intention of paying $60-$100/mo for cable/uverse/satellite when I can get ~20 HD channels OTA for free.

  22. Don’t forget it is for Cable Companies ;) They don’t want you to have a ton of recording space since then you won’t use their VOD and watch the commercials you can’t skip lol.

    I wonder if TiVo is just getting a huge deal on the drives since 1TB drives are so common now and sub $50 and 2TB drives are $79 if not less. Maybe they are clearing out old stock especially as more 1TB drives are made of 2 500gb platters.

  23. Questions:
    – Is the Preview digital-only or just the Q?
    – The Q is ‘digital only’ – but is that digital *cable* only? Or does it also handle ATSC? (Remember, that’s digital too.)
    – Will MSO-provided Qs & Previews be able to stream content to/from retail Premieres?
    – Are they using the Broadcom 7424/7425 aka is there any placeshifting support in the Q HW? Will it be enabled?
    – Is there any DLNA support in the Q HW? Will it be enabled?
    – Will the Q/Premiere require a Tuning Adapter for SDV? Or will it be able to use an IP back channel for MSOs where there is an agreement? (Charter, my MSO, has *172* channels using SDV. Most of my channels are on SDV now.)
    – These units seem a lock for RCN, Suddenlink, & Charter, the MSOs where we know MSO-provided HW is the deal. But what about Comcast & Cox, where ‘retail’ units are to be supported? Will there be a way for customers of those MSOs to get these units?
    – Can the Preview be used *without* a cable connection? Say you have a room with no cable run, but want to put a TV there and just stream shows from a Q and access broadband content, connecting the Preview to Ethernet or an 11n bridge, and not using MoCA or CableCARD/cable – is this viable?
    – How much storage is in the Q? Is it expandable via eSATA?
    – Other than recordings, what else do you lose in the Preview? Is there *any* storage? What about Amazon Instant View & Blockbuster downloads? Will it support Amazon streaming instead/only? What about web videos, which are currently downloaded, will it show links to stream new episodes instead?

    Dave, if you do go and meet Jason, tell him MegaZone says hi. ;-)

  24. MZ, I will. Maybe work will send you down here again and we’ll go together. Regarding ‘digital only’ I’m assuming that means no ATSC.

  25. Remember the customer base – a lot of cable DVRs are still 160GB units, with 320GB considered a higher end box. 500GB is still a jump. Look at Virgin Media in the UK – they started offering the 1TB unit, but consider that a ‘Premium’ box. You can only get it by subscribing to their top tier service *and* paying more for the box. The 500GB box they’re rolling out now is the ‘everyone’ box.

    We may see the same with the Q – a ‘500GB’ standard box and a 1TB ‘Premium’ box if the MSO wants to offer it.

  26. I wish more companies would copy Verizon and upgrade to a 500gb drive in their new DVRs since maybe it would push TiVo to upgrade their offerings.

  27. I still find it strange for TiVo to survey retail customers about a 4 tuner box and extender only to announce one for the cable companies. It somewhat leaves a bad taste, but I would rather they ask rather than not asking.

    Then again maybe they are pulling the concept move where you unveil and announce a product to gauge interest in another market.

    I almost see TiVo being suprised some retail customers want it like their slide remote. Then again we were asking for more tuners before they even announced the Premeire and many assumed they would increase the number.

  28. Dave, that 500GB could be a beta hard drive size. It does seem small as others have commented here. Maybe that is what the MSOs wanted for the box. It sounds like it might be the final size based on Jason’s comment but we can hope. I agree that if it went to retail it would make sense to have a larger hard drive to differentiate it from the XL.

  29. I think the Preview has a solid chance of going to retail to be paired with the Premiere. The Premiere Q I’m not so sure about. I would like to think it will go to retail once they get it out to MSOs – which is clearly the focus right now and they probably don’t want to get distracted from that – but I wouldn’t bet too much on it.

    If it does go to retail, I think we’d see a 500GB Q and 1TB Q XL. I don’t think we’ll see more than 1TB in a retail box. Just 1TB with eSATA if you want more.

  30. With so much Premiere stock out there, I wouldn’t want to pre-announce the Q for retail too early in the future either. THD stock wasn’t being replenished for a while as the Premiere announcement neared. We should keep an eye on it again, into the fall.

  31. Megazone, I agree the Preview in retail makes some sense, but I think it makes less sense without the Q especially if you are required to pay an additional sub for the Preview and additional fees for CableCARDs and additional outlet fees. It wouldn’t benefit TiVo as much, but it would be nice if once TiVo got streaming implemented other devices could stream TiVo recordings. Of course until streaming is implemented we won’t see the Preview and I don’t think TiVo is ready to officially announce it though maybe Dave could ask for on the record comments about streaming now since they mention it in their press release.

    Unfortunately I agree about probably not seeing a 2tb drive. I still think it would be a mistake though especially for a XL model. While it would potentially save you money over 2 Premiere XLs, you now lose half the recording space and are back down to around 50-60 hours per pair of tuners. I know for me as much as I am dying for more than 2 tuners which is why I keep looking at 7MC, the loss of space would be more of a turn off. Unlike with the Premiere XL, I would end up holding off to see if the upgrade still worked on the Q that works to upgrade the Premiere drive.

    Of course if TiVo could offer a truely Universal My Shows List including recordings on my PC, it would be less of a concern since it wouldn’t matter where the recordings were located.

  32. I don’t think we’ll see a retail Q. I think it’d be cost prohibitive to build it in such a way you can quad tune OTA, analog, and digital cable. And it’d be too hard to explain if you start dropping tuning capabilities. Heck, there are many who still wonder why TiVo doesn’t work with satellite. However, if I were to be wrong and the Q was available in retail one day, I think the XL would be dropped – too many SKUs. You have your standard Premiere, then you have the higher tier Q with more storage and more tuners.

    The Preview is an easier sell. RCN and similar would sell it as a TiVo cable box with benefits. While TiVo could pitch it online more as an extender. Assuming they tackle the same tuner issue from above (which would be more economical with just one to worry about). Of course, one wonders what sort of fee you’d get hit with. In terms of services (guide data, online apps, etc), it’d essentially be the same as a TiVo DVR (minus online scheduling and whatnot). But it’d clearly be a secondary unit and the service fee would have to come in much less than the current $20/mo. Could TiVo make money on such a product at $129 with a $6.95/mo fee? Would there be takers? I’m sure that’s what they’re pondering…

    (Also, they’ve partially backed themselves into a corner with that $99 Premiere pricing. How could the sell a secondary unit for more? UNLESS it had no fees.)

  33. Unlikely to buy another tivo unless its quad tuner, I guess we’ll be renting the Comcast Spectrum gear when it hits and selling off the tivo.

  34. Dave, Comcast is certainly getting rid of all analog transmission and using that to free up space for HD channels, and has made it clear they have no plans for SDV. Suspect Verizon likewise has no SDV plans. Time Warner however has been doing SDV everywhere, so I doubt that’s going to change soon. So if this can’t using Tuning adapters they’d have to use an IP backend or whatever to access any SDV channels, assuming TW even supported that (they don’t currently).

    I too would buy a Q and Preview if they were offered. Fine if its just via the website rather than in retail. Digital only is fine too. Don’t care about OTA or analog channels. But in all honesty I would happily rent them from Comcast instead if they were offered, and give up on owning my Tivo’s. HOWEVER, since that would almost certainly mean giving up Tivo To Go I would NOT convert. Sorry. I can live without Amazon and other streaming services since I can get those on another box, but TTG is very important to me.


    Who has agreed to distribute these?
    Any idea what the monthly fees will be in comparison to the cable company DVR (I assume they won’t replace those, just be a more-expensive option)?
    Is the Preview what those Best Buy TVs are going to implement?
    Is the streaming support only coming to the Q/Preview and not to HD to HD or Premiere to Premiere?
    Can you use a Preview with a Premiere?
    As others have said–is the Q hardware any different in terms of UI performance?
    Any hint when they’re going to complete the HD UI or resolve the 10 minute SD hang bug in the Premiere?

  35. “TiVo plans to make both new products available to its cable operator partners later this year.”

    As a person waiting for a DirecTv HD Tivo, I take it this means 2015

  36. Glenn’s question about the upcoming Best Buy Insignia TiVo television has me wondering if that would be the extender TiVo plans to market in retail. Hmmm.

  37. Rodalfo said:
    >As for people “preferring” to buy their own– I’m sure these
    >people exist, but there can’t be many of ‘em. I would love to
    >rent a TiVo DVR from my cable company for $20-
    >$30/month, assuming they didn’t remove the capability to
    >remove QVC/etc from the “channels I watch” list.

    But you have been able to do that with Tivos for a while now.. $0 down, $20/month, w/2 year commitment. Not this new 4 tuner one, but for the existing premiere.

  38. I’m really curious about the Q supporting OTA and analog cable. Without that I can’t even use it, with it I would certainly consider picking one up. Otherwise I’m hitting the end of the line, none of the TiVo hardware, old or new, really supports the services and features I want and need.

  39. The TiVo / Best Buy deal was announced a little more than one year ago (May 27, 2010). I would think an announcement of an Insignia-branded TV with CableCARD and streaming support is imminent. Hopefully it leverages the same software being used by the Preview. The more I think about this I’ve got to believe that TiVo will release some sort of Preview box to the retail chain. This isn’t the week for them to announce such a product since its totally an MSO-focused show.

  40. Megzone, don’t think that we will see Amazon Instant on the Premier Q for RCN given they currently don’t allow it:

    Also, even if TiVo had plans to offer the Q or Preview at retail, they’re not going to say anything about it. They want to stay on message and focus on the cable providers (especially this week as they pitch them at the cable show).

    I think if we do see a non-cable branded Q, it will not be on retail shelves but only for purchase on the web.

  41. I have no new questions that haven’t already been asked. But I would like to jump on the bad wagon and stress will these be available for retail at some point?

    I echo one of Brennok’s earlier comments (#35): why survey existing retail customers about features they won’t directly offer them?

    I’ve had lifetime TiVos for many years because I don’t want equipment extra rental/fees from my MSO. I didn’t upgrade my Series 3 because TiVo wasn’t offer anything substantially different. Now if TiVo is telling me that if I want these highly desirable features I have to get them from Comcast, that just puts me off. I’d rather do without.

  42. @nobigdeal: not really the same. A Tivo provided by my cable company would be:

    – installed by the cable company.
    – the cable card would be paired with the device BEFORE they brought it to my house
    – the Tivo would be a RENTAL, meaning I don’t own it. If it breaks, they’d just give me a new one.

    None of the above are true of the no-money down Premiere.

  43. Here’s a thought/question – does the Preview have any ability to support external storage (eSATA or USB)? Could it be ‘upgraded’ to a DVR by adding an external drive? Or could an external drive be added to support media downloads like Amazon or web videos?

  44. More interesting wording from today’s TiVo Blog post on the subject:

    “These products will initially be available through select cable operators.” (emphasis added)

    I’m probably reading too much into this but to me this means that after the “initial” period, they will be available through all (vs. select) cable operators (which I doubt) or they will be available through other channels besides cable operators.

    Again, I’m probably reading too much into what is most likely poor word selection vs. a deliberately attempt to coyly hint at future retail availability without actually saying it.

    I’m with many above who have been looking forward to a whole home solution like this from TiVo. I live in Cablevision/FiOS territory and don’t expect either to do a deal with TiVo any time soon so I’m relying on retail availability. My hope is for $50 Preview + $100 lifetime service. Q will hopefully be in the $300-$400 range.

  45. “Initially” was also in the press release. I’ve paired it with another sentence for possible context. Although, given the wording in the release and the direct comment I received (“primarily”) they do leave the door open for more-than-cable deployment.

    These products will initially be available through select cable operators. […] TiVo plans to make both new products available to its cable operator partners later this year.

  46. I was wrong about my chip speculation. I presumed TiVo would be using Broadcom chips for MoCA – but they’re not, they’re using Entropic, the other MoCA vendor:

    So that means the MoCA bridge is decoupled from the main processor, so we don’t know what it is using – could be the same 7413 as the Premiere for all we know.

    The good news is the latest Entropic chips support MoCA 2.0, which is faster than the previous 1.1 standard which seems to be what Broadcom’s latest chips are still using.

  47. Multi-chip solutions do generally cost more than integrated solutions – which is one reason they moved to a newer, integrated chip going from the S3 to the HD – but it does provide for greater flexibility. They could produce a non-MoCA retail version simply by leaving the chip off the board. It could also be that they Broadcom chips just weren’t at the right availability or price point when they were designing the boxes, and the had to go with a discrete solution. The S2 started off with a discrete USB controller, and it was only the 5xx/nightlight series that moved to an integrated USB subsystem.

  48. @bjdraw on this weeks engadget hd podcast speculated that the delay in announcing a retail Premiere-Q was possibly due to the lack of a 4-channel Cisco/SA tuning adapter to support all of their retail markets. Its seems plausible since the FCC ruling requiring the Cisco/SA TA to be upgraded to 4-channels doesn’t go into effect until August 1st.

  49. If my local cable co Service Electric Cablevision offered this, I would suspend DirecTV and get this instead.

    They have more basic HD than DirecTV, however they have that crappy I-Guide (a version or two behind Comcast even). Their best DVR is 250GB and they don’t do multi-room.

    This solution helps both Tivo and the MSO ( in my case). My smaller cable operator does not have to develop it’s own mobile/ipad/tablet app in house. It can have Tivo do the work, while Tivo attracts more customers (such as myself). Requiring an IP Backchannel for VOD would also allow the local cable company to draft some nice Double and Triple Play (with HSI) for more revenue streams.

  50. @MegaZone Entropic eh? Don’t they do some work for DirecTV.. basically it’s MoCA but the frequencies are shifted (to around 450 MHz) to work around the Sat signals.

    I wonder if they would ever do a DirecTV version of this.
    Tivo Premire interface with Multiroom.
    Instead of cable card slots, they would be DirecTV access card slots.

    Nah, who am I kidding. That will never happen!

    DirecTV want’s to push their own new HD-GUI with mobile / tablet app and DirecTV Cinema. It’s all about revenue with them, which is why the sudden push with their VOD, and why they waste so much bandwidth on HD-PPV and Premiums (as opposed to good old basics like DIY, AMC, E!, BBCA, etc…)

  51. @Dave,

    A couple more questions prompted by my listen to the Engadget HD podcast this morning…

    1) Can the Preview pause live TV? Meaning when you are watching a channel view its cable card, can you pause and then resume? Since it doesn’t have a hard drive it would probably need some flash to store the video during the pause (that’s how some Comcast STBs do it), but I haven’t hard it mentioned as a feature. If not that’s a serious limitation for watching live with a Preview.

    2) Can the Preview function without a cable card in it, e.g. just as a remote viewer for stuff stored on the Q? Personally I watch very little live TV and in some rooms I’d be happy to install a Preview without a cable card (and possibly reduced Tivo fees given no guide?) just so I’d have some stuff to watch when needed. Seems unlikely, but worth asking.

  52. I’m planning a pretty significant packets of questions for TiVo, but will wait to accost them until they’ve returned from The Cable Show. HOWEVER, I have learned there will be no buffer available on the Preview BUT trick play is present.

  53. Oops hit post too soon. I wonder if they aren’t being straightforward about it. I would assume they would support trickplay of streamed recordings. Do they support trickplay of live TV?

    If there is no buffer you can’t pause, rewind, or FF live TV.

  54. I’d say don’t think of it “buffer” in the technical term, but as a feature or marketing term. Even the Roku buffers for instant replay, but there’s no hard drive per se. In the Preview’s case, if I’m understanding correctly, you can trick play, instant replay a few seconds during live TV but there’s no 30 minutes or whatever of live content to scrub back through.

  55. Ahh ok thay makes sense. It is a little disappointing it didn’t have enough storage just to buffer an hour. It seems like it would also help with streaming since you could wait longer before watching.

    I did think of other questions though I am sure they may not answer these. I am just thinking since technically this is the first time they are entering into a whole home model that I wonder if they are doing anything to address the potential issues and challenges. This also goes along with streaming now being implemented since we have yet to try it.

    How much can you interact with the Q from the Preview? For example can you add season passes to the Q from the Preview Search or Guide without using the iPad App or Can you also manage season passes this way? I just wonder if it is more like a streaming device like Roku or more like a 360/Media Center Extender.

    I doubt they will answer this one on the record, but at launch of the Premiere they showed a screen with user profiles/filters. Is this something they will have on the Q so that you could say filter out Kids recordings for example? Then again maybe this is why we haven’t seen parental controls on retail units yet since they want to tie it to profiles.

    Since TiVo introduced remote deletion, will there be any options to set who can and can’t delete an episode? I can see kids using a Preview accidentally deleting episodes that the parents might want to watch.

    Will it be possible to delete a recording if someone was streaming it at that same time?

    Can multiple Previews stream the same recording at the same time?

  56. I haven’t reviewed TiVo’s Wiki entry. I do know, or at least believe I know, that they let their “trick play” trademark lapse. In my mind, ‘trick play’ has never referred to a 30 minute buffer but to the smooth ‘instant replay’ functionality where it goes back like 5 or 6 seconds. I should also add that I potentially led the witness, as I asked about a 30 minute buffer versus ‘trick play’.

  57. Hopefully Jason at RCN will let you play with the Premiere-Q and Preview so you can give a first-hand account of the user experience. :)

    It will be interesting to see how much they actually buffer and how this trick play functionality actually operates.

  58. If I understand correctly, and I believe that I do, the Preview will have no rewind buffer other than a few second skip back (trick play). Jason and I have made contact, but we’ll follow up for real once he’s back from The Cable Show. There are a few variables that’ll have to work themselves out favorably, so we’ll see.

  59. I think for me I would agree with you Dave, but as soon as I think about pausing, rew, or FF which are key points of trickplay I think of the requirement of a buffer. I think not being able to pause live TV which is one of the things people associate with a DVR/TiVo is going to hurt them. Of course maybe cable STBs can’t pause live TV so people wouldn’t expect it. I can’t remember the last time I tried a cable box so I don’t know what that customer expects. I wonder if with the Verizon Whole Home DVR and STB if you can pause on the STB?

  60. As a TiVo user from the way, way beginning who has come to seriously question the faith over the last few years, I have three simple questions.

    As a new “upgrader” to the (still somewhat half-baked) Premiere…

    Will I be able to buy a Preview unit to add on as an extender to my Premiere?

    How much will this Preview unit cost me?

    And lastly, will there be a monthly fee?

    How TiVo answers these questions will make or break my faith in them as a company I can continue to believe in.

  61. No pause live TV? By my calculations they’d need about 4GB of flash (or RAM) to support a half hour buffer for HD content at cable rates for MPEG-2. About $8 on Amazon at retail. Understand how this might be expensive enough for the Preview that it might be a problem, assuming it’s going for $150 or less. Too bad they couldn’t just offer an option for user expansion. Not sure I can watch live TV without some kind of buffer…

    Assuming they can’t support pause when watching something live from the local tuner, I guess the obvious question is whether you can watch a show still being recorded on the Q, e.g. while it’s still live. That might make it slightly more tolerable.

    As far as others asking if cableco DVRs support pause live TV, the answer is yes. They all do.

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