Quad Tuning TiVo Premiere Elite Now Available

Dave Zatz —  October 8, 2011

Click to enlarge.

While TiVo, Inc hasn’t yet had much to say regarding availability of their new quad tuning TiVo Premiere Elite DVR, reseller WeaKnees just put a stake in the ground for October 10. While shipping dates on their web page have fluctuated these last few weeks, given the email blast above that indicates units are “In Stock and Shipping 10/10”, I’d say Monday’s launch is now a done deal.

As we reported last month, the well-endowed 2 Terabyte TiVo DVR will be sold online, in addition to being offered by Best Buy’s Magnolia outposts and custom installers as a high-end solution for digital cable — The Premiere Elite merely requires a single CableCARD to simultaneously tune and record four channels. Having said that, my interest in a $500 DVR saddled with a $20 monthly fee is somewhat limited…. until (if?) TiVo sees fit to enable TiVo-to-TiVo streaming and brings the TiVo Preview multi-room extender to retail.

However, for those with more than a passing interest, WeaKnees will begin accepting pre-orders tomorrow and is running a $25 off promotion through 10/16 using the code 25ELITE at checkout. You in?

Update: TiVo Premiere Elite hardware is now available at Best Buy Magnolia outposts. Word on the street is that each store should have two units and those 10% off coupons many of us recently received should be valid on this purchase. I snapped a pic of what I assume to be shipping packaging, versus a hopefully more colorful retail skin within. (Nope, guess not.)

27 responses to Quad Tuning TiVo Premiere Elite Now Available

  1. if $500 isn’t lofty enough, Best Buy will sell it to you for $10,000. (That’s how they keep the kids on the floor from accidentally letting unreleased, but in-stock, products out the door.) And an Amazon reseller has 12 units in stock for shipping now (at the correct price).

  2. I’ve been thinking that when my TiVo HD breaks I will not get another TiVo but rather switch to Cablevision’s network DVR. Why pay, yet again, for TiVo to do the same things that my cable provider, Roku box and Apple TV do for so much less? TiVo is doomed as a consumer electronics company with their current hardware/software/pricing model, IMO.

  3. I will strongly consider this, or some future Tivo, when the word on the forums is that Tivo has made the software on it as reliable as the TivoHD. Until then, I will not buy another box.

  4. C’mon TiVo, release the preview units already! I don’t know whether or not I want to buy a Premiere Q until I know what’s up with the Preview boxes.

  5. I plan on trying to pick one up Sunday from Best Buy with the 10% off coupon. From what people have found so far, it seems like they are only getting 2 at each Magnolia store.

    I do wish there was more to the Elite since I am not super excited about it. I also wish TiVo just offered an upgrade program for people like me who bought Premieres at launch. Had the Elite been available at the launch of the Premieres I would have bought 2 of those rather than the XLs I picked up. As a result I will only be grabbing one of the Elites to replace my TiVo HD.

  6. If I could easily sell a Tivo HD with lifetime I’d be in. Need an eBay reseller.

  7. I have no need for a four tuner DVR.

  8. I’d love to get one of the Elites (to replace my Series 3), but I am going to wait for reviews. First and foremost, I want to know if the Elite will be more stable than the Premiere/Premiere XLs. Of course, what also would seal me on this is the transfer of lifetime service from my Series 3.

  9. Brennok and I are going to be racing to Best Buy in Tampa tomorrow to pick up the Elite. My Magnolia store in South Tampa claims to have 7 units so my guess is they won’t be selling out of the Elite tomorrow at $500 each. Fortunately I received a Best Buy coupon in my email on Friday that knocks 10% off the price of the Elite which offsets the sales tax plus a few bucks. Now I’m debating on whether or not I want to take the 3-year BBY warranty for $79. I’m leaning towards not taking it as I haven’t taken it on any of my previous units.

    Lee, the Elite will have the same or virtually the same stability as the Premiere & Premiere XL since its essentially running the same software.

    I think most of us are waiting for streaming support as the possibility of buying a Preview for a 3rd TV is something I would jump on in a second.

    So Dave, what do you think TiVo’s next big announcement will be?


  10. Next “big” announcement will be the underwhelming DirecTV TiVo. I should have started an Apple blog in 2005 instead. ;) People suggest I occasional hate on TiVo, but their sluggish pace, boringness, and dwindling customer base equates to lost revenue (real and potential). Ah well.

  11. I’m really tempted to pick one up – I would love to have four tuners. But $500, and another $500 for lifetime service is just too steep. For $1k, I would start to look at building an HTPC instead.

  12. “I should have started an Apple blog in 2005 instead. People suggest I occasional hate on TiVo, but their sluggish pace, boringness, and dwindling customer base equates to lost revenue (real and potential). Ah well.”

    Meh. Every sharpie on the planet did that. And the good Apple blogs these days are written by professional coders, not tinkerers. Why not be a big fish in a little pond instead of the other way ’round?

    We still live in the Golden Age of CableCARD, we’re well into the mass era of Home Cinema, and TiVo’s still the way to play. Who cares if most folks don’t notice. Home Cinema is a bigger god than video games and cellphones.

    A decade out, TiVo may well be irrelevant, but Apple will be as boring as Microsoft is now. We’re in the here and now, and given that, you should be happy with your path.

    It’s as if you have the best Apple blog in 1995…

  13. Sam reports back to the investor forum, so I just wanted to get that out there. Although even many of the IV regulars enthusiasm seems tempered these days. As an aside, I actually did start an Apple blog in 2006 or 2007 – it was called Mac Insecurity or alternately Mac inSecurity. But there’s never enough free time. Fortunately, we now feel free to write about whatever tech moves us, regardless of genre, and whenever the mood (or free time) strike. That’s the beauty of being the boss and why I continually turn down lucrative gigs. Writing on command and being edited kinda suck.

  14. “As an aside, I actually did start an Apple blog in 2006 or 2007 – it was called Mac Insecurity or alternately Mac inSecurity.”

    Fascinatingly, Lion has the worst security bug in the history of OS X by far. A user-space process can grab admin privileges without authentication thanks to the password hole in Lion that Apple is seemingly not going to fix. That’s a big deal, as you can no longer trust non-authenticated 3rd party software OS X on Lion to not invisibly install root-level keyloggers, botnets, and the such given a non-idiot user. In short, the entire UNIX authentication security model is broken in Lion.

    A highly cynical observer of Cupertino, (and that’s the only reasonably POV these days), would assume this bug is intentionally there in order to force everything through the mac app store and give PR ammo to Apple’s eventual total OS X clampdown using fake security theater rationales. The upshot is that if software solutions don’t fit within the sharp edges of the quite restrictive sandbox, they’re really going to be outside of the walled garden pretty soon. Cupertino is truly becoming a one OS company, and not in a good way.

    Snow Leopard is the end of the line for Cupertino’s general purpose computer platform. What’s replacing it is something much drabber and smaller.

  15. I ordered one from Weaknees today using the $25 off coupon. Between the free shipping and no sales tax, it actually worked out in my favor. Of course, now I have to wait, which sucks.

  16. Nope Dave – that’s the box… Not designed to sit on a shelf… Intended for customers in the know and custom installers.

  17. I just bought one at Best Buy, it is sitting my car trunk. Unfortunately since I am replacing an old S3 with it I only have single tuner cards, but at my Mcards should be here midweek.

  18. I piucked mine up today. A good deal with a 10% off coupon at BestBuy. I’m currently recording four concurrent shows with no issues.

  19. Now I need to sell two of my Lifetime Premieres to cover most of the cost of the Elite with $400 Lifetime service. It will be nice not to have to constantly switch back and forth bewteen two Premieres.

  20. All TiVO is worthless to me that does not support DirecTV. I think they made a deal with the devil when they would no longer support DirecTV. I won’t pay the extra cost for hd cable or any cable really, over DirecTV (or Dish). I believe that DirecTV compatibility would raise their sales and without that they struggle.

  21. Yes, there was a 12% coupon that was supposed to work too. I wish I had one. I only had the 10% off coupon. But at least they allow coupon use. Whether 10% or 12% that is good amount of savings.

  22. From the TivoCommunity reports it sounds like the Elite is generally snappier than the Premiere, in particular booting in about half the time. Since so far it appears to be using the same CPU and has the same amount of RAM it looks like the change is likely because they’ve finally enabled the dual CPU support, at least for certain components (perhaps not the Flash UI).

    There appear to be enough glitches, like VOD providers not showing up, a daylight savings time glitch, etc that you certainly might want to wait a few days before you order one.

    It appears reasonable to assume that the same software update will be coming to the Premiere at some point in the future though.

    It appears that streaming is enabled, though only some people seem to have access to it, so it may still be in beta or something. Not clear.

    No indication that I’ve found that they’ve fixed the 10 minute hang SDUI bug for example.

  23. The daylight savings time Glitch only affects people in ares that do not observe DST.
    I have no issues with mine, but I’m in the DC area where DST is observed.

    No idea about the SDUI bug since I only run the HDUI on my Elite and Premieres.

    The good thing is that it looks like the performance improvements are from software v14.9. So when the two tuners Premieres are upgraded from 14.8 to 14.9 they should see a nice performance bump.

    On my Elite even when it was reading/writing seven concurrent HD streams(4 HD shows being recorded, 1 HD show transferring to the Elite, 1 HD show transferring from the Elite, and watching one previously recorded HD show) navigating the HDUI was still faster than the Premiere.

  24. I checked my Power usage again. I got eight HD streams reading/writing to my Elite concurrently. The most power I saw it draw was 22.5 watts. And it seemed to fluctuate between 22.2 and 22.3 watts. When it’s only doing a few streams the power draw is only around 20 watts.
    (Eight concurrent HD streams-four shows being recorded. One transferring out, One transferring in, an Amazon show download, and watching previously recorded content)

  25. Since I don’t tweet, I’ll reply to Dave’s TiVo tweet on his last TiVo post on his blog:

    “TiVo hires senator advisor/strategist to head up corporate communications? This company is an enigma.”

    Makes perfect and obvious sense to me. TiVo actually cares about the retail market, (as I think they well should), and can see it growing in the future.

    And TiVo’s existence in the retail market is enabled only by Federal regulation. There ain’t no TiVo retail market in the UK. Washington matters for TiVo.

    I don’t think multicast and the DVR are going away for lean-back teevee for a while. If the game goes on, and if TiVo wishes to make gains in direct retail, (as I think they well should), then they need to care about the Feds and care about making good widgets.

  26. That’s what your legal team or Beltway consultants handle, not the guy overseeing PR activities. Or advertising. Or marketing.