TiVo Bolt To Replace Roamio

Dave Zatz —  August 2, 2015

The TiVo Bolt narrative is coalescing…

tivo-bolt-google

We’ve seen the trademark filings. And we’ve seen the CableLabs certification. Now, by way of Google (above) pointing to TiVo’s own website (below), we can divine that the TiVo Bolt “Unified Entertainment System” will be a Roamio replacement. At least to start with. We know for certain there will be two cable-capable models and at least one over-the-air model – aka “Bolt Aereo” or “Aereo Edition” if TiVo’s page links are any indication.

tivo-bolt

Industry sources suggest this is primarily a substantive design refresh as they continue to rebrand. Indeed, these curved white set-tops are certainly unique (and won’t stack well). So, if you were anxiously awaiting TiVo 4k, I imagine we’re still tracking for 2016.

tivo-bolt-aereo-edition

Timeline:

36 responses to TiVo Bolt To Replace Roamio

  1. So I thought the URL was for Atlantic Broadband. But maybe it’s AT&T… Is TiVo coming to U-verse?? Or an OTA offering for AT&T broadband like Frontier is doing?

  2. Grant Alperstein August 2, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Dave, did you also notice the Aerio edition of the Tivo Bolt ?

  3. Dave, speaking of Frontier – it is mid year any more news about what they are doing with TiVo?

  4. Grant, didn’t see that – nice catch! Looks like the black & white one is the “Bolt Aereo Edition.” I updated the post.

    atmusky, haven’t heard anything. Was under the impression Roamio OTA for broadband customers with a follow-on project to bring Roamio for cable. Wonder if they’ll now flip it to “Bolt” hardware and branding. Hm.

  5. Via both the forums and a colleague, the thought is the AT&T Broadband url is a remnant from the Series 2 days that was never cleaned up.

    As to the hardware itself, like Dan, I suspect Stream obsolesce by bringing transcoding to all models. The question is, how many tuners are we talking and will there be a cloud storage option?

  6. Cannot fathom what Tivo is going to offer me over the Roamio Pro, Plus, and three mini’s I have in service all with lifetime. The Roamio line is robust, responsive, and most importantly, mine! I do not have 4K yet either.

    Anxiously waiting to see what is up their sleeve.

  7. Huh. Just occurred to me that the new design could signal the end of user-upgradable hard drives…

  8. Hmm. Well, I’m a little surprised that TiVo is replacing the Roamio brand after just 2 years, although I guess that’s quite awhile in the CE space. (Still odd coming on the heels of that new Roamio OTA TV ad, although I can’t say that I’ve ever actually seen it air, so I guess they’re not spending money on airtime for a soon-to-be replaced product.)

    I’m sure the new Bolt is the Aereo-related announcement that was supposed to happen in late July, they’re just running a little later with it than originally expected. Maybe they’re still trying to clear out the last of the Roamio inventory with their “Hot Summer Sale”. The official Bolt rollout could happen any day now, I guess.

    Interesting that TiVo is no longer using the term “DVR” in the descriptor tag for their product but instead calling it a “Unified Entertainment System”. (My Roamio OTA box says “OTA DVR / Streaming Player”.)

    I’m mostly interested in what, if any, software updates the new Bolt will bring. I really hope any changes will roll out to Roamios too. I’m guessing, at the least, we’ll see the original TiVo logo retired from the system’s UI (and the remote control) and replaced with the new logo shown in the screenshots above. We’ll probably see a refreshed color scheme in the UI too. I’m wondering, though, if there will be any more substantive changes to the menu system and improved integration of OTT streaming services in this “Unified Entertainment System”, including the addition of more OTT services (HBO, Showtime, Crackle, etc.).

    Cloud integration is the other big question. Will Bolt only offer one hard drive option, something smallish, with various amounts of cloud storage available for different monthly subscription prices? (Will it even have a hard drive?) Perhaps all streaming of recorded shows, whether in- or out-of-home, will come from the cloud rather than directly from the Bolt box.

  9. Some of my open questions…

    1. How many models? We know of at least two variants from the CableLabs filing, but there could be more. It’s possible the “Aereo Edition” is merely a repurposed 4-tuner cable offering.
    2. How many tuners? I’m going to guess a 4-tuner and a 6-tuner for cable, with OTA “Aereo Edition” having 4 tuners if it’s a single model or 2 and 4 if they launch two.
    3. How much capacity?
    4. Related, will some or all recordings be archived to the cloud? Seems too hard on a number of levels.
    5. Do all models feature integrated Stream capabilities? My guess is yes.
    6. Will cable partners issue this same funky hardware or stick with traditional Premiere/Roamio Pro/Plus style enclosures?

    I think it’s possible these won’t show up in the FCC, that they’ll leverage “modular” wireless chips by Broadcom, Marvell, etc that were previously approved and can be implemented without a filing of its own. Or maybe we’re just too soon.

  10. “As Roamio sunset approaches, let’s reflect on … my amazing launch headline”

    TiVo Bolt, The DVR Worth Being Hit By Lightning For?

  11. TiVo Bolt, The First TiVo In Nine Years To Feature Obvious Spelling.

  12. TiVo Bolt, Despite All The Misdirection, It’s Still An Electric Car.

  13. I have frontier Fios and hate their interface. Any other options? Cable card with Tivo??

  14. Well, son of ****. So now Roamio owners get to look forward to them stop supporting it. TiVo. Just stop

  15. Based on the model numbering scheme, I’m guessing this is still “Series 5” and will largely be equivalent to Roamio. Plus, they’re still supporting Premiere these days. I think us Roamio users will be ok.

  16. I have frontier Fios and hate their interface. Any other options? Cable card with Tivo??

  17. I like my Roamio. he UI is easy enough for my family and the $10 OTA fee is easy on the wallet. I just want to see as many streaming options as Roku. I hate switching inputs. After all these years TiVo needs to OWN input 1.

  18. “I have frontier Fios and hate their interface. Any other options? Cable card with Tivo??”

    Highly recommended. Much better user experience, and actually cheaper after a couple of years. Only downside is that you lose FIOS VOD.

  19. “Plus, they’re still supporting Premiere these days. I think us Roamio users will be ok.”

    Hell. Of course they will. They’re still supporting S3, though obviously with no new development on non-core services as they shift technologies.

    No reason for TiVo to stop developing for S4 or S5.1.

    Not everybody buys lifetime. Plenty of recurring revenue customers on older platforms make TiVo’s interests align with customers…

  20. S3/HD will be dead soon in some cases… post to come.

  21. “S3/HD will be dead soon in some cases… post to come.”

    Huh. Basic CableCARD functionality?

    Or will I just have to be patient for answers…

  22. “S3/HD will be dead soon in some cases… post to come.”

    I thought you were being a tease, Dave Zatz, but I found where you already posted the answer

  23. I think we can thank TiVo’s cable partners for assuring continued full support of the Roamio line. Not sure what is going to happen to the Premiere line if/when TiVo pushes out its next DVR line. Can the Premieres really keep running the same software as brand new hardware? Wouldn’t that limit the new hardware? It will be interesting to see if TiVo can pull off running 3 DVR lines on the same software or if the cable companies using Premieres will accept something less.

  24. “I think we can thank TiVo’s cable partners for assuring continued full support of the Roamio line.”

    Partially. I think TiVo’s retail and MSO businesses reinforce each other. You’re definitely correct about MSO’s wanting S4 support, but there have to be a not-insignificant number of retail S4 customers sending in recurring pure profit too. After all, how many folks are on lifetime? 20%? 40%? My guess is lower rather than higher.

    “Can the Premieres really keep running the same software as brand new hardware?”

    Why not? Everything on S4, S5.1, and S5.2, (we assume), is all built on the same Haxe platform. Write once, deploy everywhere. Everything runs slower on older hardware, but such is life in tech.

    “Wouldn’t that limit the new hardware? “

    I honestly don’t see how it would.

  25. WTF!?!?! Did the article say “white set-tops”? Why would they make it white? I know for me the last color I want for an electronic device is white. I typically upgrade to new TiVo models right away. But if the TiVo box is going to be white, then it would be a last resort upgrade.

  26. Playskool is the new black.

  27. I just ditched DirecTV and got a Roamio OTA…and now they roll out a new model. Figures.
    I agree with those who want to see more streaming apps on the TiVo.

  28. Yeah, I just left DirecTV for a Roamio OTA too. But I’m hopeful that the upcoming Bolt rollout will be a good thing for us too, in the way of updated software with improved streaming (improvements to the user interface and/or additional streaming services). I may be wrong but I don’t think TiVo has ever rolled out a new version of their software or new apps solely for their latest hardware without also rolling it out to at least the previous generation hardware too. (Of course, it’s possible the Bolt won’t be accompanied by any obvious changes to the TiVo software and it will function exactly like our Roamio but that would seem like a rather underwhelming new product announcement.)

  29. “Ha, Engadget wonders if the new TiVo Bolt might feature all menus in HD. Duke Nukem Forever!”

    Lawler is just humoring you, y’know…

  30. Until we see l a real photo don’t assume it’s white and it is all that curved. The graphic looks like a drawing. Remember the cardinal rule “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet” and double that when it comes to tech.

  31. Will they get Usain Bolt to be their spokesman?!

    Fastest DVR (or sprinter) on the planet?!

    That’d be cool!

  32. Been there, done that? Sort of? ;)

  33. I hope they are moving to a Android platform. :) If you had Andoid apps on Tivo…it would be unstoppable.

  34. MJR, I feel fairly confident about the design. As to what degree it’s curved, I can’t yet say.

  35. Android apps unstoppable? Until your Tivo gets a virus. No thanks :p

  36. I’ve had my tivo for 10years because Tivo soldout to the networks. Where is is my new Tivo 😠