This Is The TiVo Edge

Given leaks dating back to June, we know Arris is producing a new TiVo Edge DVR. Three actually: a cable variant and two OTA cord cutter models, of divergent tuner counts and hard drive capacities. And, now, CableCARD hardware details have come my way.

The “TiVo Edge for Cable” design aesthetic is more Playstation than the Experience Music Project – seeya bendy Bolt. I’m told the incoming 6-tuner, 2TB is actually snappier than that prior gen unit. Of course, it carries forward 4K and voice capabilities, along with TiVo’s superior DVR functionality. But they’re clearly going after the video enthusiast by introducing Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision HDR support.

However, there’s only so much more TiVo can do on the hardware side and most improvements will be software-based. As such, I’m very, very happy to see the delayed support for “streaming players” has graduated to featured marketing! Yeah, they’re hedging by not naming names. But as least we know the capability is still in play and I hope my Roku Television(s) will be amongst the first clients. Fire TV and Apple TV were both also on the roadmap (and all should work as Bolt endpoints too, whenever it becomes available).

As far as timing and pricing, I assume we’re on track for a fall launch given the wealth of data that has come my way and I imagine we’re looking at Bolt-equivalent out-of-pocket expense.

61 thoughts on “This Is The TiVo Edge”

  1. Will it actually be 4k or just 4k streaming like the tivo bolt.. I se a little asterisk next to that info..

  2. I wonder if the tuners on the Edge OTA boxes are ATSC 3.0 as that is what has kept me from upgrading my TiVo Roamio OTA. I want to future proof the next TiVo as much as possible without having to use an external dongle solution that TiVo has talked about.

  3. I hope it does better with the cooling than the Bolt+. I have to have a USB cooling pad under mine to keep it from overheating.

  4. Good to see Cablecard is not entirely dead.

    Seems like the most noticeable differences might be the shape and six tuners, the latter of which is a big deal. I seldom go over 50% with my 500GB drive, mainly when I’m gone on vacation for a week, so 2TB isn’t a big deal for me, but that’s probably the smallest drive they can buy now. ;-)

  5. I’m guessing it’s not Android TV based, as I would have expected that to be plastered everywhere.

  6. If they bring a 4 tuner Edge OTA to market in combination with a transfer of all-in-plan (previously called lifetime service) and the rumored Apple TV app (or wireless Mini), I’ll probably bite although given all I keep reading about Bolt’s reliability issues, I should probably stick with my Roamio. But price will obviously play a part, with the all-in-plan transfer cost being a big factor. Given the mess I’ve had to deal with during TV station repack where I live, some people would probably think I’m crazy. TiVo should have been way ahead on that, rather than my having to keep telling them about specific channel issues.

  7. Stacking up to be a massive yawner without Android TV or something else to fix their massive app problem.

  8. @Larry they’ve typically only offered good “transfer service” deals during end of life for models, not during a launch of a new model.

    I don’t expect any great deals for current customers on the Edge for some time.

  9. Chris, they need to update their thinking, try to get new unit in the hands of everyone, since their current strategy has allowed competitors to grow, hurt their momentum and reputation. Apple tries to get all existing customers.to upgrade.

  10. Hope they have larger capacity available than 2TB. Update cable card? Ability to transfer content from existing TIVO? Upgrade promo for loyal customers?

  11. I’m surprised the cable industry would allow an Android TV cable box, since customers could side load gray market apps that would allow them to circumvent paying for premium cable services.

  12. The companies that “allow” the android box are smaller ones that can’t afford the larger solutions that the larger companies use.

    TiVo hasn’t supplied boxes for the larger companies.

  13. Actually, the new flagship TV service from AT&T (simply called AT&T TV) uses a Google Android TV device as its included device. Customers also have the option of using the AT&T TV app on other devices too, like Roku, Apple TV, etc. So it’s not just small companies opting to use Android TV now. Frankly, I think the era of forcing your customers to only use your own proprietary set-top box (or a CableCARD device) are over. Apps are the present and future.

  14. Cross your fingers they don’t do the stupid 2.5” HD again. Premiere was really slowing down, but wish I didn’t get a Bolt a few months back. Glad I didn’t splurge on PITA to get at a reasonable price 3TB HD

  15. You guys whining about transferring lifetime service – sell your old box! Depending on what you have, It can go a very long way to hovering your all-in fee.

  16. I’m looking forward to the technical capabilities of this, but I’ve got to say I’m not a fan of the mid-height dust-collector “shelf” that runs around the perimeter of the box! With the Bolt, the unconventional design choice was intentional: increase air flow to help cool the box. Is there an equivalent reason for the Edge that explains or justifies this “shelf”? I’ll be stocking up on extra swiffers I guess…

  17. I’m really surprised this product exists; I did not expect there to /ever/ be another consumer-oriented TiVo.

    Agree they face a huge uphill battle getting streaming service support running their own custom OS. Hopefully it will run AndroidTV under the covers.

  18. I have a weaknees uograded 4k bolt. Only thing making my tivo better would be NAS with recognized capacity ability to see my cpu again and much better choice of programs like the roku offers

  19. Yeah, but you still can’t set reminder(s) for a particular show (s) at least on their cable version. They can’t seem to understand that a viewer might want to watch a show, event, etc while it is happening rather than record it and then watch it [maybe] once you have read about it or had someone tell you about it.

  20. I simply hope they address the bolts overheating problem. Ever since TE4 my bolts both are locking up all the time due to heat. That’s with 3 fans added to each one.

    That alone would make me upgrade

  21. Holding onto my Roamio for a bit longer, I guess. I need a TiVo that can do cablecard and OTA, and 3TB would be my minimum storage requirement.

  22. Agree w/ Paul T — I thought the Series 6 Bolt would be the last-ever CableCARD DVR that TiVo released to retail. Had this new Series 7 Edge been running a customized version of Google Android TV, giving it built-in Google Assistant and, more importantly, access to the Google Play Store for thousands of apps (as is the case with the new TiVo boxes for their IPTV partners), then THAT would have given it a good reason to exist. Because, as we all know, TiVos are great DVRs but not-so-great streamers.

    But the Edge does NOT appear to run Android TV. So, at least from the consumer’s perspective, I’m not sure why one should be excited about the Edge vs. the Bolt Vox. Yes, the Edge has a hard drive that’s twice as big: 2 TB vs. 1 TB. That will excite some power-users, but then most of those folks were already comfortable with cheap do-it-yourself hard drive upgrades on their TiVos anyhow. And sure, Dolby Vision HDR is great, but the Bolt Vox already supports the slightly-less-great HDR10. And the only source accessible to the Edge (as far as we know) that even offers Dolby Vision content is Netflix.

    What else does the Edge have over the Bolt Vox? Anything?

    This makes me wonder if the rationale for TiVo and their hardware partner Arris rolling out the Edge is that it will perhaps be cheaper to manufacture than would be the case with the existing Bolt Vox if they were to do additional production runs of it. Maybe the Edge has more shared internal parts with other TiVo/Arris products that are supplied to pay TV operators?

    Any inside knowledge, Dave?

  23. I like that they are bringing back 6 Tuners – stupefying that they no longer have 6 Tuner Bolts.

    And i appreciate that it isn’t boomerang shaped.

    However the drive capacity is inadequate if you have multiple family members using it. I couldn’t use a unit with a drive that small. They either need to offer higher capacity options, or support external expansion drives. But they’ve never supported anything beyond the 1TB Western Digital drive which isn’t sold anymore.

  24. My bolt came with 3 tb and I still use 1 tb Tivo expander. Can the PS4 Tivo (edge) use the expanders? Can we use larger drives for Tivo expander.

  25. I still have a TiVo but I’ve been using Channels DVR and I just don’t see myself going back to TiVo. I use a Fire TV 4K on my tv and it’s great. I don’t see how TiVo can survive when the competition has surpassed them. The Hydra interface is still not as good as the old interface.

  26. Took a while, but I’ve come to enjoy hydra.

    I DON’T like I can’t move/see my pc to my tivo. They added plex to stream from my pc but I now have to pay for and use an extra interface I used to enjoy for free with less hassle.

  27. I would only consider this if it efficiently ran Plex, Netflix and YouTube. When I bought my Bolt I was so hoping to have one device to rule them all but Plex, Netflix and YouTube were and remain craptastic on it. Would love one device for everything.

  28. The closest you’ll get to one device to rule them all is an Apple TV 4k and get digital streaming cable service (att now, etc…) and use one of their apps so you can then DVR premium channels.

  29. Seems like a very dated platform. Since Comcast pulled on-demand support for TiVo, it seems there isn’t an industry need for Tivo.

    The Alexa Integration is a (n-2) generation feature. Very late on bringing that to market. To compare, current and newer platforms from DirecTV/AT&T TV Now have abandoned AppleTV, and app-based distribution in favor of their own AndroidTV-based hardware. Also at the AndroidTV party is DishNetwork, and also OrbyTV, which is a new satellite-TV provider, headed by the former CEO of StarzEncore Networks.

    Point is, everyone has migrated off of Alexa in favor of AndroidTV and Google integration.

    Added to this, Tivo lost a patent lawsuit against Comcast that it filed last year, (based on alleged infringement on design and look-and-feel; but the judge didn’t agree with Tivo; comcast won the case.) Tivo decided to spend more money on an appeal and also introduce new company activation policies for set top boxes that require faxing in an original invoice. Meaning- your “investment” into Tivo has zero resale value.

    It’s time to pick a new winner. Considering Spectrum/Charter is considering licensing Comcast’s X1 platform for its own Spectrum/Charter/Former TwC customers, it’s pretty clear who the winner is.

    And love or hate Comcast, because the company has a major say in content production via ownership of NBC. So, until broadcast TV (ATSC 3.0 via antenna) supports 4K resolution, any product in the market that states “support for 4K” is really only worth purchase if your a Netflix buff. Because there is no 4K content, you’re better off with a 5 or 6 year old Roamio Plus if you don’t want to pay comcast to rent a X1 box.

  30. The TiVo Edge *for Cable* is a pretty light lift since it’s being produced for cable companies – a small amount of dollars, relatively, to get it packaged and marketed for retail. And they’re clearly targeting the higher-end, television enthusiast on cable given the number of tuners, size of the drive, and Dolby capabilities/certifications.

    For some, who knows how many, Xfinity On Demand may be a deal breaker. Although they did indicate something new is in the pipeline and I’ve never had FiOS On Demand and still use TiVo.

    The more mainstream, compelling, interesting models for most will be the TiVo Edge Antenna *in conjunction with* the streaming box apps. As I alluded in the post, the more notable enhancements will be software-based.

    Clifton you seemingly contradict yourself – you want ATSC 3.0, which is cost prohibitive and won’t matter for years, but don’t care about 4K which doesn’t really change the price point these days yet IS starting to show up on cable.

  31. Thanks dave for the 1st look at the new tivo edge ! looking forward to some video of it in action soon,I cant wait to get mine!

  32. re: Disney + showing up on the platform being ‘Slim to none”.

    Depends upon what Disney plans to do. Disney is going to have a Disney+ , Hulu and ESPN bundle. Disney also owns the whole “back end” here. They own BAMTech https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BAMTech and will be moving Hulu over to sitting on top of BAMTech https://rethinkresearch.biz/articles/comcast-clears-way-for-hulus-bamtech-makeover/

    It really doesn’t make much sense for Disney to “reinvent the wheel” 3 (or more) times in terms of user accounts , overhead , and app development all to talk to the exact same “back end”.

    Offering folks big bundles and then they can’t use the big bundle is a bit of a dual edge sword for Disney. They could implement something like Amazon Prime Channels where only need one viewer app but can have different “channels” subscribed to. Disney balkanizing their own stuff doesn’t make alot sense if not viewed solely from a “Roku” or “App Store” model of viewing.

    For the high volume platforms with broad audiences they could have highly silo apps. But on platforms where there is push back have “yet another app dev team” the easier path would be one app with different subsections/channels.

  33. > Stacking up to be a massive yawner without Android TV or something else
    > to fix their massive app problem.

    It isn’t really an app problem. It is a content “problem”. More content meaning more apps is not particularly necessary.

    Here is Roku’s most popular list.
    https://channelstore.roku.com/browse/most-popular
    A snap shot of the top 20.
    Netflix p
    Youtube p
    Hulu p
    Prime Video p
    Spectrum *c*
    Sling *o*
    Roku
    YoutubeTV *o*
    Pluto
    AT&T TV *o* ( or *c* ; hard to keep up with AT&T name changes. )
    Xfiniity *c*
    Pandora p
    Tubi p
    VUDU p
    ESPN
    CBS All Access
    Disney Now
    HBO Now ( as opposed to present HBO Go )
    CBS News 24
    Spotify

    ( p — present

    *c* being primarily a live video competitor based on Cable/Sat service that Tivo could b e hooked to anyway and probably useless if Antenna only . Often used so that Roku can be a cheap “Tivo mini” like device.

    *o* OTT : live tv and classic cable service.

    )

    the number of present looks low until look at what Amazon Prime actually covers. The top 4 are covered. Probably can make a large block of people happy with just those 4 . The Roku app is noise on that list if looking outside of Roku hardware.

    The Amazon app covers lots of ground though with channels
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/storefront/ref=atv_hm_hom_c_o8uks1_15_smr?contentType=subscription&contentId=default&benefitId=default

    HBO , Staz , Cinemax , CBS All Acess , MTV Hits , IFC , Britbox , Acorn , etc. etc. (there is lots ore stuff that can pay for ). To some extent the Prime App is an indirect piggy back off of FireTV. ( Amazon is applying lots of work to get the content to roll up into one “big” default guide. As long as the Prime app tracks that. There is synergy. ) .

    that doesn’t cover everything in the top 20 that Tivo doesn’t diretly cover some drop off ( HBO , CBS All Access , and more than a few very popular individual shows if that is all you are after. ).

    Missing Spotify … TV for music. Probably not the end of the world if missing that.

    The *c* apps don’t make much sense for the version of Edge with a Cable Card.
    If the Edge is primarily a coble box that Cable networks implicitly commissioned, missing those apps shouldn’t be a surprise. If OTA and don’t have a cable subscription to log in with, then not partucilarly useful (legally).

    The Edge OTA models are handicapped a bit without the OTT apps. if the local OTA reception can fill up the DVR with lots of interesting stuff that offsets that problem a bit. if Disney colloapsed Hulu/Disney/ESPN into one app they’d only need to bring one major swap out for the HULU app that is already there. That would help significantly.

    It may not be apps on the TIVO edge that are most critical in the “obsessed
    with app count” situation. The “Multi-Device View …. or streaming players ” in the feature list on the box though. the critical app in that context would be the ones on the TiVO one on the streaming player. For the folks who are highly motivated by “every app possible” they could use the OTA Edge boxes like a Amazon Fire Recast. Put Tivo where better for the antenna and use the streaming player to watch TV. Tivo sells a lot less Mnis but if have the core DVR that is enough. (Tivo might have to put some remote admin into the apps for a headless mode on the main box. )

    [ Similar with cable card version to . Can roll out LAN IPTV with a 6 tuner box with lots of locally stored video on demand from a Cable Card source system. Box possibly could be used headless. ]

    This is a sensible move by Tivo. Newer CPU SoC , better compress/decompression engines , and hopefully quality tuners should be a good foundation for 3+ years of sales. If “VOX” is still a major push, hopefully they can push more of the voice recognition processing and data storage down to the box itself (instead of the cloud). There is loads better hardware options for that now then when the Bolt was being initially design. They’d only need to do an evoluationary, increment upgrade on the OS/GUI stack. So the latter part is low risk.

    If they try to rehost everything on top of Android TV that would b e a bigger “bet the farm” issue if doing highly unique , value add updates to interface and trying to alienate some of the app silo barriers to content.

  34. Missing Spotify … TV for music. Probably not the end of the world if missing that.

    Maybe in YOUR world. I’m pissed Spotify or Napster or like is not available. Plex means I have to own the music, so that doesn’t count.

    John

  35. Giant wall of text excusing Tivo’s dead app platform.

    The Tivo UI already runs on Android TV on new partner hardware, with a healthier variety of apps (and the chance at an actual future of timely app updates and new app additions) . They’re literally already doing it. It just needs to be extended to consumer hardware.

  36. @Another Mike, yes, they do have the TiVo UI running atop Google’s Android TV in the form of small boxes that are used by TiVo’s IPTV partners. But that hardware exists under Google’s Android TV Operator Tier program. As far as I know, that program only allows pay TV operators to participate; it’s not for producing retail devices. (Retail Android TV devices, like the Nvidia Shield TV and the Mi Box S, feature Google’s standard home screen UI.) So I don’t think Google would allow TiVo to sell those boxes at retail.

    And even if TiVo could, they’d still have to modify those boxes to incorporate QAM tuners, a CableCARD slot with compatible security software, and a hard drive. (TiVo’s Android TV boxes for IPTV operators rely solely on cloud DVR so they don’t have tuners or hard drives.) Doing all that might be possible, but might require CableLab’s blessing to support CableCARD on Android TV.

    All that is to say, it’s not as simple as you might think. I wouldn’t hold your breath for a retail TiVo device running a modified version of Google’s Android TV (with the TiVo UI rather than the Google UI on the home screen) any time soon. Of course, TiVo could just do what Amazon did with Fire TV, and take open-source Android and design their own TV UI for it. But then they don’t get access to the Google Play app store, which kind of defeats the point…

  37. Thanks for all the info! I’ve never had TIVO and have been a happy Direct TV customer for 20 years until I got fed up with some local stations having disputes which would upset my football watching this fall. So I switched to shitty cable (Spectrum) and hate it so far because of the lack of decent DVR… so I dug up some info on TIVO. Do I wait a few weeks/months for this EDGE to release and get that, or will a BOLT satisfy me?

  38. @chris: Before spending an arm and a leg on TiVo hardware and service, maybe just consider trying out YouTube TV, or AT&T TV, or Hulu with Live TV streaming over your Spectrum internet connection (which has no data cap), using a streaming device you may already own, like an Apple TV, Roku or Fire TV. Those services will deliver your locals, plus popular cable channels, including lots of sports channels.

    Bottom line is that traditional cable TV (which is the only kind of service you can use TiVo with) is dying. A new TiVo Bolt with lifetime service will set you back at least $750. Who knows what the price will be for the new TiVo Edge. For most folks, that doesn’t seem like a smart way to spend that kind of money right now, given the degree to which TV is moving online.

  39. The facts in NashGuy’s letter are wrong. A new TiVo Bolt with lifetime service (called All-In-Service) will set you back $499, not $750. Check out TiVo.com, and you might as well call TiVO since they often have discount/holiday deals.

  40. No, Larry, you’re wrong. I did get my figures from TiVo.com. Unless there’s a special sale going on, the regular price they state for the cheapest TiVo Bolt Vox that works with cable TV is $199.99. All-In Service costs an extra $549.99. Total comes to $749.98.

    Although, rather than buying lifetime All-In Service, you can opt for annual service at $149.99.

  41. @NashGuy No you and Larry are likely talking about two different Tivo Bolts.
    the Bolt OTA with All-in is $499. Since you brought up dumping Spectrum live TV service, then an Bolt OTA is an option. If someone has decent receptions there is about zero good reason to stream the local channels over the internet. The picture quality is lower (typically around 720p ) and just because there is an infinite bandwidth cap doesn’t mean should stream when don’t have to.

    The $749 is if want to get the TV content from Spectrum. Which is still probably a savings if avoiding the fees that Spectrum will charge for box(es) over an extended period of time.

  42. As for the Tivo UI running on Android TV. That is primarily a replacement for the Mini not the DVRs. They are variants o the Android TV Operator Tier. Seemingly the DVR those are hooked to are Cloud DVRs of the operator. That is not a local DVR solution.

    Android TV is a dual edge sword. It comes with the Play store but you can’t change much of the operating system you get. The small loophole Google has opened up for Operator Tier edition is that they get to change the main “launcher” (default screen). Tivo’s GUI only gets into that gap to being the dominate default interaction app on the device. It isn’t getting server like services and low level OS tweaks to facilitate server services.

    On regular commercial product Android TV the Tivi GUI would be just another app. Google controls the default launcher and default interaction app.

    So should a Tivo GUI that doesn’t primarily support Tivo DVR be the sole primary strategic objective for Tivo? Probably not; at least over the next several years.
    For now they have a bigger advantage with local DVR to move into the territory of being a Cloud edge DVR ( similar to an edge router ).

    The bigger erosion problem they have outside the DVR space is that the Mini are being highly threatened by the streaming players. ( e.g., Spectrum app on a streaming player gets Spectrum content without paying a fee for an additional cable box also. ). The Tivo Android TV is aimed at stemming that more so than the DVR. ( also creating Tivo GUI apps for the major streaming players so not a total ‘loss’ if a “tivo first” GUI device is replaced. ) But it is the non retail since the operator edition is highly coupled to the operators. [ And Tivo isn’t likely to want to burn bridges with operators by becoming a virtual operator themselves ( with a re-branded service).

    Inside the DVR space Android TV isn’t necessarily the best move because it isn’t aimed at DVR devices. Channel guide and an app launcher with about zero local content (certainly for in device ). Where Cloud DVR doesn’t have high traction operator coverage is OTA broadcasts more then cable/sat ones. The Edge is evolutionary in staying in that game. If only viewing the 6 tuner cable card variant as the primary ‘why’ for the product then you’re probably missing forest for a tree.

  43. @Lyman: No, Chris didn’t bring up dumping Spectrum cable TV. He said he hates their DVR and appears to be thinking about a TiVo DVR that could work with Spectrum cable TV. And the cheapest cable-compatible TiVo currently for sale, as I posted above, is the 500 GB Bolt Vox. Combined with lifestyle service, it comes to about $750. Yes, that would allow him to drop Spectrum’s DVR, which for one TV comes to $25/mo, I think, combining the box rental and the service fee. If that’s right, then it would take 30 months (2.5 years) to recoup the $750 paid for the TiVo Bolt Vox with All-In lifetime service. The math works out differently with additional TVs, though.

    However, yes, you’re right that folks who care only about OTA TV can get a Bolt OTA with lifetime service for $500. So if Chris doesn’t care about cable channels and wants to rely on an OTA antenna, he could get that. Or he could get an Amazon Fire TV Recast DVR bundled with a Fire TV Stick 4K and an indoor antenna for $250 without any ongoing service fees. And save the other $250.

  44. Apps for content that can not be recorded have no place in DVR. You want apps buy a cheap Roku, make Tivo the best DVR possible that what makes it worth the money.

  45. on the tivo edge / series 7 – hard pass if the new horrible ui experience is not avoidable. no te3 = no purchase. if hard drive isn’t trivially upgradeable also a pass.

    what i want tivo to keep doing

    – record tv/cable reliably
    – keep their index/programids up to date and clean
    – keep the old ui experience as an option
    – keep things like pytivo workable so i can send videos to the tivo with metadata

    wish list:
    – be able to go through and automatically mark all ‘v58’ ‘not-subscribed’ and black/blank channels as unchecked. its extremely irritating that the tivo now at 20 years old cant scrub the channels for things that you don’t receive.
    – be upgrade friendly – stop trying to make enthusiast’s life difficult.
    – improve quality over bolt.

    that’s it.

    based one what i know about edge im likely not going to be upgrading mainly due to the forced new ui experience.

    message to product managers who act like people who like the ui’s and ux of the past are not capable of making choices and must be forced to use new ui/ux:

    product managers who take away the choice to keep superficial things like an old ui/theme around are despicable.

    vista, windows 10, office ribbon, you name it – when the choice is taken away the result is inferior – the removal of choice is an attempt by the product manager to take something better away to prevent any ability to compare.

    product managers who take away choice are cowards and despicable.

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