The Incremental TiVo Edge Upgrade

The TiVo Edge is now official and CNET has gone hands on. As we surmised, this product line is something of an incremental upgrade over the Bolt — somewhat better hardware, providing pretty much the same superior TiVo experience for about the same cost.

From TiVo VP Ted Malone:

Main differences are faster CPU (BCM 7278), more RAM (4GB vs 3GB on BOLT), USB 3.0, Dolby Vision. Also, we will be able to support Dolby AC4 audio natively, where on BOLT we would have to do this decode on the CPU. […] Air flow is dramatically improved vs. BOLT [yet] it should be much quieter.

Further, TiVo’s nice native voice control capabilities are maintained as the Edge “Lux” remote control is *upgraded with backlighting. Which one might expect from a premium priced product.

Sadly, notably absent from the TiVo Edge announcement are those streaming clients mentioned on product packaging. Hopefully we’re looking at a small delay, versus a longer delay… or worse. As all Hydra owners will benefit from a more practical TiVo Mini implementation, despite some presumed transcoding and interface shortcomings.

Initially, TiVo is deploying two Edge models —

  • Cable: 6-tuner, 2TB @ $400, plus service fees
  • Antenna: 4-tuner, 2TB @ $350, plus cheaper service fees

What missing, based on FCC filings, is the 2-tuner, 500GB model for cord cutters with lesser needs or smaller budgets. And, I assume, that model will ultimately arrive at the $200-250 price point once Bolt OTA inventory has been reduced.

Of course, the elephant in the room is the video commercials prepended to our own DVR recordings — something the company confirms will hit all Hydra hardware this fall. And this significantly changes TiVo’s value proposition.

Advertising is an important part of every media business and TiVo is investing in new advertising experiences. DVR advertising is going to be a permanent part of the service. We expect to be fully rolled-out to all eligible retail devices within 90 days.

While the ads are skippable, as currently implemented, it doesn’t look to be an efficient, pain-free process. And no OTA DVR competitor, with generally lower costs of entry, has pulled similar.

48 thoughts on “The Incremental TiVo Edge Upgrade”

  1. *New TiVo Lux remote may only be bundled with Edge for Antenna to start. Sounds like direct shipments are slated to begin Monday 10/7.

    Thanks to CNET Ty for looking at his remote (and letting me swipe their photograph)!

  2. As if $450 for Dolby Vision, a gig of RAM, a backlit remote and one less terabyte of storage wasn’t already lackluster, the implementation of these pre-roll ads is making YouTube TV look better and better.

  3. No word yet on support for Hybrid Log-Gamma, which is a part of the OTA ATSC 3.0 standard.

    It is literally on the Edge Website that it supports HLG.. The Bolt Supports HLG

    Who reviews this crap

  4. Will the old remotes work with this device? It would be nice if they did.

    Also, I don’t get the 2TB decision. We record a lot of material and find 500GB enough even when we’re away on vacation for a week (although we do deselect some of the daily programming we record, such as the evening news).

  5. Yawn. No real reason to upgrade, no new functionality. Still missing most of the streaming apps / integration. Tivo needs to either integrate all the major OTT players into its interface or provide the Android/Roku apps so tivo content can be integrated elsewhere…..Or just stay an island and continue eroding away into oblivion.

  6. Curious if these pre-roll adds are blockable by a DNS sinkhole like pi-hole, or if the TiVo will just hang on the black screen if it doesn’t get a real DNS response.

    I’ve moved on from TiVo, but my parents still use my old Premier box with lifetime. I thought about upgrading them to an Edge, but I just can’t get myself excited for any of it. Honestly, I’m not sure they wouldn’t be happier with a Xfinity box.

  7. Kary, I assume prior remotes will pair fine.

    Paul, very early testing of ad blocking by one of a friend landed them on a black screen that wouldn’t advance. There may be other methods and it sounds like TiVo continues to tune this. I haven’t gotten the ads yet, but will also test.

    Mike, haven’t heard anything yet. I think they’ve done two years in a row of Lifetime transfer/sidegrade options, but they’ve been short windows.

  8. “We expect to be fully rolled-out to all eligible retail devices within 90 days.”
    Hopefully this means that MSO-issued boxes won’t be getting these awful preroll ads.

  9. MSO providers can decide for themselves whether they provide or not. Based on our feedback in the comments here, RCN is passing for now. At least someone knows what to do with the feedback and do the cost/benefit analysis. Then again, TiVo management may believe the risk and noise isn’t real, won’t translate into lost sales and subs OR by their math they feel they must push the ads for retail to remain a viable sales channel.

  10. How are they going to sell hardware to a customer that is already locked into a lifetime subscription plan that is tied to their old hardware? My Bolt is fine, I’m not upgrading at those prices.

  11. Bolt owners would have little reason to upgrade, unless they absolutely require the additional Dolby, and are unlikely to be targeted. Although I do hope the “Lux” remote is made available as an accessory. Folks on Roamio and earlier will find this quite a nice upgrade if they’re OK with the new interface – the good (AutoSkip, native voice), the bad (back button), and the ugly (pre-roll).

  12. My Bolt came out before the VOX feature. Tivo support confirmed that the VOX remote will work with the Bolt as long as it has the new experience software installed. It would be great if the Lux remote would work as well.

  13. Anyone know if edge can be downgraded to TiVo Experience 3? I hate Hydra! The downgrade would also eliminate the possibility of ads.

  14. For most of us, the pre roll ads can be eliminated with a simple phone call request so I’m not sure what the big deal is.

  15. Both my Roamio+ and my living plasma died a month ago. We upgraded to a 4K with Dolby Vision and I’ve been eagerly anticipating the release of the Edge. Can’t wait to get my hands on one!

  16. You’ve got to figure that anyone who hasn’t cut the cord by 2019 _and_ remains on TiVo is a pretty hardcore fan of the service. I’m not sure kicking your fans in the teeth is the best way to keep them around, but TiVo is giving it a shot.

    I had TiVos from 1999 through 2012 or so. Loved it. Had the little TiVo guy as my avatar on a bunch of services. Upgraded the internal hard drives myself. Huge fan. If I hadn’t already cut the cord, preroll ads would absolutely make me do so.

    What they could do is something similar to Amazon’s sponsored devices. Baseline no subscription fee but you must watch unskippable pre-roll ads. If you want to turn them off, pay $15/month.

  17. Is it possible for a Edge OTA to co-exist with a Cable Roamio? I.e. can I get the Edge to upgrade, but then still keep by Roamio around until I’ve transferred everything and made sure that I’m ready to cut cable?

    The up-front pricing turns everyone off, but it’s actually comparable to what the cable companies charge – Cox charges $10/mo for a receiver, which works out to $440 using the breakeven of Lifetime (3.667 years), plus $20/mo for the 6 tuner/250 hour package – all still on top of the programming charges/fees.

    My loathing of Cox is the only reason that I’m still considering sticking with Tivo – now do I wait for another ‘lifetime’ offer, or make the OTA jump?

  18. I wish there was a way to “thumbs up” some of these comments.

    I feel the same sentiment. meh!

    Unless my Roamio dies, I don’t see me getting the edge.

    But I still look forward to reading some real user reviews.

  19. bandwagon, if memory services, multiple DVRs can coexist and even stream recordings from the other.

    ZubyDuby, we don’t know what the criteria is for the opt-out or its permanence. Based on Ted’s comments, it’s variable and sounds like support has been inconsistent in application (maybe to our benefit). Will cover the possible option in another post.

    BCurran3, I feel like I read somewhere that all new hardware from Bolt OTA on is Hydra only.

  20. I knew we would cut the cable at some time so I got the 500GB Bolt because it was capable of either OTA or Cable. Meanwhile, I upgraded it to 4TB so it was not big deal.

  21. Well, I pulled the trigger on the Edge OTA for use at my Arizona home. My Wisconsin residence has DirecTV with a monthly bill around $120.00/month. As I will be spending 6 months in AZ, I’m going with OTA TV and the Edge. I appreciate that I won’t save huge bucks given the purchase price and the lifetime disservice fee, but it will be paid for after 6 months of not paying DirecTV bills. The commercials and the skip feature will have to prove themselves out. The Edge may not be all things to all people, but they have an outstanding interface. I was told that the box would ship on 10/7 so will have to wait and see how accurate that turns out to be.

  22. Would be great if they would release Android TV to the entire tivo platform not just that one cable company. Otherwise Co brand with Roku like those TCL and other brand TVs. Was happy with my Roamio OTA ($50 plus $15/mo) and have been happy with my Bolt OTA ($zero plus $15/mo).

    And to echo a comment above, I would sign on for multiple pre-roll or at startup ads if it eliminated my $15 monthly fee.

  23. I just looked at the product description for the Edge. There are pretty much the same old streaming apps and “More” (I assuming Vewd). Nothing new, really. Couldn’t they add Philo, Sling, etc?

  24. Why didn’t they include the lux remote with the more expensive cable edge? I really want a backlit tivo remote,Will the lux remote work fine withe the cable edge?I just hate to have to pay extra money to use the lux remote. It would of had everything i hoped for 6 tuners dolby atmos ,dolby vision and a backlit remote!

  25. @Paul T If I’m in the market for an OTA DVR, I might be inclined to upgrade if Tivo was a one-box solution. I’ve seen a lot of comments around from folks asking for Sling, etc (which doesn’t have OTA channels).

  26. I don’t understand the real value here either? If they would just have it support Playstation Vue, Hulu Live and YT TV – it would be a real attractive option.

  27. Any word on changes in access to local media, via pyTiVo or updated Plex or something else?

    Hydra killing video xfer back to the TiVo and Plex falling out of active support and development has left me stuck on TE3. Pretty much ends future TiVos for me, unless apps for Roku turn out great and I was to use Edge only as the backend DVR and Roku as the interface.

  28. Whatever happened to the TiVo apps for Roku and for FireTV that were announced in January? I powered off my last two TiVos (Bolts) because the TVs in the living room and family room are completely cordless aside from the power cord. I think TiVo has by far the best DVR functionality, but the having to buy and maintain and run a cable to a TiVo for each TV is just too costly and too messy in a time when Recast can wirelessly stream to all the TVs in the house while staying hidden away in the attic.

  29. > too messy in a time when Recast can wirelessly stream to all the TVs

    That is partially because Recast transcodes everything back int 720p to push down the bandwidth . The more classic Tivo solutions with Mini and MoCA are to move around MPEG2 sized stuff.

    Dropping down picture quality inside the house hasn’t been a feature Tivo has pursued.

    The number of transcode units on the Edge haven’t moved up ( still 2 ). Even if Tivo delivers the apps if they are just consuming transcoded streams then the number of TVs delivered to has a lower limited than the wired solution(s).

  30. > which is a part of the OTA ATSC 3.0 standard.

    The Edge has two USB 3.0 sockets. There is a pretty decent chance tracking ATSC 3.0 will be a dongle(s) add-on. So “Log Gamma” plus some port(s) to get that additional data streams from should work without much picture quality drop off. ( although most broadcasters are probably going to lean more toward ‘more’ channels/commercials than more better looking content the way things are going. )

  31. I have a Roamio. I ‘upgraded’ to hydra? to whatever it was called. No live guide anymore. I hated it. And reverted to the old os, losing all our recordings. Just to get the live guide back.
    Those morons at tivo are going to lose me with their crap

  32. Relatedly, of note as to the earlier-shown TiVo Mini Wireless Adapter:

    “Our current plan shows general availability next month for the WiFi adapter. Initially it will only be supported on MINI VOX, but we’re hoping to get it working with A93 prefix MINI’s as well.” (Ted Malone, TiVo VP)

  33. Coming from a Romio and a long time Tivo guy it looks good. I would like to have more info/testing on the OTA receiver. Any tv plugged into my OTA antenna brings in more stations then my Romio. If there is an improvement, I’m in. And, I’m currently paying $9.99 a month. But I am also waiting for the ad rollout and it may be bye bye tivo if it’s too evasive.

  34. Still want one that is this form factor with 6-8 tuners 3+tb that will work with Cablecard or antenna. Give me that and I’ll be thrilled.

  35. I’d be happy if the Edge would solve my Roamio+ to Mini ethernet drop out issues. Been relatively happy with the system for 5ish years, but recently the drops and Roamio+ restarts make the system virtually unusable….

    I’d be more happy if I could transfer my lifetime subscriptions

    And it’s not a networking problem

  36. I got the Edge and it works great. I was really disappointed that the remote that came with it was not Backlit. Comon’ Tivo, that’s not even new technology and for a premium it should have come with the Edge.

  37. Dave you should mention how Tivo has stopped selling the Edge for Cable due to the incompatibility with tuning adapters

  38. I was sold on this until I read about the forced pre-roll ads. As someone that has never owned anything Tivo, I am already taking a leap of faith that i’ll like it, but the ads make me pause and I will instead have to study my other options first. Maybe I come back and live with it, and maybe I don’t. Some say I can call to have the ads removed, but for how long? I’ll bet that’s temporary in order to reduce bad publicity during its roll out. Not a good way to convince a new customer.

  39. How disappointing. We became huge TiVo fans years ago when DirectTV supplied us with what I eventually realized was just a branded TiVo box after a brief flirtation with Verizon’s alternative. I went on to buy Premiere boxes with lifetime subscriptions and eventually sold those to upgrade to the Roamio. We now have three 6-tuner Roamios, and having upgraded the hard drives myself and replaced a couple of fans, I’m confident in my ability to keep them running for a very long time.

    I’d gladly give TiVo more of my money for an upgrade with more and better apps and 4K support, but between the Hydra interface, the unstackable Bolt design, and now the commercials, the company seems determined to convince me to hang on to my Roamios with lifetime service. It’s as though they never understood or have forgotten why I bought TiVo products in the first place.

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