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.
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.
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.