Tuesday, 11 October 2011

TiVo Premiere Elite: Why it could be good for your Virgin Media TiVo

The TiVo Premiere Elite has launched in the States. The newest TiVo box contains four tuners, 2TB of recording capacity and by the sounds of it, updated software which finally activates the 2nd CPU core which, among other things, appears to have halfed the boot-up time. The software also appears to support multi-room streaming between Premieres.

There's a great thread at the TiVo Community Forum which details performance improvements over the Premiere. Another thread contains first impressions about the new box.

What the frack does any of this have to do with Virgin Media you ask? Well, a modified version of this software will hopefully be released for the Premiere and eventually (please?) Virgin Media's TiVo box which is based on the Premiere. With any luck the 2nd core, along with other performance improvements, will help speed up the user interface.

And before anyone asks, no - the updated software for the Elite doesn't feature a completed HD user interface, or reminders.

As for the Elite itself - is there a UK market for a box which can record 4 programmes while allowing you to watch a 5th? (Or record 3 programmes while watching live TV?) I'm thinking 'yes' myself but that's just me

Either way, it would reduce the chances of recording clashes. If Virgin decide to offer the Elite as an option to their customers (and at what price) remains to be seen.


MegaZone said...

A tuner is not used when copying or streaming to another TiVo. If TiVo adds support for streaming Live TV then that would, of course, use a tuner. But right now you only copy/stream recordings so the tuners are free to record/watch.

Jason (Admin) said...

Cheers for the update MegaZone, I've updated the original post.

Nialli said...

Interesting. But for me (and I think many customers) this is something that would not be an attractive upgrade. The 1Tb model is more than sufficient for my needs - I don't think I've ever topped 50% on my TiVo - and the four tuners aren't necessary when you look at the catch up services we have in the UK. If Virgin Media are serious about hardware upgrades in TiVo world, they need to include a way of migrating recordings from old boxes to new as part of the installation process.

Jason (Admin) said...

@ Nialli - I would agree with you, but TiVO insists on recording the 1st broadcast of a programme for Series Links. Because I that I have several occasions throughout the week where all 3 tuners are in use.

4 tuners for me would be ideal. If you think that's overkill, I'm sure there's a post at TiVo Community about a new PVR chip from BroadCom which features NINE tuners.

That would be enough. Even for me. :-)

MegaZone said...

Well, actually, in the US CableCARDs only support up to six simultaneous streams so you probably won't see more than that in one box. ;-) You could have two cards for twelve tuners, but at some point you may as well just stack boxes up to spread the load.

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