September 30, 2015

4k TiVo unveiled in the US


TiVo in the US has announced the latest addition to its Series 6 lineup of players with the arrival of the TiVo BOLT (pictured above). Breaking with TiVo's customary black finish, this white player offers 4K support as well as a revamped user interface that introduces new features like the ability to skip commercial breaks on recorded content as well as the ability to speed up playback 30 percent faster while listening to pitch-corrected audio. Four tuners, too.
Here's the tech breakdown:
  • Cable + OTA support 
  • CPU Cores/DMIPS: 2/11,000 
  • DDR memory: 3 GB 
  • HDMI Output: 4K/HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 
  • 4K decode: Yes – HEVC/VP9 
  • HDD: 500 GB or 1 TB 
  • Transcode/#Streams: On-Chip/1-2 
  • Wired Networks: Gigabit Ethernet 
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11ac/n 2×2 
  • MoCA: MOCA 2.0 
  • No. of tuners: 4 
  • Control Input: IP/RF4CE/Bluetooth (future) 
  • 11.4″ W x 7.3″ D x 1.8″ H 1.9 lbs. 
Highlights:
  • Smaller footprint with modern design 
  • 4K/Ultra High Def Platform 
  • Upgraded software 
  • Better performance 
  • New features including “QuickMode” and “SkipMode” 
  • In-home and out-of-home streaming (out-of-home in 2016)
That odd design isn't just to make the box distinct: TiVo claims that the gentle curve that lifts part of the player up also helps with heat dissipation. That’s useful given the hardware’s upgraded internals, which include a CPU that’s three and half times as fast as the previous (Roamio) model and three times the memory.
I see the disc storage hasn't been increased to accommodate 4K recordings: as this model is actually described as "entry-level" by TiVo it is perhaps an indication of where the next generation of TiVo hardware and software is heading. However, that probably is the box we are likely to see in the UK if Virgin Media continues to provide TiVo hardware beyond the current generation of DVRs.
More information can be found on TechCrunch and I'll post more on the new HTML5-based UI shortly.

8 comments:

Tom Chiverton said...

And VM would invest in a hardware refresh because ... ?

Jon said...

Both BT and Sky have announced 4K/UHD boxes. Virgin will need to offer a 4K/UHD service, even if it's rudimentary in the next 12-18 months. I don't expect this would be a free upgrade. Initially it might be a chargeable, premium box.

Oh, and because the current TiVo box is frankly hopeless in 2015. If cable wants anyone who doesn't already have cable to sign up, rather than get a Roku/FireTV/AppleTV and subscribe "over the top", they have to have hardware that is vaguely competitive. Otherwise their subscription numbers will die as their old cable customers cancel their contracts or die themselves.

Irishmanc said...

Maybe Virgin Media should think outside the box and offer the 4k service via the new Amazon Fire TV box using an expanded version of tv anywhere to Stream the channels, tv anywhere can be sideloaded onto the fire tv box anyway so maybe an official version and a tie up with Amazon could be a good idea, iptv is fastly becoming the way for broadcasting tv around the world. I know Virgin Media are also moving to make additional boxes wireless to remove the need for cables around customers homes.
I wouldn't be too quick to invest in 4k tv as tv manufacturers are now building 5k tv and LG have already brought one to market although it's very expensive. 4ktv may go the same way as 3d with very few home users feeling the need to pay more for another tv and box, budget manufacturers are already bringing 4ktv to the market at very low prices yet there hasn't been a rush by broadcasters or even tv production companies.

Irishmanc said...

Maybe Virgin Media should think outside the box and offer the 4k service via the new Amazon Fire TV box using an expanded version of tv anywhere to Stream the channels, tv anywhere can be sideloaded onto the fire tv box anyway so maybe an official version and a tie up with Amazon could be a good idea, iptv is fastly becoming the way for broadcasting tv around the world. I know Virgin Media are also moving to make additional boxes wireless to remove the need for cables around customers homes.
I wouldn't be too quick to invest in 4k tv as tv manufacturers are now building 5k tv and LG have already brought one to market although it's very expensive. 4ktv may go the same way as 3d with very few home users feeling the need to pay more for another tv and box, budget manufacturers are already bringing 4ktv to the market at very low prices yet there hasn't been a rush by broadcasters or even tv production companies.

Jon said...

As we discussed elsewhere, it's not so much 4K as the rest that goes with UHD that is most valuable, especially HDR. 4K itself will be of marginal benefit to those with 'normal' TVs (<65"), but the improvements in greyscale, contrast and colour fidelity will be noticeable to all. As the 4k resolution is the least exciting part of this I certainly won't be hanging around for 8k, which will be truly unnoticeable on any normal TV (not sure what you are talking about when you speak of 5k, that is never going to be a TV format, only a niche PC monitor format).

Broadcasters are not rushing to UHD because of the bandwidth it needs, but Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services are making serious moves and Sky/BT too. Yes, I know that was true of 3D too and only time will tell, but I don't believe UHD will be another 3D. I think HDR and probably BT.2020 will become the norm for streamed content, if not broadcast, in time, with 4K coming along for the ride, bandwidth allowing.

Chris Till said...

I would love a 4K TiVo with 4 tuners but it just doesn't make sense for Virgin to invest in an aging platform.

For the type of TV viewing I do, mostly live sports and some other types of shows, it makes sense. And I love the TiVo. It may not feel cutting edge, but it is incredibly solid and I work that thing hard and it never lets me down. And for watching tv, those traits are crucial.

It's a shame we won't get 4K or even 1080p for that matter, but eventually there will be better options on internet connected devices like Apple TV.

Whether or not Internet tv will ever be as reliable as cable tv is another thing entirely. I kind of doubt it. At least in the short term.

Jon said...

Virgin have already stated they will continue to invest in TiVo: http://www.digitaltveurope.net/348382/virgin-media-extends-tivo-deal/

Chris Till said...

Cool. I didn't see that. Let's hope something comes soon.

But before that it would be nice if they tidied up the channel list by removing all the SD channels and +1s. And there are still quite a few channels not even in 720p yet. That needs to be absolutely standard.