Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 40

Overview

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

The TiVo Premiere is the company's next-generation HDTV DVR for over-the-air, cable, and Verizon FiOS. It launched in 320GB and 1TB configurations for $299 and $499 at Best Buy on March 28, and is now shipping from TiVo.com and Amazon.com. Existing TiVo owners with a monthly or yearly subscription receive a 20% discount on the Premiere at TiVo.com, with new units priced at $239 and $399.

The Premiere is based on the new "Series4" hardware platform with a faster dual-core processor, twice the memory, and improved I/O. The added processing power is used to support a new high-definition interface with a video window, faster network transfers, and robust video playback with full 1080p output. Newer technology cuts power consumption by 35-40% for ENERGY STAR compliance.

cuts power consumption by 35-40% for ENERGY STAR compliance. As a dual-tuner DVR, the TiVo Premiere

As a dual-tuner DVR, the TiVo Premiere allows the user to watch one channel while they record another; it will record two different HD or SD shows while playing a third, previously recorded show. It has separate CABLE and ANTENNA inputs, with each split internally to support two channels from analog cable, digital cable, or an off-air antenna; it will also tune and record channels from two different

sources.

The Premiere doesn’t record from another box; it replaces the cable box.

User can pause and replay live television, or hit record to save the live program for future playback. Other functions on the remote include 30 second "scan", slow motion, frame-by-frame advance, 15 minute skip-to-tick, and three speeds of fast forward and reverse (3x, 20x, 60x). Like past HD TiVos, the Premiere maintains separate buffers for each tuner and retains the pause position on the inactive tuner, so one does not lose their position when swapping between tuners and channels.

Recording capacity on the standard Premiere is 46 HD hours, while the XL offers 156 HD hours. Both

models officially support a 1TB external drive to add another 144 HD hours.

Weaknees.com also offer upgraded Premiere DVRs with 317 HD hours. There are no quality settings to vary record capacity on digital channels; all digital content is saved to the hard drive as is, bit-for-bit identical to the original broadcast. Quality on live and recorded TV is identical.

DVRUpgrade.com and

The TiVo features an electronic program guide (EPG) with 14-days of guide information from Tribune Media and Rovi. The guide is customizable, so one can remove any channels they do not want to see; filters and favorites are supported. Program information is downloaded nightly and saved to the hard drive. During setup, the user selects whether they want to use ethernet, wireless, or a phone line

1

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

adapter for guide downloads; the user enters their zip code and selects whether they use an antenna, cable, or both. When cable or both is selected, the user is asked to pick their provider from a list.

By default, the TiVo records all programs by name rather than time; this is known as "name-based recording." With a series recording for House, it doesn't matter what time or day of the week that program is showing. The TiVo records House whenever it shows with the correct program length for that episode, even when the day, time, and/or program length changes. The TiVo does this by continuously searching the guide data for the name of the show, and adjusting its record schedule as needed. This effectively provides "set it and forget it" recording, because once a recording is scheduled, no adjustments are necessary when the program changes its day, time, or duration.

Single and series recordings are created through a program guide selection, a Browse TV category selection, or by searching 14 days of program listings. The Browse TV menu organizes upcoming

television programs by genre, but goes well beyond that; it offers more than two dozen specialized categories, including award winners, what’s new, most popular, best bets this week, and 4-star movies. Search integrates results for upcoming TV shows, movies, actors and actresses, and all available content

from Internet video providers –such as Netflix—enabled in settings.

required and results are sorted by popularity (“best match”), minimizing the character input necessary.

First word matches are no longer

character input necessary. First word matches are no longer Search results shown with “best match” popularity

Search results shown with “best match” popularity sort. One press of the remote switches to name sort.

Unlike most DVRs, TiVo also allows users to create custom series recordings to record only those programs that meet specific criteria input using a USB keyboard, keyboard remote, or on-screen keyboard. Such custom series recordings—known as wishlists—are useful to record only those sporting events with one’s favorite pro or college team, regardless of date, time, and channel. Other uses include series recordings for all new award shows, bowl games, golf majors, grand slam tennis, MLB/NBA/NFL/NHL playoffs, NASCAR races, NCAA tournament basketball, or presidential debates.

2

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

Every series and custom series recording can be set to record new episodes only, or new and repeat

episodes, with its own independent start and end time padding.

episodes to keep, and whether to keep each recording until space is needed or until manually deleted.

The DVR maintains a built-in recorded history to prevent duplicate recordings of the same program.

Users are able to set the number of

All series and custom series recordings are listed and prioritized in a menu called Season Pass Manager. Users rank their series recordings in that ordered list, and those rankings determine what two programs record when three or more conflict. If three programs conflict, the TiVo records the first two and searches for a later showing of the third program. The TiVo automatically records the next airing of the conflicting program, so long as it is shown again in the next 28 days.

The list of recorded programs –called My Shows—is sortable by either name or date, toggled with one press of the remote. Multiple episodes of the same program are grouped into folders to reduce clutter. Within each program group, recordings are listed by the date recorded with their episode title. A disk space meter indicates the amount of space consumed by user-scheduled recordings.

the amount of space consumed by user-scheduled recordings. Shown with name sort; clic k here f

Shown with name sort; click here for date sort.

Select a completed recording or a recording-in-progress from the recorded list and it plays from the beginning. On recordings-in-progress, users can skip commercials until they catch up to live. If one elects to finish viewing at a later time, the TiVo remembers the last position.

If viewing live TV, pressing record will save the program from the point it was tuned. The TiVo always buffers both tuners, so one can pause a live TV channel at a commercial, switch to another channel to view for awhile, pause that, and then switch back to the first channel to resume from where they left off, skipping commercials as desired. This makes it possible to watch two concurrent live TV programs.

3

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

Other notable TiVo software features include: a Recently Deleted (undelete) folder to recover deleted programs; remote scheduling via the web and mobile phone; direct download of recorded files in MPG or TS format; transfer of videos and recordings from computer to TiVo for playback; multi-room SD and HD viewing with other TiVos; an extensive array of parental controls; Netflix SD/HD streaming; Amazon Unbox SD/HD; Blockbuster HD/SD; and free RSS video feed subscriptions.

Both the versions of the Premiere feature a new remote similar in layout and design to the older Series3 "Glo" remote, but with four new buttons (yellow, blue, red, green); these act as shortcuts for various options in the user interface. The remote bundled with the standard model lacks backlighting and IR learning capability, while the XL remote adds those features. A RF Bluetooth remote with a slide-out keyboard is expected in several months as an optional accessory at TiVo.com.

in several months as an optional accessory at TiVo.com. For digital cable, one CableCard (M-CARD) from

For digital cable, one CableCard (M-CARD) from the cable company is required to support both tuners. A CableCard is a form of access card; it plugs into the CableCard slot and authorizes subscribed channels.

The box has HDMI 1.3, component, and composite (RCA) video connections; it will output audio over HDMI, but also has analog stereo and optical (S/PDIF). Output modes are enhanced with the ability to selectively enable or disable every resolution from 480i to 1080p. All HD and SD outputs are active simultaneously, and the box downconverts HD channels to SD through composite for older televisions.

One of the following subscriptions is required for the first TiVo: $12.99/mo, $129/yr, $299/3yrs, or a one-time payment of $399 to eliminate all future fees. Each box after the first requires a subscription of $9.99/mo, $99/yr, or a one-time payment of $299. Existing customers with a lifetime subscription can add lifetime to the Premiere at a 50% discount ($199) without affecting the service on the other DVR.

TiVo.com and Best Buy offer a 30-day return policy. TiVo includes a 7-day trial without activation, and all TiVo subscriptions are fully refundable within the first 30 days. The standard warranty is one-year on parts and 90-days labor, but TiVo offers two-year and three-year extended warranties for $30 and $40, respectively. There is a $150 charge for out-of-warranty repairs and replacements.

4

Unboxed

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

Unboxed © K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10 The contents of the box are as follows: 1. TiVo

The contents of the box are as follows:

1. TiVo Premiere

2. TiVo “enhanced” remote

3. HDMI cable

4. Composite video and stereo RCA cables

5. Ethernet cable

6. TiVo Premiere: The Complete Guide

7. TiVo Premiere: Start Here

8. TiVo Legal Terms

9. CableCard Installation Sheet

The TIVo Premiere does not have a phone jack, so one must purchase the TiVo wireless adapter, TiVo phone adapter, or a third-party ethernet bridge if it is not feasible to run an ethernet cable to the box.

5

Hardware

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

With early DVR chip designs, processor and graphics performance were not considered a priority; the foremost concern was cost. The result was more cost-effective DVRs for cable and satellite that lacked the performance needed to support more advanced multi-room and user interface features.

When the first DVR chips capable of supporting a responsive high-definition interface and robust multi- room functionality became widely available in late 2008, some questioned why there was no new TiVo hardware with those features. In the end, it all came down to the software. TiVo did not want to simply refresh its existing UI and software for 16:9 HD. It wanted to create a new, modern interface that would seamlessly merge DVR and broadband media content. TiVo determined that a Flash-based UI approach – like that taken by Hulu, Boxee, Netflix, and others—was the most effective way to do that.

Broadcom announced Flash Lite support for its new and upcoming chips in January 2009, but it took the better part of the year for that support to mature to a production state. When TiVo was satisfied that Broadcom’s Flash implementation would meet its needs, the company selected the highest- performance DVR chip available (BCM7413) to form the core of its new Series4 hardware platform.

CableCard 512MB RAM 8MB Flash ROM POD Slot DDR2-800 JS28F640P30B85 B 6.4GB/s a California Micro
CableCard
512MB RAM
8MB Flash ROM
POD Slot
DDR2-800
JS28F640P30B85
B
6.4GB/s
a
California Micro
s
Microtune
Micronas
TS In
Broadcom BCM7413
CMD2030-AOTR
HDMI
e
MT2131
DRX 3944J
HDMI 1.3 transmitter
b
a
Microtune
Micronas
n
MT2131
DRX 3946J
S/PDIF out
d
Dual-core 400MHz MIPS32/16e
64-bit DDR2 DRAM controller
MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VC-1 decoders
2D+3D graphics processor
Multi-format audio processor
Dual PVR Engine w/ trick modes
Data transport module
Security processor
PCI 2.3, USB 2.0, Serial ATA-2
Component video
TS In
Composite video
Analog stereo out
TS In
2x USB 2.0
I
NXP SAA7164
Dual MPEG-2 encoder
10/100 Ethernet
n
10/100 Ethernet
p
eSATA for external HDD
SATA-2
SATA-2
u
t
Micron 46V16M16-5B
32MB DDR400 SDRAM
Altera EPM3032A
1TB Hard Drive
CMOS EEPROM
SATA-2

The BCM7413 represents an across-the-board upgrade; it upgrades every major subsystem, including the CPU, memory controller, 2D/3D graphics, decoders, and disk controller. The most notable feature of the new chip is a dual-core, 400MHz MIPS32/16e CPU. That isn’t much by PC standards, but is substantial improvement over the single-core, 300MHz MIPS CPUs found in most other DVRs.

It is worth noting that unlike PCs, the chips in all modern DVRs feature dedicated hardware video decoders for MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC, and VC-1, with a media switch to decouple decode and playback operations from the CPU. As a result, the CPU is left free to handle the embedded operating system (usually Linux), the DVR software and interface, and any associated features such as multi-room viewing.

6

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

Processor Performance

Performance in Dhrystone MIPS - Higher is Better

1200

1000

800

600

400

200

0

MIPS - Higher is Better 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 TiVo Series1 TiVo Series2

TiVo Series1

TiVo Series2

DirecTiVo HR10

TiVo Series3

TiVo HD

TiVo Premiere

(1999)

(2001)

(2004)

(2006)

(2007)

(2010)

Like other recent 65nm Broadcom SoCs, the BCM7413 features an improved 2D graphics core – known as the Memory-to-Memory Compositor, or M2MC. This part of the chip is responsible for compositing regions of the on-screen display and scaling them to the output resolution. Coupled with the faster CPU, this new graphics core makes it possible to support more compelling interface designs on set-tops.

Superior processing power is of little use if the system lacks the bandwidth to take advantage of it. Many DirecTV subscribers witnessed the importance of memory bandwidth when the dual-chip HR20 design was replaced with the single-chip HR21/HR22/HR23. All featured similar raw CPU performance, but the newer models eliminated the second memory channel for the decoder, instead sharing a single 64-bit DDR memory channel between the CPU, graphics subsystem, and video decoders. That took vital bandwidth way from the system and performance suffered as a result.

The TiVo Premiere features a new 64-bit DDR2 memory controller that provides 6400 MB/s of memory bandwidth. That’s twice the amount of most cable and satellite DVRs based on single-chip solutions, and a 35-50% improvement over past dual-chip designs like the TiVo Series3, DirecTV HR20, and Dish Network ViP722. TiVo also equipped the Premiere with 512MB of DDR2-800 memory—twice that of the latest cable DVRs, and four times the amount of most DVRs in cable homes.

 

TiVo Premiere

TiVo HD

TiVo Series3

TiVo Series2

Memory

512MB DDR2-800

256MB DDR400

256MB DDR400

32MB DDR266

Memory interface

1x 64-bit DDR2

1x 64-bit DDR

1x 64-bit DDR 1x 32-bit DDR

1x 16-bit DDR

Memory bandwidth

6400 MB/s

3200 MB/s

<4800 MB/s

525 MB/s

After subtracting the memory reserved for the decoders and other hardware, the Premiere has roughly 321MB RAM available for the embedded Linux OS, TiVo software, and future third-party applications. Contrast that to the 24MB available on the TiVo Series2 and 126MB on the TiVo HD. Most cable DVRs

7

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

are equipped with 128MB, but only 60-90MB remains available for the OS and software after subtracting the reserved memory, limiting possibilities for future enhancement.

The Broadcom chip in the Premiere also incorporates a new SATA-2 controller with two ports. The first is used internally for a Western Digital AV-GP hard drive—the 320GB WD3200AVVS or 1TB WD10EVVS— and the second for an eSATA interface to allow capacity expansion with an external drive. This is an upgrade from the TiVo HD, whose chip featured a single SATA-I connection; to support both internal and external drives on that model, TiVo split the SATA-I connection in two using a chip from Silicon Image. All benchmark results suggest the Premiere offers superior disk throughput.

An improved memory subsystem and enhanced hardware decoders enable the Premiere to support higher bitrates and new formats. The older TiVo HD and Series3 hardware couldn’t handle MPEG-4 video encoded at much above 25Mbps, which ruled out possibility of playing most Blu-ray backups stored on a computer. Thanks to its new chip, the TiVo Premiere is able to handle video at much higher bitrates, including MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 in 1080p at up to 40Mbps. The BCM7413 in the Premiere also adds support for DIVX at up to 1080p, Windows Media Pro (up to 7.1) audio, and AAC-HE.

While the TiVo Premiere will output 1080p24 content as is, it won’t convert lower-resolution content for output at 1080p60. This is a limitation of the system chips found in all existing cable and satellite DVRs. Broadcom has a new chip on the way with full 1080p60 upconversion for all sources, but waiting for that solution would’ve delayed the Premiere’s release another 4-6 months. TiVo wanted to get the box out in early 2010, and selected the best hardware that would allow it to meet that goal.

Like past models, the TiVo Premiere has separate ANTENNA and CABLE inputs, with each split internally to support two tuners from a single coax feed. TiVo eliminated the second CableCard slot, so one multi- stream CableCard (M-CARD) is required to support both tuners with digital cable and FiOS.

Two Microtune MT2131 silicon tuners—a popular 1GHz tuning solution—remain the only holdover from the TiVo HD design. The Premiere drops the ATI Theater 314 QAM/VSB demodulators in favor of the newer Micronas DRX 3946A and DRX 3944J. These demodulators are responsible for recovering and separating the A/V transport stream from the cable or broadcast RF signal for the Broadcom chip.

 

TiVo Premiere

TiVo HD

TiVo Series3

Tuner IC

2x Microtune MT2131

2x Microtune MT2131

2x Philips TDA6651

Demodulators

Micronas DRX 3946J Micronas DRX3944J

2x ATI Theater 314

2x ATI Theater 314

The Micronas DRX demodulator is the same solution used by SiliconDust in the latest version of its popular HDHomerun tuner. TiVo uses a different part in the DRX line that adds support for CableCards and encrypted cable. In theory, it should provide a modest improvement over past TiVos in over-the-air reception with an antenna, although we saw little difference at our particular location in limited testing.

Like past TiVo models, the Premiere supports analog channels. The TiVo Premiere features a completely new implementation of analog support, which eliminates the reliability and quality issues some customers saw with analog channels on the older TiVo HD model. Those with a TiVo Series2 can expect equal or better picture quality on their analog channels with the TiVo Premiere.

8

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

 

TiVo Premiere

TiVo HD

TiVo Series3

NTSC decoders

NXP SAA7164CE

2x NXT SAA7138CHL

2x ?

MP@ML encoders

NXP SAA7164CE

VIXS XCode 2115

2x Broadcom BCM7042

In order to record analog channels, a DVR must perform at least three distinct operations: decode the analog signal (NTSC decoder), convert the analog signal to uncompressed digital form (A/D circuit), and then compress the uncompressed digital signal (MP@ML encoder) for storage on the hard disk.

With the TiVo Premiere, all of these operations are performed by a single chip – the NXP SAA7164CE. This highly integrated IC features two NTSC decoders and ADCs, a 3D comb filter, 2D/3D noise reduction, and two MP@ML encoders, as necessary to record two different analog channels. Contrast that to the TiVo HD, which had two separate NTSC decoders and ADCs with a 2D comb filter, plus a third chip for the MP@ML encoding. In effect, the Premiere replaces three older chips—four on the Series3—with with one newer, higher-performance solution.

The Premiere features the same 10/100Mbps ethernet interface as past models, but to very different effect. Many complained of poor network performance on past TiVos, but that had nothing to do with the 100Mbps connection. Rather, it was the fault of limited CPU performance and system I/O, both of which improved significantly on the Premiere. The result is superior network throughput –from DVR to DVR and DVR to PC—that far exceeds the TiVo HD and Series3.

Two USB 2.0 ports support TiVo’s 802.11g wireless adapter or phone adapter, a cable company SDV tuning adapter, and/or a wired or wireless keyboard. Later this year, TiVo will introduce a new

Bluetooth remote with a slide-out keyboard.

sound system, but communicate with the TiVo using RF signals through a Bluetooth USB dongle.

That remote will use IR signals to control one’s TV and

For video output, the box has HDMI 1.3, component video, and composite video connections. The box

passes audio through HDMI, optical S/PDIF, and RCA stereo connections. All audio and video outputs are active simultaneously; HDMI and component output a HD picture while composite outputs a SD

Anamorphic 16:9 SD output is supported.

picture to support older televisions and recording devices.

Newer components built on newer manufacturing processes tend to consume less power, and TiVo directly benefits as result. Without any new power saving modes, the TiVo Premiere averages 23 watts in standby and 26 watts while recording, sufficient to meet the current ENERGY STAR requirements for DVR products. That is a significant reduction from the 38 to 41 watts used by the TivoHD and Series3.

The least significant change to the new Premiere is also the most obvious. TiVo opted to take a “safer,” more understated approach to case design with their new DVR. The hardware is housed in a slim, all- black chassis measuring 16.5”W by 9.7”D by 2.4”H. The new aesthetic matches the black equipment bezels adopted by consumer electronics in recent years, yet still provides a distinctive look with green, blue, and red lights to indicate power, transfers, and recordings. For those that don’t want to notice the TiVo at all, a menu option will disable the front panel LEDs.

9

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

Hardware: Under the hood

The TiVo Premiere is opened just like the TiVo HD, but with four torx T10 screws rather than six.

There are no warranty seals to break.

rather than six. There are no warranty seals to break. The hard drive is attached to
rather than six. There are no warranty seals to break. The hard drive is attached to

The hard drive is attached to the drive cage with four torx T15 screws, and the drive cage is held in place with four torx T10 screws – just like the TiVo HD and Series3. The only notable difference is the drive orientation. The drive in the 320GB Premiere is the Western Digital “GreenPower” WD3200AVVS.

Removing the four screws and drive cage reveals the Micronas DRX demodulators and NXP SAA7164C.

10

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10 1 Broadcom BCM7413 System chip 2 Numonyx Strataflash JS28F640P30B85 8MB

1

System chip

2

8MB Flash ROM

3

(2) Micron Technology 9WG27

256MB DDR2-800

4

(2) Micron Technology 9WG27

256MB DDR2-800

5

Dual NTSC decoders + MP@ML encoders

6

CMOS EEPROM

7

Micron Technology 46V16M16-5B

32MB DDR400 SDRAM

8

QAM/VSB demodulator w/ POD interface

9

Micronas DRX 3946J

QAM/VSB demodulator

10

Silicon tuner

11

Silicon tuner

12

HDMI 1.3 transmitter

 

320GB SATA-2 hard drive

 

1000GB SATA-2 hard drive

Note: There are four 9WG27 128MB DDR2 memory chips, with one pair on each side of the board.

11

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

Storage capacity, capacity expansion

The TiVo Premiere is available in 320GB (46 HD hours) and 1TB (156 HD hours) configurations.

Both models officially support “plug and play” external drive expansion with Western’s Digital’s My DVR

Expander.

190 HD hours on the Premiere and 300 HD hours on the Premiere XL.

is seamlessly integrated; the TiVo appears as if it has a single, larger hard drive.

Currently available in a 1TB version, the My DVR Expander adds 144 HD hours, for a total of

When enabled, external storage

External drives other than Western Digital’s My DVR Expander are not compatible.

restricts external drive expansion to the specific make and model drives used in the My DVR Expander. Replacing the drive inside that enclosure has no effect, because it is the drive model and firmware that matters. TiVo says this restriction is to benefit users, as certain drives won’t function reliably with the

way they implement storage expansion, causing potential instability or lost recordings.

In its software, TiVo

Like the TiVo HD and Series3, the TiVo Premiere implements storage expansion through disk striping. Once an external drive is added, new recordings are spread across both the internal and external drives. As a result, permanently disconnecting the external drive results in the loss of all recordings made after it was added; disconnecting the drive does not affect recordings made before the drive was added. To prevent the loss of recordings with accidental disconnection, the Premiere displays an “External Storage Missing” screen which asks the user to reconnect the external drive or confirm permanent removal.

With past TiVos, some users preferred internal drive upgrades to eliminate the need for a separate storage device in their system. Internal drive upgrades were possible on the TiVo HD and Series3 using free software tools such as WinMFS and MFSLive, which enabled capacity on large replacement drives by creating a new partition with the extra space. Past TiVos recognized this new partition and used it to store recorded programs, thus increasing usable storage capacity. The Premiere does not.

The TiVo Premiere does not recognize partitions created by existing upgrade tools, so a new method is required to utilize the added capacity on a replacement drive. Weaknees.com and DVRUpgrade.com discovered such a method, and both offer pre-upgraded Premiere DVRs with 2TB (317 HD hours) capacity; Weaknees.com also sells an internal plus external drive configuration with 4TB (639 HD hours). Both opted not to publicly disclose the new method or tools for competitive reasons, so DIY enthusiasts must wait for the appropriate method and tools to find their way into the public domain.

Such large capacities are made possible by the Premiere’s newer operating system and SATA driver. The TiVo Series3 and TiVo HD are currently based on Linux 2.4.20 with an older EIDE driver that supports a maximum of 1TiB per partition; that limits total expansion of the internal and external partitions to 2TiB. The Premiere runs Linux 2.6.16 with a SATA driver that supports virtually unlimited capacity, but maximum usable storage is limited to 4TiB – twice the Series3—by the TiVo’s partition scheme (APM).

An unfortunate consequence of TiVo’s decision to restrict expansion to a specific external drive –in this case, Western Digital’s My DVR Expander—is that it forces customers to wait for higher-capacity versions of that product. While other DVRs can already take advantage of 2TB external drives to add

300 HD hours, TiVo users are left waiting for Western Digital to offer a 2TB version of its DVR Expander.

12

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

High-definition interface, introduction

Bob Poniatowski, TiVo’s Director of Product Marketing, took the time to discuss the past, present, and future of the Premiere’s new high-definition interface.

Several years ago, TiVo began researching HD UIs. It looked at what others were doing, conducted usability studies, and engaged customers to gather feedback on proposed designs to determine the best way to proceed. About a year ago, TiVo finalized plans for the new UI and set to work prototyping and building the new interface in Adobe Stagecraft (Flash Lite 3.1 with Actionscript 2.0).

Why use Adobe Flash? In its research and discussions, TiVo found that consumers disliked the separate environments for local and broadband content found on existing products. Users wanted a single, consistent interface for all content. One of TiVo’s primary goals with the new HDUI is to replace the disparate interfaces that exist today with one seamless experience for TV and broadband media. Adobe’s Stagecraft platform is well suited for this purpose, as Flash applications with identical look and feel can run from the hard drive or from Internet servers, with no apparent distinction to the user.

Flash on the Premiere is not a browser plug-in like users have on their PCs, but a specialized Stagecraft application environment optimized by Broadcom for the hardware. TiVo, Broadcom, and Adobe continue to work to provide the best possible Flash experience. As an example, work is now being done to improve performance through utilization of the second core on the TiVo’s Broadcom chip.

TiVo’s new high-definition interface isn’t complete for launch. TiVo plans to roll out the new interface over multiple updates in the coming months. The company prioritized the redesign of “high-traffic areas” for release, with less trafficked menus to follow in the second half of 2010. For now, some

menus and features are HD while others are still SD.

Stagecraft environment simultaneously and swaps between the two for different menus.

TiVo runs the “classic” SD interface and the Adobe

The initial version of the HD interface will include new high-definition menus for My Shows, Search, and

Browse TV.

be available in high-definition at release; TiVo will update those and other features with software updates in the coming months. As more of the interface is redesigned in HD over time, users will see

less and less of the older menus until they are eliminated from view entirely.

Other key parts of the interface, including the channel banners and program guide, won’t

[The classic UI will always remain a settings option for those that want and/or need it.]

TiVo’s plans also call for the Premiere to get new, enhanced Flash versions of all the popular HME applications—Netflix, Rhapsody, some games, etc—that seamlessly integrate with the new interface. These new Flash versions won’t be available at release; they too will follow later and replace the existing HME versions. Looking forward, TiVo intends to develop Flash versions of all new applications for the Premiere; the older platforms are unable to support Flash, so they will get HME versions when possible.

Although still in the planning stages, TiVo intends to make their Flash environment accessible to end users and end-user applications. TiVo’s Bob Poniatowski mentioned an apps store where third parties and end-users might share (and sell?) Flash applications written in Adobe Stagecraft.

13

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

High-definition interface, new UI features

By itself, new hardware does little to improve the experience for the user. software to take advantage of it.

New hardware needs new

TiVo uses the faster hardware to support a new high-definition interface with a video window, sharper

fonts, and high-resolution graphics.

Improvements with the new multi-pane interface include:

VIDEO WINDOW in the corner of all HD menus displays the current recording or live TV channel. Users can pause the video window, or toggle the window on or off from any menu using the SLO

MO button on the remote.

A settings option will disable the video window.

PREVIEW AREA in menus provides additional information about the selected movie, series, or episode without the need to transition to a new screen.

POSTER IMAGES throughout the interface make it easier to identify actors, series, and movies.

DISCOVERY BAR is shown at the top of many HD screens and displays suggested TV series, movies, collections, and TiVo tips, based on what is popular or similar to the selected program, or content previously recorded by the user. Limited customization is available at launch, and further customization is planned for future updates.

SEARCH integrates results for TV series, movies, actors, and web videos. Results include television programs showing in the next 12 days, as well as content from Internet providers

engine searches every word in every title. By default, results are sorted and displayed by

popularity to minimize the character input necessary; sort by name remains an option.

First word matches are no longer required, and the new

BROWSE TV organizes available and upcoming content into categories. Categories include traditional genre selections for TV series, movies, and sports, plus two dozen specialized “collections.” Collections include categories for award winners, what’s new, and most popular. As with search, the Browse TV menu displays those programs showing on television in the next 12 days, plus matching content from any Internet providers enabled in Video provider settings.

DISK SPACE METER on the My Shows screen indicates the percentage of disk space consumed by user-scheduled recordings. This disk space meter is enabled by default, but can be hidden.

In the HD interface, TiVo Central is now organized into two panes, with the main menu selections on the left and sub-menu selections on the right (screenshot).

TiVo renamed the “Now Playing” recorded list to “My Shows.”

choice of name or date, toggled with one press of the

also toggled on and off with one press of the

My Shows text, and optionally hidden through a setting in My Show Options.

Programs are sorted by the user's

in My Show Options. Programs are sorted by the user's button on the remote. Program folders

button on the remote. Program folders are A disk space indicator is shown just below the

by the user's button on the remote. Program folders are A disk space indicator is shown

button.

14

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10 Recordings shown with date sort; clic k here f or name

Recordings shown with date sort; click here for name sort. Note the WASHINGTON CAPITALS series folder.

A poster image, rating, and genre are shown for each selected program folder. For individual episode selections, the poster image, TV rating, episode number, episode title, episode description, and channel logo are shown in the right pane. Pressing PLAY on a highlighted recording bypasses the main information screen and starts playback. Pressing PLAY on a highlighted folder plays the contents sequentially, from oldest to newest, while pressing SELECT displays the folder contents (see below).

to newest, while pressing SELECT displays the folder contents (see below). Click any image for high-resolution

Click any image for high-resolution version.

15

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

Pressing SELECT on a highlighted recording opens the episode screen, where the rating, genre, key actors, and original airdate are shown as part of the description. In the right pane, the recorded date and channel are shown with the program duration and a poster image. For every recording, options are given to resume playing (if previously viewed) and start from the beginning.

playing (if previously viewed) and start from the beginning. Search displays results for shows, movies, web

Search displays results for shows, movies, web videos, and actors. First word matches are no longer required, and the new engine searches every word in every title of every program.

First word matches are no longer required, and the new engine searches every word in every

16

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

By default, search results are listed in order of popularity. The

button toggles between all, free, and watch

now.

“All” lists results for TV, plus any programs from enabled video providers; “free” lists results for TV, web content, and Netflix if enabled; and “watch now” lists content available from Netflix, Amazon, and Blockbuster VOD. Selecting a search result opens a screen for the actor, movie, or television series.

between sort by popularity and sort by name, while the

between sort by popularity and sort by name, while the button on the remote toggles Each

button on the remote toggles

and sort by name, while the button on the remote toggles Each series screen includes menu

Each series screen includes menu selections for Upcoming, Episode guide, Cast, and Bonus Features. The “Upcoming” menu lists episodes on television in the next two weeks, with new episodes identified by an icon; episodes scheduled to record are marked as such with another icon. The “Episode guide,” shown below, lists all series episodes by season; when a specific episode is highlighted, icons indicate whether that program is upcoming on TV, available for instant streaming from Netflix, or available for purchase from Amazon. The “Cast” menu lists the actors and actresses with portrait images.

menu lists the actors and actresses with portrait images. Movie screens in search display menu selections

Movie screens in search display menu selections for Cast and Crew.

actors and actresses with portrait images; “Crew” does the same, except for directors, writers, and

producers. Clicking a portrait displays a new screen for the actor or crew member.

As with a series, “Cast” lists the

The screen for actors and cast members offers limited biographical information and a portrait image,

plus menu selections for TV, Movies, and if applicable, Production credits.

content with that actor or crew member showing on television in the next two weeks; it also displays

any content from Netflix, Amazon, and Blockbuster, if those video providers are enabled.

Each menu displays the

For those that wish to browse program categories rather than search, TiVo added the Browse TV menu.

This menu organizes available and upcoming content in a range of categories.

traditional genre selections for TV series, movies, and sports, as well as twenty specialized “collections.” Collections include Oscar winning films and Emmy winning TV series for each decade, Sundance award winners, what’s new, fun for foodies, date night, ’09 box office blockbusters, and animated classics.

Categories include

17

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10 The user can mark specific categories as favorites, and those categories
© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10 The user can mark specific categories as favorites, and those categories

The user can mark specific categories as favorites, and those categories appear under My favorites.

Selecting a subcategory on the Browse TV menu displays the programs showing on television in the next 12 days, plus any matching content from Internet video providers enabled in settings. As with search,

the

any programs from enabled video providers; “free” lists results for TV and Netflix; and “watch now” lists content available from Netflix, Amazon, and Blockbuster VOD.

content available from Netflix, Amazon, and Blockbuster VOD. button on the remote toggles between all, free,

button on the remote toggles between all, free, and watch now.

“All” lists results for TV, plus

18

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

A description is shown for the highlighted program. An icon at the bottom right of the screen indicates the source of the program, be it TV, Netflix, or some other pay provider (if enabled).

be it TV, Netflix, or some other pay provider (if enabled). The main screen for the

The main screen for the program displays options to schedule a recording, “Watch now

from

,”

and/or “Get

,”

depending on where the program is available and what Internet video providers are enabled.

from ,” and/or “Get ,” depending on where the program is available and what Internet video

19

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

Other software enhancements

Much of the press surrounding the TiVo Premiere concerns the new high-definition interface. But the new DVR also incorporates other enhancements available in both the new HD interface and the “classic” SD interface, which remains available as an option in settings.

30 second scan

On past TiVos, the ADVANCE (-->|) button toggled between the beginning and end of the program by default. If the user wanted that button to perform 30 second skip—a popular feature to skip commercials—they had to enter a special remote sequence: SELECT-PLAY-SELECT-3-0-SELECT.

The TiVo Premiere ships with a new 30 second “scan” function enabled by default on the ADVANCE (-->|) button. This feature is very similar to the 30 second "slip" on DirecTV's latest DVRs. It doesn't skip 30 seconds; instead, it fast forwards through a 30 second interval in one second (i.e. 30x speed). Pressing ADVANCE repeatedly queues added time. Four presses of the ADVANCE button fast forwards through 120 seconds of programming (or commercials) in four seconds.

The traditional 30 second instant skip function is still available, and enabled with the same remote sequence. Simply enter SELECT-PLAY-SELECT-3-0-SELECT while viewing a recorded program.

Trick play enhancements: Jump to beginning/end and skip-to-tick on live TV

With the Premiere, pressing and holding the REPLAY button for one second jumps to the beginning of the recording or the beginning of the live TV buffer. Pressing and holding the ADVANCE button for one second jumps to the end of the recording or the end of the live TV buffer (i.e. live TV).

Users can also jump forward or backward in 15 minute increments on live TV and recordings. When rewinding, each press of the REPLAY button jumps backward in 15 minute increments. When fast forwarding, each press of the ADVANCE button jumps forward in 15 minute increments.

USB keyboard support; support for upcoming keyboard remote

The Premiere supports both wired and wireless USB keyboards. The implementation conforms to the USB HID specification, which TiVo will use to support its upcoming Bluetooth keyboard remote.

Alphanumeric keys function in both the HD and classic menus, while the ENTER, cursor, and F1-F11

keys perform various TiVo remote functions.

applications such as Youtube, Swivel Search, and interactive games.

The keyboard is not yet supported in older HME

Improved handling of delete notifications; increase in default “keep until” period

On past TiVos, new recordings were protected from deletion for 48 hours, and icons were used to

indicate the amount of time a recording was protected.

protected for at least 24 hours; a yellow ball meant the recording was protected for less than 24

No icon meant the recording was

20

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

hours; and a yellow ball with an exclamation point meant the recording was no longer protected and the DVR would delete the recording when space was needed for a new one. It didn’t matter how much space was available; every recording older than 48 hours was labeled as “may be deleted.”

The TiVo Premiere protects all new recordings from deletion for 72 hours, but does a much better

job of reporting when the DVR will delete older recordings. “may be deleted” simply because it is 48 or 72 hours old.

requirements for scheduled recordings to report what recordings the DVR will delete and when. It only flags recordings as “will be deleted” when recording space runs low, or when an upcoming episode will replace an older one, per the user’s own series setting for “keep last X episodes.”

It no longer labels every recording as Instead, it calculates the disk space

Support for full 1080p24 output

The TiVo Premiere adds the ability to output 1080p24 without conversion to 1080i. The first beneficiary of this new capability is Amazon, which already encodes all of its high-definition VOD content in 1080p24 @ 5 Mbps. Those with compatible TVs will see 1080p output on Amazon HD.

Full 1080p24 output is also useful for playback of most 1080p computer video files.

Simplified video output selections, auto-detection of supported formats

The TiVo Premiere simplifies setup with a new automatic output feature that selects the highest- resolution supported by the TV. For those that want to change the default display settings, the Premiere also adds a new menu to assist in determining supported formats.

TiVo replaced its separate native, hybrid, and fixed output modes with more intuitive selections. The Premiere lists each ATSC format – 1080p24, 1080i, 720p, 480p, and 480i—and asks the user to select

those to output natively without processing.

in their original format.

If all formats are selected, then all channels are output

If only 1080i is selected, then all channels are converted to 1080i. If 480i

and 720p are selected, then SD channels are output as is, and HD channels are converted to 720p. If 720p and 1080i are selected, then all HD is output in original form, while SD is upconverted to 1080i.

New channel logos in recorded list

With the Premiere, TiVo added channel logos for a number of new HD channels.

Increased menu timeout

Under previous versions of the TiVo software, the DVR would revert to live TV after five minutes of user inactivity on any menu. With the Premiere, TiVo increased that timeout to 15 minutes.

TiVo suggested current TiVo HD and Series3 owners could see some of these enhancements in a software update later this year, but has not yet announced anything to that effect.

21

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

User interface performance

The Broadcom BCM7413 chip inside the TiVo Premiere features a dual-core 400MHz processor, meaning it combines two 400MHz processors with some shared resources. In order to realize full performance, the software must be written to take advantage of both processor cores.

The Premiere’s underlying operating system – Linux 2.6.18—is able to support both processor cores, but in testing, TiVo found the current version of its DVR software was not stable with both cores enabled. Rather than further delay release to address the issue with dual-core support, TiVo opted to temporarily disable the second core under the operating system (Linux). This is a software setting, not a hardware setting, so it is something the company can change in a software update. TiVo expects to re-enable the second core later this year after it modifies the software to correctly function with both cores enabled.

For now, both the “classic” SD interface and the new HD interface run exclusively on a single 400MHz processor core. The single core represents a significant upgrade over the 300MHz processor in the Series3, but it does not deliver the performance TiVo intended for the product. TiVo designed the new HD interface with the expectation of two processor cores, and a single core does not provide the desired performance. Responsiveness is also hurt by the lack of image caching in the current software. Navigate through one menu, then back, and the TiVo re-downloads the same image shown seconds earlier.

With only one processor core enabled and limited or no image caching in the current software, the HD interface is sluggish. TiVo noticeably improved stability and performance with the 14.1c software

released in mid-April, but key parts of the HD interface still exhibit poor responsiveness.

example is the My Shows menu, where the lack of title caching makes it painful to navigate among

several dozen recorded programs. Until TiVo enables the second processor core and/or implements caching for poster images, many will prefer to use the “classic” interface.

A notable

The “classic” SD interface remains available and is more responsive than on earlier TiVos. When used with the SD menus, the TiVo Premiere functions as a faster Series3 with some enhancements and

tweaks to improve usability, plus superior network performance and upgrade potential. interface is enabled under Settings -> Display -> Choose TiVo Menus (screenshot).

The SD

22

Multi-room viewing

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

The current implementation of multi-room viewing on the TiVo Premiere is just like that on the TiVo HD and Series3, except it is much faster. Typical multi-room throughput on the TiVo Premiere is three to five times that of the TiVo HD, reaching as high as 90Mbps.

At such high throughput, MRV on the Premiere works very well for unprotected content. Unfortunately, the TiVo Premiere does nothing to address the issue of protected recordings, as it still relies on copies which CableLabs’ expressly forbids on such content. CableLabs only permits streaming of protected content and only with certain forms of encryption (ex: DTCP-IP).

Federal law requires that recordings from local channels be left unprotected, but also gives cable providers free reign to protect what they want on cable channels. Some large providers, including TWC and Brighthouse, now protect virtually all of the cable content on their systems, rendering it incompatible with the current multi-room implementation on the TiVo Premiere.

If TiVo has any plans for multi-room streaming with DTCP-IP, as Moxi introduced last year, they aren’t saying. Confronted on the issue, TiVo acknowledged the serious problem of copy protected content, but would not say what they were doing to address it, or when customers might see a solution.

Multiroom Viewing

Throughput in Mbps between like TiVos - Higher is Better

Minimum Typical Maximum 68 TiVo Premiere 74 90 24 TiVo Series3 28 35 16 TiVo
Minimum
Typical
Maximum
68
TiVo Premiere
74
90
24
TiVo Series3
28
35
16
TiVo HD
20
27

Premiere tests run under Classic interface in 14.1c.

Maximum refers to throughput observed while recording two SD channels (TNT, TBS) on Verizon FiOS. Typical refers to throughput while recording two lower-bitrate HD channels (AMCHD, CCHD). Minimum refers to throughput while recording two high-bitrate HD sports channels (ESPNHD, ESPN2HD).

All DVRs were tested on the same 100Mbps ethernet network.

23

Download recorded files

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

One TiVo feature you won’t find on a cable or satellite DVR is the ability to directly download recorded

files over your wired or wireless home network.

TiVo refers to this capability as “TiVoToGo.”

TiVo serves up the recorded files for unprotected content through a built-in https server. This server and its file transfers run as a background process, so they do not interfere with the operation of the DVR. With the TiVo Premiere, you can record two different HD channels, watch a previously recorded HD program, and download a HD recording to your computer over wireless, all at the same time.

A common complaint about download capability on past TiVos related to its “speed” or throughput. Network throughput on older TiVos was limited by CPU performance and system I/O, and further reduced by the on-the-fly remuxing into MPG. Recordings on the TiVo are stored in a proprietary transport stream format, and TiVo decided it was best to remux these transport streams into a PC- compatible MPG. Remuxing of the transport stream into MPG format doesn’t affect quality, but it slows the transfer considerably since it is done in real-time as a low-priority background process.

The TiVo Premiere significantly improves download throughput through the combination of the improved processor, superior I/O, and the ability to download in MPEG-TS format. First seen on Australian TiVos, downloading in transport stream format minimizes the on-the-fly processing needed for the TiVo to send a recording to a computer. The result is significantly improved throughput.

Recorded File Downloads

Download throughput from TiVo in Mbps - Higher is Better

Minimum Typical Maximum 42 TiVo Premiere (TS) 54 61 32 TiVo Premiere (MPG) 32 33
Minimum
Typical
Maximum
42
TiVo Premiere (TS)
54
61
32
TiVo Premiere (MPG)
32
33
10
TiVo Series3 (MPG)
13
17
6
TiVo HD (MPG)
9
12

Premiere tests run under Classic interface in 14.1c.

The current version of TiVo Desktop 2.8 does not support TS downloads, so anyone using that program will only see the TiVo Premiere (MPG) rate noted above. For now, TS downloads are only possible through the third-party kmttg program or the TiVo’s built-in https server. A video comparison of download throughput on the Premiere and TiVo HD is found on this page at Youtube.

24

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

Assuming one uses kmttg or the TiVo’s built-in https server to download recorded files, they can expect download times comparable to those below. Be aware that these results were obtained under the stock 14.1c software with the classic UI; results could change with future versions of the software.

Download time for one-hour recording

Time in Minutes - Lower is Better

TCM (SD) TiVo Premiere (TS)
TCM (SD)
TiVo Premiere (TS)
in Minutes - Lower is Better TCM (SD) TiVo Premiere (TS) TiVo Series3 (MPG) TiVo HD

TiVo Series3 (MPG)

TiVo HD (MPG)

ABCHD CBSHD FOXHD FXHD NBCHD CCHD ESPNHD 4 10 13 13 13 14 15 20
ABCHD
CBSHD
FOXHD
FXHD
NBCHD
CCHD
ESPNHD
4
10
13
13
13
14
15
20
15
43
52
54
56
57
64
83
22
62
76
78
81
83
93
120

Premiere tests run under Classic interface in 14.1c.

Preliminary tests show that download throughput is much more inconsistent under the new high- definition interface, with frequent drop-offs of 20% to 30%.

The second of the Premiere’s two processor cores is temporarily disabled under the current TiVo

software for stability reasons.

but it is unknown what impact that will have on network throughput.

limited, rather than CPU limited, than enabling the second core may not do much to improve

throughput.

the HDUI—then enabling the second core could noticeably improve network throughput.

TiVo plans to re-enable the second core with a future software update,

If throughput is currently I/O

On the other hand, if throughput is CPU limited – as appears to be the case when running

25

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

Computer video transfers, Amazon VOD

TiVo and third-parties offer free tools to transfer computer videos—as well as previously downloaded recorded files—to the TiVo for playback. Videos can be viewed as they transfer, without delay, so long as the rate of transfer exceeds the “bitrate” of the recorded file. For example, to watch a PC video or recorded file with 15Mbps bitrate, the TiVo must sustain a transfer rate of > 15Mbps to avoid delays.

The Premiere dramatically improves the performance of video transfers from computer to TiVo.

MPEG-2 Video Transfers to TiVo

Push/Pull transfer throughput in Mbps - Higher is Better

Minimum Typical Maximum 35 TiVo Premiere 40 45 10 TiVo Series3 12 15 5 TiVo
Minimum
Typical
Maximum
35
TiVo Premiere
40
45
10
TiVo Series3
12
15
5
TiVo HD
7
9

Premiere tests run under Classic interface in 14.1c.

The numbers shown above apply to both “pull” and “push” transfers of MPG video files and saved recorded files from computer to TiVo. “Pull” transfers refer to videos requested from the COMPUTER folder at the bottom of the TiVo’s recorded list. “Push” transfers refer to video files pushed from computer to DVR using TiVo Desktop’s auto-transfer folders, or the web browser interface in pyTiVo.

With this level of performance, it is finally feasible to download and store recordings on remote storage for playback, providing virtually limitless capacity. High-definition MPEG-2 recordings from antenna and cable run a maximum of 19.4Mbps, meaning the Premiere can pull those recorded files back from a computer or server at twice real-time. This permits viewing of those saved recordings without delay.

26

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

MPEG-4 Video Transfers to TiVo

Push transfer throughput in Mbps - Higher is Better

Minimum Typical Maximum 50 TiVo Premiere 58 63 13 TiVo Series3 15 15 12 TiVo
Minimum
Typical
Maximum
50
TiVo Premiere
58
63
13
TiVo Series3
15
15
12
TiVo HD
13
14

Premiere tests run under Classic interface in 14.1c.

These numbers apply to MP4 video files “pushed” to the TiVo using TiVo Desktop’s auto-transfer folders, or third-party programs like pyTiVo. It is not known whether the Premiere possesses the ability to “pull” MPEG-4 files directly from the recorded list for transfer without real-time conversion into MPEG-2; if that capability exists, no tools currently exist to take advantage of it.

PC video isn’t the only content that benefits from the improved transfer performance. Amazon VOD programs download in far less time, provided you’ve got the bandwidth necessary to support it.

Amazon VOD

Download throughput on a 25Mbps FiOS connection - Higher is Better

Minimum Typical Maximum 25 TiVo Premiere 25 25 6 TiVo HD 9 11
Minimum
Typical
Maximum
25
TiVo Premiere
25
25
6
TiVo HD
9
11

Premiere tests run under Classic interface in 14.1c.

27

Streaming performance

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

TiVo does not yet offer built-in support for streaming PC video playback. Enthusiast Kerry Griffin sought to fill the void with his own streaming video application for the TiVo. Dubbed Streambaby,” the free Java applet allows HD TiVo owners to browse, play, and fast forward through virtually any kind of video file stored on their computer, without waiting for any transfers. Compatible videos – such as MPG and MP4 files—are available for streaming at full quality, while other video files are converted to MPEG-2.

With past TiVos, streaming throughput was so slow that users were forced to compromise on playback quality. Most HD video files had to be recompressed on the fly – with quality loss—to fit within the throughput limits of those boxes. With its superior throughput, the TiVo Premiere eliminates the need to compromise quality during streaming playback of most videos.

The Streambaby application does have one key limitation—a 1.1GB streaming limit. It must pause for several seconds and re-buffer after every 1.1GB streamed. As an example, users of the program will see video pause with a “rebuffering” message three times during playback of a 4GB computer video file.

The TiVo Premiere does not eliminate the 1.1GB buffer limit in Streambaby. That limitation is specific to Streambaby, and won’t be addressed until TiVo makes the appropriate documentation available.

Video Streaming

Typical HME streaming throughput in Mbps - Higher is Better

MPEG-4 MPEG-2 56 TiVo Premiere 40 15 TiVo Series3 12 13 TiVo HD 7
MPEG-4
MPEG-2
56
TiVo Premiere
40
15
TiVo Series3
12
13
TiVo HD
7

Premiere tests run under Classic interface in 14.1c.

28

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

Network connectivity options

The network connection is used

to retrieve guide data, poster images, and other content from the TiVo’s Internet servers; it is also used

The TiVo Premiere’s new HD interface requires a network connection.

to search available content from Amazon, Blockbuster, Netflix, and other online sources.

The Premiere has a single 10/100Mbps ethernet port.

unable to run an ethernet cable directly to the Premiere, TiVo offers wireless adapters in 802.11g ($40)

and 802.11n ($90) versions.

802.11n adapter connects to the TiVo’s ethernet port and draws power with a separate AC adapter.

It has no built-in wireless. For those customers

The 802.11g adapter plugs into one of the TiVo’s two USB ports, while the

TiVo Network Solutions

Peak TiVo throughput with various network connections - Higher is Better

TiVo 802.11g adapter Powerline AV MoCA Ethernet 17 38 Multi-room 84 90 17 37 Recorded
TiVo 802.11g adapter
Powerline AV
MoCA
Ethernet
17
38
Multi-room
84
90
17
37
Recorded downloads (TS)
60
61
17
36
MP4 video xfers to TiVo
62
63
16
36
MPG video xfers to TiVo
44
45

All tests run on TiVo Premiere under Classic interface in 14.1c.

Tested throughput with TiVo’s 802.11g wireless adapter varied from 12Mbps to 17Mbps with a D-Link DIR-655 router, depending on distance and location. As evident from the chart above, 802.11g wireless is unable to take advantage of the improved network throughput on the TiVo Premiere.

Powerline networking with a pair of Netgear Powerline HD adapters yielded double the throughput of the TiVo 802.11g wireless adapter, but only a fraction of the 200Mbps claimed by the product. File transfers between two computers, networked with the same adapters, produced similar results.

29

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

Another alternative to wireless networking is Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA). Popular among A/V enthusiasts, MoCA creates a 150+Mbps network over the existing coax cable in one’s home. The technology produced up to 84Mbps for transfers between TiVo Premieres, or nearly five times the throughput of the 802.11g wireless adapter.

five times the throughput of the 802.11g wireless adapter. Each MoCA adapter has COAX IN, COAX

Each MoCA adapter has COAX IN, COAX OUT, and a 100Mbps ethernet

port.

COAX OUT and ethernet ports connect to the TiVo Premiere. One can also run ethernet from the MoCA adapter directly to a 100Mbps multi-port switch to network additional devices. The same wire configuration is repeated for each room with a TiVo Premiere, or where a high level of throughput is desirable and a direct run of ethernet cable is not possible.

The coax from the wall connects to the COAX IN on the adapter; the

In homes with cable service, one additional MoCA adapter is required to connect one’s Internet router (i.e. Internet connection) to the MoCA network. Rather than running coax direct from the wall to the cable modem, the coax runs to the COAX IN on the MoCA adapter and the COAX OUT connects to the cable modem. An ethernet cable connects the cable modem to the WAN port on the user’s router; an ethernet cable from the MoCA adapter connects to a LAN port on the router.

Office

Coax from cable company

Bedroom

port on the router. Office Coax from cable company Bedroom Coax to MoCA adapter Coax to

Coax to MoCA adapter

Office Coax from cable company Bedroom Coax to MoCA adapter Coax to cable modem Coax to

Coax to cable modem

company Bedroom Coax to MoCA adapter Coax to cable modem Coax to TiVo Ethernet to TiVo
company Bedroom Coax to MoCA adapter Coax to cable modem Coax to TiVo Ethernet to TiVo

Coax to TiVo

Ethernet to TiVo

Coax to MoCA adapter

Coax to MoCA adapter

Ethernet to LAN port on router
Ethernet to
LAN port
on router

Ethernet to

WAN port

on router

to LAN port on router Ethernet to WAN port on router Wireless to laptop Living room
Wireless to laptop
Wireless
to laptop

Living room

to WAN port on router Wireless to laptop Living room Ethernet to printer Ethernet to PC
to WAN port on router Wireless to laptop Living room Ethernet to printer Ethernet to PC
Ethernet to printer
Ethernet
to printer

Ethernet to PC

Ethernet to 100Mbps switch

to printer Ethernet to PC Ethernet to 100Mbps switch Ethernet to TiVo Coax to TiVo Ethernet
Ethernet to TiVo
Ethernet
to TiVo
Ethernet to PC Ethernet to 100Mbps switch Ethernet to TiVo Coax to TiVo Ethernet to game
Ethernet to PC Ethernet to 100Mbps switch Ethernet to TiVo Coax to TiVo Ethernet to game
Coax to TiVo
Coax to TiVo

Ethernet to game console

to PC Ethernet to 100Mbps switch Ethernet to TiVo Coax to TiVo Ethernet to game console
to PC Ethernet to 100Mbps switch Ethernet to TiVo Coax to TiVo Ethernet to game console
to PC Ethernet to 100Mbps switch Ethernet to TiVo Coax to TiVo Ethernet to game console
to PC Ethernet to 100Mbps switch Ethernet to TiVo Coax to TiVo Ethernet to game console

MoCA with cable service

30

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

In a home with Verizon FiOS, no additional MoCA adapter is required, as the Verizon-supplied Actiontec MI-424WR and Westell 9100EM routers incorporate MoCA in their design.

Coax from FiOS ONT

Office

Bedroom

MoCA in their design. Coax from FiOS ONT Office Bedroom Coax to MoCA adapter Ethernet to

Coax to MoCA adapter

Coax from FiOS ONT Office Bedroom Coax to MoCA adapter Ethernet to printer Coax to TiVo

Ethernet

to printer

ONT Office Bedroom Coax to MoCA adapter Ethernet to printer Coax to TiVo Ethernet to TiVo

Coax to TiVo

Ethernet to TiVo

Coax to MoCA router

Coax to MoCA adapter

Living room

Wireless

to MoCA router Coax to MoCA adapter Living room Wireless to laptop Ethernet to 100Mbps switch
to MoCA router Coax to MoCA adapter Living room Wireless to laptop Ethernet to 100Mbps switch

to laptop

Ethernet to 100Mbps switch

Living room Wireless to laptop Ethernet to 100Mbps switch Ethernet to TiVo Ethernet to PC Ethernet
Living room Wireless to laptop Ethernet to 100Mbps switch Ethernet to TiVo Ethernet to PC Ethernet

Ethernet

to TiVo

Ethernet to PC

Ethernet to game console

Ethernet to TiVo Ethernet to PC Ethernet to game console Coax to TiVo MoCA networking with
Ethernet to TiVo Ethernet to PC Ethernet to game console Coax to TiVo MoCA networking with

Coax to TiVo

to TiVo Ethernet to PC Ethernet to game console Coax to TiVo MoCA networking with Verizon
to TiVo Ethernet to PC Ethernet to game console Coax to TiVo MoCA networking with Verizon
to TiVo Ethernet to PC Ethernet to game console Coax to TiVo MoCA networking with Verizon

MoCA networking with Verizon FiOS

Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) adapters from Netgear and Actiontec are sold by Amazon.com and other Internet resellers. Adapters typically cost $75 to $90 each, or $140-$180 in packs of two. Verizon FiOS routers with built-in MoCA, like the Actiontec MI-424WR, also function as MoCA adapters; when available for $20-40 on ebay, these represent an affordable alternative to retail MoCA kits.

The Actiontec MI-424WR has one coax input and no output, so a separate 1GHz or 2GHz splitter is

necessary if using that device in place of a retail MoCA adapter.

the splitter, with one splitter output going to the Actiontec and the other to the TiVo or cable modem.

The coax from the wall is connected to

31

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

Enhanced video playback

The TiVo HD and TiVo Series3 decode MPEG-4 (H.264) video up to 25Mbps and MPEG-2 video up to

35Mbps.

levels exhibit stutter and/or pixelization during playback.

Higher bitrate videos and lower bitrate videos with peak bitrates significantly above those

The new chip in TiVo Premiere adds the ability to decode and display video at much higher bitrates. The Premiere can playback full 1080p MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 at up to 40Mbps, like that found on many Blu-ray titles. Furthermore, the Premiere provides the throughput necessary to make that capability useful. Even if a two-hour 40Mbps MPEG-4 video were playable on the TiVo HD, it would’ve taken six hours to transfer. With the Premiere, the same video will transfer faster than real-time on a 100Mbps ethernet network, so it is viewable as soon as the “push” transfer starts.

With the Premiere, it was possible to transfer and view the 30+Mbps Elephants Dream MPEG-2 video without delay, once the TS file was saved as a MPG with Streamclip. It was also possible to “push” 40Mbps MPEG-4 Blu-ray trailers with 640Kbps Dolby Digital and view those videos as they transferred.

Below is a table with playback results for various MPEG-2 (MPG) and MPEG-4 (MP4) test videos. check mark indicates smooth playback without stutter, pixelization, or other glitches.

A

 

TiVo Premiere

TiVo Series3

MPEG-2 @ 30Mbps, 35Mbps peak

MPEG-2 @ 30Mbps, 40Mbps peak

 

MPEG-4 @ 12Mbps, 25Mbps peak

MPEG-4 @ 18Mbps, 28Mbps peak

 

MPEG-4 @ 24Mbps, 33Mbps peak

 

MPEG-4 @ 35Mbps, 40Mbps peak

 

Prior to version 14.1, all of these videos played on the Premiere without glitches, regardless of whether

they were transferred to the TiVo’s hard drive or streamed with Streambaby.

streaming playback of high-bitrate MPEG-4 video, so those videos no longer play glitch-free when

streamed with Streambaby.

the Premiere’s hard drive using TiVo Desktop’s auto-transfer folders, pyTiVo, or Streambaby’s “push.”

The 14.1 software broke

For now, the high-bitrate videos only play correctly if first transferred to

Note the current version of the TiVo software does not support DTS, DTS-HD, or Dolby TrueHD. The Broadcom chip in the Premiere cannot decode those formats, but it should be able to output those bitstreams through HDMI 1.3 to an A/V receiver. The current version of the software is unable to do so.

32

Power consumption

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

The TiVo Premiere consumes 23 watts in standby and 26 watts while recording under the 14.1 software. This represents a substantial reduction from the TiVo HD, Series3, and many older cable DVRs, and it was sufficient to meet the ENERGY STAR tier1 specifications that took effect on January 1, 2009.

Power Consumption - Recording/Playback

Power Consumption in Watts - Lower is Better

U-Verse DVR DirecTV HR23 Cisco RNG200 TiVo Premiere Samsung SMT-H3270 Motorola DCX3400 Motorola DCH3416 Moxi
U-Verse DVR
DirecTV HR23
Cisco RNG200
TiVo Premiere
Samsung SMT-H3270
Motorola DCX3400
Motorola DCH3416
Moxi MR-1500T3
Motorola QIP7216
TiVo HD
Motorola QIP6416
TiVo Series3
Motorola DCH6416
DirecTV HR20
Sony DHG-HDD250
DireTiVo HR10-250
Dish ViP722
Dish ViP622
17
23
25
26
30
31
31
32
35
38
38
41
41
41
42
42
59
59
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70

The Premiere does not meet the more stringent tier2 specifications that take effect on January 1, 2011. There is no “grandfather” rule for ENERGY STAR certification, so all units manufactured after January 1, 2011 must meet the new standards if they are to carry the ENERGY STAR logo.

If TiVo intends to manufacture and sell the Premiere after January 1, then it will need to revise its design, or find some solution to reduce total daily consumption in order to meet the new ENERGY STAR requirements. The tier2 energy allowance for a product like the TiVo Premiere should work out to roughly 160kWh/yr, or 18 watts average consumption if no sleep or idle mode is used.

33

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

Typical Monthly Operating Cost Assumes 4 hours of daily viewing and national average of $0.1054/kWh
Typical Monthly Operating Cost
Assumes 4 hours of daily viewing and national average of $0.1054/kWh
U-Verse DVR
DirecTV HR23
Cisco RNG200
TiVo Premiere
Motorola DCX3400
Samsung SMT-H3270
Motorola DCH3416
Moxi MR-1500T3
Motorola QIP7216
TiVo HD
Motorola QIP6416
TiVo Series3
DirecTV HR20
Sony DHG-HDD250
Motorola DCH6416
DireTiVo HR10-250
Dish ViP722
Dish ViP622
$1.04
$1.68
$1.71
$1.97
$2.23
$2.28
$2.29
$2.43
$2.66
$2.69
$2.88
$2.98
$2.98
$3.06
$3.11
$3.19
$4.16
$4.16
$0.00
$0.50
$1.00
$1.50
$2.00
$2.50
$3.00
$3.50
$4.00
$4.50
Typical Monthly Operating Cost in CA
Assumes 4 hours of daily viewing and California average of $0.1569kWh
U-Verse DVR
DirecTV HR23
Cisco RNG200
TiVo Premiere
Motorola DCX3400
Samsung SMT-H3270
Motorola DCH3416
Moxi MR-1500T3
Motorola QIP7216
TiVo HD
Motorola QIP6416
TiVo Series3
DirecTV HR20
Sony DHG-HDD250
Motorola DCH6416
DireTiVo HR10-250
Dish ViP722
Dish ViP622
$1.54
$2.50
$2.54
$2.94
$3.31
$3.39
$3.41
$3.61
$3.95
$4.01
$4.29
$4.44
$4.44
$4.56
$4.63
$4.74
$6.19
$6.19
$0.00
$1.00
$2.00
$3.00
$4.00
$5.00
$6.00
$7.00

34

Competition

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

TiVo’s primary competition is cable company DVRs, but there are two other third-party solutions available to consumers—the DTVPal DVR and Moxi. Each has its share of advantages and disadvantages.

The DTVPal DVR is the only alternative for a dual-tuner, over-the-air HDTV DVR. The $299 product does

not support cable or satellite; it only records locals from an off-air antenna.

DVR allows the user to watch one channel while they record another; it will record two different HD shows while playing a third, previously recorded show. It supports trickplay functions such as pause, instant replay, and rewind on live TV. It features a 250GB hard drive with 30 hours of HD capacity, but does not support external storage expansion; it does not allow one to backup or offload recordings.

Like the TiVo, the DTVPal

The DTVPal DVR does not require a subscription, but sacrifices functionality to hit the $299 price point. It is based on a slower processor with less memory, so it cannot support a HD interface or more advanced UI features. The product features a program guide, but has access to much more limited program information. With less information—as little as 48 hours worth—it relies on single and repeating manual timers (ex: every Monday @ 9pm) to record. The timers record the same timeslot

every week, regardless of what is showing.

repeats; the record schedule does not adjust if programs change their day, time, or duration.

There is no option to record new episodes and ignore

As a low-cost, subscription-free product, the DTVPal DVR receives little in the way of support or software updates to address known issues. The most notable issue with the current F208 software is

the inability to correctly handle Daylight Savings Time (DST). All record timers are off by one hour after

every DST change, forcing the user to delete and re-create their recordings twice a year.

limitations, many still regard the DTVPal DVR as an excellent value and worthwhile upgrade from DVDRs.

Despite the

The Moxi is the only non-TiVo cable DVR still available for end-user purchase; it is sold in dual and triple tuner versions for $499 and $599, respectively. This product does not support satellite or off-air signals from an antenna; out of the box, it only supports unencrypted (Clear QAM) and encrypted digital channels on cable. Like TiVo, Moxi uses comprehensive guide data from Tribune to support name-based recording, with the ability to record only new episodes and ignore repeats. Moxi includes a lifetime subscription for the guide data as part of the purchase price, so there are no extra fees.

The triple-tuner Moxi can simultaneously record three different HD or SD shows, one more than the

TiVo Premiere.

provides superior media support with an integrated DLNA client; that client allows users to access compatible audio, video, and picture files on DLNA-compliant network storage (NAS), CE devices, and Windows7 PCs without the need for extra software; the company bundles a license to the more capable

It features a 90 minute live TV buffer per tuner, three times that of TiVo.

Moxi also

PlayOn software, which allows users to access Hulu, MLB.tv, and other content from the DVR.

Moxi far surpasses TiVo in multi-room capability. Recorded programs on all DVRs are integrated into a single list, and the Moxi will stream copy protected content and recordings-in-progress to two separate DVRs or “Moxi Mate” extenders at the same time. “Moxi Mate” extenders (sold separately) placed throughout the home can tune live channels using the DVR’s tuners, without the need for additional

35

© K. Fowler (bkdtv), 4/20/10

CableCards. Later this year, company plans to further expand multi-room capability with the ability to schedule, manage, and delete recordings from each extender.

Moxi isn’t for everyone.

perform common functions.

support for analog channels; it requires a $150 dongle to record one analog channel. The recorded list isn’t sortable by date, and search results aren’t sortable by popularity; recordings and search results are only sortable by name. Moxi lacks the ability to create single and repeating manual recordings to record at a specific date and time; it also lacks more advanced recording and search features, including the ability to create custom series recordings. Moxi users can’t download or offload recordings from the DVR, and there is no integrated support for Internet video content from Netflix or Amazon.

Some find the interface cumbersome to use, with more clicks required to

It can’t record channels from an off-air antenna, and it has no built-in

A feature comparison of the DTVPal DVR, Moxi, TiVo Premiere, and DirecTV DVR is attached.

a comprehensive feature breakdown; it only lists and compares those features that differ between the

four products. Refer to the AVS Forum sticky for a full feature comparison.

This is not

36

PRICING

TiVo Premiere

DirecTV HR23

Price online

 

$500 for 1TB XL

DVR subscription fee

None

$12.99/mo or $129/yr

-

$7/mo

One-time payment to eliminate fees?

-

 

$300-$400

Included

-

Total upfront cost to use without fees

$300

 

$600-$700

$600

 

$800-900 for 1TB XL

-

Discounts available for existing owners

 

20-25% off DVR, fees

   

SOURCES SUPPORTED

Antenna

 

 

(Sold separately)

Analog cable

   

(Sold separately)

 

Digital cable

   

 

DirecTV

     

Dish Network

       

RECORD CAPACITY

Recording capacity (built-in)

30 HD hours

 

46 HD hours

75 HD hours

100 HD hours

156

HD hours for 1TB XL

External drive interface

   

eSATA

eSATA

eSATA

Plug-and-play external drive expansion

 

My DVR Expander 1TB

Any drive, up to 6TB

Any drive, up to 2TB

Maximum capacity with external drive

   

190 HD hours

375 HD hours (2TB)

400 HD hours (2TB)

300

HD hours for 1TB XL

Integrates internal and external drives

   

(Replaces internal drive)

RECORD FEATURES

Record X channels simultaneously

2

 

2

3

2

Record scheduling method

VCR-like timers

 

Name-based

Name-based

Name-based

Record new episodes and ignore repeats

   

Single/repeating manual record option

 

 

Auto-record future programs matching a saved search (ex: all new Yankees games)

   

 

Record programs it thinks you will like

   

   

Restrict series recordings to a timeslot

   

Pad or extend sequential recordings from same channel without clipping

     

Keep only the last X episodes of a show

   

Eliminates conflicts when programs overlap by <5 minutes by clipping lowest priority

   

   

Series manager to prioritize what is recorded when 3+ programs conflict

   

Adjusts schedule automatically when programs change their day/time/length

   

Programs missed due to conflicts automatically record the next time they air

   

Keeps recorded history to prevent same program from recording twice

   

Record antenna & cable simultaneously

   

 

(With add-on tuner)

Set default settings for all new recordings

 

Correctly handles daylight savings time

(Must recreate all record timers on DVR after DST)

 

LIVE TV FEATURES

TiVo Premiere

DirecTV HR23

Number of tuners with live TV buffers

1

 

2

3

2

 

60 minutes

60

minutes

270+ minutes

90 – 180 minutes

Buffer time for pause, replay on live TV

(One tuner only)

(30 minutes per tuner)

(90+ minutes per tuner)

(90 minutes per tuner)

Swap between multiple tuners without losing buffer or pause position

   

(Loses position)

DVR UI FEATURES

High-definition user interface

   

 

Number of programs on recorded list

6

 

9

10

6

Recordings shown with name and date

(Name only)

 

Recorded list sorted by name or date

(Date only)

 

(Name only)

Multiple episodes of same program grouped into folders with episode names and dates

   

Play entire folder of recordings, back-to-back

   

 

Single-click delete with undelete folder

   

   

Record schedule shows names and dates of all upcoming programs

   

History shows why programs didn't record

(Limited)

 

PROGRAM INFORMATION

Days of information

Up to 8 days

14 days

14 days

14 days

Program titles

 

 

On most locals

 

Program descriptions

Program poster images

   

   

Detailed program descriptions, actors, and original airdate, new or repeat

   

Information on ClearQAM channels

 

(Requires CableCard)

 
 

TVGOS

Source of program information

PSIP as backup

via TiVo servers

via Moxi servers

via DirecTV servers

Method of guide data delivery

Antenna

Internet

Internet

Satellite

GUIDE / EPG FEATURES

Amount of information shown per screen

180 minutes

90

minutes

180 minutes

90 minutes

Customizable favorites list

   

(Based on usage)

 

Permanently delete individual channels

 

 

Picture and sound while browsing guide

   

View guide without interrupting playback

   

Record indicators for scheduled programs

 

Conflict management to choose what programs record when multiple conflict

   

Antenna and cable channels in a single guide

   

 

Navigate guide 90+ minutes at a time

   

SEARCH FEATURES

Input text with keyboard, keyboard remote

   

   

Search results sorted by name/popularity

(Name only)

 

(Name only)

(Name only)

Search program titles and descriptions

 

Search actors, directors, categories, year

   

Search multiple fields with AND/OR/NOT

   

 

Save searches for later use

   

 

Record future matches of a saved search

   

 

Search available Internet VOD titles on Netflix, Amazon, and Blockbuster

   

   

REMOTE SCHEDULING

DTVPal DVR

TiVo Premiere

Moxi

DirecTV HR23

Remote scheduling via web and mobile

 

Real-time, remote conflict management

   

 

Edit or delete scheduled recordings online

   

View list of recorded programs and upcoming / scheduled recordings online

 

MULTI-ROOM VIEWING

       
   

Transfers

Streams

Streams

Multi-room implementation

-

to other DVRs

to DVRs or extenders

to DVRs or STBs

Send recordings to X rooms simultaneously

 

1

2

1

Recorded programs on multiple DVRs are seamlessly integrated into a single list

   

Recordings-in-progress supported

   

Copy-protected (CCI=0x02) content supported

   

Pause in one room and resume in another

 

FF/REW through recordings without delay

   

Non-DVR set-tops can view recordings

   

Non-DVR set-tops can schedule, manage, and delete recordings on DVRs

     

Tuner-less extenders can view EPG and live TV using networked DVR tuners

   

 

Extra fee for using multi-room

     

$3/mo

OFFLOAD RECORDINGS

       

Download recorded files from local channels and cable channels without copy protection

 

   

Computer software to automatically download favorite series after they record

 

   

View and edit recorded files on computer

 

   

Burn recorded files to Blu-ray disk or DVD

 

   

Transfer recordings to mobile device

 

   

Transfer edited or archived HD and SD recorded files from computer back to DVR

 

   

Format of recorded files

 

MPG or TS

   

Est. download time of 1-hour HD recording

 

13-15 min for TS 22-25 min for MPG

   

INTERNET CONNECTIVITY

       

Wired network connection

100Mbps

100Mbps

100Mbps

100Mbps

Wireless network connection

(Sold separately)

(Sold separately)

(Sold separately)

(Sold separately)

Uses NTP server to ensure accurate clock

 

(Uses satellite)

Download software updates over Internet

(Uses satellite)

On-screen weather, stock ticker, sport scores

   

 

Amazon VOD with "TV Passes"

 

   

Blockbuster VOD

 

   

Hulu streaming

   

(Requires PC software)

 

Netflix SD/HD streaming

 

(Requires PC software)

 

RSS video feeds / podcasts

 

   

Youtube

 

(Requires PC software)

 

PC MEDIA

DTVPAL DVR

TiVo Premiere

Moxi

DirecTV HR23

DLNA client to access content on Win7 PCs and network storage without extra software

   

DLNA server to stream content on DVR to other DTCP-IP compliant devices

   

(Limited)

(Limited)

Native DIVX support

   

(Up to 480p)

 

Native MPEG-4 AVC and VC-1 support

 

Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, and DTS-HD output via HDMI to A/V receiver

(Dolby Digital only)

(Dolby Digital only)

(Dolby Digital only)

Transfer PC videos to DVR for viewing

 

   

Stream PC videos to DVR for viewing

 

(Third-party software)

Play music stored on computer

 

View pictures stored on computer

 

HARDWARE

Tuners

2 ATSC

2 ATSC/QAM/NTSC

3 QAM

2 QPSK/DVBS2

System chip

STMicro STi7109

Broadcom BCM7413

Broadcom BCM7400

Broadcom BCM7401

Processor capability

Single-core, 266MHz

Dual-core, 400MHz

Dual-core, 350MHz

Single-core, 300MHz

System memory

160MB DDR

512MB DDR2

512MB DDR2

256MB DDR

Hard drive

250GB

320GB, 1TB on XL

500GB

500GB

Power consumption

22W

26W

32W

22W

Multi-stream CableCard slot

 

 

CONNECTIONS

HDMI

v1.1

v1.3

v1.3

v1.1

Component / S-Video / Composite

Maximum native output resolution

1080i

1080p24

1080p24

1080p24

Native mode to output all video as is, without conversion to another format

 

Downconverts HD video to SD over s-video and composite connections for older TVs

(Composite only)

(Composite only)

(Only when HD output is disabled in settings)

All SD/HD outputs active simultaneously

 

Anamorphic 16:9 through SD connections

   

Coax pass-through output for TV tuner

     

WARRANTY

Parts warranty

90 days

One year

One year

One year

   

TiVo.com

   

Extended warranty available?

Sears.com

2 years for $45

2 years for $30

3 years for $40

Cost to repair after warranty expires

$300

$150

$75 + parts cost

$75 + parts cost

Transfer lifetime to a replacement DVR

N/A

Free for three years $199 after three years

N/A

N/A

Direct any comments or questions regarding this document to ilovehdtv at verizon dot net.