TiVo Premiere and Premiere XL try to re-invent television

Tivo has announced a new set-top box in the US hoping to revolutionise the way people watch television.

Called TiVo Premiere and TiVo Premiere XL the new boxes, which for the time being will only be available in the US, will combine access to cable programming, movies, web videos, and music all in one box.

"It has never been this easy to get all your entertainment in one place, on the big screen, in HD, right at your fingertips", said TiVo's president and CEO Tom Rogers announcing the launch.

Hoping to meld broadband and broadcast in one device, the Premiere will offer a search functionality that gives users the ability to find programs from many sources regardless of whether they have them stored locally on the box.

Users will be able to search a digital premium channel from cable, YouTube or movies from broadband sources such as Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, or Blockbuster On Demand, plus options from the Web.

Offering a complete change to the user interface, every show, from every source, is organised by category or topic, says Tivo, with a full-screen menu that includes a display of movie posters and TV show logos. Other "friendly" features include the ability to look up actors and actresses to see other movies they've been in.

Based on the Adobe Flash Platform the TiVo Premiere box has up to 45 hours of HD storage space or up to 400 hours of standard definition programming capacity, while the TiVo Premiere XL box holds up to 150 hours of high-definition or up to 1350 hours of standard definition programming.

There is an on-screen disk space meter that shows how much room is left to record, a built-in 30 second scan, and a new video window that lets you watch your favourite show while navigating the TiVo menus. 

Other features include support for music streaming service Pandora and information service provider FrameChannel.

TiVo Premiere and TiVo Premiere XL boxes will be available in retail across the US in early April and cost $299.99 and $499.99 respectively.

A QWERTY keyboard based remote control will come in May allowing surfing and searching to be easier than via the standard 10-key remote control.

Meanwhile in the UK, Virgin Media, who is working with TiVo has confirmed to Pocket-lint that it won't be taking the Premiere or Premiere XL box in the UK.



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