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Old 03-03-2010, 03:16 AM   #1
bkdtv
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: DC Metro Area
Posts: 7,902
TiVo Premiere FAQ: Overview, What's New?

Last updated: May 5, 2010. This is a work in progress. Clicking images will load a high-res version.

[Overview] [Summary of Changes] [Q&A: Hardware] [Q&A: User Interface] [Q&A: Performance] [Tech Review]

The TiVo Premiere is the company's next-generation HDTV DVR for over-the-air, cable, and Verizon FiOS. It launched in 320GB (46 HD hours) and 1TB (156 HD hours) 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, much faster network transfers, and robust video playback with full 1080p output. Newer technology cuts power consumption by 35-40% for ENERGY STAR compliance.


New, all-black enclosure is roughly 3" shallower and 1" shorter than the TiVo HD. Click for high-resolution version.

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. Forum sponsor DVRUpgrade.com also offers pre-upgraded TiVo 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 HDTV is identical.

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 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. First word matches are no longer required and results are sorted by popularity (“best match”), minimizing the character input necessary.


Click for high-resolution version. Click here for a two-character search example.

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.

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. Users are able to set the number of 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.

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.


Shown with name sort; click for high-resolution version. 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.

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.


Click for high-resolution version.

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.

PDFS
TiVo Premiere Brochure
TiVo Premiere Datasheet @ Engadget
TiVo Premiere XL Datasheet @ Engadget
TiVo Premiere Viewer's Guide
Instructions for CableCard installers
Start Here Poster



Summary of changes from TiVo HD / Series3

[Back to top]


  1. What are the changes to the hardware?

    A full breakdown of the changes is found in the technical review (PDF).

    The Premiere's "Series4" platform features a faster dual-core processor, 2D/3D graphics core, and memory bus, plus newer versions of almost every component. This new hardware provides three to six times the throughput for multi-room transfers and recorded file downloads.


    Refer to the performance section below to see benchmarks.


  2. How do the hardware specifications compare?




  3. How does the software compare?

    The most obvious change with the Series4 platform is the interface. TiVo uses the faster processor in the Premiere 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.

    • POSTERS and 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 enabled in Video provider settings. First word matches are no longer required, and the new 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.

    • 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.

    With the current 14.1c software, the HD interface is very sluggish as the reviews indicate. The second core of the Premiere's dual-core processor is currently disabled under Linux for stability reasons, as confirmed by a serial boot log. TiVo is working to address that. TiVo's Bob Poniatowski had this to say on March 31:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TiVoPony View Post

    Yes, the second core is not currently enabled. The software can take advantage of it, but it's not ready to release yet. Still, due to the architecture of that chip you don't get double the performance by enabling the second core, there are too many shared resources on the chip between the two cores. You do see a boost however.

    Cheers,
    Pony
    TiVo, Inc
    A responsive "classic" interface remains available for those that want to use it. Users of the older interface can still take advantage of various other Premiere enhancements, including:

    • 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. The keyboard is not yet supported in older HME applications such as Youtube, Swivel Search, and interactive games.

    • 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. No icon meant the recording was protected for at least 24 hours; a yellow ball meant the recording was protected for less than 24 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. It no longer labels every recording as “may be deleted” simply because it is 48 or 72 hours old. Instead, it calculates the disk space 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.”

    • 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. If all formats are selected, then all channels are output in their original format. 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.

    According to TiVo at its launch event, the new HD UI is only the first in a series of improvements made possible by the new hardware platform. TiVo’s plans 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. TiVo also intends to make their Flash environment accessible to end users and end-user applications, with an apps store where third parties and end-users can share (and sell?) Flash applications written in Adobe Stagecraft.


  4. What key features are missing from the TiVo Premiere?

    Though the Premiere hardware offers plenty of untapped potential, it still lacks some key features commonly requested by users:

    • No third tuner. It still has two tuners like the TiVo Series3.

    • No built-in wireless networking or phone connection. If the customer doesn't have access to an ethernet connection at their TV, they can't use the Premiere until they buy the TiVo wireless adapter or TiVo phone adapter.

    • No multi-room viewing with copy protected content. TiVo's multi-room implementation still relies on copies, which aren't permitted on protected content. Streaming with DTCP-IP is required to support multi-room viewing with the protected cable content on most Brighthouse, Cox, and TWC systems.

    • No 60-90 minute buffer per tuner as on the latest satellite and cable DVRs. It still has a 30 minute buffer per tuner.

    • No support for any external drives but the My DVR Expander. A growing number of cable and satellite DVRs allow the use of any external drive.

    • No tru2way support. The Premiere is still a unidirectional CableCard device, which means it can't support SDV without a tuning adapter, and it can't support the cable company's On Demand unless the operator updates their system to accept communication over the network connection.


Last edited by bkdtv : 05-06-2010 at 06:39 AM.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:17 AM   #2
bkdtv
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: DC Metro Area
Posts: 7,902
[Overview] [Summary of Changes] [Q&A: Hardware] [Q&A: User Interface] [Q&A: Performance]

Pre-purchase Q&A: Hardware

  1. How do the Premiere and Premiere XL differ?

    The Premiere XL upgrades the internal capacity from 320GB (46 HD hours) to 1.0TB (156 HD hours) and includes a premium version of the remote with backlighting and IR learning capability. It also adds THX certification.

    THX certification means that TiVo paid to have the XL tested and certified to meet certain A/V quality standards. It does not necessarily mean there is any improvement in picture quality over the standard model.


  2. What is included in the box?

    The contents of the box are as follows:

    1. TiVo Premiere
    2. TiVo “Enhanced” remote (XL includes “Enhanced” backlit, learning remote)
    3. HDMI cable
    4. Composite video and RCA stereo 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 you’ll need to buy the TiVo wireless adapter, TiVo phone adapter, or a third-party ethernet bridge if you can’t run an ethernet cable directly to the box.


  3. What is inside the box?


    Click image for high-resolution 1600x1200 PNG.


    Click image for high-resolution 1600x1200 PNG.

    Code:
    1.  Broadcom BCM7413         System chip
    2.  Numonyx JS28F640P30B85   8MB Flash ROM
    3.  Micron 9WG27             128MB DDR2-800
    3b. Micron 9WG27             128MB DDR2-800
    4.  Micron 9WG27             128MB DDR2-800
    4b. Micron 9WG27             128MB DDR2-800
    5.  NXP SAA7164CE/3          Dual NTSC decoders + MP@ML encoders
    6.  Altera EPM3032A          CMOS EEPROM
    7.  Micron 46V16M16-5B       32MB DDR400 SDRAM
    8.  Micronas DRX 3944J       QAM/VSB demodulator w/ POD interface
    9.  Micronas DRX 3946J       QAM/VSB demodulator
    10. Microtune MT2131         Silicon tuner
    11. Microtune MT2131         Silicon tuner
    12. CMD2030-AOTR             HDMI 1.3 transmitter
    13. WD3200AVVS               320GB SATA-2 hard drive
    
    Second pair of DDR2 memory chips reside on opposite side.
    More high-resolution internal shots available here.


  4. How does processor performance compare to other DVRs?



    The Apple iPhone and iPhone 3GS are included for comparison.

    All DVRs atop the list are based on dual-core or dual-threaded CPUs. To achieve maximum performance on those platforms, the DVR software must be written and optimized to take advantage of both processor cores. Such optimization is likely to be an ongoing process.

    The Premiere is currently unable to deliver the performance shown above, as one of its two processor cores is disabled in the 14.1c software. TiVo expects to enable the second core with a software update later this year.


  5. What changes were made to the remotes?

    The new remote adopts the layout and design of the premium "Glo" remote, but adds four new buttons (yellow, blue, red, green). The new colored buttons act as shortcuts for various options in the new user interface. The ASPECT button was relabeled ZOOM.

    The DVR switch is no longer present, so it is not clear how one controls multiple TiVos with a single remote.


    Click for high-resolution version. Or click here to see XL remote.

    The TiVo Premiere remote has no backlight or IR learning capability, whereas the XL remote offers those features. Aside from silver trim on the XL remote, the aesthetics and ergonomics appear to be identical.

    Note a new variation of 30sec skip, called 30sec scan, is now enabled by default on the -->| button. Customers no longer need to enter a special remote code to enable this feature. For further information on changes to trickplay functions, see the user interface section below.


  6. What about the new keyboard remote?

    The new remote with a slide out keyboard, shown below, won't be ready for release in April. It will be available as an option from TiVo.com later this year.


    Click for larger version.

    This remote will include a small Bluetooth dongle to connect to a USB port on the TiVo. TiVo functions will use Bluetooth (RF) signals while IR signals are used for the customer's equipment.

    The final specifications of the remote are unknown, but the version shown on March 2nd offered learning capability like the Premiere XL remote.


  7. What about the new 802.11n adapter?



    The TiVo 802.11n adapter is available now ~$90 MSRP. It plugs into the Premiere's ethernet port, and functions like any other 802.11n wireless bridge. It does not occupy one of the TiVo's USB ports, but instead draw its power from an outlet using an AC adapter. The older 802.11g adapter is still compatible, but will not take full advantage of the Premiere's network connection.

    There is nothing to stop one from using a third-party MoCA or 802.11n wireless bridge, such as a Linksys or Trendnet gaming adapter.


  8. What do the LEDs on the front of the box mean?

    GREEN = indicates the box is powered on.
    AMBER = flashes whenever it receives a signal from a remote
    BLUE = indicates a transfer is in progress using the network connection
    RED = indicates a recording is in progress


  9. TiVo states 1080p support. Does that mean it can upconvert to 1080p?

    No. The TiVo Premiere cannot upconvert 720p and 1080i signals to 1080p60. The 1080p support is limited to the native output of 1080p24 and 1080p30 content, as on DirecTV and Dish Network DVRs.

    The first beneficiary of this 1080p output 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, such as Blu-ray backups.


  10. What new video file formats does the TiVo Premiere support?

    The Premiere does not support any new formats with the release software, but its new Broadcom SoC adds support for DivX 3.11/4/5/6, and is certified by DivX for full 1980x1080p playback. The chip also adds audio codec support for AAC-HE and Windows Media Professional (up to 7.1). It is unclear when TiVo will update their software to support these capabilities.


  11. As an ENERGY STAR compliant DVR, how many watts does the TiVo Premiere consume?

    With early software, the TiVo Premiere dissipates 23 watts in standby and 26 watts while recording.

    The System Information screen reports an internal temperature of 30-31C in room where the ambient temperature is 21-22C.


  12. How does the TiVo Premiere support multiple tuners with a single CableCard slot?

    In the TiVo Premiere, one multi-stream CableCard (abbreviated M-CARD) supports both tuners. Older single-stream CableCards (abbreviated S-CARDS) are not supported and will not work.

    About two years ago, Motorola and Scientific Atlanta (now Cisco) halted production of the older cards and began manufacturing multi-stream cards exclusively. These M-CARDs -- pictured here-- are now widely available from cable companies.

    A Series3 owner upgrading to the Premiere would swap out their older cards for one M-CARD.


  13. Does the TiVo Premiere support the existing SDV tuning adapters used by some cable companies?

    Yes.


  14. What external drives are supported?

    The TiVo Premiere only supports the Western Digital My DVR Expander (eSATA), available in a 1TB version for $129 from Amazon.com, Best Buy, and Newegg. This adds 145-150 HD hours to the Premiere.


  15. Is the internal hard drive be upgradable like past TiVos?

    End-user internal drive upgrades are not possible with existing tools. DIY tools such as WinMFS and MFSLive enable capacity on larger replacement drives by creating a new partition with the extra space. Prior TiVos recognized the new partition and used it to store recorded programs. The Premiere does not, so new methods must be found to utilize the added capacity on a replacement drive.

    DVRUpgrade and Weaknees discovered such a method and now offer pre-upgraded Premiere DVRs with 2TB (317 HD hours) capacity, as well as pre-prepared 2TB drive replacements. Weaknees 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.

    For now, Western Digital’s My DVR Expander (1TB eSATA) is the only option to increase capacity, outside of pre-prepared drives sold by DVRUpgrade, Weaknees, and some ebay sellers.


Last edited by bkdtv : 05-06-2010 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:18 AM   #3
bkdtv
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: DC Metro Area
Posts: 7,902
[Overview] [Summary of Changes] [Q&A: Hardware] [Q&A: User Interface] [Q&A: Performance]

Pre-purchase Q&A: User Interface

  1. Is the new HD interface as slow as reviews suggest?

    The current 14.1c version of the HD interface is sluggish. The My Shows menu is brutally slow. The company expects to improve HDUI performance with an update in May.

    For now, many will prefer to use the "classic" interface. The older "classic" interface remains available and is much more responsive. As with all TiVos, performance is slower than usual for the first 24-48 hours after initial setup, while guide data is indexed in the background.


  2. Why is the new interface so slow?

    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.

    TiVo's Bob Poniatowski had this to say on March 31:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TiVoPony View Post

    Yes, the second core is not currently enabled. The software can take advantage of it, but it's not ready to release yet. Still, due to the architecture of that chip you don't get double the performance by enabling the second core, there are too many shared resources on the chip between the two cores. You do see a boost however.

    Cheers,
    Pony
    TiVo, Inc
    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. A notable 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.

    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. The SD interface is enabled under Settings -> Display -> Choose TiVo Menus.


  3. Is the older TiVo user interface still available?

    Yes, for those that prefer the traditional TiVo "classic" menus, that remains an option:

    Messages & Settings -> Settings -> Display -> Choose HD or Classic menus

    After the initial 24-48 hour indexing period is complete, the "classic" menus are noticeably faster on the Premiere than the TivoHD.


  4. Why is the new HD user interface built in Adobe Flash?

    In the past, TiVo wrote all of its software in C, and that made updating and improving the interface difficult, especially with all the baggage accrued over the past decade. Developers required extensive knowledge of the code and its various dependencies to make changes. TiVo determined a major rewrite was necessary and plans were put in motion to do that.

    In its research and discussions, TiVo found that consumers disliked the separate environments for local and remote 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. Assuming the hardware is up to the task, Adobe’s Stagecraft platform is well suited for this purpose, as Flash applications with identical look and feel can be run from the hard drive or from Internet servers, with no apparent distinction to the user.

    Adobe Flash is also an established platform that can be used to more quickly develop and deploy new interface elements, as compared to the company's previous approach. Flash allows TiVo to bring new user interface features and other improvements to the Premiere in a much more timely manner. It also makes the Premiere a more attractive platform for potential partners, many of whom rely on that technology (ex: Hulu).

    The Premiere does not use a Flash 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.


  5. Does the TiVo Premiere support the cable company's On Demand?

    Like previous CableCard DVRs, the TiVo Premiere is still a unidirectional device. That means it can't support the cable company's On Demand unless the operator updates their system to accept communication over the network connection. Thus far, only RCN has updated their system.

    The TiVo Premiere features Netflix SD/HD streaming and integrates Internet-delivered On Demand SD/HD content from Amazon, Blockbuster, and other partners. Results from all of these third-parties show up in search by default, which makes it easy to find shows and movies for purchase.


  6. What is the new "30 second scan" feature?

    On past TiVos, users had to enter a special remote sequence to enable the 30 second skip function.

    The new "30 second scan" is enabled by default on the ADVANCE (-->|) button. This feature is very similar to the 30 second "slip" on DirecTV's HR24 DVR. It doesn't jump 30 seconds; instead, it fast forwards through a 30 second interval in one second (i.e. 30x speed). Pressing the ADVANCE multiple times in a row queues added time. If you hit the button four times in a row, the Premiere fast forwards through two minutes in four seconds. You can interrupt this at any time by pressing PLAY.

    This new feature is essentially a more advertiser-friendly version of 30sec skip that allows viewers to see a little of the commercials they are skipping. For those that prefer the traditional 30 second skip, that behavior is enabled by entering the SELECT-PLAY-SELECT-3-0-SELECT sequence while watching a recording.


  7. What changes were made to the trickplay functions?

    Through settings, the behavior of the ADVANCE (-->|) button is now configurable as follows:

    (1) ADVANCE scans forward 30 seconds (default)

    • Pressing ADVANCE quickly scans through 30 seconds. Each additional press will queue another 30 second scan. The progress bar will reflect the total queued scan time; for example, press the button six times and the progress bar will indicate a three minute skip.

    • Pressing and holding the ADVANCE button jumps to the end of the recording. If watching live TV on a delay, it jumps to the end of the live buffer (i.e. real-time).

    • Pressing and holding the REPLAY button jumps to the beginning of the recording. If watching live TV, it jumps to the beginning of the live buffer.


    (2) ADVANCE skips to tick

    • Behavior comparable to the default on existing TiVos. Unconfirmed.

    The TiVo places "tick" or chapter marks on the time bar at equal intervals. These tick marks are spaced every 15 minutes on live TV and recordings up to 3.0 hours, every 30 minutes on recordings 3.5 to 6.0 hours, and every hour on recordings 6.5 hours and longer. In both modes above, each press of the ADVANCE button while fast forwarding will skip to the next "tick" on the time bar. Each press of the REPLAY button while rewinding will skip to the previous "tick" on the time bar.

    Skip-to-tick now works on both live TV and recordings; previously, it only worked on recordings.


  8. Where can I see a video demo of the new interface?

    Youtube: Premiere's My Shows (Be sure to click HD)
    Youtube: Premiere's Search (Be sure to click HD)


  9. Can I hide the new video window?

    You can pause the video window from any menu.

    By default, the video window is enabled. You can toggle the video window on and off by by pressing SLO MO from any menu. Toggling the video window off is not permanent; the video window will re-appear the next time you hit the TiVo button.

    You can change this behavior under Messages & Settings -> Displays -> Video Window. With set to disabled, the video window remains hidden unless unless you press SLO MO from a menu to temporarily enable it. The video window will disappear the next time you hit the TiVo button, the exact opposite of the behavior seen when it is enabled in settings.


  10. What changes were made to the main menu?

    All menus now shows a video window in the upper right-hand corner. This video window can be temporarily hidden, paused, or disabled.

    A second panel now displays options for the highlighted menu.


    Click for high-resolution version.


  11. What changes were made to the recorded list?

    The recorded list is now called "My Shows."

    A disk space indicator is shown just below the My Shows text and optionally hidden through a setting in in My Show Options.

    Programs are sorted by the user's choice of name or date, toggled with one press of the remote. Program folders/groups are also toggled on and off with one button press.


    Shown with name sort; click for high-resolution version. Click here for date sort.

    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).


    Click for high-resolution version.


  12. What information and options are shown for a specific recording?

    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.


    Click for high-resolution version.

    Pressing INFO shows more information, as in seen here.


  13. What is the new Browse TV menu?

    The Browse TV menu organizes available and upcoming content in a range of categories. Categories include 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.


    Click for high-resolution version. Click here to see the movies tab.

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

    Selecting a subcategory on the BrowseTV menu displays the programs showing on television in the next 12 days, plus any matching content from Internet video providers enabled in settings. A button on the remote toggles content display between all, free, and watch now. "All" lists results for TV, plus 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.


    Click for high-resolution version. Click here to see the 4 star movies results.

    The user can highlight any program to view a description. 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).

    Pressing SELECT displays the main screen for the program, with options to watch or record.


  14. What changes were made to search?

    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.


    Click for high-resolution version. Click here for a two-character search example.

    By default, search results are listed in order of popularity. A button on the remote toggles between sort by popularity and sort by name, while 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.

    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; clicking SELECT on a portrait opens the search screen dedicated to that actor or actress.

    Movie screens in search display menu selections for Cast and Crew. As with a series, “Cast” lists the actors and actresses with portrait images; clicking SELECT on a portrait displays the screen for the actor. “Crew” lists the director, writers, and producers with portrait images, when available.

    The actor screen, also used for crew members, offers limited biographical information and a portrait image, plus menu selections for TV, Movies, and if applicable, Production credits. Each menu displays the corresponding content showing on television in the next two weeks; it also displays any content with the actor or crew member from Netflix, Amazon, and Blockbuster, if those video providers are enabled.


  15. What do you see when you select an ACTOR in search?

    When you select an actor in search results, a screen like this is shown.

    This screen does list not every TV show and movie with the actor. Instead, it lists only those programs with the actor available for immediate viewing or recording, be it on TV, Netflix, or any other source enabled in Video provider settings.

    The icons at the bottom right indicate the source of the program. The TV icon indicates the program is showing on television in the next 14 days and available for recording. The Netflix icon indicates that the program is available for instant viewing on Netflix. Clicking SELECT on a movie displays the screen similar like that in the following FAQ.


  16. What do you see when you select a MOVIE in search?


    Click for high-resolution version.

    In addition to the MPAA rating, genre, and key actors, the main screen for a movie displays options to schedule a recording, "Watch now from Netflix," and/or "Get from" Amazon or Blockbuster, depending on where the program is available and what Internet video providers are enabled in settings.


  17. What do you see when you select a SERIES in search?

    When you select a SERIES in search, the program screen for that series is displayed.

    The program screen includes submenus for upcoming episodes, episode guide, and cast. Click links for screenshots.


  18. Will we see this new interface on older TiVo HD and Series3 DVRs?

    No, older TiVos don't have the performance necessary to run the new UI.

    Older HD TiVos could see some of the non-UI improvements with future updates.


  19. Does the TiVo Premiere support 4:3 HDTVs and 4:3 SDTVs?

    The new high-definition interface is designed for 16:9 widescreen TVs. Those with 4:3 TVs will need to select the "Classic" UI under Messages & Settings -> Settings -> Display -> Choose HD or Classic menus.


Last edited by bkdtv : 05-06-2010 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:18 AM   #4
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[Overview] [Summary of Changes] [Q&A: Hardware] [Q&A: User Interface] [Q&A: Performance]

Pre-purchase Q&A: Performance and Energy Consumption

  1. Is the new HD interface as slow as reviews suggest?

    The current 14.1c version of the HD interface is sluggish. The My Shows menu is brutally slow. The company expects to improve HDUI performance with an update in May.

    For now, many will prefer to use the "classic" interface. The older "classic" interface remains available and is more stable and much more responsive. As with all TiVos, performance is slower than usual for the first 24-48 hours after initial setup, while guide data is indexed in the background.


  2. Is there any improvement in boot time?

    No, boot time is about six minutes, or one minute more than the TiVo HD. TiVo's boot process is designed in such a way that the processor makes no difference. Most of the time is spent verifying software code to prevent possible hacking attempts.

    Full boots are required when the power cable connected, and reboots occur whenever software updates are installed or an external drive is activated. Aside from that, there should be no reason to reboot the TiVo. The DVR is designed to run 24/7.


  3. How does multi-room viewing compare?

    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.


    All Premiere tests run under Classic interface in 14.1-01-3-746.

    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.


  4. How do recorded file downloads (TiVoToGo) compare?

    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.


    All Premiere tests run under Classic interface in 14.1-01-3-746.

    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 this page at Youtube.

    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.


    All Premiere tests run under Classic interface in 14.1-01-3-746.


  5. How do PC video transfers to the TiVo compare?

    The Premiere dramatically improves the performance of video transfers from computer to TiVo. MPEG-2 transfers are now up to 40Mbps. MPEG-4 transfers are up to 60Mbps.


    All Premiere tests run under Classic interface in 14.1-01-3-746.

    The MPEG-2 numbers shown above apply to "pull" transfers for PC videos and recordings selected through the TiVo’s recorded list using TiVo Desktop and pyTiVo. It also applies to recordings "pushed" to the TiVo using pyTiVo or Streambaby. I was able to watch Elephants Dream from w6rz.net in full 1080p24 via both push and pull with no delay, once the TS file was remuxed into MPG format with Streamclip.

    With this level of performance, it is finally feasible to download and store recordings on computer storage for playback. High-definition MPEG-2 recordings from antenna and cable run a maximum of 19Mbps, meaning the Premiere can pull those recordings back from a computer at twice real-time.


    All Premiere tests run under Classic interface in 14.1-01-3-746.

    These numbers apply to MP4 videos "pushed" to the TiVo using pyTiVo, Streambaby, or TiVo Desktop’s auto-transfer folders. It is not known whether the Premiere possesses the ability to pull MPEG-4 files directly from the recorded list; if it does, no tools exist to take advantage of that capability.

    Be aware that TiVo Desktop Plus will only push MP4 videos with AAC audio. It re-encodes MP4 videos with Dolby Digital audio into MPEG-2, slowing the transfer to MPEG-2 rates, assuming your computer can re-encode the video fast enough to keep up. Streambaby and pyTiVo will both push MP4 videos with full Dolby Digital 5.1 audio as is, without processing.


  6. How does streaming performance compare?

    Streaming throughput is the same as it is for the push/pull video transfers compared above -- a max of 40Mbps sustained for MPEG-2 and 60Mbps sustained for MPEG-4.

    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. 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.


  7. How do Amazon and Netflix compare?

    TiVo is working on an enhanced, Flash-based Netflix application, but that won't be available until later in the year. For now, the TiVo Premiere uses the same Netflix HME application as the TivoHD and Series3. Netflix buffering is just as slow on initial playback, but may be somewhat faster with trickplay functions like fast forward, rewind, and replay.

    Amazon VOD programs download in about one-fourth the time, provided one has an Internet connection capable of sustaining 30+Mbps.


  8. What is the best way to network the TiVo?

    The TiVo Premiere’s new HD interface requires a network connection. The network connection is used to retrieve guide data, poster images, and other content from the TiVo’s Internet servers; it is also used to search available content from Amazon, Blockbuster, Netflix, and other online sources.

    The Premiere has a single 10/100Mbps ethernet port. It has no built-in wireless. For those customers unable to run an ethernet cable directly to the Premiere, TiVo offers wireless adapters in 802.11g ($40) and 802.11n ($90) versions. The 802.11g adapter plugs into one of the TiVo’s two USB ports, while the 802.11n adapter connects to the TiVo’s ethernet port and draws power with a separate AC adapter.


    All Premiere tests run under Classic interface in 14.1-01-3-746.

    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.

    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. Each MoCA adapter has COAX IN, COAX OUT, and a 100Mbps ethernet port. The coax from the wall connects to the COAX IN on the adapter; the COAX OUT and ethernet ports connect to the TiVo Premiere. One can also run ethernet from the MoCA adapter directly to a 100Mbps switch with 4+ ports 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.

    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. Diagram. 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. Diagram.

    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 coax from the wall is connected to the splitter, with one splitter output going to the Actiontec and the other to the TiVo or cable modem.


  9. How does the new HD UI affect network throughput?

    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. TiVo plans to re-enable the second core with a future software update, but it is unknown what impact that will have on network throughput. If throughput is currently I/O limited, rather than CPU limited, than enabling the second core may not do much to improve throughput. On the other hand, if throughput is CPU limited – as appears to be the case when running the HDUI—then enabling the second core could noticeably improve network throughput.


  10. What is the power consumption?

    The TiVo Premiere consumes 23 watts in standby and 26 watts while recording under the 14.1c 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.



    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.


Last edited by bkdtv : 05-06-2010 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:51 AM   #5
DCIFRTHS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkdtv View Post
At the center of the box is a Broadcom BCM7413. Rated at 1100 DMIPS ...
Have you ever seen this chip in action? I am wondering how well it does scaling / deinterlacing when compared to other solutions. The original S3, and the ABT 2010, would be the two I am interested in.

I could have sworn that you posted that the output is 1080p30, but now I can't find where you mentioned this
If the output is 1080p30 as opposed to 1080p60, what visible effects will this have on output quality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkdtv View Post
... Other benefits include substantially improved multi-room transfer performance ...
Will the faster speeds only apply when transferring between two S4 boxes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkdtv View Post
... 15min skip-to-tick ...
I saw mention of improved skip-to-tick (I can't remember where). Any information on that? What could be improved?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkdtv View Post
Search functionality is revamped as well. Like the Internet-based TiVo Search beta seen on older HD TiVos, the Premiere no longer requires identical matches, but searches all title words and sorts the results by popularity.
Is there any way to DISABLE this type of search? For example, I only want to search TV listings. Can I do that, or am I forced into seeing You Tube, Amazon, etc. results?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkdtv View Post
... separate recorded lists for different users; better conflict management; ...
Can I manually create folders, then move content into them? Can I rename folders?

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Old 03-03-2010, 05:30 AM   #6
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I would like to know if OTA reception has been improved. If anyone sees anyone posting info on this please let me know.

Thanks,
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCIFRTHS View Post
I could have sworn that you posted that the output is 1080p30, but now I can't find where you mentioned this

If the output is 1080p30 as opposed to 1080p60, what visible effects will this have on output quality?
I clarified. AFAIK, there is no upconversion available for 1080p. Rather, TiVo added native output for 1080p24 and 1080p30 content, rather than converting it to 1080i.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCIFRTHS View Post
Will the faster speeds only apply when transferring between two S4 boxes?
No, but throughput will be limited to whatever the box can handle. If your TiVo HD can only handle 25 Mbps, that's all you will get from the Premiere to that box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCIFRTHS View Post
I saw mention of improved skip-to-tick (I can't remember where). Any information on that? What could be improved?
I believe the Engadget video shows the new 30sec slip feature. I don't know if you've ever used a DirecTV DVR, but by default, the skip button on those DVRs doesn't jump 30 seconds. Instead, it scans through the 30 seconds very quickly. You can queue multiple slips, so if you hit the slip button four times in a row, the Premiere scans through 120 seconds quickly. Skip forward to 4:45 in the Engadget video to see a demo.

The 30sec slip function is really just an advertiser-friendly version of 30sec skip that apparently TiVo felt they could enable by default, without requiring the user to enter some sort of special remote code. From what I understand, traditional 30sec skip capability is still an option on the Premiere.
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:02 AM   #8
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It looks like on TiVo.com the XL is coming with a Glo version of the new remote.

Also Weaknees has a pretty good comparison sheet in case you missed anything.
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:35 AM   #9
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HDMI-CEC support?

I'm curious if the HDMI output supports HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronics Control). For Sony users, their version is called "Bravia Sync". My experience with the Verizon FiOS DVR has been that their HDMI output not only does not support CEC but is actually hostile to it, causing problems for other HDMI connected components in an AV system.

It would be nice if when I hit the "TiVo" button for the AV receiver to switch input to the TiVo the same way it does for my Blu-ray player now.
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:45 AM   #10
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So, I have a Series 2, it's been fine because we don't have HDTV. New Flat Screen should be in within the week though, so I've been researching what I can do to upgrade my Series 2.


So, 2 questions: The remote is reported to be BlueTooth. With the Series 2 remote, it directly (via IR) controlled the power, volume (and mute) and input selection on the TV. I know that the PS3 uses Bluetooth, but do any TV's? I thought they will all IR. Does the Tivo remote actually have both Blue Tooth and IR to eliminate the need for 2 remotes to watch TV?

Second: Your summary indicates that VIDEO goes out on HDMI 1.3, and you then talk about stereo audio jacks, and optical out for Sound. Does that mean that the HDMI out is NOT carrying audio? I'd rather run all my HDMI out's to my receiver so that I have 1 cable actually going to the TV....


Pat E

Last edited by PatEllis15 : 03-03-2010 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:53 AM   #11
StuffOfInterest
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Second: Your summary indicates that VIDEO goes out on HDMI 1.3, and you then talk about stereo audio jacks, and optical out for Sound. Does that mean that the HDMI out is NOT carrying audio? I'd rather run all my HDMI out's to my receiver so that I have 1 cable actually going to the TV....
You would typically use the stereo or digital audio output if you are using composite or component video output. HDMI will carry sound.
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:58 AM   #12
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....The remote is reported to be BlueTooth.
Pat E
The QWERTY remote is reported to be BlueTooth. The included remotes will still be Infrared.

No indication that I've seen as to how the BlueTooth qwerty remote will interact with other components, but I'm willing to wager that only the QWERTY portion of the remote is bluetooth and the "top" half of the remote is still IR.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:13 AM   #13
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Working on post #2 now....

Feel free to post any questions you would like to see answered.
i purchased a tivo hdxl a few months ago and was wondering what if any software upgrades will be brought to my unit. When can I expect them?
Thanks,
Mike
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:17 AM   #14
PatEllis15
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You would typically use the stereo or digital audio output if you are using composite or component video output. HDMI will carry sound.
That's how a typical set up works, but there are plenty of other components out there that do NOT pass audio on the HDMI line. Most do though, that is why I was looking for clarification.

Do you know with certainty that the TIVO HDMI carries audio? Not a deal breaker, just curious....


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Old 03-03-2010, 08:51 AM   #15
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It appears that you can't get both the 20% discount on a box and 50% off on lifetime
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:31 AM   #16
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An important tidbit that should be mentioned:
http://www.tivo.com/buytivo/faqs/abo...ere/index.html
Quote:
Can I keep the classic UI if I want?

Yes. The classic TiVo interface we've used all of these years is available. Customers will be able to choose between the two "menuing" systems, although not all features will necessarily be supported in the classic menus.
Hopefully that means very fast UI in classic mode compared to what we have now on Series 3.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:44 AM   #17
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how much power does it use? why did it get a energy star rating?
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:02 AM   #18
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how much power does it use? why did it get a energy star rating?
Unconfirmed reports suggest it will use 20-25 watts.

Current "tier 1" ENERGY STAR standards are rather lenient. Essentially any dual-tuner CableCard DVR that averages 30 watts or less will meet the compliance requirements. The "tier 2" standards take effect on January 1, 2011 with more stringent requirements; at that point, a new dual-tuner CableCard DVR would have to average 17-18 watts or less to qualify.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:03 AM   #19
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Do you know with certainty that the TIVO HDMI carries audio? Not a deal breaker, just curious....
The Series 3 absolutely does carry audio over HDMI. It would be moronic for TiVo to drop that on the Premiere.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:39 AM   #20
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Thanks for posting this. I had some questions about file format support.

Are the current (S3) restrictions on file containers (MP4 vs. MKV) due to hardware limitations or software/firmware limitations? If so, is there anything to be gleaned about the containers that the new device will support?

Any idea whether the device will support 7 channel PCM audio or any other new audio formats?

Thanks!

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Old 03-03-2010, 12:19 PM   #21
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Unconfirmed reports suggest it will use 20-25 watts.

Current "tier 1" ENERGY STAR standards are rather lenient. Essentially any dual-tuner CableCard DVR that averages 30 watts or less will meet the compliance requirements. The "tier 2" standards take effect on January 1, 2011 with more stringent requirements; at that point, a new dual-tuner CableCard DVR would have to average 17-18 watts or less to qualify.
If it can use 20-25 watts, that's a 50% reduction from the Series 3, I believe. That would be a very good thing. My Acer Aspire One netbook runs at around 18W, for comparison.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:39 PM   #22
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My TiVo HD pulls around 45 watts, so if I replaced it with this box then I would save about 178kwh per annum or about $18 a year in electric costs.

Box could pay for itself in only about 15 years!
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:44 PM   #23
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separate recorded lists for different users; better conflict management;
I really like the separate lists for different users as my NPL is always cluttered with my kids stuff. I wonder how that's handled. do you need to input a user during season pass/recording setup?

Does the better conflict management now allow us to cancel either of the 2 currently scheduled options? That would be nice.

Anything on having season pass/recoding defaults that are customizable? That really saves time when setting up season passes.

Also, do they now allow 2 simultaneous recordings on 1 channel to only use 1 tuner? This allows me to pad each of the CBS Sunday night shows I watch and still have a second tuner for other recordings.

And lastly, the big question: internal hard drive upgrades? I'm guessing we'll have to wait on that until these things actually ship.
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:04 PM   #24
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What are the native file formats?
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:12 PM   #25
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I'm curious if the HDMI output supports HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronics Control). For Sony users, their version is called "Bravia Sync". My experience with the Verizon FiOS DVR has been that their HDMI output not only does not support CEC but is actually hostile to it, causing problems for other HDMI connected components in an AV system.

It would be nice if when I hit the "TiVo" button for the AV receiver to switch input to the TiVo the same way it does for my Blu-ray player now.
I'm not sure how this would be used. The Tivo remote can be programmed to do what CEC does (proper device power and volume). Unless it does other stuff I'm not familiar with...

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Box could pay for itself in only about 15 years!
LULZ
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:01 PM   #26
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I must not be a valued customer. I clicked on the special offer link and it told me I didn't qualify.
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:04 PM   #27
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A couple of questions:

- Can the Discovery Bar be turned off? If it can, does the space get reclaimed (i.e. menus become taller, so, for example, My Shows could have extra 3 or 4 lines)?

- If switching to Classic UI, is it still SD upconvert, or is it HD rendition of the old interface, with sharper fonts, etc.?
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:16 PM   #28
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i currently have the 2 cable cards to do dual tuner (series 3 tivos), so how, with one slot will i be able to do dual tuner?
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:19 PM   #29
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i currently have the 2 cable cards to do dual tuner (series 3 tivos), so how, with one slot will i be able to do dual tuner?
One M-CARD supports up to six tuners. In the TiVo Premiere, one M-CARD supports both tuners.

About two years ago, Motorola and Scientific Atlanta (now Cisco) halted production of the older cards and began manufacturing M-CARDs exclusively. These M-CARDs (screenshot) are now widely available from cable companies, and they are the only cards available in many/most areas.
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:48 PM   #30
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MRV with other DIRECTIVO

Does anyone know if I can use MRV between this new Tivo and my Directivo Series 2 receivers.
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