TiVo Begins 3.0 Software Rollout

TiVo Begins 3.0 Software Rollout.

TiVo has begun the initial rollout of its next software upgrade, code-named Firebolt. Version 3.0 is not a drastic update, primarily designed to sync the code base between older models and the new Series2 TiVo, but does provide many behind the scenes improvements. Most notable additions include improved suggestions and the ability to download program data directly from a cable broadcast without using the phone line.

For the hacker community, Firebolt includes ethernet drivers, allowing TiVo to download programming data from the Internet using a special backdoor key.” [BetaNews, via Slashdot]

I have ReplayTVs, not TiVos, so I wasn't particularly interested in this article until I got to the last paragraph:

TiVo also announced Tuesday that its Series2 digital video recorders were available through an exclusive engagement with BestBuy. 60-hour Series2 units will retail for $399.99, less expensive than devices from competitors Sonicblue and UltimateTV.”

Now, I have one 60-hour ReplayTV and frankly, it's not enough. I was lucky enough to get it for $400 a couple of years ago, and my only regret is that I didn't get two of them. It's great to see TiVo continuing to improve its product, but with storage prices dropping, I can't help but wonder why they stopped at 60 hours. Especially because by the time you add in the lifetime membership fee for the service, you're looking at $650. For that much money, you should get more than 60 hours on what is essentially a second generation of their product, even at the entry level.

While I was pondering this, I continued browsing the reader comments at the bottom of the article, and someone noted that SonicBlue is readying the ReplayTV 5000. Now, I'm already drooling over the 4000 (320 hours of storage, ethernet port, adding your own pictures, and more), so with my curiousity piqued, I found a CNET article from January that I had somehow missed that notes the following:

“Sonicblue also plans to release a ReplayTV 5000 recorder, Potashner said. The 5000 model will become the new high-end product and will come with hundreds of gigabytes of storage and a service similar to video on demand. The 5000 recorder is expected out in the second half of the year.”

I want to know more! I'm sure they have more than just those features up their sleeve. But let me again take this opportunity to encourage you to buy a DVR if you don't already have one. I don't care if it's a TiVo or ReplayTV, but these things are the cat's meow, and they truly will change your relationship with your television in a good way. Especially if you have kids. I can't say enough good things about DVRs. [The Shifted Librarian]

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