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This article is about the digital video recorder. For the company, see TiVo Corporation.

Series of digital video recorders

TiVo (TEE-voh) is a digital video recorder (DVR) developed and marketed by Xperi (previously by TiVo Corporation and TiVo Inc.) and introduced in 1999. TiVo provides an on-screen guide of scheduled broadcast programmingtelevision programs, whose features include "OnePass" schedules which record every new episode of a series, and "WishList" searches which allow the user to find and record shows that match their interests by title, actor, director, category, or keyword. TiVo also provides a range of features when the TiVo DVR is connected to a home network, including film and TV show downloads, advanced search, personal photo viewing, music offerings, and online scheduling.

Since its launch in its home market of the United States, TiVo has also been made available in Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Taiwan, Spain, and the United Kingdom.[1] Newer models, however, have adopted the CableCARD standard, which is only deployed in the United States, and which limits the availability of certain features.

History and development[edit]

TiVo was developed by Jim Barton and Mike Ramsay through a corporation they named "Teleworld" which was later renamed to TiVo Inc. Though they originally intended to create a home network device, it was redesigned as a device that records digitized video onto a hard disk. They began the first public trials of the TiVo device and service in late 1998 in the San Francisco Bay Area.

After exhibiting at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 1999, Mike Ramsay announced to the company that the first version of the TiVo digital video recorder would ship "In Q1", (the last day of which is March 31) despite an estimated 4 to 5 months of work remaining to complete the device. Because March 31, 1999, was a blue moon, the engineering staff code-named this first version of the TiVo DVR "Blue Moon".[2]

The original TiVo DVR digitized and compressed analog video from any source (antenna, cable or direct broadcast satellite). TiVo also integrates its DVR service into the set-top boxes of satellite and cable providers. In late 2000, Philips Electronics introduced the DSR6000, the first DirecTV receiver with an integrated TiVo DVR. This new device, nicknamed the "DirecTiVo", stored digital signals sent from DirecTV directly onto a hard disk.

In early 2000, TiVo partnered with electronics manufacturer Thomson Multimedia (now Technicolor SA) and broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting to deliver the TiVo service in the UK market. This partnership resulted in the Thomson PVR10UK, a stand-alone receiver released in October 2000 that was based on the original reference design used in the United States by both Philips and Sony. TiVo ended UK unit sales in January 2003, though it continued to sell subscriptions and supply guide data to existing subscribed units until June 2011. TiVo branded products returned to the UK during 2010 under an exclusive partnership with cable TV provider Virgin Media.[3]

TiVo was launched in Australia in July 2008 by Hybrid Television Services, a company owned by Australia's Seven Media Group and New Zealand's TVNZ. TiVo Australia also launched a TiVo with a 320Gb hard Drive in 2009.[4] TiVo Australia also launched Blockbuster on demand and as of early December launched a novel service called Caspa on Demand.[5] TiVo also went on sale in New Zealand on 6 November 2009.[6]

Janet Jackson's Super Bowl halftime show incident on February 1, 2004, set a record for being the most watched, recorded and replayed moment in TiVo history. The baring of one of Jackson's breasts at the end of her duet with Justin Timberlake, which caused a flood of outraged phone calls to CBS, was replayed a record number of times by TiVo users. A company representative stated, "The audience measurement guys have never seen anything like it. The audience reaction charts looked like an electrocardiogram."[7]

In April 2016, Rovi acquired TiVo for $1.1 billion.[8]

In December 2019, it was announced that TiVo would merge with Xperi Corporation. The merger completed in May 2020.[9]

TiVo digital video recorder[edit]

Main article: TiVo digital video recorders

A TiVo DVR serves a function similar to that of a videocassette recorder (VCR), in that both allow a TV viewer to record programming for viewing at a later time, known as time shifting. Unlike a videocassette recorder, which uses removable magnetic tape cartridges, a TiVo DVR stores TV programs on an internal hard drive, much like a computer.

A TiVo DVR also automatically records programs that the user is likely to be interested in. TiVo DVRs also implement a patented feature that TiVo calls "trick play", allowing the viewer to pause live television and rewind and replay up to 30 minutes of recently viewed TV. TiVo DVRs can be connected to a computer local area network, allowing the TiVo device to download information, access video streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu, as well as music from the Internet.


TiVo DVRs communicate with TiVo's servers daily to receive program information updates, including description, regular and guest actors, directors, genres, whether programs are new or repeats, and whether broadcast is in High Definition (HD). Information is updated daily into its program guide from Rovi (Tribune Media Services was used prior to September 2016[10]).

Users can select individual programs to record or a "OnePass" (formerly "Season Pass") to record all episodes of a show. There are options to record First Run Only, First Run and Repeats, or All Episodes. An episode is considered "First Run" if aired within two weeks of that episode's initial air date. OnePasses can also "bookmark" shows from internet streaming video services and show a combined view of recordings and bookmarks.

When users' requests for multiple programs are conflicting, the lower priority program in the OnePass Manager is either not recorded or clipped where times overlap. The lower priority program will be recorded if it is aired later. TiVo DVRs with two tuners record the top two priority programs.

TiVo pioneered recording programs based on household viewing habits;[citation needed] this is called TiVo Suggestions. Users can rate programs from three "thumbs up" to three "thumbs down". TiVo user ratings are combined to create a recommendation, based on what TiVo users with similar viewing habits watch. For example, if one user likes American Idol, America's Got Talent and Dancing with the Stars, then another TiVo user who watched just American Idol might get a recommendation for the other two shows.

The amount of storage capacity for programs is dependent upon the size of the hard drive inside the TiVo; different models have different sized hard drives. When the space is full on the hard drive, the oldest programs are deleted to make space for the newer ones; programs that users flag to not be deleted are kept and TiVo Suggestions are always lowest priority. The recording capacity of a TiVo HD DVR can be expanded with an external hard drive, which can add additional hours of HD recording space and standard definition video recording capacity.

When not recording specific user requests, the current channel is recorded for up to 30 minutes. Dual-tuner models record two channels. This allows users to rewind or pause anything that has been shown in the last thirty minutes — useful when viewing is interrupted. Shows already in progress can be entirely recorded if less than 30 minutes have been shown. Unlike VCRs, TiVo can record and play at the same time. A program can be watched from the beginning even if it's in the middle of being recorded, which is something that VCRs cannot do. Some users take advantage of this by waiting 10 to 15 minutes after a program starts (or is replayed from a recording), so that they can fast forward through commercials. In this way, by the end of the recording viewers are caught up with live television.

Unlike most DVRs, TiVo DVRs are easily connected to home networks,[11] allowing users to schedule recordings on TiVo's website (via TiVo Central Online), transfer recordings between TiVo units (Multi-Room Viewing (MRV)) or to/from a home computer (TiVoToGo (TTG) transfers), play music and view photos over the network, and access third-party applications written for TiVo's Home Media Engine (HME) API.

TiVo has added a number of broadband features, including integration with Amazon Video on Demand, Jaman.com[12] and Netflix Watch Instantly,[13] offering users access to thousands of movie titles and television shows right from the comfort of their couch. Additionally, broadband connected to TiVo boxes can access digital photos from Picasa Web Albums or Photobucket. Another popular feature is access to Rhapsody music through TiVo, allowing users to listen to virtually any song from their living room. TiVo also teamed up with One True Media to give subscribers a private channel for sharing photos and video with family and friends. They can also access weather, traffic, Fandango movie listings (including ticket purchases), and music through Live365. In the summer of 2008 TiVo announced the availability of YouTube videos on TiVo.

On 7 June 2006, TiVo began offering TiVoCast, a broadband download service that initially offered content from places such as Rocketboom or, The New York Times; now there are over 70 TivoCast channels available for TiVo subscribers.

TiVo is expanding media convergence. In January 2005, TiVoToGo, a feature allowing transfer of recorded shows from TiVo boxes to PCs, was added. TiVo partnered with Sonic in the release of MyDVD 6.1, software for editing and converting TiVoToGo files. In January, 2007, TiVoToGo was extended to the Macintosh with Toast Titanium 8, Roxio software for assembly and burning digital media on CD and DVD media. In August 2005, TiVo rolled out "TiVo Desktop" allowing moving MPEG2 video files from PCs to TiVo for playback by DVR. As of June 5, 2013, TiVo stopped distributing the free version of TiVo Desktop for PC in favor of selling TiVo Desktop Plus.[14] Users who previously downloaded the free version of TiVo Desktop can continue to use the software without paying a fee for the Plus edition.

Parental features

TiVo KidZone (later removed in the Premiere and Roamio devices) was designed to give parents greater control over what their children see on television. This feature allows parents to choose which shows their children can watch and record. It also helps kids discover new shows through recommendations from leading national children's organizations. TiVo KidZone provides a customized Now Playing List for children that displays only pre-approved shows, keeping television as safe as possible.

Subscription service[edit]

The information that a TiVo DVR downloads regarding television schedules, as well as software updates and any other relevant information is available through a monthly service subscription in the United States. A different model applies in Australia where the TiVo media device is bought for a one-off fee, without further subscription costs.

Lifetime subscription

There are multiple types of Product Lifetime Service. For satellite-enabled TiVo DVRs, the lifetime subscription remains as long as the account is active; the subscription does not follow a specific piece of hardware. This satellite lifetime subscription cannot be transferred to another person. Toshiba and Pioneer TiVo DVD recording equipped units include a "Basic Lifetime Subscription", which is very similar to Full Lifetime, except only three days of the program guide are viewable; and search and Internet capabilities are not available, or at least limited. All units (except satellite but including DVD units) can have "Product Lifetime Subscription" to the TiVo service, which covers the life of the TiVo DVR, not the life of the subscriber. The Product Lifetime Subscription accompanies the TiVo DVR in case of ownership-transfer. TiVo makes no warranties or representations as to the expected lifetime of the TiVo DVR (aside from the manufacturer's Limited Warranty). In the past TiVo has offered multiple "Trade Up" programs where you could transfer the Product Lifetime Subscription from an old unit to a newer model with a fee. A TiVo can be used without a service-agreement, but it will act more like a VCR in that you can only perform manual recordings and the TiVo can't be connected to the TiVo service for local time, program guide data, software updates, etc. or TiVo will shut down the recording function.

Service availability[edit]

The TiVo service is available in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Spain and Taiwan at present. Over the years since its initial release in the United States, TiVo Series1 and Series2 DVRs have also been modified by end users to work in Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and South Africa.

TiVo went on sale in New Zealand in the first week of November 2009.[6]

The TiVo Service came to an end in Australia on 31 October 2017.[15] The electronic programming guide and TiVo recording features are no longer available, thus making all TiVo machines in Australia virtually useless.

United Kingdom[edit]

The TiVo service was launched in the United Kingdom in the autumn of 2000. It sold only 35,000 units over the next 18 months. Thomson, makers of the only UK TiVo box, abandoned it in early 2002 after BSkyB launched its Sky+ integrated "set-top" decoder and DVR, which dominated the market for DVRs in homes subscribing to BSkyB's paid-for satellite television service. Many manufacturers, including Thomson[16][17] have launched integrated decoder boxes/DVRs in the UK for other digital platforms, including free satellite, terrestrial, cable and IPTV.

A technical issue caused TiVo Suggestions to stop recording for S1 UK TiVo customers in late September 2008, but this was fixed in late January 2009.[18]

Since December 2010, UK TiVo units that were not already on an active monthly subscription or lifetime subscription could no longer be re-activated. BSkyB who were operating the support for TiVo no longer had full access to the TiVo systems to activate accounts.[citation needed]

The TiVo S1 subscription service was maintained for both lifetime and monthly subscriptions until 1 June 2011.[19] A community project known as AltEPG was established in March 2011 with the aim of providing a replacement for the discontinued subscription service. This project now provides programme guide data and software upgrades for S1 TiVos.[20]

On 24 November 2009, cable television provider Virgin Media entered into a strategic partnership with TiVo.[3] Under the mutually exclusive agreement, TiVo developed a converged television and broadband interactive interface to power Virgin Media's next generation, high definition set top boxes. TiVo will become the exclusive provider of middleware and user interface software for Virgin Media's next generation set top boxes. Virgin Media will be the exclusive distributor of TiVo services and technology in the United Kingdom. Virgin Media released its first TiVo co-branded product in December 2010.[21] On 17 March 2011, Virgin Media enabled access to a third tuner.[22]

As of 12 February 2015, Virgin Media has 2 million TiVo customers, 50% of their TV customers.[23]

Hardware anatomy[edit]

Main article: TiVo DVRs

The TiVo DVR was designed by TiVo Inc., which currently provides the hardware design and Linux-based TiVo software, and operates a subscription service (without which most models of TiVo will not operate). TiVo units have been manufactured by various OEMs, including Philips, Sony, Cisco, Hughes, Pioneer, Toshiba, and Humax, which license the software from TiVo Inc. To date, there have been six "series" of TiVo units produced.

TiVo DVRs are based on PowerPC (Series1) or MIPS (Series2) processors connected to MPEG-2 encoder/decoder chips and high-capacity IDE/ATA hard drives. Series1 TiVo units used one or two drives of 13–60 GB; Series2 units have drives of 40–250 GB in size. TiVo has also partnered with Western Digital to create an external hard drive, the My DVR Expander, for TiVo HD and Series3 Boxes. It plugs into the TiVo box using an eSATA interface. It expands the High-Definition boxes by up to 67 hours of HD, and around 300 hours of standard programming. Other TiVo users have found many ways to expand TiVo storage, although these methods are not supported by TiVo, and may void the warranty.

Some recent models manufactured by Toshiba, Pioneer, and Humax, under license from TiVo, contain DVD-R/RW drives. The models can transfer recordings from the built-in hard drive to DVD Video compliant disc, playable in most modern DVD systems.

All standalone TiVo DVRs have coax/RF-in and an internal cable-ready tuner, as well as analog video input — composite/RCA and S-Video, for use with an external cable box or satellite receiver. The TiVo unit can use a serial cable or infrared blasters to control the external receiver. They have coax/RF, composite/RCA, and S-Video output, and the DVD systems also have component out. Audio is RCA stereo, and the DVD systems also have digital optical out.

Until 2006, standalone TiVo systems could only record one channel at a time, though a dual-tuner Series2DT (S2DT) box was introduced in April 2006. The S2DT has two internal cable-ready tuners and it supports a single external cable box or satellite receiver. The S2DT is therefore capable of recording two analog cable channels, one analog and one digital cable channel, or one analog cable and one satellite channel at a time, with the correct programming sources. Note, however, that the S2DT, unlike earlier units, cannot record from an antenna. This is due to an FCC mandate that all devices sold after March 2007 with an NTSC tuner must also contain an ATSC tuner. TiVo therefore had to choose between adding ATSC support, or removing NTSC support. With the S2DT they opted to remove NTSC; the Series3 supports NTSC and ATSC, along with digital cable channels (with CableCards).

The Series2 DVRs also have USB ports, currently used only to support network (wired Ethernet and WiFi) adapters.[24] The early Series2 units, models starting with 110/130/140, have USB1.1 hardware, while all other systems have USB2.0. There have been four major generations of Series2 units. The TiVo-branded 1xx and 2xx generations were solid grey-black. The main difference was the upgrade from USB 1.1 to the much faster USB 2.0. The 5xx generation was a new design. The chassis is silver with a white oval in the faceplate. The white oval is backlit, leading to these units being called "Nightlight" boxes. The 5xx generation was designed to reduce costs, and this also caused a noticeable drop in performance in the system menus as well as a large performance drop in network transfers. The 5xx generation also introduced changes in the bootPROM that make them unmodifiable without extensive wiring changes. The 6xx generation resembles the previous 5xx model, except that it has a black oval. The 6xx is a new design and the only model available today is the S2DT with dual tuners and a built-in 10/100baseT Ethernet port as well. The 6xx is the best performing Series2 to date, outperforming even the old leader, the 2xx, and far better than the lowest performing 5xx.

Some TiVo systems are integrated with DirecTV receivers. These "DirecTiVo" recorders record the incoming satellite MPEG-2 digital stream directly to hard disk without conversion. Because of this and the fact that they have two tuners, DirecTiVos are able to record two programs at once. In addition, the lack of digital conversion allows recorded video to be of the same quality as live video. DirecTiVos have no MPEG encoder chip, and can only record DirecTV streams. However, DirecTV has disabled the networking capabilities on their systems, meaning DirecTiVo does not offer such features as multi-room viewing or TiVoToGo. Only the standalone systems can be networked without additional unsupported hacking.

DirecTiVo units (HR10-250) can record HDTV to a 250 GB hard drive, both from the DirecTV stream and over-the-air via a standard UHF- or VHF-capable antenna. They have two virtual tuners (each consisting of a DirecTV tuner paired with an ATSC over-the-air tuner) and, like the original DirecTiVo, can record two programs at once; further, the program guide is integrated between over-the-air and DirecTV so that all programs can be recorded and viewed in the same manner.

In 2005, DirecTV stopped marketing recorders powered by TiVo and focused on its own DVR line developed by its business units. DirecTV continues to support the existing base of DirecTV recorders powered by TiVo.

On 8 July 2006, DirecTV announced an upgrade to version 6.3 on all remaining HR10-250 DirecTiVo receivers, the first major upgrade since this unit was released. This upgrade includes features like program grouping (folders), a much faster on-screen guide, and new sorting features.

In September 2008, DirecTV and TiVo announced that they have extended their current agreement, which includes the development, marketing and distribution of a new HD DIRECTV DVR featuring the TiVo service, as well as the extension of mutual intellectual property arrangements.

Since the discontinued Hughes Electronics DirectTV DVR with TiVo model HR10-250, all newer TiVo units have been fully HDTV capable. Other TiVo models will only record analog standard definition television (NTSC or PAL/SECAM). The Series3 "TiVo HD, and TiVo HD XL" DVRs and the Series4 "TiVo Premiere and TiVo Premiere XL" DVRs are capable of recording HDTV both from antenna (over the air) and cable (unencrypted QAM tuner or encrypted with a Cable Card) in addition to normal standard definition television from the same sources. Unlike the HR10-250, neither the Series3 nor Series4 units can record from the DirecTV service; conversely, the HR10-250 cannot record from digital cable. Other TiVo models may be connected to a high definition television (HDTV), but are not capable of recording HDTV signals, although they may be connected to a cable HDTV set-top box and record the down-converted outputs.

In 2008, some cable companies started to deploy switched digital video (SDV) technology, which initially was incompatible with the Series3 and TiVo HD units. TiVo Inc worked with cable operators on a tuning-adapter with USB connection to the TiVo to enable SDV. Some MSOs now offer these adapters for free to their customers with TiVo DVRs.

Drive expansion[edit]

TiVo has partnered with Western Digital to create an external hard drive, the My DVR Expander eSATA Edition, for TiVo HD and Series3 systems. The external drive plugs into the TiVo box using an eSATA interface. The first version of the eSATA drive shipped was a 500 GB drive that shipped in June 2008. In June 2009 the 1 TB version of the drive began shipping. The 1 TB version expands the TiVo HD and Series3 systems' capacity by up to 140 hours of HD content or 1,200 hours of standard programming.

TiVo was not designed to have an external drive disconnected once it has been added, because data for each recording is spread across both the internal and external disk drives. As a result, it is not possible to disconnect the external drive without deleting content recorded after the external drive was added. If disconnected, any recordings made will not be usable on either the internal or external drives. However, the external drive may be removed (along with content) without losing settings.

Various capacities of external drives have been shipped since the product was initially released. There were reports of product reliability issues,[25] and a brief period of unavailability.[26]

The Western Digital 1 TB and 500 GB My DVR Expander eSATA Edition and My DVR Expander USB Edition drives have been discontinued and replaced with the Western Digital My Book AV DVR Expander 1 TB drive. This drive has received a facelift from the previous generation, which now sports a glossy finish, and a tiny white LED power indicator, along with a push button power switch in the back. The biggest change is that this drive now includes both eSATA and USB in one device. This device is DirectTV, Dish Network, TiVo, Moxi, Pace, and Scientific Atlanta (Cisco) certified. Seagate has come out with their own DVR Expander drive called the Seagate GoFlex DVR which comes in a 1 TB and 2 TB capacity.[27] TiVo has not approved the Seagate product for use with TiVo DVRs and they will not currently function with any TiVo products.[28]


Users have installed additional or larger hard drives in their TiVo boxes to increase their recording capacity. Others have designed and built Ethernet cards[29] and a Web interface (TiVoWeb), and figured out how to extract, insert and transfer video among their TiVo boxes. Other hacks include adding time to the start and end of recording intelligently[30] and sending daily e-mails of the TiVos activity.

TiVo still uses the same encoding, however, for the media files (saved as .TiVo files). These are MPEG files encoded with the user's Media Access Key (MAK). However, software developers have written programs such as tivodecode and tivodecode Manager to strip the MAK from the file, allowing the user to watch or send the recordings to friends.

TiVo in the cloud[edit]


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2018)

On January 4, 2018 TiVo announced its next-gen platform, a catch-all product for providers like cable companies. It's available for multiple TV devices, including not only Linux- and Android TV-based set-top boxes and traditional DVRs, but also DVR-free streaming devices like Apple TV and Amazon's Fire TV, as well as phones, tablets and PCs. The platform allows providers to take advantage of TiVo's user interface, voice control, personalization and recommendations. TiVo expects its user interface could provide an advantage over competitors such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video "in a world where cord-cutting is increasingly popular."[31][clarification needed]

As of June 2020, TiVo's cloud-based offering has yet to formally take shape or launch.

Competitors and market share[edit]

While its former main competitor in the United States, ReplayTV, had adopted a commercial-skip feature, TiVo decided to avoid automatic implementation fearing such a move might provoke backlash from the television industry. ReplayTV was sued over this feature as well as the ability to share shows over the Internet, and these lawsuits contributed to the bankruptcy of SONICblue,[32] its owner at the time. Its new owner, DNNA, dropped both features in the final ReplayTV model, the 5500.

After demonstrating the WebTV capability at the same 1999 CES with TiVo and ReplayTV demonstrating their products, Dish (then named Dish Network) a few months later added DVR functionality to their DishPlayer 7100 (and later its 7200) with its Echostar unit producing the hardware while Microsoft provided the software that included WebTV, the same software Microsoft would later use for its UltimateTV DVR for DirecTV. The TiVo, ReplayTV, and DishPlayer 7100 represent very first DVRs that were in development at the same time and were released to market at about the same time.

SONICblue, the owners of ReplayTV would file for bankruptcy after being sued for its ability to automatically skip commercials and other features that were thought to violate copyrights; Echostar (Dish) would eventually sue Microsoft in 2001 for failing to support the software in DishPlayer 7100 and 7200 with Dish ending their relationship with Microsoft and cease offering the DishPlayer 7100/7200 to its subscribers and, instead, produce their own in-house DVR; and DirecTV would eventually drop Microsoft's UltimateTV and keep DirecTiVo as its only DVR offering for quite some time.

Other distributors' competing DVR sets in the United States include Comcast and Verizon, although both distribute third-party hardware from manufacturers such as Motorola and the former Scientific Atlanta unit of Cisco Systems with this functionality built-in. Verizon uses boxes fitted for FiOS, allowing high-speed Internet access and other features. However, TiVo is compatible with the FiOS TV service because when the TV programming arrives at the home via FiOS Fiber to the Home network, it is converted to CableLabs specification QAM channels exactly as those used by cable TV companies. AT&T is an IPTV service that is incompatible with the TiVo.

Despite having gained 234,000 subscribers in the last quarter of 2011,[33] as of January 2012 TiVo had only (approximately) 2.3 million subscribers in the United States. This is down from a peak of 4.36 million in January 2006.[34] As of January 31, 2016, TiVo reported 6.8 million subscribers.[35]


Privacy concerns[edit]

TiVo collects detailed usage data from units via broadband Internet. As units are downloading schedule data, they transmit household viewing habits to TiVo Inc. Collected information includes a log of everything watched (time and channel) and remote keypresses such as fast forwarding through or replaying content.[36] Many users were surprised when TiVo released data on how many users rewatched the exposure of Janet Jackson's breast during the 2004 Super Bowl.[37] TiVo records usage data for their own research and they also sell it to other corporations such as advertisers.[38]Nielsen and TiVo have also previously collaborated to track viewing habits. This data is sold to advertising agencies as a way of documenting the number of viewers watching specific commercials to their corporate clients.[39]

TiVo has three levels of data collection. By default, the user is in "opt-out" status, where all usage data is aggregated by ZIP Code, and individual viewing habits are not tracked. Certain optional features and promotions require the user to opt in, and individual information is then collected for targeted show suggestions or advertising. Users can request that TiVo block the collection of anonymous viewing information and diagnostic information from their TiVo DVR.[40]


TiVo holds several patents[which?] that have been asserted against cable TV operators and competing DVR box makers.[citation needed]

Opposition by content providers[edit]

Content flagging[edit]

In September 2005, a TiVo software upgrade added the ability for broadcasters to "flag" programs to be deleted after a certain date. Some customers had recordings deleted, or could not use their flagged recordings (transfer to a computer or burn to DVD), as they could with unflagged material. The initial showing of this for random shows was a bug in the software.[41] It later was enabled on pay-per-view and video-on-demand content.

Pop-up advertisements[edit]

During early 2005, TiVo began test marketing "pop-up" advertisements to select subscribers, to explore it as an alternative source of revenue.[42] The idea was that as users fast-forward through certain commercials of TiVo advertisers, they would also see a static image ad more suitable and effective than the broken video stream.[43][44]

At its announcement, the concept of extra advertisements drew heavy criticism from subscribers. Some lifetime subscribers were upset that they had already paid for a service based upon their previous ad-free experience, while others argued that they had purchased the service for the specific purpose of dodging advertisements. In 2007, TiVo made changes to its pop-up ad system to show pop-up ads only if the user fast-forwards through a commercial that has a corresponding pop-up ad.[45][46]

GNU General Public License and Tivoization[edit]

Main articles: Hardware restrictions and Tivoization

In 2006, the Free Software Foundation decided to combat TiVo's technical system of blocking users from running modified software.

This behavior, which Richard Stallman dubbed tivoization, was tackled by creating a new version of the GNU General Public License, the GNU GPLv3, which prohibits this activity.[47]

The kernel of the operating system of TiVo-branded hardware, the Linux kernel, is distributed under the terms of the GNU GPLv2. The FSF's goal is to ensure that all recipients of software licensed under the GPLv3 are not restricted by hardware constraints on the modification of distributed software.

This new license provision was acknowledged by TiVo in its April 2007 SEC filing: "we may be unable to incorporate future enhancements to the GNU/Linux operating system into our software, which could adversely affect our business".[48]

CableCard Support Uncertainty (USA)[edit]

In September 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) changed its rules so that cable television providers no longer must support CableCard. Providers may choose to keep supporting CableCard, but TiVo owners have no assurance. The cable television provider may discontinue CableCard support at any time.[49]

See also[edit]


  1. ^"TiVo". TiVo. Archived from the original on February 3, 2019. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  2. ^"The Second Greatest Story Ever Told: The 4th Annual Blue Moon Holiday - TiVo Community Forum Archive 1". Archive.tivocommunity.com. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  3. ^ ab"Virgin Media Selects Tivo For Next Generation Tv Platform". Virgin Media. November 24, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^"TiVo Models | What is TiVo". myTivo.com.au. Archived from the original on September 8, 2012. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  5. ^"Entertainment On-Demand | Movies & TV On-Demand | What is TiVo". myTivo.com.au. Archived from the original on October 12, 2012. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  6. ^ abPullar-Strecker, Tom (August 18, 2009). "Sticking point for TiVo". The Dominion Post. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  7. ^"Jackson's Super Bowl flash grabs TiVo users". CNET. February 4, 2004. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  8. ^Vincent, James (April 29, 2016). "TiVo agrees to $1.1 billion acquisition by Rovi". The Verge. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  9. ^"Xperi and TiVo Complete Merger". businesswire. June 1, 2020. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  10. ^"TiVo is pulling the plug on Series 1 DVRs September 29th". Engadget. August 16, 2016. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  11. ^"How to connect your TiVo DVR to your network and the Internet". Tivo.com. Archived from the original on October 25, 2008. Retrieved October 31, 2008.
  12. ^"TiVo Joins with Jaman to Deliver the Best of the Big Screen to Living Rooms Across the Country". Tivo.com. Archived from the original on November 22, 2008. Retrieved November 1, 2008.
  13. ^"TiVo and Netflix Announce Partnership". Tivo.com. Archived from the original on November 2, 2008. Retrieved October 31, 2008.
  14. ^[1][dead link]
  15. ^"TiVo Service closed in Australia". Mytivo.vom.au. Archived from the original on November 1, 2017.
  16. ^Freeview/Freeview Playback/Satellite/Cable, PVR UK website, UndatedArchived May 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.Accessed: 04-30-2008.
  17. ^Latest Range Freeview website, UndatedArchived May 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.Accessed:04-30-2008.
  18. ^TiVo Suggestions in the UK — Update, TiVo Community Forum, 09-29-2008Archived October 2, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.Accessed: 1 November 2008.
  19. ^"TiVo Blog". Blog.tivo.com. Archived from the original on February 18, 2011. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
  20. ^"AltEPG - Home Page". Altepg.com. Archived from the original on February 5, 2019. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  21. ^"Virgin Media's TiVo platform to go live". Digital Spy. December 1, 2010.
  22. ^"Virgin Media unlocks third TiVo tuner". Digital Spy. March 17, 2011.
  23. ^Sparkes, Matthew (February 12, 2014). "Virgin Media announces two millionth TiVo customer". Telegraph.co.uk.
  24. ^"List of compatible adapters". Tivo.com. Archived from the original on August 26, 2012. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  25. ^"TiVo support for DVR Expander problems". Support.tivo.com. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012.
  26. ^"TiVo Website showing 1TB drive and stock status". Tivo.com. Archived from the original on March 2, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
  27. ^"The page is no longer available". www.wdc.com. Archived from the original on July 2, 2010. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  28. ^[2][dead link]
  29. ^Tridgell, Andrew. "tivo-ethernet isa_adapter". Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  30. ^Anderton, Stuart. "Automatic soft padding running on the TiVo". Archived from the original on December 15, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
  31. ^"Get ready for TiVo in the cloud, DVR box optional". Cnet.com. Archived from the original on March 30, 2018. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  32. ^"Bankruptcy Blues for PVR Maker". Wired. March 24, 2003.
  33. ^"TiVo's Q4 2011 Results". Investor.tivo.com. February 23, 2012. Archived from the original on July 13, 2012.
  34. ^"TV By The Numbers by zap2it.com". TV By The Numbers by zap2it.com. Archived from the original on November 3, 2010.
  35. ^"Stat of the Week". Broadcasting & Cable. March 7, 2016. p. 4.
  36. ^TiVo's Data Collection and Privacy PracticesArchived September 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^Charny, Ben (February 6, 2004). "TiVo watchers uneasy after post-Super Bowl reports". CNET. Archived from the original on April 18, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  38. ^Hansell, Saul (July 26, 2006). "TiVo Is Watching When You Don't Watch, and It Tattles". Nytimes.com.
  39. ^"Simulmedia to use TiVo data". Direct Marketing News. June 18, 2012. Archived from the original on June 22, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
  40. ^"Privacy Policy". Tivo.com. June 23, 2009. Archived from the original on November 16, 2012. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  41. ^Terdiman, Daniel (September 14, 2005). "TiVo copy protection bug irks users". CNET. Archived from the original on July 1, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  42. ^Peter Rojas. "TiVo testing banner ads during fast-forwarding?".
  43. ^"Tivo Testing Popup Banner Ads". FirstAdopter.com. March 28, 2005. Archived from the original on May 20, 2012. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  44. ^"TiVo tests pop-up-style ads - CNET News". News.cnet.com. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  45. ^"TiVo Fast Forward Popup Ads Return". Betanews.com. January 16, 2007. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  46. ^"Business Week: TiVo Wants to Be the Google of Television. How?". Businessweek.com.
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  48. ^McDougall, Paul (June 1, 2007). "TiVo Warns Investors New Open Source License Could Hurt Business". InformationWeek. Archived from the original on July 5, 2020. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  49. ^Federal Communications Commission (September 4, 2020). "MB Docket No. 16-42"(PDF). Federal Communications Commission.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to TiVo.
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TiVo
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Equipment Powered by TiVo

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Enjoy the power and ease of the TiVo® experience. Far more than a DVR, RCN integrates the intuitive menus of TiVo with Digital TV, RCN On Demand, Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, Spotify and more! It’s the one system you need for TV shows, apps, movies, music, and all your entertainment. Endless entertainment has never been easier!

Plus access your favorite web apps like Netflix, Facebook and more on your TV with the TiVo experience!

Every Room Powered by TiVo

  • Access shows from your main DVR, anywhere in your home with an Every Room add-on Powered by TiVo
  • Start watching in one room, finish it on your in another
  • Watch live TV, recorded shows or web entertainment
  • Search, schedule and record your shows
Learn More

Single Tuner

  • By itself, the TiVo Preview is an HD converter box without the ability to record.
  • Offers a user friendly menu serving up digital cable TV.
  • As part of Whole Home Bundle, the TiVo Preview can access recorded content and allows multi-room streaming.
Learn More

HD/DVR Converter Box

  • Pause, rewind and record live TV with built in DVR features.
  • Record two shows while watching one previously recorded show.
  • Store up to 20 HD hours or 90 SD hours.
  • Access to thousands of hours of free programming with RCN On Demand.
Learn More

*The availability of services, pricing and offerings displayed on www.rcn.com are for residential NEW RCN customers only. Commercial and business pricing and service offerings differ. Other restrictions may apply. Service offerings are contingent upon RCN verification that the specific address covered by the service request is an RCN serviceable location. Prices do not include taxes, franchise fees or other surcharges. Learn more abouttaxes and surcharges. Services and pricing are subject to change. All prices exclude taxes, surcharges, fees and equipment. At the end of your promotional period, standard rates apply. Services are subject to RCN’scustomer terms and conditions, online shopping terms and conditions, and other applicable terms and conditions.

To receive HD features and benefits, an HD television, an HD compatible converter box, and a remote control are required. Advertised channels/stations may provide some non-HD programming. HD programming is limited to the programming provided to RCN in HD format by the content provider.

Leased equipment must be returned to RCN if service is canceled. More information on returning equipment.

TiVo© and the TiVo logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of TiVo Inc. and its subsidiaries worldwide.

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TiVo BOLT 500 GB DVR: Digital Video Recorder and Streaming Media Player - 4K UHD Compatible - Works with Digital Cable or HD Antenna

Leap commercial breaks in a single bound.

TiVo BOLT introduces the world to the speed and convenience of skipping entire commercial breaks at the press of a single button.(3) SkipMode transports you past these interruptions and back to your recorded show in an instant. It’s fast-forward perfected. Now you get to watch only what you want, and skip over the stuff you don’t.

Comfortably speed through your shows.

Life is short, and sometimes you just want to make the world go faster. That’s why we’ve added QuickMode. Watch recorded shows 30% faster—without the audio getting squirrely on you. QuickMode’s pitch-corrected audio lets you comfortably speed through slow-moving programs like news, sports and overly long award shows. It’s a great way to catch up when you’re pressed for time.

Watch on every TV without added service fees.

TiVo Mini is the all-purpose companion to your TiVo BOLT. Delivering Tru Multi Room control, TiVo Mini gives you the exact same TiVo experience on additional TVs in your home(7), including access to streaming content from Amazon Prime, Netflix and more.(2) Plus, you get all your favorite TiVo controls, like SkipMode, QuickMode, pause and rewind. Best of all, each TiVo Mini you add in your house requires no additional service fee.

Sours: https://www.amazon.com/TiVo-BOLT-500-DVR-Compatible/dp/B01DR4T754

Dvr tivo

TiVo Buying Guide - Which TiVo Do you Need?

TiVo / DVR Buying Guide
Copyright (c) 2001-2021. WeaKnees.com. All Rights Reserved.

If you are new to TiVo, or even if you are not, choosing the right unit is really quite straightforward. There are a few basic choices and these guidelines should help you purchase the correct unit. If you find yourself with specific questions, feel free to email us.

This guide will help you answer the following questions (among others):

Which TiVo is right for me? What are the differences among the various TiVo models?

Once I decide what model I want, how many hours should I get?

Choosing the Right Model: Current Models vs. Older Models

The chart below shows available TiVo models. weaKnees has a huge variety of TiVo units available, as shown in the chart below. If you find yourself confused or have questions, just send us an email with your situation and we'd be happy to assist.

Model Description

Model Number(s)

Factory Drive Capacity (Upgradeable?)

Compatibility with cable (including FiOS), antenna, satellite


Skip &

Works with TiVo Mini


Number of Tuners


TiVo Service Options

2TBRD6E20 (6-tuner for cable)
RD6F20 (4-tuner for antenna)
Yes (included)YesYesYes. MoCA (bulit-in RD6E20 only), wired Ethernet or wireless Ethernet (built in)4 (RD6F20)
6 (RD6E20)
HDR and Dolby Atmos SupportedAnnual or Lifetime
TiVo Bolt VOX


500GB (Yes)
1TB (Yes)
3TB (Yes)
500GB and 1TB: OTA or Digital cable
3TB: Digital cable only
Yes (included)YesYesYes. MoCA, wired Ethernet or wireless Ethernet (built in)

4 (500TB/1TB)
6 (3TB)

 Lifetime service (normally $549.99) included.
TiVo Roamio ProTCD8403003TB (Yes)Digital cable onlyYes
(sold separately; dongle required)
YesYesYes. MoCA, wired Ethernet or wireless Ethernet (built in)6 Lifetime service (normally $549.99) included on units from our lifetime page.
TiVo Roamio OTATCD8460001TB (Yes)Antenna onlyYes
(sold separately; dongle required)
YesYesYes.Wired Ethernet or wireless Ethernet (built in)4 Lifetime included with all units
TiVo Premiere/ XL


Cable (digital, analog) and antennaNoSkipMode onlyNoYes2 Lifetime service (normally $549.99) included on units from this page.
TiVo Premiere 4TCD750500TiVoDigital cable onlyNoSkipMode onlyYesYes4 Lifetime service (normally $549.99) included on units from this page.
TiVo Premiere XL4/EliteTCD758250TiVoDigital cable onlyNoSkipMode onlyYesYes4THX CertifiedLifetime service (normally $549.99) included on units from this page.

The chart below shows older TiVo models, some of which are still available from weaKnees (from time to time), but are no longer manufactured. Many of these units come from weaKnees with TiVo Lifetime Service already paid. Others have DIRECTV built in and are only available from weaKnees.

We have not listed the Series 1 model TiVos, but those can be great units in the right situation. Diving, swim, golf and other coaches love Series 1 TiVo units and use them to play back athletic practices. We keep a supply of Series1 TiVos for that purpose, so contact us or see this page.

If you are looking for a Series 1, 2 or 3 TiVo, remember that you *must* purchase one with with TiVo lifetime service already activated (such as the ones here). If you purchase one without service, TiVo will not activate it for you.

Model Description



Built-in DIRECTV

Built-in DVD Recorder/ Player

No. of Recording Quality Options

Networking between units?

Dual Tuners

Standalone Series2 TiVo (Standard Definition--SD)









Standalone Series2 TiVo (SD)TCD649080

Standalone Series2 TiVo (SD)








Standalone Series2 TiVo (SD)








Standalone Series2 TiVo (SD)





















DIRECTV DVR with TiVo (High Definition--HD)HR10-250 DIRECTVYesNo1NoYes
Standalone Series3 TiVo (HD)TCD648250TiVoNoNo

1 (HD)
4 (SD)

Yes Yes
Standalone TiVo HD and TiVo HD XLTCD652160

1 (HD)
4 (SD)

TiVo Premiere and TiVo Premiere XL
TiVoNoNo1 (HD)
4 (SD)
TiVo Premiere 4TCD750500TiVoNoNo1 (HD)
1 (SD)
Yes4 Tuners
TiVo Roamio BaseTCD846500TiVoNoNo1 (HD)
1 (SD)
Yes4 Tuners
TiVo Roamio OTA (500GB)TCD846510TiVoNoNo1 (HD)
1 (SD)
Yes4 Tuners

*Does not support recording from two digital cable or satellite channels at once. Supports recording from cable and satellite sources only; does not support recording from over-the-air antenna.

Choosing the Right Model: Content Source

The most critical question when deciding among TiVo models is: What is your TV source? Are you getting TV from cable (or Verizon FiOS), antenna or satellite? If you are getting content from cable, is it digital or analog?

If you have DISH Network (satellite) or AT&T U-Verse, there is no compatible high definition TiVo, so you'll have to get a non-TiVo DVR or change your provider. weaKnees cannot help with DISH or U-Verse-compatible DVRs.

If you have DIRECTV and want a TiVo (with the TiVo operating system, menus, remote, etc.), then the only high definition option is the THR22.

If you have digital cable only, then just about any current-model TiVo will work for you and you just have to decide which one is best, based on the charts above and below.

If you have cable AND antenna, then you will want a Series3 or two-tuner Premiere Series4 TiVo. Newer TiVos will not record both antenna and cable.

If you have antenna, you can use a Series3, Series4 Premiere (2-tuner), Base-model Roamio, Roamio OTA or Bolt.

Finally, if you have an older standard definition TV and do not care about high definition, you can possibly use an older-model standard definition TiVo (see the SD only option below), but you will need a compatible cable box or DIRECTV receiver and you will only be able to record or watch one show at a time if you get a box that is "SD only."



DVR Features and Availability



TiVo DVRs1 for Cable/Antenna


Number of Tuners

The ability to record one (or more) channel while watching another channel. The ability to record two (or more) shows at the same time, on different channels. With TiVo DVRs that are 4+ tuners, the number of tuners also determines the number of TiVo Minis that you can use simultaneously.

The TiVo Edge, TiVo Bolt and Bolt VOX (500gb/1TB) and the base-model TiVo Roamio (and TiVo Roamio OTA) have four tuners. These units can have 2 connected Minis running simultaneously. (You can connect more than 2 Minis to your network, but only 2 can be active at the same time.) These units all require only one CableCARD from your cable company if you are using them with cable. No card is required if you are using them with an off-air antenna.

The TiVo Roamio Pro (TCD840300) has 6 tuners, requries one CableCARD and can power up to 4 Minis at one time.

The TiVo Premiere XL4/Elite (TCD758250) can record 4 digital cable stations at once, requires a single CableCARD from your cable company, and can power up to 2 Minis at the same time.

The TCD648250 (Series3), TCD652160/658000 (TiVo HD) and TCD746320 (TiVo Premiere) will record two off air stations or two cable stations. To record two HD stations or two digital stations, you would need a CableCARD (or two cards, in the case of the TCD648250), available from your cable company. These units cannot use TiVo Minis; Minis require units with at least 4 tuners.

All standard definition TiVo DVRs for cable, with the exception of the TCD649080/TCD649180 have only a single tuner. However, even the dual-tuner standard definition TiVo has been relegated to single-tuner status in virtually all situations, because it requires one digital station and one analog (non-scrambled) channel or two analog (non-scrambled) channels. You cannot record off-air signals with the TCD649080/180.


DIRECTV's own line of DVRs--the HR20, HR21, HR22, HR23 and HR24--all can record two shows simultaneously with either two lines from a non-SWM system, or one line from a SWM.

The DIRECTV Home Media Center (DIRECTV genie) HR54 DVR has the ability to record 5 channels simultaneously (and it must be connected to a SWM network).

The DIRECTV THR22 HD DVR will also record two shows at once and can do so with either two lines from a non-SWM system, or one line from a SWM.

The standard definition DIRECTV TiVo DVRs will record two shows at once provided there are two lines from the satellite connected to the back of the DVR.



Recording CapacityThe amount of TV you can record and store before having to delete shows to make room for more

All TiVo DVRs can be upgraded. The number of options and amount of hours depends on the TiVo model. The TiVo Edge and TiVo Bolt, because they use smaller laptop hard drives, cannot accept large internal drives. Therefore, to get significant recording capacity, you must use an external drive. The Roamio and Premiere lines use standard-sized drives, so they will accept larger drives.

Series 3 units have a maximum capacity of 2TB and Series2 units have a maximum capacity of 1TB.

Two-tuner DIRECTV DVRs (THR22 and HR24) have a maximum capacity of 2TB. The HR54 has a maximum capacity of 8TB. The HR44 can use up to 16TB.
4K CompatibilityAbility of the DVR to stream and record content in 4K (UHD)As of this writing, only the TiVo Edge, TiVo Bolt, TiVo Bolt VOX and TiVo Mini VOX 4K support 4K.As of this writing, to get 4K with DIRECTV, you need a DIRECTV HR54 genie and either a DIRECTV-ready 4K TV or a DIRECTV C61K.
Stream Recorded ContentAbility to access your TiVo's recorded content on other devices (phones, tablets, PCs, laptops).The TiVo Edge, TiVo Bolt VOX, TiVo Bolt Plus, TiVo Bolt, TiVo Roamio and TiVo Premiere Series 4 line of DVRs (TiVo Premiere, TiVo Premiere XL and TiVo Premiere Elite) can stream, but the 4-tuner Roamio and all Premieres requires a separate TiVo Stream to provide this functionality. The TiVo Bolt Plus, TiVo Bolt and TiVo Roamio Pro have streaming functionality built-in.DIRECTV DVRs have streaming capability built-in. This functionality previously required the GenieGO, but that functionality is now built in.
Access Streaming ServicesAbility to use your DVR to access third-party service such as YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, etc.

The TiVo Edge, TiVo Bolt VOX, TiVo Bolt, TiVo Roamio and TiVo Premiere Series 4 line of DVRs (TiVo Premiere, TiVo Premiere XL4/Elite) have the broadest networking features. These units will allow you to stream (but not record) content from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Hulu Plus, You Tube and many other sources.

The older Series3 TiVo DVRs (Original Series3 TCD648250/TCD648250B, TiVoHD TCD652160, and TiVoHD XL TCD658000) can stream much of the same content as the TiVo Premiere line, but not all of it.

DIRECTV boxes have very limited access to a very limited number of services, such as YouTube.

Share content among DVRs

Ability to have multiple TiVos (and/or Minis) in your home and share content between/among them.

There are two ways to share content between two TiVos: You can transfer the show from TiVo A to TiVoB or you can stream it. Streaming allows you to begin watching nearly instantly, wheras transferring a show can take quite a bit of time.

All TiVos Series2 or newer, if they are networked, can share playlists and content with other TiVos. The way the content is shared (streaming vs transferring) depends on the TiVos that are on your network. Any Premiere, Roamio or Bolt can stream or transfer to any other Premiere, Roamio or Bolt. However, those units cannot stream to a Series3 or Series 2 TiVo. In other words, if you have a Series3 or Series2 unit on your network, you can only transfer to/from that model TiVo.

If you have a TiVo Mini on your network (along with a Mini-compatible DVR), then all sharing from the TiVo to the Mini is streamed.

If you have multiple TiVos and mulitiple Minis, the TiVos will have one unified playlist and that playlist can be shared with the Minis.

High Definition DVRs from DIRECTV (HR20-HR24, HR34-HR54) can all be networked and share content. The content will be streamed from one box to another.

Archiving content to PCs

Ability to move recordings from your TiVo to a PC or Mac, in order to watch, edit and/or burn to DVD

This has become far more difficult now that TiVo has stopped supporting the TiVo Desktop software.

Moving digital files from a DIRECTV DVR to a PC is not currently possible. However, DIRECTV DVR users can record programming in real time using a video capture card connected to a PC.

Saving programs to DVD

Ability to archive shows from a TiVo to a DVD, without a PC

Saving to DVD is possible with the standalone TiVos with built-in DVD recorders. Alternatively, standalone DVD recorders can be connected to standalone TiVos for DVD archiving (in real time).

There are no HD units that also have DVD burners, nor do we expect any to be produced.

DIRECTV DVRs do not come with built-in DVD recorders, but it is possible to connect a standalone recorder to a DIRECTV DVR to record shows in real time (just as you would tape a program to VCR from a TiVo).

Cost of Service

Once you purchase the hardware, how much the actual TiVo / DVR service will cost

Owners of standalone TiVos must purchase the TiVo service from TiVo. The fees vary depending on the model of receiver and whether the service is monthly or product lifetime service. Some TiVo DVRs, such as our TiVos that include lifetime service require no additonal fees to TiVo and can be a very cost-effective way of getting a new TiVo. In addition, the TiVo Roamio OTA is also now sold with service included. If you purchase a TiVo without service, then you can contact TiVo directly to purchase service. "All In" (lifetime service) costs $549.99. Monthly and annual plans are also available.

DIRECTV DVR owners must subscribe to the DVR service from DIRECTV. The cost varies depending on your programming and installation package with DIRECTV.

Phone Line

Need to have the TiVo connected to a phone line

In May, 2019, TiVo stopped supporting all dial-in. Standalone units must now be connected to an Internet connection (wired or wireless) to function.

To connect via wifi, Series2, Series3 and Series4 units require a separate TiVo-branded wireless G adapter. TiVo Roamio and Bolt units have wifi built in.

DIRECTV DVRs without TiVo can be connected via broadband but it is not required. Wifi is not an option.

The THR22 HD TiVo can also be connected through a broadband network, but it is not required. Wifi is not an option.

In May, 2019, DIRECTV stopped supporting all dial-in. As a result, any standard definition DIRECTV TiVo DVRs will stop functioning if it needs a new hard drive or if it has to go through guided setup. If a unit fails and requires a new hard drive, a standard definition DIRECTV TiVo becomes useless. If your unit is recording now, it will continue to record until the hard drive fails or unless/until you restore the unit to factory settings.

Changing Channels

Means by which the TiVo communicates with the cable box/satellite box

Standalone Series 2 TiVos that are connected to a cable box generally use an infrared "blaster" cable, which sends the remote control frequencies to the cable box. Using these cables generally results in a slight (1-2 second) delay when changing channels. Some cable boxes can use a direct serial cable connection, which is much faster. For more information, see our FAQ entry here: http://www.weaknees.com/stb.php. If you have a standalone TiVo and DIRECTV, then only certain DIRECTV receivers are compatible with the serial connection.

HD Standalone TiVos cannot use a cable box at all. They must use CableCARDs for encrypted cable shows.

DIRECTV DVRs contain the satellite receiver and TiVo in one box. Changing channels requires no additional cabling. It is fast and easy.

Compatibility with cable boxes and satellite boxes

Standard definition TiVo's ability to control a specific cable box or satellite box

Almost all cable boxes and satellite boxes are compatible with standard definition TiVo units. However, some are not. For a complete listing, see the FAQ entry here.

Again, no HD TiVos can use a cable box - see above. Also, high definition TiVos (such as the Series3, Premiere, Roamio, Bolt) do not work with satellite.

Because the DVR and DIRECTV receiver are in one box, compatibility is not an issue.

Compatibility with cable/satellite systems

TiVo's ability to work with your satellite/cable provider

Standalone TiVos work with cable providers throughout the US, some US territories and Canada. Standalone Series 2 TiVos are also compatible with DIRECTV and DISH Network, although you should refer to the link above for compatibility with specific boxes.

HD TiVos work with cable, Verizon FiOS and (depending on the model) off-air antenna only. HD TiVos do not work with U-Verse. The Roamio OTA, however, works only with antenna.

DIRECTV DVRs work only with DIRECTV.

Compatibility with high definition

TiVo's ability to record and display high definition signals

Standalone Series 2 TiVos do not work with high definition.

The standalone Series 3 TiVo, TiVo HD, TiVo Premiere, TiVo Roamio and TiVo Bolt lines of TiVos do work with high definition.

DIRECTV has a line of DVRs that receive, record and display HD. That line started with the HR20, through the HR24. All of the HR20-HR24 DVRs have two tuners. The HR34/HR44/HR54 has 5. These DVRs lack the TiVo operating system and use DIRECTV's own internally-developed OS.

The THR22 is DIRECTV's HD TiVo.

The older HR10-250 HD TiVo no longer receives HD signals from the satellite, but still can pull in HD from an off-air tuner.

Picture Quality

The degradation, if any, of the picture quality when connecting a cable box/satellite box to a TiVo.

This is a factor only if you are using a standard definition TiVo with cable or antenna.

Series 2 Standalone TiVos: No matter what the input source (whether digital cable, analog cable, digital satellite or over-the-air antenna), the TiVo will receive an analog signal and then convert that signal into digital. When converting from analog to digital, you will have the ability to tell the TiVo how much to compress the picture. With standalone TiVos, there are FOUR recording options, and each one offers a progressively better picture. Although the highest recording quality generally looks pretty close to the picture quality you'll see without a TiVo, there will be some (although in most cases not a noticeable) difference between the TiVo's quality and the quality without the TiVo.

Series 3/4 Standalone TiVo, TiVo HD and TiVo Premiere: These units, like the DIRECTV DVRs, will record a digital signal provided that it is being fed a digital signal (via an off air antenna feeding HD, or via a signal from your cable company).

This is a factor only if you use a standard definition, standalone TiVo with a separate DIRECTV receiver. If you are using any DIRECTV DVR (which has the DVR functionality and a DIRECTV access card in one unit), then this is not a factor, as the unit records the digital DIRECTV signal directly to the DVR's hard drive.

The same is true for the entire line of DIRECTV DVRs, with or without the TiVo operating system.

We are often asked whether the picture quality on two different DIRECTV DVRs (eg. the HR24 vs the HR34/HR44 or the HR21 Pro vs the HR24) are different. As a general rule, the answer is no. DIRECTV sends its signal through the air digitally (as a series of 0s and 1s). That digital signal is written to the hard drive and then is digitally transmitted to your TV (if you use HDMI). For the vast majority of users, picture quality should not be a factor when deciding between two different DVR models from DIRECTV.

In addition, all new DIRECTV DVR models now can process 1080p and 3D signals.

NOTES from Chart Above

1. For cable systems, we consider only at DVRs made by TiVo. DVRs provided by cable companies vary tremendously from city to city (and cable company to cable company), so it's impossible to analyze those features. As a general rule, our customers tend to dislike generic cable company DVRs and prefer the feature-rich TiVo-brand.
2. For DIRECTV, we consider both the line of HD DVRs from DIRECTV (HR2X, HR34, HR44, HR54, etc.) as well as DIRECTV DVRs with TiVo.

Buying Advice: Which TiVo should you Buy?

This is a tough question, depending in large part on the answer to the questions above (DIRECTV vs cable? Standard vs High Definition?). Here is a summary of your options:

 High DefinitionStandard Definition

The TiVo Bolt VOX is the newest TiVo line. The Bolt has SkipMode (one button commerial skip for applicable programs) and QuickMode (the ability to watch shows 30% faster without audio distortion). All Bolt units require TiVo service, which is roughly $149/yr or $549.99 for All-In (Lifetime) TiVo service. All units require a single CableCARD from your cable company (generally about $2-$3/month).

The TiVo Premiere unit has dual-tuners and works with cable, FiOS and off-air antenna signals. The Premiere XL4/Elite has 4 tuners, but works with cable/FiOS only. The two-tuner Premiere is great for customers who want to use both antenna AND cable or who live in apartment or other complexes (such as senior citizens' homes) that have cable systems that require an analog tuner.

For discounted pricing, we recommend a visit to our page that has TiVos with prepaid lifetime service included. These are typically older-model TiVos but they are priced aggressively and have lifetime service already paid.

Your choices are our supply of refurbished Series 1 and Series2 units with pre-paid product lifetime TiVo service. These are single-tuner units that include "All In" TiVo service. No additional payments to TiVo are required. You may need a cable box from your cable company to work with these TiVos.


The lastest technology from DIRECTV is the high definition "DIRECTV genie" line of DVRs. The DIRECTV genie records up to 5 shows at one time and can use genie minis/clients at other TVs. The genie requies a SWM system, which we can help you with or DIRECTV can install for you. The genie has one satellite line running into it.

As of this writing, DIRECTV only permits one genie on an account, so if you want more DVRs or if you want a more basic DVR, then we recommend the DIRECTV HD DVR (HR24), which is a two-tuner unit.

The genie and the HR24 both use DIRECTV's own operating system. They are *not* TiVos and do not have the TiVo remote or the TiVo menus.

If you want a TiVo for DIRECTV, then the THR22 is DIRECTV's only HD TiVo. This unit has the TiVo operating system and has TiVo menus and a typical TiVo peanut-shaped remote. However, you cannot share content between units or with any other DVRs and there are other feature limitations. For those who truly love the TiVo operating system and its unique features (Wishlists, Suggestions, Swivel Search, Kids Zone, etc.), we recommend the THR22.

The older HR10-250 HD TiVo no longer receives HD signals from the satellite, but still can pull in HD from an off-air tuner.


Just about any standard definition DIRECTV DVR will work equally well. WeaKnees has units in stock. If you do not have a high definition TV, then these standard def TiVos are a great choice.

The other option is to get an HD DVR from DIRECTV, which will also play back in standard definition. However, if you activate an HD DVR, DIRECTV will require you to pay for the HD service. If you get an HD TiVo (THR22), you'll also have to pay $5/mo for the TiVo service--a charge that is not incurred with the standard definition DIRECTV TiVo DVRs.

We find the standard definition DIRECTV TiVos still to be a compelling choice for customers who do not expect to move to HD in the near future.

Buying Advice: How much capacity do you need?

We really don't have much useful advice here, as capacity is hugely dependent on your own viewing habits. Here are some things to consider:

  • How many people will be recording shows on your TiVo?
  • Will you be recording a good deal of high-action shows (sports, cartoons), which tend to take up more space?
  • If you will be purchasing a standalone TiVo, will you be connecting it to a large-screen television (if so, you will likely need to record programming at a higher recording quality, which will take up more recording space)?
  • Do you expect to use your TiVo to store movies, childrens' programming or other shows (if so, you might prefer more recording capacity)?

Are you purchasing a DVR that records in 4K? If so, remember that while there isn't much 4K content out there, when it comes, it will likely take up a lot of disk space.

If purchasing a DIRECTV DVR, your actual hours will depend on what you are recording, but you should expect to yield about 75%-90% of the total hours quoted. Where we quote a range of HD hours (eg. 280HD-480HD hours, you should expect about 80% of the high-end of the range.

If purchasing a standalone non-HD TiVo, keep in mind that all capacity quotes (for example, 40 hours, 80 hours, 180 hours) are at Basic quality, which is the lowest recording quality. At the highest quality (Best quality), you will get about 1/3-1/4 as many hours.

When choosing capacity, keep in mind that if you purchase a unit that WeaKnees has upgraded, it is fairly cumbersome to add hours down to those units down the road. Thus, you might prefer to err on the side of more capacity.



Sours: https://www.weaknees.com/tivo-guide.php

TiVo Roamio OTA 1 TB DVR - With No Monthly Service Fees - Digital Video Recorder and Streaming Media Player

Leap commercial breaks in a single bound.

TiVo BOLT introduces the world to the speed and convenience of skipping entire commercial breaks at the press of a single button.(3) SkipMode transports you past these interruptions and back to your recorded show in an instant. It’s fast-forward perfected. Now you get to watch only what you want, and skip over the stuff you don’t.

Comfortably speed through your shows.

Life is short, and sometimes you just want to make the world go faster. That’s why we’ve added QuickMode. Watch recorded shows 30% faster—without the audio getting squirrely on you. QuickMode’s pitch-corrected audio lets you comfortably speed through slow-moving programs like news, sports and overly long award shows. It’s a great way to catch up when you’re pressed for time.

Watch on every TV without added service fees.

TiVo Mini is the all-purpose companion to your TiVo BOLT. Delivering Tru Multi Room control, TiVo Mini gives you the exact same TiVo experience on additional TVs in your home(5), including access to streaming content from Amazon Prime, Netflix and more.(4) Plus, you get all your favorite TiVo controls, like SkipMode, QuickMode, pause and rewind. Best of all, each TiVo Mini you add in your house requires no additional service fee.

Sours: https://www.amazon.com/TiVo-Roamio-OTA-DVR-Streaming/dp/B01DR4T73Q

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