TiVo is announcing the latest in DVR technology tonight at 6 p.m., saying “Inventing the DVR was just a warmup.”
Rumors and leaks abound, but it looks like the announcement is going to be a combo of new hardware and software.
There were reports of “Premier” and “Premier XL” SKUs showing up in Best Buy’s computer system. BusinessWeek reported on a new cross-platform search that would allow users to search TV listings, Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, and other supported services in one swoop (similar to the TiVo Search Beta currently available to Series3 and HD users).
All of the above sounds great, but it’s not going to revolutionize the DVR market. Even the current hardware seems capable of so much more. Taking a cue from Moxi, the new TiVo hardware and software needs to add a true HD interface and make the box a hub for networked media from all over the house, either in the form of native support for a wide selection of file types or at least a DLNA client capable of tapping into PlayOn, TVersity, etc.
Beyond that, integrated placeshifting (Sling Media), a flash-enabled Web-browser, more robust mobile phone integration, and a major overhaul of the TiVo Desktop PC transfer software would all be necessary to make tonight’s announcement live up to the hype. Even 2-3 of these wishlist items would be a win.
TiVo has, in the past, been kind enough to push these kinds of updates to current hardware owners, so everyone keep their fingers crossed.
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Stephen Hopkins is chief technology editor for EH Publishing. He writes product reviews, features, and focuses heavily on 3D TV, iPhone and iPad apps, and digital content.