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TiVo Premiere XL DVR
There are two new DVR models from TiVo: the TiVo Premiere and the TiVo Premiere XL. The latter has the bigger hard drive, meaning more space to record all of your favorite TV shows. But other than that, is it worth spending the extra cash?
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TiVo Premiere XL DVR Specs At A Glance
Average Price: $248.43
Size: 16.5 x 9.7 x 2.4
Connection: HDMI, Composite Video
Resolution: Up to 1080p
SD Card Slot: None
USB Ports: 2
Storage Space: Up to 150 hours HD/ 1350 hours SD
Web Browser: None
Amazon Video: Yes
TiVo Premiere XL DVR: The Good
Online Content Streaming: The new TiVo DVR models both come with greater options for those who like to stream content from the internet. Previous models were limited to Amazon Video On Demand. Now, there’s Netflix and Blockbuster to choose from, although all of these services will carry a charge for watching content. For those who like to stream music over the internet there’s also Pandora.
New Content Search Option: The new TiVo Premiere XL now has an excellent search function that’ll let you search through upcoming programs on TV as well as those that can be downloaded directly to your TV. This matches up to rivals such as Google TV and is an excellent all-in-one solution to find the content you want to watch as quickly as possible.
Networking With Other Devices: There is a free TiVo Desktop application that’ll let you easily transfer content from your TiVo to your home computer. If you’ve got TiVos set up in other rooms of the house, it’s also easy to share content between them, even if the other TiVo is an older model.
Storage Space: If you’re looking to find the difference between the TiVo Premiere and the TiVo Premiere XL then the big difference is the fact that the XL comes with a massive hard drive. It’s three times as big as the standard TiVo Premiere, allowing you to store up to 150 hours of content to your device. This is excellent for those who want to record a lot of TV – especially if you want to make use of TiVo’s suggestions – and don’t want to constantly worry about having to watch it quickly to create space for new content.
THX Certified: This XL version of the TiVo is also THX Certified. What this means in real life is that it has gone through a lot of testing to make sure that sound and image are the best quality they can possibly be. This is excellent for those who buy every element of their home theater system with image and sound quality in mind.
iPad and iPhone Apps: If you’ve got an iPad or an iPhone then you can take advantage of the free apps that’ll let you browse and schedule content without interrupting what you’re currently watching on the screen.
New Remote Control: The remote that comes with the TiVo Premiere XL is pretty much the same one that used to come with the older models, but has a few new buttons to make navigating easier. For those who want complete control over what they’re doing, there is a full Qwerty keyboard remote available to buy separately.
New HD Interface: The latest Premiere series of TV models have come with a brand new HD, widescreen interface that makes the whole experience a lot more attractive. When you’re browsing, setting up recordings or searching for TV shows, you’ll always be able to see your live TV or current TV recording playing while you do, which helps make the operation less intrusive. There are some drawbacks to this interface, however (see below).
TiVo Premiere XL DVR: The Bad
Price: There’s no getting away from the fact that the TiVo Premiere XL DVR is an expensive gadget, especially when you consider the fact that you also need to sign up to a monthly, yearly or lifetime subscription to the TiVo service. For three times the hard drive space of the original TiVo, you’ll need to pay a couple of extra hundred dollars. This is to be expected for what you’re getting, but it’s still more than some people will want to pay.
Interface: As mentioned above, the new widescreen HD interface is definitely a benefit of the new TiVo Premiere XL. Unfortunately, however, the sub menus revert back to SD quality. Flipping between the two menus makes it a little clunky, and some users have reported on the fact that it can lag when going between menus.
No Wi-Fi: Neither of the two new TiVo models comes with the ability to connect to Wi-Fi built in. You’ll need to make sure you can plug in a wired Ethernet connection, or buy a Wi-Fi dongle sold by TiVo for around $90 extra. This isn’t cheap, given the fact that you’ve already spent so much on the device itself. The third option is to buy a cheaper USB adaptor that’ll let you connect through your phone line, but this will leave all of the content streaming out of your reach.
Is The TiVo Premiere XL DVR Worth Buying?
Note that the TiVo Premiere XL DVR is very similar to the cheaper Premiere with a couple of important differences: it has three times the storage space, and comes with THX certification for improved sound and video quality. This really makes the Premiere XL the right choice for power users. Unless you know you’re going to be recording a lot of content, the standard Premiere should suffice.