To say that TiVo changed TV viewing habits in the late 90s would be an understatement. They pioneered and revolutionized the industry, paving the way for a lot of the streaming technology we use today. A decade or so ago, they were so popular that people used their company name used as a verb (just like Xerox or Google). Statements such as, “I TiVoed that episode” were a common occurrence. Admittedly, they aren’t as popular today as back then, but they also haven’t gone how Kodak infamously did. The TiVo Edge is the company’s latest offering in their bid to stay relevant in the digital age of cord-cutting. So, does it do that? Let’s take a closer look to find out.
Released in October 2019, the TiVo Edge is the company’s 7th generation product and is available for both cable and antenna models. Here are its technical specifications:
|Recording capacity||300 HD hours|
|Tuners||4 – 6|
|Video|| HLG, HDR10, Dolby Vision
|Audio||Digital + Dolby Atmos|
|Connectivity|| Wi-fi 802.11ac
|Ports|| 2xUSB + 1xHDMI 2.0
With its angular design, glossy jet-black finish that catches the light, and the iconic white TiVo branding, the TiVo Edge is aesthetically pleasing to look at. The company has ditched the parabolic shape they used for the TiVo bolt, going instead for a more streamlined rectangular look. This improved thermal design ensures a quieter performance than its predecessor. The two-tiered look makes it appear like two separate DVRs arranged one on top of the other, giving it a quirky touch. Moreover, the Edge’s back panel his neatly arranged with power, coaxial, ethernet, and cable/antenna inputs along with two USB and one HDMI 2.0 ports. The cable model has an additional cable card slot.
Storage and memory
The TiVo Edge shines in this department. It has an inbuilt memory of 4GB. On the storage front, a generous 2TB storage capacity, along with the additional USB ports, means plenty of room to store whole seasons of your favorite shows along with ones you haven’t yet committed to. The TiVo Edge for cable comes with a whopping six tuners that can record up to 6 different TV shows, movies, or live events at the same time, so you can finally say goodbye to the daily evening fights over who gets to watch their favorite program. With the TiVo Edge, no one needs to miss out on their treasured entertainment choices. The antenna model comes with four tuners.
The sleeker DVR design has unfortunately not translated to the TiVo edge remote. As before, it remains a chunky affair with a host of redundant buttons that could scare even a rocket scientist. The design of the remote aside, it has some improved functions over previous generations of TiVo remotes. It now comes with backlit keys that light up for easy nighttime use. Additionally, it has a basic voice search functionality, which, although not as advanced as the Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, is definitely a step in the right direction for TiVo. Another nice feature is the inbuilt alarm which beeps when the find-the-remote button on the DVR is pressed; handy for when the sofa swallows up the remote.
Setting up and using the TiVo Edge is a simple enough affair with on-screen prompts guiding you all the way. Besides, this TiVo DVR uses the Experience 4 interface, which has a simplistic color design, is fast, and easy to use. Also, content is split into cable TV and streaming TV sections for more facile distinction, and the interface provides easy navigation between the apps. The Experience4 interface has several features that make for a smooth viewing experience such as the SkipMode feature that allows users to skip commercials and the QuickMode feature that can speed up playback without changing the audio pitch to get through the boring sections of the program. The OnePass function sifts through all the viewing options, including streaming apps, live TV, and DVR recordings, to line up all possibilities of a searched title on the screen to choose from.
The TiVo Edge falls far behind competitors such as the Roku Streaming Stick and the Amazon Fire Stick in this department. It has only close to 30 apps while the other streaming devices have apps numbering in the thousands. The 30 available apps, fortunately, include all the major players such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Go, and Hulu. Also, the company has announced the upcoming release of the TiVo+ app, which will give viewers access to a selection of movies, streaming channels, and TV shows. Whether this release can compensate for the poor app selection remains to be seen.
TiVo has a range of devices that can augment the TiVo Edge and give users a home entertainment network. Besides, these include the TiVo Stream that makes content available on mobile networking devices and the TiVo Mini, with which users can connect multiple in-house TVs to the DVR.
– TiVo Edge (Under $400)
– TiVo Stream- (Under $350)
– TiVo Mini- (Under $200)
TiVo Edge offers users unparalleled storage and memory options. Its six tuners mean you don’t have to make a Sophie’s-choice-like decision between two live programs. Add to this its easy-to-use interface and its support of both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, and you have an excellent and future-forward DVR.
The poor selection of streaming apps pegs this DVR back. It is also one of the costliest streaming devices on the market and needs a range of not-so-cheap add-ons to create a comprehensive entertainment network. Users also need to pay an additional monthly subscription fee ranging from $6.99 to $14.99 per month.
The TiVo Edge is an excellent device for those who want to enjoy both cable TV and streaming, but don’t want to go through the hassle of getting separate devices for each. While it shines with its live TV functionalities, it is a bit lackluster in the streaming department. So, deciding to get one or not wholly depends on what suits your unique viewing needs and budgetary constraints.