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Thought TIVO was dead? Think again

Check out our review of the TiVo Roamio DVR.

Nearly every cable operator offers a DVR solution now, and Smart TVs offer cable control and programming recommendations just a click away, and right alongside VOD apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus. Add all that up, and Tivo, once king of the DVRs, begins to look like a pretty tough sell. But now Tivo is back with its new Roamio DVRs, and they’re redefining what what a DVR should be. 

There are three Roamio DVR models, the Roamio, Roamio Plus and Roamio Pro. Naturally, these DVR boxes will record your favorite programming for you; the Roamio will let you record four shows at once and holds up to 75 hours of HD programming. The Plus will record up to 6 shows at once and hold 150 hours and the Pro model will do 6 shows at once with enough space for a whopping 450 hours of HD storage. But those killer DVR features just scratch the surface. 

The thing we liked most about what we saw at Tivo’s booth today was its ‘What to watch’ capability. Unlike other program recommendation systems found in many Smart TVs, Tivo’s system knows which channels you subscribe to and, more importantly, which you don’t. That means it isn’t going to recommend a bunch of content you can’t even watch. And while the feature is now baked into the user interface, we especially liked the experience delivered through the iPad, which was especially easy to navigate and visually engaging. 

If you’re a Comcast customer in one several large markets, you won’t be needing your cable box anymore, because the Roamio supports Comcast’s XOD on-demand platform. TIVO Roamio CEDIAAnd that’s just one way Tivo proposes to help you rid your entertainment system of a few set-top boxes. Most of the best VOD and music apps are built in, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Pandora, Rhapsody and Spotify. 

All of the Roamio DVRs offer Tivo stream capabilities, which let you stream your recorded content to an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch over a local Wi-Fi network or, if you prefer, you can take that content on the go and download shows to your device. Tivo representatives told us today that the download process is now roughly twice as fast as it was before. 

To spread the Tivo love through the rest of your home, just add as many Tivo mini boxes as you have TV’s. You’ll get all of the Roamio’s features delivered throughout the house. 

We’ve got a Roamio review sample on the way and will have a full review soon. 

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Caleb Denison
Digital Trends Editor at Large Caleb Denison is a sought-after writer, speaker, and television correspondent with unmatched…
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