The TiVo Premiere is finally official

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Finally. We finally have new TiVo models. The TiVo HD XL launched a long year and half ago and the UI is even older. But that’s behind us now, the TiVo Premier is here and it’s (nearly) everything we need in a DVR. Everything is different: the hardware, the interface, even the remote. (QWERTY!)

With the TiVo Premier comes a new interface that’s been designed to present web videos just like live TV. But it’s not just web videos. The whole system was reworked to allow users better access to their locally-stored content as well. Premiere’s search function queries all sources and will find content whether it’s on a web video or live TV. Pandora and FrameChannel join Netflix and YouTube as built-in apps.

The new interface utilizes Adobe Flash and boy is it pretty. Think classic TiVo combined with Kaleidescape’s interface mashed up with Hulu Desktop. (but in classic TiVo blue) We haven’t played with it just yet, but it’s probably smooth as silk.

But check out that  Bluetooth remote. QWERTY, ladies and germs, it has QWERTY, which is just what we need to navigate all the web apps and search functions loaded on this box. But this wonder of modern technology isn’t included. Nope, it will be out later this year for an undisclosed amount.

The hardware is nearly the same as the Series 3 HD and HD Xl although the outside looks dramatically more subdued and classy. There’s a $299 320GB version that can do 45 hours and an $499 1TB XL that does 150. The XL also packs a THX certification. And yes, TiVo listened and finally built-in a storage capacity meter. Both models will hit retailers in early April but expect some pre-ordering opportunity soon.

Update: Hands-on!

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