The TiVo Premiere Elite is the TV watcher’s Bugatti Veyron. It’s their Lance Armstrong, their Empire Strikes Back. It’s the Budweiser of set-top box DVRs. The TiVo Premiere Elite is simply the best recording and playback device ever made and yes, I just called Budweiser the best beer of all time.
The quad turner device quietly leaked over the summer, followed by an official TiVo announcement in September. At that time the company failed to announce the price and availability but the product page later reveled the $499 price. TiVo just took to the wires to announce the Premiere Elite is available starting today. Your king has arrived, TV nerds.
Nothing has changed since the Premiere Elite’s announcement. The DVR still features four tuners and a 2TB hard drive for up to 300 hours of content storage. Digital cable is required and unlike every previous TiVo, it lacks an ATSC tuner for over-the-air signals. The device can output signals up to 1080p and is THX Certified for audio and video. The backside houses two USB 2.0 ports and an eSATA interface for the TiVo wireless adapters and external storage, respectively.
The Premiere Elite is powered by the Series4 platform that offers a fluid interface along with rich internet media support. TiVo built support directly into the OS for Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube and Pandora. It’s simply the most complete internet media streaming platform available outside of a computer.
The TiVo Premiere Elite hits Best Buy Magnolia stores and select custom AV installers today. At $499 the DVR is rather competitive against the $299 1TB, two tuner Premiere XL, but it’s crazy expensive when priced against your cable company’s nearly free offering. TiVos still require either a $19.99 monthly or $499 lifetime subscription cost. But unlike a random Comcast box, the TiVo Premiere Elite does have some distinct advantages like the ability to record four programs at once and stream from the top Internet media sources. Quality doesn’t come cheap.