TiVo this morning announced the launch of a new product in its BOLT family of DVRs, the BOLT+. While the 4K-ready BOLT, which debuted last fall, featured a white chassis and unique, curved shape, the BOLT+ instead returns to the standard black body, even while it maintains the odd form factor. More importantly, it offers more storage (3 TB) and more tuners (six are included), as compared with the older model.
With 3 TB of recording capabilities, TiVo BOLT+ can record 450 hours of HD content, the company says, while the additional tuners mean you can record and stream more programs at the same time.
The original BOLT arrived with the choice between a 500 GB or 1 TB hard disk drive, and four tuners, for comparison’s sake.
These changes basically make the BOLT+ more like an upgraded Roamio Pro, except for the fact that the new DVR offers support for 4K streaming, as well.
In addition, the BOLT+ offers other features included in the BOLT, like SkipMode, QuickMode, OneSearch, OnePass and mobile streaming.
SkipMode and QuickMode were big additions, in terms of TiVo’s software, when the BOLT was first unveiled. QuickMode lets you watch 30 percent faster, with pitch-corrected audio – which makes sense for digesting certain kinds of media, like news, sports, or educational programs where you’re trying to glean information, but not necessarily partake in the traditional, lean-back TV watching experience.
With SkipMode, TiVo lets users push a button once to move to the next part of the program without having to view commercials.
In an era where more people than ever are cutting the cord with pay TV services in favor of ad-free online streaming alternatives, like Netflix, a commercial-skipping option was a must-have for TiVo. Unfortunately, it’s not available for all recorded shows, the company notes.
TiVo also made a point to mention that its device can be used as a Plex client – something that could appeal also to the cord-cutting community, who often use the media server software Plex to watch content from their own home libraries.
Meanwhile, TiVo features like OnePass and OneSearch aim to simplify the now fragmented TV landscape where programming is spread out across numerous networks and a variety of online services for streaming, rental and purchase. OnePass lets you consolidate all the episodes of a favorite show via your cable TV service and online services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, for example, in order to create a universal watchlist.
OneSearch lets you search for shows and movies across local channels and internet video at the same time.
Also like BOLT, the new BOLT+ lets you watch live TV and recorded shows remotely using either a smartphone or tablet in the home when you’re on the same network. You can download and stream some programs while out of the home, too, but this is dependent on the copyright restrictions put in place by the content providers. Out-of-home streaming is only supported on one device at a time, TiVo says.
It’s worth noting the BOLT+ is designed for recording from cable. If you also want to record from OTA channels, you’ll need the original BOLT.
The TiVo BOLT+ will be available for $499.99 beginning on September 15. It will be sold online at TiVo’s website, plus Amazon, Magnolia retail stores, and custom install dealers nationwide.