TiVo HD: We give Seven's latest toy a play... and a stop, rewind, record and fast forward.

First look at TiVo HD

The Australian TiVo HD unit was unveiled today at the Seven Media Group's headquarters. It's a product that promises a lot — and it intends to deliver.

Sporting a 160GB hard drive, the TiVo unit can handle 60 hours of standard definition (SD) or around 20 hours of high definition (HD) content. This may seem a little small for some, but the unit has an eSATA connection for additional storage space if required. TiVo has announced plans to release an external hard drive accessory next year; it is not yet known if users will be able to use third-party hard drives. The unit's rear features component and HDMI connections for SD and HD television sets respectively. An Ethernet connection is also included, and is used for connecting the TiVo to a broadband internet connection. Wireless connectivity is also offered, although the wireless adapter will be sold separately.

The product itself, at its core, is a personal video recorder. There are a few things that set it apart from regular PVRs and place it directly in competition with Foxtel's own iQ2 service.

The electronic program guide for the service will be delivered via broadband internet — which the end user must purchase themselves, quashing rumours that wireless broadband access from Unwired would be included. This guide will have a full seven days worth of data for all channels, provided by HWW. It will be updated daily so that the latest programming info is included, accommodating any last-minute scheduling changes (which are usually implemented in the morning of each day).

A novel feature of the TiVo's EPG is its integration with the rest of the TiVo service. From the main TiVo Control menu, users can select a Find Programs option which allows users to search for actors, directors, show titles, keywords, as well as genre-specific options like sport or comedy. Once you've found the show you're looking for, you can set it to record as either a single file or a 'Season Pass' where all episodes of that show are saved for later viewing.

The TiVo unit also has a recommendation system built in — and you don't even need to record shows to take advantage of it. While you're watching any show, you can use two buttons on the remote — labelled with a 'thumbs up' or a 'thumbs down' — to rate the show you're watching. If you really like CSI, expect the TiVo box to recommend you get NCIS or Law and Order — and it can automatically record them for you as well, without your input.

These features will all be included with the box at launch, but some additional built-in features will be disabled in the initial units. Home networking — the ability to transfer photos, videos and music between a PC and the TiVo — will be turned off, as well as other features like Internet video streaming and an online movie download service.

The box is set to be released on July 29 and will retail for $699 with no additional subscription fees. It will only be available in Harvey Norman and Domayne, thanks to an exclusive deal between Seven and the Harvey Norman Group.

Whether it meets expectations is yet to be seen, but initial hands-on experiences seem to show that the little black box has the potential to seriously shake the Australian television scene.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?