TiVo Edge review: A once-great DVR in decline

    The neatest thing about TiVo has all the time been its fundamentals. No different DVR provides you as a lot management over which applications to file and how one can file them, and no different DVR makes stay TV viewing so handy.

    All the extra irritating, then, that the brand new TiVo Edge DVR makes no enhancements within the areas the place TiVo wants them most. The {hardware} is slicker (and quieter) this time round, and now it helps Dolby Vision HDR. But you continue to can’t use different streaming TV units, similar to Roku, to entry your DVR, and TiVo’s personal collection of built-in video apps is falling additional behind devoted streaming gamers. Even worse, the core DVR expertise is now deteriorating with pre-roll video advertisements.

    As TiVo stands nonetheless, different over-the-air DVR options similar to Tablo, Channels DVR, and Fire TV Recast are including extra of TiVo’s core options whereas providing those who TiVo nonetheless lacks. As such, even a barely improved TiVo Edge is tougher to suggest than its predecessors had been.

    New look, much less noise

    For this evaluation, I evaluated the TiVo Edge for Antenna, which prices $350, has 2TB of storage, and may play or file as much as 4 broadcast channels on the identical time. DVR service prices an additional $7 monthly, $70 per yr, or $250 for the lifetime of the {hardware}.

    For those that plan to plug in a CableCARD, the TiVo Edge for Cable prices $400, additionally has 2TB of storage, and may play or file as much as six channels at a time. TiVo prices $15 monthly, $150 per yr, or $550 for lifetime cable DVR service.

    With each TiVo Edge variants, the design of the field itself is an enormous enchancment over the earlier TiVo Bolt. Instead of getting an arched enclosure, the Edge is a flat plastic slab with a ledge that runs across the entrance and sides. The result’s a greater thermal design that runs lots quieter. With the Bolt, I might hear it whirring from the opposite aspect of my workplace, however the Edge turns into inaudible from only a foot or two away.

    The port association round again has barely modified regardless of the brand new look, with a coaxial enter, optical audio output, HDMI, a pair of USB ports, ethernet, and a distant finder button that performs a tone on the TiVo distant. The outdated eSATA port for storage growth is gone, however WD stopped promoting its sole appropriate exhausting drive years in the past anyway. Unfortunately, the USB ports nonetheless don’t help exterior exhausting drives, in order that they don’t serve a lot function past charging your cellphone.

    Jared Newman / IDG

    The TiVo Edge has principally the identical inputs and outputs as earlier variations, but it surely drops the out of date eSATA port.

    Compared to the Bolt, the TiVo Edge has a quicker processor and extra reminiscence (4GB as an alternative of 3GB), however these upgrades don’t translate to a serious efficiency enhance. You’ll nonetheless discover slight loading delays as you progress by menus, and the interface nonetheless animates at a uneven 30 frames per second fairly than the smoother body charges you’ll discover on fashionable streaming bins.

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