For years, TiVo has been changing the way people have watched television. It was a step above a typical VCR as it was easy to program when to record a show, and when it was watched, it was very simple to skip through the ads. TiVo is now upping their product and brand with the TiVo Bolt, and this is what is known about the release date, price, and features.
The TiVo Bolt is really a response to consumers' need to "cut the cable" as most don't watch television shows on a television anymore. Why bother when there are services like Hulu as well as the network websites that allow the user to watch a show on their own time from their computer, tablet, or smartphone?
TiVo's Bolt is made for this as Yahoo Tech reports that the Bolt can search and browse web services as well as what is on television. Bolt can search and play back shows on such services like Netflix, Vudu, Comcast or Cox on demand, not to mention any television stations that the user can access. Hulu is planning to be coming soon, and online movie stores from Apple and Google will not be compatible. TiVo Bolt can access audio files from Spotify, Pandora, Plex, and iHeartRadio, with applications from video-sharing sites like YouTube.
What TiVo is trying to do is give its users the ability to search for content and find it quickly. This goes for movies and TV shows, down to whatever episode you want to watch from online or other services. From there you can list, record, and play back shows in 4K resolution, such as those available on Netflix or Amazon.
Best of all, the Bolt works fast with very little lag time. There have been many improvements made such as 802.11 ac WiFi, gigabit Ethernet, not to mention an RF, radio frequency, remote that doesn't require line of sight to work.
One of the things that could be a game-changer for the Bolt is the ability for the user to skip entire blocks of ads at the press of a button. Ad-skipping only works on shows recorded from 4 PM to midnight on the 20 top channels, and a SKIP logo will appear on names of shows when ad-skipping is available. TiVo actually has employees that watch shows and manually tag every block of ads, making it easier for a user to skip commercials. This could make the networks very angry as networks have sued Dish to remove ad-skipping, so we'll see how long users can have this feature on TiVo's Bolt.
TiVo's bolt is available now on the TiVo site and costs about $300 for the oddly-shaped box with a 500 GB hard drive, or $400 for a 1 TB drive. It is also possible to purchase a TiVo Mini for $150 that connects to a second TV, but shows the contents of the main TiVo elsewhere in the house. By the way, there will be a monthly $15 fee starting the second year after the Bolt is purchased. It is also possible to pay $150 a year, a $30 savings annually, or a one-time $600 fee.