Posted Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 07:00 AM PDT by Brian Hoss
Its $99.99 plus $6 a month to add a second room TiVo.
Engadget has reviewed the latest TiVo, the TiVo Mini, and while it stacks up well in some areas, it comes up short in several others. By looking at four categories, price, form factor, connectivity and functionality, the TiVo Mini just comes off as an ok option for a TiVo-heavy ecosystem/household.
A TiVo Mini is available for two prices, either $99.99 with a $6 per-month fee or a just a one-time $249 fee for the device and lifetime service. The form factor is also respectable for a 'Mini' device with stated dimensions being 6" x 6" x 1.3."
The connectivity options seem reasonable at first as well. The device sports HDMI, power, coaxial, Ethernet, and mini-jacks for analog break-out cables. What is key here is that the device is dependent on either the coaxial or Ethernet jack. The lack of wireless seems reasonable for an HD DVR like box, however, the TiVo Mini has no tuner. It can only display live TV if networked with a four-tuner TiVo Premiere (a dual-tuner won't cut it).
So not only is the TiVo Mini relegated to just an extension of another TiVo, but its functionality is comparably diminished as well. The device currently does not support streaming services like Netflix or Amazon, which have long been part of the TiVo feature set. The device does currently offer Hulu, Pandora, and YouTube functionality.
While support for those streaming options may be added later, another sad omission should be readily apparent to TiVo users, and that is the lack of a Manage Recordings and Downloads menu. In essence, while the Mini can playback recordings from a networked full-featured TiVo, it cannot modify Season Pass/recordings options. Smartphone users can already do this remotely, but it nevertheless highlights how limited the TiVo Mini is apart from just adding in another TV in the home.
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