This post was originally pulled 9/29/2008, but since the TiVo Premiere has been announced now I figured I could put it back up.
I got an invitation to take a survey on consumer electronics yesterday. I went to take it this morning and found that the survey was sponsored by TiVo which definitely got me interested. As it went on the survey showed videos and screenshots of a fairly different interface from where TiVo is today with their 9.X software line. I will sprinkle the screenshots through my post and you can watch the three videos here Video 1, Video 2 and Video 3.
The biggest change is something that seems to be in every other DVR now which is being able to watch Picture in Guide while navigating the Menu. This is a feature that every Motorola based Cable / FIOS DVR and DirecTV DVR has had for quite a while. The excuse from TiVo has always been performance of the menus which is already bad getting worse when the processor has to deal with video at the same time.
The next interesting feature is a line of pictures across the top as you can see in the next few screenshots:
The top line of pictures is a combination of recent, suggestions, favorites and ads. The first screenshot is just an example layout. Then in the second shot you can see they added an ad for a BMW. The third shot is navigating the top bar and showing the fly-out that gives you more detail and then would allow you to watch, record or download. The last screenshot is the ability to control what shows up on the top bar which I think is a really powerful idea.
Another new idea seen on the main menu is the ability to categorize shows by viewer. That is such a simple idea that makes so much sense. Just simply having a larger folder that shows can be placed in so that my shows don’t clutter up other peoples lists and vice versa. It appears to be some idea of community as well with a “Connect with family & friends” button which seems to be taking the idea of thumbs up and genius lists to the next level.
In Video 2 it shows searching for movies and being able to download them. The current TiVo software can do this with Amazon, however the screenshot below shows not only Amazon but also Netflix and Blockbuster Total Access. Also it is showing all three as being in HD. Having all these sources available seems like a great variety potential.
The last big interface change that I saw was also in video 2. It is a cross between Microsoft’s Media Center interface and Apple’s Coverflow. Either way it is a much nicer more visual interface than the current TiVo one. You can see a screenshot below but it is much better in motion in Video 2.
Who knows if any of this will ever be released. It shows some good ideas I think and hopefully it is the way TiVo is looking. They need to leap back ahead with features instead of just being a little more refined version of the cable / satellite DVR’s.