Pros 4-tuners, economical over a 5-year period (total ownership costs), intuitive and ease of use, ability to aggregate & search content, available bluetooth slide remote ($), built-in MoCA, Multi-Room Streaming, fantastic iPad and Android second screen co
Cons Up-front cost, no Amazon Prime streaming (currently), requirement for a Tuning Adapter to receive Switched Digital Video (SDV) on some cable operators, lack of apps, no social integration (currently)
Summary I've been using TiVo boxes since their introduction as a Series 1 box from Philips in 2000. I can easily recommend the TiVo Premiere Elite as the best TiVo box ever and the best DVR available. It offers a superior DVR experience to users over the generic cable operator provided leased DVR. TiVo has evolved into the ultimate single solution media center by combining its DVR and universal cable box capabilities with the ability to aggregate, search, and deliver millions of pieces of broadband, cable, and broadcast content directly to the television. TiVo recently released a major software update (20.2) to all TiVo Premiere boxes that significantly enhances the user experience. If you factor in the never ending cost of leasing a cable box from your cable operator the TiVo works out to be an economical alternative over a five-year period. I opted for the BestBuy 4-year warrant for $74 just for piece-of-mind on the Elite. TiVo's intuitive functionality and ease of use puts you in control by enabling effortless navigation of linear television, over the top television like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu Plus, radio from Pandora, and web videos from the likes of Revision 3 and the TWIT network. I can't speak highly enough of the TiVo platform which has really evolved to be easily the best DVR on the planet. The only real competition is Windows Media Center from a DVR perspective which is costly and more difficult to set-up. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a TiVo to my friends and family.
Pros 4 turners so you can record 4 different shows.
2 TB storage so you can store many more shows.
Cons No Antenna connection.
No Pay per view capability.
Clumsy search capability - tries to select pay per view channels.
Viewing on another Tivo DVR or transfering not allowed for all recordings.
No Wi-Fi built in.
Still locks up sometimes.
Summary For a thousand bucks (with Lifetime Service) I would expect much better capability than we are getting in this new model.
Pros Best, and easiest, interface for all of your cable channels, and recording requirements.
Cons Upgrading hardware. I did purchase the lifetime service 3 years ago, and wasn't able upgrade my equipment using that purchased lifetime service?
Summary It is hard not to praise Tivo for, what I feel, is the best, and easiest, interface for recording and viewing experience of your cable channels. That being said, there are a few ways to purchase there service. One can pay monthly, or a lifetime agreement. For the money you pay for the Tivo system, I would recommend the lifetime option (this can save you plenty of money). The only real issue with the company is that I did purchase the lifetime service 3 years ago, and can't upgrade my equipment using the current lifetime service? This of course is a fine print line, I'm sure, that informs you that a transfer to upgraded equipment is not allowed? If there is a chance that you might want to upgrade at some point, this can be very frustrating.
Pros Extreemly versatile.
Cons Desktop software is hokey and outdated. 3rd party software works far better.
Summary The reason this device costs so much is because it's far superior to what you get with your local cable company. Here's why. You can watch live TV. You can record programs. You can schedule recordings online and with your smart phone. "Yeah...big deal, I can get that with my cable box," you say. Here's what else it can do. I can stream all of my music through my surround sound system from my computer. I can copy all of my recorded shows to my smart phone or tablet. There are some really cool features that Tivo doesn't advertise. Tivo supports multiple video formats. This means you can drag and drop your home videos into the Tivo recordings folder on your PC--assuming you have the free Tivo desktop software--then pull-up your computer from the "my shows" section on your Tivo and watch it like a recorded show. Even better, with a good DVD ripping program, you can convert your DVDs into a popular video format like MPEG-2 or Divx and move those files into the same Tivo recordings folder on your PC. You've now just digitized your entire DVD library.
Pros large storage capacity
record 4 HD or SD shows at once
access to Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, AOL ON
occassionaly hangs & reboots itself
no off the air recording option
Summary I've had the XL4 for about a year now. Works great with my cable provider COX. Had some initial set up problems with the cable card but they were quickly resolved by a COX tech. Love the ability to record 4 HD shows at once, which I do quite frequently, and watch a pre-recorded program at the same time. Plus the 2TBs' of storage means never having to say "delete".