About TiVo® Premiere

Basic questions

What is TiVo Premiere?
TiVo Premiere is so much more than a DVR:
  • TiVo has gone beyond the DVR with TiVo Premiere, Premiere 4, and Premiere XL4, enabling users to find, record, and enjoy all forms of broadcast and broadband entertainment in a reimagined, visually stunning HD user interface
  • Premiere connects to your cable service with a CableCARD™ decoder and replaces your cable box. Additional fees may apply from your cable provider
  • It provides access to an entire universe of on-demand movies, TV shows, web videos, and music for rent or purchase — many more more options than cable or satellite provides
What can I do with a TiVo Premiere?
  • Find shows with exclusive TiVo features, like Search, WishList® recordings, Season Pass® recordings and more
  • Control live or recorded TV with pause, rewind (3 speeds), fast-forward (3 speeds), slow-motion and instant replay and new 30-second scan
  • Access the world's largest on-demand video store, including movies & TV shows from TiVo online content providers like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus™, and more
  • Schedule recordings remotely on a laptop, tablet or mobile phone
  • Search, browse, discover and share without ever interrupting what you're watching with the free TiVo® App for iPad, iPhone, and Android phones and tablets (including Kindle Fire)
  • Transfer recordings to your laptop, iPhone® or mobile device (TiVo Desktop or TiVo Desktop Plus required. TiVo Desktop Plus sold separately)
  • Enjoy your music and photo libraries from your PC or Mac on your TV (TiVo Desktop software required)
  • Record up to two shows at once while watching a pre-recorded third with TiVo Premiere; record up to 4 shows at once while watching a pre-recorded fifth with TiVo Premiere 4 and Premiere XL4
Compare TiVo Premiere
How many hours of programming can I record?
  • TiVo Premiere records up to 75 hours of HD programming, or up to 650 hours of standard-definition programming
  • TiVo Premiere 4 records up to 75 hours of HD programming, or up to 650 hours of standard-definition programming
  • TiVo Premiere XL4 records up to 300 hours of HD programming, or up to 2,200 hours of standard-definition programming

Compatibility and setup

What broadcast operators does TiVo Premiere work with to get programming?
  • TiVo Premiere provides access to HD digital cable, analog cable, and ATSC over-the-air signals and Verizon FiOS®
  • TiVo Premiere 4 and Premiere XL4 are only compatible with digital cable systems. It is important you verify that you have a digital cable signal before purchasing this product. These products do not work with external cable boxes, analog cable, satellite or over-the-air antennas. A CableCARD™ decoder is required to receive any digital cable programming. Additional fees may apply from your cable provider
  • At present, no current TiVo Premiere model supports connection via satellite
Can I use with an antenna?
  • Only TiVo Premiere has ATSC tuners that allow the DVR to record up to two channels at once from digital over-the-air broadcasts in full HD
  • TiVo Premiere 4 and Premiere XL4 do not support ATSC over-the-air signals
  • ATSC broadcasts are completely free and are accessible by using an HD antenna, which is available for purchase at retail stores or from tivo.com

CableCARD™ decoders

What is a CableCARD decoder?
  • A CableCARD decoder replaces your cable box, tells your TiVo Premiere which channels you are authorized to receive, and unscrambles your cable company's encrypted signal
  • To view your cable company's HD and digital channels, your TiVo Premiere requires a single multi-stream CableCARD decoder (M-Card), which plugs into the rear panel of your Premiere
How much will CableCARD decoders cost me?

Cost will depend on the cable operator. Some cable operators offer them free of charge, while others may charge a nominal amount per-month fee to rent.

What cable companies are required to support CableCARD decoders? Why?

All major cable companies are federally mandated to support CableCARD decoders. Many cable companies also offer a "self-install" option — you can visit their retail location, pick up a cable card, and install it yourself.

Cost and availability

What happens when I complete my commitment?

After the end of your TiVo service subscription commitment with a TiVo Premiere, Premiere 4 or TiVo Premiere XL4, your monthly service plan will continue on a month-to-month basis and TiVo will charge you on a monthly basis at the then-applicable monthly service plan rate until you cancel. See terms & conditions for TiVo Payment Plans for details. Keeping your account and credit card information current will help you avoid any interruptions in service.

Do I own the TiVo DVR at the end of my service commitment or do I have to give it back?

After the 30-day money-back guarantee expires, you own the TiVo box. If you subscribed to the TiVo service on a monthly plan with a commitment and cancel before the end for you commitment period, you will be charged an early termination fee. See terms & conditions for TiVo payment plans for details.

What happens if my TiVo DVR breaks during my service commitment?

All TiVo DVRs are subject to the standard TiVo DVR warranty. Please see the TiVo DVR limited warranty for details. TiVo also offers two (2) year and three (3) year extended warranty plans which may be purchased within ninety (90) days from the earlier of the DVR purchase date or TiVo service activation date.

How does the money back guarantee work?
  • TiVo offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Only applies to initial activations if canceled within 30 days and the TiVo box or accessory is returned for a full refund. If you cancel within 30 days of activation (which is typically the date your order ships), you will receive a full refund if you return the TiVo box and accessory, if applicable, within 15 days of cancellation. The shipping charge for the return is at your expense. If you do not return the TiVo box and accessory, if applicable, within the first 30 days of activation, you will be charged a "Non-returned Equipment Fee" equal to the MSRP of the TiVo box and accessory, if applicable, and applicable taxes minus the upfront cost of the box and accessory, if applicable. If you change your subscription plan within the first 30 days of activation, you may be charged a fee equal to the MSRP of the TiVo box and accessory, if applicable, and applicable taxes minus the upfront cost of the box and accessory , if applicable, depending on the subscription plan you choose. Service plan renewals, and hardware replacements and upgrades are not eligible for the 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Returned DVRs must include all original components, literature, warranties and packaging in the same saleable condition in which it was received. Refunds for returns will cover product amount and any sales taxes charged. Refunds will not be made for any shipping and handling charges. Returns not meeting these requirements may be subject to a restocking fee equaling 15% of the retail value of the DVR (not including taxes). Damaged merchandise, cosmetically or otherwise, is subject to an increased restocking fee on a case-by-case basis. If an order has shipped, it is the purchaser's responsibility to accept the shipment and return the order per our Return Policy. Orders that are refused at the designated shipping address may incur a 15% restocking fee
How much does TiVo Premiere cost?

A TiVo Premiere box costs as little as $149.99 when you subscribe to the TiVo service at $14.99/month for one year. Visit TiVo shop for more pricing options. No commitment pricing is available when you purchase a full priced TiVo Premiere.

What retail stores sell TiVo products?
  • Best Buy is a national retailer that sells TiVo Premiere, TiVo Premiere 4 (select Best Buy stores and all Magnolia Home Theater departments) and TiVo Premiere XL4 (Magnolia Home Theater departments)
  • Amazon.com and bestbuy.com are national online retailers that sell TiVo Premiere, TiVo Premiere 4, and TiVo Premiere XL4
  • Target and Walmart are national retailers that sell TiVo Premiere, TiVo Premiere 4, and TiVo Premiere XL4 at select locations
  • In various regions of the U.S., TiVo Premiere and Premiere 4 may also be purchased from Fry's Electronics, Abt Electronics & Appliances, Crutchfield, J&R, and other leading consumer electronics retail locations
  • Complete list of retailers
Are you offering current TiVo subscribers a discount if they purchase a new box?

Yes. Current TiVo subscribers may qualify for an additional $2 off of each monthly service fee or $100 off of Product Lifetime service as long as their current qualifying TiVo service subscription remains active in accordance with the Multi-Service Discount Agreement. Log into tivo.com to see if you qualify.

Do you offer a Multi-service discount pricing?

TiVo offers a Multi-service discount ("MSD") on a monthly basis ($12.99 per month) or for Product Lifetime service ($399.99). To be eligible, you must have an active current qualifying subscription to the TiVo service. See the Multi-Service Discount Agreement for more information. Log into tivo.com to see if you qualify.

The TiVo Experience

What are the key features of the HD user interface?
  • Broadband and Broadcast Integration. TiVo continues to lead the way in integrating the best of broadcast with the best of broadband. TiVo Search offers customers the ability to find any program from our many sources—whether it's a digital premium channel from cable or a broadband movie store from such TiVo content providers as Netflix or Amazon Instant Video. Customers find the show they're interested in, and then can see all of the ways that a program is available (and the associated price from each source for easy comparison shopping)
  • Browse. If you're just looking for something interesting to watch, TiVo's new Browse menu is for you. You'll find an array of shows, from multiple sources, organized by category, topic, or provider. Browsing gives you a full screen menu for exploring using movie posters and show artwork. It's a very visual experience, making it easy to stumble upon interesting things to watch or record
  • Scaled Video & the Discovery Bar. The first thing users will notice is that the HD menu now supports picture-in-menu window (a scaled video window in the corner). You can watch your favorite show while navigating the Premiere menus. And the Discovery Bar gives you useful recommendations of other programs that you may want to record
  • Content-centric. With Premiere's HD user interface, it's all about your favorite shows and movies. Easily find your favorite shows and Premiere gives you additional information and recommendation related to that program. You can browse cast lists, get bonus videos from the web [YouTube™], purchase books, DVDs and soundtracks from the show [Amazon Instant Video]. You can browse a list of seasons and episodes and choose which items to record or purchase. It's all there; everything is organized around the show
  • Two-column Layout. With the extra real estate high definition allows, we've been able to combine many of our screens together. We've kept the easy navigation, but significantly reduced the number of screens you have to visit
  • Preview Information. Whenever possible, Premiere uses the extra pixels HD affords to present hints about what's on the next screen. For instance, if you highlight a recording in "My Shows," the 'preview panel' displays information about the show—a photo of the cast, a short synopsis, etc. It's just enough information to allow you to know at a glance whether you've highlighted the U.S. version of "The Office" or the UK version. The result is less hassle navigating menus, and more time to enjoy your entertainment choices
Can I keep the classic UI if I want?

Yes. The classic TiVo interface we've used all of these years is available. Customers will be able to choose between the two versions of TiVo's menus, although not all features will necessarily be supported in the classic menus.

Will my TiVo HD or TiVo Series3™ DVR have access to this new UI? Can I download it to my current TiVo box?
  • No, the new HD interface is only available on TiVo Series4 platforms including TiVo Premiere, Premiere 4, and TiVo Premiere XL4
  • Because the TiVo Series4 DVRs listed above run on a new platform, the HD interface cannot perform seamlessly on Series3 hardware such as the TiVo HD or TiVo Series3 DVRs, and therefore would not run an optimum user experience, much the same way not all Series3 features are available on the TiVo Series2™ DVR platform
What can I personalize on the Discovery Bar?

Customers can indicate the types of things they'd like to see in the discovery bar. For instance, you'll be able to tell your Premiere that you'd like to see more movies, and less TV shows in the bar, or more free content and less pay content.

How does the TiVo service choose what is on the discovery bar?

When searching or browsing, the discovery bar will populate content that is relevant to what the user is searching for. If a user is not searching or browsing, the bar recommends content popular with other TiVo subscribers, or chosen by the TiVo editorial team as a highlight for that week. The TiVo service tries to present the best matches for what you're looking for, allowing you to discover new and interesting things to watch.

Are all the current features available in this new UI?
  • The Premiere HD menus allow all of the same functionality that you know and love from earlier TiVo DVR models
  • Features not directly accessible on Premiere through HD menus are the KidZone and Guru Guides functionality; however, KidZone and Guru Guides are available through SD menus on TiVo Premiere, Premiere 4, and Premiere XL4

Technical questions

What is the size of the hard drive for TiVo Premiere, Premiere 4 and Premiere XL4?
  • TiVo Premiere is 500 gigabytes
  • TiVo Premiere 4 is 500 gigabytes
  • TiVo Premiere XL4 is 2 terabytes
What does THX® Certified mean and why is that important?
  • TiVo Premiere XL4 is THX Certified. The THX Certification ensures optimal audio and video reproduction and enables seamless integration with other THX components
  • TiVo Premiere XL4 was put through extensive video analysis, running the device through a series of performance tests. These tests ensure the accurate recording and playback of content with the correct color, contrast, and black/white levels without softening the picture or producing digital artifacts
  • The THX Certified TiVo Premiere XL4 will maintain the sharpness and details found in the original cable or off-air signal and enable audio throughput that is "movie theater quality" if your audio-video receiver supports THX audio-video quality
What HD modes does TiVo Premiere support?
  • TiVo Premiere, Premiere 4, and Premiere XL4 support 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
  • Currently Amazon Instant Video offers video on demand content in 1080p
You say I have access to web video, but why can't I search the Internet on my TiVo DVR?

We at TiVo want to bring customers the very best entertainment experience, and part of that is delivering entertainment content available from the Internet straight to the TV. That's why we focus solely on providing video on demand and other entertainment content on TiVo boxes that are especially engineered for your TV.

Why haven't you built a wireless adapter into TiVo Premiere?

Not all users need a wireless adapter. Many plug an Ethernet cable into the back of the TiVo DVR to get broadband access. Others already have a TiVo Wireless G USB Network Adapter and would want to re-use it. By leaving wireless out of the box, TiVo lowers the overall cost to consumers and gives them the opportunity to upgrade to new technology as it becomes available. For example, the new TiVo Wireless N Network Adapter will provide higher throughput and more reach than the TiVo Wireless G Network Adapter and will work with both Premiere and older TiVo DVRs. Please note: Using a Wireless N or G adapter for Multi-Room Streaming is not supported.

Does multi-room viewing work with TiVo Premiere and other TiVo platforms?
  • Yes. Subscribers can enjoy multi-room viewing between networked TiVo DVRs.*
  • You cannot enjoy multi-room viewing of HD content between a TiVo Premiere, Premiere 4, and Premiere XL4, Series3, TiVo HD, or XL and a Series2 DVR, since Series2 DVRs are not capable of playing back HD content
  • You can enjoy multi-room viewing of HD content between TiVo Premiere, Premiere 4, and Premiere XL4, Series3, TiVo HD, or XL.
  • Multi-Room Streaming, however, only works between two or more networked TiVo Premiere DVRs.

* Not all programs may be transferred using the multi-room viewing or feature due to the use of copy protection mechanisms assigned by the program provider and permitted under the FCC's encoding rules. These shows usually are marked with a red circle-slash icon. (47 C.F.R. 76.1904)

What do the Premiere front-panel display lights (circles) represent?
  • The green light tells you the power is on
  • The yellow light indicates remote activity; you will see it blink every time you hit a remote key
  • The blue light indicates a program is being downloaded onto the box. This could come from a broadband source, such as Amazon Instant Video, or from another TiVo DVR on your home network that is transferring a program
  • There red lights correspond to the two tuners on your TiVo Premiere DVR or to the four tuners on your TiVo Premiere 4 or XL4; if a tuner is recording a program its red light will be on. If more than one red light is on, then tuners are currently recording different programs simultaneously. (TiVo Premiere 4 and XL4 will display four red lights when their four tuners are recording.)
Can you add an expandable drive to TiVo Premiere, Premiere 4, and Premiere XL4?

Yes. You can connect an external hard drive via eSATA. The 1 terabyte My Book AV DVR Expander from Western Digital can be purchased on tivo.com for $199.99.

Why did you choose an eSATA port for the TiVo Premiere instead of a USB port for external hard drives?

An eSATA port offers a more robust connection for the external hard drive than a USB port. Because the external hard drive is typically always connected to the TiVo DVR, this connection is important and best supported with an eSATA port.

What are the Premiere's USB ports for?

The USB ports are provided to enable upgrades to various peripherals, including the TiVo Wireless G USB Network Adapter, the TiVo Slide remote or a Tuning Adapter (only necessary in some areas, contact your cable company for details).

Does the TiVo Premiere have an HDMI port?
  • TiVo Premiere, Premiere 4, and Premiere XL4 provide an HDMI output
  • HDMI cables are included with the purchase of TiVo Premiere, Premiere 4, and Premiere XL4
  • TiVo Premiere 4 and XL4 support up to 16 simultaneous HDMI connections when connected to a compatible HDMI switch