As much as cable companies and broadcast networks refuse to admit it, in fact to the degree of throwing hissy fits about it in court, people more and more want to watch what they want to, when they want to, and any smart set-top box company caters to that fact. TiVo’s new line, nicknamed Roamio, doesn’t just cater to it, though; it practically serves a whole meal.
First of all, it’s highly spacious: Even the cheapest of the Roamio line can record up to 75 hours of programming in HD. One step up doubles that to 150 hours, and if that’s still not enough room, you can go to the top-of-the-line model, which stores 450 hours of HDTV. On the technical side, that means the drives range up to a whopping 3TB; in short, you’ve got limited excuses to miss shows your coworkers want you to watch.
Equally useful are the tuners. The cheapest model has four, but after that, you get six, meaning your Tivo can record up to six shows at a time, although one hopes that you’ve either got a family or are an extremely well-paid television critic, with that many shows recording at once.
Also, TiVo has finally, finally made WiFi standard in all models. Which brings us to the streaming video options.
The basic Roamio is compatible with TiVo Stream (which, yes, means you have to buy another box), while the other two can stream natively to iOS devices: By all accounts, Android support will be coming at least somewhat soon. The good news is that the shackles are broken: You can now access your TiVo anywhere on your iOS device and watch the game, the news, that reality show you won’t admit you watch (oh, we know you do), and so on.
The basic Roamio is $199, with the next step up at $399 and the deluxe model at $599.