Today, TiVo introduced the long-awaited Series3 HD Digital Media Recorder (DMR). This product is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the TiVo team, and I’m excited, not only in the product itself, but because it’s shipping with my baby – the substantially redesigned Series3 remote control which represents the fruits of my labor over the past many months. The new remote still has the iconic peanut shape, but numerous improvements make this remote even better than the already outstanding Series2 peanut remote. These include:
- Fully backlit keys. Even the TiVo antennae and legs light up! An ambient light sensor ensures that the backlight only comes on when necessary, extending battery life.
- Learning capability. If the remote code for your particular TV or audio device is not among the ones already programmed into the remote, you can have the Series3 remote learn the correct code. This is particularly useful with the plethora of new TV models.
- Metal domes. Common in cell-phones, metal domes provide crisp, tactile feedback with each key press. Not only can you feel the “click”, you can hear it too.
- Improved ergonomics and feel. The original peanut felt good in your hand, but a modified shape makes the new Series3 remote feel even more comfortable. In addition, ridges on the bottom of the remote as well as improved weighting make it easy to tell whether you’ve picked up the remote in the correct orientation.
- Bigger navigation pad with the Select key in the center. This makes navigation much better!
- Glossy, high-end look. Unfortunately, the pictures on the net don’t quite do the remote justice. You’ve got to see one in person to really appreciate it. It’s extremely sleek and sexy!
The internet is abuzz with reviews, the vast majority of which have been positive.
Here are CNET’s comments about the remote from their review:
TiVo has tweaked the button layout on its trademark peanut-shape remote control, and the result is even more comfortable to use than before. That’s high praise indeed, because TiVo’s earlier remotes have been singled out as some of the best around.
MegaZone has posted an extremely detailed review on TiVoCommunity.com where he lavishes praise on the remote. He sums up his praise of the new remote with:
Overall, I think the S3 remote is a stylish evolution of the TiVo peanut with some welcome changes … As you might be able to tell, I really like what they’ve done with the remote.
Gizmodo had this to say:
I’m also digging the remote, which is now a shiny piano black color with easy-grip ribbing on the back, but still has that lovable dog-bone shape.
Of course, the rest of the box looks awesome too. With a high-gloss piano black finish, lightly brushed metal faceplate, and OLED display that displays, among other things, the current programs being recorded, this is by far the sleekest and most elegant box TiVo has ever produced.
Here’s another review from Dave Zatz for Engadget and one from PC Magazine. CNET has a separate article on the product and PC World and USA Today have coverage as well.
The biggest mentioned negatives are related to the price. At $799, the Series3 DMR is certainly not cheap, but the product is clearly not targeted at Joe-Six-Pack user. It’s aimed at home theater enthusiasts and videophiles, and for these folks, the Series3 DMR will be the perfect complement to their home theater setup.
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