Hi, my name’s Matt and I loath commercials. Care to join my Commercial Hater’s Anonymous group (CHA!)? Then check out the Tivo Bolt. I’ve been a Tivo guy for years now, but recently upgraded to the Tivo Bolt – and have been really happy with it. Tivo claims it’s not a DVR but really at its core it’s an upgraded Tivo that you’ve known since 2000 – it’s just got that bad-ass skip feature. The skip feature isn’t available for all programs but generally it is for popular programs/stations. It’s easy enough to check whether a program’s commercials are “skippable” when viewing your program listing – just look for that glorious “skip” icon next to a show:
Physically, the box is a funky-looking thing, but I can hardly blame them. Seems the trend these days is to try and make your devices “pretty” to be visible in an A/V cabinet – functionality be damned. Don’t assume you’re going to put it in a stack with other A/V components, but it’ll fit well on top of your devices:
You could also use this as a central device for all TVs in your house with the Tivo MinI (warning: it doesn’t have wifi so you’ll probably want to use a wired ethernet connection), which is pretty neat – although in my case I use a video matrix system.
Finally, the knock on Tivo: Even the older models were getting software updates and media-center features like NetFlix and streaming capabilities for recorded shows with OnePass. But Tivo had a problem – it wasn’t milking its loyal customers enough – especially the ones who had paid for a lifetime service plan. So it pulled a classically shady move by withholding this skip feature from older models. That way, customers HAVE to upgrade – AND lose their lifetime subscriptions on the old box.
An even more reprehensible (to me, a phone-hater!) move: in this age of technology, Tivo has decided to add an artificial friction point to UNSUBSCRIBING your monthly subscription from your old device (a not-uncommon practice by other shady vendors). I get it – why earn money from good customers the “hard way” by providing them with stellar service when you can make even more by making harder for bad customers to unsubscribe? So instead of an easy online cancellation page, you’re forced to (gasp!) call Tivo on the phone and suffer through a sales pitch to unsubscribe:
Knocks on the service aside, I’m really thrilled with my Tivo Bolt and highly recommend it!