The TiVo Bolt Vox: TiVo’s First Voice Powered 4K UHD DVR Coming October 29th
Stephan Jukic – October 25, 2017
TiVo’s new remote controlled Bolt Vox DVR offers a highly comprehensive unified search feature that lets you find nearly any content available to your TV or the device, and the best part of all, to dig up content, you just need to ask thanks to the Bolt’s voice search technology.
This is TiVo’s first ever experience with adding voice control to its entertainment platform, following finally in the footsteps of a majority of established voice search-powered 4K content device players like Apple, Roku Google, Amazon and even Comcast Xfinity, which all deliver their versions of this technology to their different DVR and set-top streaming box devices. Like these other gadgets, the Bolt Vox offers voice command for a range of controls but most importantly, allows users to search specific content titles, categories and other entertainment type parameters by speaking to the DVR remote.
As for its specs and pricing, the TiVo Bolt Vox is not quite on the cheaper side. The most basic model goes for $200 and comes with four tuners, a 500GB internal storage and the ability to connect to both cable and OTT (antenna) programming sources. The Bolt also comes in a 1TB version which offers 150 hours of storage for downloadable HD programming (about four times fewer hours if its 4K programming) and a massive 3TB model with 450 hours of storage for HD content downloads. The 3TB model also comes with a total of 6 tuners but for some reason is available only for digital cable systems and not OTT.
There’s also a new TiVo Mini Vox being released which lets users extend the device’s service to other TVs on their domestic network. All four of the above devices require a $15 per-month TiVo service subscription package with a minimum contract commitment of 1 year. You can conversely also pay for a whole year of subscription for a slightly discounted price of $150 or sign on for a $550 one time subscription payment for the life of the above TiVo boxes.
Moving onto the new voice controlled remote itself, it sticks to the oddly peanut-shaped form factor of previous versions but now comes with some new buttons. These include one for Netflix, one for “Skip” (for skipping commercials) and a blue mic button for the voice command to activate. There’s also TiVo’s unified search capacity, which lets you look for whatever content you want across all content systems supported by your TV and the TiVo Bolt Vox it’s connected to. Thus you can search for your favorite programs or movies among all live TV, DVR recorded, VOD or streaming sources and have them appear on a single central search result. Obviously this can be done via the Bolt Vox’s voice commands, which are extremely flexible to boot. This means that you can search for a specific movie/programming title, search by actor or director name or by category (comedy, horror, etc) and pair this with specific actors. For example, asking the Vox to “show me movies with Hugh Jackman but only comedies” will give you any available comedy film results with Hugh Jackman.
There are also some navigation voice command options in the remote though its voice search feature is currently aimed mainly at content hunting. Some navigation commands that are already supported include “Home” for the home screen, “Create a One Pass for _________” for setting up a One Pass collection for a piece of programming, or “Turn on” for moving between channels. However, inconveniently, no pause, stop, play or other playback controls currently come with the voice feature and in-app content searches also aren’t possible, so no browsing inside Netflix via the remote’s Voice command.
The TiVo Bolt Voz has also had its user interface heavily overhauled with a QuickView feature which lets you look through other content without stopping what you’re currently viewing and a new SmartBar which displays recent recordings and content suggestions for current shows. These can all be accessed by the buttons on the remote itself.
Finally, as we’d said above, the new TiVo Bolt Vox fully supports 4K ultra HD resolution. This feature can further be expanded throughout other 4K TVs in the home with the additional purchase of the TiVo Mini Vox we also mentioned above.
As for users of TiVo’s existing Bolt and Bolt+ devices, or the TiVo Roamio OTA in both its Pro and Plus versions, the new voice search features of the remote for the TiVo Bolt will also be available to these older models as long as users update to the new interface and also buy one of TiVo’s new remotes at $40 for the Bolt and $45 for the Roamio and TiVo Mini. The extra $5 charge is for a separate Bluetooth adapter.
TiVo’s new Bolt Vox, TiVo Mini Vox and the new remote with voice command all go on sale as of October 29th through most major retailers such as Amazon, tivo.com and Best Buy.
Story by 4k.com