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Friday, September 5, 2008

Tivo HD XL



Everything’s getting tiny. The once sexy V8 engine is now an automotive pariah while the Smart Car gets all the chicks; HD video cameras are now damn near Twinkie-size, and we’ll probably be implanting the next-generation iPod in our molars.

But there's at least one company isn’t succumbing to all this smaller-is-better madness: Tivo just announced the Tivo HD XL. Stuffed like a Cornish hen with a terabyte hard drive, it’s the highest capacity DVR available, with room for 150 hours of HD content. That’s, like, every Olympic event you actually care about plus all 60 episodes of The Wire. It’s an entire season of Sunday Night Football with more than enough space for your Food Network-obsessed roommate to go balls-out on Batali. —Joe Brown

WIRED Western Digital hard drive is nearly silent. THX-certified audio and video (finally). Say goodbye to the ugly sitck, because the XL gets the same slick programmable remote as the Series 3. TiVo-easy, as expected, with the company’s ever expanding catalog of downloadable videos (YouTube!).

TIRED Remote collects more greasy fingerprints than a second hand sex-bot. Annoying info screen hovers over the picture for a few seconds too long each time you change channels. Cutesy TiVo noises are a little grating, and your only other option is to turn all the sound effects off. We noticed an increase in video artifacts when recording off both tuners simultaneously. In San Francisco, at least, you have to deal with Satan Comcast to get service. $600 plus the $20 monthly fee is a lot of cheddar.