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In-depth look at the TiVo Premiere iPad app

The DVR manufacturer's iPad app is more than just a touch-screen version of its remote control.

If you have a TiVo Premiere or you're an iPad owner thinking about getting a TiVo, the TiVo App for iPad might be enough to get you to buy the one you don't have.

The app, which is now available for download, essentially puts the entire TiVo Premiere interface on the iPad's screen. That means you can do everything--browse the program guide, schedule and manage recordings, and search for content across broadcast and broadband services--without interrupting what's onscreen.

Overall, the functionality of the app is impressive, mostly because it's snappier than the Premiere's interface. While the Premiere responds better than TiVo's old interface, the iPad app basically eliminates any lag and, again, doesn't get in the way of what you're viewing.

There is a full remote control with "buttons" for everything you need, but TiVo also took advantage of the multitouch interface by adding in a set of gesture-based controls for navigating your recordings. I thought there might be a delay since everything's being relayed over Wi-Fi, but the response was just as good with the iPad as it was with the physical remote, if not better. Keep in mind, though, it's only for controlling your TiVo; you'll still have to keep a remote around for power, volume, and mute.

One thing that would be nice that's missing is the capability to stream from your TiVo to your iPad or possibly even remotely view TiVo content on it like a Slingbox. There's also no way to transfer recordings over Wi-Fi directly to the iPad. There are a few other gaps that could be filled (see the slideshow above for examples), but generally speaking the experience is very good.

I've never wanted or needed an iPad before, but as a TiVo user I find this app makes a strong case for plunking down the cash for one and having it be a replacement for an aging laptop that I use solely for Web and e-mail access while watching TV. How 'bout you? Was there an app or apps that justified your purchase of an iPad?