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Four-tuner TiVo coming soon to retail?

An FCC filing shows the service-operator-only Premiere Q might be available for everyone later this year.

A couple of weeks ago, TiVo announced the Premiere Q, a quad-tuner DVR available only through cable service providers. According to a recent FCC filing by TiVo, though, it might be headed to retail soon, too.

Gleaned from the filing is a new retail name, the Premiere Elite, and that it'll have "increased recording capability, increased capacity (300 HD hours), reduced power consumption, and a space-saving design."

So what's the filing for? The Premiere Elite is an all-digital DVR and doesn't meet the FCC's analog tuning requirement. TiVo is asking for a waiver of the commission's "digital-cable ready" rules requiring an analog tuner be included, which would unnecessarily raise costs for consumers who don't need legacy tuners.

If and when the FCC grants the waiver (a response is expected within 90 days), don't expect the Elite to show up at your local Best Buy. TiVo says in the filing that it will market it "primarily through its custom-install, high-end retail, and channels."

I'd certainly get in line for a quad-tuner TiVo, though right now, I'd settle for a finished Premiere interface.

(Via Zatz Not Funny)