The Good The TiVo Premiere Elite can record from four tuners at once to its 2TB of storage. TiVo continues to offer a best-in-class DVR experience, plus a top-notch suite of streaming-video services, including Netflix and Hulu Plus.
The Bad Cable cutters and satellite subscribers will be disappointed that the Elite works with digital cable and Verizon Fios only. And even if TiVo does work with your cable provider, you won't be able to access any pay-per-view or VOD content. The Elite is $500 plus $500 for lifetime service or $19.99 a month, which is much more than the alternatives. And there's still no built-in Wi-Fi.
The Bottom Line The TiVo Premiere Elite might be a luxury, but it's definitely a luxury worth paying for.
TiVo Premiere XL4
The TiVo Premiere Elite addresses two things that were disappointing about the regular Premiere and Premiere XL when they launched in 2010: lack of support for more than two tuners and multiroom viewing.
The Elite has four tuners, so it can record up to four programs at once, and you can watch recorded programming or streaming video while it does it. It just requires one multistream CableCard to do it, too. (Unfortunately, the Elite supports digital cable (QAM) and Verizon Fios only; it does not support analog cable, antenna (ATSC), satellite, or AT&T U-verse.) To hold all of those recordings, the Elite has 2TB of storage, which will hold up to 300 hours of HD programming. (Note: some cable providers require a separate tuning adapter box to handle switched digital video networks, which don't always play well with TiVo. Here's a breakdown of some of the best and worst cable companies to use with TiVo from Zatz Not Funny.)
Multiroom viewing has long been an option for two or more network-connected TiVo units, Series 2 or newer. However, it required transferring content entirely from one unit to another, which, while nice, doesn't allow you to pause a show in your living room and start watching again in your bedroom, and some content can't be transferred because of copy protection. With the Elite as well as other Premiere boxes, multiroom streaming is now available.