CNET First Look
TiVo Slide RemoteThe TiVo Slide is a must-have remote for owners of compatible TiVo DVRs.
Hi, I'm John Falcone for CNET, and this is the TiVo slide remote control. This remote is specifically designed for use with TiVo series 3 and series 4 DVRs. At first glance, it just appears to be a shortened version of the classic TiVo peanut remote, but as the name indicates, you can slide open the top to reveal a full Qwerty keyboard. The keyboard comes in handy on a TiVo for doing text searches of upcoming TV shows, movies, and online media. It's far more convenient and faster than using the cumbersome onscreen keyboard for text input. And anyone who's used the Smartphone keyboard will find it easy to use. All of the keys on remote are hard plastic, not the mushy rubber buttons you sometimes find on similar remotes. Keys have a satisfying click when you depress them and there's space far enough apart that even someone with larger fingers won't have trouble typing. The keyboard even has a dedicated 10-digit number pad and a 5-way directional pad for navigating menus. On the top of the remote, we were impressed that TiVo was able to include all of the buttons found on the larger standard remote. All of the keys on the top and on the keyboard are backlit as well. When using open or close, the TiVo slide feels great in your hand and all the top side buttons are within range even for those with smaller fingers, even better than the keyboard and the overall ergonomics of the TiVo slide is the fact that it's a Bluetooth remote. A USB dongle is supply that fits into your Tivo DVR and there was for us anyway no setup required. It was truly plug and play. Since Bluetooth is an RF or radiofrequency technology, that means all of the remote's TiVo control functions work without the need for "line of sight," which you otherwise need for infrared remotes. In other words as long as you're within 30 feet of your TiVo, you can control it regardless of where or whether you're pointing the remote directly at it. So go ahead and hide your TiVo away in a cabinet, you'll still be able to control it. Unfortunately, that Bluetooth functionality doesn't extend to other devices that the TiVo slide can control, a TV and audio receiver. The remote can be programmed using a help screen on the TiVo to control nearly any brand of TV or audio receiver. Unfortunately, there's only one power button and one input toggle. The system works fine if you only need to control the TV, but if you wanna control the TV and an AV receiver, you've got to split the difference. In other words you're probably still going to need another remote on hand. The TiVo slide remote is powered by 2 double AA batteries, which are included and is compatible with TiVo series 3 and series 4 models. The price is $90. That's not cheap to be sure and we really wish it was included with the current premier models or at least the premier XL. That's said, if you're already devoted TiVo owner who's sticking with the DVR for the perceivable future, the TiVo slide remote is a must have accessory. I'm John Falcone for CNET and this is the Tivo slide remote.