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TiVo Bolt review: The best DVR gets better

Michael Brown | Oct. 7, 2015
Whether you’re a cord cutter or a cable-TV devotee, this is the DVR you should be using.

Should you buy a Bolt?

I awarded the TiVo Roamio OTA with a 500GB hard drive four stars, but that box cost only $50 (plus its subscription fee). The 1TB TiVo Bolt reviewed here is priced at $300, and there’s a 500GB TiVo Bolt that goes for $200. Both prices include one year of TiVo service. After one year, you’ll be on the hook for an additional $15 per month or $150 per year for the service, because the DVR won’t function without it.

The TiVo Bolt is an excellent DVR with some features—particularly SkipMode, QuickMode, and MoCA—that you won’t find anywhere else. Add the TiVo Mini or an Amazon Fire TV and you can stream the Bolt’s contents to other TVs in your home. You can mirror the TiVo iOS app to an Apple TV as well. On the other hand, you’ll still need a smart TV or a second set-top box to enjoy some popular streaming services. And while 4K support is great, there are just two apps currently delivering it on the Bolt: Netflix and YouTube.

Even with those reservations in mind, you won't find a better DVR.


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