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TiVo Premiere Elite FAQ

This week, the TiVo Premiere Elite debuts. This is TiVo’s latest DVR, with four digital tuners, all capable of recording simultaneously. This is the first TiVo DVR ever that can record more than two channels at once.

We’ve been fielding a lot of questions about this new unit. Here are the answers.

What services will work with the Premiere Elite?

The TiVo Premiere Elite works with digital cable, including Verizon FiOS. That means pretty much any traditional cable company in the US is compatible with the TiVo Premiere Elite, including Comcast, Cox, TimeWarner, BrightHouse, etc.

Incompatible services include satellite TV (DirecTV and Dish) and AT&T’s U-Verse.

Will the Premiere Elite work with ATSC/OTA antenna, like the other Premieres?

No. The Elite ONLY works with digital cable – not analog cable, and not antenna. The other two TiVo Series4 models (TiVo Premiere and TiVo Premiere XL) will both work with digital antenna broadcasts and analog cable broadcasts. There is no way to add these capabilities to the Elite.

How do I get a CableCARD that can support four channels at once?

Any Multistream CableCARD can decode four channels at once in the Premiere Elite. In fact, Multistream cards are capable of decoding six streams at once; so far, no DVR can support more than four.

Older TiVo DVRs may have single-stream cards in them. A single-stream card will work in these units, but, of course, that means only one show can be recorded at a time.

Can I move my CableCARD from my other DVR to the Premiere Elite?

Generally, yes, you can move the card, but you’ll have to contact your cable company after doing so to have them re-provision the card for the new hardware. There may be some exceptions with certain cable providers.

Can I get TiVo Product Lifetime Service for the Elite?

Yes, lifetime service is available for the Elite. The price is currently $499.99 for new TiVo customers, or, if you have an account with an active unit at, you can get a $100 discount on lifetime service, so your cost would be $399.99.

Can I just move Lifetime Service to the Premiere from my other TiVo DVR?

No. TiVo will not allow Product Lifetime Service to be moved from one unit to another. However, if you have a unit with lifetime service, you do get a discount on subscribing another unit to lifetime service. See the entry above.


3 replies on “TiVo Premiere Elite FAQ”

For Cablecards and Verizon FIOS; people need to know that if you move to a Cablecard (multiple channel recording), you lose the following Verizon services:

FiOS TV Interactive Media Guide
On Demand
FiOS TV Widgets
Parental Controls

This is from the Verizon support website. Losing OnDemand is pretty annoying, but being able to record multiple channels simultaneously is great. So you have to determine which is more important to you. No indication from Verizon that this will change in the near future.

Good info on what gets lost with Verizon.

A lot of people note that they lose OnDemand. Don’t forget, though, that you gain access to other huge libraries like Netflix, Amazon, and Blockbuster with a TiVo, that should more than replace the lost Verizon OnDemand.

There’s probably no answer for this, but why oh why did they design Premiere Elite without OTA reception? Obviously they already know how to do it nicely, and there website has multiple comments like this that I D/L’d today from :
“The highest-quality HD picture!
With an HD antenna, you get the best picture quality available — better than cable and satellite, and equal to Blu-ray.”
So they dell us repeatedly that OTA is “the best picture quality available” yet their “We just raised the top of the line” box forces us to have a degraded picture??? Am I missing something here??? Isn’t this “Attention Tivo customers! Now you can pay more and get lower picture quality!?”
BTW here the picture quality difference between Comcrass and OTA is stunning. I had thought it would be barely noticable but I was way wrong. Not to mention occasional Comcast outages, artifacts, etc. I’d like a Premier Elite but I’m not giving up my OTA quality!

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