TiVo Bolt+ Makes Life Easier for Cable Subscribers

LAS VEGAS – Lately, it seems like every streaming media device is making it easier and easier to cut the cord, with nothing in particular to offer the large number of videophiles who still rely on cable TV. The TiVo Bolt+, on the other hand, is designed with the inveterate cable subscriber in mind. This DVR box can not only record tons of cable content, but also sync it up with online streaming services to give you every show you want to watch, in order, sans commercials.

Key Features

We met with TiVo at CES 2017 to learn more about its new product. The TiVo Bolt+ is a more powerful variant of the TiVo Bolt DVR box. Like its less sophisticated counterpart, the Bolt+ can record hundreds of hours of HD content (including 4K programming, should it become widely available), skip commercials, speed up and pitch-correct shows (ideal for sports and news) and create unified playlists for shows, drawing from both streaming services and recorded DVR content.

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Differences Between Bolt and Bolt+

The Bolt+ is more powerful than the regular Bolt, with 6 tuners instead of 4 tuners and 3 TB storage instead of 1 TB. On the other hand, while the Bolt works with both HD antenna and cable, the Bolt+ works only with the latter. The Bolt+ is also a few hundred dollars more expensive, as discussed below.

Pricing and Availability

The Bolt+ is available to order now, and costs $500, plus a subscription plan. Said plan costs $15 per month, $150 per year or $550 for a lifetime pass. This is considerably more expensive than almost any other streaming device on the market (including the Xbox One and PS4), and doesn’t count the added cost of a cable subscription. Needless to say, the full $1050 package is attractive only to the most hardcore cable TV aficionados.

Why Should You Care?

Cable TV is losing subscribers, but not as quickly as you might think. The traditional cable model is not going anywhere anytime soon, and if you want to integrate your cable and streaming habits, the Bolt+ is arguably the simplest way to do it. The device is also fairly future-proof, boasting plenty of storage space and 4K recording capabilities. It’s not cheap, but it does provide a comprehensive service that users can’t really get elsewhere.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.