TiVo Mega Box Offers 4,000 Hours HD Recording


TiVo is releasing a model with 24TB of storage, enough to record between 4,000 and 26,000 hours of TV. At $5,000, it’s clearly going be a niche product.

In effect, the TiVo Mega is an ordinary TiVo but instead of an ordinary hard drive it has a rack-mountable 24 terabyte Raid 5 HDD setup. The drives are hot swappable to allow external backups; TiVo hasn’t made clear whether there’s any limitation on the recordings database, meaning you likely can use extra drives to expand capacity even further.

That’s probably not going to be a problem for most users. TiVo says SD recordings should allow 26,000 hours of TV (just under three years in total) while HD recordings should allow around 4,000 hours (almost 24 weeks.) The box allows for up to six recordings simultaneously, so it would take an absolute minimum of a month to fill the capacity.

As with other models, you can stream both live TV and recordings to mobile devices and to any other TV’s in your home that have an optional TiVo Mini box that runs at $100.

The $5,000 price seems like poor value at first glance given the only real difference between this and other models is a few extra tuners and a bunch of hard drives. With 2TB drives available for under $100, the numbers don’t really add up. You do get a free lifetime service to the TiVo program listings database (normally $14.99 a month) that’s needed for the device to work, but it will be a long time before that makes up the difference.

There’s also the question of who exactly this will appeal to you. TiVo is promoting it around the idea that people get frustrated when shows are deleted before they watch them, but even for a family that records lots of shows, this seems an overkill response. TiVo already has a model that records 450 hours in HD for around $500, and it seems fair to say that if something winds up getting deleted off that box without being watched, you probably didn’t want to watch it that badly anyway.

It might have some uses if you’re some sort of sports obsessive who wants to record and archive an entire season, but other than that most TV that airs today will either have little re-watch value (such as news) or will be available soon or eventually via an on-demand service. And five grand will get you internet access, HBO, Hulu Plus, Netflix and Amazon Prime for a good few years to come.