PROS / The TiVo Bolt has an efficient search function that lets you search for a show in multiple content sources at once.
CONS / It can’t access satellite content.
VERDICT / The 4K-capable TiVo Bolt makes it easy for the entire family to record favorite TV shows and movies and you can customize its settings, making it a great option.
The TiVo Bolt is more than just a sleek, modern-looking addition to your entertainment center. The DVR can record multiple programs at once and lets you customize scheduling and playback. Though it is limited by its 1TB storage capacity, it is otherwise powerful and versatile and great for large households. The TiVo Bolt easily earns our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.
You can record or view up to four different programs simultaneously using this digital video recorder, which resolves primetime viewing conflicts. Though the 1TB internal hard drive is somewhat smaller than those in other DVRs we reviewed, it can still record up to 150 hours of HD content and up to 1,000 of standard-definition content. It has built-in Wi-Fi and can stream video to multiple rooms in your house if you purchase additional TiVo Minis.
You can customize parental controls to block your kids from accessing inappropriate programs. The SkipMode feature lets you skip commercials in TV shows you’ve recorded, while the QuickMode feature speeds up content by 30 percent without altering the pitch of any voices.
The Bolt also has a powerful filter and search function that searches for shows, keywords or actors in all of your connected apps and media sources at once. Furthermore, it organizes seasons and individual episodes of a series in one place, no matter the source they came from, making it easy to binge watch all of your favorite TV shows. From within the interface, you can schedule a recording for a future program or entire TV series.
The DVR recorder has fairly good access to different content sources. Although it can’t record any satellite-sourced content, it can access virtually anything else, including cable TV shows and your favorite movies on Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO and Amazon Instant Video. It is also compatible with audio streaming services like Pandora. You can even watch content you’ve recorded on your computer, tablet or mobile phone.
Input & Output
Like the other best DVRs on our lineup, the Bolt has a variety of inputs and outputs that give you control over the external devices you connect to the unit. It has an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, two USB 2.0 ports, a CableCARD slot, a coax connection, both component and composite video ports, and optical audio out, among others. Additionally, it supports 4K video, which is nice if you have a new 4K TV or plan to buy one in the future.
Help & Support
As with all TiVo products, the Bolt is backed by tremendously helpful and friendly customer service, available to you via email, phone and live chat. Its representatives are quick to answer any questions you have and don’t pressure you into upsells. It also has a lot of resources available on its website, including guides, how-tos and user forums.
The device itself looks modern, with a brushed metal finish and a curve that keeps it cool. It measures 11.4 inches wide, 7.3 inches long and 1.8 inches tall at its mightiest point and weighs 1.9 pounds.
The TiVo Bolt makes it easy to navigate through and enjoy all of your media in one place. You can customize your viewing experience in a variety of ways, and it connects to lots of external devices with its useful port selection. Whether you watch content sourced from cable or video streaming services, the TiVo Bolt holds it all on its 1TB internal hard drive. With excellent customer support backing up a quality product, it easily earns one of the top spots in our review.