TiVo Begins 3.0 Software Rollout

TiVo has begun the initial rollout of its next software upgrade, code-named Firebolt. Version 3.0 is not a drastic update, primarily designed to sync the code base between older models and the new Series2 TiVo, but does provide many behind the scenes improvements. Most notable additions include improved suggestions and the ability to download program data directly from a cable broadcast without using the phone line.

For the hacker community, Firebolt includes ethernet drivers, allowing TiVo to download programming data from the Internet using a special backdoor key.

In beta for the last couple of months, version 3.0 will be rolled out in standard TiVo fashion. A small random group of subscribers will transparently receive the update followed by a slightly larger group. If everything goes well, 3.0 will then be made available to all subscribers.

TiVo also announced Tuesday that its Series2 digital video recorders were available through an exclusive engagement with BestBuy. 60-hour Series2 units will retail for $399.99, less expensive than devices from competitors Sonicblue and UltimateTV.

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