New TiVo Bolt Will Let You Skip Some Ad Breaks With Push Of A Button (For $150/Year)

tivoboltTiVo’s new Bolt DVR has some neat-sounding functions — the ability to skip ad breaks at the press of a button [big asterisk] or speed up what you’re watching by 30% without screwing with the audio — and it’s also 4K compatible and provides an all-in-one portal for access to streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. But it does so, not just at a hefty retail price, but with a subscription requirement that might turn potential customers away.

The TiVo Bolt comes with two hard drive sizes: 500 GB and 1,000 GB, for $300 and $400, respectively. Given that TiVo boxes can often be used to replace your cable company’s set-top receiver/DVR, that price isn’t really so bad when you spread the cost out over a few years.

But after those first twelve months, you’ll need to start factoring in the TiVo subscription fee. This currently runs $150/year.

So say you buy the 500GB one and keep it for four years before upgrading to something new. By that point, between the device cost and the subscription, you’ll have spent $750 (assuming the yearly subscription fee doesn’t increase), coming out to $15.65/month on average. After five years ($900 total), that average is still at $15/month. That’s still more than you’re likely paying each month for your cable company’s leased DVR.

That’s not to say people should or will write off the Bolt. Some may see these new features as worth it, while others would be happy to simply not be paying that money to their cable company.

Regarding the “big asterisk” referenced at the beginning? The Bolt’s “SkipMode,” which lets you jump over a commercial break with a single button press, doesn’t work on all recordings. In fact, it will only work on about 20 channels.

The device is already on sale through the TiVo site and It will hit retail store shelves starting Oct. 4.

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