An Update for TiVo® Premiere!

 In Announcements

We are pleased to announce the newest software release (version 20.2.1) for TiVo Premiere, Premiere XL and Premiere XL4 (Premiere Elite).  Boxes will automatically receive the update over the coming weeks, but signing up at could get you the update a little sooner.

We are excited to announce that with this update you will find a new Netflix and YouTube experience as well as parental controls in the HD Menus.


The existing Netflix experience has been replaced with an entirely new one created by Netflix.  In addition to the new look, the app now offers features such as:

  • Improved video resolution, including support for 1080p (where available)
  • Add to instant Queue
  • Subtitles
  • Dolby Digital Plus 5.1
  • Search
  • Personalized categories and recommendations
  • Recently watched list

User tip: If you are playing a Netflix video and want to get back to the Netflix menus, press UP.  When you want to leave the Netflix app and go back to the TiVo menus, press CLEAR.


The existing YouTube experience has been replaced with an entirely new one created by Google.  In addition to the new look, the app now offers:

  • Directory of YouTube Channels
  • Links to related videos
  • Automatic playing of the next video (like a TV channel)

User tip:  When you want to leave the YouTube app and go back to the TiVo menus, press CLEAR.

Parental Controls in HD Menus



Parental Controls are now available for customers using the HD Menus.  From TiVo Central > Settings & Messages > Parental Controls you can set up a four-digit code, and specify which TV and Movie ratings will require that code in order to watch or record the show.

More Updates Coming

This update will be available to all TiVo Premiere boxes purchased from or a retailer.  If a cable company provided your TiVo Premiere box, they will notify you when then update is available.

There are a more changes coming this year, including:

  • HD version of the Season Pass Manager
  • HD version of the To Do List
  • HD version of My Shows for Multi-Room Streaming

We hope you enjoy the latest installment in our series of TiVo Premiere updates.  If you have feedback about your TiVo experience please email me at

Margret Schmidt is Vice President of User Experience, and has been responsible for the design of TiVo since 2001.  You can follow her @tivodesign


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Showing 40 comments
  • happyshow

    Thanks. Keep the updates coming especially the slow menu lag.

  • Jack

    Can’t wait to get the update!!

  • Josh

    Thanks for leaving loyal Tivo customers who have Series 3 in the dust. Been a subscriber for 5+ years. I really feel appreciated right now.

  • Riika Magnus

    Finally updating the Netflix app!! I was just thinking about this the other day.

  • Jacob

    I’m so excited for the new Netflix interface! I’m also happy they are doing HD menus for the Season Pass Manager and To Do List.

  • Joe01880

    When will there be support for Amazon Instant Videos?

  • Philip

    So I take it these updates will not apply to TiVo HD and HD XL? 🙁

  • Cassidy

    Thanks for the release notes Margret!

  • Dave

    Dose this fix the web based Season Pass Manager. Every time I try to use it Tivo reboots.

  • kevin

    HD owners (paid subscribers) have really gotten the shaft with the lack of updates. It’s pretty telling that the Wii (no subscription fee) has a far superior netlfix app.

  • Iris

    I am also looking for this functionality on a Tivo 3 machine. Wil that never happen?

  • Bob

    Glad to see you are focusing on the latest tech and not wasting dev time on dinosaurs like the Series 3, Tivo HD, and HD XL. Those tightwads need to use a crowbar to open their wallets and do a freaking upgrade for once in their lives.

  • Kenneth Rodriguez

    Signing up at does not work.

  • Joshua Cohen

    When will RCN subscribers get this.? And will there be something to replace the discontinued Blockbuster on demand service?

  • Aaron

    TiVo HD / Series 3 probably won’t ever see any new updates. Every time TiVo has made an announcement about the Premiere, the comments fill up with HD / Series 3 owners (including myself), asking for a back port to the previous generation (which isn’t that old!), and TiVo never addresses it. Ever.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love my TiVo, but with the short shelf-life of the TiVo HD, it’s disappointing that I spent money on an otherwise solid piece of hardware that was abandoned quickly in favor of the Premiere, and TiVo hasn’t so much as made an official statement on the continued support and development of their previous generation product.

    It’s probably safe to say that nobody from TiVo actually monitors the comments on their blog. TiVo, if you’d like to prove me wrong, my email address is attached privately to this post.

  • SgtSarcasm

    I’m going to echo what Josh says above. My poor TiVo 3 isn’t feeling the love these days with updates few and far between. If I’d realized that the Premiere was going to come out so soon after the TiVo 3, I would have waited.

    Silly me…

  • Forrest

    @Josh I am with you on this. We’ve been a loyal Tivo household for YEARS and I want to upgrade my machine, but I have a lifetime service on my System 3 and it doesn’t transfer so I am stuck.

  • Bob

    Nice to see an update from TiVo. I appreciate the effort no matter how minimal however, TiVo should be doing more to bring its lackluster software up to par. On average one update to the TiVo software per year is abysmally slow. This update is really about distributing updates to third party modules that were developed by … you guessed it – third parties – not TiVo. I find it hard to understand why there isn’t more aggressive software development going on at TiVo? Wait – I know – because they have a cash cow and don’t have to do anything more than the bare minimum! Watch out – because DirectTV, AT&T, Verizon and other DVRs are not only as good as TiVo – they are better in many respects and they are either free with the service or very low cost in comparison to TiVo. Come on TiVo – what happened to your drive for innovation? I sure hope that you aren’t just looking to milk your patents for revenue.

  • Jennifer Ray

    None of the new features listed in the blog interest me at all. I don’t/won’t subscribe to Netflix at all, rarely use the YouTube app. I’m much more interested in an update that fixes the freezing issue that has plagued both my TiVo Premiere boxes since the last update. After that, I would like to see Amazon Prime Streaming Videos supported on TiVo, but TiVo has so far ignored all of us customers who have clamored for this feature.

  • Nick

    A Netflix update on the Series3 would be terrific.

  • Mike

    The only update I want is one that will fix the interface between TiVo and the Tuner Adapter; I lose at least one program recording a week because the interface doesn’t work. How about some effort to fix existing capability!

  • Sean

    This is great. It would be nice to see other updates, e.g., Amazon Prime Instant Videos, HBO go, ESPN3, etc.

  • Steve

    I’ll second the request for Amazon Prime support.

  • Scott

    First of all, great to see updates coming, keep it up! Second, any word on Amazon Prime Streaming?

    See, we’re never happy!

  • Renee

    Very happy to see this. I use the Netflix app on my Xbox all the time but rarely use the Tivo’s app as it was unwieldy and slow. I hope this works better! I’m keeping my fingers crossed!!

  • Iris

    @Josh and Forrest,
    I also have the lifetime subscription for Tivo 3 – the second one I have purchased, due to upgrading from a previous model. I really think TIVO should reward – not punish – loyal customers who spend big bucks on the lifetime option.

    Very disappointing…

  • Steve

    When will Netflix Canada be supported? Yes yes, I know the Premiere doesn’t work up here for cable or sat due to cablecards… but it works just fine for OTA antenna. No reason why the Canadian side of Netflix is missing. For that matter, YouTube should be too.

  • Will

    Thank you! Keep up the great work you guys are doing! With so much bad programming on the air, I have been able to weed it all out and taken back my TV, thanks to you! I would like to ask you, if you could focus on making the TiVo navigation just a little bit more responsive, eliminate lag and make it Amazon Prime compatible.

  • Jack

    Nice update….. But….. Again the menu lagging is horrible. To me it even seems work. Please work on getting HBO Go and Prime streaming. Thank You !!!

  • Vinnie

    Really would like to see Amazon Prime streaming.

  • Fred Beiderbecke

    The priority is still not working. Click the button and it sits there.

    Another vote for supporting Amazon Prime on the Tivo. That is a biggie for me.

  • Jim

    We use the classic menus currently and were surprised when Netflix disappeared from the NPL this week on all of our Premieres. After the third support contact, we’ve been told that Netflix is no longer available in the NPL with classic menus (they’ve been there the whole time if we switch to the HD menus). It is available now only under Video on Demand–even though we do not have the Spring Update yet.

    We’ve been Tivo customers since the Series 2. We’ve upgraded periodically (not typically as an early adopter) and were happy with the Premiere until the updates started last December. Since then our devices have been less stable, lose minor features with each release and have taken more time to support than a typical computer. I’ve contacted Tivo support more in the last 6 months than in all of our previous years of Tivo ownership. This is why I cannot justify buying lifetime. This is why I would recommend never upgrading from an older unit.

  • Jason Silzle

    AMAZON PRIME…please 🙂

  • Doug

    Nice work.
    Can’t please everybody so don’t take the naysayers too seriously.
    Amazon Prime would be a nice addition.

  • Jake

    I just got the update and now Netflix does not work at all.

    It displays this error message:

    An unexpected error has occurred, either the Netflix service is inaccessible, or there was a network error. Please try accessing Netflix again. If you are still having trouble, go to for help.

    I went to for help. I searched for “Netflix” and found nothing relevant. There is an option for live chat but it does not open until 7 am PT (10 am ET).

  • Stephanie

    Received the new update. While I appreciate the search option at top of screen, the method for viewing what’s in my instant queue is terrible. A major step backward in usability!

    Previous method for reviewing what’s in my queue was far superior to what I now have to do… scroll horizontally through everything. What was once a a couple of clicks is now a terrible tedious task.

    Would rather forgo search capabilities to have old instant queue review back. Nothing like getting an update I didn’t know I needed (or wanted).

  • Tim

    I love my Series 3 XD, but already gave up on using it for anything but straight recording. Went to Roku for a better Netflix app and Amazon Prime instant video support.

  • Steve

    Hmmm… No TiVo voice here… Me thinks they have achieved plausible deniability… What? Amazon Prime? Didn’t know their was a demand. Wait .. This is their blog. I’m confused. Speak up yer yellow bellies!

  • Tom

    Been an owner – 3 boxes in all – since 2002. Bought the TiVo HD – which was obsoleted just a few months later by the Premiere – really don’t appreciate how upgrades just don’t seem to trickle down for us…

  • Zoran

    Another vote for supporting Amazon Prime on the Tivo. That is a biggie for me.

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