TiVo – new services added all the time

Ideal for: Young families, the working sports fan, people without wristwatches

Price: $699

More info: Click here to read the GadgetGuy review of the TiVo (link will open in new window)

You know TiVo thanks to endless product placements in US TV shows and movies, but this digital media device is set to go new places in 2009. Most particularly, with functionality that expands on the unit’s core role as a TV receiver and recorder.

Already, Tivo owners can download a free movie from blockbuster every week, order a pizza and check the weather up to five days ahead using the Channel 7 Sunrise weather channel. And these are just the start of a range of proposed broadband-based services and content to become available via Tivo next year.

Also in 2009, the unit’s teeny 160GB drive will be expandable to one terabyte with the addition of a Tivo-certified external drive (this uses the superior eSATA interface, which is much faster than USB2.0), and the TiVo To Go system will enable you to export recorded video to portable players (and vice versa).

Tivo’s new networking capability will also allow you to stream content from your PC to the big screen and sound system in the lounge room. With all these new capabilities, your TiVo will end up just as versatile and useful as a custom-built home theatre PC… and a lot less expensive and bulky.