Background: TiVo is a digital video recorder (DVR) developed and marketed by TiVo Inc. (which was later bought out by Rovi (formerly Macrovision), later to rename themselves off of the acquired company) and introduced in 1999. TiVo provides an on-screen guide of scheduled broadcast programming television programs, whose features include "Season Pass" schedules which record every new episode of a series, and "WishList" searches which allow the user to find and record shows that match their interests by title, actor, director, category, or keyword. TiVo also provides a range of features when the TiVo DVR is connected to a home network, including film and television show downloads, advanced search, personal photo viewing, music offerings, and online scheduling. Since its launch in the United States, TiVo has been made available in Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. Newer models, however, have adopted the CableCARD standard, which is only deployed in the United States, and which limits the availability of certain features
1st Logo (1999)
Logo: In what looks like a factory filled with colorful spheres rolling down ramps and slides, we see the TiVo guy jump on a big green button. He jumps off screen and latches onto a giant funnel, which swivels into place to allow many spheres to come through. We then see him on a checkered platform pushing part of a ramp/slide into place, allowing more spheres to come rolling down. He then descends on a giant magnet hanging from a chain, which releases more spheres. He finally slides down a ramp past several others, and we pan to the right as the "factory" is superseded by the background for the main menu, "TiVo Central", and the TiVo Guy, on a hook attached to his top antennae, swoops past the screen and "screeches" to a halt on the far top left menu bar, as the menu options appear a few seconds later.
Trivia: The Logo/Boot Animation was animated by Pittard Sullivan.
- A prototype version can be seen on YouTube under the channel name: "Synthespian Studios".
- On Phillips-made boxes, the Phillips "Shield" logo appears first with "Phillips Presents..." underneath, colored blue. We zoom out as it shrinks and gleams in the TiVo Guy's eye. He leaps offscreen and the rest of the sequence plays.
FX/SFX: Top notch 90's CGI...
Cheesy Factor: ...which looks dated for today.
Music/Sounds: A light, "cartoony" synth tune, with sound effects.
- A portion of Latin music on the prototype.
- On Phillips TiVo boxes, a drumroll, a dramatic synth chord, and an orchestrated hit was heard before the rest.
Availability: Rare. Seen when a TiVo Series 1/2 is booted up.
Scare Factor: Minimal. The "TiVo" guy has been known to scare a few, and the animations might make someone jump.
2nd Logo (2003-2006)
Nickname: "Welcome to the TiVolution!"
Logo: On a blue background, we see a cartoony "Evolution" drawing, of a "lizard" TV, a 50s TV, a tube TV and a flat-screen, all with legs, and the TiVo Guy appears on the right, smiling and posing, as the orange and white words, "Welcome to... The TIVOLUTION!" appear above. He leaps up offscreen and we pan up to see him on top of a large radio antenna mounted to the Earth (parodying the RKO Radio Pictures logo), behind a sunset glow. He then leaps off the tower and jumps to to the right. We now see he's on an old radio's tuning dial, where he tunes in several pieces of music (country music, then "horror" music), before goes back to country and briefly "dances", before doing a back flip offscreen. He then lands on an old, 50s style TV (probably a Predicta), and as he jumps on the dial, the camera moves to center, as a graphic saying "Look, Now In... COLOR!" (with Look in a tiny green box, Color in a big white "bow tie" shape with a blue underlining curve) appears. It "rolls up" to reveal the TiVo Guy, in the 50's TV shape, with a gold base, on a blue stage with a red curtain; he then turns "normal" and jumps up, ending up in a catapult that is activated as electricity crawls up the TV's "bunny-ears", which flings the TiVo Guy off right. He lands on a little platform, connected to a gear, so it pushes a small pointing hand forward to hit a button. This causes a late-90s style HDTV to appear from the floor, and onscreen is a "square" version of the TiVo Guy. He returns to normal and leaps out of the screen; and as giant speakers descend and vibrate from the music they play, he leaps off the screen and into a ring of light bulbs, where he bows a couple of times, before leaping up onto the menu.
FX/SFX: Nice CGI. Very cute.
Music/Sounds: More "cartoony" synth here, with lots of TiVo noises (the "bloo-bop" noise), as well as assorted sound effects, "horror" music, "hillbilly" music, and applause.
Availability: Rare. Seen when you boot a later Series 2 TiVo up (DirecTiVos don't have this).
Scare Factor: None. This startup is very cute.
3rd Logo (2006-2008)
Logo: On a black background, a white spotlight appears. The TiVo Guy slides in the screen, following the spotlight, and then he tilts his head, causing his antennas to up and down posing like before, and again before we cut into the main menu.
FX/SFX: Simple, yet effective 3D animation.
Music/Sounds: First we hear a whoosh, then a drum extending to a full orchestral tune, and then we end to 5 drum notes.
Availability: Rare. Seen when you boot up a Series 3 TiVo, preceded by the THX logo, which is no longer manufactured. However you can still find one of these DVRs on Amazon or eBay.
Scare Factor: None. However it may raise to low for those who have THX-phobia, as the THX logo precedes this logo.
4th Logo (2006-2008)
Nickname: "A Trip Down TV Lane with TiVo"
Logo: We fade in to a cape cod-styled house with a 2nd generation Toyota Prius driving away from the house. We hear a mother speak "Buckles on! Time to go!". As that happens, we cut to a close up of one of the house's windows, where we see the "TiVo guy" pop up and peek through the window, signaling that the mother has driven off. We then cut to the interior of the house, where we see the "TiVo guy" looking out the same window. Next to the other window, we see a Beagle dog. It runs off and the "TiVo guy" looks away from the window, then following the dog by making big leaps. Cutting to the living room, we see an entertainment center rack holding a television nearly filling up the screen space. As the "TiVo guy" leaps to the table, he lands on a TiVo remote, powering on the TV. The Beagle dog jumps up to a sofa. We then cut to a close-up of the "TiVo guy" wink at the camera. We then cut to the Beagle barking (at this angle we can clearly see the DVR). Cutting back to the living room, the "TiVo guy" leaps towards the TV and "enters" it. We then cut to a colorful, playful atmosphere. The "TiVo guy" sinks in to the screen and goes down a long slide. Cutting to another angle, he rides past multiple screens previewing multiple films and shows (including Top Chef and Teletubbies). We still see the "TiVo guy" riding the slide. We cut back to the "TiVo guy" at a face-to-camera POV. We see more screens as we slide down. We cut to a still angle with its perspective on the screens again (this time we see a clip of a nature documentary, a football game, a clip of Clifford The Big Red Dog). We then see the TiVo leap at a screen which leads to a clip of North by Northwest. In the clip we see three men (Robert Ellenstein, Cary Grant, and Adam Williams) sitting in what might be a 1958 Cadillac Fleetwood 75. We cut to the front view of the car where we see the "TiVo guy" sitting in the front passenger seat. Next to him, on the ledge of the car doors, we see a red button. The "TiVo guy" looks towards the men, smiling. Grant gives him a confused look, then looks towards away from him. The "TiVo guy" nods and touches the red button with one of his antennae. We then suddenly cut to an episode of Season 4 of Top Chef. As the four judging chefs make their decision on which chef will move forward into the competition and who will go home, the "TiVo guy" lands on the table, with the red button next to him. we cut to the chefs. We hear one of the judges speak "All right. We... we have to figure out who is going home-". As that happens the "TiVo" guy jumps on the button, then we cut to a photo of Earth from space. As we see the "TiVo guy" (in a full body helmet) rise up, we also see a meteor in the background. We zoom out further, causing the meteor to catch on fire from the Earth's gravitational pull. The "TiVo" guy kicks the button next to him, then we cut to a clip of Exploring Our Universe, where we see a photo of multiple small icebergs. On one of them is the button. The "TiVo guy" leaps on three of the icebergs and then he jumps up. We cut to a football game. We see the "TiVo guy" pop up on the left of the screen. The button is on the right of the screen. As the game continues we see many of the football players get tackled. During the tackle we hear a sports commentator speak "Rumble! Ball's loose! Kick her out!", and during that the "TiVo" guy uses his antennae to shock the button, therefore triggering it. Then we cut to a clip of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, where we see someone using a flashlight to investigate a tire. In the background of the crime scene we see the "TiVo guy" jump on-screen. He looks towards the camera and uses his foot to press on the button. We then cut to another shot of the "TiVo guy" riding the slide. At another angle we see him slide down over a blue outlined circle (which holds the button) with the letters "KZ" (standing for "KidZone"). We then cut to the "TiVo guy" falling down on a cloudy day background. He falls onto the ground with a television screen with the Teletubbies (from Teletubbies) waving at the viewer. The "TiVo guy" looks back at them, then the camera pans out to reveal a tree and a sun as the "TiVo guy" hops to another television screen with a TiVo menu that reads "TiVo Presents E/I Programming" with the E/I symbol below the text. The menu screen then fades to 2 polar bears walking through the Arctic. He then hops to another screen with a menu on it. The camera zooms in on the screen more. This menu screen reads "KidZone now playing" with various show names (The Backyardigans, The Berenstain Bears, Between the Lions, Blue's Clues, Connie the Cow, Jack's Big Music Show and JoJo's Circus) below the text. This screen fades to a clip from Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks. He then jumps on a big button, which opens up like a trapdoor as he jumps again. He then falls into the hole and falls onto the slide, which he starts to ride down on again. He rides past screens with clips of some other TV shows. We then see him slide past screens with "HOME MOVIES" and "Movie & TV Downloads" on them. We them see him (with the camera facing him) riding past even more screens. He rides past a Podcaster menu screen and a screen that says "Online Scheduling" on it. Then, for a split-second, we see him ride past a screen with the Beagle dog from before barking. The "TiVo guy" then reaches the end of the slide, which he goes flying off of. We then cut to the living room scene from before where the "TiVo guy" pops out of the TV onto the table. He looks back as he sees a menu screen reading "Now Playing List" with the names of almost all the shows featured in the logo below the text. We then cut to a full view of that menu screen. The door opens as we see a girl's legs. The girl runs in the house (as the mother's legs, which can be seen for a split-second, enter) and says "Hey! Let's see what's on TiVo!" as we cut back to the living room where the "TiVo guy" looks at the viewer, nods to the viewer, and jumps to the top left of the screen as the startup screen zooms in to take up the whole screen. The "TiVo guy" lands in his usual place.
FX/SFX: This logo is so creatively thought up that it is WAY too difficult to explain everything. However...
Cheesy Factor: ...the animation is slightly dated compared to today's standards.
Music/Sounds: A cartoonish theme with different sound effects corresponding to the environment or show featured in the logo. Some of the shows featured also have their original audios.
Availability: Rare. Seen as a demo clip on the Series 3 TiVo models.
Scare Factor: None to low. A few parts of the logo may startle you, but other than that this is a very creative and entertaining logo.
Nickname: "Take a Walk with TiVo", "TiVo is Here"
Logo: We start off in the setting of a 1930s-esque monochrome animated children's film, which includes a road, a grassy plain, smiling trees, three dancing birds, and flowers. We see the "TiVo guy" walking across the road, with the trees, birds, and flowers dancing in sync with the walking movement. He later jumps, causing the atmosphere to cut to a 3-dimensional puppet show, with the "TiVo guy" dancing while hanging on strings. In the background, we see multiple homes, a road, a sidewalk, and a fire hydrant. We then abruptly cut to a form of 2D abstract animation, where we see the background changing into multiple unique shapes and colors. In the same setting, we later see peace signs and colorful egg-shaped ovals (possibly implying candy) fly around the place. The "TiVo" guy walks towards the screen with his legs stretched and the bottom edges of his feet showing. We then cut to another 3D setting (with somewhat high color saturation), this time resembling King Kong, whereas the "TiVo guy" is of humongous size, walking by a city (or, in this case, "shaking a city") full of skyscrapers. A jet flies towards him, however a lightning strikes the jet, forcing it to another direction. After that happens we cut to a 3D game. The "TiVo guy" is all pixelated, and the setting looks like that of TRON. As we progress, the "TiVo guy" starts picking up the pace, and as that happens multiple shapes (some outlined and some filled) flying around the background. Then we cut to a current-day street setting, where we see a stop sign with two street signs above it, saying "WEB" and "T.V.", respectively. Multiple miniature "TiVo guys" follow the protagonist "TiVo guy" across the street. In the background we see dancing buildings that are filled with TV screens, which contain shots of certain films/shows/videos (WALL-E, Hugo, a shot of (what might be) Beyoncé, etc). The screens start to glow, eventually covering the whole screen. Finally, we transition to the "TiVo guy" in his normal appearance, running across a white background, towards the camera (but not that close). As we zoom out we see that the white background is actually a chroma key wallpaper against a brick-walled studio. Lighting stands can be seen on the far left and right of the background. The text "Welcome." is hung down below the "TiVo guy", as he smiles towards the camera, then winking.
FX/SFX: Another creative logo with very impressive animation for today's standards.
Variant: There is a prototype version where the TRON segment has a light from the top left corner of the screen flying to the center. It flashes and takes up the whole screen. A different "TiVo guy" (which looks as he did in 1999, but with thicker legs) runs up next to the text "is here" in black. The background is also completely white.
Music/Sounds: The theme changes as the environment changes. The 1930s segment has a lighthearted, cartoonish theme with a clarinet. The puppet segment has a static but upbeat jazz fanfare. The abstract segment has a jazzy fanfare with a piano. The King Kong segment has a dramatic fanfare. The TRON segment has a techno theme. The street segment has an upbeat video game-like theme. The ending has a lighthearted theme with an electric guitar and bells.
Music/Sounds Variant: The end of the prototype has a synthesized techno theme with a choir.
Availability: Current. Can be seen when you boot up a Series 4 TiVo DVR, which includes the Roamio and the Mini. Both DVRs are still being manufactured to this day, alongside the TiVo Bolt and Bolt+ (both of which don't have this logo).
Scare Factor: Same as the previous logo.