I gave the new TiVo Universal Swivel Search a spin in the past few days, and overall, it's an excellent addition to the already user-friendly features on the TiVo interface. This is what I think so far:
1. I like the way you can find similar shows to the one you've entered, or find shows in which the list of actors have also appeared.
2. I'm also looking forward to seeing it linked with Amazon Unbox, and like the way you can also find programs that are on the Web using its easy relational search techniques.
3. I also like the way you can simply invoke a menu item and go on a merry swivel search, an experience that can turn minutes into hours just like surfing the Web.
4. I like how you can find similar upcoming shows to the one you're viewing for recording. It's like a manual switch for TiVo's recommendation engine.
Not everything is perfect, though.
5. To enter a live show or one that hasn't been recorded, you still must use that inconvenient way of entering show names, where you must hunt and peck out each individual letter using the directional controls on the remote. It can take a while to type out something such as "Mission Impossible 3." Plus, the damn menu is buried under Options in a show's info page, requiring many clicks to get it going.
Media Center PCs have similar "Cast and Crew" and "Similar" searches, but nothing this sophisticated. That said, Universal Swivel Search is an first-rate enhancement, and we're glad to see it already loaded up on our TiVo Series3 HD box.