After months of rumors, TiVo's officially announced the new Premiere Elite DVR, a quad-tuner beast that can store up to 300 hours of HD recordings on 2TB of internal storage. The unit is based on the same TiVo Series4 internals as the cable-operator-only Premiere Q, but it'll be available in Best Buy Magnolia stores, TiVo.com, and from authorized home theater installers for $499 sometime by the end of the year. (The date is fuzzy because the Premiere Elite is only compatible with CableCARD-based digital cable systems, and TiVo is still waiting on a waiver from the FCC to ship a device without analog tuners.) Of course, $499 plus the TiVo service fee is pretty steep compared to a cheap-to-free cable company DVR, and TiVo's harping on high-end features to justify the price: the Premiere integrates Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, and YouTube content into search alongside DVR'd shows, it's THX Certified, and it's compatible with home automation systems like Crestron and Control4. Is that enough to justify the price? We'll just have to wait and see.

Source: TiVo, via CNET