Hm, looks like TiVo’s got their own Apple-esque version of “one more thing” going on at CES this week. In addition to discussing the next Premiere DVR software update and Comcast Xfinity On Demand deployment plans, TiVo is demoing DVR video streaming to their iPad companion app. Wow!
They’re describing this using terms such as “conceptual” and “prototype” — and are obviously not ready to discuss if or when this may be released, what sort of content may be permissible, which partners and hardware are granted access, etc. But it’s a very interesting direction to see them moving in. Coincidentally, earlier this week, I shared some thoughts on the possibility of Slingbox functionality:
I can’t imagine TiVo will ever get into the placeshifting game (for retail) units as they’re very careful not to alienate broadcasters or potential MSO partners at this phase of the game. And placeshifting is still somewhat contested and would compete in some sense with a provider’s TV Anywhere initiative. But I could see them baking it in for a smaller MSO like RCN that may not be equipped to build or want to invest in their own serverside/headend solution.
We’re hounding TiVo for additional technical details and some visual evidence. You can bet we’ll update our coverage if/as we learn more.
Update: TiVo has delivered. As you can see from the prototype photographed above, we now have a better idea how they could conceivable move content from a DVR to a mobile app using what appears to be a networked accessory. They’re offloading transcoding and streaming duties, perhaps similar to how the the DirecTV Nomad operates or what the Motorola Televation does for Comcast. Of course, having this functionality integrated directly into a DVR is a much cleaner solution. But even DISH Network dumped their integrated Slingbox in favor of a Sling Adapter upsell.