If you caught our TiVo Stream review, you know we dig the new DVR accessory ($130) that streams live and recorded TV around the home to our iOS devices. But it’s not without its shortcomings. And word on the street is Android support may not arrive until 2013. Further, owners of jailbroken iPads and iPhones have found themselves locked out of the updated TiVo app whether or not they actually own a TiVo Stream — meaning they recently lost access to even scheduling and remote control functions as TiVo attempts to placate a paranoid content industry. Fortunately, the hacker community has heard their pleas and Xcon was updated to resolve that issue. Similarly, the TiVo Stream download functionality is hobbled (dependent on provider) and only allows streaming access within the home — unlike a Slingbox. So I kicked off a conversation of how we might roll our own mobile solution via VPN. While there’s been some remote access success, I haven’t yet tried the various methods or documented a process for public consumption (but stay tuned). Also, on my personal wish list, are less abandoned TiVo recordings, background audio playback, and faster or background downloads (which is limited by iOS).
On the distribution front, TiVo has trumpeted selling out their initial hardware run in record time. Yet, we don’t know how many units that encompasses (and it could have be as few as 600, or less). Also, sadly, it seems a disproportionate number of that lot have been dead on arrival. Instead paying return shipping to TiVo, some may have opted to buy replacements at Best Buy and then return their TiVo.com-acquired defective unit to BBY. Unfortunate. However, we still wholeheartedly recommend the Stream and hope TiVo drops hardware pricing to $99 ahead of the holidays.