Multiple data points had indicated a TiVo Mini launch this week… yet here we are, Miniless. As to the shifting announcement, one can only guess – perhaps TiVo’s still getting the device’s technical or marketing ducks in a row. Better yet, maybe they’re taking time to reevaluate the TiVo tax. Regardless, TiVo support seems to have confirmed the situation as we understand it:
We had to delay the release. Unfortunately we have not announced when the release was rescheduled to.
So while we wait, or perhaps in lieu of an eventual TiVo Mini purchase, by using an iPhone or iPad as an intermediary, TiVo Stream owners can already move video from TiVo to a secondary television via Apple TV. Now it is a bit of a hack and, in my experimentation, I did experience some dropped frames. But for occasional usage or those on a tight budget, here’s how you’d expand the capabilities of a TiVo Stream:
1) Jailbreak iDevice
To install and run the requisite services, the first step is to liberate your iPhone or iPad. While jailbreaking is a time honored, low risk tradition it’s important you understand this is not endorsed by Apple, potentially reduces the security and stability of your iDevice, not to mention the threat of data loss is real. So back up before you begin, and then head on over to evasi0n to download your untethered Windows or Mac OS X jailbreak utility. These days, the act of jailbreaking doesn’t require any specialized skills – just a few clicks and perhaps 5 minutes of your time. And, once complete, the alternative app store Cydia will be installed on your iDevice.
2) Install xCon
The next step, as described on the TiVo.com support forum, is to install the free xCon utility to ensure the TiVo app will continue to function on a jailbroken iDevice. Simply open Cydia, click Search, type xCon, tap the result, and then tap Install. No configuration or modifications are needed at this point, as TiVo’s previously been indexed by xCon.
3) Purchase & Install UnrestrictPremium
The next app you’ll need to install via Cydia is UnrestrictPremium. Similarly search the repository for it, link a Google or Facebook account, and set up the $3 payment. A little heartburn is to be expected at this point in the process and you’re wise to be cautious, and all I can say is my accounts haven’t been hacked nor has my PayPal account been emptied – but proceed at your own risk. Once installed, head over to the iDevice Settings screen to customize UnrestrictPremium. First, you’ll need to select TiVo from a list of resident apps. Then you may need to experiment with the various mirroring and Airplay options for optimal performance, as the ones documented on the TiVo Community Forum are a few days out of date, given a recent app update.
4) Turn On Airplay Mirroring & Stream, Baby, Stream
Now you’re ready to give it a shot, so park yourself in front of your Apple TV and ready your iDevice. First, turn on AirPlay Mirroring by double clicking the Home Button, scrolling to the left until you see the AirPlay icon, which you’ll proceed to tap and configure for APple TV AirPlay Mirroring. Once you see your iDevice on the television screen, launch the TiVo app and search for a live channel or recorded program you’d like to watch. Be sure to click Watch On iPhone (or iPad)… even though we know better.
If you give this method a go, be sure to let us know in the comments how it’s working out for you.