With CES mere days away, it’s time to flex our predictive musculature. Mari’s gone broad with the TV trends, but I’m dialing it down to a single set-top manufacturer we know so well. Unlike years past where TiVo hid themselves at the end of an obscure, dusty hallway for invite-only meetings, TiVo’s invested in a real booth for 2014. Go big, or go home! And their prime Central Hall location will provide a much larger stage to tell the compelling Roamio story. Reinforcing TiVo’s more visible approach, beyond the booth, I’ve counted at least five events TiVo management will be speaking at. While I expect TiVo to make some noise around their analytics group and viewer behavior, a partner announcement or two isn’t out the question, and we’re still awaiting TiVo Roamio upgrade offers, I remain most interested in retail TiVo functionality.
Over the last few weeks, the Opera TV Store has started trickling out to TIVo Roamio, Premiere, and Mini hardware. Likewise new AOL apps TechCrunch and MovieFone join a refreshed AOL On. I’ve yet to find much value in any of them, but they’re part of a broader theme – how TiVo has nicely expanded their platform, and Opera in particular, enables TiVo to state their hybrid cable and Internet streamer now provides access to dozens or hundreds of apps. Related, the new Netflix UI has made its way to TiVo Premiere units (which remains a work in progress) and I have solid intel that indicates an updated Amazon Instant experience is on the way. We’ve yet to see an app-related press release this winter, and with their ducks now in a row, CES might be the right venue to trumpet these additions.
Due to pre-show outreach from TiVo’s PR firm, we know they will be “Announcing the new, long-awaited, second platform for Roamio mobile streaming.” Which, of course, means Android. The questions that remain are, when will customers actually have access along with what phones and tablets will be supported? Further, until now, mobile access has been limited to WiFi connections. But TiVo will also be “unveiling of new Out-of-Home-Streaming capabilities” which suggests that TiVo has expanded their adaptive stream to encompass low enough bitrates for cellular (3G, 4G) access. It’s also conceivable that TiVo’s new web portal could land stream capabilities.
What sorts of TiVo CES announcements are you hoping for?