Amazon Instant & Vudu Coming To TiVo

Dave Zatz —  August 29, 2014 — 49 Comments

It’s shaping up to be a splendid fall for TiVo (and us subscribers). As if a TiVo Mini fee adjustment, mega rack mountable DVR with hard drive RAID, and Android streaming weren’t enough, two highly desirable apps will be joining the party… perhaps as early as next month. Sources indicate, and seemingly corroborated by forum chatter, that Amazon Instant and Vudu are on the docket.

tivo-roamio-ota-vudu

Amazon will finally be a “real” TiVo app with Prime access and extend beyond Premiere and Roamio units to also include Mini streaming. Of course, if the technical details play out as anticipated, what we gain in convenience we may lose in quality when migrating from the download to stream model. Then again, anyone who purchased a TiVo Roamio manufactured after January 1st, 2014 has had NO Amazon at all – just a box logo covered by a sticker. So the benefit will be even greater for a subset of subscribers, irrespective of video bitrate.

Further, TiVo will finally get into the Ultraviolet game with Vudu who’s been known for high quality movie streaming along with that UV digital locker. Not only do both of these apps generally add value to the TiVo platform, it ups the ante for those contemplating the new Roamio OTA targeted at cord cutters. Further, should Best Buy’s 500 store experiment pan out, we could envision a scenario where this model ends up at TiVo retailer Walmart… who happens to be the company behind Vudu (and exclusive distributor of the dead OTA Boxee Cloud DVR).

49 responses to Amazon Instant & Vudu Coming To TiVo

  1. Sweet! Finally access to all the movies available with Prime membership on my TiVos.

    Will Amazon Music streaming also be included?

  2. This is great news!

  3. Thank you TiVo for adding Amazon Instant Video. But no resting on your laurels. Next up HBO Go and Showtime Anytime… The bottom line is that if TiVo wan’t to own input 1, they need to beat Roku.

    Cheers, Michael

  4. FYI – Not sure what happened, but my “Leave a Reply” was cached with a different user’s name (William) and gmail address. I left the page and came back to find my own cached on the second visit…

  5. FYI – Refreshed and got the name Al and cached email address. The comment section is leaking personal email addresses

  6. Oh the blog hosting stories I can tell you… the site’s been unstable and unpredictable in multiple way since late April. I’m working on getting us moved. May have problems at the new place too, but at least they’ll be different ones and I’ll save a few bucks. Had hoped to migrate last weekend, but it didn’t work out. Now looking at the first weekend in September. We’ll see.

  7. I guess I assumed the name / email caching was a browser cookie. It must not be, maybe something in the site or php is getting confused. I went ahead and posted with the cached credential as an example (sorry Michael). This is James B. however

  8. I’m looking forward to both of these apps. I never really bothered registerring with UV for most of my movies because I lacked a convenient way to watch them. But if I can watch them on my TiVo without changing inputs that would be great.

    TiVo is finally getting its act together, even if it’s a few years too late.

  9. WooHoo!!! it’s about time!! These will be a nice addition to my TiVos!!!

  10. James, A1, I’ve alerted my host. We’ll see when or if they can resolve. Hopefully our regulars wouldn’t doing anything malicious with a random email address from a fellow reader.

  11. Oh man is this fantastic! I’m so glad I broke down and coughed up the money. Without switching inputs to a Roku or an AppleTV I now have live TV, DVR’ed TV, Comcast OnDemand, Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and now I’m getting Amazon Prime Video and VUDU? I can wait for HBO only because of the On Demand (and Amazon carries all past HBO shows for Prime), but for those outside of Comcast land I get the appeal.

  12. Hi Everyone,
    This is the hosting company support, testing the caching of the form fields, we apologize for the inconvenience, and the intrusion into this thread.

    To try and simulate the error, I have no choice but to post a comment here, and wanted you to be aware of it.

  13. Thanks for approving the post Dave, apologies again, this is still Vid, and I’m testing another variant now.

  14. Thanks for taking a look. I was seeing it with every refresh from a non logged in browser. Then I was seeing it less frequently and now not at all. I saw at least three different reader names/emails. I also saw one duplicated comment which usually comes in when the databases or CDNs are slightly out of sync, so a reader doesn’t see their comment right away and submits it a second time. While this was going on, I also got hit with one 502 from the outside and one 500 from the inside.

  15. This is awesome. I sure hope it isn’t a fead fake. These are my teo most hoped for apps. I hope the VuDu app allows downloads like the PlayStation 3 app does. I’ve conerted over 100 old DVD to VuDu’s yop quality option,HDX, this will make it easier than ever to watch my collection. AmazonPrime will be great as well.

    Dave- thanks for keeping up to date on all the Tivo developments!

  16. I obviously hope it pans out too and in a timely fashion – that much closer to the “one box” they pitched when the Premiere launched. ESPN and HBO would be next in priority for many of us, I’m guessing.

  17. Woah…. hold the presses. Amazon video doesn’t even work on Tivo boxes that were manufactured after 1/1/14? How did I miss that? What piece of hardware broke this? Absolutely bizarre.

    My Roamio crapped out and I just got a refurb from Tivo. Wonder if Amazon will work….

  18. Brian D,
    It isn’t broke, it is disabled. Forgive me if I don’t get this completely correct, but a new Federal rule went into effect Jan 1, 2014 that said that closed captions must be made available. Since the download method doesn’t provide them, they disabled Amazon and stopped advertising Amazon to comply.
    Josh

  19. Don’t want to spoil the cheer here but Amazon Instant will be a no go on cable operator boxes like Netflix used to be due to Amazon licensing issues (NOT operator decision as I’m sure some will accuse). Bummer all around.

  20. I love little birds. :) I seem to recall Netflix found themselves in a similar predicament due to their (prior) content licensing agreements (and maybe due to Starz), which is why RCN couldn’t offer it on their TiVos until this year.

    An update on the comment situation – Vid has tracked down at least one issue with my site related to two missing files used in relation to caching, load balancing, etc. They’re trying to determine how they got deleted – me, them, rogue plugin, who knows. Hopefully it’s resolved for the interim.

  21. Sweet! Plex and HBO would be my next top picks!

  22. Some of TiVo’s partners are already deploying Amazon. My understanding is some of TiVo’s MSO partners don’t want to deploy Amazon’s premium VOD service (e.g., Amazon Instant Video) because it directly competes with their internal organic offerings. I do suspect that there may be licensing issues associated with some of Amazon’s Prime streaming content although you would think that Amazon may have proactively addressed those issues when acquiring the content.

  23. Good lord, why does these take-it-for-granted apps always take FOREVER to show up on Tivo? Tivo has to be the slowest development company on the planet, all because they have no serious competition pushing them to do better.

  24. @biscuit, Tivo doesn’t make other company’s apps for them. They see Tivo’s 6-figure Roamio/Premiere audience and either don’t care or it’s just too low on the priority list. All Tivo can do is make it as cheap and accessible as possible (by adding html5 support) and keep on nudging.

  25. This is most welcome news. But I agree, they need to step up their game and add to their apps. They should not be an also-ran to Roku in the services they support. I would like the TWC (Time Warner Cable) app so that I could enjoy their VOD service. Roku has it.

  26. It should be noted that some Amazon streaming devices can get their 19 Mbps 1080p streams; hopefully TiVo will be one of them.

  27. Soft–that should have been “10 Mbps 1080p streams” in my post above.

  28. Wow, I just re-read my post; I should never post anything from my phone! I’m not sure which is worse, spelling auto-correct or no spelling auto-correct.

  29. It’s awesome for those who use it, but how well will they perform on the Premieres?

  30. VUDU performs well on all platforms that I know of; it’s the same UI everywhere, but I don’t think that it’s implemented in web languages like Netflix’s common UI. AFAIK, Amazon hasn’t created a common UI; it’s different on every device that I own which has a player for it. It’s being written in JavaScript running in small web tech engines which makes Netflix and YouTube run so slow on weak platforms. It’s a great strategy for app maintenance since they can make major changes and fixes without waiting for OEMs to issue firmware updates, but it has it’s price.

  31. Not to mention, the Premiere Haxe rewrite has resulted in significant performance improvements.

  32. Not sure I would use it on my Premiere, as it seems it would be far faster through my Xbox One (my tivo is connected through it, so no switching needed). YouTube is sooo slow, which is too bad, as I like the way they integrate it into the tivo app on my iphone.

  33. Maybe Roku streaming is really coming soon also.
    http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6018326064
    From TiVo’s recent FCC Filing “Consumers today can purchase retail TiVo DVRs and ancillary devices that support iOS and Android products, as well as TVs (using
    the TiVo Mini), and that soon will support additional ancillary devices that are popular with consumers.”

  34. Yes, comments are still busted in that they periodically cache prior folks’ data and don’t appear immediately after posting. I know it, my host knows it. I’ve also temporarily turned on JavaScript commenting to see if it can work around the issue. I hope it’s resolved soon and/or I’m moved soon, but your current options are either to to not comment or not worry about it.

  35. John Kubiatowicz October 3, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Sigh. This appears to be a head-fake on the part of Tivo. Fall release doesn’t seem to have these features and Tivo support still claims that they have “no information” about when these features will be available.

    Anyone have any further info or is this just another case of wishful rumors that are self-sustaining? I have been waiting a long time for Prime streaming, but may just need to buy another box to support it (really don’t want to do that).

  36. Assuming you trust me, I can confirm both are coming. They weren’t part of the release/deployment that just wrapped, but are in the next one. I can’t say more, however I full expect both to be delivered this year – hopefully within the next few weeks. Pictures of both in action here:

    http://zatznotfunny.com/2014-09/tivo-releases-amazon-instant-streaming-prematurely/

  37. John Kubiatowicz October 4, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Ok. I’ll take your word for it!

    Keeping my fingers crossed…
    –KUBi–
    p.s. You don’t think that they might just produce an updated (non-streaming) version the app that addresses the closed-captioning requirement? (perhaps that would be silly, but who knows).

  38. It’s the 21st, and Amazon Prime is still just a Rumor…

  39. Your momma is a rumor. I’d say TiVo prematurely releasing the new Amazon streaming app elevated this beyond mere hearsay. My mistake was assuming it was bundled into the Fall update, when it’s now clear the apps will be delivered along with TiVo software version 20.4.5.

    More current info here:

    http://zatznotfunny.com/2014-10/tivo-winter-update-to-feature-amazon-vudu-and-mobile-improvements/

  40. Real mature comment

  41. Your momma’s real mature. (By the by, my wife often has the same response as you. But I just can’t tolerate a “rumor” label given what we’ve seen and I know… including customer support volunteering similar.)

  42. Of course your wife has the same comment as me, she & I spend a lot of time in bed together

  43. The Dozens over Amazon Prime!!! What could be better?

    Keep it going…

  44. Your momma can’t handle my baker’s dozen.

    While I’m posting Chucky… even though that TiVo Slide Pro remote has the learning functions you need, the remote is much stubbier, buttons smaller, may take some adjusting.

  45. “While I’m posting Chucky… even though that TiVo Slide Pro remote has the learning functions you need, the remote is much stubbier, buttons smaller, may take some adjusting.”

    Yeah. I was kinda worried about the ‘feel’ of the Slide. Why the hell can’t they just make a S5 Glo? Why, oh, why? Support the damn ecosystem at minimal cost and effort. TiVo’s momma is so stupid, she thinks ISIS is a mobile payment system.

    However, given that I think it’s pretty likely I’ll keep using the Roku for OTT, I can use an S4 Glo for myself, while the Slide/S5 finally overcomes the WAF factor to let her get into a good chunk of all the OTT she’s missing.

  46. Your momma might want to add her name to the TiVo Winter Update 20.4.5 priority list.

    http://www.tivo.com/priority_20.4.5

  47. Sweet–I’m signed up. Cain’t hardly wait! Netflix, Amazon and VUDU are my primary streaming apps. I now have a television which can output a 24p signal with even cadence (Vizio P602ui-B3 4K Full Array Local Dimming) so TiVo will be become my favorite device for those app. (The TV’s says that it’s inexplicably receiving a 60Hz signal when you play video from its internal video stream service apps–Netflix, Amazon and VUDU among them–so unless it’s something 4K I choose to use some 24Hz-capable device for streaming video.

  48. Your momma may like this Vudu support note… unless she owns a Premiere.

    http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2951

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