TiVo Demos ATSC 3.0 Network Tuner To Retrofit Existing DVRs

TiVo has developed software that enables current generation Hydra-powered DVR hardware to manage a network ATSC 3.0 tuner and deliver next gen OTA content through those existing boxes.

While widespread ATSC 3.0 deployment (and an associated ATSC 1.0 drawdown) is quite a bit off, broadcasters in 40 markets intend to light up hardware to begin trials later this year. And TiVo has similarly begun preparations. This proof-of-concept (with laptop+tuner standing in for some sort of “box”) pulls in ATSC 3.0 antenna signals over-the-air to provide video content to an Ethernet-connected TiVo DVR. Of course, only Bolt and the new, new Mini are capable of rendering 4K content (with HDR waiting in the wings). But I expect the Roamio will be in the mix for SD and HD content.

Wether or not a 1st- or 3rd-party product (HDHR?!) ultimately makes it to market, and at what price, remains to be seen. Not to mention Ethernet vs USB connectivity also apparently remains in play. But, from the NAB Show, TIVo VP Ted Malone explains all (above).

14 thoughts on “TiVo Demos ATSC 3.0 Network Tuner To Retrofit Existing DVRs”

  1. I wonder if having multiple tuners this way is a possibility or it’ll be limited to one ATSC 3 stream at a time.

  2. Alex, relaying portions of my conversation with Ted here. Obviously they have some ideas. A “box” could have some additional capabilities for processing video before sending it on its way. They could also determine the expense and effort isn’t worth it and draw the line at Bolt. I haven’t read up entirely on the spec, other than noticing a big pitch to the broadcasters is advertising-related…

    Nick, they could create a multi-tuner box (or lean on someone else’s…) or just go single. At this point, they’re experimenting and gauging interest. It’s still early. Personally, I’d love to see something like this to bring OTA capabilities to my Roamio Pro/Plus, which is cable-only.

  3. I too would love to see a multi-tuner OTA add-on for my Bolt Vox’s. It would give me the option to “cut the cord” but still retain OTA capability.

  4. Who was the intended audience here? Just us? Were they showing it off just like this at their NAB booth, too?

    Is the Bolt’s CPU still so underpowered that it can’t even handle a single raw HEVC/ATSC3 stream right from the red USB dongle plugged into a spare Bolt USB port?

    TiVo had plenty of time to mod the software to mirror video from ETH0. Wow? You’d think they would’ve gone the extra step to further soft mod the box itself instead of throwing that HP laptop in there.

    It’s all smoke and mirrors considering TiVo’s doubling down on automagic ad skipping whereas ATSC3’s eventually solidified DRM probably won’t take too kindly to that whatsoever. The major OTA networks actually have a golden opportunity to put that genie back in the bottle here and you can bet that they will try…

  5. I’m just glad to see them doing any kind of development. The moment they stop doing that we know TiVo is not long for this world.

  6. Everett, IPTV is a TiVo core competency so sending video over network was probably a light lift. Whereas USB input would require drivers and who knows what else. That’s on the table as a potential option. Again, this is a proof of concept while they monitor industry and gauge interest. I share your concerns as to how and what can be manipulated when ATSC 3.0 comes online and evolves…

  7. Who will be the first to to market a stand alone android box that can decode ATSC 1 & 3 to work with existing tvs.

  8. So let me understand, Based on the fact that I was an early adapter how will tivo insure that I will have continuous service with my legacy devices.? I paid for lifetime!!!

  9. Does this mean they will force the hold-outs to “upgrade” to Hydra? That would be the last straw for me. I spent a week of my time last year downgrading from hydra, transferring my recordings back and forth.

  10. I’d love to see this. I upgraded to a Bolt Vox 3TB w/ lifetime last year and now I’m wanting to dump cable, at least for a while. My Bolt is cable-only and the lifetime investment means I wouldn’t want to swap it out for an OTA box.

  11. That was a reason I got two of the four tuner Bolts instead of one six tuner Bolt. Since the four tuner Bolts could be used for OTA or cable. And could potentially have a longer resale value.

    Of course I’m only using one fo them now on FiOS and I really need to pare down the number of TiVos I own. Since I’m only watching 2% of my broadcast content from TiVos now, and watching the other 98% from streaming services where I don’t see commercials.(or can scan past them)

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