Archives For TiVo

Apparantly TiVo Mini promotional pricing has been so successful that the company will be shifting the expiration date from January 6th, 2015 to May 4th, 2015. As a refresher, the TiVo Mini hardware launched at $100 and required either $6/month or $150 for Lifetime Service. Yet, with a new CMO on board tasked with revitalizing retail sales, one of his first maneuvers was more sensible pricing for the DVR extender — bundling hardware and service for a flat $150 (or less). Beyond that, a slightly refreshed TiVo Mini is on deck for a spring launch (with newly released FCC pics). And what I’d hoped might be an exciting Zigbee home automation module appears to be nothing more than RF remote control. It’s a nice-to-have, especially given wall or television-mounting, but not revolutionary nor quite as versitile as the wireless Mini I pine for. Perhaps TiVo will answer the call via other means at CES next month with the Amazon Fire TV support or Roku app that they’ve previously alluded to…

bright-house-tivo

As the story goes, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks have been the most TiVo-hostile… by blocking video streaming via an inappropriately applied copy flag, relying on switched digital tuning hacks, and BH even having the gall to (previously) charge folks for that bit of unreliable hardware. Well, Christmas has come early to Bright House subscribers in Orlando.

Via DSL Reports, we learn that CCI Byte restrictions have been lifted on everything other than premium movie channels, allowing TiVo, Ceton, and Silicon Dust hardware owners to legitimately stream the cable content they pay for beyond Bright House’s formerly walled garden. And, come January, Bright House’s Tampa customers will similarly experience video liberation. Continue Reading…

As I begin a reexamination of Plex, TiVo may suddenly become a whole lot more interesting to folks hosting media repositories.

Since launching about a year ago, the Opera TV Store apps on TiVo are mostly throwaways and rarely worth the time they require to open. But with Plex on deck and the newer ability to pin favorite apps, the math could suddenly, and perhaps dramatically, change. Especially given TiVo’s apparent disinterest in bringing the sort of DLNA access that Xbox and Playstation provide along with an abandonment of TiVo Desktop to pass music and photos to our DVRs.

Right now, only Sony and Swisscom devices are Plex-capable. But it seems quite clear other Opera TV Stores will ultimately receive updates that bring support. Hopefully TiVo will be one of them and more timely than usual.

From the private Plex Pass forums:

You may have heard the news today that Plex is coming to devices running the Opera TV Store! We’re excited that Plex will be available on even more devices for our users. Some things to note:

  • The app is currently in a preview period and does require a Plex Pass subscription to use during that period
  • You can find a list of supported devices on the Opera site. Devices may require an update by the manufacturer before Plex will show up as available.
  • We’re working with Opera to ensure the list remains up-to-date as support becomes available on any more devices

(Thanks Russell!) 

dish-hopper-binge

While TiVo focuses their resources on serving smaller and international television providers, as retail customers defect, the larger US cable and satellite companies continue to crank away on their own compelling in-house DVR services.

Although DISH may have given up some ground in the Hopper’s ability to, you know, actually hop (over commercials) they just completed a nationwide software update that brings one-button access to Closed Captioning and the ability to watch an in-progress “live” show from the beginning should you have gotten a late start and the programming is resident within the On Demand catalog. But way more interesting, given our collective shift in scripted television viewing patterns, is the new Binge Bar (as shown above). Once you’ve finished watching an episode, any remaining episodes on your DVR or in the VOD catalog are presented – as pioneered by Netflix and similar to Comcast’s X1 “Next Episode Suggestion.”

tivo-twitter-x1

Speaking of Comcast, TiVo has felt free to publicly bash their so-called partner… despite upcoming improvements to that Xfinity X1 HTML5 platform — including deeper Pandora and other “web site integration,” along with a few other features TiVo doesn’t possess. From the Donohue Report:

Its Share2TV app will allow X1 subscribers to stream personal videos recorded on mobile devices with any X1 subscriber in the country. Comcast is also developing an app called Family Point which will allow subscribers to view the locations of family members on TV by tracking smartphones that are connected to X1, and family members will also be able to leave messages through “sticky notes” that will be displayed when a television is turned on.

Supposedly a small subset of long-term TiVo customers have been offered quite the amazing deal:

  • Base Roamio w/lifetime service $200 for the unit and $200 for the lifetime service
  • Plus – $400 for the unit and $100 for lifetime service
  • Pro – $600 for the unit and $100 for lifetime service

The catch is that it’s not quite clear who is eligible, with some believing ten years of TiVo service may meet the threshold. I’m fairly certain I’ve got more than ten consecutive years in the can, but I’ve cycled through a number of devices… including a brief stint with Roamio, which might explain why I didn’t receive any outreach. But, if you’re ready for an upgrade, it’s at least worth making a call into TiVo (877-494-4567) to determine if you qualify. Especially since TiVo’s “holiday deals” haven’t (yet?) been very compelling – not even coming close to “summer sale” pricing.

(Thanks Bob, Dean!)

roamio-6tb

While the TiVo Roamio line may officially max out at 3TB of recording capacity, licensed reseller WeaKnees has offered 4TB drives nearly since launch. And, should that 637 hours of HD content not be enough, WeaKnees has just unveiled 6TB drives – a TiVo upgrade good for a whopping 960 hours of high def content. The WeaKnees 6TB DIY kits clock in at $450 while preconfigured 6TB Roamios start at $700… which is a far more practical solution for most than the ridiculous $5000 TiVo Mega.

tivo-laptop

Nearly a year after RCN and perhaps behind schedule, Atlantic Broadband has launched their iteration of the streaming TiVo web portal, proving once again that TiVo is something more than a DVR manufacturer – providing a variety of software and integration services to cable providers both here and abroad. Indeed, Atlantic Broadband is a subsidiary of relatively new TiVo licensee Cogeco and one would expect a similar online offering to hit Canada in 2015.

The first cut of Atlantic Broadband’s portal consists of 35,000 on demand titles and live video from up to 40 content providers. However, much more interesting is the direct linkage into ones own DVR. While it’s evident that Season Pass management is present and recordings are “available in your recommendations,” it’s not entirely clear that customers can stream all/some/none of their DVR-ed shows set-top-to-computer and if it’s limited to in-home access only. The “Watch Now” icon does provides hope that at least some content is available in certain locales … and perhaps this modern rendition of TiVo To Go might one day be made available to us retail customers.