Archives For TiVo

The CES 2014 Posts

Dave Zatz —  January 27, 2014

Now that the Vegas dust has settled, we’re finally caught up on the bloggable topics and have collated the bulk of our CES coverage in this handy bulleted list. Until next year!


Smart TV & Streaming

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TiVo refutes rumors, says hardware is a 'core business'


Post holiday sales, TiVo is testing the waters with some amazing offers for “Advisors” and rates that roughly line up with their existing reseller offers. I assume uptake will be strong amongst this market microcosm… and hopefully influences the broader TiVo Roamio pricing strategy. As we’re still awaiting the compelling upgrade promos previously alluded to by the company.


Last month, TiVo repurposed their iconic thumbs up/down buttons for an “Advisors” experiment — providing viewers a method to rate The Voice finalist performances. And the results are in, with over 40,000 recorded clicks correlating perfectly to show results:

Contestant Thumbs Up Thumbs Down
Tessanne Chin 73% 27%
Jacquie Lee 61% 39%
Will Champlin 53% 47%

We hope this is something TiVo intends to flesh out, as it could be compelling on a number of levels – both in terms of offering more compelling interactive advertising (versus the gratuitous pause menu ads) and enhancing the appointment television experience for big events. Indeed, next up for TiVo is the Super Bowl:

Again, our thanks for your assistance.  As some of you guessed, this was a test run for a larger experiment we’ll conduct related to a certain football game in February.  We’ll send out the details in a few weeks.

TiVo Coming To Roku?!

Dave Zatz —  January 15, 2014


From CES, The Digital Media Zone got their hands on some very interesting screengrabs… showing what looks to be a TiVo app running on Roku. No, not the full-fledged, cloud-based TiVo UI ported by ActiveVideo that we filmed at the Cable Show. Rather, this sports a more traditional Roku interface that appears to replicate TiVo Mini functionality in piping both live and recorded content to another television. However, given what I know of Roku’s platform, I’d imagine the technology at play is more akin to TiVo’s iOS apps in requiring a TiVo Roamio or Stream to transcode the content into something a bit more efficient than the raw MPEG2 that TiVo DVRs record. This would be a huge win for customers, such as myself, even though a service fee isn’t out of the question for the virtual client, as seen with DirecTV and DISH. Stay tuned?


Update: As Takeagabu points out in the comments, the Roku channel may just be an endpoint for TiVo’s network DVR to be offered by cable companies and not necessarily an option made available to retail customers. I know I’d pay for it…


Our hopes for and speculation of a TiVo Android streaming reveal at CES were dashed in Vegas last week. While I have it on good authority that private demos took place, one can only assume the company isn’t quite as far along as they’d hoped and/or they’re saving the announcement for more opportune timing. During the show, TiVo VP Margret Schmidt tweeted out Android streaming would be available “in the coming months” … which, sadly, isn’t “in the coming weeks” and puts their most recent 2014 Q1 release window (that we know of) in jeopardy.

Beyond Android, we’re also still awaiting a pair of tweaks to the experience that involve expanding the variable bitrate to support lesser bandwidth (and meet Apple’s requirements for cellular streaming) in addition to removing TiVo’s Alviso servers as a proxy – so that a mobile device can connect directly to a TiVo Roamio or Stream. Lastly, it’d sure be nice to see TiVo’s new portal made available to retail customers with a dose of TiVo streaming.

TiVo CEO Tom Rogers On Why TV Still Doesn’t Serve Viewers Well