Archives For TiVo

TiVo Returns To Canada (10/30)

Dave Zatz —  October 22, 2014 — 7 Comments

cogeco-tivo

It’s been a long while since TiVo has been offered in Canada. However, by way of the Investor Discussion Board and Twitter it appears that Cogeco will formally introduce their TiVo solution to Ontario cable customers at 11AM on 10/30. Whereas prior distribution was handled via retail, possibly including a drive across the border, this is obviously a provider offering… and presumably supports Cogeco’s full digital cable lineup without customers having to front a substantial chunk of change. Not to mention this is clearly the DVR from space.

tivo-winter-update

TiVo’s Winter Update nears release. And, as you can see from the pic above, it’s headlined by mobile streaming enhancements along with the previously disclosed Amazon and Vudu apps. While Vudu and its Ultraviolet library tie-in an entirely new (and welcome) TiVo offering, Amazon Instant is a long overdue update that brings the full fledged streaming app experience… and finally includes access to oodles of “free” Prime content.

Beyond the new and improved over-the-top video content, TiVo also promises “improved video quality and performance while streaming shows to mobile devices.” As to the specifics, one can only guess. But I’m hopeful this refers to a more dynamic and broader range of bitrates… to finally also bring cellular streaming to iOS devices and perhaps the retirement of the TiVo proxy, requiring extra hops for all video to flow through.

The Winter update is expected to hit TiVo Roamio and Mini extenders by late November (but hopefully sooner).

TiVo Revises Roamio Remote

Dave Zatz —  October 18, 2014 — 19 Comments

tivo-slide-pro

By way of the FCC, we learn that TiVo intends to refresh their Roamio remote. And, as this is a “permissive change” filing specific to the original TGN-RC30 hardware, the in-place upgrade is likely driven by component availability and cost, perhaps with some performance improvement.

  • Change of PCB pattern size
  • Change of Component size, shift of component.
  • Add component, delete component.
  • Antenna location shift
  • Antenna Chip size change and location shift

Meanwhile, as previously revealed, an RF remote will likely be bundled with the next iteration of the TiVo Mini and, coincidentally, I just received a new TiVo Slide Pro remote (pictured above)… because my Mini has had trouble receiving IR commands deep inside the TV stand. Fortunately, the Slide Pro does include learning capabilities and I’ve programmed the power button to simultaneously control both TV and 5.1 Vizio soundbar. And, once Amazon Instant and Vudu hit in the next couple weeks, I’ll surely put that QWERTY keyboard to work.

By way of the TiVo Community and an FCC filing, we learn that TiVo has petitioned the powers that be for access to customers of a combined AT&T and DirecTV – should the merger be approved (now with NFL in the bag). And they do make a compelling argument… including drawing a clever parallel to Ma Bell (which is entirely unrelated to the current entity in anything other than name).

Any FCC action approving the merger of the leading DBS MVPD and the leading IPTV MVPD must require that the merged company comply meaningfully and effectively with existing law, including Section 629’s obligation to support commercial competitive devices.

If the merger is allowed, the merged company, in addition to being the largest MVPD, will be the only MVPD to supply programming and services via both direct satellite and wired transmissions. With its national scope, the new AT&T will in certain respects resemble the original AT&T system — a system that was required to open its network to device competition under the Commission

Further, TiVo doesn’t pull any punches in regards to DirecTV, leading us to wonder if their current partnership has soured in some way. TiVo has previously indicated discontent in regards to DTV’s decision to develop and deploy the prior TiVo experience…

TiVo’s experience with DIRECTV has shown that technical access to programming has not been a stumbling block to the use of retail devices. Device competition has been constrained, instead, by DIRECTV’s business objective of controlling the relevant device market, in a manner contrary to the intent of Section 629 and Commission regulations.

TiVo (Finally) Flips On Android Streaming

TiVo Tests Free Hardware (Again)

Dave Zatz —  September 23, 2014 — 12 Comments

tivo-roamio-free

TiVo is once again testing the market with free DVR hardware. And, this time around, it’s the 4-tuner TiVo Roamio that handles cable and over-the-air (but not at the same time). Instead of charging $150-200 at $15/month, TiVo is giving away the Roamio … for those willing to commit to two years of service at $20/month. You can bet their motivation is to reduce the barriers to entry, as they’re similarly experimenting with via the new $50 Roamio OTA model. Yet, given retail distribution via the likes of Best Buy and Walmart, this particular offering may remain an online exclusive. Civilians can check out the promotional pricing here, while our military counterparts have additional options to consider here.

With Vudu and Amazon Instant soon set to join the likes of Netflix and YouTube, as TiVo begins redefining themselves as a “Streaming Player,” we have a few usability enhancements to suggest. Because, as it stands, getting into TiVo’s over-the-top apps requires quite a few clicks compared to a Roku. So my first suggestion is simply repurposing the TiVo button on the remote – a double click would bring power users straight to the existing (or better) app menu. Next, as to the menu itself, instead of a vertical listing of services featuring logos of varying widths, I’d like to see a grid of standardized app buttons for quicker access and recognition, along with improved provider parity. Lastly, TiVo’s mobile app should be updated for direct app “dialing” as available to Roku owners since 2010.