Massive Amazon Fire TV Stick Update Detailed

As promised from CES, TiVo has released a brand new Android app. While it looks similar to the app it replaces, it’s been “redesigned from the ground up” — which surely accounts for the much faster interaction. OnePass integration and What To Watch also make appearances, closing the platform parity gap with iPhone and iPad. As with the prior TiVo Android app, it’s still streaming-only from Roamio Plus, Roamio Pro, and Stream units… with downloads expected later this year. Most exciting for a number of customers, at least for the time being, is a newfound compatibility with rooted devices.

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new-slingplayer-interface

Late last fall, Sling Media began experimenting placing ads within the Slingbox web client – both obtrusively placed banner ads and pre-roll video ads.

Well, as a follow-on, I’ve got some good news and some bad news. Ha, just kidding, it’s all bad news… as those who accepted the prompt to download the latest desktop Slingplayer client in time for March Madness are now treated to an interface overrun with ads, as shown above. Going full screen or shrinking the window does reduce the chrome and ads; However, it’s still a startling spammy intrusion. If that wasn’t disappointing enough, Sling has seriously overstepped when it comes to their Slingbox 500 owners who shelled out $300 for the benefit of video pass-thru and television output now sullied by banner advertisement overlays. Initially, Sling is promoting new features. But we can guess where this is going. And not only do they drop the ad unit on top of your video, their implementation is flawed in that both sound and video are briefly interrupted as it clears. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the mobile apps – at some point will they too receive ads and, if so, would that result in dropping the $15 iPhone and Android fee?

(Update: Sling Media PR informs me that the Slingbox 500 overlay will not be used for third party ads and paid mobile apps will not receive ads. Further, they’d like to direct folks to this Multichannel article which covers their web and desktop player ad-serving position.)

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tivo-plex

Why thank you, Evolution Digital for spilling the beans. We’d previously wondered if Plex might hit TiVo … given its recent Opera TV integration. And, now, we have part of the answer. What’s not yet known if this would be a native app, like Vudu, or an app-within-an-app via Opera. What’s also not known is box support and timing. However, I can’t imagine it’ll be a long wait given Evolution’s Amazon download cessation outreach and, at the very least, we can expect Roamio to be covered. Hopefully Premiere too. Properly integrated, Plex would go a long way to shoring up TiVo’s poor support of local media and opens doors on all sorts of interesting scenarios. Continue Reading…

tivo-yahoo-screen

Although I may have burned out on Community, Yahoo has banked on it. And I know many of you have been eagerly anticipating its triumphant (over-the-top) return. Well, fear not TiVo lovers, as VP Margret Schmidt has surprised us with news that Yahoo Screen will be available to Roamio, Premiere, and Mini owners this week. Yahoo Screen on TiVo requires software version 20.4.6a or greater and appears very close to being indexed in TiVo’s universal search… for complete OnePass Community coverage.

Dreading tax day? Well, I’ve got more bad news for you. Come April 15th, TiVo Series 3 owners unceremoniously lose access to Amazon Instant. Launched on TiVo way back in 2006 as Amazon Unbox (going HD in 2008), before we called these things “apps”, the video download service has been superseded by a streaming-centric approach that older TiVo hardware is likely incapable of handling (nor would anyone be willing to fund a significant engineering effort on hardware no longer available for purchase). As such, Amazon has begun alerting TiVo Series 3 owners. Presumably, “Series 3″ also includes TiVo HD models and should Amazon video still be available to Series 2 DVRs, I expect it’ll similarly become inaccessible in the very near future. So while we may have indeed paid TiVo for “Lifetime Service” there’s no guarantees as to what that might consist of over time.

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All about bundling vs à la carte, content selection, and fees.