TiVo Desktop To Receive Imminent Refresh?

Dave Zatz —  February 6, 2013


After years of neglect, will TiVo Desktop computer software finally see a refresh? If TiVo’s new homepage graphic is any indication, it does indeed appear their whole home solution may shortly expand beyond the television and iPad. In addition to its existing TiVoToGo download capabilities, one might assume an updated TiVo Desktop would stream DVR recordings from Premiere to PC via the TiVo Stream ($129). Although I imagine many of us would prefer TiVo Stream Android capabilities ahead of Windows.

Also divined from the company’s update web imagery, Tim Tebow’s contract as the face of TIVo obviously extends beyond the 2012 holiday sales season… despite feeling the need to launch a support page disavowing his religious views:

TiVo employees, partners, and associates are made up of a diverse array of personal views. TiVo does not endorse the personal views of any individual.

(Thanks Philip!)

22 responses to TiVo Desktop To Receive Imminent Refresh?

  1. I really hope so.

    KMTTG and PyTiVo have spoiled me. I think TiVo could fairly easily offer a TiVo Desktop that incorporates the functionality of those along with Streambaby while presenting it all in a TiVo iPad APP UI.

    It would also make sense if they offer the Stream and future TiVo models to transcode to the PC.

  2. Is that a mini in the bedroom shot?

  3. Yep, it sure is. Although the debate rages on in regards to how TiVo decides to price it for retail. I assume launch nears and was informed Suddenlink is already offering it to their TiVo+cable subscribers.

  4. Yep, my guess is in-house streaming to windows from the tivo stream. Nothing particularly interesting.

  5. Color me interested in streaming TiVo to a PC, more laptops in our house then iPads. Would love a Roku channel, but that would eat the Mini sales.

  6. Slingbox does the same thing for less money and works outside your house too.

  7. How is Slingbox less money than the PC and TiVo I already own?

  8. Doesn’t slingbox just stream what ever is on the output? Thus making the Tivo un-usable be others in the house. Fine for some, but very different.

  9. @Brennok: You would also need to buy a tivo stream. At least that’s what we’re guessing.

    @d_glynn: Yep, that is true.

  10. I’d say the TiVo Stream interaction is much smoother, more polished than a Slingbox. But the Slingbox does free you of the home and works on all sorts of devices, whereas the Stream is iOS-only… for the moment.

  11. Have to agree with @DaveZatz, I’ve owned a Slingbox for a few weeks, got fed up w/ the interface/lag/performance and got the Stream.

    Been so happy with it since, yeah there are the occasional times where I want to watch something live, but in those cases I’m rarely at an area where the internet/wifi/cafe/hotel is solid enough anyways to be able to handle anyways.

    Stream to PC/Mac is good news for a lot of folks who own laptops (though I watch most of my streams on iPad in office etc.).

  12. Why would Tivo Desktop need the Stream to stream from a Tivo to the PC when it can already download shows to a PC without it? Why can’t TD stream directly from a Tivo?

    As for the new support page – Dear Tivo. When you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas. Apparently, this hasn’t sunk in just yet.

  13. (disclaimer: these are all assumptions, I have no facts/empirical data :)

    @Sean – my guess is that the stream box compresses so it makes the network (esp over wifi) bandwidth a lot easier to manage. The Tivo>Desktop transfer isn’t compressed, it’s just straight up file/data.

    Agree though would’ve been nice if they just built a compression/streaming feature into the boxes, but I’m assuming they’ll eventually do so in the future.

  14. At this point, it’s all assumption. The first assumption is that this wasn’t a mistake by a marketing agency with Photoshop. I’d say that’s a pretty sure bet given the prominent placement of the imagery. So then the question becomes, what exactly are we looking at? It appears to be a video playing back with TiVo controls on a Windows laptop. In the early, early days of TiVoToGo, TiVo did skin their own video player to view transferred recordings. And perhaps TiVo Desktop will merely be enhanced with a playback UI. Or perhaps this is an entirely new program. Maybe the Stream is involved. Technically, there are a million different PC configurations out there and a thousand different home networking configs – I’d say moving full frame HD MPEG2 from TiVo to PC for real time playback would be risky and could result in a poor end user experience for many. Whereas the Stream has a dedicated chip to transcode video on the fly into something smaller, more manageable. Of course, TiVo’s alluded to building this sort of functionality into a future DVR (as we’re seeing with the DISH Hopper 2), but right now TiVo isn’t so keen on allowing the Premiere to natively transcode – probably for fear of negatively impacting core functionality. Also, TiVoToGo is a dusty, forgotten thing for most. Reintroducing the idea of PC playback via Stream seems to work both on a marketing and sales level.

    I’m hopeful this is something more than a Photoshop hack to represent TiVoToGo. And, of course, TiVo knows how to contact us if our assumptions are way off base.

  15. Did anyone else get a Tivo subscriber survey yesterday? It was mainly about performance and speed of everything. The last question asked about interest in a 300 HD hour 4 tuner device with OTA support. I am intrigued.

  16. I’m aware of maybe three seemingly different surveys in the last month. Hm. There are quite a few interesting elements. And some boring ones, like rating Tebow as a spokesperson. (If you’re asking now, you already blew it?)

  17. One major advantage of the TiVo stream is that it can work with CCI copy-once programs, since TiVo can securely encrypt the stream to block copying rather than sending the raw MPEG-2. This would make it actually, you know, work for those of us with terrible cable companies that set everything copy-once like time-warner.

  18. Err, that’s an advantage of the TiVo stream over streaming the raw MPEG-2, not an advantage over the Slingbox, which works with everything anyway.

  19. Hi- Shannon with Suddenlink here. The TiVo mini is currently being launched and is available to most customers. If you subscribe to Suddenlink and have any questions, please feel free to email me at shannon-AT-suddenlink-DOT-com. Thank you!

  20. While I’m interested in the Mini when/if I would in fact very much like to see an update to the TiVo Desktop software. Honestly, I don’t care about TiVo Stream integration since it doesn’t work outside your house, which is the only place I’d use it really. Inside my house the TiVo Desktop plus Air Video on my iPad/iPhone work just fine thanks.

    What I WOULD like to see though is an update to the TiVo desktop codec support which no longer works with much of anything I have. If I rip a DVD and want to be able to view it on my TiVo its actually kind of difficult to transcode it properly at this point so TiVo DT can handle it, the codec support is so archaic.

  21. So the current theory seems to be that this does NOT represent an updated TiVo Desktop, but perhaps could allude to TiVo’s upcoming video streaming portal with RCN, powered in conjunction with Comcast’s thePlatform. Or maybe it’s just a liberal reference to the existing computer playback capabilities. Hm.