TiVo Roamio Remote Viewing Has Arrived!


As you can see above and described here, TiVo has flipped the switch on remote access — allowing Roamio Pro and Plus units to stream both live and recorded content via WiFi. Of course, this functionality is only available to iPad and iPhone owners at launch. But Android support, along with cellular access, is expected in 2014 (with no word on other potential platforms). Further, anything locked down by your cable provider will be blocked. (Sorry, TWC customers and HBO subscribers.) Remote functionality will hit the TiVo Stream next month, bringing these very same capabilities to the base Roamio DVR and prior generation TiVo Premiere.

We’re planning an in-depth look after we’ve had a few days with the solution — is Roamio a Slingbox-killer? How does TiVo’s implementation compare to DISH Hopper placeshifting running on equivalent hardware? Will my wife loan me her iPhone again? Stay tuned…

From the press release:

While doing what other cable set-top-boxes don’t do: combine all the best of linear TV with all the best over-the-top content, TV lovers now have the ability to roam free and both control and consume from out of the home through a mobile device. […] Out-of-home streaming requires an Apple iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch device running iOS 5.1 or higher, and only supports streaming to one of your mobile devices at a time. Due to the copy protection assigned by the content provider, not all content can be downloaded to your mobile device for offline viewing, and not all content can be streamed when you are away from your local network.

24 thoughts on “TiVo Roamio Remote Viewing Has Arrived!”

  1. Regarding the lock-down, are the programs locked from remote streaming or is it remote download that is blocked? I was curious as to how TiVo was going to honor the CableLabs Copy Control flags from the provider.

  2. Then you missed the link in my post… ;) The page and video both went up a few hours ago.

    Regarding the intricacies of how this works, what’s blocked, TiVo’s inability to adjust the stream on the fly, etc I expect we’ll learn (and experience) much more over the next day or so.

  3. Whoops. :)

    I’m guessing we won’t even need to wait a day or two. Unfortunately, I’m out of town until tomorrow and the Roamio Pro to replace my base Roamio is waiting for setup as soon as I arrive in Tampa.

    My hunch is that TiVo will honor the normal behavior within the home outside the home so programs that are blocked from download/transfer will be blocked for OOHS download but all programs will be available for streaming over WiFi.

  4. Strange – 7:50AM EST. I am running Tivo 3.2(692191) on my iPhone. If I try to watch remotely, I get the the old “Away From Home Network” error.

  5. Rick, are you on WiFi or cellular? Out of home is WiFi only at launch… It’s also possible the Roamios haven’t been triggered yet, despite TiVo’s 7AM countdown. Hm. I had to give my phone back to my wife, so I can’t confirm (given my Android smartphone and tablet).

  6. I can confirm on my Roamio Pro that OOH streaming is NOT available for anything flagged by the CCI byte. Basically it functions just like the download restriction when you are in-home. For Cox customers like me, it means that OOH functions are limited to broadcast networks channels only. Quite the bummer…but given that the CableCos have been sued by content providers for allowing out of home viewing in the past in an effort to extract more money for their channels, it is not unexpected.

  7. Dave,

    I was connected via wifi…actually from another node of my home network that doesn’t share address space with the Tivo. I was attempting to view a program that I know is not flagged since I downloaded it to my iPad a week ago.

    The error message still says “To access all options, connect to the same Wi-Fi network as your TiVo DVR” which I believe is exactly what version 3.1.1 gave.

  8. Folks on the forums are indicating it’s live… perhaps the boxes are updating in waves or similar? I won’t be able to test until tonight. Guess I’ll turn my Galaxy Note 2 into a hotspot for my wife’s iPhone – quicker than firing up another router.

  9. I don’t understand the big deal. I’ve long been using fresnel lenses and pneumatic tubes to send the photons to my out-of-home mobile devices from my TiVo HD.

    Sure, this scheme may be slightly more consumer friendly, but really it’s just the same old same old…

  10. Doesn’t work for me. My Roamio Pro Is at my Primary Residence in Florida. My secondary REsidence is in Maryland. I download the updated Tivo app to my IPAD and iPhone 5s. Both did not work. Got the usual message, you are away from the network that contains your Tivo box, etc……. Perhaps my Roamio in Florida is pending an update (does this require an update from Tivo to make it work)? I also have a slingbox configured, but haven’t had a chance to look to see if i have a pending reboot.

  11. I think I know what the problem is… forum discussion indicates the iDevice must be configured locally before remote access works. Even if you’ve previously linked the app the TiVo, you need to redo it I think. Another strange limitation.

  12. So if I have Time Warner Cable, then for programs flagged with the CCI bit, it is possible to view them on an iPad at all — i.e. any of:
    – in home, stream
    – in home, download
    – out of home, stream
    – out of home, download
    I have a TiVo Premiere, wondering whether I would be able to make any use of a TiVo Stream when this functionality comes “soon”.

  13. Yup, looks like you need to redo the initial setup on inhome Wi-Fi to start with. Also sounds like if you start watching on Wi-Fi you can continue watching over LTE which is interesting.

    Early reports seem to indicate quality is better than expected but not as good as Slingbox under low bandwidth. Sounds encouraging actually.

  14. Andy,
    In home streaming should be fine as it already is, at least on Cox, but no downloading (except for broadcast network stuff). For OOH you can stream or download broadcast networks as well, but not CCI protected shows. In an interesting development, it appears that when OOH you can watch Live TV on protected channels(even HBO), but no recorded shows. Weird. Maybe just temporary loophole or bug,but as of today its working.

  15. Jason,

    I can’t stream HBO sub-channels (just HBO and HBO2) either because on Cox they are MPEG4 channels, which are not supported on iOS. I don’t know why they can’t fix that, since you CAN stream (MRS) those channels from box to box, just not to an iOS device.

  16. I can confirm that streaming works pretty well with my iPad 2 tethered to my google nexus 4 on tmobile. Little hiccups here and there but very watchable.

  17. With TiVo Margret’s input, I found the policy that slowed down the cellular streaming. Wonder if similar Google Play restrictions are in place? Hm.


    Video streaming content over a cellular network longer than 10 minutes must use HTTP Live Streaming and include a baseline 64 kbps audio-only HTTP Live stream

    Also my prior assumption is incorrect. While in home streaming remains NOT adaptive (pegged at 2.2Mbit/s), Margret has shed some light on out of home – as low as 290 Kbit/s, and up to 1.2 Mbit/s.

    And in my super brief initial testing, I did see the video quality (and quality/connection dots) fluctuate – presumably as my coverage came and went. Very watchable, but pq via my home WiFi is also significantly better. Hoping they bring in a high quality mode as Sling did for those days/place I know I have rock solid coverage. That 290Kb bottom does suggest the stream will drop in low bandwidth situations.

  18. They need to enable the same speeds for Out of Home streaming as is available for in home streaming for people that don’t have to worry about any bandwidth issues.

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