21 thoughts on “Prepare to be underwhelmed… TiVo launches Opera apps”

  1. Fortunately, they’ve got many (most?) of the important apps natively, like Netflix and YouTube. What we need next is an Amazon Instant refresh and perhaps some ESPN and HBO GO.

  2. i agree that out of the box we are not going to see a lot of “useful” stuff. But it is exciting that the platform exists and can be leveraged for new functionality.

    What I have not seen are the rules for having an application included in the store. Or backdoor tools for self publishing.

    Is somebody going to spend hours developing a full function video RSS reader, PLEX Client or similar only to have it denied by TiVo for duplicating core fucntionality or infringing on cable labs agreements?

    Really need to understand the rules for entering this “Walled Garden”

  3. The SDK is Opera’s and this is basically a meta app of apps… I doubt, for example, one could break thru to create a Plex app that communicates locally. Most of this will be filler fluff — TiVo can check a box that, yes they have dozens or hundreds of Internet apps. As to the apps that matter, well there are signs Amazon Instant enhancements are on the way in. For example, here’s a hack to play downloaded shows on a Mini.

  4. @Dave – Not sure that hack indicates much else than that the hack works. Helpful for those shows I bought on Amazon ages ago. That I’ll never watch again…

    As far as the store, Vimeo seems like the only thing of interest. And that’s a serious stretch honestly. Why not at least Vevo? Yeah, I know its a sub-channel of Youtube but at least you’d have focus. Of well, this could be a big ball of nothing.

  5. I have looked at the SDK and there is no technical reason why opera cannot support a Plex style app.

    The question is: will TiVo allow a Plex style app?

  6. Glenn, I was trying to be subtle… a TiVo spokesperson stated (to someone other than me) that an updated Amazon experience is coming. :) And we did see an Amazon icon accidentally published to the Mini a few months back, which may or may not be related. But where there’s smoke (and intel from TiVo Marketing), there’s fire.

  7. Yeah, UV is interesting… it hasn’t really taken off (yet?) but for those of us who have it, it’s quite compelling. Curious that Amazon hasn’t gone that route and once upon a time I thought Roku and TiVo might roll their own video services, but Roku has taken a path of lesser resistance by baking M-Go into their home screen (which is UV).

  8. What would the updated experience be? Would it allow the playing of prime videos via the Tivo? That is the one I am waiting for.

  9. For me, the lack of a tied-in UV service is TiVo’s huge weakness. Until they add it, I won’t be satisfied and will always be looking to replace my TiVo with a better integrated solution that isn’t tied to just one software provider (like Apple or Amazon). An M-Go tie in, similar to Roku, that always me to watch my HD UV content from VUDU, Target Streaming, and CinemaNow, would be just fine. I’m surprised an UV service didn’t come with the Roamio, any idea why?…maybe it would upset the cable TV partners (which doesn’t matter to me since I use OTA and streaming).

  10. TiVo’s decisions related to apps is largely tied to the wants, needs, and desires of their MSO partners. I’m won’t be surprised to see a new Amazon Instant streaming app launch since at least one TiVo partner (Alaska’s GCI) provides the existing Amazon app to their TiVo customers. I know of other MSO’s that will not provide Amazon since it’s premium service competes directly with its own premium VOD. TiVo’s subscription base will swell to over 4 million subs by the end of this year, 5.5 million by the end of 2014, 7 million by the end of 2015, and 8.5 million by the end of 2016 not including any new deals that will be potentially signed during the period. This growth puts them in a strong number 3 position for boxes that support OTT streaming so it should garner the attention of more content providers like HBO and ESPN.

  11. Acutualy I recently reached out to PLEX to inquire about this very thing. They was an app in development for BOXEE that was called Plexee per TCM. Trying to stir the pot to get this back into action or similar. Then again, if OperaTVStore would give us the Opera Browser navigation we could skip the pleasantries and just hit http://www.my.plexapp.com

    TCM has already been using KMTTG to send websites to Opera SDK browser, but the problem we are running into is ZERO navigation. At one point if you used a mobile app it hit the navigation swipe command you could briefly move around that screen. But with the remote it was not recognizing commands yet.


  12. TiVo is getting Facebook and Twitter so while not exactly HBOGo it’s still better than most the application now on TiVo.

    Best of all my MSO RCN is rolling this out next month! Never thought I’d see this on a Premiere:

    “The Opera Store will launch in January, within the Opera Store App there are about 140 apps the include everything from Facebook, Twitter , Games , Weather , etc.. We are still working on that App and hope to launch it in Early Jan”


  13. Sam, don’t count your subscribers until they hatch… or something.

    Matt, TiVo’s designed their platform to be modular given the dual retail/MSO nature of it and even differences between providers as Sam pointed out. If I were Amazon, I’d say I’d build you a new app as long as you keep Vudu, M-Go, etc off. Not saying that happened, but it’s how I’d play it.

    Bryan10024, Wish I could get RCN. Although their guy seems quite fed up with frequent TiVo service outages…

  14. Well, I’d love an updated Amazon app on my Premiere. I can get at Prime via Roku, but mostly we just stick with Netflix so whatever is on Amazon Prime is unexamined and worth nothing to me. Haven’t even watched Alphas even though we’re kinda running out of things to watch the last couple of weeks…

    No idea what the update will bring, but the current app is pretty bad. No support for Prime of course. No graphics to speak of. TV episodes in some sort of random order that isn’t season – episode. Etc etc. I’ve used it when I had to but I stay pretty far away because of how bad it is. When I need something I switch inputs and use my Apple TV. Pretty soon I’ll have a ChromeCast on this TV too and yet more options. One of these days one of these solutions will become more full-featured and the TiVo will start to diminish in importance if they don’t get this stuff done.

    I’d say TiVo and Amazon both have reasons to do this. Understand though that a majority of their MSO partners wouldn’t let the app anywhere near their customers of course. If only Amazon Prime were more important in the UK…

  15. Lol @ Sam. Virgin, TiVo largest MSO in terms if subs is showing some very clear signs that it will be following in DTV’s foot steps. It’s almost comical watching the football pulled away from TiVo investors over and over again and yet they still line up to kick the ball.

  16. Yeah, Virgin is real interesting (unless you’re a TiVo investor). If Virgin does decide to move on from TiVo for Horizon, given their new Liberty ownership, how long would it take to phase TiVo out – I assume hardware would exist on their network for many years (as with DirecTV and their original TiVo solutions).

  17. Liberty Global (LG) has a lot of options going forward. It appears based on news reports that they are exploring cloud-based solutions that potentially would allow them to abstract the hardware platform from the software. I suspect that its possible they could at some point in the future migrate the 2 million Virgin TiVo boxes to Horizon but why would they? Virgin TiVo customers have higher customer satisfaction and lower churn. Further, I think its pretty clear from multiple sources that the TiVo platform is lower in nonrecurring and recurring cost versus Horizon. Its a much different environment than what existing when DIRECTV decided to move away from the TiVo platform. Is there a risk that LG will move away from TiVo? Absolutely however I think the risk is fairly low. As far as Jack Mehoff’s (TimTiVo on Investor Village) comments go, I would like for him to highlight a few of the “very clear signs” that Virgin is following DTV’s footsteps. Its pretty hilarious that he’s moving a discussion about TiVo deploying the Opera App store to commentary that indicates TiVo is on life-support with the $1 billion of cash they have on their balance sheet.

  18. @Sam Odd Cramer hasn’t seen these “clear signs”. :) As for exploring “cloud-based solutions” CableVision (Optimum) pioneered this over 5 years ago. And when I read the review on the model that was just recently replaced I can see cloud-based DVRs might need more exploring. Cons: Buggy. Crashes continuously.Misses recordings. Bad picture quality. Limited recording space.


    Wish I could get RCN. Although their guy seems quite fed up with frequent TiVo service outages…

    I don’t know why I thought you had RCN! Yea, Jason is the face of RCN TiVo so with the recent outage I’m sure he’s not happy.

    But on the positive side RCN rolled out the TiVo winter release last night complete with Opera Store. OK, it’s 20.3.7 not .8. Still, who’d of thought that in 2013 you’d see a TiVO cable operator rolling out support for HTML5 based apps on a Premiere Q?!

  19. I periodically mess with RCN support on Twitter and engage with Jason, but I’ve been on FiOS a couple years. They do a great job supporting CableCARD, despite the highest rental fees in the biz. Although no on demand for TiVo owners and I’m still a little peeved the tier below mine receives BBCA and I’m stuck buying content on Amazon.

    Jason and RCN are quite progressive… and I know they’d even offer Netflix if they could. I’m more impressed TiVo launched the Opera meta app (to some) ahead of schedule. Related, I wonder about the nature of their relationship with AOL given the revised On app joining new Moviefone and Techcrunch apps (none of which I’ll ever use).

  20. The issue with most of these new video apps is the discoverability outside the walled-garden of the app itself. If there was a way to make the techcrunch or AOL video available via WTWN, browse, or the discovery bar I might actually watch a video once in a while. I agree with Dave that its impressive that TiVo has launched the Opera App Store before the new year. It appears to me that the TiVo Software development team is on a quicker agile development schedule versus the 4-releases per year schedule that most TiVo users are accustomed to.

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