TiVo Needs Your Help Testing Cloud DVR

As revealed last year, TiVo was prepping a cloud DVR service option for retail hardware, with indications that over-the-air television recordings originating from Roamio, Bolt, and upcoming Mavrik devices will be stored and streamed remotely. While this is a CES no-show, we know work continues. Indeed, TiVo needs your help as they fine tune the offering.

From TiVo VP Margret Schmidt:

Beta testers are needed for a new and exciting opportunity that will last approximately 8 weeks.

To qualify you must:
1. Have a TiVo box (Roamio, Premiere, or BOLT) with Over-The-Air (OTA) TV signal – No CableCARD
2. Live in the San Francisco Bay Area
3. And, have two of these three products:
– iOS device (phone or tablet)
– Android device (phone or tablet)
– Computer with web browser, either Windows 7 + or Mac OSx 10 +

If interested, please e-mail Beta@tivo.com with “OTA Beta Opportunity” as the subject line and your name, e-mail address, and TSN in the body.

So now we know Premiere will also be supported as well as the initial anticipated playback clients. Hopefully Roku and Fire TV are also on the docket. As to what this service might cost and its relative value, when weighed against factors such as your broadband cap, remains to be seen.

10 thoughts on “TiVo Needs Your Help Testing Cloud DVR”

  1. I heard an insider say that they’ve an all new FireTV app being built on the lines of leaked Hydra UI, very different and feature rich compared to current FireTV TIVO app.

  2. Good catch. I’m surprised the Stream has remained available this long since only half of the Roamio line and none of the Bolt line require it — they have streaming built-in.

  3. Disappointed the beta is only available in San Francisco but excited at the prospect of cloud functionality coming to Tivo Roamio OTA. Curious if they will force store per user or only store one show (file) for multiple users. One scenario may be one of those ridiculous legal requirements the other would be common sense.

  4. One thing to keep in mind is that each regional affiliate works their own local ads, beyond the national commercials. Ignoring that point for a moment, as long as “your stuff” plays back when requested what does it matter if it’s a single a copy or multiple, individual copies?

  5. Dave, I am a software engineer. If 3000 people in the same broadcast area record the Big Bang Theory as an engineer I would not want to save 3000 HD copies of the same 30 minute show. The storage requirement alone would be gigantic. From an end user perspective if they store 1 copy or 3000 you are right it would not make a difference but from a storage costs perspective it would make a HUGE difference. That is where the FCC and their government buddies really screw up. Those costs have to be paid somehow and if the government forces them to store 3000 copies of the same show then the cost of the storage will need to be passed on to us, the Tivo community. I am not cool with that are you?

    It would also be great if Tivo/Rovi fixed their boxes to recognize the OTA metadata enough to actually record the show you requested when it is time shifted by unexpected events such as a football game running long and pushing Elementary 20-30 minutes later. If Tivo could recognize that event and start recording when the show starts (and stop when the show ends) rather than at a specified time that would eliminate the need to over record shows. Plus it would allow the Commercial Skip function to work right with every show. Just saying ;)

  6. While individual recordings wouldn’t be the most efficient solution for someone like TiVo, storage is cheap and TiVo is well aware of the market in which they operate. We’re still in the middle of an industry transition – things like this are and will be messy for awhile. Hopefully DVR will exist at all when we get to the other side.

  7. Dave, I agree, individual recordings for each user is the ONLY legal option, but as you stated, it is not as expensive as it would have been years ago. Both SlingTV (demoed at a No extra charge of 100hrs capacity with GREATER capacity for extra charge–multiply that Greg B X 700,000–and DirecTVNow will have cloud DVR), will have Cloud DVR and clearly have the means and hardware and whatever else to support it as a robust experience.

    FWIW, Dish demonstrated its new DishAnywhere App for FireTV with the enitire experience just as it would be on a mobile device (initiating recordings; watching Live TV) and stated they will be NO CHARGE to use it. So, it makes sense TiVo would want a far more robust TiVo App. What I really take away from this is not only TiVo and Dish, but SEVERAL companies seem to be commiting to ANDROID (FireTV) when it comes to NEW apps for connected devices. They have said NOTHING about Roku. It seems the economies have come home to roost: Why bother with the added expense of producing (and supporting) a NEW Roku app when Amazon FireTV and tablets run Android (forked, but still Android) and has the allure of Echo/Alexa for both consumers and app makers who want to intergrate voice control and can easily be altered to run on Android TV, Android phones, and FireTV or other Android based hardware, (of course, in the mobile arena iOS apps still make ecnonomic sense to be developed and supported, but what abuot in a few years?).

    The costs of support are now taken more into consideration by big companies with Apps far more than it used to, it seems that Android, along with FireTV and Alexa is the future in the eyes of TiVo, Dish, et al. alternatives. While I own Roku’s and LOVE the skip back button, the truth is Roku is a sluggish experience (even the Roku3) compared to FireTV, and Roku has lots of “channel” apps that are pure JUNK. I would not be sad to see Roku go nighty night becase FireTV meets my needs for having the most popular apps such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon for entertainment, AND I can run the VLC Player on FireTV, and it will run my VOB files, and it has far more controls to manipulate music and video while Roku’s media player is just not really usable for full control.

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