TiVo retires Amazon Fire TV app, but…

Dave Zatz —  January 3, 2018

With little fanfare, TiVo quietly retired their Amazon Fire TV client application a few weeks ago.

After two years of successful adoption, the beta program of TiVo for FireTV has come to a close. As of November 2017, the app has ceased its current functionality and will no longer be available for new downloads from the Amazon Marketplace in the coming days. TiVo and FireTV technologies have grown and changed quite a bit since our release of this beta application in 2015. To best support these advances, we’ve made the difficult decision to end support for the existing beta application. We at TiVo are committed to incorporating your beta program feedback so we can provide a truly optimized experience for today’s Streaming Video technology and user needs. 

While it’s sad to see it go, the app really wasn’t very good. And, so once again, the TiVo Mini remains the DVR’s lone TV extender option, compared to say Tablo, Plex, or even Comcast that provide clients for boxes like Roku and Apple TV. But it’s been a tumultuous time at TiVo, punctuated by a shifting strategy and integration a new (inferior) guide as part of the Rovi acquisition. Yet, all is not lost, as my old pal and former colleague Ted Malone has been brought in to potentially turn around TiVo’s retail fortunes. And, on the app front…

(Thanks Andrew!)

31 responses to TiVo retires Amazon Fire TV app, but…

  1. That Amazon TiVo app was truly terrible, but it has so much promise. I used it a ton while traveling in hotel rooms a few years ago. Now that Netflix and others have so much great content, I haven’t bothered with it.

    I really do hope they release a new app, though, and so some work on out-of-home streaming in general. The only thing less reliable than OOHS is the Rovi guide data.

  2. The FireTV App, never worked all that well. Just make the phone apps that will Chromecast and Airplay and it would get used more.

  3. Hopefully a new iOS app will be much more responsive than the current app, which is horrible.

  4. Sweet!!! I’m glad he clients will look like Hydra!!

  5. The Tivo iOS app isn’t good, but the FireTV app was an order of magnitude worse.

  6. Several orders of magnitude… :) I like Joe’s suggestion given what, once again, sounds like limited development resources at TiVo.

  7. The FireTv app worked fine when I used it. But everything was at 720P if I remember correctly. But it certainly wasn’t something I would have wanted to use as a permanent solution. But for occasionally watching content from a TiVo it was a great solution.

  8. Fine and great are relative, I guess, and experiences presumably vary. For me, the streaming video was a pixelated mess (on the same, solid network!) within an incomplete UI and offering limited functionality. I’d rather interact and watch on my iPad, which I did. But I can see how it’s better than nothing in many scenarios and perhaps others experienced higher quality video… In any event, it’s gone and we’ll see what the replacement looks like, whenever, if ever, it’s released.

  9. I never had any pixelation problems. The picture was solid, just at a lower 720P resolution. But I guess that is because it was sending the same video that it sends to mobile devices. Which is further compressed before being sent out of the TiVo.

    Hopefully if a new app arrives, it will be available on other platforms, like the Roku.

  10. Interesting. I had tried to use it on the FireTV stick but it was hit or miss. My biggest issue lately with TiVo is the schedule/guide. I recently had the guide data for my area completely emptied. Nothing in the guide and everything that was in the to do list removed. I was on the phone with TiVo for a couple hours and the only way to get it working again was to pick another zip code for my area. We have the Roamio Pro and it’s been solid until now. We’ve had a few other minor channel/guide issues since so my confidence is a bit shaken.

    It’s surprising to me that core functionality (and what I actually pay for every month) can so easily and completely fail.

  11. Speaking of Hydra… to those of you who have it, has it been improved at all? I’m still very hesitant to upgrade my Roamio to it.

  12. Rob, I wouldn’t recommend upgrading the roamio to hydra. It’s too slow for smooth graphic transitions. The bolt is fine and I like hydra on it.

  13. Hydra hasn’t grown on me. And the custom home screen menu shortcuts I created on 4K Mini recently vanished for who knows why.

  14. Hydra on my Roamio, Bolts, Mini, and Mini Vox have been great in my use. Hydra has definitely not been slow with my Roamio. I’m on GigE with FiOS though. But even when I take it to my GFs house with her slow 50Mb/s Internet, it’s still quick.

  15. I might be asking for something old school, but any word of an update to the old Tivo Desktop? Converting Tivo content for use later on my PC was a great feature that I used often…. until it just broke one about a year or so ago.

  16. I use either kmttg or pyTiVo Desktop for that. They work better than TiVo Desktop ever did.

  17. Thanks aaronwt. I’ve sort of resisted those due to (in my opinion) clunky interfaces but I may have to bite the bullet and try those.

  18. Eric, yeah follow aaronwt’s lead here if you want recordings offloaded to computer or external storage as TiVo Desktop is dead.

    HarperVision, TiVo’s pretty much just reiterating what they’ve been saying about Hydra for two years – they’ve unified the platform under a single interface and framework for multiple platforms. What’s new is publicly putting a stake in the ground by naming some of those non-TiVo clients. However, that is what gives us lower priority retail customers some hope – since we want the TiVo app on Apple TV and returned to Fire TV.

  19. Thank you Dave.

  20. Aaron, the interface speed on the Roamio I refer to has nothing to do with your internet speed. i was referring to choppy transitions, menus, and the grid relative to the Bolt, which has a faster CPU. Some wouldn’t be bothered by it, but I like my interfaces to be speedy. I would suggest a backup of all essential recordings before making the upgrade.

  21. Also be aware if you upgrade to Hydra you currently, and so far with no plans to replace or add the functionality back, will be unable to transfer those recordings back.

    I definitely second KMTTG. I let it run in the background mostly for me with only the occasional intervention so the UI doesn’t bother me.

  22. Does sideloading the Android app work in the meantime? I don’t have a firestick anymore, but I always preferred the sideloaded version to the beta.

  23. No Tivo app works on the Fire stick or FireTV, the backend was changed and won’t allow it.

    On a related note, Tivo Desktop really isn’t dead. The last version (2.8.3) works just fine.

  24. Any word at CES or from your buddy Ted? I don’t think they announced anything.

  25. FirstWorldSolutions March 13, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Why would you pay $150 for TiVo mini and have to set up moca when you could pay $70 for fire and use your home wifi to set up multiple tv rooms to watch recorded tv? For a beta the app worked very well. Only had to reset the app twice in two years. If the app came back and a casting feature was added to phone/tablet tivo app, all my needs would be taken care of. This is poor online journalism at its finest.

  26. Well… at least I successfully lured you into reading and responding to my poor online journalism a whole two months after publication?

    Not everyone had a great experience with that app, myself included. Further, if you care about things like the best possible picture and audio quality, the app provided an inferior experience compared to the MPEG2 delivered to Mini. Not to mention it didn’t provide the greatest user experience – my wife would have lost her mind if I told her that’s how she’d have to access TiVo. TiVo Mini doesn’t require MoCA, not to mention those with Roamio Pro/Plus or Bolt pretty much have MoCA “set up” from the get-go.

    Having said all that, an app solution is certainly more flexible and cost effective – hopefully the next version performs better. Assuming one can stomach the Hydra interface. I blew away all our Roamio recordings to revert…

  27. “I blew away all our Roamio recordings to revert…”

    Woo-hoo! Congrats, Dave!

    BTW, I haven’t bothered to check the forums, but I’ve been experiencing an odd bug/degradation with Encore over the past week. All thumbnails in the interface that used to be posters for the shows/films are replaced with generic thumbnails. And the tiny icon indicating which streaming services a show could be found on has disappeared.

    Are you seeing these with Encore as well, or is it just me?

  28. You got the *.30 release. Ted indicates they’re rolling back to a *.29 to correct a number of issues including that one if I’m remembering correctly from my quick skim earlier today. Force a connection?

  29. Bingo! And thanks for the info.

    I had a “Restart Pending”, and allowing to go forward indeed rolled me back from 30 to 29, and fixed all the issues in the process.

    (FWIW, there is at least one subtle differences to what I had before getting 30: the Amazon VOD and Amazon Prime icons are slightly different. So either I got a different version of 29, or I never had 29 to begin with.)

    Viva, Encore! Viva! Viva!

  30. BTW, Dave, now that you’ve reverted, I reiterate my request for you to write a quick ‘n’ dirty post on why you didn’t like Hydra, and how it was annoying enough to lead you to revert. (Writing on the topic from your wife welcomed as well.)

    Since I haven’t seen anyone write this up in terms of actual details, seems like it’d be a worthwhile post.