At long last, TiVo is publicly committing to a soft client streamer apps for retail DVRs, such as the newly released Bolt OTA. So instead of investing in a TiVo Mini at each television, we can leverage our existing Apple TV, Fire TV, and Roku boxes to receive both live television and DVR-ed content. Unlike the DISH “Virtual Joey” non-starter that was set to run $7/mo, TiVo intends to charge no fees — like the headless Tablo DVR, that provides apps for a number of platforms, fee-free.
No, the TiVo Mini isn’t going away. These apps are merely another option for secondary sets or those on a tighter budget. Of course, there will be something of a trade-off in terms of transcoded AV quality and more variable network conditions, along with giving up 5.1 audio and SkipMode commercial avoidance. However, the flexibility will be well worth it for many… including the ability to simply attach a Roku Stick or Fire TV Stick to the hotel television for our content on-the-go — and, trust me, that’ll go along way to keeping my toddler comfortable when away from home.
The apps are scheduled for a Q2/Q3 launch, with the Android-powered Fire TV client hitting first and Apple TV bringing up the rear.