TiVo DVR on Android TV First Look

Instead of running with a shaky, grainy cellphone video, Jason Nealis and RCN cable wanted to provide folks with a more polished and authentic first look at the TiVo DVR experience … running natively on Android TV. And, of course, I was more than happy to oblige – thanks team!

If you’ve given the above video a go, long-time TiVo subscribers will likely be impressed by the 90 second boot sequence of RCN’s Evolution Digital Android TV hardware … directly into the TiVo Hydra interface. Once in, all the live television and (cloud) recording capabilities you’d expect are present, in addition to a number of Internet streaming apps. Further: games! Are these licensed by cable providers like RCN or, more interestingly, installed yourself via that Google Play Store tile?! Pretty sure it’s all of the above.

Alas, the classic TiVo peanut and iconic thumbs are not present; having been replaced by a new 49-button TiVo Phase 2 Remote for Android TV that features both a TiVo home button and the Google Assistant (that you can see in action towards the end of the video). It’s not the prettiest thing plus I wonder about transport control sizing and placement, but hey it’s not bad coming from the cable company. And Google Assistant on your TiVo people!

As to why an operator would choose an Android TV IPTV Cloud DVR over a legacy traditional Arris set-top, I’ll go ahead and presume significant hardware and infrastructure savings ($$$). Seems likely there’d also be Google-related extensibility not available to other platforms and reported revenue sharing.

In any event, we’re sure to learn more from TiVo, RCN, and Evolution Digital in the near future as it seems like they’re collectively gearing up for launch. As to us retail TiVo customers, we continue to patiently await (or not) our streamer clients, à la Tablo, to replace or augment TiVo Mini hardware.

16 thoughts on “TiVo DVR on Android TV First Look”

  1. Sigh. I replaced the audio track. Really wanted you to hear those TiVo beeps and bloops PLUS the Google Assistant discussing the weather overseas. However, YouTube’s copyright system is highly automated and legit fair use content like this is often caught in the crossfire. And I’m already in the penalty box.

  2. Live Guide is not coming back, but TiVo continues to tweak the guide (and other areas of presentation). Play All in folders should already be restored/available.

  3. Responsiveness is indeed impressive, but the choice of remote is unfortunate.

    I wonder if RCN is planning on rolling out their cloud DVR functionality with this IP box. They’re lagging seriously behind the competition in that field. And the way they’ve been cutting down the TV line-up, it’s hard to see why anyone would choose them over the competition.

  4. I also love in DC, but my neighborhood is not witted for RCN (tried to get their internet, but no dice). Is this a full streaming thing branded by RCN, or will it be available only by wired RCN connection?

  5. No Peanut remote? That’s the most important part of the UI. The traditional “candy bar” remote form factor stinks.

    Really, really disappointed in that because, in my book, it ruins a magnificent achievement!

  6. The “My Shows” list of recorded shows does not show the green “SKIP” tag for anything. Does that suggest this DVR will not support ad skip? That’s a major differentiator and a massive miss, if true.

  7. I would love nothing more for the Edge to be Android TV based, but I just don’t see that happening. It would be the smart move, but I’ve learned over the years that Tivo rarely does those. :-)

  8. Nice. Toss out an easy to hold remote with minimal buttons and replace it with the same giant 50 button unusable remote that many tv’s come with…

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