Cancelled TiVo Mavrik Appears on ebay

Over on Earth 2, cord cutters are loving the wireless, dual-tuner TiVo Mavrik. Yeah, like most TiVo products, it needed work at launch (channel changing was so slow back in 2017), but it’s finally become a viable Tablo competitor and then some. The “headless” network tuner with cloud DVR service pipes live OTA and recordings both around the house and beyond (via the quite nice Fire TV app) And the cloud storage is reasonably priced with nicely optimized video.

Of course, here on Earth 1, the unannounced, unreleased Mavrik was immediately scrapped by the post-merger Rovi management and TiVo’s retail business is currently hanging on by a thread — pinning its ongoing viability on consumer-unfriendly practices. So it was quite surprising to see a number of Mavrik listings hit ebay yesterday. Given the dead configuration page, lack of client apps, like Roku, alongside a cloud storage service that never launched, I hope the purchasers are well-intentioned collectors or industry competitors as this will be largely, if not entirely, unusable.

From the product packaging:

Free TV. Now Wireless.

Watch and record free TV channels through your streaming devices. Enjoy on any screen.

Watch live and recorded TV on your compatible mobile devices, laptops, and Amazon Fire TV.

  • Connect Mavrik to your HD antenna
  • Record your shows in the cloud and watch from anywhere
  • Store 5 hours of programming in the cloud, included with your purchase
  • Upgrade to one of three optional storage plans, up to 100 hours

(Thanks tarheelblue32!)

10 thoughts on “Cancelled TiVo Mavrik Appears on ebay”

  1. I put in a low-ball offer of $20 (plus $8 shipping) last night and was rejected. Considered countering higher this AM, but someone else had already grabbed it. (Probably TiVo themselves, as they were tipped off). The product itself won’t have much value and a blog post plus YouTube unboxing wouldn’t likely return me that $28. :) Hopefully someone from the TiVo Community forum picked one up – I’m interested in seeing a teardown.

  2. Surprising to me that the Mavrik project got all the way to having full product packaging designed, with the marketing copy written up, before getting axed. It really must have been VERY late in the game when they axed this product.

    I still wonder if we might not see Mavrik (or something quite similar) released as a decentralized OTA DVR solution in 2020 or 2021 to work in tandem with the future TiVo Android TV dongle and the (still forthcoming?) new TiVo apps for Roku, Fire TV and Apple TV. I know they just released the Edge for Antenna but very few cord-cutters want to use the TiVo app platform and it just increasingly feels like the way forward for OTA TV is as an app on one of the leading streaming platforms.

  3. Given their unrealistic 2020 sales goals for the Android TV Stick, I’d say it’s highly unlikely there will be new retail/consumer initiatives come 2021. Then again, even odds there’s yet another new CEO post-split who may have differing thoughts.

  4. Hmm. So, Dave, do you see TiVo’s current pivot toward streaming (and streaming ads) with TiVo+ and the forthcoming Android TV streamer as a kind of last-gasp retail strategy? And if it doesn’t take off, then TiVo may just bail on the retail market and not release anything else ever again? Or are you just referring to the fact that TiVo doesn’t typically release new retail hardware in back-to-back years, so 2022 would be more likely to see new hardware after 2020’s Android TV stick?

    Frankly, I was shocked to see the Edge come out. I figured the Bolt would be the last CableCARD retail TiVo we’d ever see. But I don’t think the Edge will sell well. I just can’t see a credible path forward for TiVo in retail except maybe in terms of devices that merge streaming with OTA DVR, although Tablo and others already have a foothold there and that’s a pretty niche market…

  5. The TiVo Edge value proposition significant improves for cord cutters if and when they release streaming app for Fire TV, Roku, and Apple TV and/or if the Android TV stick provides a similar end point, along with all the Android TV apps. I’m really hoping that’s the plan and that they execute quickly. TiVo Edge for Cable is and will remain a product for an ever-shrinking niche, due to a variety of factors, irrespective of TiVo’s moves. Which is why it’s sad they didn’t make a strong move for those cord cutters in 2016/2017 with the Mavrik and/or additionally expand, morph their business.

    A prior key VP who Tom Rogers brought on, despite no CE experience, used to tell me how hard their business is. He had no retort when I suggested they change their business. They had $1b in cash – could have become anything they wanted, could have underwrote those onerous monthly fees to grow headcount and halo, etc. Beyond the non-decision and potentially missed opportunities, they’re on at least their 6th interim/full CEO in less than four years (Tom Rogers, Naveen Chopra, Tom Carson, Enrique Rodriguez, Raghu Rau, Dave Shull) and who knows what other leadership transitions, plus the upcoming, self-inflicted significant corporate event (split) which could further shake things up. I imagine it’s challenging to rapidly innovate and execute at a high level in the consumer space with this level of instability. It’s also my belief that they’ve been spread thin and retail wasn’t much of a priority for a long time, with cable getting the significant resources and I wonder what those folks building pre-roll ads could have been doing instead. But I’m both amazed and hopeful by their hire of Ted Malone. I hope they’ve been giving him the support and resources, etc he needs to succeed.

    As to the sales forecast, TiVo has far fewer than one million retail households and way less brand recognition/positivity these days, yet this is their 2020 Android TV Stick forecast from the CNN interview:

    Shull hopes to double TiVo’s customer base to 50 million households by next year through sales of the dongle.

    So what do you do given those expectations when you’ll probably move small thousands vs large millions? Pulling the plug has to be an option on the table. As it was when the Rovi merger went through. We lost Mavrik, but retail hobbled on to fight another day. We shall see.

  6. Yeah, there’s no way that Android TV dongle is gonna move anywhere close to that many units. And, let’s face it, TiVo+ looks like it’s going to fail. (Everybody and their brother has already jumped in the free ad-supported streaming game, with WAY better content than TiVo+.) So it’s easy to imagine a future TiVo CEO post-split in 2020 just throwing in the towel on retail completely.

    As for cord-cutters buying the $350 TiVo Edge for Antenna to be used in conjunction with the forthcoming streaming app endpoints, I don’t see it. Why spend the additional money on the Edge if you’re just going to use it in a headless manner like a Tablo? Buy the Tablo Quad for $200, a 2 TB USB hard drive for $60 and put the remaining $90 toward Tablo’s less expensive DVR service fees. Tablo only charges $150 for unit-transferrable lifetime while TiVo charges $250 for lifetime that’s locked to a specific Edge for Antenna. So you come out $190 cheaper with Tablo.

    Cord-cutters are budget-sensitive shoppers (who already own far better streaming devices than any TiVo DVR). TiVo’s prices just don’t make sense versus Tablo, especially given that the latter now supports auto ad-skipping, faster channel changing, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, and uses the superior Gracenote program guide data. Unless TiVo can come out with a similar product that’s at least close to being cost competitive, I don’t see them making any headway here.

  7. Cord cutters are no longer solely the price sensitive. Lots of reasons to move on from traditional cable. We would have dropped it in August when we moved, but Verizon basically through in FiOS TV – nearly the same price for gigabit alone as the bundle. But, yeah, TiVo is up there. They do have a two tuner Edge OTA for sale in Canada. Don’t know how much that lowers the BOM, but I assume it’ll make its way to US once the Bolt inventory is cleared. 5.1 on Tablo is a mixed bag given inconsistent support.

  8. This product would be unusable as is, but would make a nice collectors item. I wonder who was selling them? It must be former employees who had test units or maybe there was a bunch sitting in a warehouse somewhere.

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