TiVo, “Plus” A Whole Lotta Meh

TiVo+ has arrived. Boy is it underwhelming. Merely being available on a TiVo box for “free” isn’t innately compelling if the content isn’t interesting or usefully presented. And that’d be a double no at present.

Given the number of places TiVo+ is advertised within the UI (home screen x2, guide, apps), it’s absurd how little content there seems to be at the moment and how poorly it’s integrated into the overall experience. I, mean, this is the company that pioneered digital recordings, a recommendation engine, and the live guide. Yet, none of that exists for TiVo Plus. It’s merely a jumble of “live” video streams without any transport controls. Watch the video, you’ll see.

On the “plus” side, if there is one, the video streams aren’t yet preceded by pre-roll commercials. But, as to the content itself, well I didn’t actually watch anything long enough to determine what advertising may be embedded within the stream. I gots too many other superior video choices available.

Like many of the company’s initiatives at launch, TiVo Plus seems somewhat incomplete. Which hopefully portends deeper, smarter integration to help surface the meaningful content… if there is any.

20 thoughts on “TiVo, “Plus” A Whole Lotta Meh”

  1. Dave, Dave, Dave. Can’t believe you’re still ringing that Tivo bell! HA. Kidding, of course, but I am legitimately suprised they are still alive. I switched to Dish Hopper a few years ago, and then ultimately the awesome TCL Roku TV’s and YouTube TV. Life has never been simpler.

    How is Tivo surviving? Ad revenue? Surely their litigations have dried up by now.

  2. TiVo’s primary business is patent licensing/enforcement and selling their platform to international and smaller US cable providers. Retail/consumer sales is a small and probably shrinking sliver of what they do.

    While I’m commenting – TiVo+ is TE4/Hydra-only and it sounds like a typical staggered rollout amongst hardware versions and customers.

  3. I had a feeling Tivo+ was going to be a flop.

    Their Roamio apps are space and lethargic.

    I resisted the calls to upgrade to hydra. So far, I’m glad I didn’t give in.

  4. Is that TiVo+ being demoed on a Roamio? Another article this week mentioned this service would require a Bolt or newer and that seemed strange to me.

    I’m much more interested in the upcoming “virtual TiVo Mini” AppleTV app. Any news on that? Hopefully that works with a Roamio Plus…

  5. Supposedly “Series 6” first, which would be Bolt and Mini Vox. This was shot on the Mini Vox.

    Radio silence on the streaming app front, other than a vague reference on Edge product packaging.

  6. They we’re way too late to the streaming game. They could have really nailed it early on. But even now Netflix is floundering. Teva probably still does a decent enough business. I personally use it in one of my rooms. But they haven’t had any kind of solid innovation in a very long time. I’ve been a TiVo subscriber since 2005, and probably will be until something cheaper comes along since I have a solid box machine and going with cable as my DVR would mean paying for Box by the rental or new. I’m not interested in that..

  7. Just got the EDGE for cable. It’s terrible in design. Functionality needlessly complicated. Doesn’t work with switched digital boxes (I was told to wait for an email). Huge backward steps IMHO. I was a huge fan on TiVo with Roamio… which died.

  8. From what I have read Tivo+ is just content from XUMO integrated into the Tivo guide. Since we have a Roamio Pro we don’t have Tivo+ yet.

    Tivo should have just made deals with XUMO and Pluto TV to add apps for those services to all Tivo boxes. Tivo needs more streaming apps on their boxes. IMO Tivo DVRs are still far superior to the X1 boxes from Comcast and most other DVRs. Sucks that it appears Tivo retail cable DVRs are on life support.

    I have tried vMVPDs such as Philo and Youtube TV and while the cost is less than a traditional cable subscription they are still lacking too much content. Not one of these vMVPD services has anywhere close to all the content that we watch. So to get even close to a decent live TV lineup we would have to subscribe to at least two of these vMVPD services. Which means the cost becomes even closer to that of a traditional Cable TV subscription. The other downside is now having to use two different services/apps/GUIs for a decent live TV lineup on top of Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and other On-Demand services.

    Someone needs to come up with a good GUI platform to seemlessly integrate all of these vMVPD/OTT services. Looks like Apple is attempting to do so with their Apple TV app but it has a long way to go before becoming a viable option. Appears that Amazon and Roku are going to try to do something similar. Whoever comes up with the most seemless user friendly way of intergrating all of these services into one interface will be the winner in my book. The current app method is ok but far too clunky. Especially for those who have been using traditional OTA/Cable TV interfaces for many years.

  9. Except it’s not really “integrated” into the guide. The last line just lists a different thing each time you bring the guide up and it’s displayed as the provider (or a generic TiVo+ ad, as shown above), not actually what’s playing at a given moment. Not that we use the guide much at all.

  10. what a shame…by contrast, look at what roku has become, and tivo was WAY WAY ahead of roku in the hardware business…but tivo just didn’t innovate in the right direction.

    the notion that tivo can now provide (or even create?) content is silly, and the idea that they can get us to watch paid ads for their weak content is absurd…RIP, tivo

  11. I love my Bolt+. I bought my first TiVo in 1999. Used one on every TV in the house. That went on for almost 10 years especially since we went Directv for awhile. Then I spent 7 years bouncing around on many different type dvr’s. Three years ago I switched to spectrum cable and put in a Bolt+ and 4 minis so that I could watch on all tv’s, record 6 different programs simultaneously and still use the same device/remote to stream our Netflix, Prime, Hulu, YouTube and HBO Go accounts. I don’t know of anything that pulls it together for a household with lots of tv’s that’s even close to what TIVO does. I’m not really sure where they are trying to go with this product but, you guys are being way too harsh on TiVo. I think it’s the best platform out there for a home where there is a very demanding tv watcher. Oh, and we skip commercials on most of the network tv.

  12. WTH?!?! You can’t even use the transport controls?
    It’s bad enough that it’s ad supported. But you can’t even pause it?
    WTH?!?

  13. There are no trickplay options inside of TiVo+ . And most of the time, the program information is incorrect. TiVo stepped up top the plate and struck out big with TiVo+. But still… You ain’t taking my TiVo’s away any time soon…. That’s for sure.

  14. I can only hope they come up with something, anything worthwhile to keep me from jumping ship. A long time TIVo user, I rolled back hydra, (it sucked very large goose eggs), and my wife is totally happy with things like OnePass and commercial skipping. She knows how to use it, and she can barely use a smartphone. Please TIVo, get on board before I am forced to find something else.

  15. Nothing has made me happier than retroinstalling the older TiVo OS/Interface on my Bolt (Hydra is terrible!). Not only is it massively easier and faster to manage and navigate, but I now have the added benefit of avoiding all of this new stuff TiVo is trying to hang on their platform in hopes of generating more revenue.

    I do not get any of the new pre-roll ads and I managed to avoid all of this “new” content that this article validates is pretty ho-hum.

    It’s terribly sad to watch TiVo waste away, but they forgot what their core competence was – making TV more convenient and improve the “watching experience” to allow you to watch what you wanted, when you wanted it – all while skipping past commercials or anything else. Their pricing is too costly, their sales support is less than good (tried to get a friend to switch over and it was a horribly failed experience). Even the “watch from anywhere” via their mobile app doesn’t work for all content I learned (you cannot watch a lot of live sports remotely).

    Sadly, if there’s ever been a company that should be bought and sold for its parts, it’s currently TiVo. I’ll be sad to lose them, but they just don’t offer a lot of value and the recent additions have done NOTHING to improve their customers’ experience, it just made things worse.

  16. It’s nice to see TiVo has accepted that their entire business is being a patent troll. The rest of the company you should just close down. It’s over

  17. I love Hydra on my Roamio Plus and regret waiting as long as I did to
    upgrade. It’s a breath of fresh air, UI wise, and I find it elegant and sleek. TE3 by comparison looked and felt clunky and outdated, inconsistent and ugly, especially on a big screen 4K TV. But I especially appreciate Hydra for the additions of fully automatic comskip and CEC remote control. Both of those were game changers for me and my setup, and I wouldn’t want to live without either of them.

    I did, however, get TiVo+ on my Roamio Plus today. Which surprised me because we were informed it was initially rolling out to Series 6 (Bolts and Mini Vox) units only. I didn’t really care, as the content isn’t compelling to me in the slightest.

    But along with it comes the persistent advertisement for a TiVo+ “channel” in the Guide. Pretty annoying, actually. Part of me now wishes my box would’ve been precluded from receiving it :-/

  18. I checked this out last night on my Mini Vox.

    What a joke.

    TiVo would need to pay me a ton of money to use TiVo Plus.

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