Our TiVo Stream 4K DVR Extension Dreams Are Dead

I had been holding out hope that TiVo would repurpose the work they had done for Fire TV to bring DVR extender capabilities to the Android TV-based Stream 4K. Beyond whispers it was being explored at one point, TiVo PR seemingly left the door open. Or perhaps it was just my wishful thinking. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. From redditor tivopm:

The TiVo Stream 4K capabilities and features were designed for the streaming player market. The company has no plans to integrate connectivity to TiVo DVRs.

The TiVo Stream 4K remains an economical Android TV solution – still just $50, which compares well to Fire TV and Roku, but now also available at Amazon (for efficient returns, should you change your mind). Although we’re still awaiting some fairly fundamental fixes…

(Thanks but no thanks Brian A!)

29 thoughts on “Our TiVo Stream 4K DVR Extension Dreams Are Dead”

  1. So we’re going to create a device for an already mature and saturated market, rather than leverage the features that actually make tivo unique and tie into what is left of our customer base are using.

    Makes sense.

  2. This is it for me. I’m don’t with TiVo. I’ve setup Channels DVR and I’ve been using it for 6 months on 2 HiSense Android TV’s as well as 2 Apple TV 4K STB’s. They will be my solution going forward. My wife still uses the TiVo Bolt+ DVR but I might just take that away at this point.

    I purchased a TiVo Stream 4K with the hope of using it as a TiVo mini replacement. But it’s been nothing but a headache so far with issues. And now that they have no plans to use it as a DVR extender I’m done with them.

    I was also holding out hope for a TiVo Apple TV an Android TV app DVR app, but I assume if they are not going to launch the app on their own Android TV device then they are not going to release it for any other STB’s either.

  3. I’ve been a longtime TiVo user (1999) and since my home solution still seems to be working, I’m not ready to ditch it just yet. But I have been tempted to at least see what the fuss is about on the other side of the fence. I’m definitely not a technophobe, but I get the sense that the whole HDHomeRun/Channels setup isn’t super intuitive. Is that right? (Are there recommended how-to videos?) Can I purchase the hardware, try the software, and just pop out the CableCard from my TiVo to try it out? Or is this going to be one of those FiOS headaches where I need to re-provision the card? Is setup so painful that I’m not actually going to be able test anything until I’m 25 hours in? As needed, just point me somewhere else instead of answering here: no need to duplicate effort that’s already been made!

  4. Rich, you can test Channels with no hardware and a free trial. Download to a computer, give it your FiOS online credentials to get all the streaming channels, and go crazy. If you end up sold, you’d have to chase down an old HDHR Prime for most channels and best audio/visuals. FiOS lets most channels through CableCARD. Maybe HBO and some Fox networks are blocked? I forget. Cord cutters would use an OTA HDHR, which is simpler, or Locast streaming.

    https://getchannels.com/tv-everywhere/

  5. The only thing keeping me with TiVo is the fact I live in an area with no over the air channels other than our PBS station and the fact that I have a Roamio with the old interface. If they force me to Hydra, I’m done. If a simple solution presents itself for cable card that also has commercial skip and a season pass type recording scheme, I’ma outta TiVo land. I had a feeling that their getting bought was the beginning of the slow death spiral. Seems to be the case.

  6. TiVo should just close shop. They clearly don’t care what their consumer base cares about. Instead they go on in some ridiculous direction to compete with an already oversaturated market. I’ve been the owner of a TiVo unit in one form or another for over 15 years. Giving me accessibility to my TiVo unit through my TiVo Stream 4K was never too much to ask for. Unless of course you want to add a backlit remote and charge $200 for an item that you’ve already been selling for years. It’s a sad little business they’re running and it shows in their (Xperi) stock prices.

  7. I was considering this 4K Stream if it would link into my larger multi-TiVo system. Clearly doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen. I already own streaming devices from Roku and Apple TV. These have saturated the market and that market is well matured. Smart TV streaming capabilities are also well established. Unless TiVo has some new trick it hasn’t shown with this device it’s indeed hard to see that it will be something other than niche product. That seems so especially since the small android computer devices from China which connect to my TV already saturate the market as a recent Amazon search reveals.

  8. ouch. I was waiting for the official yay or nay on that feature. I was planning to move on based on that reveal but the link on de-tivo’ing the unit is intriguing.
    I have an aging Fire TV Gen 1 box (not stick) that works but could be replaced. May hold off for the new Google dongles that have been leaked to see what they do. Also considering the new Shield TV.

    Will keep my Premiere still hooked up to my main TV for now. Still comes in handy for OTA recordings.

    Thanks as always for the updated Tivo info.

  9. The new Tivo CEO was pretty clear that the DVR was dead and we should get over it. While I don’t want to hear it, it seems pretty obvious. It would be foolish to spend the resources to build DVR support into the Streamer for such a limited market.

    Why enter a mature streaming market? First, because Roku is still important, which means that there is room for little guys like Tivo to get in. Second, because the current streamers all have a poor user experience. If Tivo could put their UI on a streamer with full “one pass” support for Streaming apps AND live streaming (not just Sling), then they would have a compelling solution.

    Unfortunately, they really didn’t hit the mark, leaving jut an inexpensive AndroidTV box…

  10. There’s no way they could add DVR streaming to this $50 device when they just introduced a new $200 device to stream their DVR.

  11. Can people stop crying about no dvr integration already? Tivo is smart to stop sinking money into old technology, it rarely pays off. It’s not like records where its just cool to have a dvr.. the world has evolved. Everyone who’s anyone streams everything now. The eclectic have NAS and store there an manually store without limit and endless network integration. Oh and to top it all off, there’s really great video guides out there on YouTube to get all you dinosaurs caught up. DVR=VCR

  12. Chris, which CEO? The one that just started or the one that just stepped aside after little more than a year? I had heard they were looking into providing the option at one point and it seems like a pretty light lift – they had a Fire TV app going all the way back to 2015, with a new one pretty far along as recently as last year. Why not sell several thousand Sticks to existing DVR customers, many of them still paying month-to-month or annually… for now. The reason that’s notable is TiVo makes significantly more per retail DVR subscription than MSO. Combined with the fact that Tablo still exists, there must be a retail market out there for DVR that TiVo could further capitalize on if they control costs (and they do have a two tuner Edge OTA in their arsenal, was being sold in Canada).

    Once the company suggested the soft clients for Apple TV, Fire TV, and Roku were off the table, I transitioned from TiVo to Channels. They made their strategic shift (subject to change under new CEO and/or if they look to spin off hardware again) and some of us have made ours.

  13. Still rocking our Roamio Pro and Mini here, wondering what’s next. I’m also in it for the Unified Program Guide (and Universal Search) and overall UX. Not interested in having to explain a bunch of different streamers and piecemeal apps to family.

    My son launched Netflix to find a movie and it ended up being on Amazon Prime instead. Told him he should have used TiVo’s search which would have sent him to Amazon Prime in the first place.

    Has anyone else made it as easy to search across services as TiVo? Too bad the app launch time (and lack of app switching) makes it painful to get in and out of Netflix and Amazon. Maybe I should try one of those WebOS TVs…

  14. Steve, I wouldn’t say universal search is completely comprehensive and ubiquitous, but the streaming boxes all have decent offerings – including voice integration. And ReelGood is an agnostic TiVo Stream-esque aggregation app… that is probably superior to TiVo Stream, including no need for new hardware. What TiVo DVR OnePass does in overlaying/merging DVR recordings and OTT episodes across seasons and such is unique. But not necessary for most.

  15. Has anyone tried side loading a web browser onto the tivo 4k stream, then going to the tivoonline website to access your tivo recording from your dvr?

  16. Been a TiVo veteran since the 14 hour PVR later renamed to DVR. They were so innovative in those days every time you turned around there was another impressive update. It is a shame the last 8 years have been nothing but disappointing and filled with false promises. I wish I had given up on them sooner because I’ve recently invested in Tablo and it so reminds me of TiVos early years of innovation. I am very happy with Tablo on all my Roku, Android and PC devices. Just sorry I didn’t try them out sooner. Very sad for TiVo. I am extremely happy with my new 4 Tuner OTA Tablo DVR.

  17. I wonder if this has anything to do with the integration with Sling? Might have been a condition of their integration there…

  18. Have you seen the news about integration of the Stream remote buttons with Channels DVR now? Seems strange that Channels DVR can do it on a TiVo product, but Tivo themselves can’t!

    https://www.tivocommunity.com/community/index.php?threads/channels-dvr-integration-with-tivo-stream-4k.578477/#post-12095850

    Quote:

    “To take things to another level, Channels DVR has released its own integration with the TiVo Stream 4K remote.

    Once you’ve set up Channels and installed the Android TV app, head to Settings > Device Preferences > Accessibility and turn on “Channels Button Detector,” just like with Button Mapper above. You’ll now be able to control the app using the TiVo remote:

    The TiVo button opens Channels DVR.

    […]

    The irony here is that TiVo has yet to deliver its own DVR integration on the TiVo Stream 4K. By removing all TiVo functionality from the TiVo Stream 4K, Channels DVR provides the next-best thing.​“

  19. Yep, the Channels DVR button mapping is a nice perk which I use, as I’ve neutralized the TiVo software. See tweet linked in my comment above. I turned Jared onto that feature when he mentioned to me he was working on a de-tivoing post.

    Dan, fascinating point I had not considered. Hm. Although they implied Sling was just the first integrated TV partner (not that we know if they’ll have any other takers – former CEO came from DISH).

  20. I tried Hulu, Netflix, Sling, Amazon Fire stick, and the Tivo Stream 4K.
    My latest, year-long disaster was with DIRECTV…terrible interface!
    I just switched back to Xfinity and I now have a Tivo Edge and I couldn’t be happier.
    Tivo is the only way to watch TV as far as I am concerned.
    mdv

  21. Unfortunately the picture quality from services like Comcast and FiOS is terrible now. The bad video quality is the entire reason I use my TiVos less now, and watch a large portion of my broadcast content from streaming services. Since all the streaming services now have better video quality than FiOS or Comcast.

    FiOS is bad enough but then Comcast converts everything to 720P which looks even worse. Although FiOS seems to be racing to get to the level of Comcast.

    And then in my area, the DC area, OTA is also nothing but a shell of what it used to be. Video quality is equally as bad from OTA here.

    I also tried the TiVo Stream 4K, but sent both of mine back before the end of the 30 day return period. Just the fact that it had always on HDR made it a terrible choice for me. SInce I want to watch my SDR content in SDR. My DOlby Vision content in DV, and my HDR10 content in HDR10. Not have everything forced into HDR10 or DOlby Vision. But maybe they fixed that now?

  22. Comcast converting nearly every channel to 720p resolution is an insult to all its customers.

    Not the only insult, of course. The worst insult is suspending data caps during the absolute HIGHEST data usage ever and then bringing back data caps again. Which knocks out ANY excuse for data caps, period.

    Although, The broadcast fee is another outrageous insult.

  23. Finally tried Channels DVR and I am impressed. Unfortunately, I bought a new tivo Bolt Vox only last December, which makes me reticent to invest in new hardware, and it won’t work on Roku.

    Guessing I might be more inclined to switch when the tivo is fully paid off in a year and a half.

  24. I was a long time Tivo fan but got out about 2-3 years ago. We were happy with Tivo, although concerned about the future. We got out because Spectrum couldn’t go more than a few days without an outage, and having trucks rolled to me and my neighbors on a weekly basis. I work from home, so had to do something. AT&T had just brought fiber into the neighborhood and I switched to that and their pretty good whole house Uverse TV DVR. I’m sense transitioned from that to Channels DVR with combined OTA + Philo… because AT&T was doubling their TV portion of my bill to $140. Channels is awesome and serves our needs very well. The biggest benefit is that it separates the provider from the user experience. It would be great if the market shifted to providers just offering TV Everywhere packages, and separating that from the Guide/UI/DVR piece. We could then have some real nationwide competition between the providers. It seems like we are headed that way as Roku and Amazon Fire are starting to aggregate provider content like Channels does, and Tivo did with just the Sling piece. I’d love to see the industry go more in that direction.

  25. I am a recent Tivo convert. I even hardwired my whole house to accommodate stb. I have 2 dvrs (roamio and edge 2 tuner) as well as 2 minis, and I am in love. A steep price to get started but with almost 60 ota channels at zero dollars a month the devices will eventually pay for themselves. I only have one room I can’t hardwire so I’m a little mad about stream 4k not being able to stream my Roamio, but I come from Roku and Tivo is Soo much better. Live tv is a dj compared to an algorithm; much better.

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