TiVo Expands Retail Footprint & Device Capabilities

Our very own Adam Miarka stumbled upon a notable TiVo Stream 4K display at Wal-Mart earlier this week. And, although this isn’t TiVo’s first retail rodeo with the Bentonville behemoth, it’s been awhile. Further, a sizable endcap display like represents a significant financial investment by the DVR pioneer, in addition to signaling they still have skilled folks around able to work such a deal. Not to mention Wal-mart’s taking something of a flyer here and must similarly see value in cord cutters and TiVo’s content unification dreams. Lastly, what was originally marketed as $50 Stream 4K launch pricing last spring is clearly here to stay. Given the (subsidized) competition, TiVo really has no choice – irrespective of universal aggregation aspirations as a differentiator.

As to the TiVo Stream 4K device itself, the company recently released Android TV and Stream app updates with a number of fixes and a few enhancements, including Locast guide integration. As of this week, Starz content is now also available in unified discovery and a firmware update is in the pipeline that will finally expose HDR settings.

37 thoughts on “TiVo Expands Retail Footprint & Device Capabilities”

  1. I’ll believe the HDR fix when I actually see it. Like dark mode for Facebook IOS. Seriously, instead of focusing on tue HDR issue, they’re worried about content integration with the Stream app. Wow!

  2. I’ve seen the end cap in North East Ohio as well (Medina, OH Walmart). Based on the remote alone, I would have given them some consideration if they integrated in with YouTube TV, as I transition our household from TiVo to FireTV sticks.

  3. I really wish TiVo would change position on not integrating the Stream with their DVR line. The two products could compliment each other the same way Fire TV Recast and a few Fire Sticks do. As I look to cut the cord I want the ability to DVR OTA channels in addition to streaming other content. This will push me towards the Amazon route and divesting in TiVo.

    This is a missed opportunity for TiVo.

  4. I troll them every chance I get on Twitter about a lack of DVR integration when they ask some random question. I know it doesn’t make a difference, but it sure makes me feel better. I guess I just need to resolve myself to Channels or Plex and call it a day…

  5. I agree, missed opportunity to create OTA/Cable TiVo DVR and TiVo Stream integration. This could basically turn the TiVo DVR into a headless server to the TiVo Stream. I imagine part of the Sling TV partnership is involved in why this is not happening or that they are sunsetting their investment with the current product line and putting it on maintenance only with the Edge line. Unfortunate.

  6. Which apps support the unified discovery?
    Is it more up to date accurate then say what’s on my bolt example “the boys” new episode drops every Friday but it takes TiVo a week to recognize it.

    Also could they ever do what Reelgood does if they don’t get the other apps?

  7. I couldn’t be sadder about my Bolt experience with Tivo. I must admit that the service is nowhere near what Tivo represented. The DVR is very buggy, to say the least. And the skip feature isn’t even available for 95% of what I watch. I think Tivo, as a company, will end up like Blackberry: a must have popular device, but they failed to renovate and give consumers what they really want.

  8. @Joe go with the Amazon dvr device. No subscription as that’s how TiVo holds ur feet to the fire. I’ve been Tivos Bi**h enough over the years that it’s time to move on. I have them thru cable with 2 6tuners but each year the local OTA affiliates are allowed to charge a Franchise fee and fees for “passing the signal to cable companies (B.S. as cable companies have the hardware investment just as much if not more while the networks get lots of federal money to provide free OTA local channels to the public).

    Tivo has a great remote setup don’t get me wrong but the subscription based method is crap. With Amazon I can record local OTA channels and fastforward, rewind, skip, delete shows, etc with 2 tuners per box then get the few cable channels I watch all the time on demand as between the local signal feed fees, the small fee our cable company charges us that TiVo passes onto them, rising costs of $5-$7 each year, taxes that compound that on top of already having to pay taxes for the money I’m spending it just is getting to expensive.

  9. @WJFj go with the Amazon box when holidays hit or sooner as it seems to go on sale around holidays, Amazon prime day and other big holidays. 2 tuners to record local OTA channels.

  10. Agree with Joe – this should be an AND not an OR with legacy tivo OTA/CC products. Hey Tivo – Quit making it hard for loyal tivo customers to stay loyal. We have many options so dont squander any bit of customer loyalty. Dont have to be a marketing genius or overpaid goldern chuted CEO to see that.

  11. Is this a worthy product or not?
    It’s been out for a while now but all I see are complaints.

    It’s available at Wal-Mart, so what.

  12. MJK, Walmart availability is a big deal. As to the product, it’s a solid Android TV streamer, with a good and unique remote. Beyond Android TV, TiVo is attempting to aggregate content from all sorts of sources to abstract away the disjointed app experience for efficiency and discovery. We covered that several times before. They have a great idea, the question is can they continue to execute and recruit partners. Beyond that, they’ve abandoned their DVR customers with this product and there have been a number of bugs in need of attention. The new Google streamer being announced next week is going to steal some of TiVo’s thunder.

    Also, a note on comment protocol: I expect all discussion to remain on topic (TiVo!) and remain polite. If your sole contribution to the thread is a bashing of my grammar, I click the little spam button – doesn’t matter if you’re right. Also, this site does not exist to share (off-topic) opinions on the social issues of the day, irrespective their pertinence outside this venue. With that in mind, one comment has been deleted and two others have been edited.

  13. Dead company walking. If this would stream from my roamio without buying a ‘stream’ box for another $100, I’d think about it. But with two roamio’s and 3 mini’s, I’ll just switch inputs and remotes to watch OTA until the tivo gear dies or stops getting guide info.

    The commercial skip these days is ridiculous and its a measuring stick. I watch a lot of shows that are supposed to have it, but often 50% of the episodes do and some of the ones that say ‘skip’ do nothing when you hit the skip button, so someone said “yeah I made all the skip files for show xxx’ but they didn’t.

    If they’re cutting people, they’re losing money.

    As far as marketing, the last one I talked to and it was about 18 years ago was IIRC Bob Ponylous or something like that, and as a marketing professional myself, he was an idiot. I doubt things have improved, nor will they.

    Had them since they dropped the series 1 to $399 around 1999 or 2000. No more.

  14. I’m with Joe, I want to record OTA!!! Currently, I stream with chromecast. It’s the easiest thing for ME. I have basic DirectTV with ATT internet, which ABSOLUTELY SUCKS! Around midnight, every night, no matter what TV Im using in the house, I get the little spinning circle! Ultimately I get a slow internet error notification. This never happened when I lived across the street and had comcast internet. Im waiting a couple more months for my landlords (sister) contract to expire so I can ditch ATT. By then I hope I find a good choice for ota recording, we get such a wonderful channel lineup, its frustrating to be paying for all the stuff we never watch on basic cable.

  15. AlbanyHDTV, a new CEO had come in (since departed) and blew up the prior direct-to-consumer roadmap (as Rovi did with Mavrik). So the Roku, Fire TV, and Apple TV apps shown at CES 2019 are not happening and, while technically capable, the new Stream 4K will not interoperate with our DVRs. Like Bill says, this shouldn’t have been an either/or decision… except TiVo has always had a hard time juggling multiple initiatives, largely because they have a lot of technical debt in serving so many customers on so many platforms. Also, as far as strategy, the TiVo Stream app could run on various end-points as Apple TV app and the Roku Channel do, TiVo presumably wants deeper hardware hooks (including intentions to launch a television OS).

  16. TIVO got passed up by technology and innovation years ago. They were so locked into their own subscription model, they just ignored all the changes happening around them. Until their marketshare started contracting.. too late TIVO.

  17. Can TiVo survival this late in the game? Not sure I can answer that. My other TiVo is a BOLT+ connected to traditional cable TV. So much of what is on cable now is uninteresting and this makes a lot of my cable TV subscription seem like a colossal waste of money. The TiVo Stream 4K had great promise, but it’s delivery was pretty much a washout for me. Maybe I had higher hopes than what TiVo had planned to deliver. In either case, TiVo will probably need a new strategy to keep additional options and more program guide integration going forward. Right now, it just feels far, far too limited. When Chromecast with Google TV arrives next week, that may spell trouble for TiVo.

  18. Having been acquired by Rovi and then merged with Xperi, “TiVo” is just a brand at this point. The company’s primary business is patent licensing/enforcement, followed by delivering solutions to partner companies (vs consumers, who are on a much lower rung). So the company will survive. The brand? Who knows. There’s still good money to be made from those who pay monthly or yearly for DVR service and they’re obviously investing significant resources into this new experience and approach. I assume they’ll keep with it at least a year, given the Xperi deal just went through a couple months ago. They’ll need some time to determine if this is a successful approach and if they want it within their company. And while Walmart placement could be a big deal, it doesn’t guarantee sales. Just ask Boxee.

  19. I bought a TiVo cable Edge three weeks ago and we get the announcement from the FCC that CableCards are no longer required to be offered by cable companies. So the Edge went back to TiVo for a refund. I have a Bolt VOX OTA and a Mini 4K and the all in plan on the Bolt VOX OTA. It was the same price to rent a Xfinity X1 XG1v4 4K DVR than pay the 15 bucks per month to TiVo for the service for the Edge I returned. It only has 500 GB hard drive storage and 500 GB cloud storage, but it is more than enough to record the TV shows I actually care about watching. And EVERY show recorded has commercial skip and it has more apps than the Edge.

    I see TiVo dropping the cable version of the Edge DVR soon, now that cable companies are not compelled to offer CableCards anymore. The Stream unit is a mess. There wasn’t enough beta testing before it was rolled out. It has a potential of being a great streaming device, but knowing TiVo, they’ll screw things up.

  20. I’ve been on the fence about trying one. I have Roku’s now and they are dead simple and perform pretty well, but the HBO Max issue has me second guessing the company. Peacock just became available on Roku so I’m hopeful in time HBO Max will be there too. For the price, this TiVo branded and customized Android TV box seems to be a great value, but there sure are a lot of complaints.

    I’m more likely to replace one TV with an Android TV like a Sony X900H if I can get a good Black Friday or holiday deal, while continuing to use my Xbox one through a Monoprice HDMI over Cat5e extender and the Xbox iPhone app to control it when I’m watching its apps in other rooms.

  21. As much as I loved Youtubetv, they are like all the rest, when the Giants order them to, they just keep raising our rates!!! I found my solution…watch free Roku, Vudu, and firestick tv, movies, and shows, watch Roku and Pluto Live tv with guides, use antennas for free local channels on my tivo dvrs that can stream and program shows away from home and close up my wallet!!!! I am already saving $64.99 a month, and next I am chopping Disney+ bundle with hulu and ESPN+….another $12.99 saved a month, also cutting out the $101.99 a year subscription to Sirius XM!!! Too many monthy payments!!! All I need to pay then will be my phone and internet!!!!! And I still get all the streaming I need. I am not desperate to get tied up in all these payments

  22. p.s.

    Oh and I totally forgot, I have the grandfathered AT&T package of Premium service which includes over 30 good cable channels on my phone….Even better, I found out Only the firestick includes the Watch AT&T app so my free included cable is in the app. I can watch it on any of my HD 4k tvs or tablet or my phone. I am done with all these extra bills and services that keep jacking up their orices!!!!!

  23. I’ve had no problems “side-loading” HBOMax & Peacock onto my FireTV sticks, which have given me far less trouble than my Roku devices (2 out of 3 of their second generation boxes died once out-of-warranty)

    Don’t plan on buying another streaming device just for the above.

  24. I believe TiVo wil soon make their DVR go away, which will be a shame. One hopes they offer a way to extract the videos from their devices, even the encrypted files. At which point we will probably cut the cord as there will be no DVR solution that will handle CableCards and we will move to Channels and a streaming service.

  25. By the way, I still think the Fire TV is a better streaming device. I have both the TiVo Stream that we got at the launch promotion but the Fire TV is superior in my view.

  26. “Wal-mart’s taking something of a flyer here and must similarly see value in cord cutters and TiVo’s content unification dreams.”

    The only thing Wal-mart “sees” is the money TiVo is paying them for a few square feet in their stores–and likely only select Wal-marts that make sense for the TiVo product. It will be interesting to see how long TiVo stays in Wal-mart because Xper, an IP company, probably does not have the will to spend that kind of money in retail game for the long term.

  27. Oh, Dave, let him bash your grammar (as if they know any better?). NOBODY CARES! Don’t waste your time trying to whack-a-mole such posts. Let the post hang as a totally waste of anyone’s time to even bother to read. We just skip such posts and move on to relevant posts. Don’t demonstrate that it even bothers you. That is what gives them the thrill: your reactions and actions. There is nothing they can’t stand more than a post IGNORED.

  28. Not clear on breadth of distribution but, before I posted, I had checked in with a CE buddy who manages the retail channel, works deals like these, and knows Walmart. He was surprised, said they generally bet on winners. So either the cash/cut is so amazing or Walmart thinks they’re into something. Could be both. But things are going to get worse for TiVo with Google’s new $50 device… that now includes remote and also attempts to aggregate content.

  29. The thing I still don’t get about any of these OTT boxes and streaming services…no ability to pause and rewind live TV.

    We’ve been conditioned to having this simple capability for 20 years and all the OTT options are going backwards in such simple day to day usage.

    Still primarily using tivo devices for ota content, but I setup the channels app dvr system and have to say that is pretty damn close to giving you the traditonal dvr and guide experience for live television. Their tv everywhere integration is pretty slick so if you have any type of cable login credentials (seems like att is throwing in some basic tv plan for almost any service these days), you get a bunch of major cable channels and even most of the major local networks piped right into a fully functioning dvr with guide.

    Might end up going that route across TVs in my home if I can find the best OTT box and remote. Works pretty good on Apple TV but those are pricey and a traditional remote would be nice.

  30. @Bryan – You can use a universal remote with an Apple TV. At least I use my Harmony remote with it just fine. Which actually means, I’m using the same remote for both Apple TV and a TiVo mini.

    I think I use the real remote, or a phone, when I want to long press and rearrange. But that’s not often.

  31. @WJFj: Bolt is awful. For me, it is the end of the line for TiVo. The reliability decreases with each new product. They just do not care and refuse to deal with the reliability problems.

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