TiVo Retires Alexa & IFTTT Smart Home Integration

As with so many TiVo initiatives, new management and product ADD priorities have led to a course correction. And TiVo is backing away from the smart home once again when DVR IFTTT integration comes to a hardstop on Christmas day — after less than three years in production.

On December 25, 2020, the TiVo service will be removed from IFTTT because the TiVo team no longer supports the service.

With IFTTT charging both manufacturers and customers these days, in conjunction with what I suspect is limited uptake, the move isn’t entirely surprising. But four days notice (via IFTTT, not TiVo) really stings. Adding insult to injury, freely available Alexa voice control integration was pulled from TiVo this fall.

On the flip side, the DVR smartphone companion app alert announcing the deletion of downloaded recordings does not foretell of impending feature removal. This is merely a one time event as part of required code cleanup. Download capabilities will remain and any videos removed can be redownloaded at will.

(Thanks, but sorry, Mitch, Brian, and Josh!)

26 thoughts on “TiVo Retires Alexa & IFTTT Smart Home Integration”

  1. Now that I am a paying IFTTT customer, this feels so wrong. I bought based on the value I got which has now changed…when it was a free product hard to complain about them removing features

  2. I officially abandoned my TiVo Bolts and Minis for YouTube TV in September and haven’t looked back. Cable card issues forced my hand, but it was inevitable.

  3. I am so done with Tivo. Yet another stupid move. I was debating an Edge purchase, but after their refusal provide access to recordings from the 4K streamer, I am going elsewhere. I already have a Channels instance running very well, and if Plex would ever put some effort into their DVR this would be even easier.

  4. … any videos removed can be redownloaded at will.

    Excluding prior downloads of copy-protected content, which would have triggered removal of the original recordings from the DVR, correct?

  5. The problem with TiVo alternatives like Youtube TV is that they are not TiVo and don’t “handle” like TiVo. NOTHING does that I know of, unfortunately. I don’t care about integration because I know how to use a remote.

  6. My Bolt has lifetime service, but if/when it dies, that’s it with TiVo for me. It seems like they are slowly but surely moving away from their DVR products.

  7. The draw to Tivo to me is the user interface, although TBH I’m not a fan of how slow and bogged down it’s gotten. I’m glad I never knew Tivo integrated w/ IFTTT because if I knew, I’d be mad now that it was going away! Tivo seems to be chasing away all us old customers. I guess they got our “lifetime” money from us and dont care anymore.

  8. I think, at this point, if you’re still hoping for TiVo to “turn it around” it’s not TiVo’s fault and you should really look in the mirror. Channels does more and does it far better than TiVo ever could.

  9. Channels DVR is good, but I don’t know if I agree it’s “far” better. It depends how you use each product, but I tested Channels for a couple months, and the lack of live tuner buffering was a deal breaker for me and I went back to my non-Hydra Bolt. I also couldn’t get over the lack of live window in the guide. There’s no support for surround sound at this time either if you’re using it with a “TV Everywhere” login. And, if you’re using it with a CableCard, that might be just as much of a dead end as TiVo. And, try finding an HDHomeRun PRIME. SiliconDust recently found some new-old-stock of their 3-tuner model, but they killed the 6-tuner model before it could see the light of day. And, most of the remotes that comes with the streaming boxes where most people would be using the Channels app are terrible. Ironically, the best device to use the Channels app might be the TiVo Stream 4K due to its remote and the ability to de-Tivo it and configure it to give priority to Channels.

  10. I recently decided that when my Roamio dies, I’m out… I had considered an Edge, but if I do anything at this point, it would be going with a rented Tivo or going full cord cut. My only hesitation is my wife, who likes popping on TV in the evenings to watch some shows, and likes to record and download to the iPad before long trips. I just have to get her on board, which may be a challenge, but hopefully I have a few years left in my current setup before I have to make that call.

  11. I knew when they spun off the hardware unit without the patents that tivo’s days were numbered. They only made money off the patents.

    I measure that by the number of shows that get random commercial skip, or its marked commercial skip and won’t, or the commercial skip misses part of the show. That’s all done by people, and clearly there are fewer of them or its being ‘outsourced’ to a cheap clown show.

    Then an android streamer that costs more than googles, no longer includes netflix in its search, and doesn’t connect with the tivo dvr. I have a roamio and 3 mini’s. When they die, I’m done with tivo, changing inputs as the devices don’t do CEC, and having one system for broadcast tv and a streaming device with everything ELSE on it.

    The one thing I’ll say for Tivo is that I live in a tough reception area. Stuff like the Tablo and Fire recast have bad tuners by comparison. Tivo pulls in ~65 channels. The other two got 3, 2 of them badly. Silicon Dust tuners and a SimpleTV tuner I tried did as well as tivo. So a replacement is going to be tough to find.

  12. Man, what a slide for Tivo.

    My passion for their product has certainly taken a hit in recent years, but my wife loves the interface and SPEED.

    We will move to AT&T TV Now once Optimum eventually stops supporting cablecard, or if Tivo stops supporting us for some reason.

  13. That’s the real shame of it. I have been a loyal customer for 20 years, but they have continued to drop the ball when there seemed to be clear directions for them to take the service and product line. They just never seemed to strike the right balance to build their customer base (expensive up-front commitment) and deliver a service that the average person that wasn’t aware could easily see to justify the cost over the cable company’s DVR. The o Unified search idea was good, but they lacked the partnerships and leverage to make it work in their favor. When Apple implemented it on AppleTV in the last couple of years (sans Netflix), it was significantly better, but you lost out on searching broadcast TV schedules. Hoping that they can get to a point where they improve, but they have failed again and again, and it is nearing the end.

  14. In response to Ben, I’m one of the ones who moved on to Channels. It’s different than TiVo, but superior in some ways to some people. Or maybe many ways to many people. Assuming one has the technical acumen and interest to get it set up – it’s certainly not plug & play like TiVo.

    In my household, the adults rarely DVR these days and the function primarily serves our daughter. Channels commercial skip is definitely superior because it’ll hit the shows my daughter watches (like Chopped Jr) vs TiVo’s focus on primetime and offloading/downloading content is also superior – more easily accessible, using tools of my choice. I prefer some elements of TiVo’s interface over Channels, however Channels makes up for it with its own solid approach and customizability. Channels also works on platforms TiVo has failed to embrace, which is one of the reasons I made the switch back in January when TiVo mentioned at CES that development of their streaming apps had been killed. Oh yeah, Channels won’t abuse you by adding pre-roll commercials to your recordings like TiVo does. ;)

  15. This is a disappointing move. I frequently have used Alexa and IFTT integration to pause what the kids are watching from the other room, or to help find a lost remote. I’ve also used it to get alerted when someone adds new season passes. As with a few other users, this is the primary reason that I’m paying for IFTTT now. :(

  16. @Dave Zatz The pre-roll ads and the inferior interface (in my opinion) for switching between tuners is what caused me to downgrade from Hydra on my Bolt. I thought I would be sacrificing some things, but to be honest, I didn’t truly realize how much I didn’t like Hydra until I got rid of it. If I am missing features, I couldn’t tell you what they were.

    Channels DVR is very good. I tried it on my AppleTV and I de-TiVo’d a TiVo Stream 4K. I wanted two devices so that I could have some semblance of multiple tuners when viewing live TV. I dedicated an old Mac mini as the server. I tested it with an HDHomeRun PRIME and an HDHomeRun QUATRO 4K. I also tested it with a TV Everywhere login. I wanted to try every scenario before making the decision whether to switch or not.

    I really wanted to switch and I even got close to canceling my Comcast account and using my parents’ DirecTV login for TV Everywhere (I pay their bill so I didn’t feel guilty,) but when the FCC announcement about CableCards came out, I started to worry that if I gave up my CableCard now, I may never get it back. At that point, I compared Channels + CableCard to TiVo+CableCard and decided to keep my TiVo. But again, Channels is very good and I came thiiiiiis close to switching. While tempting to sell it on eBay, I will hold onto my HDHomeRun PRIME and I will probably reevaluate Channels DVR again in a year or so.

  17. “Adding insult to injury, freely available Alexa voice control integration was pulled from TiVo this fall.”

    Perhaps I’ve misunderstood this (along with the similar notation at TiVo’s website)–is this supposed to mean that one’s TiVo box no longer will cooperate with Alexa for certain Alexa-enabled voice-control of the box? If that’s the case, I must have been grandfathered or TiVo must have sprinkled me with TiVo fairy dust, because I still can use my Alexa Dot to change the channel on my TiVo-controlled/attached television via voice-control, and I just paused and restarted, via my Alexa Dot, the recorded show I’m watching. :) (Perhaps the article’s comment solely relates to separate Alexa/TiVo smartphone app capability, which–if it exists–I’ve never looked at.)

  18. But I loved the integration with Alexa and Ring – when someone presses my doorbell, the Tivo pauses the show.

  19. So angry. Less then 2 years ago I bought a Bolt + and 4 minis, as well as the lifetime service. Alexa was a major factor in my purchase decision.What a mistake. Makes me sick to my stomach. TiVo conusmer business should just hang it up already if they are going to treat their customers like this. They can’t make a good decision to save their life. I wish I would have known about the Channels app before purchasing. One device to rule them all, yeah right, they don’t even update their apps. If you have a 1TiVo and are thinking about buying some minis or purchasing the lifetime plan, please, rip your cable card out of that piece of junk and put it in a HD HomeRunPrime, then go buy a 30 dollar Fire TV and install the Channels app and pay the 8 bucks a month.. You’ll save a bunch of money and valuable time. So many expicits I wanted to drop throughout this post, but I wanted it to stay up so others can see. DON’T BUY TIVO.

  20. Today TiVo and Alexa stopped communicating. I’m so disappointed in TiVo. Glad I never invested in the new bolt. When and if my units die I’m done with this company. I called customer service not knowing they had changed this and when I asked why she went mute until she hung upon me. Worst customer service ever!!!

  21. My TiVo box and Alexa device stopped working together within the past few days as well. :( I really am going to miss the easy means by which to change channels and to pause/re-start a show, which I often have come to rely on.

    I just don’t “get” TiVo’s business model here–turn off already-developed features that presumably cost TiVo little or nothing to maintain and which add to a TiVo box’s feature set, making it what a TiVo box is? (Or does Amazon charge a (non-minimal) fee to maintain Alexa compatibility/functionality?) It once again feels like TiVo shooting itself in the foot, causing its own harm and with its consumers as the innocent, negatively-affected bystanders. Sigh.

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