TiVo Returns To Best Buy (without a DVR)

From Xperi’s quarterly call, we learn of TiVo’s triumphant return to Best Buy… in the form of the TiVo Stream 4K, as the DVR pioneer continues its retail transformation — moving away from its legacy hardware technologies as it refreshes its branding. But, while the company has pivoted its hardware approach, TiVo remains committed to helping users discover and efficiently enjoy the video content they subscribe to. And, whereas linear pay television was the previous primary source for DVR, TiVo is now riding Android TV as a means of aggregating a variety of online streaming sources — now over 20, including content from heavy hitters like Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+.

16 thoughts on “TiVo Returns To Best Buy (without a DVR)”

  1. I wonder what is the state of the new products that Tivo claimed it was launching this year? Also, what is this “Palms” thing that they allegedly have in beta?

  2. Anyone have thoughts With respect to Tivo stream vs Chromecast? …For us, it made a difference when Frontier fiber came to town. Frontier offers no TV services with fiber, but their fiber is so much more stable than Xfinity was. We were finally able to ditch cable. Have found YoutubeTV a good alternative for getting our live local channels. Noticed that Tivostream 4k has a slight advantage over chromecast, in that (with button mapper) the remote features numbers that can be programed to turn on specific apps, and channel up and down works natively with YoutubeTV to change live channels.

  3. My dream scenario would be Tivo’s remote control with a Chromecast. I found the chromecast feels a lot faster, less bugs and gives you much more flexibility on ‘favorites’ and removing apps you don’t want/won’t use. With that said, I still use both, but the Tivo’s have been banished to the infrequently used TV’s

  4. Totally agree. Chromecast faster but Tivo remote easier to handle. Tivo is banished to least used TV away in upstairs office, while chromecasts are where we “live.” Do you think the tivo remote would pair with the chromecast?

  5. So they undercut the new Chromecast pricing by $10. That’s good for competition. Xperi is just a patent-holding company at heart though. Will they pull through keeping this updated and innovative?

  6. Steven, the TiVo has the better remote, as you noted, and some content aggregation secret sauce, but I expect the Chromecast will likely be more compatible and more secure over time. For example, one month TS4K lost MPEG2 decoding and for four months YouTubeTV was stuttering.

    cypher, they are cranking away on both short- and long-term plans but I can’t tell you how successful they’ll be and I suspect they would still like to spin off product like the predecessor company.

  7. You know, Dave, like you I was a Tivo guy for so many years and through many iterations. It felt sad and I was hurt to cut the cable cord, not at all because of Xfinity but because I’ve had to disconnect my three current TiVo/DVRs. So I guess I’m still trying to find something redeeming in Tivo. It’s getting more difficult by the day, isn’t it? But it is hard to see any future there. Pretty soon, I’m going to have to return not only my Xfinity router, but (sigh) my cable cards as well. See any alternate futures out there? And thanks to you for being there.

  8. The alternate future is likely here, just still quite messy in these early days. TiVo is one of many trying to wrangle the disparate streaming content. I still run a CableCARD too (inside a HDHR Prime), but we so rarely consume television content in that manner – even time-shifted. We’re way more likely to binge a show sometime after it airs on Hulu or Netflix, without worrying about ads or preplanning. My system is pretty rudimentary and manual, with most of my “recommended” content surfaced in Twitter and then notated in a reminders app. I trust my Twitter friends more than TiVo. ;)

  9. Thanks Dave. Yup! Still in primitive stages, I think you see it and must be right.

    It’s like William Gibson famously said: “The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed.”

  10. Dave, thanks to you, I’ve now got Channels DVR running with a pair of HDHomeRun boxes.

    This’ll be my TiVo exit strategy. I still have the TiVo environment going but I find myself using it less and less. Just the Channels app and I’m good to go.

    I do also have several TiVo Stream 4K’s, and they are fantastic Channels clients too…. The great part there is having a true TiVo remote. Kinda best of all worlds. My preference is still Apple TV for most things but these Streams are working great with Channels. Now, if I could swivel search across channels and the streaming apps …….

  11. This little TiVo is like a mini shield if you know what you’re doing it does not play nice with the newer high sense TVs because of the CEC control but other than that you can use IR if the remote gets stupid on you that’s the only downfall of this device everything else is pretty darn fast you will like it. The UI is way better than the new Google if you don’t use a lot of official apps IPTV is the way to go screw YouTube you’ll pay way too much 10 bucks a month sounds way better to me

  12. I was a beta tester for TiVo Stream, as well as the ‘Palms’ TiVo DVR software.
    The Stream shows promise, and I loved the remote; I just preferred the layout of Chrome w/android TV better (and have gotten used to their remote). If you pay for Sling with TiVo Stream, you will get some of the “download” DVR capabilities. I had purchased a Roku just before getting to try the TiVo Stream, the Roku is my least favorite by far (messy layout, and non-intuitive remote).

    I hated the Palms menu version, it lost so many of the TiVo capabilities that the longtime TiVo owners love. I tried to like the Palms, but just couldn’t put up with it; then it took 3 months of emails and phone calls with customer service to be able to push a rollback software version to my TiVo so that I could even further rollback my TiVo to the previous version (Hydra)… and then, I had to reset my TiVo Roamio so that I could rollback to the Quattro version.

    In my humble opinion, do *not* choose to upgrade your Menu version.

  13. It must really kill the TiVo folks that some of us are still paying over $200/month to Comcast for Cable TV, and rocking lifetimed TiVo devices (Roamio Pro and Mini in my case). Too bad they didn’t negotiate a cut of that monthly cable revenue, seeing as how TiVo is the reason some of us haven’t cut the cord yet. Reading this thread makes the alternatives sound pretty dreadful. For those with Smart TVs who don’t need a dongle hanging off the back, perhaps TiVo should just offer up a better “guide” application that brings the spirit of the TiVo UI over to the Smart TV and makes it easier to locate our favorite shows, season passes, etc…

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