— Dave Zatz (@davezatz) April 21, 2017
Archives For Cord Cutting
Sony serves up one of the very best cord cutting offerings of a small, but growing, gaggle of services that largely replicate cable bundles in aggregating a number pay channels, but served up over the Internet, with more modern interfaces and features (except when they don’t). Unfortunately, by going with “PlayStation” Vue branding, confusion has arisen as, it’s become clear to me, that many folks don’t realize the agnostic service can be accessed from Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, and other non-Sony hardware. So, amidst this backdrop, it appears the company may be rethinking some things.
Sony emailed a small group of PlayStation Vue subscribers a survey called the Vue Naming Survey. Sony asked several questions about naming different areas. One area that was shared with Cord Cutters News was about a new name for the DVR section.
The TiVo Roamio OTA is on sale for $250, including lifetime service (!) and free shipping. Two points to note: This is the older, 500GB model and it is a refurb. However, this is a fantabulous deal — the cheapest way to get one of the very best antenna experiences… a likely better investment than the TiVo Mavrik and when paired with a few TiVo Minis. If you’re more comfortable with new hardware and would appreciate another 500GB, Amazon is offering Lifetimed 1TB model for $347. (Thanks Bill!)
When TiVo pulled the page hosting Mavrik imagery, they left behind a search box… and search I did. The TiVo Mavrik is confirmed as an OTA two-tuner network accessory, a la Tablo, that will beam both live and recorded content to web browsers, mobile apps, and the Fire TV.
Mavrik plugs into your HD antenna and connects to your wireless router so you can stream live TV to your tablet, smartphone, laptop or Amazon Fire TV through your home network. Going out? Let Mavrik record your favorite shows in the cloud, so you can access them later from virtually anywhere. Access your recorded shows from the cloud at home, at work or in your hotel room on the other side of the country. Wherever you have WiFi, you have your shows. Enjoy live and recorded TV on your Amazon Fire TV or Amazon Fire Stick. Just open the Live TV app in the Fire TV software and start watching. TiVo’s iOS and Android app allows you to watch your shows and recordings on compatible tablet and mobile devices. You can even watch on a web browser at TiVO Online.
Unfortunately it looks like we’ve also confirmed there will be no local DVR storage, with all recordings looking to reside within TiVo’s cloud. Making matters worse, they appear to be following in Boxee’s failed footsteps with regional restrictions and perhaps shared recordings.
Mavrik employs a patented, first-of-its-kind technology to record your favorite shows in the cloud without bogging down your home’s broadband performance. It’s cloud recording without the headaches. Cloud recording feature currently is available in solely the following San Francisco Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Sonoma.
However, the (draft?) documentation, does indicate Mavrik owners will be provided 20 hours of cloud storage on the house with the ability to upgrade to 50hrs, somewhat mirroring Aereo’s retired tiers – although exact pricing remains a mystery. Also a mystery is what over-the-air cloud DVR features will be made available to TiVo Bolt and Roamio owners that were in testing last fall.
As TiVo brings on new leadership, encompassing their consumer portfolio, Google has surfaced an almost treasure trove of Mavrik imagery. The majority of the photos, originally published way back in July, have been removed or relocated… leaving us with just a small selection of gadgety goodness. We anticipate the presumably delayed TiVo Mavrik will ultimately be revealed as an OTA network tuner, somewhat akin to the HDHomeRun or Tablo, with cloud DVR capabilities and, at the very least, streaming video output to Amazon Fire TV. I’d also hope TiVo is busy retrofitting their existing iOS app for Apple TV support. Assuming the project hasn’t been or won’t be scrapped.
TiVo Mavrik’s FCC confidentiality has lifted… suggesting the unannounced cord cutting solution is behind schedule but treating us to even more pre-release photos and intel on the product. It’s pretty clear at this point that Mavrik is a Tablo-esque network tuner that streams live over-the-air television and DVR recordings to set-tops, like Fire TV, and mobile devices. While we know Mavrik will offer a cloud DVR service, a la Boxee, it’s not clear if the two-tuner, headless set-top will also record locally via included SD slot or USB-attached storage.
More FCC analysis from the TiVo Community indicate the Mavrik incorporates Bolt-level processing and transcoding capabilities, an 8GB cache, and 512MB of memory. Beyond Tablo, also active in this space is Channels which utilizes HDHomeRun hardware to pipe live (or recorded) television into Apple TV and iPhone or iPad.
There’s always a few hidden gems that turn up at CES. And 2017 is no exception, with HD Guru uncovering an unannounced TiVo Philips partnership. The initiative seemingly confirms TiVo’s intent to diversify their retail hardware business, with Philips preparing a line of over-the-air TiVo-powered personal video recorders (PVR). The mash-up is also notable given the companies* history, having launched the very first TiVo together way back in 1999.
The two-tuner prototype on display was a pretty nondescript black set-top, appearing to reuse an existing enclosure at this phase of development. Marketing imagery at the show indicates the DVRs will feature a “built-in EPG powered by TiVo for an intuitive program navigation, selection, and recording experience.” Further, the integrated wireless networking of at least one model will provide “smooth streaming of live or recorded video on your home network” — unlike most existing, native TiVo experiences, which also facilitate out-of-home streaming to iPads and the like.
The interface, as pictured in the booth, looks nothing like the current or upcoming TiVo UI. It’s not clear to me if the Roku-esque presentation is merely a placeholder, if TiVo is creating something new for partners, or if Philips is merely relying on TiVo-tech underpinnings and the Rovi guide. In any event, the cord cutting market could certainly benefit from additional players in this space and Philips appears to have been seeking retailer feedback at the show as they march towards a September release. Continue Reading…
In what one customer suggests “feels like a bait & switch,” AirTV has shipped without its primary selling point enabled. Instead of directly integrating over-the-air television content into the Sling TV guide, there is merely a button to launch the separate, Google-produced Live Channels OTA app. Further, the promised Netflix integration may also be incomplete leading another owner to describe the suspiciously backordered Android-powered box as “basically equivalent to a Nexus Player.”
@markreaume The version shown at CES had beta software where the locals are integrated. That feature will be rolled out soon.
— Roger Lynch (@RogerLynch) January 13, 2017
Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch indicates beta software was pitched at CES and that they intend to deploy OTA integration “soon” whereas another source indicates “early 2017” — whether or not they’ll deliver within the 30 day return window is anyone’s guess, but it’s certainly an inauspicious beginning to this initiative. Consumer trust is difficult to recapture, once lost…