Mac TiVoToGo Non-Update, Sling Public Beta Opens 10/31

Dave Zatz —  October 25, 2006 — 11 Comments

Over on the TCF a disgruntled Apple owner posted a note he received from TiVo when questioning the status of Mac TiVoToGo. I’m not sure TiVo initially gave this initiative the appropriate amount of attention, but I do appreciate what appears to be a frank response — despite calling Apple out (what’s a closed platform?) and despite not offering a target date for release.

My name is Jim Denney, I am in Vice President of Product Marketing for TiVo’s retail products. Tom Rogers forwarded your message to me. I wanted to thank you for your email and apologize for the delay in TiVoToGo for the Mac. I am sorry that you feel we have not paid attention to the Mac community. That is certainly not our intention. We are aware of our subscriber’s desire to get TiVoToGo on the Mac. Believe it or not, we are actively working on the project and have been for the past year in various forms. Unfortunately, developing on the Mac platform has been a little more difficult because of its closed nature. We are working through the issues we have encountered. They are not simple to solve given the needs that we balance in TiVoToGo. We don’t have a release date for the feature yet.

We have gotten ourselves in trouble in the past when we estimated it would be out by mid year this year, we obviously missed that date. In the interest of setting the right expectations this time we want to wait until the feature is actually ready. We are not ready to make that announcement yet. That is why our customer care representatives have been instructed to give the answer they gave you.

We can let you know when the feature is ready for launch. We are listening to you. Until it is ready, we appreciate your patience.

In other Mac development news, the Sling folks plan to release a public beta of OS X software on 10/31.

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11 responses to Mac TiVoToGo Non-Update, Sling Public Beta Opens 10/31

  1. So the right expectations turn out to be no expectations.

    “In other Mac development news, the Sling folks plan to release a public beta of OS X software on 10/31.”

    Those two things so closely juxtaposed is a bit spooky. ;)

    Maybe DVD Jon can help; at least there isn’t going to be much excuse for not streaming iTunes content.

    TiVo could have gotten this done, they just are not willing to put the necessary resources behind it. They just don’t have enough to go around.

  2. My SlingBox will anxiously be awaiting its freedom from its box on October 31, assuming the beta is actually released and this isn’t just a halloween ‘trick’!

  3. i can finally stop using bootcamp to use my slingbox.

  4. I can assure you that the Slingbox Beta is real and it’s real nice. Sling is doing final checks – gotta be public in November.

  5. I had totally forgotten about not having TivoToGo on my mac… It does seem odd that hundreds of developers have no problem coming up with great little apps for the mac and big ol’ TiVo has problems with the “closed system”. I haven’t seen a more open system than Apple – they have a massive Developer conference every year. I’m pretty sure that all Tivo would have to do is pick up the phone, call Apple and say “Can we get some help on implementing our product on your platform?” Apple would say “We’ll send an OS X product specialist over right away” and this would be done inside a week.

    I really think that Tivo is in such financial straits that it can’t afford to allocate resources to a project that will have no ROI for them.

  6. Michael Portuesi October 25, 2006 at 1:16 pm

    I’ve pretty much given up on the idea of TTG ever running on the Mac. Certainly this latest missive from Tivo isn’t changing my position.

    My household server is a Mac, and I have galleon running on it to do transfers. To actually access the video, I access it via a network share on a WinXP box. It’s not ideal, but it is workable.

    Maybe Tivo is giving Mac users a hint they should either use Bootcamp or buy a windows box.

  7. “Unfortunately, developing on the Mac platform has been a little more difficult because of its closed nature.”

    Closed nature? Huh? In what way is Mac OS X any more closed than Windows? This sounds like scapegoating to me.

  8. Unless TiVo is working *with* Apple on licensing it’s software (or at least the backend) for Apple’s iTV.

    And if not, if you were TiVo, would you be all that hot about developing for a potentially competing platform, where the company is *all about* the User Experience?

    Tough call…

  9. “Closed nature? Huh? In what way is Mac OS X any more closed than Windows? This sounds like scapegoating to me.”

    Apple does not have an open multimedia platform equivelent to the DirectShow API available on Windows. As such implimenting TiVo’s encryption scheme on the Mac and interfacing it with a standard media player like QuickTime is a lot more difficult. In fact the sample shown at CES was actually using a completely custom version of VCL instead of QT just to get around this issue.

    “It does seem odd that hundreds of developers have no problem coming up with great little apps for the mac and big ol? TiVo has problems with the ?closed system?.”

    TiVo is not as “big” as you think! I’ve done some development work with them in the past and their engineering team is actually very small. In fact it wouldn’t surprise me if the entire Mac desktop app was being developed buy just one guy.

    Dan

  10. On a side note, Slingbox Pro at Best Buy for $224.99

  11. “Apple does not have an open multimedia platform equivelent to the DirectShow API available on Windows.”

    Please at least do some research before you post this nonsense. Apple created the first mainstream open media platform — QuickTime. It is still open and you can easily write plug-ins to extend it to do things like add custom decryption.

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