TiVo Mini Now Streaming Netflix; Amazon Next

Dave Zatz —  August 10, 2013 — 17 Comments

tivo-mini-netflix

While I’ve been quite satisfied with my TiVo Mini as a DVR extender, it shipped crippled in terms of third-party streaming apps. And, after 6 months with no movement, I picked up another Roku today. Perhaps ironically, Sam Biller just discovered TiVo has (accidentally?) published Netflix and Amazon Instant icons to our Minis. Netflix appears to be fully functional, although possibly crashy dependent on output resolution, and feels significantly faster than my Premiere XL4/Elite — although just about every other app platform is. Unfortunately, Amazon is met with a V301 error which suggests the backend isn’t active for us non-beta testers and it’s not yet known if we’ll be treated to an entirely new Amazon implementation (to include Prime streaming). But both apps are clearly on their way and this lines up with news of a scheduled September TiVo Mini update to include dynamic tuner allocation.

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17 responses to TiVo Mini Now Streaming Netflix; Amazon Next

  1. Have you been able to output at 1080P24 for the Mini? With both of my Minis, as soon as the output switches to 1080P24, they reboot. At first I thought it was an issue with the 1080P stream. But when I force both of my Minis to output at only 1080i or 720P, I’m able to play all three 1080P Netflix bitrates without issue. But when the 1080P24 output resolution is checked, and it switches to that resolution, both of my Minis reboot.

    I had never tried anything with 1080P24 on my Minis, since Amazon did work either. So I’m wondering if it is something specific to both of my Minis.

  2. My Mini is currently on an older 720p plasma (bedroom). Not sure if I can change the output to test without losing the image and I really don’t feel like moving it to either of the 1080p sets… But I’m feeling hopeful we’ve made it this far — it’s obviously nearly ready to go (and may require a firmware/software update before it works properly for you). Which means I’ll be able to move the Premiere Elite to the basement, headless, and get a second Mini for the living room (instead of flipping the Lifetimed Elite for a Roamio). Also, if I can get the Mini working with my wireless bridge and DTA is delivered as expected, I’d consider getting another for the kitchen and calling it a year. Unless FiOS TV comes to Roku – then I’d take that in the kitchen instead.

  3. I can confirm that 1080p causes a reboot of the Mini. The Mini where I was performing the primary testing was set to 720p. It turns out the other (3rd bedroom) TV is capable of 1080p. I enabled that as a video format and as soon as the Super HD stream switched to 1080p, the Mini rebooted. I suspect that the Netflix app beta testers probably reported this and a fix is in the works prior to launch. Now that this back door has been revealed, I wonder if TiVo will disable the capability on our Boxes.

  4. It’s starting to come together. I’ll probably purchase a mini by Labor Day.

  5. Sam, keep in mind we may have the app without the latest Mini firmware/software… I tried watching an episode of The Killing via Netflix last night. There was some issue where it was dropping frames or something and there were these split second, periodic all blank screens. So I switched over to the Roku. But, yeah, maybe it’s coming together…

  6. Besides for a new software build enabling dynamic tuner allocation, I’m wondering if the Mini is more flexible than the Premiere when it comes to 1080p content. The fact that the series 4 architecture is 1080p pass-through only caused me to turn it off quite some time ago since I’m not a fan of the momentary black screen during the resolution switch. I’m guessing the Mini and Roamio boxes improved this situation but we’ll need new software to find out.

  7. The Mini still has 1080P24 pass through. Any time the output resolution changes the HDMI connection is going to resync. This is true of any device. Unless the Mini chipset actually has the capability to scale to 1080P24 or 1080P60?

    What about the ROAMio chipset? Does that have the capability to scale to 1080P?

  8. Consider this:
    If you play an amazon instant video on your mini that is being streamed from your premiere, you get the message “due to copyright restrictions, this cannot be played on your device”.

    However, if you play a folder and the first video in the group is non-amazon video, the entire group will play including any subsequent amazon videos. Example, I have 1 Modern Family (the oldest) recorded from network than I bought all four seasons from Amazon. If I play the group, All videos play in succession with no problems

    Capability is there, just crippled purposefully.

  9. INTERESTING discovery! Although I assume Amazon’s current download implementation will be replaced by streaming as we see on Roku, etc … once the update is officially announced.

  10. Biggest issue I have with the mini is that the MOCA Networking doesn’t bridge OUT the ethernet port like the premiers do. Where I have a premier I can MOCA network to the premier and then bridge out the ethernet port to the obligatory Roku on the same TV. Look Ma, no wires and a good network connection. Not so with the Mini. At least I can’t get it to work.

  11. My Mini reboots at 1080p as well, as soon as the stream switches over. As advised, set it to 1080i and no reboot. But, the app is definitely buggy. 2 out of 3 times it just went black & locked up after an episode rather than refreshing to the next in the list.

    Still, when it works this is going to be useful. Between the streaming app on my TV itself and having this on the Mini, I can probably ditch the Co-Star at some point.

  12. Any update to the Netflix UI relative to the Premiere? “Just for Kids” or user profiles?

  13. I’m not personally aware of one, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. I am aware of an updated YouTube app on theSeries 5 Roamio, so a Netflix update wouldn’t surprise me. Hopefully TiVo continues to support the Premiere platform for awhile – beyond the sluggishness, which maybe I can get over, my current Netflix app can lock up and has required a TiVo reboot on more than one occasion.

  14. I don’t see Netflix updating its app on TiVo until next year with the “profiles” update. This due to the fact Netflix updates platforms based on number of subscribers using a particular platform so PS3 gets lots of frequent updates (also the main development platform) as does the website followed by IOS, XBox, etc.

    “The new “Profiles” feature will be made available on Netflix.com, the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iOS devices and most smart TVs. It won’t appear on Nintendo Wii until the end of August, Google Android devices won’t be able to use the feature until late fall, and Roku users won’t have access until early 2014.”

  15. Hmmm… Neither of my two Mini’s have the option of Netflix or Amazon Streaming… And I’ve just forced three connections…

  16. Yep, I guess that proves it was accidental. And not only are the apps no longer available, that whole “Available from” menu item is gone, gone, gone. I assume when it launches for reals, it’ll perform better. :) Maybe a few weeks?

  17. Netflix is back up on the Mini
    I just tried Netflix on both of my Minis. For some reason it is scaling the content to 1080P24. In the example short, even when it was at DVD resolution, the Mini was outputting 1080P24.
    Then when I tried to exit out of Netflix, the Mini rebooted. I had the same result with both of my Minis. I’m waiting for them to finish booting to try it again.

    I checked the resolution output screen and it does show 1080P24, but it doesn’t say “pass through” like it does on the Elites. So if 1080P24 is checked, then the Mini will scale to 1080P24 in Netflix. It was not scaling my TV viewing to 1080P24.

    I guess I need to try some Netflix video content to make sure it will output that in 1080i and not 1080P24. Too bad there is not a 1080P60 output option.

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