TiVo Android Streaming: “In The Coming Months”

Dave Zatz —  January 14, 2014 — 21 Comments

tivo-booth

Our hopes for and speculation of a TiVo Android streaming reveal at CES were dashed in Vegas last week. While I have it on good authority that private demos took place, one can only assume the company isn’t quite as far along as they’d hoped and/or they’re saving the announcement for more opportune timing. During the show, TiVo VP Margret Schmidt tweeted out Android streaming would be available “in the coming months” … which, sadly, isn’t “in the coming weeks” and puts their most recent 2014 Q1 release window (that we know of) in jeopardy.

Beyond Android, we’re also still awaiting a pair of tweaks to the experience that involve expanding the variable bitrate to support lesser bandwidth (and meet Apple’s requirements for cellular streaming) in addition to removing TiVo’s Alviso servers as a proxy – so that a mobile device can connect directly to a TiVo Roamio or Stream. Lastly, it’d sure be nice to see TiVo’s new portal made available to retail customers with a dose of TiVo streaming.

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21 responses to TiVo Android Streaming: “In The Coming Months”

  1. Sure would be nice if they did something for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 users. I feel like they are moving away from Windows for some reason and is really unfortunate since it is a large installed base. I cannot schedule recordings using m.tivo.com from mobile since they shut it down now and they haven’t mentioned any support forthcoming to replace TiVo Desktop and or any plans for the future Windows users.

  2. It’s been coming for far too long. Seems almost a little silly to be honest.

  3. I have a TiVo Roamio with a lifetime sub. I want to love TiVo like I used to, but this is ridiculous… I don’t even have an Android device and I’m annoyed, just because I want them to be competitive! And my iPhone still can’t stream content over cellular yet!

    Sigh… and their Opera Web store selection sucks. Let’s see Plex on there.

  4. Four words: HDUI ;)

    Maybe Ooyala can help with Android:
    http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/ReadArticle.aspx?ArticleID=94218

    Incidentally, the iOS app was updated yesterday. Sharp new, flat icon and splashscreen based on the psychedelic Roamio branding. Movie box art in What to Watch now gets a tacked on Metacritic score. Sadly, they’re still using the old iOS6 tools and keyboard. Probably hasn’t helped that one of their previous development shops was acquired (by PayPal). I’m hoping they’ve moved this stuff in-house as Android and iPhone/iPad development needs to be ongoing, not a one off like say the Rhapsody HME app.

  5. One of my tablets is a Motorola Xyboard and while it doesn’t stream directly, the YouTube app works like Chromecast with my TiVo Premiere. If I’m watching YouTube on the tablet, it has an additional icon on the upper right to send to device. When I click it, my Tivo is listed as available. Click it and the Tivo switches to the video automatically. I wonder if they’re going this route rather than true streaming.

  6. This stuff simply takes WAAAAAAAY too long. Just embarrassing. It’s part of TiVo’s image problem. And, of course, the 4 year old unfinished HDUI of the now discontinued Premiere.

    Can TiVo only handle one line of software code a day?

    (to Jared) Windows version? I like your optimism. Wasted in this case, unfortunately.

  7. yep – I am not buying in until they actually have working streaming on Android, since I use android. And I am a guy who was pulling shows to my windows phones via Desktop and conversion way, way back when — now I want easy and more than promises. :D

  8. Remember back in 2011 when we thought they were going to Stream to the Insignia Tivo TVs? Or in 2012 when Nintendo talked about DVR integration and showed the TiVo logo in some of their videos leading up to launch? Or when they lauched the Series 3 and said that it would only need to cable cards until the Mcard came out?
    Or the fact that they launched 3 HD DVRs and only the 3rd got and HD interface and even now it’s only mostly complete.

    I used to think TiVo was a great tech company with a crappy business team. Now it seems like it’s just has a crappy business team that outsources all of it’s tech to the lowest and slowest bidders.

  9. I’m actually going to take the contrarian position. While I agree that TiVo has lapsed on HDUI and Android streaming development. I really feel, since the stream was released in late 2012, that TiVo has really step up the development efforts. During 2013, IMHO we saw a steady stream of consumer product releases / feature enhancements. From a HW perspective, the Mini was released in March, followed by the Roamio in August, along with the new slide remote. On the SW side, there’s been few more HDUI screens, DIAL support, DTA, OOH, and additional feature parity on the Mini (e.g. Season Pass mgmt). Apps have improved with Opera, a new Netflix UI and Pandora coming. The TiVo’s iOS app is best in class for the ever so expensive cost of FREE. I imagine at that cost, most people will ultimately forgive the delay in Android release once it comes available. I’m as impatient as the next guy, but with this turnaround, as compared to the litigation years, I believe it gives us reason to remain optimistic.

    I just hope this renewed push is not just to better position themselves for acquisition.

  10. I have to agree with James B.
    We gotta give Tivo some credits, lots of us like to complain and bash Tivo and their developers. But they did quiet few good things this year and they did not set us back. Some things are easier said then done.
    :)

  11. Agree – TiVo has done many very good things in the last 18 months both on the retail and MSO side, with development in general becoming more progressive and more efficient… in some areas. And the topic at hand is Android streaming. Which is one of three reasons I returned my Roamio (the other implementation issue being pause menu ads – I can get those on my Lifetime-ed Premiere with no further investment in the company and expect them on my Mini in due course). It’ll be interesting to learn how their holiday Roamio sales went, given the new and highly regarded platform in conjunction with their biggest marketing blitz in years or maybe ever.

  12. @Dave – So you only have Premiere’s and Mini’s at home now? Really surprised for some who follows TiVo that you’d stay on Premiere. I would think going from a Roamio back to a Premiere is a little worse than going from a Roku 3 to a Roku LT Sorry, but what was the 3rd reason after Android streaming and paused ads?

    As mentioned TiVo, like many companies, doesn’t do mobile/tablet development instead paying companies to do so. Once TiVo has paid they more than anyone would want a working Android application. So the hold up can’t be on TiVo’s side, right?

    So that means either the software house doing the development was having problems developing the streaming application on Android or there was some other setback. Paypal bought a number of mobile development companies including Duff Research which did the TiVo iOS app as you pointed out. Did they put all resources on iOS to get something out?

    I’d be curious to know what happened with Android app even though I currently have no use for the iOS streaming app.

  13. The overarching piece is value. No question, Roamio is better than the Premiere. Yet the core functionality is largely unchanged – I can do the same things in the same way, just faster… keeping in mind the devices I want to stream to are Android. And how much money is fast worth? For my linear content, I’m better served by another Mini. With Roamio, I can still get to Netflix on Roku faster by flipping inputs (knowing I prefer remotes to smartphone/DIAL control) and still need that second input device for ESPN 3, Amazon, Showtime Anytime, etc.

    As far as my usage – most live TV is on the XL4 where we’re less burdened by the sluggish index of recordings (with Season Passes scheduled and managed via web or mobile). Most recorded viewing is via Mini which is sufficiently sprightly. Will probably add at least one more Mini to the mix. But I got way more gadgets than I got TVs and HDMI inputs… (Also very interested to get my hands on Tablo and Aereo, once released here.)

    By the by, the return process was not efficient. TiVo emailed that they received the unit 11/5. Several calls to TiVo and nearly two months later, I had to get AmEx involved to receive the full refund 1/8. We’re not Consumerist, so it’s not going to become a post, but I’d recommend folks buy via Amazon or Best Buy if there’s any chance they’ll take TiVo up on the 30 day eval.

    Regarding mobile development, as I said above, I hope they’ve been working to bring those skills in-house. It requires ongoing work – you can’t start and stop and periodically engage like you might with their old HME apps. The market is too competitive and the platforms move too fast (see: still using the iOS 6 keyboard). I do believe securely streaming to Android is challenging and only more recent software might do HLS the way they (and their partners) want. Yet most other companies we discuss have figured it out. The price of free for the mobile app is a very nice perk, agreed there.

  14. RCN is hearing June for Android on TiVo. How ridic is that. After all these millennium, Sling is still the best. Maybe I need DISH once my FIOS contract is up in August. Wireless Joeys at CES looked hot.

  15. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places, but another two months has gone by and it doesn’t seem like there is any Android progress.

  16. Add another 2 months to that

  17. …and another two months.

    I’m so pissed off. After 12 years, this will be the last Tivo I’ll own.

  18. Yep, I bought a roamio on the 300$ off lifetime deal. Like the unit, dreading dealing with TWC next week to get cable card working and still not even a breath of hint about android streaming……. come on TiVo – lets get on the stick now that the refresh is out and awesome

  19. I want all the devs out there to throw your two cents in on this one. Ive developed apps for iOs, Android and WebOS and many of the apps I contracted used various streaming protocols. I’m one freaking guy and I guarantee you a small team of 5 or 6 developers with a competant lead with good communication with the company could have developed a bare bones app for Android in a month maybe two. This is pure bs from Tivo and thier apologists who clearly know nothing of software or programming. This is either a lack of will or shortsightedness, or incompetence or legal crap but it is NOT a technical issue or a software issue. Anyone out there thats actually in the business please get on here and do the same as me and call Tivo out on this. It’s cowardice to lie to people this way.

  20. P.s. we’re now at eight months. Thats just a few months, right?

  21. chirp. Still nothing. 2016 possibly.

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