Let’s face it, most social apps and interaction on television platforms are tedious silos… including TiVo’s very own Twitter app that launched on Virgin Media in 2011. However, TiVo CEO Tom Rogers has communicated that family and friends will “soon” be able to share viewing recommendations. And we wonder if, instead of managing this through a television UI, it’d be handled via the so-called “second screen.” A number of clues indicate that may be the case… Beyond TiVo’s upcoming TV Everywhere portal, a commissioned tivo.com redesign concept by Haraldur Thorleifsson and hosted on Dribbble includes a Friends tab indicating “TiVo is social. See what your friends are watching.” Of course, this text is most likely a placeholder. Yet, likely indicative of what TiVo’s been percolating. Indeed, TiVo Director Evan Young conveyed at the 2nd Screen CES Summit that the company has been researching things like user profiles, yet is taking a thoughtful approach – intending to add value in a non-creepy manner.
Archives For TiVo
A periodic roundup of relevant news… via our writings elsewhere:
Sign of the Future: Sensors that Stick Everywhere
Lose your keys? Your cat? The TV remote? StickNFind has an app for that. Better yet, StickNFind has colorful sensors the size of a quarter, its own Bluetooth software stack, and a developer platform that could turn this crowd-funded Indiegogo product into a foundation piece for the coming “Internet of Things” revolution.
Comments on FCC Proceeding 13-177
Unlike recent TiVo and Samsung waiver requests, the EchoStar Channel Master K77 isn’t a CableCARD/cable device and isn’t saddled with the additional baggage of legacy MSO analog broadcasts and newly introduced market uncertainty due to recent Court and Commission rulings.
DISH Cuts NimbleTV to the Quick
NimbleTV is one of several startups trying to speed the progress of TV Everywhere. But Dish Network Corp. dealt a blow to the company earlier this month when it cut subscribers off from the TV source feeding the multi-screen video service.
Comcast Spreads Wi-Fi through Neighborhood Hotspots
Sitting dormant like sleeper cells, wireless routers in Comcast homes around the country will soon by recruited to activate a new Wi-Fi network. With the recent announcement of its neighborhood hotspot initiative, Comcast is preparing to split the wireless signal from home routers to create two parallel Wi-Fi access routes.
As we await Chromecast delivery, an interesting TiVo rumor has crossed our desk. Supposedly Series 5 and TiVo Mini hardware will leverage the same sort of technologies (DIAL? via Flingo?) that Google’s Chromecast has implemented. Cast is similar to AirPlay in that a smartphone, tablet, or computer pipes video to a television. However, unlike Apple’s solution, Cast and DIAL are open to all developers and content streams directly via the cloud-to-TV rather than being relayed through a local device – meaning we’d take less of a hit on mobile battery life and television streaming performance.
As most regulars know, TiVo’s been far more successful litigating and licensing their patent portfolio than in moving retail hardware and the Premiere line never really lived up to initial “One Box” marketing – given a meager app selection and generally poor performance. However, the incoming TiVo Series 5 presents a new opportunity to excite us content-loving consumers. And, in a classic chicken/egg scenario, while TiVo may not have a substantial enough customer base to warrant app development (as HBO indicated at the Cable Show and MIA Amazon Instant updates)… Google Chromecast does.
It’s quite conceivable that Google moved more Chromecast devices in the last few days than TiVo has in the year or more. So it’s a platform ripe for development. Beyond the existing Netflix and YouTube integration, we know Pandora is on-board and Sling and Redbox Instant are registered DIAL developers. With many more sure to follow. If TiVo can leverage these Chromecast-capable apps as an endpoint, they immediately expand their platform far beyond what looks to be an abandoned Developer Channel. Could be exciting…!
Perhaps the biggest drawback to TiVo ownership is the inability to access our cable provider’s On Demand services. Yet TiVo and Comcast attempted to rectify the situation to their mutual benefit by bringing Xfinity On Demand to Premiere hardware, as a followup to their initial (and not very good) set-top collaboration. However, after leisurely rolling out the service to 21 markets, the companies have hit the pause button. According to Comcast’s Ted Hodgins:
We work with TiVo to jointly determine which markets are scheduled to get the TiVo with XFINITY On Demand as the best return on our joint investment. [...] Unfortunately, we currently don’t have plans for any additional markets this year while both Comcast and TiVo evaluate the performance and results of the current markets where this added feature has been made available.
While TiVo’s crushed it in defending their time warp and associated DVR patents, the company has a spottier record when it comes to trademarks – abandoning valuable assets and tilting at windmills. Even though the “TiVolution” mark was officially cancelled about 18 months ago, given TiVo’s European expansion and phonetic similarities, we suspect they may take issue with the new French “TeVolution” service that delivers television content over-the-top (OTT) via Netgear hardware. (via TiVo Insights)