TiVo app for Apple TV 'in limbo' due to technical issues, strategy shift

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2020
TiVo owners looking to stream live and recorded video to Apple TV through an official app could be in for a long wait, as the company on Wednesday said a tvOS version of the promised release is "in limbo."

TiVo App
TiVo app for Roku seen at CES 2019. | Source: Zats Not Funny

Speaking with TechHive at CES, TiVo VP of consumer products and services Ted Malone said the company's plans to launch streaming apps on Apple TV and Roku have changed.

Announced during CES 2019, the project was originally designed to answer longstanding customer requests for a native app capable of feeding TiVo content to third-party streaming devices. For example, a tvOS iteration would enable Apple TV owners to access live and recorded content from a TiVo set-top box without investing in multiple devices.

Beyond a brief mention of potential specifications last January, TiVo has remained mum on the initiative over the past 12 months.

According to Malone, the delays for Apple TV and Roku boil down to limited resources, technical challenges and strategy changes, the report said. The company has yet to work out quality and performance issues stemming from the video transcoding process, which is required to stream TiVo content to non-TiVo hardware.

"My bet is we'll get Android, and because of that we'll get the Fire TV, because it's the same app, just different qualifications," he said. "I think Roku and Apple are in limbo."

An Android variant of the app is likely in the offing because TiVo's new TiVo Stream 4K device runs on the operating system. For now, however, the company is concentrating on more lucrative undertakings like the buildout of its streaming platform.

"If we really believe the streaming market is where it's at, we need to double down on that and not get distracted by a bunch of things that other people want, but aren't really going to move the needle," Malone said.

TiVo initially planned to make its app lineup free to use as an add-on to typical monthly rates, with an estimated launch in the second and third quarters of 2019.


  • Reply 1 of 20
    thrangthrang Posts: 984member
    Put a knife in TiVo already...
  • Reply 2 of 20
    I’ve been a TiVo customer since they started, but ya, their days are numbered.
  • Reply 3 of 20
    jas99jas99 Posts: 137member
    TiVo is so much better than any of the app-based viewing systems it’s not even funny. Our TiVo broke and now we’re stuck with a cable-company DVR that is horrible and apps that force us to watch commercials. 
    TiVo allowed us to always skip commercials. 
    I miss TiVo. 
    BTW: We’re moving to a new home where we can’t use TiVo, otherwise we’d buy another. 
  • Reply 4 of 20
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,153member
    As the patents expire, so goes the company.
    edited January 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 20
    gorgygorgy Posts: 3member
    I've been a Tivo user for 15 years or so, and I've been waiting to have their live tv DVR integrated into my appleTV for a while. I love my Tivo, but my subscription is up in March and I'm not sure I'll be renewing. I think it's time to start looking into alternatives
  • Reply 6 of 20
    sunman42sunman42 Posts: 241member
    I'm at the point now where the only reason I still have a TiVO is to record programming on PBS stations (my local cable service offers two) that is either delayed online or aged off too soon, and one History Channel series (think people with axes and swords behaving badly). I wish Apple would just buy their IP and offer a timeshifting version of the Apple TV for basic cable and broadcast channels.
  • Reply 7 of 20
    I had no idea TiVO was still around...
  • Reply 8 of 20
    I still have an OTA TiVo after discontinuing cable TV a few years ago, but I find that I use it less and less. Most recently, several weeks passed without using it and I discovered that the hard drive had become full and it was no longer recording. It's becoming an obsolete concept for me. I get my news from web sites and apps while my television viewing is mostly on-demand streaming.
  • Reply 9 of 20
    TiVo still exists?!  Wow.  I gave up on their junk hardware and predatory subscriptions back when iPod was just a gleam in Steve’s eye.  

    I am unimpressed that they failed to deliver on another promise.  Maybe someone will buy them a cake. 
  • Reply 10 of 20
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,241member
    Doesn't Roku own Tivo now???
  • Reply 11 of 20
    gordygordy Posts: 1,004member
    I have TiVo, and I love it. I imagine the "strategy shift" is related to giving the streaming away instead of having users purchase TiVo stream. Or, it may have to do with TiVo coming out with their own streaming device soon, as reported on Engadget.
    edited January 2020 docno42
  • Reply 12 of 20
    Sigh. TiVo is not in trouble. They were a profitable company until barely a year ago. Their initial plan in response to the decline of their original business model was the now common tactic of splitting the company into two parts - one that isn't making money and one that is - and focus their efforts on the moneymaking portion while using the rest to manage their bankruptcy and writeoff needs. However, instead they are going merge with another hardware company in California and revamping their strategy around services. Their dumping their old, now-outdated business model and adopting a new one but they still have a customer base that they can transition to their new products instead of having to start from scratch. And yes their Android TV box has potential. The first few Android TV boxes were terrible thanks to Google's obtuseness. It took them years but Google finally listened to hardware and software partners and opened up the platform so that hardware sellers could come out with solutions like this that Google would have never thought of on their own. Another thing: with the next Android update - they gave Chrome a head start because they're Google and not very bright when it comes to product strategies - Android platforms are going to officially support Stadia, including Android TV. This is the best Android TV set top box right now ... the other options are either Nvidia ones that cost more than Apple TV or a couple of models that can only be bought from Wal-Mart or online. So it will be sold as a comprehensive TV/console quality gaming/DVR solution for $50. Not a bad pitch if they are better at marketing it than Google is. Which practically everyone on planet earth is BTW.
    edited January 2020
  • Reply 13 of 20
    Today's cable box comes with SSD USB flash drive to store TV shows. It's good that TiVo is exploring other area.
  • Reply 14 of 20
    I have a TiVo -- why would I want or need to stream its content to my Apple TV?

    I get that integrating TiVo content into tvOS would be convenient, but it seems like a lot of work for little gain. There is an iOS app already -- I don't use it so I can't say how well it really works, but it exists.
  • Reply 15 of 20
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 1,025member
    I am really not sure why anyone would need or pay for TiVo in 2020.
    I still have a few units sitting in storage I would give to anyone wanting them... Roamio and older.

    Back before Comcast scrambled everything the EyeTV DVR was awesome and I had the files saved to storage that was available all over the house- including the Apple TV’s of the day. Later, I switched to the xFinity box and used the analog hole to get HD recordings with an EyeTV HD unit.

    Exporting from a TiVo never was elegant and the streaming units have no real appeal. They used to excel at UI, but not sure that is much of an advantage excepting the awful Hulu apps.

    With on demand , cloud DVRs and broadband, I am not sure there is much of a place for TiVo.
  • Reply 16 of 20
    I bought my first TiVo in 1999 and finally a couple of years ago got fed up with their fees and content streaming restrictions, which combined with Comcast's outrageous rates were ending up costing me way too much. I cut the cord and signed up for cheap gigabit internet-only fiber as soon as it became available in my area, and switched to YouTubeTV for what little TV watching I do. Costs me less than half of what I used to pay, I get everything streamed anywhere in the house and to my phones and tablets, no wires, no boxes, never been so happy. TiVo had a good run, but at this point they're just making the best buggy whip on the market.
  • Reply 17 of 20
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,664member
    I have a TiVo -- why would I want or need to stream its content to my Apple TV?

    I get that integrating TiVo content into tvOS would be convenient, but it seems like a lot of work for little gain. There is an iOS app already -- I don't use it so I can't say how well it really works, but it exists.
    Well, I had a Mac mini running Plex connected to my receiver, but I switched to the Plex app on ATV the moment it was available. I really prefer the ATV experience, and now that I ditched the 7.1 receiver and use just two HomePods, I prefer to route everything thru the ATV (can also route my local HD OTA stations via a converter & app).
  • Reply 18 of 20
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,755member
    Have had dozens of TiVo’s since 2000 and still prefer TiVo to most streaming services. As long as you never want to go back and catch something you missed, fast forward reliably or scrub through content looking for that one shot streaming is wonderful 

    I still prefer to watch content recorded on TiVo simply from a performance perspective, but it’s clear their days are numbered. 

    One nice thing about streaming - I watch far less video overall now. Splitting everything up across multiple individual bills really made plain just how expensive subscribing to a bunch of crap I rarely watch anyway actually was. 
  • Reply 19 of 20
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 868member
    I invested in a really nice Home Theatre System, 4K for 4K etc.  But my plan was to have HomePods be the surround speakers,  Everything works great.  But the only thing I needed was the TiVo TV app (and the SlingTV app to get their $#!+ together with HomePod), so that I would be able to get around not needing a sound bar to have a great wireless audio system.

    I went to Plex and that was cool, but we did just a trial, Plex was OK, a little buggy, but on both setups you have to wait till the show is over (2 minutes for TiVo, and about 10 minutes per hour for Plex).  The TWO main problems with Plex were, You can't open the stream and just watch without ruining the show sometimes, but mostly my (8/16 core) 2009 Mac Pro with 3TB SSD for storage was burning UP and just getting shredded!  🥵 The Mac Pro was at FULL engines ripping and encoding in Plex.

    So really there's only two options: keep your sweet little TiVo with it's encoders or maybe get a separate NAS system with Plex on it...

    LOCAL ANTENNA ROCKS HARD!  Cord Cutters Unite!  haha
  • Reply 20 of 20
    Looks like 7.99% of their public float is short interest. I'm not surprised with decisions like this. I've given up on TiVo. They need to make some fundamental changes before it's too late.
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