Upcoming TiVo app for Apple TV restricted to 720p at 30 frames per second streaming

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in General Discussion
TiVo is looking to build out its consumer base by extending access to the service via streaming apps set to launch on third-party hardware, including Apple TV, though the company plans to restrict video quality to a paltry 720p at 30 frames per second.

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


The previously unannounced specifications were revealed by TiVo VP of consumer products and services Ted Malone in an interview with TechHive.

According to Malone, TiVo's forthcoming apps for Apple TV, Amazon's Fire TV and Roku share a familiar user interface and feature set with TiVo's own hardware options, but streaming will be capped at 720p at 30fps. Further, native MPEG-2 broadcasts, 5.1 surround sound audio output and "SkipMode" are not supported.

"I want 720p 60 [fps]," Malone told the publication. "I've done some internal demos proving that 720p 60 [fps] is actually noticeably better than 720p 30 [fps]. It's really a battle for resources and just getting it done."

While TiVo's existing hardware lineup can handle higher quality streams, it would come at the cost of key functionality like streaming TiVo Mini VOX, Malone said. As such, Malone believes the Mini line, which supports 4K resolutions and MPEG-2, represents a better option for end users.

"Even with Roku and Apple and Fire TV, the Mini still is a better multi-room solution if you want the same remote, the same performance, the same video quality," he said.

Currently, TiVo subscribers who want to view live programming and store DVR content on multiple TVs must use a first-party device like the Mini. The upcoming app selection will present an alternative to users who already own a device made by another manufacturer, though it appears TiVo is crippling the software on launch.

TiVo first announced its streaming app strategy at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. At the time, the company said its app lineup will be free to use as an add-on to typical monthly rates. A firm launch date was not provided, though TiVo estimates a launch in the second and third quarters of 2019, with a Fire TV app coming first followed by a version for Roku and finally Apple TV.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    wimpy wimpy wimpy!

    4K or bust!  Hmm, is ATSC 3.0 still unavailable in US TVs?!
  • Reply 2 of 13
    720p is fine . 
  • Reply 3 of 13
    wimpy wimpy wimpy!

    4K or bust!  Hmm, is ATSC 3.0 still unavailable in US TVs?!
    I could go on a rant about ATSC 3.0 here but I'll digress.
  • Reply 4 of 13
    macseeker said:
    wimpy wimpy wimpy!

    4K or bust!  Hmm, is ATSC 3.0 still unavailable in US TVs?!
    I could go on a rant about ATSC 3.0 here but I'll digress.
    I want to hear it...
    AppleExposed
  • Reply 5 of 13
    gordygordy Posts: 972member
    This app is a worthy alternative to purchasing a TiVo mini to use in other rooms, however it requires purchasing an AppleTV or another set top box instead a TiVo mini.  I'd opt to use this once it can be loaded to smart TVs natively, and eliminate the need for a set top box completely. 

    Love TiVo!
  • Reply 6 of 13
    So is the 720p a limit places by TiVo to push people towards there Mini’s or is there some sort of technical limits? This is fine for bedrooms but I wouldn’t imagine 720p being good enough in my living room or den where we have 65 inch 4K HDR sets. 
    netmage
  • Reply 7 of 13
    netmagenetmage Posts: 273member
    Presumably the living room or den where the main TV is located will also be where the TiVo DVR would be located and have full resolution available. This is for other rooms.
  • Reply 8 of 13
    Should be interesting to try the app and compare the UI and UE to a real TiVo. I'm curious to know if it will integrate with the TV app on the Apple TV.
  • Reply 9 of 13
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,149member
    Seems like a lame thing for TIVO to do. No 1080i which most TV channels are. 720P is generally only used for like Sport Channels because of the fast movement of everything. Where was most everyone else wants better detail and so use 1080i.

    I have my Tivo Roamio in my Family room, and a couple Tivo Mini's in the Bedrooms The Mini's have no fans and so are 100% quite. It's just like having the main Tivo right there. You can do everything on a Mini you can do on the main unit.
    edited January 24
  • Reply 10 of 13
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,376unconfirmed, member

    Does TiVo not know what the "4K" in Apple TV 4K stand for?


    This is why Tivo will become a dinosaur; extinct.


    supadav03 said:
    So is the 720p a limit places by TiVo to push people towards there Mini’s or is there some sort of technical limits? This is fine for bedrooms but I wouldn’t imagine 720p being good enough in my living room or den where we have 65 inch 4K HDR sets. 

    The fact 1080p/4k options are available make this decision strange.


    720p is fine . 


    If you're watching on a 32" TV.

  • Reply 11 of 13
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,449member
    jbdragon said:
    Seems like a lame thing for TIVO to do. No 1080i which most TV channels are. 720P is generally only used for like Sport Channels because of the fast movement of everything. Where was most everyone else wants better detail and so use 1080i.

    I have my Tivo Roamio in my Family room, and a couple Tivo Mini's in the Bedrooms The Mini's have no fans and so are 100% quite. It's just like having the main Tivo right there. You can do everything on a Mini you can do on the main unit.
    Half of all major broadcast channels are 720p, not just sports channels. 1080i is not 1080p. And except for OTA broadcast TV, cable and satellite pretty much compress the MPEG-2 signal so badly that it doesn't really matter -- most streaming codecs look better.
  • Reply 12 of 13
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,449member

    Does TiVo not know what the "4K" in Apple TV 4K stand for?


    This is why Tivo will become a dinosaur; extinct.


    supadav03 said:
    So is the 720p a limit places by TiVo to push people towards there Mini’s or is there some sort of technical limits? This is fine for bedrooms but I wouldn’t imagine 720p being good enough in my living room or den where we have 65 inch 4K HDR sets. 

    The fact 1080p/4k options are available make this decision strange.


    720p is fine . 


    If you're watching on a 32" TV.

    What broadcast TV, or cable TV is presented in 4K or 1080p? It makes perfect sense for a box that records live TV.
  • Reply 13 of 13
    dcgoodcgoo Posts: 215member
    720p is fine . 
    Agreed.  
    After all, the source material is OTA local broadcast.  That is all you can get today.  
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