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How Chromecast Could Jumpstart TiVo’s Retail Ambitions

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by sbiller, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Active Member

    Aug 25, 2001
    Doesn't it only require power on devices that aren't running HDMI 1.4?

    From an Amazon review

  2. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    My TV has HDMI 1.4 but I couldn't get it to power via the HDMI port.
  3. jcthorne

    jcthorne Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Oh, that's even worse. It does not use the Chromecast device at all. It still relies on the Tivo to do the streaming with it does (not) oh so well. I had figured Google would have outfitted the Chromecast device with enough memory and processor to start and buffer a stream for hitch free viewing, something far beyond the capability of the Tivo. Maybe not, have not seen many truly positive reviews of the Chromecast device yet. Seems to be pretty limited by poor wireless performance so far.

    Oh well. Back to business as usual. Having a menu of vids on a tablet or other third party device that I can 'fling' to the TiVo is not of interest to me for the same reason I do not use a Roku. I use a whole home TiVo system, all audio, video and photos are presented via that same menu system. Period. One Device. One interface, consistent throughout the home.

    Items are stored and pushed to TiVo for glitch free viewing. I will not tolerate network hickups in streaming video and most providers do not allow buffering of sufficient data to provide that.

    I don't see the Chromecast device being of much use for hotel travel either due to the low bandwidth wifi available at most hotels. Usually 3Mbit or so if lucky.
  4. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

    May 10, 2002
    Tampa, FL
  5. windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

    Jan 3, 2003
    St. Pete, FL
    Good 'ol Galleon! ;)
  6. tlc

    tlc Member

    May 29, 2002
    I read Dave's post as a wish, not a prediction.

    IMO, a Tivo that is a google cast receiver (what a chromecast device is) will never happen. Too much of a mixed user experience. Use your smartphone for these things, put it down and use the remote for the rest. IMO, Tivo's target audience still includes people who don't even have smartphones. Also, Tivo wants their box be the center of things.

    I would like it to be able to serve to chromecasts, so a chromecast could serve as as poor man's Mini. But that would make the serving Tivo look bad because it's Netflix and Youtube don't measure up.

    This is a device/protocol that someone could build a very nice smartphone controlled whole house DVR around, though.
  7. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

    May 10, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Dave's post mentioned DIAL and Flingo has possible leverage points for implementing Chromecast on the TiVo. TiVo's YouTube app is virtually identical to the YouTube app available on many other devices. Have you tried it lately?

    Netflix, OTOH, needs an update. I expect that we will see an update from Netflix eventually especially if TiVo can figure out a way to sell more boxes and possibly get Netflix on some of their MSO-partner boxes.

    YouTube, Hulu Plus, and MLB TV perform very well on the Mini.

    One other point is that Flingo is doing something with DIAL. Take a look at the Name Registry here -->


    Another thread also notice that TiVo's Web Video Launchpad powered by Flingo has been crippled with significantly reduced content... perhaps hinting at a different approach?

  8. aadam101

    aadam101 Tell me a joke

    Jul 14, 2002
    Yes! That's it! I couldn't remember the name. I don't think I've had any of those apps since I had a Series 2. They were great examples of things Tivo should do but doesn't (or doesn't do well).
  9. Grakthis

    Grakthis New Member

    Oct 4, 2006
    There are a lot of people ITT being dismissive of DIAL and Chromecast and what it represents.

    This is a 35 dollar piece of hardware that I used about an hour ago to stream HD netflix video to my TV, then within 20 seconds swapped it to playing some free song I had on my Google Music app (I use Amazon for music) and then within 20 seconds have pulled up one of my kids favorite YouTube videos... all from my phone. I paused it, jumped ahead half way, and exited out of it without a hitch.

    I got better performance for streaming video playback out of a $35 dongle and my existing smart phone than I can get out of my $200 + sub TiVo box, my $300 PS3 or my 200ish dollar Xbox 360. Not to mention that 2 of those devices have boot-up times longer than the entire time it takes me to find and play a video on the Chromecast.

    So, DIAL is going to be growing soon. If Google puts enough of these dongles on TVs and gets enough partners to embed the technology, the client applications will follow.

    Now, TiVo could do what DIAL was originally designed for an actually just launch their embedded applications to stream the content... but why? Google has shown that a tiny little OS running nothing more than a glorified Chrome browser can stream HD video and music. Why launch a ridiculous flash application with an awful UI when you can just launch an open source browser in a sandbox? I promise you, Google would happily give TiVo the necessary code to embed this in to the next gen TiVo.

    Don't look at what Chromecast does NOW (basically, only stream google content and netflix), look at what it COULD DO if implemented on the scale of AirPlay (HBOGO, watchESPN, Pandora, Amazon Instant Video, Amazon Music, Hulu, Spotify, etc).

    And I haven't even touched on the browser window mirroring, which in some business environments is, by itself, a compelling enough reason to own one.
  10. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    You have to keep in mind that according to the article TiVo is targeting the series 5 hardware for DIAL, which if performance of Mini is any indication, will run these Flash apps MUCH faster than the current crappy series 4 hardware platform can. So you can't look at it in context of series 4 hardware/experience.
  11. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    People need to remember that the Premiere platform is 2009 hardware and has needed to be update for a few years now. I honestly don't believe there is much life left in it and don't expect it has the ability to do much more than it already is.
  12. Grakthis

    Grakthis New Member

    Oct 4, 2006
    I mean, the series 5 maybe COULD run the flash apps faster, but WHY?

    Even my PS3 is slower than my Chromecast and I promise you that the new TiVo won't have better hardware than my PS3.

    These touchscreen phones we all have now are just so fast to navigate, and we all have them optimized for the apps we use most, why would we possibly want to use a remote control?

    It took my daughter about 30 seconds this morning to figure out the Chromecast. She's 2. Now, she already understood YouTube (we use Sesame Street videos for potty training help), so I just put her in front of the TV with the tablet and played the first video for her on the TV. And she, from there, figured out "hit play on the tablet, video plays on the TV." And she was off.

    Now, I'm not saying I want my 2 year old to be able to use the PS3 and watch Netflix, but even if I did, there's no way she would figure out "turn on the Ps3, load the netflix app, go to favorites, play the video."

    Whereas she surely knows how to launch netflix on my phone and look at the pictures of the videos that are on the home page and hit "play" when she sees Mickey Mouse.
  13. Grakthis

    Grakthis New Member

    Oct 4, 2006
    I have to admit, I don't understand TiVo's hardware decisions. If the 2009 hardware is such a huge bottleneck, why wait 4 years for a refresh?

    Apple doesn't wait 4 years to refresh hardware. Intel doesn't. Roku doesn't.

    Even the XBox has a faster than every-4-years hardware cycle and it's supposed to be the SAME generation of Xbox!

    I am struggling to think of any industry where hardware refreshes are this slow. I mean, I get the regulatory mess TiVo has to slog through... but when the hardware is causing you to not be able to innovate, it's destroying your business model.

    Just put together a framework of tuners and cable card slots and periodically pop in new RAM and Proc's. I know differentiation like this might frustrate customers who feel like they are running the "old" model, but when upgrades are very reasonable and all of the money is in subscriptions, why not let the people who want to upgrade every year do it, which floods the market with used boxes for people who don't want to and just want to get in to a TiVo cheap, which should also help your sub-base.

    I can only figure it's because of a combination of their small developer group (making testing software a hassle on multiple hardware platforms) and their fear of devaluing lifetime subs (oh noes people would just go to monthly instead?).
  14. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    How is it with audio? How do you get the advanced audio codec from Netflix to a receiver?
  15. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    I haven't tested it enough to know if it retains AC3, but I use Audio Return Channel via HDMI on my TV for the built in apps. When I connected the Chromecast directly to the TV on another HDMI port the audio comes through the ARC just fine. If your TV doesn't have ARC then it likely has an optical port you can use. Although TVs are hit and miss when it comes to AC3 output. Some do it others convert everything to 2ch PCM. Just depends on the TV.
  16. steinbch

    steinbch Member

    Nov 23, 2007
    I think you're mistaken. The Xbox 360 was released towards the end of 2005. That's nearly eight years. The PS3 was released near the end of 2006. That's nearly seven years.

    If you're going to count all of the different form factors, since the processors stayed the same, then you should also include the different varieties of Series 4 TiVos that have come out.
  17. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    I tried it out and with it connected to my TV using ARC I only get stereo sound, but with it connected directly to the receiver I get 5.1, so it's capable of 5.1. Unfortunately I don't have a free port on my receiver at the moment so I have to leave it connected to the TV. Although I've been thinking about getting a new receiver anyway so this might push me over the edge. (Funny how a $11* purchase can turn into a $400 upgrade :))

    * after Netflix discount
  18. Fofer

    Fofer XenForo Rocks!

    Oct 29, 2000
    There would be no point in streaming Netflix via AirPlay from an iOS device to an AppleTV -- the AppleTV has had a native Netflix app on it for a very long time.
  19. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    I have to admit the Chromecast is very convenient for playing Netflix. The app is a lot easier to navigate then anything on the TV because you can flick around a lot quicker with your finger then you can navigate one selection at a time with a remote. And since it's not actually streaming from the iPad the quality is the same as you'd get from a native app running on a Roku, AppleTV, etc...

    Also I can now see how TiVo might add something like this to the next gen hardware. It's a pretty simple protocol. Basically the app instructs the device (i.e. TiVo, Chromecast, etc...) to launch the Netflix app and then sends a few basic commands to start the proper video and then allow basic control like pause, seek, etc.... Pretty much any device with a Netflix app could support this type of functionality.

    If TiVo does add it then I think between that and the ability to actually search for Netflix shows/movies in the TiVo UI they would have a pretty badass implimentation. Provided of course the Netflix app doesn't run like a dog on the new hardware like it does on the current hardware.

    In fact part of this already exists in the TiVo app. They show programs available in Netflix and Hulu in their iOS app with options to play those programs automatically by launching their respective apps. They could easily add an option to make those launch the apps on the TiVo itself instead. They might not even need DIAL. They have interfaces for all this stuff in their current MindRPC protocol already. Hmmmm
  20. Grakthis

    Grakthis New Member

    Oct 4, 2006
    I was, of course, counting Xbox revisions, which had hardware changes. But fair enough, they didn't boost the proc in any of those... they just made mobo, memory and PSU changes. They did improve hardware performance in other ways though. Which you'd struggle to argue that TiVo has done in any of the Series 4 tivos. And when your S4 comes out and people are arguing if it's even faster than the S3, then you've messed up somewhere. No one is arguing if the PS4 is faster than the PS3.

    I mean, you took the one that was "EVEN THESE GUYS DO IT" and went "well, kinda, sorta, they are almost as bad as TiVo." Which is not really helping the core thesis... which is that there is no excuse for this hardware release cycle.

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