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TiVo is developing a new set-top box user interface that can also run on top of Android

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Johncv, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. Johncv

    Johncv Active Member

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    mrizzo80 likes this.
  2. mrizzo80

    mrizzo80 Well-Known Member

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    Some interesting new information - to me at least.

    Can any people that have been in TiVo's past betas comment on "final qualification?" Is that the last stage before they open up the Priority List for a software release? How long would you expect final qualification to take on a major release?
     
  3. Sgt Howl

    Sgt Howl Member

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    According to the article, "The upgrade will be optional, but users won’t be able to downgrade once they’ve moved to the new interface."
     
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  4. krkaufman

    krkaufman Well-Known Member

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    Another reviewer falling for TiVo marketing's "personalization" schtick. The UI can't be personalized without personal profiles.
     
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  5. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    The Android thing is probably a reference to how the Mavrik is going to work. We know it's headless and will require some sort of app on a streaming box to access it's UI. Doesn't mean that TiVo itself is switching to Android. Although that could be a good idea for them.
     
  6. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Well, I've been banging on for a long time on this forum that TiVo ought to embrace Android to gain a more robust streaming platform. (Why Android? Well, there are really only four major TV app platforms out there: Apple tvOS, Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV. And Android TV is the only one that gets licensed to third-party OEMs with some amount of flexibility and customization allowed.)

    Hopefully we see TiVo pursue this, although they'll be a little late to the party given that Tablo (soon on the Nvidia Shield Android TV and other Android TV devices later), Silicon Dust/HD HomeRun, and Sling TV (with their new Android TV-powered AirTV Player) have already developed their own solutions that marry OTA and/or CableCARD TV with Android TV.
     
  7. bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

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    I wonder if you can take a new hardrive and install the new user interface for a test drive and rollback by just popping the old hardrive back in.

    In botheres me to be an early adopter with no option to go back...
     
  8. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    While I think it would be cool if the whole TiVo ran on Android, I doubt they're planning on upgrading existing boxes. Just seems to risky to do a major OS change like that in the field. So if that is there plan it's likely to accompany new hardware.
     
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  9. bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

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    Sounds like it is an upgrade in the article, but who knows. I do hope the new apps work with existing tivos - but it is hard to say
     
  10. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Sounds like the UI is an upgrade. But the article mentions that the UI also runs on Android, not that it will need Android to run on the TiVo. But who knows, maybe it does. Seems risky to me.
     
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  11. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    The UI running on Android fits within the TiVo/Rovi plan: move more and more to software from hardware, leaving the nuts and bolts to others.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  12. jth tv

    jth tv Active Member

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    Rewriting a dvr for another os seems like an almost unsurmountable task.
     
  13. Thunderclap

    Thunderclap Member

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    I, for one, would love to see TiVo move to Android. I think the UI would run better, and the availability of third-party apps would be welcome. The system now sucks.
     
  14. alexb

    alexb Active Member TCF Club

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    Android is a linux derivative, shouldn't be huge uplift.
     
  15. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    My view, based on the article and everything else I know about TiVo, is that we're not going to see existing hardware like the Bolt get updated so that the underlying OS is Android. However, it looks like the Bolt, Roamio and Premiere will be offered the option to migrate to the new "Hydra" TiVo UI. (And once it's unveiled, I'd bet all new Bolts and Roamio OTAs sold by TiVo will come with the Hydra UI by default.)

    Rather, TiVo is becoming more platform agnostic and has created the new Hydra UI so that it can function on top of their existing dedicated TiVo hardware as well as an app running on top of Android in various non-TiVo-branded hardware (which could encompass Android phones, tablets and Chromebooks; Android TV boxes and smart TVs; and Amazon Fire TV boxes, sticks and smart TVs). And while the TechHive article linked in the OP only mentioned Android, it's certainly possible that this new TiVo app featuring the new UI will also be made available to run on Apple and Roku devices as well.

    Perhaps all this is simply to allow a variety of non-TiVo devices to serve as front-ends for the upcoming TiVo Mavrik, a headless DVR that distributes your live and recorded TV to devices on your home network, just like the existing Tablo.

    Or maybe it means that TiVo is aiming to develop a modular DVR for use with Android TV devices like the Nvidia Shield, much like Tablo will do with their upcoming Tablo DROID app + Tablo Tuner (a USB OTA dual tuner) or like Silicon Dust is doing with their HDHomeRun DVR app + their various network OTA and CableCARD tuners. Both of those solutions also require the user to supply their own local storage, typically either an external hard drive plugged into the Android TV device or one built into it by the OEM.

    Or maybe it means that TiVo is going to come out with a TiVo-branded Android TV box very much like the new AirTV Player from Sling TV, except rather than the Sling app being the default UI that incorporates your various viewing sources, it would be the new TiVo app. However, given the company's apparent direction more toward software and services and away from hardware, this last possibility seems the least likely to me.
     
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  16. alexb

    alexb Active Member TCF Club

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    TiVo / Rovi publically stated strategy (to date - obviously strategies can change) is to validate new UI concepts with existing retail customers before rolling out to there provider customers.

    The article states "Stathacopoulos says the new interface is in “final qualification” and should become available to existing TiVo customers in 2017. The upgrade will be optional, but users won’t be able to downgrade once they’ve moved to the new interface."

    As such i am hopeful we will see this interface on at least the Bolt / Bolt+ as they have been designing the UI alongside the new devices for over a year... i could be disappointed of course :) but i am willing to bet on this one!

    It's also stated they will license their IP to device creators, so I am unclear they will do their own box unless it is the 4K evolution of the mini...
     
  17. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    I doubt it would be re-writing. Tivo moved to a new development tool that seems to allow for this, Haxe. It was the basis for the big speed increase in Jan 2014.
     
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  18. tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Member

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    Rovi bugs on top of Google bugs...fun ! :) NOT :mad::confused::eek:
     
  19. bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

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    Reporting like this at times gets it a little wrong, but I am open minded to the idea that the new UI is targeted to Bolt / Roamio and all future machines.

    - What we do know is that the MaVrik will be a headless unit and TiVo would need to improve / extend the UI for streaming boxes to support it. So this UI will certainly be the basis of that implementation - Android is likely a significant integration point.
    - We also know that Haxe is supported by Android / Android libraries - and they have shown TiVo UI ports to Android streaming boxes in the past.
    - The article says that once you upgrade you cannot go back, that supports a theory that the upgrade process is reformatting the system drive and that would only be necessary if you were making a significant architectural change to the device.

    Now does that mean that the current implementation on the Roamio / Bolt are going Android? That is a harder stretch, if that were the plan, why are they still adding / updating stand alone streaming apps? Why wouldn't they just freeze that integration point?

    Likely, the Bolt is the last full DVR that TiVo will ever build / sell... For now on, I suspect, they will license their software and produce a more flexible product line.

    I think we will have to wait and see how this all comes together over the next several months.


    What I do know, is if I upgrade the UI on my wife's TiVo and she doesn't like it, my life is going to be a living hell! :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
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  20. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Yeah I hope that there is at the very least some way to revert to the old UI, even if it requires a full "Clear & Delete" to do. I'd hate to switch completely sight unseen and have no way to revert.
     

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