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Where is Stream for Android???

Discussion in 'TiVo Stream' started by dave060863, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Aug 3, 2013 #141 of 288
    PCurry57

    PCurry57 Liberal Hippie Chick

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    Netflix, hulu, hbo2go, shogo, cinmax numerous others stream video to a very wide variety of android devices. So the development differences between ios and android ring very hollow. I to was a very successful systems programmer in my time. The excuses are flat. The newest green of android devices out preform any ios device.
     
  2. Aug 3, 2013 #142 of 288
    DeWitt

    DeWitt New Member

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  3. Aug 3, 2013 #143 of 288
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    This....

    http://www.longtailvideo.com/blog/31646/the-pain-of-live-streaming-on-android/

    ...which is linked to from the article above is much more relvant to TiVo's plight with Android. They already have an Android app, so they've presumably dealt with the UI issues related to a multitude of screen sizes. However the broken implimentation of HLS in Android is a major problem. The Stream currently uses encrypted HLS as it's method for serving video to the iPad app. If even the most recent versions of Android do not fully support HLS tha means TiVo has to change the Stream to support an alternate protocol for Android. That is much more difficult then just writing an Android app to play the video they already have. That's a major redesign of the entire system. I had previously read that HLS was fully supported in Android 4.0+, so I assumed they were just going to write e app to only support those devices with 4.0+. But if the implimentation is broken even in those devices then they'd have to go with something completely different which could explain why it's taking so long to accomplish.
     
  4. Aug 3, 2013 #144 of 288
    Austin Bike

    Austin Bike Member

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    So, you're basically saying that if TiVo dropped an app on the market tomorrow but your platforms were not supported you'd be happy?

    Everyone agrees that not all platforms will be supported, as long as it is not their platform that is left behind.

    I had this issue with silicon development. A socket-compatible processor that worked with "most" of our partners' platforms.

    Back to the drawing board because you can't tell a company "it will work on these and not those, even though they all have the same socket and you built both systems to spec.
     
  5. Aug 5, 2013 #145 of 288
    mr_smits

    mr_smits New Member

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    It's clear that it's easier in iOS than Android, and that it the excuse that these various companies are providing. The fact is that it is possible even if it requires sourcing the right companies and individuals to do it.

    The responsibility for creating a device so heavily reliant upon the HLS protocol that isn't a standard (yet) and only supports one operating system falls on TiVo leadership. Perhaps they need to bring in someone with more long term vision since their past decisions are very iOS centric creating an inflexibility in response to market changes.
     
  6. Aug 5, 2013 #146 of 288
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    You have to remember that the design decisions for the Stream where likely made at least a year before it's release, which mean mid 2011. At the time the market share for Android tablets hadn't even hit double digits yet. Plus ICS was just about to be released and it promised support for HLS. There is no way for them to know that the HLS support would broken and still unusable 2 years later.

    So looking at it from the perspective of someone designing a product in 2011 it makes perfect sense that they would chose HLS. It's easy to use, supported by all Apple devices (which dominated the market at the time), and contained an encryption protocol approved by CableLabs.

    The only way they could have known it was a bad choice was if they had employed a psychic or invented a time machine first. ;)
     
  7. Aug 6, 2013 #147 of 288
    mr_smits

    mr_smits New Member

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    To be fair, the iPad was just released mid-2010, and Android 3.0 tablet support was released mid-2011. Of course there were no real competitors to the iPad mid 2011, but the signs were clear that there would be an Android competitor. At that time, just looking at the iPhone vs Android trends, it was not difficult to see what would happen after a few years. For those that remember, this has happened before in Mac vs PC...

    I know Tivo had to make decisions based on what was known at the time, but they put all their eggs in the iOS basket. Best decision in the short term? Yes. Best decision after that? Absolutely not.
     
  8. Aug 6, 2013 #148 of 288
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    They also have to consider what CableLabs would approve for this. Encrypted HLS is an accepted standard for CableLabs. Anything else would have required some sort of custom encryption scheme that they would have run through the certification process. That's expensive and time consuming.
     
  9. Aug 6, 2013 #149 of 288
    jrtroo

    jrtroo User

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    Well, I'm not sure how clear that was in 2011, honeycomb was slooow and buggy; nobody purchased the Xoom in volumes anywhere close to expectations. It took until Ice Cream Sandwich for these to have the smoothness necessary to gain market acceptance.
     
  10. Aug 6, 2013 #150 of 288
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I agree. I think TiVo went with a format they thought, at the time, would become a standard and supported on all platforms. Now two years later it's still not fully supported on Android so they're forced to redesign the whole product or implement a 3rd party SDK to get it to work. That's a much bigger task then they intended so it's understandable that it's taking longer then expected. If HLS was fully supported in Android like it should be then TiVo probably would have Stream support available by now.

    That being said there are 3rd party SDKs for both Android and Win8 that add real encrypted HLS support, so this is all possible to accomplish without having to redesign the Stream's core functionality. Although I guess the viability of those SDKs really depends on their licensing terms. If they have a price per seat then it may force TiVo to start charging for the app on those platforms, and I'm not sure that would make users very happy.
     
  11. Aug 7, 2013 #151 of 288
    mr_smits

    mr_smits New Member

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    ICS was released only a few months later in 2011.

    My main point in all this is saying that it was silly if Tivo believed that the iPad would be the only real option for a tablet. Just look at iPhone vs Android numbers by mid 2011. No crystal ball is needed to see the clear trend of what would happen with the tablet market.
     
  12. Aug 7, 2013 #152 of 288
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Yes but it wasn't clear that Android wouldn't support HLS properly. Apple submitted it to be an open standard. It was a reasonable assumption that it would be accepted and supported on most devices by now. They couldn't foresee that the standard would stall and that Googles implementation of it would be half assed and broken.
     
  13. Aug 7, 2013 #153 of 288
    ort

    ort Member

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    You keep saying things like this...

    The bottom line is this...

    iOS devices have way higher user engagement. When you track web usage and ad stats and anything relevant, iOS is beating Android between anywhere from 2:1 (phones) to 9:1) tablets.

    On average app developers make 4 times as much revenue from iOS app sales than they do from Android App sales. This includes revenue from ads.

    Google themselves makes more money serving ads to iOS users than they do to Android users. They testified this fact in front of congress.

    It's (generally) a lot easier and cheaper to program apps for iOS than it is for Android.

    Put all of these things together and it's not rocket science.

    No one really knows how many Android tablets are out there. No one puts out real numbers. All we get are estimates from various research firms. Who knows how accurate they are. Google doesn't tell anyone how many Nexus tablets the sell. Samsung doesn't tell anyone how many Galaxy tablets they sell. Amazon doesn't tell anyone how many Kindle Fire's they sell and on and on down the list. It's all an unknown.

    You keep talking about how the market is headed over and over again. I'm not sure it really matters. Android has had a sizable lead for years now and yet the numbers still dictate that iOS is the lead development platform. Real companies with real products looking at real customer usage stats and real financial numbers look at both platforms and all choose iOS as the lead.

    It's not a conspiracy. It's economics. They aren't pro-apple. They're pro money. And pro reality.

    Repeating over and over and over again that the whole world is (obviously) moving to android isn't going to make it happen any sooner, no matter how much some people wish it to be true.

    Maybe someday it will be. And when that day comes, and it makes economic sense for companies to put their weight behind Android, they will.

    That's not to say that TiVo shouldn't have an Android app by now, or that Android isn't a platform worth supporting... because Android is a great platform, and TiVo probably should have had the app done by now...

    But I'm guessing that a combination of low overall Stream sales coupled with development complications has made them prioritize other more important things.
     
  14. Aug 7, 2013 #154 of 288
    Grakthis

    Grakthis New Member

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    I'm not just babbling here, I write code for a living. While I personally do not write java for android, members of my team do.
     
  15. Aug 7, 2013 #155 of 288
    Grakthis

    Grakthis New Member

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    I would at least recognize progress and assume that they would be here soon.

    I am "happy" that I got 4G signal about 1 hour away from my house last week, because it means 4G is coming this direction soon.

    Again, netflix did this. Stop pretending you can't do something that netflix did.
     
  16. Aug 7, 2013 #156 of 288
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    It's not about whether or not they "can" do it. Pretty much anything can be done with sufficient resources. It's about economics. Unless they think adding Android support is going to significantly boost Stream sales there is very little economic incentive for them to add it. If Android actually supported HLS properly and it was easy to do, then I'm sure they'd do it just for posterity. However it doesn't sound like that's the case. So they have to decide if the resources needed to add support will boost sales enough to make them money. If not then they may still do it for posterity but it'll probably be very low priority with limited resources dedicated to the project.

    That being said TiVo showed an interesting feature at the cable show where basically they had the entire TiVo UI running in a web browser, including the ability to play videos. They didn't really give much details on how it worked, but if that is something they can get going for consumers then you may be able to stream your TiVo shows to pretty much any device.
     
  17. Aug 8, 2013 #157 of 288
    mr_smits

    mr_smits New Member

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    All of that may be true, but none of it is relevant to Tivo offering Android compatibility for its Stream product. No one is clamoring for an extreme position like a Symbian OS compatible app with a fraction of a percentage of the market. Is supporting the platform that represents the most popular mobile OS in the US too logical a position?

    Total market share does matter. Lead development platform doesn’t matter for companies that aren’t start ups. The only companies that release on iOS only (or significantly before Android) are those fledgling companies that are struggling to even make it to the next quarter.

    Who said it is a conspiracy? I said it is poor leadership at Tivo that has led to the current situation. I believe some of it is likely due to Apple centric thinking by Tivo leadership, and that is unfortunate since it can be avoided.

    I’m simply repeating the well-established facts about the growing Android market share in both phone and tablet formats. Trends are important to know for long term planning, and especially if Tivo is looking to survive and thrive in the changing television and internet streaming landscape.

    I think the Stream has faced a chicken and egg scenario that has stymied sales, especially in non-Apple households. I know Tivo is coming out with an Android Stream app someday, but in the meantime, the Stream has been labeled as an Apple-only device and has turned potential customers away. It’s already difficult for Tivo to recruit new non-MSO customers since it requires significant up-front fees and often also requires giving up access to carrier on demand content. Tivo should give customers another reason to switch (or stay) instead of giving them a reason to consider attractive alternatives.
     
  18. Aug 8, 2013 #158 of 288
    BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Active Member

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    The rumor continues to be November. Too long to wait since launch? Yes, but welcome to Tivo's long list of dragged out affairs. The long wait for Android is not a personal slight against it. That just makes them slow, which we knew for the better part of a decade. We can hope and wish they weren't, but that has always been the long and short of it.
     
  19. Aug 8, 2013 #159 of 288
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Zynga, a very popular game company, has several apps that are only available on iOS. Only their top 3 apps are available on Android. (i.e. Words w/Friends, Hanging w/Friends and Draw Something 2) And those three lagged behind their iOS counterparts for years.

    I don't know if it's market share, ease of development or the fact that iOS users buy more stuff, but a LOT of companies favor iOS over Android even today. This is not unique to TiVo.
     
  20. Aug 9, 2013 #160 of 288
    Grakthis

    Grakthis New Member

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    Totally agree. It is about the economics. That's why any claims of "we're working on it, it just takes a long time" are bogus. They aren't working on it. If they were working on it for a year, it would be done. It would have been done months ago.
     

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