Tivo Stream to Apple TV
Can you play your Tivo programs on Apple TV?
Answer = Yes and No.
I currently have a Tivo Premiere XL which has a dual tuner, (the ability to watch a TV program live and record a different channel at the same time). This was the latest and greatest at the time I purchased it. I went with Tivo because of a couple of reasons. I knew that they had the capability for me to record shows remotely with my smartphone. If I forgot to record something while I was away from home…I could still program my Tivo to record without having to make a special trip back home. The second reason was the return on investment that I would get from purchasing Tivo rather than rent a DVR from my cable TV provider. For most of us it runs around 2.5 years. If you purchase a Tivo upfront with a lifetime subscription – you make your money back after 2.5 years of having it and then don’t have to pay the cable company for the rest of your life.
With that said – Tivo has come out with new advances in their offerings. Tivo Stream allows you to stream your recorded shows, (or live shows that will start a recording in order to stream to your iPhone or iPad) while you are on your local network, (meaning – you must be at home in order to stream a program). On top of being able to stream to your device – you can also download the program right to your iPhone or iPad so that you can take your Apple device and watch the program away from home.
Tivo has also come out with the Tivo Mini – This is basically works like a Slingbox which allows you to extend your original full blown Tivo to another TV using your original Tivo as the engine. The Mini then allows you to have another Tivo on another TV without making the full investment of another Tivo DVR box with another subscription. (There is a subscription charge for the Mini, but it is considerably less than a regular subscription). I would also like to add that the Tivo Mini requires that you have a Tivo DVR with 4 tuners or by having the new Romio version of Tivo. It will use 1 tuner while you are using the Mini on another TV.
Tivo also has the “Slide Remote” which has a keyboard built into the remote when you slide the top half of the remote from the bottom half. This allows you to have the full QWERTY keyboard when typing in searches for TV programs etc. The Slide Remote also has Bluetooth in it which is very nice if your Tivo box is hidden behind a cabinet, etc. You no longer need the line of site to your Tivo box to control it. A USB receiver is plugged into the back of the Tivo box to allow Bluetooth communication between your remote and the box. Very nice and seems to be more accurate with the button pushes verses the IR version that it came with.
In my home configuration I have other things that I must introduce you to. I have “Powerline Ethernet Adaptors” which allow my electrical wiring in my house to act as a network. You can look up these on Amazon. I have one that is receiving the internet from my wireless router and then plugs into my wall outlet. Then I can plug in another box anywhere in the house and then it will have an Ethernet jack coming out if it, (which essentially gives me a fast Ethernet connection versus wireless). This is important because of what will be showing you later on. Bottom line – wired connections if done correctly will always be faster than a wireless connection.
I also have made the investment in a Slingbox 350. I wanted the capability to watch sporting events while away from the house. Slingbox lets you stream your home TV to your smartphone. You can even change the channels and play recorded TV! It’s pretty cool if you are looking to always have your TV available to you no matter where you are.
OK – so now let’s get into how do you get your Tivo to play on your Apple TV.
First things first…”Out of the box….Tivo will not play on your Apple TV directly”! Hopefully I haven’t pissed you off by reading this far - only to be disappointed. You ask why? I for sure can’t tell you because I do not work for Tivo. But I have some theories that I’m sure you will agree with once you read on. Tivo is in the business for selling the boxes and subscriptions. That’s how they make their money. They also make money by advertising on your Tivo when you are searching for programs or while you are watching shows. But buttom line….they are in the business to make money like any other business. If they allowed you to mirror your iPad – they couldn’t sell you the Mini with another subscription. Money, money, money.
So you might be asking yourself, “But I don’t understand? I have my iPad or iPhone and can mirror my device to my Apple TV and then whatever is on my screen of my iPad is on my Apple TV…why won’t it work?” Tivo BLOCKS the ability in the Tivo app to mirror your TV show to your Apple TV. I have seen posts that you can get around this if you jailbreak your Apple device…but again…”out of the box…Tivo will not play on your Apple TV directly!” Even if you download the program to your Apple device and try to mirror it – it won’t mirror to your Apple TV because the Tivo app blocks it.
How do you do it then?
I use my Slingbox to watch my Tivo on my Apple TV. I use my iPhone and use the Tivo app to start up a TV show that I recorded earlier. Then on my iPad I start up the Slingbox app. Once the show is playing on my Slingbox app – I then can mirror the show to my Apple TV.
Are there issues with this? Yes. I will be the first to tell you that when you are using the Slingbox – it is meant to be watched on a mobile device or computer. Because of this – there is compression. Compression = loss of quality in picture and sound. So yes it works…but the picture and sound doesn’t look like I’m sitting in front of my original TV with the Tivo hooked up to it. It is tolerable and would tell you that it’s fine in my opinion. If I could get a Tivo Mini I would…but I can’t because I have the Premiere XL with a lifetime subscription that is not compatible with the Mini. I would be fine with cannibalizing my 2nd tuner for the Mini – but Tivo doesn’t allow me to make that choice. I would also add that I am Slingboxing my Tivo to a 60” LG Smart TV and the picture from the Slingbox does not take up the full screen, (there are black bars on the left and right hand side of the screen…like letterbox format…but on the sides).
I will also say that with Slingbox I have purchased a WDTV Live and have it up in my bedroom. This also has the Slingbox app built in – so it works like a Tivo Mini again…but is not as slick. Remember – I can’t get a Mini for my box so I am using work arounds.
I hope this helps…I love my Tivo and would love to spend more with them….but just can’t get past purchasing another full box and lifetime subscription.
Tivo…if you are reading these posts and would like to help me out…I’m all ears. I’d be a great BETA tester for you.