Anyone loaded TiVo app on FireTV?

Discussion in 'TiVo Stream' started by Dan203, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. sjmyst

    sjmyst New Member

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    Fofer suggested I copy my post from another thread to here since it seemed appropriate. I hope it's ok to just copy the content over as opposed to just putting a link. Anyway, here is my experience with loading the TiVo app on the FireTV stick:

    Well, I'm back to report on my experience with getting the FireTV stick and the TiVo Stream, and getting the Tivo App to work from the FireTV stick and to stream my shows from my 2-tuner Premiere.

    I ran into MANY problems along the way. So, I'll report on them so that hopefully others can save some time. I had problems finding detailed descriptions of some things. So, hopefully my learnings can help others.

    First of all, I was not familiar with the term "side loading an app" (namely the TiVo app) onto the FireTV. So, when I found forums where people were describing it, they usually assumed the reader was already aware of what that means.

    For me the best way to describe "side loading an app" is that you need a 2nd Android environment like a phone or tablet. You then have to have the app on that other device, and then you use a "side load app" on that 2nd device to install the app from the 2nd device onto the FireTV. In other words, you are using a 2nd device to install the app you want on the 1st device (the FireTV stick in my case).

    In order to do, this it got fairly complicated for me. The only 2nd devices in my household are my wife's phone, and her Nexus tablet. She was currently using her tablet for reading a book. Things might have been much easier if I could have just used the Nexus.

    First I tried her phone. But, apparently she has filled up all of her local disk space with photos, etc. So, when I tried to install an app on her phone, I got an out of memory error.

    Next I went to my Windows 7 box to try and install an Android environment. My first attempt was Bluestack. All reviews have this as the best env. But, it didn't work for me. When I tried to bring it up, it would hang while "loading game data"? I spent some time researching that, and I've downloaded some other VMWare type of environments already, so it seems Bluestack didn't like some stuff I already had downloaded. So, I won't blame Bluestack for anything here. It was clearly something I already had on my system that was interfering.

    Attempt 2. While searching for an answer to my Bluestack, I stumbled upon "Andyroid". This is apparently another Android environment that I can only assume was put together by some dude named Andy. Clever name. I liked it. I was able to get Andyroid up and working. I think it might have run into similar "virtual" issues. But, it ask me if it could install over my existing VM that I wasn't really using, and was able to create a working env. I started it up and it popped up a window that looked like a tablet. From there I went to download an app to help me "side load" the Tivo App. The app to do the "side loading" was called AGK Fire. In the Play Store, there was an app by that name, but it costed something like $2.99. I had read that it was a free app. So, I kept looking and found it on Amazon for free. But, in order to "download" it onto Andyroid, it told me I first needed to download the Amazon app. So, I did that first. So, now I have the Amazon app, AGK Fire, and then I downloaded the TiVo app. I downloaded the "main" version of the TiVo app. Not the one that said something like "obsolete version".

    From the AGK Fire app, I was able to enter my FireTV IP address, select the TiVo app, and was able to successfully "side load" the TiVo app.

    At least I thought I had (I had; but just couldn't see any evidence that it had shown up on the FireTV stick). Being new to the FireTV, I really expected to see a new selection to show up on the Home page. So, I spent quite a while searching through those choices before I eventually found the TiVo app deep in the FireTV "Settings" pages. Down in the settings, there is something like (going from memory) "Manage apps". From down in there, I had to scroll through all the default apps that are already on the FireTV to find the TiVo app. And, inside the menu for that app, there was a "Launch app" button.

    So, after finding the TiVo app on the FireTV, I think I'm in business. But, not yet. After going through all of the setup to get the TiVo app running, I went to try and stream my first show. But, using the FireTV remote, I just couldn't make the TiVo app go down to the button at the bottom that taunted me with "Watch Show" (or something like that). Back to the forums to find out that this is just a "limitation" (ie. bug) for the TiVo app on the FireTV. There is apparently a work around for this to use "mouse mode" to get a pointer down to that pesky "Play" arrow to be able to watch.

    So, not wanting to order the additional devices and wait for 2 day shipping, I went about trying to figure out a software way around this. After all, that stupid arrow was right THERE! Just out of my reach.

    Some forums searching found that if I had a 2nd Android device, there was some Asian app that could work to provide me "mouse mode". It was called Wukong TV Remote Control. So, I downloaded it onto my Andyroid env, and tried to guess my way through the chinese (japenese? korean? Sorry if I offend with my lack of asian character sets) character set. I eventually guessed to a place where the app searched for my FireTV, but it couldn't locate it. Probably not the env the app was expecting. So, no dice.

    Next I found an Amazon FireTV remote app. I have an iPhone, and the app was available for IOS, so I gave it a whirl. After several hours figuring out that my router needed iGMP turned off for the Amazon app to "find" the FireTV stick, I was able to pair the app with my stick. But, low and behold, that app is pretty much a replacement for the physical remote that the FireTV stick came with. Nice app. I apparently also has voice controls of some sort (I didn't try them). But, from what I could tell, it didn't provide any "mouse mode" support.

    Next I went to an IOS app that supposedly provided "mouse control" for the FireTV. It was called something like "Remote Mouse for Fire TV". I had to shell out $0.99 to get it on my iPhone. Since that stupid arrow on the TiVo app was taunting me so, I splurged for the app. After I installed it, I found that I also had to "side load" the other half of this thing on the FireTV. I went to the Play store and they wante $2.99 for it. What!?!? I was not happy to have already paid for the IOS app, to then find out I also needed the APK for another 3 bucks! I then read in the IOS app help that there was a link to be able to just download manually the APK for the FireTV side. I used my Andyroid env to get the APK and "side load" it.

    Once side loaded, I was finally able to see a mouse pointer that could venture down to the bottom of the TiVo app screen to allow me to press the "play" arrow. After messing around with this for a little while (the controls were not obvious to me), I finally figured out how to get a show to play.

    First of all, I was trying to stream a show that I had copied onto my TiVo Premiere from my Windows 7 box using TiVo Desktop Plus. The copywrite bit was turned on for this show (it seems to be on for all shows that are pushed to the TiVo using TDP). So, when I clicked on the "play" button, I was getting a popup "menu" (it wasn't obvious that is what was happening because the "popup" buttons are not obviously menus). The "popup" menu read "Watch on TV". What I later figured out was that if I could actually watch the show on the FireTV, there needed to be a 2nd menu choice that read "Watch on phone". It wasn't obvious to me at first. But, the FireTV is actually a "phone" for the Tivo app.

    So, first problem with the TiVo Stream. It doesn't support me watching my Tivo Desktop Plus pushed shows (about 50% of the shows on my TiVo these days). Not good.

    Second problem with TiVo Stream, once I got a show that was recorded from my OTA antenna to stream, the controls were awful. The remote was slow to cause the TiVo app to respond. Once the "green bar" would show up at the bottom of the screen, there seemed to only be a "jump back" button, and a "stop/start" button. No real fast forward or fast backwards control.

    All I can say is this setup is just "clunky". Between the TiVo app being buried deep in the FireTV setting. To, the sluggishness of the "mouse" remote. To not being able to even control the app completely using the FireTV remote. And, then the TiVo stream not even streaming all of my content, this setup is FAR from ideal. My understanding is that streaming is not illegal; so the only reason I can think of that TiVo is likely choosing to not stream my "copy once" content on my Premiere to my FireTV, is that the cable companies have convinced TiVo that they shouldn't compete with them. After all if the Stream were to allow streaming of copywrite content, that might just be another cable box for the other room that the cable company doesn't get their $9.99 a month for (or what ever they are charging these days).

    Anyway, the TiVo Stream is boxed up and ready to be returned. I did try the Stream on my iPhone, and it is a much better experience (although still doesn't stream my "copy once" content). But, I only purchased it to try and get my content from my Premiere in my den to my patio TV. So, this "clunky" solution is simply not a solution for me.

    I suspect the TiVo app with get better at supporting the FireTV stick remote. When it does, then this might be a better solution. However, I do doubt that TiVo will ever allow the Stream to stream "copy once" content. I had seen where others on forums had "implied" that this type of content might be allowed to stream if the Stream was set up to only stream "inside the home" (only to apps on the home network). If that is possible, it wasn't obvious how this was allowed. I tried a bunch of different shows. I even tried one that I had recorded before I "cut the cord" for my cable. It had the CCI bit on and I wasn't able to stream it either.

    Anyway, I hope some of this helps someone from wasting as much time as I did trying to get this "clunky" env to work. My recommendation: PASS.

    My new solution is to take my TiVo Series 3 from my bedroom, and run the HDMI output from it to the outside patio TV. I currently have "long" HDMI cable allowing it to work. By doing this, I can just push my "internet" content using TDP (or I sometimes use pyTivo for this due to a TiVo bug) to my Tivo Series 3. I will have to manage the shows on multiple TiVos. But, at least I'll be able to watch them when I want on either TiVo (on my Premiere in my den; or on my Series 3 from my bedroom onto my patio TV).

    Regards,
    sjmyst
     
  2. bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

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    Wow, props for you for keeping it going!

    Just for others that might want to sideload an app on FireTV, the process is actually very simple. I will attach a website and a video that shows how to do this from a Windows PC / MAC.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bltaA6S0i5w

    http://sideloadfiretv.com/sideload-apps-amazon-fire-tv-windows/


    This is a great Chrome Plugin for downloading APK's from the Android Market.

    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/apk-downloader/cgihflhdpokeobcfimliamffejfnmfii?hl=en

    Hopefully this information makes it easier for the next guy to try this experiment! :)
     
  3. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    It works for me. Not quite as sharp, but has allowed me to stream to my alternate location without issue.

    It is clunky, but it works. I would not bother showing anyone but my kids how to do this.
     
  4. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Yeah until you can navigate with the remote it's pretty much a geek only feature at this point.
     
  5. Big Boy Laroux

    Big Boy Laroux Member

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    Oct 10, 2006
    Long story short, just use your wife's tablet. 50 shades can wait!

    Agree, this is a geek-only feature. The TiVo app is not meant to run on the fire stick, so anything we get out of it at this point is bonus.

    My personal experience was great and relatively painless - side load app from my phone using AGK Fire, used wukong app on my phone for a little bit but didn't love it (wouldn't work through hotel WiFi - but would work if I did everything through phone hotspot, and I never loved having a weird Chinese app :) ). Ended up getting Bluetooth mouse/keyboard combo. The mouse was worth it cause I also sideloaded xfinity app, HBO go, and yahoo screen (i use my fire stick on the road). Plus nice being able to type in stuff in searches instead of selecting letters.

    Would be nice if TiVo released an official app for fire TV, but no clue when (or if) that would even happen.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2015
  6. Fofer

    Fofer Bo55man69

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    This works much better than Wukong:
    there is an iOS version too, mentioned above.


    Big Boy Laroux: What Bluetooth controller w/keyboard did you get?
     
  7. Big Boy Laroux

    Big Boy Laroux Member

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  8. jonw747

    jonw747 Active Member

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    I got the TiVo for Phones App working on my Fire TV and Fire Stick and it looks promising. Yes it's clunky, but so is running sideloaded SlingPlayer.

    Running the App on your phone/tablet is another way to go and then mirror it to the Fire, and my experience with that was pretty good but it's not perfect. The phone can overheat, the battery drains rapidly, and the video isn't always flawless.

    I haven't had too many problems with captive portal. The new firmware in the Fire Stick works well, and with a travel router I've only needed to establish the connection with one device (use a tablet/phone) and then everything else was able to connect. But different chains may manage things differently. My biggest problem with Hotel WIFi is inconsistent quality, so I've often resorted to LTE if the signal is trong.
     
  9. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    Has anyone downloaded the new app to a Fire TV stick?
     
  10. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I just did yesterday. A lot of the UI is navigable via the remote, but some stuff still isn't so it's not really usable.
     
  11. Fofer

    Fofer Bo55man69

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    Unless you use a game controller, or an iOS/Android app to navigate, in which case it works fine.
     
  12. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I found an app in the Google store that says it allows you to swtich the remote into mouse mode by double clicking the pasue/paly button. Was gonna try it, but haven't had a chance yet. It might help with using the TiVo app if it works as described.
     
  13. gandalf239

    gandalf239 New Member

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    There is an official Tivo beta app now in the Amazon app store for FireTV.
     
  14. gandalf239

    gandalf239 New Member

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    Oct 15, 2015
    Correction to my previous post: the TiVo beta app isn't in the app store, but is available in the entertainment category on the FireTV.
     
  15. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Yeah I tried it out a week or so ago. It works pretty good. It's badically just the My Shows list with the ability to play them. It doesn't have any of the other management features of the mobile apps.
     
  16. Fofer

    Fofer Bo55man69

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    Does streaming on it work out-of-the-home? Or in-home only?
     
  17. HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

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    Paradise...
    OOH works on everything except the Bolt.
     
  18. SeanC

    SeanC ECT

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    Used this last night at my Mom's house because her DVR didn't record Fargo. It worked OK, but my impression was that picture quality was worse than using the sideloaded android app.
     
  19. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    I found the PQ exactly the same generally. If I did not fiddle with skipping around during playback, it would improve and ended up better.

    One thing I preferred on the side load is that it only did the 30 sec skip. The hitting twice and skipping ahead 5 min is annoying, 5 min is just too much and I cannot stack 4-6 shorter skips together.
     
  20. real_goose

    real_goose Member

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    I loaded the beta app onto a Fire Stick. This app works well enough now that I am no longer considering buying a mini for the rarely used guest bedroom.

    I still don't understand how to skip and it got confused trying to scroll more than 1 screen. I had to exit and reload to get back to the top of the program list.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2015

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