Here Comes the Competition

Discussion in 'TiVo Stream 4K' started by babsonnexus, May 27, 2020.

  1. babsonnexus

    babsonnexus Active Member

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    Xiaomi Mi TV Stick pops up online w/ Android TV - 9to5Google

    https://www.gearbest.com/tv-stick--...id=51k4_taee6&sascid=51k4_taee6&userID=389818

    I don't know much about Xiaomi Mi TV, but I have heard others talk about it and it sounds like a basic Android TV streamer. Haven't heard any attempt at content aggregation, but you could just as easily install Reelgood/JustWatch and use them for all the OTT content.

    And this in addition to what is already rumored with Google developing their own Android TV Streaming Stick that does content aggregation (and I'm going to suppose a YouTubeTV integration, since they own that, too):

    Google is Reportedly Working on a New Android TV Device to Take on Amazon and Roku

    TiVo certainly is out the door early hoping to capture market share before the rest catch up (and/or Roku figures out how to do this natively), but they can be easily lapped if they don't take advantage of their lead to get waaaaaaaay ahead on features (see: TiVo Stream 4K: Path to Perfection and just about every other thread in this topic).
     
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  2. jimpmc

    jimpmc Active Member

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    The Mi Stick isn't going to move the needle...it's just a repackaging of the Mi Box S in a stick format. It's good there are more Android TV devices to drive adoption and share of that as a platform, but unless they plan to sell it outside of Walmart, I don't think it is going to drive significant sales volume over what Mi Box has already done. Also, it may be priced higher ($80) than the Mi Box S ($60) which makes no sense.

    As for Google, they need a flagship device that is cheap and readily available to increase adoption of Android TV. It's unclear if the content aggregation will be unique to this new device or a redesign of the home launcher for Android TV in general. I would think it would be the latter, as otherwise they are fragmenting Android TV even more. If it is software/OS, then it would come to the TiVo Stream as well.

    I have been a loyal TiVo user for many, many years like most on this board. I also have been an early adopter of Android TV with Nexus Players, Shields, and now a TiVo Stream 4k. In my opinion, TiVo's Stream 4k isn't doing enough to aggregate content and will likely remain a niche product unless they strike deals with major retailers. The dongle is priced competitively, so it's a good choice for Android TV/Chromecast at the moment. But that's about it and as soon as Google releases something, it will likely be overshadowed.
     
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  3. cybergrimes

    cybergrimes Legend

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    Luckily they separated the launcher/home screen from OS updates so they could push it from Play Store (if that's the case with whatever this content aggregation plan is)
     
  4. rczrider

    rczrider Member

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    This is incorrect...though in your defense, I've seen at least one major outlet describe the Mi Stick as being the same hardware as the Mi Box S. They were also incorrect.

    The Mi Stick will have the same SoC as the TS4K (and likely Chromecast Ultra 2): Amlogic S905Y2. It's a completely different generation (12nm) than the 28nm S905X SoC found in the Mi Box (both original and S). The S905Y2 is superior in every way, not the least of which is that it can be in stick form factor, which the S905X never could due to heat dissipation, power requirements, and inclusion of an Ethernet port. Here's a good comparison: Functional Comparison of Amlogic S905X, S905Y2 and S905X2
    That would make sense if they were the same thing, but they're not. I agree that $80 seems high, but you have to take into account that its competition is essentially just the TS4K and the upcoming Chromecast Ultra 2. The Ultra has always been overpriced, IMO, and Google will almost certainly price the new one at $80 or more. The TS4K and Mi Stick both offer 4K Chromecast abilities, so it's a fair pricing strategy.

    If the Mi Stick came in at $60, I'd pick it up in a heartbeat over the TS4K. Heck, I would have chosen the Xiaomi device over the TiVo one even without using the TS4K and realizing the firmware is trash. Xiaomi is a real tech company that will be around long enough to support the Mi Stick; TiVo screwed up the only opportunity they had to produce anything competitive.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
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  5. powrcow

    powrcow Active Member

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    I'm new to Android TV, but wouldn't any update that Google makes in software be available for all Android TV hardware? For instance, if the biggest feature unveiled for Chromecast Ultra 2 is a hardware remote and some additional show-centric aggregation on the home screen, wouldn't that also be available for TiVo Stream 4k? It kind of kills the TiVo Stream app, but keeps the (currently) $50 device a good deal.
     
  6. jimpmc

    jimpmc Active Member

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    Thanks for the additional info. Is there really going to be a Chromecast Ultra 2? Or isn't that what the rumor mills are instead expecting to be a Google-branded Android TV dongle (and embedded Chromecast) with a remote?
     
  7. ptcfast2

    ptcfast2 Member

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    Yup! As many (including myself) have said - the hardware is solid. I own a bunch of these little guys, and even opened one up. It's well designed and not cheap feeling externally and even internally. It's got great thermal dissipation and a clever design for the SoC board. The software is what's killing the device at the moment. I'm hoping (barely...) that the lack of update is due to them fixing a bunch of stuff. It's like they didn't actually test the firmware before releasing it, and it's known that they are definitely looking at the Tivo subreddit since they have an active rep posting over there and I assume here.

    The only saving grace for this device will be if they get their software game together...and quickly.

    It depends if it's exclusive to their device. Sure, the APKs and stuff can be pulled and put on another Android TV device, but people don't want to have to do that. The goal is to appeal to the general consumer, which Tivo has tried to do using the "Tivo" name but it falls flat due to the bugs and lack of integrations at the moment. It's very apparent they didn't supply test units to other companies that have apps on Android TV. They should have done that and got this thing tested with those companies before releasing it, as that would have mitigated a large amount of bugs. Either way, Tivo has a very limited window to make a name for this device, and I'm honestly rooting for them. If Google comes out of the gate with a functional Android TV device that does everything the Stream can do without bugs, there's no reason to buy the Stream at the eventual retail price. Right now at $50 it's a bargain. In the future it might not be, and that is ENTIRELY dependent on how they improve the abysmal state of the software.

    I like Tivo. I hope they pivot. But if this is their best shot and they fail to fix the device's software...RIP.
     
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  8. rczrider

    rczrider Member

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    The latter, though (supposedly) resembling the current Ultra and so with a form factor closer to the TS4K than the Mi Stick.
     
  9. AussieFigjam

    AussieFigjam New Member

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    I owned a bunch of the original Mi boxes, as well as the original Google devices (re branded Asus Android TV), and I really like Android TV, partly because it is a real multi-process OS, which makes it well positioned to do search and aggregation and launch in-context (something that is almost impossible for Roku). But as mentioned here, it owns such a small market share, and I'm really crossing my fingers that Google doesn't decide to kill it, like they do with lots of things. It is good to hear that Google is planning a device of its own; with a big marketing push and a great search/aggregator app (and perhaps throw in a couple months free YouTube TV), they may take enough market share to make it successful long-term....I really hope so.

    Meantime, I have invested in the Tivo box, and it is a good piece of hardware for the money, but as mentioned, they really need to clean up their act on the software. I hope they survive long enough to keep updating this device, it's a nice Android TV box. I don't think they will get much traction on the search aggregator app, especially if Google come out with something that works on any Android TV box. I doubt there is much of a margin on hardware sales, so this is alone definitely not going to save their bacon.

    I'm going to risk keeping this device for the time being as a good quality Android TV box, and hope that Google put enough effort in to developing an aggregator for Android TV, and are open enough to make it work everywhere (usually a good bet for Google), and that Tivo survive long enough to keep updating it for a few years with the latest OS and firmware. The Tivo aggregator seems like a lost cause, but once can hope.
     
  10. jimpmc

    jimpmc Active Member

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    I think there is some $$ for TiVo in the user data itself -- viewing habits, liked shows, etc.
     
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  11. rczrider

    rczrider Member

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    Especially if the device is uploading as much as some users have noted.
     
  12. AussieFigjam

    AussieFigjam New Member

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    I would think they only get that information if you launch through their aggregator; which might encourage them to try to get this right :)

    I have not noticed any significant uploads, but then, I disabled all the Tivo add-ons because they don't work; on the Android platform, it's really not that hard to do that, which means for most customers, Tivo is not getting paid on the back-end unless they up their game enough to make people want to use the software....probably a good thing.
     
  13. foghorn2

    foghorn2 Well-Known Member

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    at this point any streamer needs a remote with tv power/vol buttons along with play/pause/ff/rew buttons.

    F* the netflix button!
     
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  14. AussieFigjam

    AussieFigjam New Member

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    Well at least on Android TV, you can re-map it to something else :)
     
  15. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    Why have you owned so many Mi Boxes?
     
  16. AussieFigjam

    AussieFigjam New Member

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    I cut the cord years ago, and I have like 5 TVs in my house, and I needed a streaming box on each TV,plus I picked them up when they were cheap.
     
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  17. babsonnexus

    babsonnexus Active Member

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    BTW, there is no proof of the $80 price tag on these; that's pure speculation/rumor. Even if it is true, there could be a cheaper introductory price or some type of sale.

    I wasn't saying that the Mi TV Stick was in of itself going to move the needle, but it combined with Google directly and a bunch of knockoff Android TV devices could move the needle against Roku/Amazon (especially as Roku gets more aggressive in their fee structures and either content providers or television builders look for cheaper options). Assuming this iteration of Android TV or whatever they rebrand it to doesn't end up in the Google Graveyard, they certainly have the resources and ability.

    I didn't even realize that Google's Live Channels App existed before the Stream 4K, so now I'm going to use that to combine HD Homerun + Pluto + Xumo + other IP TV. If it can also integrate what's in Channels/Plex (or do what Channels does), it's a major winner (or vice versa if Channels/Plex can combine Pluto + Zumo + IP TV). Plus as @powrcow said, if Google creates a default content aggregation app, then they have the live stream/TV channels and the content aggregation, so there would be no point to the TiVo Stream app (especially if they create their own version of the app that has Content Aggregation and Live Channels in the same app, or make it the default OS). Even if they don't and just outsource to Reelgood or Justwatch and install them by default, it would be a win.

    I'm happy to have gotten the Stream 4K because it has opened up my eyes to what Android TV can do and what's available. However, knowing what I know now I would not have bothered waiting and would have just gotten a different Android TV box/stick.
     
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  18. Charles R

    Charles R Well-Known Member

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    In one form or another "Android TV" has been out for a decade so unless things really change I wouldn't expect a model refresh here and there changing the landscape to any degree.



    Logitech Revue (Google TV) review: Logitech Revue (Google TV)
     
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  19. mattyro7878

    mattyro7878 Well-Known Member

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    Where are ALL the naysayers asking "why is (insert name) entering the streaming wars?" we already have Roku and NVidia and Amazon. I read many posts about how this business is all locked up by the 3 or 4 big boys and Tivo is doomed to failure. Since nobody is questioning the arrival of at least 2 more streamers I have to assume all that talk was Tivo related and not observations that the world needs no more streaming devices. You all know who you are. And guess what? 5 years from now streamers will still be developed and released. Maybe even the TS4K series 4. So lets see all the posts on how fruitless an effort Mi and Google are attempting by releasing streamers when the world needs no more!
     
  20. rczrider

    rczrider Member

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    What do you mean by "model refresh"?
    I'm probably not exactly the person you're looking for a response from, as I've never been one to say "so-and-so is late to the game". As someone who has never owned or used TiVo before the TS4K, I personally think TiVo is doomed to fail (in this particular venture) because their firmware is in beta at best and - from what I've read from some of you - it doesn't integrate with other TiVo services/devices and so doesn't do one of the things you'd expect a TiVo-branded device to do. I think the biggest issue is that they did a poor job of executing the TS4K release.

    There's only really 3 platforms: Roku, Apple, and Google. Roku and Apple do their own software and hardware; Google is on everything else.

    I could go on about the pros and cons of each streaming device, but the short of it is that Roku sucks (and they're skirting the edge of losing any ground they gained with their huge push to be included on smart TVs everywhere in 2018-2019) and Nvidia is stupidly overpriced for the majority of people. The "cheap" 32-bit "tube" version is a dumb purchase for anyone and the Pro is overkill for the average consumer. Apple is Apple: generally great hardware and software that anyone invested in the ecosystem will jump at purchasing at a premium. Amazon is a player because they sell their hardware a loss in exchange for your data (which they all do, of course, but Amazon is king of the game). Amazon uses Google's software, as does everyone else who isn't Roku or Apple.

    The difference between Xiaomi and TiVo is that Xiaomi has a long history of making hardware and working with Android. TiVo does not. I've read before that TiVo is only still around because they hold patents that they license out. TiVo is key to the streaming experience we all accept as common use. That doesn't mean they have any business making a streaming device (and, arguably, the TS4K is a perfect example that they don't).
     
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