No Multi-Room Streaming for existing Tivo DVR owners?! :(

Discussion in 'TiVo Stream 4K' started by chilinux, Sep 3, 2020.

  1. Sep 3, 2020 #1 of 33
    chilinux

    chilinux New Member

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    For a while now, Tivo has promoted the fact that several of their Tivo DVR models (EDGE, BOLT, Roamio and Premiere) can do Multi-Room Streaming to Android devices by installing the Tivo app from the Google Play Store.

    It came as a shock that Tivo Stream 4k does *NOT* support Multi-Room Streaming.

    The app forced on Tivo Stream 4k users as pre-installed that is literilly called "Stream" does NOT have Tivo DVR Multi-Room *Stream*ing functionality at all. It seems to be created with the idea that all existing Tivo DVR owners should be getting Sling TV cloud DVRs instead?

    Even more surprising is the Tivo app for Android in the Google Play store is stated to be "not compatible with [the Tivo Stream 4k] device." Ironically, competitor DVR apps in the Google Play store of Tablo and HDHomeRun are compatible with the Tivo Stream 4k. Seriously, Tivo DVR app for Android appears to be the only DVR app NOT compatible with Tivo Stream 4k.

    This sends a message to existing Tivo DVR owners that they were not a priority during the development of this product. This makes it appear Tivo considers the Tivo DVR to be a legacy product not worth supporting with new Tivo product offerings.

    It might be that this wasn't intentional and was just gross incompetence--but it would be nice to have an official knowledgebase article from Tivo acknowledging the problem and giving a timeline to providing a fix. So far, I can't find any such knowledgebase article.
     
  2. Sep 3, 2020 #2 of 33
    dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    I'm guessing you've been living under a rock for the past so many months.

    Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
     
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  3. Sep 3, 2020 #3 of 33
    chilinux

    chilinux New Member

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    I live in an area that has a higher rate of virus spread than the national average so your guess is correct. However, I usually keep discussion of living under a rock to other forums.

    Do you have any insight that is helpful to why Tivo would leave out any ability to use Multi-Room Streaming from a Tivo DVR to the Tivo "Stream" 4k? Or any insight that could be considered helpful as to when to expect that to be available? Anything you can share that is on-topic would be appreciated.

    Sent from my [not a Samsung Note, I like my devices not to catch fire] using Mozilla Firefox (does not cause fire despite the name)
     
  4. Sep 3, 2020 #4 of 33
    pfiagra

    pfiagra Well-Known Member

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    TiVo seeks 'win' in the streaming wars with new OTT device | Light Reading
     
  5. Sep 3, 2020 #5 of 33
    chilinux

    chilinux New Member

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    Well, I truly have been under a rock too long. I assumed when Rivo spent $1 billion to acquire Tivo that things would solidify with company and it's direction. Clearly that isn't the case. I completely missed David Shull becoming CEO and Xperi merging in.

    The article indirectly answers the question if DVR customers were unintentionally left out as the focus for the Tivo Stream 4k functionality. I couldn't imagine it would have been hard for them to add Multi-Room Streaming to the Tivo Stream 4k if they wanted to, they already have an android app to do it. It just is clear for from the article that David Shull doesn't consider Tivo DVR customers to be important anymore.

    This also helps explain why the Tivo Stream feels like they just rushed to market an existing Android TV device from SEI Robotics.

    I also don't understand what he believes Xperi will do in the car entertainment system that hadn't already been considered by Microsoft, Apple and Google which have each gotten involved in that area. It is also an area that information security researchers have taken interest in and have found flaws with existing products. What is being purposed by David Shull sounds more complex than any of the existing car entertainment system which should have a larger exposure surface for a security attack. Leaving known security vulnerabilities in place for four months (the Tivo Stream 4k doesn't appear to have gotten a security patch updates since April) is not acceptable when it is a car involved.

    It is also chilling to hear the name David Shull as being the CEO of Tivo now. He previously was CEO of The Weather Channel from 2016 to 2018. Also in 2016, articles started appearing indicating TWC was supplying location tracking to JOURNEYfx heavy geostalking analytics without reasonably disclosing that use to the users of the TWC app. The LA city attorney ended up finding grounds to file legal action in 2019 for TWC having employed "deceptive, misleading, and unfair statements and omissions through The Weather Channel App." While David Shull had already left TWC once the legal complaint reached the courts, the behavior considered in violation took place while David Shull was still CEO. It has also been stated in some articles that this geostalking of TWC users was a factor in getting IBM to buy TWC.

    I really have to wonder if David Shull is acting in good faith in disclosures related privacy and personal information now or if the TWC style behavior has carrier over to Tivo with TWC's former CEO. Also, is there information that was implied to be used in a limited scope that is being used more broadly to have encouraged Xperi to merge with Tivo (much like happen with TWC being bought by IBM during David Shull's time at TWC).

    The conclusions I personally am reaching regarding the current and future state of Tivo is, in my opinion, extremely upsetting.
     
  6. Sep 3, 2020 #6 of 33
    eherberg

    eherberg Active Member

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    Yes -- observations that were had here back when everything went down. The simple fact is that 3rd-party DVR use is a declining userbase. TiVo is already moving out of the hardware business and looks to get some of that increasing userbase streaming pie. Could be rough at this stage of the game. In my opinion - keeping the TiVo name was a mistake. TiVo is a known name (at least for some over a certain age), but it's too closely associated with old-school methods of 'recording' that are seen as outdated by people acclimated to a streaming world. I think a better idea would have been to rebrand entirely and make a clear indication that they're not holding onto the past. Failing that - a full-on public withdrawal from boxes would generate some buzz. They've already moved mostly to a metadata/patent company and have stated they are moving out of hardware (you can't even get a new OTA model from TiVo anymore but have to go to the ChannelMaster site). However, all of those legacy cable customers prevent a full retirement of the name, but a full exit from retail is certainly in the future.
     
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  7. Sep 3, 2020 #7 of 33
    mattyro7878

    mattyro7878 Well-Known Member

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    Hey. Consider us lucky. How many people can say they were part of the death of a company that became a verb for a while. People used the word Tivo to mean "record". That's no small feat.
     
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  8. Sep 4, 2020 #8 of 33
    chilinux

    chilinux New Member

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    By death of a company do you mean the Tivo product/brand will die or that Xperi will die?

    I don't think Xperi is going to have a problem remaining profitable. It just seems like Xperi may eventually exit the direct to consumer product market.

    In terms of the number of people that can say they were part of the death of a major brand, there still exists people that owned BetaMAX. Sony abandon the community of BetaMAX owners in favor of a new incompatible Hi8 video products. There was no clean migration path for their existing customers and Hi8 didn't provide enough advantages over the saturated market of video tape recording systems. Sony is not dead as a company but history remembers VHS as the "winner" and no one remember Hi8 video.

    I see history as repeating itself. There is no clean migration path from Tivo DVR to the Tivo Stream 4k. It should have be trivial to modify the existing Tivo app on the Play Store to support Android TV and the Tivo Stream 4k to supply DVR Multi-Room Streaming. Instead, Stream 4k seems to be Tivo's Hi8 moment. They have a product that ignores their existing customers and is entering the saturated market of established streaming devices.
     
  9. Sep 4, 2020 #9 of 33
    RyanL

    RyanL New Member

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    I've known for a while that there was no Tivo app for the Tivo Stream but came around here to see if there has been any progress with it (sideload apk or whatnot). Are there any decent android sticks out there that can get the tivo app on them since the fire stick & roku (which were supposed to get the tivo app over a year ago on but that never materialized)? Speaking of those apps that were supposed to come out for the Roku and Fire; some people around here speculated that the whole reason those apps were abandoned was because tivo had their very own streaming device just for that purpose in the works. Obviously it didn't go down like they said or like I had hoped for. Well that was that.

    And all this talk about DVRs being a dying breed of electronics, I just wanted to inject my own 2 cents. I would think now would be one of the best times for them (especially OTA). Seems to be more cord cutters now than ever. And streaming is a complete joke any way you slice it. It was fine 10 years + ago when there was Netflix and Hulu because for one, they were very cheap. FF to now and not only is the content very limited (all the providers wanted a piece so they keep their own shows for their own streaming services now - Hulu doesn't even have all the major shows they used to), but those services also increased in price. Less content but more $. People moved to streaming because cable and satellite was getting too expensive but now streaming is more expensive. Go figure.
     
  10. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    If they provide a OTT app to stream from a legacy Tivo, then sales of the Tivo Mini would drop significantly, since any other OTT streaming device has better streaming apps than a Mini.
     
  11. chilinux

    chilinux New Member

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    I get the feeling that the majority of sales of the Tivo Mini has already taken place. It was released in 2013 and the most interesting update, support for 4k, was added back in 2017. Since then they have added a backlit remote. Despite it's $200 price, they have never been able to add wifi support to it. I think majority of people that saw value in paying for the Tivo Mini and have the required Coax or Ethernet outlet to plug it into have already done so. If continued sales of the Tivo Mini was important they really should have included wifi in it's latest hardware revision.

    It also does not make sense to try to make an entry into the saturated streaming device market with a device that has an arbitarily capped set of features because it might canibalised sale of legacy products. A large part of the success of the iPad was because Apple was willing to potentially canibalise sales of their own more expensive products.

    I currently believe it is more likely they have an agreement with Sling TV to promote it and selected not to support Tivo DVRs as part of that agreement.

    It is possible to sideload the Tivo app onto Android TV but it doesn't do much good. The app doesn't recognize the rotation of the TV so it displays a login sideways. It also doesn't recognize the Android TV remote control so it sits waiting for the user to use a touchscreen that doesn't exist. It is up to Tivo to revise their app accordingly.

    Discussion of an app for Roku and Apple TV only to later indicate an Android TV app was Tivo's focus seem to have largely come from Tivo's VP of Consumer Products and Service Ted Malone. He has since left Tivo around Feb to later be replaced by a long time employee of of Xperi named Geir Skaaden. He has a twitter account with some audio related tweets in 2018 but nothing since then. I can't find any information on what his vision for Tivo is or what to expect from him. Without any recent interviews or press releases from him, we can only guess what direction the company will be going in.

    Another way to look at things is the Xperi board of directors. Three of the board members are from Tivo's previous board of directors and may still hold the same vision for the company that we do. However, four of the board members seem like the type of people I would expect do not care much about direct to home consumer products and services. I guess we will have to wait and see how things play out.

    This is Tivo/Xperi's own forum so maybe we will get lucky and someone from the company will join the conversion! :p
     
  12. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    The Mini Vox and Mini Lux have WiFi capability with an additional WiFi adapter that can be purchased from Tivo, but you have to use the TE4 interface.

    You can side load the Rotation Locker or similar app to resolve the orientation issue of the side loaded android tivo app.
     
  13. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    It is not. TCF isn’t affiliated with the company, aside from a common interest among the forum’s users.
     
  14. chilinux

    chilinux New Member

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    Having the option to pay an additional $60 for a Tivo Wifi 5 USB Adapter is not really the same as having Wifi included. The grand total for a Tivo Lux with Wifi adapter comes to two hundred and sixty dollars.

    Rotation is the least of your problems with using a sideloaded Tivo app on Android TV. Refusing to go into landscape mode is just one example of how the Tivo app needs to be revised for Android TV. Even disregarding the rotation issue, you still need to bring the login box into focus by creating a touch screen event on a device that has no touch screen.
     
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  15. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    I agree the mini plus WiFi solution is too expensive, but the adapter just pugs into the Ethernet port. Could probably just have an additional outlet installed by the cable company and then return the set top box and use Moca.

    I was able to login on my fire tv 3rd gen pendant. I used a Bluetooth mouse. The fire tv will pair with a Bluetooth mouse right out of the box. I was able to watch a couple of shows. It's really clunky. I have to use a combination of the fire tv remote and the Bluetooth mouse to navigate. I only used it once. It's not practical.
     
  16. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    I really am happy I ditched my equipement and went to an hdhomerun for OTA. I don't have to complain about the lack of apps, streaming devices, switching inputs, crap tuners and so on that get talked about anymore.

    And with the fcc rule change it seems like everyone is on borrowed time and there will be the hanger's on, and this forum will become a swap shop for old units and parts.

    Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
     
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  17. RyanL

    RyanL New Member

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    What FCC rule change are you talking about, transition to 4K?
     
  18. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    The one where cable companies aren't required to support cable cards anymore.

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  19. chilinux

    chilinux New Member

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    Here is an article:
    FCC Abandons CableCARD/Navigation Devices Rule Review | Multichannel News

    Cable industry has done it's best to be in compliance with the CableCard requirement while sabotaging it's adoption. They avoid training their staff on how to correctly do the CableCard pairing process to give the appearance of incompetence to avoid the government mandate to provide support.

    Multiple Comcast customer service agents have told me that once a CableCard had been paired once that the CableCard can never be reused again. This would be a problem when they would send out a tech with only 3 CableCard of which all of them had be previously used by other customers. The tech would then use this as an excuse to reschedule for next week only to have the same problem all over again. After a month of rescheduling to avoid honoring the FCC requirement, they eventually did escalate the problem to a specialist who admitted that previous pairing can always be deleted and CableCards can be reused.

    Tivo for their part was of no assistance with this issue either. Tivo customer service would gladly replace a brand new Tivo with a refurbished one instead of advice how to navigate the Comcast systemic incompetence. This is despite Tivo including a notice with the DVRs that cable companies are required by law to support CableCard and to let them know of problems with the cable company. We were later able to prove that the brand new Tivo was never the problem but customer service never was interested in that feedback.

    Biggest problem for the industry seems to be that CableCard allowed for creating devices that could skip advertisements. Android TV and Roku both use Widevine DRM to allow apps to be in control of if advertisements are forced to be watched or can be skipped. Also, the FCC restriction on advertisement loudness mandate for broadcast TV doesn't apply for Android TV. The FCC's claim this deregulation is providing innovation and alternatives that are to the consumer's benefit is just complete and utter Ajit Pai (please excuse the swear, I am frustrated).

    Ultimately the cable industry fought the FCC regulation and manufactored a situation such that the data shows lack of consumer adoption. Great for them for proving that FCC regulations don't actually apply to them! And not so great for the rest of us.
     
  20. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    If the cable companies are able to replicate their current linear TV lineup via iptv and its cheaper for them to maintain, change, update, adapt and so forth, why is it a bad thing they want to do away with cable cards? Removing the fact you're a Tivo owner from the equation.

    Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
     
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