TiVo falls on report Amazon is developing live TV recording device

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by scottfll954, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. scottfll954

    scottfll954 Member

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  2. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Hmm. Very interesting. The original article at Bloomberg doesn't provide a ton of detail, referring to this new device in development as "a new type of digital video recorder for the streaming era" with functionality similar to both TiVo and Slingbox. Sounds like a headless DVR with local storage that will connect wirelessly to Fire TV sticks and boxes and, presumably, iOS and Android devices via an app.

    My guess is that it would essentially be a direct competitor to Tablo and would work exclusively with OTA TV. Hard to imagine Amazon throwing their hat into the CableCARD ring at this late stage in that standard's life. I suppose it's also possible that this thing could "record" streaming content from Prime Video and Amazon Channels -- although, in reality, more likely it would just allow that content to be downloaded for later offline viewing (which is something that some OTT streaming apps already allow on mobile devices). The DirecTV Genie has offered that kind of downloading for internet-delivered on-demand content for years now. That'd be a nice option for those with slower or flakier internet connections, particularly for 4K HDR content.
     
  3. tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

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    Fire TV with a built in OTA tuner? Get in line behind Tablo...
     
  4. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I remembering posting a question/suggestion to Amazon on their site a couple years back, saying that they ought to put out a Fire TV with a built-in OTA tuner. And offer free program guide listings and DVR service as a part of Prime.

    But I don't think what they're working on right now is a Fire TV with a built-in tuner. It's actually a separate OTA tuner that will connect to the user's home network and stream recordings to Fire TVs and mobile devices throughout the home. Here's a prediction from earlier this year that Amazon would produce just such a thing in 2018:

    Prediction: Amazon will release a networked OTA TV Tuner with built-in DVR for Fire TV in 2018
     
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  5. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    I hope so. This would pretty much be a more affordable, hopefully better integrated version of the Shield/Prime/LiveChannels combo many use today. My Stream+ is close, but no cigar. It's only about 90% reliable, not 99.9% like my Tivos (about 1 in 10 of my recordings gets cut short or missed entirely). And it can't do whole-home. And the recording options aren't sophisticated enough to filter repeats, etc.

    Amazon also has the platform to put a banner in front of every Fire TV user to market the thing and sell you an antenna, hard drive, router, NAS, whatever you need to build the whole system.

    In any case, it's great to see another big player enter this space. Tivo seems to have hit a wall in terms of OTT app integration, and the competition so far has no idea how to build good DVR software. Live Channels is ok, but leaves a lot to be desired. Will be interesting to see how well Amazon can execute. Here's hoping I have to dust off the old Fire TV boxes soon.
     
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  6. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

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    What would be fantastic is Amazon just buying Tivo. But, any new player that would allow local recording would be a welcome development. Worst scenario is Amazon is much inferior to TiVo, but hurts tivo by taking away market share.
     
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  7. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    I've been growing tired of the reliability problems and just the lack of modern updates to apps on the TiVo that I use. Unfortunately I don't see TiVo improving any of that because of competition in the space. And I really doubt Amazon would come up with anything really competitive either; they're likely just focused on a narrow market of the people unable to move their eyeballs off their smartphone, anyway.
     
  8. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Amazon is doing something effectively that no one else is doing by offering an integrated platform for cord-cutters. They started with just their Prime Video subscription service (as well as individual videos you own/rent). Then they added Amazon Channels, a la carte subscriptions for Showtime, Starz, HBO, Cinemax, CBS All Access, and a bunch of niche services, all of which they integrate in the main Fire TV UI.

    Then they licensed their Fire TV OS for use in smart TVs from various brands, and added a program guide for both OTA channels as well as Amazon Channels that have live linear channels. (That's the only way I know of that one can see free local OTA linear channels in a program guide right alongside streaming linear pay channels such as HBO, HBO 2, Showtime, Showtime Showcase, etc.) I'm pretty sure that those TVs have the ability to pause and rewind live OTA TV too.

    So now what they're apparently going to do is take it the next step and add full DVR features for OTA TV. Except you won't have to have a Fire TV Edition smart TV with its own built-in tuner, you'll be able to do it with Fire TV boxes and sticks. I wonder whether they'll charge for DVR service as an ongoing subscription (like TiVo, Tablo, Plex and everyone else do) or if they just include it for free as a part of Prime. My guess is the latter.

    And, as you say, Amazon sells not only their branded hardware and video subscriptions, they also sell accessories that one might need, such as OTA antennas, hard drives, etc. They're pulling together all the pieces that allow cord-cutters to put together their own customized bundles of content from various sources but in a way that it has a common, convenient UI. This is what I had hoped the TiVo Roamio OTA could become back when I bought one years ago...
     
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  9. MichaelAinNB

    MichaelAinNB Member

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    I’m a firm believer that competition is always good for the consumer. That holds true in this case as well.
     
  10. wco81

    wco81 Active Member

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    I’m guessing any new DVR will have restrictions as far as things like commercial skipp8ng, even 30second skips.

    And probably no out of home streaming of recordings or downloads.


    Also, TiVo lost a patent ruling aga8nst Comcast X1,regarding watching one recording while recording another channel.
     
  11. jcthorne

    jcthorne Well-Known Member

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    Except Amazon already has much of the content and deals for channels in place. I think Amazon has the clout to pull this integrated device off.
     
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  12. wizwor

    wizwor Guest

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    This does sound like a Tablo competitor. I don't have a Tablo. I have a pair of HDHomerun devices and a Plex Pass, but the HDHRs are unplugged.

    Unless this device does competent, persistent recording of streaming media, meh.
     
  13. dadrepus

    dadrepus Active Member

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    So, from the article I read in Gizmodo about the Amazon products, Gizmodo specifically mentions that Tivo is moving away from making their own equipment ( reason for the current promotion?) and will be a software company only in the not too distant future, delivering guides and UI to others in the market. So, Bye,bye Tivo as we know it.
     
  14. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    My first TiVo box was made by Toshiba, a Toshiba Series 2 TiVo box with built-in DVD player/recorder.
     
  15. heyted

    heyted Member

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    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
  16. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

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    Not exactly. I believe the plan is to have another company make the boxes. I presume the boxes will still be called TiVo’s. Why ditch an iconic brand name.
     
  17. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    Not sure which apps (guessing Netflix) that you're referring to but I can say that the YouTube app, which I use a lot on Tivo, is updated all the time. I think I've been getting the latest version even before my Roku stick has been getting it lately.

    The app runs a ton better on the Roku than my Roamio or Minis of course, but that's a hardware limitation.
     
  18. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Hmm. I don't really see the logic in asking their customers to rely on local storage for subscription content that Amazon is licensed to stream to them. Let's take the existing Amazon Channels that include live linear feeds -- HBO, Showtime, etc. All of the content that shows up on those linear channels is also available on-demand. So why bother recording it?

    I suppose it's possible that Amazon Channels will expand to include bundles of live basic cable channels too, such as ESPN, FX, AMC, CNN, TBS, etc. But for those channels, why not just rely on a combination of cloud DVR and on-demand, as everyone else -- DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, PS Vue, etc. -- is doing? I don't think Amazon would be able to negotiate lower prices to carry those live channels if they told the network owners, "We won't offer your channels with a cloud DVR packaged in, instead we'll allow them to be recorded locally on an Amazon DVR in the customer's home."

    No, from an economic perspective, the only thing it really makes sense for this upcoming device to record is free OTA TV. And that's because it's FREE and the ability to receive and record that content does not involve ANY kind of business contracts between Amazon and the broadcast networks.
     
  19. Joe3

    Joe3 Active Member

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    Rovi (new owner of Tivo), just got their asses handed to them by continually moving away from what made TiVo unique. Now, Amazon is in a great position of just cutting them off at the path of Rovi taking TiVo to being just another piece of software, which Rovi can't exclusively monetize because they don't really own all the software. However, Rovi in their arrogance thought it did own it. (Rovi lost to Comcast). Remember that patients are the reason Rovi bought TiVo, not to grow new innovation technology. Rovi's business plan of living off TiVo's patients is now nullified. In short, not me, but the stock market and tech analysts have pronounced Rovi/TiVo business officially screwed.

    And course, Rovi, with it's blind man leadership stumbles into the hole and drags takes TiVo into the hole with them. However, this could be the best thing that has ever happened for TiVo owners. If the stock prices drop to a level where not Amazon, but Roku buys TiVo. There is a chance Tivo might return to its roots, back to the early adopters innovative vision that have always sold TiVos. Now, this, if it were to happen it would be something that Amazon, because of its cumbersome size, could not easily compete. TiVo/Roku would be more than just stagnant, aging software. Tivo being with Roku, returns Tivo to a similar company like itself, whose very survival must allow flexibility in design and innovation as its core business model to continue to grow, not a stagnant business model dependent on aging patients. Otherwise, Rovi's backwards facing leadership has effectively killed TiVo. As some here always predicted that it would. (RIP)
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
  20. wco81

    wco81 Active Member

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    They haven't been using contract manufacturers to make the boxes already?

    Really the issue is whether they will continue with HW R&D, to integrate better processors and to support new audio and video formats such as UHD HDR and Dolby Atmos, etc.
     

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