TiVo Launches $50 Streaming Video Player to Take On Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV

Discussion in 'TiVo Stream 4K' started by mbernste, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. Jun 7, 2020 #1901 of 2059
    mrizzo80

    mrizzo80 Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone noticed the audio volume fluctuates wildly from app to app? TV volume 15 in, say, YouTube, is almost too loud, but in Netflix I can barely hear the dialogue.

    Any way to normalize this?
     
  2. Jun 7, 2020 #1902 of 2059
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    They only offered me a replacement. Which, of course, would have made no difference.
     
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  3. Jun 8, 2020 #1903 of 2059
    ptcfast2

    ptcfast2 Member

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    One thing to remember is that each Android TV device that shares this underlying chipset has their own development team, but the core is still SEI's territory. There's a bunch of junk left on the device and underdeveloped and poorly translated software that shows Tivo has a relatively hands off approach (at least on the US side) when it comes to development of the OS here and bug fixes. The Sling AirTV Mini uses the same board/chipset, and does not have these problems.

    The fact that this device has been lurking for over a year and then some, when it's literally an off the shelf design shows how lazy Tivo has gotten as a company. Whoever designed the actual SoC, it's very well designed. It's the fundamental issues with the software that are the problem, and it's not Android TV doing it. You see, while Android TV is fine on its own, you still have to supply the proprietary stuff on a separate "vendor" partition of the system in the latest versions of Android. This means that alllllll the stuff that makes Android TV talk to the actual hardware is up to the company that developed said hardware to write. That's where the device is failing - and hard.

    This is NOT a complicated device. It's a tiny little SoC that other manufacturers have been able to use and deliver to consumers without these types of bugs. When you have a new product that fails so horribly at doing the one thing it's supposed to do you need to take a good, hard look in the mirror. Tivo has no history of developing a device like this, and if this is their best attempt after a year or two since the rumors first appeared and the FCC filings showed up....holy crap they should be embarrassed.

    If no name Chinese manufacturers can spit out Android TV boxes that actually work, and a multi-million dollar company that literally specializes in this stuff can't...it just shows how misguided and lost Tivo has become as a company.
     
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  4. rajdori

    rajdori New Member

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    In one of the app (BBC iPlayer), I clicked on "download the video", that crashed tv4k. Now, it's not able to boot, gets into loop when trying to start.

    Anyone knows, how to reset it, if I'm not able to boot the device?

    Sent from my LM-V350 using Tapatalk
     
  5. jaselzer

    jaselzer Active Member

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    There are 2 topics in the Stream forum that deal directly with your issue. If you stroll down the forum titles you will see them. I don’t know how to link to each topic but it’ll be obvious if you just scroll down a bit.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. vurbano

    vurbano Member

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    I agree.
     
  7. vurbano

    vurbano Member

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    I think it is for the mere fact that the usb port which the firestick doesnt have uses ExFAT and not FAT32. It will not be my main device but its fine for a bedroom TV, no extra OTG cable to buy, no hacking or Kodi required and with a cheap 128GB sandisk USb stick and anyone can record a movie off my IPTV service locally. Ive seen some run 7.5GB. well worth 50 bucks.
     
  8. BillyClyde

    BillyClyde Active Member

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  9. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Google, which owns Android TV and licenses it for deployment on different brands of hardware, has one set of rules for using Android TV on a retail device, such as the new TiVo Stream 4K dongle, and a different set of rules for using Android TV on a pay TV provider's own set-top boxes. This latter program is known as "Android TV Operator Tier" and that's what Evolution Digital and TiVo are using on the device you linked to. Operator Tier gives the device manufacturer a lot more freedom with the UI. This box starts up in pretty much the same TiVo Hydra UI as what you see on the TiVo Bolt, except with the pay TV provider's cloud DVR used for storage rather than an internal hard drive. This box can only be distributed by pay TV operators to their customers, not sold at retail to just anyone. (And even if it could be sold at retail, it wouldn't work unless paired with that pay TV operator's back end/cloud DVR system.)

    AT&T TV has an Android TV Operator Tier box but they only give them/sell them to customers who are signed up for AT&T TV. No one else can buy one (unless you buy a used one on eBay).
     
  10. BillyClyde

    BillyClyde Active Member

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    Yes thanks. I understood that already. What you reference at the end of your post with AT&T TV is kind of what I am asking for. I would want them to partner up with an Operator, or many, and build a similar Operator Tier box as AT&T TV does, but with a different operator, like maybe Sling/Dish whom they appear to already have a partnership with, then maybe add others like maybe Hulu or YouTube TV.
     
  11. BillyClyde

    BillyClyde Active Member

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  12. cwoody222

    cwoody222 Well-Known Member

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    Tivo already does what you want, with many small tier cable operators, including Evolution Digital which you linked to.

    Services like Sling, YouTubeTV and Hulu Live (even if Google considers them “operators”) have no need whatsoever to sell/rent you a box since their OTT services work with any internet connection. And they have the resources to create apps for a multitude of existing boxes (like Roku).

    You’ve stated many times you like ATT’s approach to their box. It’s just not going to happen with TiVo. Not with a retail product or one sold by a OTT “operator”.
     
  13. BillyClyde

    BillyClyde Active Member

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    Yes I know they already do that for cable ops.

    I’m not saying that OTT operators DO the box. I am saying TiVo should, as they always have, make the box to work with the MSOs, as they also always have. Same concept, different method.

    Many folks still enjoy the cable/satellite approach and just wanted the next evolution in how that’s presented with combining in streaming in an All-in-One box. This is precisely the direction TiVo has been headed in for many years now after they started adding apps to their platform and creating One Passes that melded cable and app shows together in one folder for viewing.

    This is what we all wanted just a couple short years ago! It’s the natural progression of what should’ve happened. TiVo Stream just being an app on an Android platform is NOT that! They could’ve just released the app into the Google Play App Store for God’s Sake. The TS4K isn’t what a TiVo is!
     
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  14. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    What you're essentially calling for is a software-based replacement for CableCARD, where there's an industry standard among IPTV/OTT providers so that TiVo (and, presumably, other companies) could create retail devices that would use their own UI and which could two-way communicate with the provider's video servers in order to serve up live TV, cloud DVR and VOD. The Obama FCC considered such (i.e. the "Unlock the Box" initiative) but, against strong resistance to the idea from MSOs, the idea was abandoned in favor of MSOs simply providing their own apps for use on retail streaming devices (e.g. Roku, Apple TV, smart TVs, etc.).

    TiVo has no way to just put out a retail device, running a standard software stack, and then have it work with various MSOs' IPTV services since there's no industry standard. Instead, they must strike deals with each MSO, who must then deploy compatible back-end software on their video servers to work with the software on the TiVo "Next-Gen" IPTV box. And a lot of that whole set-up is customizable based on what the MSO wants. For instance, I think TiVo may have a turnkey solution available that includes the back-end server software but MSOs have the option of turning to third-party software providers for that part.

    Anyhow, even if there was a software-based version of CableCARD designed for IPTV, it would appear that Google would not allow TiVo to use their Android TV Operator Tier software on such a device. Operator Tier gives pay TV providers a lot of flexibility to customize the UI and it's intended by Google for deployment only on devices that are custom-designed for use with a specific pay TV service and then distributed by that service directly to their customers.

    Agreed, but I think the TS4K is the best TiVo can do given the rules Google has in place for how their Android TV OS/platform can be used. This all goes back to the fact that TiVo's native app platform was never up to snuff, so they needed to instead adopt Google's via Android TV.
     
  15. cwoody222

    cwoody222 Well-Known Member

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    Well, Nash beat me to a reply, and said it better than I would have :)

    What Billy is asking for just isn't feasible under the current state of the industry, FCC not desiring to enforce standardization and Google's rules around customization of the Android OS.

    TiVo is playing in the CableCard/retail space.
    TiVo is playing in the MSO/IPTV space (albeit with smaller cable co.'s but that's just who's interested).
    TiVo is playing in the AndroidTV retail space.

    They're basically doing all they can that makes sense.
     
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  16. BillyClyde

    BillyClyde Active Member

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    TiVo already partnered with Sling for the TS4K’s live TV and guide. They could’ve just as easily built it in the way AT&T did it instead of a separate app. From what I’ve seen, it doesn’t seem that hard as the background is just an app running there as the background for Android TV. You can see it almost happening when you go back to Home on the AT&T TV device. I don’t think it’s as complicated as you’re making it out to be.

    They don’t have to make deals with every MSO, they apparently already have one in Sling, so use them. If it’s successful then maybe others will follow, who knows.

    There’s NO reason they couldn’t have still partnered with and used Sling but built it like AT&T TV did instead of a stupid separate app they like they did. As I said, if that was their idea they could’ve just released the app in Google Play and been done with it.
     
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  17. cwoody222

    cwoody222 Well-Known Member

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    No they couldn’t.

    Tivo is not functioning as an MSO with the Stream and cannot customize it to the level of ATT under the terms of the Android TV Operator Tier agreement.

    Tivo is not allowed to do what you’re suggesting with the Stream 4k. TiVo is not an MSO. ATT is.
     
  18. BillyClyde

    BillyClyde Active Member

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    Nothing would stop Sling from using TiVo’s interface. Sling is an MSO. TiVo and Sling are already partners.
     
  19. cwoody222

    cwoody222 Well-Known Member

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    Im not sure if Sling is an MSO according to the Android TV Developer Tier. Other instances are IPTV providers, not live streaming services. And IPTV devices are rented directly from the MSO, not sold at retail.

    But let’s for sake of argument say Sling is considered an MSO and would be allowed to modify ATV to their heart’s content.

    Sling is not selling the Stream 4K, TiVo is.

    But yes, if Sling decided to sell a product and decided to license TiVo’s software in favor of their own, as other IPTV MSO’s do, they could.

    But what incentive would Sling have to do that? They already sell a similar product using their own royalty free software.

    Actually, the fact that Sling’s AirTV Mini retail device, which is almost identical to the Stream 4K, does not customize Android any more than the Stream does, points to the fact that Sling isn’t considered a MSO (assuming their decision to not customize isn’t just that, their decision).
     
  20. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, this is a good question: does Google allow OTT cable TV providers (e.g. Sling TV) to customize their own Android TV devices (e.g. Sling's AirTV Mini) to the same degree that they allow actual MSOs (multi-system operators) to do so (e.g. AT&T TV)?

    If you look at the AirTV Mini (see review & photos here), you see that it boots up in the Sling app rather than booting up to the regular Android TV home screen. Is that an option that Google allows regular retail devices to do? Doesn't the TS4K boot up to the regular Android TV home screen and then you must enter the TiVo Stream app if you want?

    That said, the AirTV Mini does still actually have the regular Android TV home screen. Click the home button on the remote and you're there. This is where you go to see and launch your various installed apps.

    slingairtvandroid-100809180-orig.jpg

    So, the AirTV Mini is lightly customized. I'm not sure if this is Android TV Operator Tier or not. I don't think so, although maybe it is if booting up in the provider's own app, rather than to the standard Android TV home screen, is an option exclusive to Operator Tier.

    Now, the AT&T TV box, OTOH, is clearly using Operator Tier. It not only boots up in AT&T's custom UI, it doesn't even appear to provide access to the regular Android TV home screen at all. (IDK, maybe it's there somewhere hidden under an option in the Settings menu?) If you click the Home button on the AT&T TV box's remote, it just takes you back to the main AT&T TV screen (not to the standard Android TV home screen, as the AirTV Mini's Home button does). There's an on-screen Apps button there, and also a physical Apps button on the remote, but that takes you to a sub-section of the AT&T TV UI where you see your list of installed apps. So you don't even need to leave the AT&T UI to view, launch and install third-party apps. I'm sure that's a feature that's exclusive to Operator Tier.

    ATTTV4029_Evergreen_Sports_UI_DP_Apps_D2.jpg
     
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