TiVo Today, a new device is launched, the potential competitor of the Fire TV Stick, known as the TiVo Stream 4K. This $ 50 USD dongle with Android TV, announced for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, is TiVo's attempt to establish itself on the market for streaming media devices.
The new dongle comes at a time when TiVo has largely lost its customer base to competitors such as Roku, Amazon, Apple and others who better met the requirements of cable cutters. In the meantime, TiVo's own DVR for Pay TV customers has slowly gone out of style as the trend towards cable cutting accelerated.
As the name suggests, the new device supports 4K UHD as well as Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos. Chromecast is also integrated.
Thanks to the use of the Android TV platform, the TiVo Stream 4K can also access thousands of Play Store apps for streaming, including Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, Disney + and others.
One thing that doesn't exist is the ability to record live TV. Instead, TiVo has left this to its partner Sling TV and the cloud DVR of this service. The contract with Sling TV also offers an integration that includes the appearance of Sling content in the universal search and via voice commands via the included Voice Remote.
The decision to showcase Sling TV prominently could make the transition to a streaming device for first-time cable cutters less cumbersome, as they may overlook the constant availability of live TV and its linear program guide.
The voice button on the remote control can also call up Google Assistant like on other Android TVs. So you can do more than just search for content. The assistant can also answer questions – such as the daily weather forecast.
The TiVo Stream 4K also provides access to TiVo's newer ad-supported streaming service, TiVo + – its own version of Roku's free film and TV hub The Roku Channel. TiVo + provides access to thousands of hours of free movie and TV shows, as well as 49 streaming channels for news, sports, kids, food, music and comedy.
Unlike previous TiVo devices, the TiVo Stream 4K does not require a subscription to continue using its service. It's just the one-time purchase of $ 49.99 that includes a 7-day free trial of Sling TV.
“At a time when viewers are streaming more than ever across a sea of platforms, TiVo Stream 4K integrates this content with recommendation and search functions to make it easier to find, watch and enjoy the best news, entertainment and sports from today's most popular services "Said Dave Shull, President and CEO of TiVo, in a statement." After an incredibly positive response from the media and the wider industry at CES, we are delivering on our promise to launch TiVo Stream 4K. It is a symbol of the transformation of our company from a popular DVR provider to a pioneer in the streaming market, "he said.
Of course, TiVo can hardly describe itself as a pioneer in a market in which there have been a number of streaming dongle devices for years – including Fire TV Stock, Roku Streaming Stick and Chromecast. The leading device manufacturer Roku has also closed almost every hole on the market with a variety of form factors and functional sets from its low-end boxes and sticks to its high-end 4K player.
In the meantime, TiVo has tried to reinvent its DVR for the era of cable cutting with mediocre results. The strangely designed box from the BOLT era for cable cutters was eventually replaced by TiVo Edge, which comes in two packages – one for antenna users and one for cable television subscribers. However, the demand for television and recording has decreased, apart from the specific needs of live sports viewers.
With declining hardware sales and subscriber numbers, TiVo has focused its business on advertising, including its TiVo + streaming service and skippable pre-roll ads on DVR recordings. More recently, plans to merge with the $ 3 billion technology licensor Xperi have been announced.
With the TiVo Stream 4K, the advertising business can be presented to more customers in a further way.
The device is now available on the www.tivo.com / streamNOW.