TiVo's Planned Apple TV App 'In Limbo'

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
46,755
8,953



During the January 2019 CES event, TiVo demoed a TiVo app to the Apple TV, but a year later, the project is "in limbo" and an Apple TV app is no longer being actively developed.

In an interview with TechHive at CES 2020, TiVo vice president of consumer products and services Ted Malone said that while Apple TV app plans haven't been canceled, it's not TiVo's focus at this time.

"My bet is we'll get Android, and because of that we'll get the Fire TV, because it's the same app, just different qualifications," Malone said. "I think Roku and Apple are in limbo."
TiVo had initially planned to release new apps for Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, and Android TV at some point in 2019, allowing TiVo users to access TiVo DVRs on other TVs throughout the home without the need to purchase TiVo Mini boxes, but limited resources, technical challenges, and strategy changes have delayed those plans.

According to Malone, TiVo has to transcode video before sending it to other devices, which results in quality and performance issues that TiVo has not been able to resolve. The company has also been working on the TiVo Stream 4K and the TiVo+ streaming service, and an Apple TV app is not a priority.

Malone said that TiVo needs to "double down" on the streaming market and not get distracted by a "bunch of things people want, but aren't really going to move the needle."

Article Link: TiVo's Planned Apple TV App 'In Limbo'
 

Len Banks

macrumors newbie
Jun 2, 2015
10
24
As a VERY longtime user of TiVo, the company is always flirting on the edge of being truly wonderful and then they do some bone-headed thing to ruin it. I don't see why I would want a TiVo app on my AppleTV, but I sure would like an AppleTV+ and Disney+ app on my TiVo. THE STUPID TiVo+ is a an annoying joke and and the pre-roll ads for a PAID service is outrageous. I would cut the cord in a second and leave TiVo and Comcast if it wasn't for the SKIP commercials feature and the HORRIBLE Apple TV remote.
 

MisterSavage

macrumors 68000
Nov 10, 2018
1,806
1,529
As a VERY longtime user of TiVo, the company is always flirting on the edge of being truly wonderful and then they do some bone-headed thing to ruin it. I don't see why I would want a TiVo app on my AppleTV, but I sure would like an AppleTV+ and Disney+ app on my TiVo. THE STUPID TiVo+ is a an annoying joke and and the pre-roll ads for a PAID service is outrageous. I would cut the cord in a second and leave TiVo and Comcast if it wasn't for the SKIP commercials feature and the HORRIBLE Apple TV remote.
Exactly. Why on Earth can't I watch Disney+ on my TiVo yet?
 

stevet

macrumors 6502
Apr 16, 2009
284
633
As a VERY longtime user of TiVo, the company is always flirting on the edge of being truly wonderful and then they do some bone-headed thing to ruin it. I don't see why I would want a TiVo app on my AppleTV, but I sure would like an AppleTV+ and Disney+ app on my TiVo. THE STUPID TiVo+ is a an annoying joke and and the pre-roll ads for a PAID service is outrageous. I would cut the cord in a second and leave TiVo and Comcast if it wasn't for the SKIP commercials feature and the HORRIBLE Apple TV remote.
i agree, the fact you can’t disable it has me on the edge of cancelling my TiVo, selling mybolt and mini and just cutting the cord. So close right now....
 

timlopez

macrumors member
Feb 12, 2009
36
13
Malone said that TiVo needs to "double down" on the streaming market and not get distracted by a "bunch of things people want, but aren't really going to move the needle."
That's funny. I've "wanted" to use TiVo services for the last 13 years. I've "wanted" to give them money for said services. Giving people what they want so that they continue to give you money isn't a bad thing. It's why they're a company in the first place - they had something people wanted.

However, their inability to be a modern technology company and instead 'double down' on streaming (because they're absurdly late to the game) is going to be their downfall. No one wants their streaming device. There's enough of those out there already. They need to focus on their services, because thats the core of their business. They need to understand that cord cutters are not their market, and focus on those who still use Cable TV. It's a dying business, but it's not going to be dead any time soon. Either way, TiVo won't survive, especially under this leadership.
 

Fanfoot

macrumors newbie
Sep 21, 2010
8
3
Probably doesn't matter. People who want a TiVo already have one, and are slowly but surely coming to the realization that its time to start thinking about switching it out. The laggy interface, the lack of any on demand content, the lousy iOS app, the frozen in time app set (HBO Go but no HBO Now for example, despite the fact that the latter launched 4 years ago). Anybody waiting for Disney+ support is crazy. Get a streaming device, start using the services and over time just stop using the TiVo.
 

TheIntruder

macrumors 65816
Jul 2, 2008
1,054
611
"Limbo" applies to the company itself in many respects.

It was a pioneering company whose products embody some great concepts, but whose execution also stands a good chance of prompting you to bang your head against the wall.

Ring is the same way.

With the Xperi merger, it's only a matter of time before the consumer products disappear, and it becomes a pure IP licensing concern.
 

CWallace

macrumors 604
Aug 17, 2007
6,775
2,694
Seattle, WA
Since being bought by Rovi (and doubly so now that they have merged with Xperi), the value in TiVo to its owners is the technology patents they hold, not the consumer product.

And now that bundled cable DVRs are "good enough", TiVo really needed to continue to be sufficiently "better" that people were willing to pay for the hardware and a subscription.

I started with a Series 2 and then went Series 3 HD, but once Comcast rolled out the X1 DVR, the service was stable enough that I used the TiVo less and less and finally just gave it away and never looked back. And with Comcast, hardware upgrades were (effectively) bundled into my bill (the X1 had four tuners whereas I would have had to buy a new TiVo Series 4 and a new subscription to get four tuners).
 

HouseofG

macrumors member
Jul 28, 2008
78
12
i agree, the fact you can’t disable it has me on the edge of cancelling my TiVo, selling mybolt and mini and just cutting the cord. So close right now....
If you are referring to the goofy ads, I called them right away and asked them to cut it out. They did.
- - Post merged: - -

TiVo just doesn’t get it...users don’t want a TiVo app for the Apple TV. They want an Apple TV app for the TiVo. Simplicity.
Which is exactly what I thought this article was about when I clicked on the title! Sigh...
 
  • Like
Reactions: dwsolberg

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,255
1,333
TiVo just doesn’t get it...users don’t want a TiVo app for the Apple TV. They want an Apple TV app for the TiVo. Simplicity.
I have a 6-tuner TiVo in the living room and a TiVo mini + Apple TV in most of the bedrooms/office. I was looking forward to selling the TiVo minis and being able to do everything on the Apple TV.

For folks new to TiVo, being able to watch on other TVs (using an Apple TV, Roku, or Fire TV app) without needing to drop $179 for a TiVo Mini seemed like it would make TiVo that much less expensive to get into.
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
16,988
4,929
I am interested in 4K Blu Ray 3D.

8K TVs could optimally support it passively.

I will not buy or watch 2D 4K versions of 3D movies. Or a 2D TV or monitor.
 

DakotaGuy

macrumors 601
Jan 14, 2002
4,010
3,155
South Dakota, USA
Since being bought by Rovi (and doubly so now that they have merged with Xperi), the value in TiVo to its owners is the technology patents they hold, not the consumer product.

And now that bundled cable DVRs are "good enough", TiVo really needed to continue to be sufficiently "better" that people were willing to pay for the hardware and a subscription.

I started with a Series 2 and then went Series 3 HD, but once Comcast rolled out the X1 DVR, the service was stable enough that I used the TiVo less and less and finally just gave it away and never looked back. And with Comcast, hardware upgrades were (effectively) bundled into my bill (the X1 had four tuners whereas I would have had to buy a new TiVo Series 4 and a new subscription to get four tuners).
My Cable provider actually uses TiVo as their UI on my DVR. It’s a small cable company so it‘s probably more cost effective for them to use the TiVo service versus developing their own UI like a large corporation like Comcast. Anyhow I have been quite pleased with the whole system.
 

erinsarah

macrumors 6502
Mar 17, 2011
311
368
I have a 6-tuner TiVo in the living room and a TiVo mini + Apple TV in most of the bedrooms/office. I was looking forward to selling the TiVo minis and being able to do everything on the Apple TV.

For folks new to TiVo, being able to watch on other TVs (using an Apple TV, Roku, or Fire TV app) without needing to drop $179 for a TiVo Mini seemed like it would make TiVo that much less expensive to get into.
Totally agreed. And to add to this....I have a roof antenna with an OTA TiVo. So we use our TIVo to watch network TV, but our AppleTV for everything else. And that’s why I want a TiVo app on my AppleTV, not the other way around.
 

CWallace

macrumors 604
Aug 17, 2007
6,775
2,694
Seattle, WA
My Cable provider actually uses TiVo as their UI on my DVR. It’s a small cable company so it‘s probably more cost effective for them to use the TiVo service versus developing their own UI like a large corporation like Comcast. Anyhow I have been quite pleased with the whole system.
It seems like a decade ago, so it probably was, but Comcast and TiVo entered into an agreement to use the TiVo UI on Comcast DVRs. It had an extremely limited test roll-out (in the Northeast, I believe), but eventually the program was shelved. As a TiVo user at the time, I (and many others) were excited about this and disappointed when it eventually ended. I believe around that time was when I finally threw in the towel on TiVo and retired my S3HD for an X1 DVR from Comcast.
 

mhornback2

macrumors member
Oct 2, 2011
37
30
Vancouver, Washington
I want to put my vote in for the TiVo app for Apple TV. As others have said, it would be nice to watch from other locations and not have to buy another TiVo device.

I am curious about this TiVo stream, however.Would this be something like YouTube TV? Would it record shows in the cloud and allow us to watch from anywhere? That would certainly be way better than having the hardware!
 

Jacquesass

macrumors regular
May 6, 2003
198
11
Damn. I was really hoping for the aTV app ... and a Bluetooth TiVo remote for the aTV.

The “we have to transcode” excuse is also BS. While it would be way more efficient to sling h.264 around the house than MPEG-2, the aTV has plenty of power to play MPEG-2...
 
  • Like
Reactions: d21mike

DakotaGuy

macrumors 601
Jan 14, 2002
4,010
3,155
South Dakota, USA
It seems like a decade ago, so it probably was, but Comcast and TiVo entered into an agreement to use the TiVo UI on Comcast DVRs. It had an extremely limited test roll-out (in the Northeast, I believe), but eventually the program was shelved. As a TiVo user at the time, I (and many others) were excited about this and disappointed when it eventually ended. I believe around that time was when I finally threw in the towel on TiVo and retired my S3HD for an X1 DVR from Comcast.
Mine is branded VU-IT! and runs the TiVo Experience 4. Along with the normal TiVo provided apps I also have a VU-IT! On demand app which is the cable providers on-demand service. From the little research I've done it's all supplied by the National Cable Television Coop. so basically probably a lot of small operators are using it. My Cable TV and ISP is Vast Broadband. We have a larger operator as a second option, but the prices are decent and the service is good so I'm trying to support the little guy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: aristobrat

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
5,716
7,052
Florida, USA
Why the heck does the TiVo have to transcode video before being able to stream it to other devices? The video is stored as a standard MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 transport stream that all the listed devices should be able to decode. Hell, the older TiVo units (like the Roamio) have a far slower CPU and less memory than devices like the Apple TV. There's no reason why it shouldn't just be able to send the stored MPEG stream over the network verbatim and decode it on the other device.
- - Post merged: - -

Damn. I was really hoping for the aTV app ... and a Bluetooth TiVo remote for the aTV.

The “we have to transcode” excuse is also BS. While it would be way more efficient to sling h.264 around the house than MPEG-2, the aTV has plenty of power to play MPEG-2...
Whoops, you had already said this. I'm glad others agree with this!
 

sidewinder3000

macrumors 6502a
Jan 29, 2010
930
1,019
Chicagoland
a "bunch of things people want, but aren't really going to move the needle."
Wow. If they think allowing Apple users who want to access their TiVo recordings in the seamless, convenient way they prefer won’t be good for business, then I think they are confused. Apple users are consistently one of the most active and valuable segments of tech users, and it seems like suicide not to serve them. TiVo was a brilliant idea that changed media consumption, but the way they’ve run their business since then has left them on the outside looking in. They need to embrace the ways their customers want to consume and use their TiVo content. Not see it as a burden.
 

Take Flight

macrumors member
May 18, 2011
52
38
Totally agreed. And to add to this....I have a roof antenna with an OTA TiVo. So we use our TIVo to watch network TV, but our AppleTV for everything else. And that’s why I want a TiVo app on my AppleTV, not the other way around.
same here - an ota TiVo is still the best way to consume any local and network content, for ZERO monthly cost after purchasing a lifetime service tivo, which are often on sale.

It bugs the hell out of me that any live content on most streaming devices don’t have basic pause and rewind features that DVRs had for 20 years.

tivo missed the boat by not figuring out a way to offer some sort of skinny cable streaming bundle that could use their native dvr interface.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MisterSavage