Today at CES, TiVo gave Tech of the Hub a detailed walk through of their new streaming functionality for tablets and smartphones. The functionality lets you stream video from your TiVo to an iOS or Android tablet or smartphone via the TiVo app. Yes, so be it an iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire or plain-jane Android tablet, you’ll be able to watch shows on another screen, while other shows are being recorded or watched on the TiVo itself. I can’t over-emphasize that what I saw was a prototype and any of the details below could change before it’s released.
The first release will let you stream any recorded program from the TiVo to the mobile device. In a follow-up release, TiVo will also extend the functionality to include live TV. Now it makes sense why you need the four tuners in the TiVo Premiere Elite! However, the application will only function on a home network; not remotely. So, no Sling Box-like functionality for you!
In order to use this functionality, there will be a external box that you have to buy from TiVo. Its likely it will be in the form of an external box, not a dongle or built into the existing TiVo products. Having it as an external box will allow all of the existing Premieres to take advantage of the functionality. The prototype box I saw may not be what the box ultimately looks like when it comes to market. The box will be able to work with multiple TiVo DVRs on the network. It’s an open question as to whether or not MoCA connectivity will be built into the final version of the box but it would be a nice feature for FIOS subscribers (as FIOS cable installations already utilize MoCA).
The other interesting thing I spotted later in the iPad screen shot was the “Download to Device” option. Wow! Imagine if you could also download the content to your iPad and take it on the go! While you can do this already with TiVo-To-Go, this would be much easier to use! I have an inquiry into TiVo on this;
I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t in the final version. Based on a thread in the RCN forums, it appears you will be able to save it to the device (thanks Dave!).
TiVo did not share any specifics on when the functionality would be available to consumers. The good news is they have a working prototype. TiVo still needs to figure out pricing and digital rights issues among other things. The other piece of good news is how TiVo is more tranparent with its customers as of late. Enjoy the demo!