Thursday, March 10, 2016

TiVo Mini and Apple TV

I am dedicated to TiVo - I've had multiple boxes for nearly 15 years.  I like the ease of use, the reliability, etc.  It's a great product and service (but very expensive).

I love the TiVo app for iOS.  It works great, it has a lot of flexibility, and has a pretty good interface (pretty good as it tries to do a lot, including acting as a soft remote control for multiple TiVo boxes).

TiVo makes a TiVo Mini. This is sort of a weird product - it is like a headunit for a TiVo that allows one to replicate the functions of a TiVo on a different monitor.  But, at its heart, is really just the TiVo app in hardware form.  And it is very expensive ($149).  And, even weirder, it is inconvenient to set up - it requires a hard wire (coax or ethernet) connection.  No wireless permitted.

My wish: that TiVo would release its app for Apple TV.  I know this would cut into TiVo Mini sales but I wonder how many people are really buying a Mini. I also wonder how many people would find TiVo more attractive if they could own one and watch in multiple locations with an AppleTV.  AppleTV seems to work fine on WiFi (unlike the TiVo Mini).  And the programming effort for TiVo is likely trivial (I believe tvOS is closely related to iOS).  I know that the TiVo remote won't work but, given that the main benefit of the TiVo Mini is just to stream from the "main" TiVo box, I think it would make sense for TiVo to offer this.  It would bring more people into the TiVo fold and that's probably a good thing.