Tivo is likely ditching Android TV because of the Chromecast with Google TV

It’s looking like the Tivo Stream 4K streaming media player dongle will likely be Tivo’s last Android TV device, as originally reported by Zatz Not Funny, and Google’s own Chromecast with Google TV dongle is to blame. In Tivo’s quarterly earnings call, CEO Jon Kirchner explained that they had planned to use Android TV as the core OS for their own interface and eventually work up to its own OS. Now that Google has shifted Android TV into being a more content-focused UX with the Google TV interface, Tivo is shifting its focus directly into its own OS.

The Tivo Stream 4K is an HDMI dongle running Android TV that launched at $69.99 almost a year ago. It had an “introductory” price of $49.99 that remained active indefinitely until Tivo dropped the price further, in December of last year, to $39.99, presumably due to poor sales. The device is a decent enough 4K streamer, especially at its new lower price. Tivo was betting that their Tivo app, which aggregated content from multiple sources, would be the device’s primary interface. However, for many people who just wanted a solid Android TV streamer at a reasonable price, Tivo’s interface got in the way more than anything.

Now that Google has shown a newfound interest in their Android TV interface, with the introduction of the Google TV interface on their new Chromecast dongle, it seems like Tivo isn’t interested in the platform anymore. Kirchner says Tivo is now “working aggressively on getting our solutions embedded in TVs.” So, it seems far more likely that we’ll see TVs hit the market that are running a Tivo OS than another Tivo streaming media player running Android TV.

9 comments
  1. TechyChris says:

    Almost picked one of these up for a spare bedroom, glad I didn’t. I purchased the Fire stick 3 instead.

  2. Michael says:

    If it would allow streaming recordings from my Tivo itself, it would have been almost the perfect device!

    • Rik Emmett says:

      The sell their own proprietary Tivo Mini that streams from the legacy DVRs and has some streaming apps that rarely get updated and lack full functionality. The new mini is very expensive, $200. It works with ethernet or MOCA, but you can pay an extra $60 for a WiFi adapter. They aren’t going to provide an android app to stream from the legacy DVRs and cut off this lucrative revenue stream.

  3. HeyRadar says:

    Roku just needs to buy TiVo and integrate TiVos DVR and Rokus smart tv platform

    • Rik Emmett says:

      The profit center for Tivo is selling their proprietary streaming device, the Tivo Mini, for $200 and a WiFi adapter for an additional $60. It would be an enormous expense for Roku to retrofit the Tivo Mini technology into their hardware. The cost of the Rodku would have to be quadrupled to recoup the expense. Roku isn’t even willing to support Google TV because it requires additional hardware specifications to run the Google TV app.

  4. mrvco says:

    Tivo was always a tragic case, one of those otherwise visionary dot-com start-ups that survived the bust, but could never really get over the hump and led a rather tenuous existence.

    They beat out ReplayTV, provided a CableCard-enabled alternative to awful cable STBs, a great DirecTV experience and even reinvigorated interest in free-to-air broadcast TV to some extent.

    Enter Rovi and their questionable borderline patent-troll legacy (Macrovision, Gemstar-TV Guide) and now rolled up into Xperi, “the largest licensing company in the world” and Tivo itself having lost its relevance and more or less devolving into ‘zombie’ status.

    • Rik Emmett says:

      The cable card killed Tivo. When the cable card was first released, cable companies were requiring a $70 truck roll for a technician to visit the customer’s residence and talk on the phone with another technician to pair the cable card to function in the customer’s home. The cable companies did everything in their power to provide horrible customer service for cable cards.

  5. aross1976 says:

    hopefully they Also ditch their woefully dated remote design too
    god damn that thing is ug-lee.

    I wonder when Google will ditch Android too and if it will be replaced on a TV device next after smart displays and infotainment systems with
    Fuchsia.
    Seems like a TV device could be the next logical step for Fuchsia before rolling it out on phones and tablets and chrome books since it would only need limited drives and only need to run on a specific device

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