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.