TiVo shows off set-top box for streaming to iOS devices

May 22, 2012
Tech

Television recording service TiVo has created a set-top digital video recording box specifically designed to make it possible to stream recorded TV shows to your iPad or iPhone. Called the TiVo Stream, the device connects to your local Wi-Fi Internet service and uses it to connect your TiVo DVR box on your television to other […]

Television recording service TiVo has created a set-top digital video recording box specifically designed to make it possible to stream recorded TV shows to your iPad or iPhone.

Called the TiVo Stream, the device connects to your local Wi-Fi Internet service and uses it to connect your TiVo DVR box on your television to other devices on the network, including your iPad or iPhone, as The Verge reports. The TiVo Stream uses your existing service coupled with your own Wi-Fi network to transfer recorded TV shows from your DVR to your iPad for offline viewing or when you’re away from home, and also allows you to stream recorded shows to the tablet so long as they’re already recorded to your set-top box.

The Verge reports that TiVo’s new app to go with the streaming service works better for viewing videos than Netflix or Hulu, making it quick and easy to skim back through pages. Users can also expect some pretty fast transfers between devices, amounting to about four times the speed of what it takes to actually view the video. But not everything is transferrable, TiVo reports, including some premium shows from networks such as HBO – those will need to be viewed on you original TiVo set-top box.

Eventually, it sounds like the TiVo Stream will actually be capable of streaming live TV and other programs from DVR to iPad, although currently that functionality doesn’t exist. You can’t currently just shoot TV shows straight to your iPad from your TV, although a fairly simple workaround allows for something similar. Since the TiVo Stream can transfer to the iPad programs it has recorded, setting a video to record and then transferring it while it is being saved to the hard drive still works, allowing users to watch TV at a point that’s almost live.

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TiVo doesn’t have a final release date the TiVo Stream or its accompanying apps and updates. The company also showed off its IP set-top box, which can spread TiVo service to a number of TV sets throughout the house without the hassle of buying new boxes and setting them all up.

There are a lot of possibilities when it comes to video viewing and content distribution with the iPad, and it seems TiVo is capitalizing before things explode too greatly. Of course, TiVo might find itself with licensing roadblocks like those seen from premium channels such as HBO, which make it tougher for TiVo to push content wherever it wants. But then again, the ability to watch TV on an iPad can be hugely convenient, and it sounds like TiVo means to attract the kind of people who see the benefit of having their TV shows wherever they are, even if they’re traveling.

Surely iPad users with TiVos will likely find the TiVo Stream and its subsequent off-shoots extremely useful, and if the service works well, it may well lead to additional streaming apps on the iPad that make the device into more of a replacement TV than one to augment the experience of watching.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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