As announced during CES, TiVo will release apps for Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices in the second quarter of this year. Apps for Apple TV and Android TV will follow in the third quarter.
If you have a TiVo that supports transcoding (including the Roamio Pro, Roamio Plus, Bolt, Bolt Vox, and Bolt OTA), these apps will let you stream live and recorded video to another TV, either at home or on the road. For other TiVo devices that lack transcoding, such as the entry-level Roamio or Roamio OTA, you’ll need a separate TiVo Stream box to use the apps.
This is huge news. Well, for me at least. I have an Apple TV, but not a TiVo Mini, hooked up to the TV at my treadmill. I get some shows to that TV by running cTiVo on a Mac mini. cTiVo is an app that automatically downloads shows off my TiVo, formats them, and adds them to my Plex library and iTunes library.
The problem for me is that there are frequent glitches in the process, and shows never make it into iTunes or Plex. I hope the app lets me eliminate this whole setup.
One catch is that the apps will only support video at 720p and 30 frames per second. In my current setup, shows come through at 720p, but at 60 frames per second. It remains to be seen how noticeable this will be to my non-discerning eyes.
Even with the resolution and FPS limitations, this is another great benefit of the TiVO ecosystem. I had previously toyed with going to a streaming television service, but this alone will enough to keep with my TiVo, which I love. Of course, let’s see if TiVo delivers the Apple TV app in the third quarter, as the announcement indicates.