CES 2020: TiVo enters the streaming fray, teams with Sling TVCES 2020: TiVo enters the streaming fray, teams with Sling TV
Company debuts 4K-capable, Android TV-powered streaming dongle that will be sold at retail and via cable operators that want to offer an OTT option to broadband-only customers.
January 7, 2020
LAS VEGAS -- TiVo is tossing its hat into the streaming game with a new 4K-capable, Android TV-powered device that will be sold at retail and distributed in tandem with cable operators and other partners that want to provide an OTT video option to their broadband-only customers.
TiVo introduced that product, called the Stream 4K, here Monday night at Pepcom, a press event held alongside the broader CES festivities.
Figure 1: The TiVo Stream 4K will go on sale this April for $49.99, $20 less than the product's MSRP.
Although TiVo's Stream 4K will support just about any app offered in the Google Play store, the device will initially provide tight integrations with a handful of streaming services, including Dish Network-owned Sling TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, Vudu and YouTube. That integration will enable those services to take advantage of TiVo's user interface and search capabilities that are stitched into the Stream 4K device rather than requiring users to toggle to those apps separately.
The new streamer will also weave in TiVo+, a new ad-supported streaming service that provides access to almost 50 offerings from content partners such as Cheddar, Newsy, GQ, Tastemade and Funny or Die. The Stream 4k also supports Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision HDR (high dynamic range), voice search (via Google Assistant) and a "streamlined" iteration of TiVo's iconic peanut-shaped remote.
Sling TV nets 'preferred' slot
Early on, Sling TV will serve as the "preferred source" for pay-TV, providing access to Sling TV's live TV lineup, VoD library and cloud DVR service (TiVo's Sling TV integration will allow users to record up to 200 hours to the Sling TV cloud DVR). TiVo is also interested in forming similar partnerships with other virtual multichannel video programming distributors (vMVPDs), said Daniel Bethlahmy, consumer product marketing director at TiVo.
Figure 2: TiVo's new device will start off with tight integrations with a handful of OTT video services, including Sling TV, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Pictured is the TiVo UI for the Android TV-powered Stream 4K.
TiVo said the new device will go on sale in April 2020, with an initial launch price of $49.99, $20 less than the product's manufacturer-suggested retail price of $69.99. TiVo will sell the Stream 4K on its website and via its other retail sales channels.
Pumping pay-TV partnerships
Beyond retail, TiVo will also distribute Stream 4K in partnership with its cable operator partners that want to maintain or establish a video relationship with their broadband-only customers. Longtime TiVo partner Schurz Communications is the first announced cable op that has committed to offer TiVo's new streaming device under a co-marketing relationship.
That approach shares some similarities with Xfinity Flex, a smart home/video streaming product that Comcast is marketing as a free add-on to its broadband-only customers.
When it launches this spring, TiVo's Android TV-powered device will try to gain ground in a crowded video streaming/platform market dominated today by Amazon (Fire TV), Roku and Apple (Apple TV/tvOS).
TiVo's latest product foray enters the picture amid the company's proposed merger with Xperi.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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