With most cable companies now offering their own, albeit sub-par, DVR systems, TiVo has had to find new ways to compete in the field. The company has now come out with updated applications for iOS devices, allowing users to stream and download live and saved shows to their mobile devices.
As a result, TiVo's new line of DVRs, which includes the Roamio and Roamio Pro, may be its most successful line so far. Despite limitations to the service, such as users needing a Wi-Fi connection, being able to stream and download content may allow TiVo to set itself apart from the competition.
TiVo's New Line
The iOS streaming and downloading features are available to all TiVo users but the Roamio and Roamio Pro will support the app sooner than other versions.
TiVo's Roamio and Roamio Pro received amazing reviews last month after they launched. Despite being quite expensive (the Roamio Pro costs $600), the new TiVo units have been selling at an even better rate than some of their predecessors.
However, the ability to stream shows and other saved content was absent from the Roamio and Roamio Pro upon launch. That issue has finally been solved with the launch of TiVo's updated iOS app that not only adds support for the Roamios, but is actually tailored to them.
Some TV shows will not be available for streaming due to TiVo's agreements with content creators but the vast majority of programs will be supported.
When TiVo first launched in 1999, it was revolutionary and dominated the DVR market for years. In the recent past, however, TiVo has had to compete against cable companies that now offer the same type of features in their own DVRs and generally at much cheaper rates.
TiVos are only the same as cable company DVRs in the sense that they allow users to record live TV in HD. Some cable companies have pushed their DVRs further but for the most part, TiVo specializes in its extra features.
Among those features is the ability to stream content, which has been expanded by TiVo's iOS update, as well as the ability to watch YouTube or other Internet-based content. This has kept TiVo in the game despite that fact that other DVRs are more convenient and cheaper.
As has been mentioned in the past, one of TiVo's most prominent downsides is that it includes ads. The inclusion of ads during recorded shows is not inherently bad, but just like Hulu, it repeats the same few ads on a consistent basis.
Many DVRs offered by cable companies cost just $20 per month meaning that they are far better in terms of price than what TiVo can offer. That said, some of TiVo's "low-end" models are under $200, meaning that they are still competitive when going up against the products offered by Comcast, Charter and other cables.