TiVo Reveals 'Next-Gen Platform' to Combine Cable and Streaming Content Across Multiple Devices

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TiVo this morning announced a new "Next-Gen Platform" that aims to combine content from cable tv, streaming, DVR, and on-demand all in one place (via Engadget). The enterprise announcement is aimed at operators who might partner with TiVo on the platform, so the official launch of such a service is likely a ways off.

Image via Engadget

When it does launch, the Next-Gen Platform will deliver all of a user's content to "managed" set-top boxes powered by Linux and Android TV, as well as "unmanaged" devices like Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. The OS-agnostic approach will let users access shows and movies from both cable providers and streaming services -- Netflix is used specifically in promo images -- on Apple TV, iPhone, MacBook, and more.

This means that TiVo's platform isn't a new cord-cutting service of its own, but something that cable and streaming operators will have to choose to integrate into their existing services for customers to gain access.

TiVo’s Next-Gen Platform allows providers to deliver content to customers where they want to watch it, whether on managed set-top-boxes, such as Linux and Android TV; unmanaged bring-your-own devices, such as Apple TV and Amazon Fire; as well as mobile and web. Our Next-Gen Platform gives operators rapid agility for faster time to market and scalability, while subscribers enjoy a greater level of personalization across content sources and devices.

Specifically, operators will be able to integrate the platform on managed set-top boxes with TiVo for Linux and TiVo for Android TV. The company said this cloud-powered software will offer TiVo's personalized recommendations, voice commands, and the Next-Gen Platform's main hook of integration across other devices for a multi-screen experience.


The other parts of the platform include TiVo for Streamers and TiVo for Mobile, which will be apps that offer the same features and experience as the set-top boxes, but delivered to Apple TV, Fire TV, iPhone, Android, and more. For the smartphone app, TiVo said that it will be able to "support multiple use cases," from a standalone, cloud-enabled Internet Protocol television (IPTV) app separate from the user's set-top box, as well as a hybrid app that could be more of a companion experience to TiVo's big-screen apps.

TiVo argues that the Next-Gen Platform will "help operators reduce churn, drive customer engagement, stay ahead of the competition and own the customer experience," but at this time no partners have been confirmed to support the future service. With CES starting next week on January 9, more information about TiVo's new platform is expected to be coming soon.

Tag: TiVo

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36 months ago
I can't wrap my head around what this is.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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36 months ago
I hope it's what I've been wanting for a long time. If I want to see a particular show/series/movie, I do not care which of my services it's on and I don't want to go "log into" that service or sub-service to find/watch it. I want a central location that will bring the media to my screen from whatever services I subscribe to (NF, Hulu, AMZ/Prime, etc) without me having to exit the central location, including streaming sources. It should auto log in to each service in necessary (from creds you provided during set up) and bring the media to the screen. All media access from a central location. That's the dream.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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36 months ago

I hope it's what I've been wanting for a long time. If I want to see a particular show/series/movie, I do not care which of my services it's on and I don't want to go "log into" that service or sub-service to find/watch it. I want a central location that will bring the media to my screen from whatever services I subscribe to (NF, Hulu, AMZ/Prime, etc) without me having to exit the central location, including streaming sources. It should auto log in to each service in necessary (from creds you provided during set up) and bring the media to the screen. All media access from a central location. That's the dream.

So basically an Apple TV?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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36 months ago

I can't wrap my head around what this is.

My thoughts exactly.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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36 months ago
This appears to be attempting to merge the best of both worlds. For the so-called cord cutters, it brings a variety of streaming services management together in a single interface, probably searchable across services and likely with a real, fully-functional DVR instead of the NOT fully-functional, virtual DVRs built into some streaming services.

It's also accepting that if one wants the fullest live TV experience, the choice is still only the traditional sources of cable (or Satt) + maybe OTA antenna too, so it's integrating a cable option into the same box. Yes, we can argue that PS Vue, DirecTV Now, Sling, etc all cover this base but none of them bring key quality basics like Dolby Digital 5.1 and they all count against broadband caps (while cable service doesn't). Again the same DVR brings a fully-functional DVR to this side of things too.

One central box- this TiVo box- manages all content, overcoming the need to rent a proprietary box from the cable company to attach to every TV. Instead each TV can be connected to this "hub" through an app, running on devices like :apple:TV and similar (equipment that many may already own).

TiVo already has some "play anywhere" features, so all this content is probably streamable to mobile devices wherever you are.

And it's all wrapped up in the TiVo UI goodness that TiVo users love.

I'm not sure it's all of that but that's what I think I read in several articles about it.

I've basically attempted to build something comparable via hodgepodge:

* HDhomerun Prime (with Comcast cablecard) +
* HDhomerun Extend (for locals) +
* Channels App (for unified on-screen guide) +
* Channels App DVR (for a traditional, fully-functional DVR).

Multiple :apple:TVs around the house bring the same to all TVs. Net result: no Cable Box leases but cable service (so I get good + smoothly playing + consistent HD and DD5.1 without eating any broadband capacity). Via "triple play" offer, this is cheaper than sacrificing quality items like DD5.1 and trying to go with a streaming service alternative(s) to get the channels that I desire. Comcast's mobile app allows many channels to be streamed to mobile devices anywhere. All TVs have access to a fully-functional, real DVR with centralized storage (that I can expand to basically any size). Video stored doesn't have watch-by deadlines, etc.

While I'm VERY HAPPY with this setup (for now), this TiVo platform appears to stretch that to integrating mainstream streaming services right into the same UI instead of having to hop app-to-app as I do now to also check what's on this other (steaming) service or that other (streaming) service.

I don't think any of us quite have all that in any existing :apple:TV-based option. So if this is as it appears to me, it looks like it takes a meaningful step forward in a kind of "one service to rule them all" way. It's not quite "cord cutter" but one can't cut the cord and keep the fundamental quality we've been accustomed to for years. It appears to overcome the need to hop app-to-app and search within individual apps to find something. It almost certainly brings a full-featured, real & unified DVR. It gets rid of proprietary lease boxes attached to every TV. It should be "grandma proof" meaning TiVo easy to use instead of trying to teach grandma how to hop app-to-app, use this input for OTA locals vs this input for :apple:TV, etc.

I think it's what I have now (minus OTA antenna integration) plus smooth integration of streaming services into the UI and a TiVo-class DVR and supporting features. If so, I'm interested.

Weak point? Adoption would kill a lot of lease box revenue for cable companies. As such, I don't see them being much interested in backing this thing. And I think I read that TiVo is basically shopping this for exactly that.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
36 months ago

No. Apple TV and most other OTT boxes still require you to go into each "app" (like NF, Hulu, AMZ/Prime, YT, DVR shows) and search for your media and then play it from the app. I want a central dashboard that is service agnostic and will auto search everywhere (all services, all streaming, all local drives/DVR/NAS) and then play the media directly from there without having to launch/login to other apps/services. Not centralized by service, but by media itself, regardless of the source.

You haven’t used an AppleTV in awhile, have you? The TV app takes care of that. Netflix is the only app that’s still refusing to use the API that I use regularly.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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