Cable subscribers with the mighty and powerful TiVo Roamio DVR just got one step closer to total content omnipotence today – if those users also happen to be on the iOS train, that is. TiVo released a new update to its iOS app this morning which gives its Roamio Plus and Pro users the power to watch their entire DVR catalog and live TV from virtually anywhere there’s a Wi-Fi connection, right on their iPhone or iPad.
Roamio users have always been able to stream content to their mobile devices within their own home network, but this new update allows users to stream outside the home. The new service will be rolled out in phases, allowing users to stream live TV and DVR content exclusively over any Wi-Fi network for now, along with the ability to download content over both Wi-Fi and LTE networks. The full gamut of streaming and downloading content will be available over LTE early next year, making the service a truly mobile experience. Unfortunately for Android users, they’ll also have to wait for next year, as the feature will be iOS-exclusive until then.
This latest update is yet another side dish to an already full plate of services and features served up by TiVo’s flagship digital recording device. Along with a massive amount of storage space (up to 3TB), and the ability to record up to six shows at a time, TiVo’s not-too-subtly named Roamio beat DVRs from cable providers to the online punch with video streaming apps from Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and Amazon Instant Video, all controlled under TiVo’s searchable interface.
By adding the ability for customers to stream live TV and recorded content virtually anywhere - a feature once exclusive to Dish Network’s SlingBox – TiVo is hoping to be a one stop shop for all of your video needs, combining its popular DVR system with a buffet of services from across the digital video ecosystem.
All those premium features come at a premium price, however. The Roamio Plus, and Roamio Pro run $300, and $400 respectively, and, of course, require paying TiVo’s $15 monthly subscription fee (or a one time $500 sum) on top of normal cable subscription fees. Those owners of a base model Roamio ($200) or one of TiVo’s older Premiere boxes who want the new streaming feature will need to upgrade by adding a stand-alone streaming unit for $130, which will be equipped with the new streaming powers in the coming weeks.
Still, while cord cutters may scoff at the notion of spending that kind of dough on TV services, those entrenched in the cable universe have one more reason to choose TiVo’s flavor of DVR goodness over standard DVRs from their cable provider. With its latest feature, TiVo bypasses the cable competition for what might just be the most capable digital streaming box on the market.
So lookout Roku, Apple TV, SlingBox, Comcast, Chromecast, and countless other competitors. TiVo wants to nab your customers. And the beat goes on.