Roku signs multiyear licensing deal with Tivo, but the long-term goal is murky

Roku Premiere+
A little less than a year ago, TiVo was acquired by video metadata company Rovi for $1.1 billion, giving the newly merged company a library of more than 6,000 patents. Now, Roku has access to those patents, thanks to a deal between the two companies announced by TiVo on Wednesday.

“This license agreement with Roku underscores the importance of TiVo’s comprehensive patent portfolios for the fast-growing streaming entertainment industry,” Samir Armaly, executive vice president of intellectual property for TiVo parent company Rovi, said in a statement. “We look forward to supporting Roku with innovative entertainment enhancements that will be enjoyed for years to come by its current and future customers.”

Given that the name TiVo is essentially synonymous with DVRs, it would be easy to speculate that Roku could be looking at offering a stand-alone DVR or building DVR technology into Roku TVs. The companies have remained tight-lipped so far, so this possibility can’t be ruled out entirely, but given the rise of streaming services as the go-to source of entertainment for many people, it’s not likely to be the case.

So what will we see out of this new deal? For now, that remains a mystery, but there is some key wording in TiVo’s announcement that offers a few clues. TiVo says that the deal includes “an option for Roku to access TiVo’s high-quality entertainment metadata,” as well as “other TiVo products to further power intuitive search and navigation.” Combined with the recent Roku OS update that allows users to opt-in and have their Roku TV track their viewing habits in order to make suggestions, this could mean that Roku is looking to expand its suggestions feature even further.

Roku isn’t the only company to have made this type of deal, as both Netflix and HBO recently made similar deals with TiVo.

It will likely be a while before we see the results of this deal, but chances are good that we’ll see them in the next line of Roku devices.

Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is minutes away: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.
Home Theater

How to connect your Roku device to your hotel room’s TV

Staying at a hotel, but can't bear to be parted from your favorite streaming shows and movies? Take them with you with our complete guide to using your Roku on the road when staying at a hotel.
Home Theater

ESPN Plus scores the exclusive rights to UFC Pay-Per-View events

If MMA is your game, then ESPN Plus is now a very important player. The Disney-owned service locked up the exclusive rights to UFC Pay-Per-View events, a deal that will last through 2025 in the United States.
Movies & TV

Disney completes its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox

Now that Walt Disney Company has closed its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox's movie and television assets, what does this future hold for franchises like X-Men, the Fantastic Four, The Simpsons, and the rest?
Home Theater

Kanopy privacy breach reveals which movies members have been streaming

Free video streaming site, Kanopy, has been inadvertently publishing millions of lines of web log data for days, according to a new security report. A bad actor could guess a person's identity and see what they've been watching.
Home Theater

March Madness deal alert: Get a 43-inch LG 4K HDR TV for just $270

March is a great time to find a deal on a new TV, and this one is worth every penny: Walmart is selling LG's 43-inch 43UK6300PUE, a very capable 4K HDR Smart TV, for almost 50 percent off the regular price, at $270.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Hulu vs. Amazon Prime Video: Which streaming service is best for you?

It's hard to dispute Netflix's leadership in on-demand streaming video, it's not alone. Two great alternatives are Amazon Prime Video and Hulu; each with its strengths and weaknesses. Which one is better? We pick the winner.
Product Review

Audio-Technica's M50xBT headphones bring signature studio sound to the streets

Audio pros may balk at cutting the cord on studio headphones, but it’s hard to argue with these results. Audio-Technica’s wireless ATH-M50xBT offer massive battery life and killer sound you can take anywhere.
News

Apple’s Beats to reportedly release truly wireless PowerBeats earphones in April

Beats will reportedly release a truly wireless PowerBeats earphones next month, following the announcement of Apple's new AirPods. The second-generation AirPods received the new H1 chip, which is also expected to power the new PowerBeats.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: Deadwood, John Wick 3, Shazam, and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for John Wick: Chapter 3, Deadwood, Shazam!, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: Cold War, Shoplifters, and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Cold War follows a tragic romance, The Inventor examines a famous fraud case, and more.
Movies & TV

Apple teases Monday’s big event with an early look into Steve Jobs Theater

Apple is gearing up for a big event on Monday where it's expected to unveil a video-streaming service. But more than 12 hours before it starts, the company has apparently already cranked up the event's livestream ...
Home Theater

TCL drops the price of its 75-inch 6-Series 4K Roku TV to $1,500

March is a great time for TV deals, and we've got a whopper: TCL has taken $300 off the price of its superb 75-inch 6-Series 4K HDR Roku TV, making it $1,500. That's the lowest price ever on this affordable TV.