A filing for a new TiVo remote control suggests that the company may be getting ready to show an Android TV-based set-top box at CES in Las Vegas next month. The device likely won’t be sold to end users, but instead ship to TV operators looking to combine TiVo’s DVR capabilities with Google’s TV platform.
A TiVo spokesperson declined to comment.
The filing, which was made by TV remote control manufacturer Universal Electronics, details a “TIVO Creek Android Voice Remote.” It includes a picture showing a remote that vaguely resembles the TiVo-typical peanut shape, albeit with a significantly smaller form factor.
The remote is TiVo-branded, but comes without TiVo’s signature thumbs-up and thumbs-down buttons. It includes a Netflix button as well as a button for Google’s Android Assistant. There is no separate microphone button, suggesting that the device uses the Assistant for all voice search needs.
TiVo first announced that it was going to expand to Android TV at CES 2018, with a goal of signing up operators for what the company calls its “next-gen platform.” It subsequently signed some deals with operators, including TDS Telecom, to use Android TV-based TiVo devices. The company didn’t announce any plans to use Android TV for its retail products.
The remote disclosed in Monday’s filing doesn’t feature any obvious operator branding, but a VOD button suggests that it was designed with operator use in mind. TiVo’s business has long been focused on operator relationships, but the company continues to build and market DVRs for end users, including some devices targeting cord cutters.
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Like TiVo, Google has also seen a lot more traction for its TV products in the operator space. Android TV in particular has struggled to compete in the streaming device retail market against Roku and Fire TV, but the company has been signing up a number of operators to use the platform for its next-generation set-top boxes. One example for this is AT&T, which is currently testing an Android TV-based set-top box for the next generation of its DirecTV service.