DVR pioneer TiVo has officially planted its battle flag in the internet-streaming device wars.
The company announced the TiVo Stream 4K — a streaming video dongle that will launch with Dish Network’s Sling TV as the preferred subscription TV partner along with apps for services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, Walmart’s Vudu and YouTube.
TiVo Stream 4K, set to be available starting this April, will carry initial pricing of $49.99 (with a regular list price of $69.99), the company announced at the 2020 CES trade show. With the new product, TiVo will enter into the competitive market for streaming devices against the likes of Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast.
The news isn’t a surprise: TiVo president and CEO Dave Shull last September revealed the company’s plans for a $50 streaming device built on Google’s Android TV platform.
The TiVo Stream 4K dongle plugs into a television’s HDMI port and includes support for audio and video formats up to and including Dolby Atmos sound and Dolby Vision HDR. The device features TiVo’s user experience and personalized discovery features and includes the recently launched TiVo Plus as the preferred source of free, ad-supported TV and movie content. It also comes with a stripped-down version of TiVo’s “peanut” voice-enabled remote control.
“With TiVo Stream 4K, we have created a dramatically better experience for viewers who are tired of hunting through apps and interfaces to find the amazing content available through online content providers,” Shull said in announcing the product.
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The new product launch comes less than a month after TiVo announced a $3 billion deal to merge with Xperi, a provider of audio, imaging and computing technology products. With that pact, TiVo dropped previous plans to split itself into two — a product company and one housing its patent-licensing business.
Under the pact with Dish, the TiVo Stream 4K will provide Sling TV content listings via universal search. Access to Sling TV requires a separate subscription; Dish two weeks ago hiked the prices of its Sling packages by 20%, to $30 per month.
In addition to selling the TiVo Stream 4K at retail, the company also will market the product through partnerships with cable and telco operators, which will offer it to their broadband-only subscribers. Indiana-based Schurz Communications is the first pay-TV provider to commit to a co-marketing relationship with TiVo for the new streaming product.
The TiVo Stream 4K joins the company’s flagship TiVo Edge, an all-in-one DVR and streaming-media device, with versions designed to work with HD antenna or digital cable.
TiVo also announced the addition of 23 new channels — including USA Today, Tastemade, Funny Or Die and Condé Nast’s Glamour, Bon Appetit and Wired — to the TiVo Plus free lineup, bringing it to a total of 49.
The new channels will be added to TiVo Plus in the coming weeks. Here’s the full list of channels on TiVo Plus: Adventure Sports Network, AllTime, Ameba, American Classics, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Atmosphere, Baeble Music, BatteryPop, Bon Appetit, Cheddar, Complex, FailArmy, FilmRise Classic TV, FilmRise Family, FilmRise Movies, Food52, Football Daily, Funny or Die, Hell’s Kitchen/Kitchen Nightmares, Glamour, GQ, Journy, Kabillion, Kid Genius, Latido Music, Law & Crime, MMA Junkie, Mobcrush, Mr. Bean & Friends, NatureVision TV, Top Stories by Newsy, OMG! Network, Outside TV, People Are Awesome, PowerNation, Puddle Jumper, Reel Truth, Revry, SportsWire, Tastemade, The Asylum, The Pet Collective, The Preview Channel, TMZ, Traveler, Unsolved Mysteries, USA Today, and Wired.