Last May, TiVo tried to get in touch with Roku and Amazon its own HDMI streaming dongle – The $ 70 TiVo Stream 4K, which traded in the company’s traditional Live TV + DVR functionality for Sling TV, Netflix, HBO and YouTube. It now appears that the attempt has been so unsuccessful that the company is planning to give up its Android TV dongle efforts entirely.
Jon Kirchner, CEO of Xperi Holdings, stated in a call to win (above Zatz not funny) that it no longer feels like it can compete with Android TV – the company likes to believe its differentiator is a content guide that lets you search for shows and movies in a variety of apps, but now with Google already baked something like that in its new “Google TV” layer over Android TV and sells it for only $ 50, TiVo doesn’t see a great future there.
Here is Kirchner as transcribed from I’m looking for Alpha::
Sure, originally when we approached the combo we planned a lot about a three-phase approach, starting with the Stream 4K product, a dongle that plugs into televisions, to an embedded application where we suppose , the preferred user interface is chosen on a broader platform, but originally with the notion that it would live on Android TV.
And third, it’s about a much deeper embedded solution, an embedded operating system where we’re a bigger vendor and where we’re really the only primary interface for deeper content search and discovery and engagement. What changed is last fall when Google came out saying that they intend to go beyond their core offering at the operating system level and really get into the UX business on their lower platform.
Instead, says Kirchner, he wants to embed TiVo-Smarts directly in televisions – a strategy That worked pretty well for Rokuand where Amazon has competed with Fire TV Edition devices even for a couple of years.
Here’s the thing though: while the 4K stream received good reviews, It wasn’t the user interface the reviewers liked. Some of its brightest reviews named it overloaded or confusing compared to the competition and most concluded that it was okay at or below that price compared to the better offerings from Roku and Amazon. TiVo has lowered the starting price of the Stream 4K to $ 50 at launchand reduced it to $ 39 in December after Google’s $ 50 Chromecast arrived.