When will TiVo’s big entry into the streaming device business, the TiVo Stream 4K, finally be available for purchase?
That’s a question some are asking now, more than three months after TiVo made a splashing introduction of the $70 streaming dongle at CES back in January. At the time, TiVo said its Stream 4K—which it said would support all major OTT apps available in Google Play, in addition to its own new TiVo+ streaming service—would be available in April.
TiVo posted a video on Twitter Thursday, with reps for the company talking about how “super-excited” they are about the product, which was still listed in the tweet as “coming very soon.”
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When Next TV asked over Twitter how soon, a company rep responded, “The exact date of its availability hasn't been announced yet.”
Another responder noted, “You've been saying ‘coming very soon’ for months on end, and people keep buying Roku units, especially during these trying times. You're being left in the dust.”
Indeed, among the many consumer surveys looking at OTT consumption during the pandemic lockdown, Tubi published one that suggested that consumers are spending, on average, an entire workday (eight hours) streaming video. A publicly traded maker of OTT devices, such as Roku, hasn’t yet indicated in a first-quarter earnings report that hardware sales are way up. But nobody will be surprised if that happens next month.
Corporately, TiVo has a lot going on right now, not the least of which is its developing merger with Xperi. But speaking to investors in January, after the Stream 4K was named a Wall Street Journal “Best of CES” product, TiVo CEO Dave Shull defined the device as a priority.
“We’re only talking about streaming now,” he told attendees of the Needham Growth Conference in New York. “We’re going to bet on the streaming wars. We have a really easy solution to them.”
Shull said TiVo’s advances in search and discovery, along with Xperi’s entry into device markets like smart TVs, should enable the TiVo 4K Stream to quickly catch up in an OTT device market dominated by Roku and Amazon.
The question remains, though, when will the TiVo 4K Stream ever get to that market? And what’s holding it up at this point?