TiVo officially launched its $130 add-on device to stream content from its DVRs to Apple iOS devices over a home Wi-Fi network or sideload it to take it to go -- but unlike EchoStar's Slingbox, which can serve up any content over the Internet, the TiVo Stream will not transfer content flagged by TV programmers as "copy once."
TiVo Stream incorporates TiVoGuard for Mobile, a CableLabs-approved content-protection technology. According to the company, the device will not download content subject to rights-management policies of programmers in accordance with FCC rules for copy protection.
TiVo noted, however, that all programming on a user's DVR, including content flagged copy-once, may be streamed over Wi-Fi inside the home. Typically, premium cable networks like HBO do not allow multiple copies of their content to be stored on DVRs, according to TiVo.
TiVo Stream provides simultaneous streaming or downloading of recorded shows to up to four mobile devices without interrupting what's currently playing on TV. However, it does not support wirelessly connected DVRs -- they must be connected via Ethernet or MoCA.
In addition to offering the retail version of TiVo Stream, the company said it is working with its U.S. MSO distribution partners, including Suddenlink Communications and RCN, to deliver the streaming device as well as an IP-client box for second TVs.
For on-the-go users, TiVo Stream can download recordings from a DVR for viewing later outside of the home. Users can download a one-hour show to their mobile device in as little as 15 minutes, and can then view it when not connected to a network.
"Finally, consumers can have the flexibility they have long demanded by enjoying their favorite entertainment content anywhere -- be it at home, in the air or on-the-road," Jim Denney, general manager and vice president of product marketing for TiVo, said in a statement. "With the launch of TiVo Stream, we are ushering in a new era of flexibility, empowering our users to watch their recorded entertainment regardless of location. "
TiVo Stream is available through tivo.com and will be coming soon to most Best Buy and Magnolia Home Theater stores.
The 5-ounce Stream device, 4-by-4-by-1.05 inches, is compatible with TiVo's Premiere, Premiere XL, Premiere 4 and Premiere XL4 digital video recorders. It requires TiVo's free app for iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, which must be running iOS version 5.1 or later.
As previously reported by Multichannel News, the TiVo Stream uses Zenverge's ZN200 quad HD content networking system-on-chip for transcoding TV programming for IP-connected devices.
"Zenverge provides us with the advanced quad HD transcoding capabilities we need to deliver full HD video cost-effectively to the most popular tablets and mobile phones," Denney said.