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TiVo Stream 4K is the latest Android TV device to be announced although it is a little different to the rest due to its dongle form and emphasis on discovery.
While TiVo is a company that’s more typically associated with traditional TV it has been making moves recently to insert itself into the streaming market. With the TiVo Stream 4K, the company says it is offering a “truly unique” experience.
In simple terms, the TiVo Stream 4K is just another hardware device. However, it is the experience that TiVo is banking on to set itself apart from the hardware competition. As this device is powered by Android TV, it relies on the use of apps and users having to flip between apps installed on the device. This is where TiVo is looking to offer something different with the TiVo Stream 4K offering a more integrated approach.
The TiVo Stream 4K relies heavily on its search and discovery software and is designed for users to select content by the TV show or movie, and not the app. When a title is selected, the TiVo Stream 4K will show the various apps it is available though and directly launch the content through the selected app.
In reality, this is not majorly different from the way search works on Android TV in general. If a user goes to the Android TV search bar and searches for a title, the results will be returned in a similar way with the option to click through and watch via an installed app. The difference here is that the natural Android TV implementation is more of a background feature, while TiVo has pushed it front and center.
The TiVo Stream 4K is due to go on sale in April and will be priced at $69.99, although discounted down to $49.99 during the launch period.
TiVo Stream 4K designed to promote Sling and TiVo+
While the company is positioning this as a discovery platform that offers a more traditional TV-like experience, it is also designed to promote two services in particular. TiVo has confirmed it has chosen Sling TV “as the preferred source for subscription TV.” This not only means Sling TV will come preinstalled, but will also likely get first billing in search and discovery results.
In addition, TiVo also says that its own TiVo+ service will be “the preferred source of free, ad-sponsored television and movies.” In a similar way to Sling TV, TiVo+ will also come preinstalled and likely get greater prominence when content is available through the service.