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TiVo Mini Promises Whole-home Capabilities for TiVo Households

For a while now, TiVo has been making overtures toward a whole-home DVR solution, introducing second-room extenders through cable operators that offer TiVo as a set-top box option and allowing box-to-box streaming between TiVo Premier units within the home.

TiVo Mini

This January At CES, TiVo moved one step closer by announcing the upcoming availability of the the TiVo Mini extender through traditional consumer channels. The Mini is a client device that replicates the TiVo experience in a second room of the house, giving TiVo true, multi-room DVR capabilities.

TiVo Mini Promises Whole-home Capabilities for TiVo HouseholdsThe device is about the same size as the TiVo Stream. Connected via Coax (MoCA) or Ethernet, it uses the tuners from a host TiVo Premier in your home, giving you full access to watch live and recorded TV and control the DVR to record shows. One 4-tuner TiVo Premier can support up to two TiVo Mini extenders, giving you three-room coverage from one DVR.

While the Mini will recreate the TV viewing and recording experience in other rooms, it may not support all of TiVo’s over-the-top content applications (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) at launch. The company is still working with partners to determine different apps’ availability on the TiVo Mini.

TiVo isn’t talking pricing yet, but they expect to announce pricing and availability in the coming months, with availability ultimately in Spring 2013.

Applications and Apps

TiVo is rolling out new apps for the platform, including the recent Spotify and AOL On additions. They’re also talking with Amazon and other providers about possible updates and improvements.

While talking with the folks at TiVo, we discussed their best-in-class TiVo app for iPad, iPhone, and Android. You can tell they truly believe in the model they’ve created where the mobile app is a natural extension of the TiVo itself. Expect some updates to the app this Spring, including a new “what to watch” discovery feature that uses their analytics to recommend trending shows in your geographic and interest areas.

TiVo Mini Promises Whole-home Capabilities for TiVo Households
We miss this little guy!

We also asked about a number of items on our TiVo wish-list—including baked-in hardware streaming, CEC over HDMI for TV and tuner control, more tightly-integrated third-party experiences, GetGlue integration, and the future of our favorite TiVo Slide remote—all of which were met with polite roadmap responses. Hey, we had to ask, right?


About the author

Richard Gunther

Richard is a product experience consultant with a life-long interest in consumer electronics. He has been immersed in smart home tech for decades now and hosts The DMZ's home automation podcast, Home: On and co-hosts Entertainment 2.0 with Josh Pollard. Richard looks at products through an experience lens, always seeking the right mix of utility and delight.