TiVo announces a $49.99 device that combines streaming and live TV

TiVo is announcing a new device at the Consumer Electronics Show called the TiVo Stream 4K, which CEO Dave Shull described as launching the company “full on into the streaming wars.”

Shull said the device is a “tiny little HDMI puck” that’s designed to reach a much broader group than the existing TiVo customer base, providing both streaming and live TV content to cord cutters and cord shavers.

“We believe for users that see value in live TV, which is the majority of American households, they want something to unify and marry the worlds of live TV and streaming, instead of having separate set top boxes or separate apps,” added VP of Product Chris Thun.

The streaming side will include integrations with services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO and others, and will also include content from TiVo+, the free, ad-supported movie and TV service that the company launched last fall.

In fact, TiVo is also announcing the addition of 23 new channels to TiVo+, bringing the total count to 49. Those channels include a new News category with channels like USA Today, Cheddar and Top Stories by Newsy. GQ, Glamour, Wired, Tastemade, Bon Appetit, Funny or Die and The Chive are also launching new channels.

Meanwhile, on the live TV side, the TiVo Stream 4K will include live TV and cloud DVR through integration with Sling TV.

As Thun showed me via demo video, once you’ve logged in to your various services, the device will allow you to navigate based on shows and movies, rather than hopping between different apps. It’s something that other streaming platforms like Roku and Apple TV also offer, but Thun noted that this takes advantage of TiVo’s personalization capabilities,  drawing on what he said is a wider range of knowledge about consumer preferences than any individual app has access to.

“The personalization theme underlines the entire product,” he said. “Across these carousels, it’s really using machine learning and AI to push the right movies and shows to me at the right time.”

TiVo says the Stream 4K (which is built on top of the Android TV operating system, and also includes a remote with voice control) will be available starting in April, with initial launch pricing of $49.99. And the company will  be working with cable and internet providers to offer the device to their broadband-only customers, with Schurz Communications signed up as the first co-marketing partner.

“We have the puck, but ideally I want this solution to be ubiquitous and embedded in every single device,” Shull said.

A former Weather Channel CEO, Shull joined TiVo as CEO back in May of 2019. In an interview about his vision for the company, he told me that he want to “embrace the chaos” of streaming by bringing “all this entertainment together — on-demand, live, digital — and make it fun to find, to watch TV again.”

Last month, the company announced a $3 billion merger with licensing company Xperi.

“This transformation for TiVo enabled the merger,” Shull said.

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