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TiVo enters streaming stick market with TiVo Stream 4K

TiVo, best known for its DVRs, has unveiled its low-cost streaming competitor: the TiVo Stream 4K.

The device will launch in April with an initial price of US$49.99 (though that will rise to US$69.99 after the promotional launch) and serve as TiVo’s competitor to similarly-priced devices from Roku, Amazon and Google, while being a cheaper alternative to the Apple TV.

The device will be based on Android and come with a voice-enabled remote which the company says is a “streamlined version” of its “award-winning peanut remote”. The company has not confirmed whether the hardware is its own design, or whether it is an example of the Android TV operator tier dongle that was first unveiled by Google at IBC 2019.

TiVo also announced that the device will launch with Sling TV as its preferred source for subscription TV in a distribution deal with Dish.

Warren Schlichting, executive vice president and group president at Sling TV said: “Our subscribers are always looking for new ways to quickly find content they enjoy. This strategic relationship will not only help our current subscribers rediscover TiVo, it will make it easier for new Sling subscribers to make the transition to streaming video.”

Along with Sling TV, the device will offer access to apps such as Netflix, YouTube, HBO and Vudo, though Disney+ was absent from the list in TiVo’s release.

Dave Shull, president and CEO, TiVo said: “With TiVo Stream 4K, we have created a dramatically better experience for viewers who are tired of hunting through apps and interfaces to find the amazing content available through online content providers. We are excited to help TV lovers and occasional viewers alike make the most of their time in front of the screen and bring together the best of the streaming and TV experiences.”

This is the first release from TiVo since it announced the merger with entertainment tech company Xperi last month. Under the banner of this new US$3 billion company, products will still be released with the TiVo branding while the overall company will be known as Xperi. Upon the deal’s expected completion in H1 2020, TiVo CEO Shull will become a strategic advisor and Xperi CEO Jon Kirchner will continue in this capacity.