Before heading out to CES in Vegas, I decided to copy a few movies and shows from my TiVo DVR to my iPad. In case you’ve never experienced that particular joy, it traditionally involves copying the content to your PC via the TiVo Desktop software, transcoding it for the iPad, and then synching it to the device. It took me an entire day to complete. 24 hours for about 8 hours of content. Who has that kind of time right before a trip? Enter TiVo Stream
TiVo recently released Stream, a small device that lets you (easily!) watch or copy content from your TiVo to you iOS device. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t yet have one. *Cue angels singing.* It had to be fate that while at CES, I had some time to chat with the TiVo PR team at an event hosted by Techlicious.com. I had already seen a Stream demo, but I always like to know what’s new in the land of TiVo. They offered to send me a Stream to try it out for myself and I have to say, I’m loving my TiVo even more than I already did.
Stream is incredibly easy to install, although for some reason it refused to talk to one of our routers. I blame the router, though, because the moment I plugged it into a second router, it worked like a charm. So, plug it in, register it with your account on TiVo.com, log into the TiVo app on an iOS device, and locate it with the app. Simple. If you haven’t yet started using the TiVo app, you’ll need to install it, of course, and connect it to your devices using your Media Key.
Once the Stream is connected, you have the option in the TiVo app to watch a show on TV or watch on the device. As the name suggests, it streams seamlessly to your device. I was impressed by the picture quality while streaming. You can also choose to download content to the device for later viewing. This is hardly scientific, but has been taking about 10-20 minutes to copy over a one-hour show via wireless. Stream gives you the freedom to watch recorded or live TV on your iPad (or other iOS device) anywhere in your house (or home network), which I love. And, of course, it’s great to be able to take stuff on the road without spending an entire day copying it over! This is ideal for families. The kids can watch something on TV while Mom or Dad watch something on the iPad. Or, the kids can watch something on the iPad in their fort, while the adults watch a game or movie on the big TV.
Now, although I highly recommend Stream for TiVo users, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Stream works with Premiere TiVo DVRs (and newer).
- Stream will only connect with devices on the same WiFi network, meaning you cannot access it outside of your home (or home base for the TiVo).
- Stream does not work with Android or Windows devices (yet?).
- Both the TiVo and Stream require a wired connection to your network, but they don’t need to be connected to each other. You can use an Ethernet connection or a MoCA connection.
- The TiVo app must be active on your device while copying content. You can’t download in the background.
- A one hour show will take up about a Gig on your device.
Stream is available for $129.99 from TiVo. As you can see from the picture above, it comes with an Ethernet cable, power cord, and instruction booklet. If your TiVo is from your cable company, or if you’re using an older or jail-broken iOS device, please check the TiVo.com website to make sure you have compatible equipment.
Disclosure: We received a Stream device for review purposes. There was no promise of a positive review and the opinions contained in this post are my own.