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For TiVo, Better Late Than Never?

TiVo said on May 6 that its new HDMI-connected streaming dongle, the TiVo Stream 4K, is finally available for purchase at an early-bird price of $49. 99. The debut of the product came at least six days late: TiVo had introduced its big entry into the streaming wars, and its big departure from the technology it pioneered, the digital video recorder, back in January at CES. And it said at the time that the device would be available in “April. ”If TiVo’s transformational new product, based on Android TV streaming tech, was delayed relative to its own schedule, it also seems very late in the broader scheme of the somewhat mature OTT device market, now dominated by Roku and Amazon. Beyond initial price parity with 4K streaming dongles marketed by TiVo’s two bigger rivals, the TiVo Stream 4K seems to check all the prerequisites: it has all the OTT apps anyone else has via Android TV access to the Google Play Store; ditto with voice control via Google Assistant; it also supports Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision; and its peanut-shaped remote control will bring back warm fuzzy feelings for anyone who ever used one of TiVo’s pioneering DVRs.

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