RCN to deploy Evolution Digital eSTREAM 4K, powered by Android TV, streaming box to customers soon.

Zatz Not Funny! | July 23, 2019

Instead of running with a shaky, grainy cellphone video, Jason Nealis and RCN cable wanted to provide folks with a more polished and authentic first look at the TiVo DVR experience … running natively on Android TV. And, of course, I was more than happy to oblige – thanks team!

If you’ve given the above video a go, long-time TiVo subscribers will likely be impressed by the 90 second boot sequence of RCN’s Evolution Digital Android TV hardware … directly into the TiVo Hydra interface. Once in, all the live television and (cloud) recording capabilities you’d expect are present, in addition to a number of Internet streaming apps. Further: games! Are these licensed by cable providers like RCN or, more interestingly, installed yourself via that Google Play Store tile?! Pretty sure it’s all of the above.

Alas, the classic TiVo peanut and iconic thumbs are not present; having been replaced by a new 49-button TiVo Phase 2 Remote for Android TV that features both a TiVo home button and the Google Assistant (that you can see in action towards the end of the video). It’s not the prettiest thing plus I wonder about transport control sizing and placement, but hey it’s not bad coming from the cable company. And Google Assistant on your TiVo people!

As to why an operator would choose an Android TV IPTV Cloud DVR over a legacytraditional Arris set-top, I’ll go ahead and presume significant hardware and infrastructure savings ($$$). Seems likely there’d also be Google-related extensibility not available to other platforms and reported revenue sharing.

In any event, we’re sure to learn more from TiVo, RCN, and Evolution Digital in the near future as it seems like they’re collectively gearing up for launch. As to us retail TiVo customers, we continue to patiently await (or not) our streamer clients, à la Tablo, to replace or augment TiVo Mini hardware.

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