A recent update to newer TiVo boxes adds functionality for a new Android app. The standard remote scheduling and guide views that we’ve seen from DirecTV and others are available, as well as a virtual remote for hardware that supports it. Social features integrate Twitter and Facebook into your couch potatoing too.
However, it takes the latest TiVo devices to use it. Setup isn’t as straightforward as it could be either; you’ll need an Internet-connected TiVo to start (via Ethernet or WiFi) then you have to dig through the TiVo settings to access your Media Key. Enter the key into the app on your phone or tablet, and you’re ready to go. Once connected you can view your local schedule, set up recording and season passes, and manage the media that’s already on your TiVo. A built-in remote will send controls through the Internet to your TiVo, circumventing the usual path via stock remote that might get lost.
Usual TiVo features look like all included, but some features are only available to TiVo Premiere DVR customers:
- Browse the channel guide without interrupting the show you’re watching
- View shows up to 14 days in advance
- Schedule TV show/movie recordings and ongoing (Season Pass®) recordings
- Browse your recorded shows list and play a show from the App
- Find exactly what you want to watch
- Search across TV, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video & Blockbuster content, and see integrated results on Demand to find what you are looking for
- Explore cast and crew while watching a show
- Comment about what you’re watching on Facebook or Twitter
- Use a TiVo remote control replica or our intuitive, gesture-based remote control
- Manage your ongoing (Season Pass®) recordings and your To-Do List
- Delete and re-prioritize recordings for your favorite shows
- Instantly schedule, search and browse for shows while you’re away from home
One of the more interesting features is the addition of social commenting. Whenever you’re watching a show you can pop into the TiVo app to automatically post relevant updates on Facebook and Twitter about that very show you are watching. This is especially handy for tablets, and 7″ Android tablets are even mentioned as a good example for deploying this TiVo app.
As with every new multi-functional app, there might be lots of bugs and malfunctions. Simple and obvious troubleshooting actions aer advised at Android Market:
* Restart your network router by by unplugging it, waiting 30 seconds, and plugging it back in
* Restart your TiVo DVR by following the instructions in the TiVo menus under Settings & Messages > Help > Restart or Reset System > Restart the TiVo Box
You can also go to http://support.tivo.com/android for more troubleshooting tips. If nothing helps, or you live outside US, you also may want to try alternatives like this TiVo Commander. You can download the Tivo app in Android Market free.