Do you remember TiVo? It still exists, even if you probably haven’t used a TiVo device in a while. (Unless you’re one of the few who has tried the company’s Android TV dongle.) While the vast majority of people have since switched to TV software built into their device or to a special piece of hardware like the Apple TV running, TiVo owner Xperi gets into the TV software game with TiVo OS.
Yes, that means another company will be competing to use the software that powers your TV. But TiVo’s corner with TiVo OS must be a “first of its kind neutral platform,” which in part means equipment manufacturers will have more control over the experience.
Right now, the US TV software market is largely dominated by Roku, which said early this year it was the best selling smart TV OS in the country for the second year in a row. Roku hasn’t been shy about actually being an advertising company, meaning it makes a lot of money from customers seeing ads on its operating system and in the ad-sponsored Roku channel while watching stuff on a TV from a vendor like TCL or Hisense. . And companies like Samsung and LG have their own software platforms that they use with their own TVs, so they own that customer relationship from start to finish.
Xperi wants to return power to equipment manufacturers
With TiVo OS, Xperi wants to give more power back to the equipment manufacturers (or at least those that aren’t at the level of a Samsung or LG. Shape the experience and maintain a certain level of customer ownership over the life of the device). product,” said Geir Skaaden, Xperi executive vice president and chief products and services officer in an interview with The edge. “So our platform empowers them to brand the experience, maintain the customer relationship, and have a rev-share on monetization on the platform.” For consumers, TiVo OS also offers an alternative to software from companies such as Roku, Apple or Amazon.
The point is, TiVo seems a long way from realizing that vision. You can’t buy a TiVo OS-equipped TV yet, because there isn’t one on the market right now. Vestel, which sells TVs under licensed brands such as Toshiba and JVC, is the first OEM to commit to shipping TVs with TiVO OS, but they won’t be released until 2023. and they come to Europe first. Xperi hasn’t announced a launch date for TiVo OS in the US, but it’s “definitely on the roadmap” according to Skaaden.
Xperi expects to announce more TiVo OS hardware partners before or around the Consumer Electronics Show (which takes place in early January), Skaaden said. But it’s unclear when those will hit the market or how many offers there will be. And even if more TiVo OS devices are announced and actually come out next year, I don’t think many people are about to make the switch.
TiVo takes on heavyweights like Roku and Samsung
Roku is immensely popular, Samsung licenses are Tizen smart TV OS, and big tech companies like Amazon and Google are also using their TV software in smart TVs. Xperi touts TiVo OS’s integration with linear content, so maybe that could be an advantage over those other platforms, which prefer to focus on streaming. “A TV Powered by TiVo can deliver better viewer engagement with an unbiased content-first user experience that fully integrates live hybrid TV and streaming services,” Xperi said in a press release in August. But since we can’t really use TiVo OS yet, we’ll have to wait and see if the promises of a neutral platform become a compelling argument for TV buyers.
And that said, Xperi TiVo OS is targeting OEMs who don’t yet have a smart TV platform they rely on. “We don’t expect people with their own OS to switch to ours,” he said, but Xperi does expect TiVo OS to gain market share among OEMs that “don’t develop their own platform.”