Talking tech since 2003

Back in August, I covered the launch of TiVo’s new “Roamio” DVR line. TiVo brought quite a bit to the table with its Roamios, blurring the line between digital video recorder and streaming set-top box by including a bunch of apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Spotify and more. But I wasn’t so impressed that the company chose to launch the Roamio line even though a major feature, out-of-home streaming, wasn’t ready for prime-time.

roamio-proTwo months later, it looks like TiVo finally has the feature ready to go. According to a press release put out by the company, Roamio owners will get an automatic update for their boxes today that enable the out-of-home streaming feature. Once the Roamio is connected to the home’s wireless network and users configure the TiVo app on their mobile device, they’ll be able to access recorded content from their TiVo DVR and even stream live television over the Internet. In addition, TiVo owners can schedule recordings on their Roamio DVR using the TiVo mobile app.

“Until now, your shows have been locked up in your set top box at home,” said Jim Denney, Vice President of Product Marketing at TiVo. “Now with a TiVo Roamio DVR, whether it’s a hotel in Denmark, the waiting room at the dentist office, when you’re stuck at the airport, or at the gym, out-of-home streaming gives you the level of choice, control and freedom that consumers have come to expect from TiVo.”

While the scenario Mr. Denney paints in his quote is theoretically possible, the quality of streaming from a Roamio to a mobile device remains to be seen — especially if you’re streaming from your home in, say, the United States to a “hotel in Denmark” as was mentioned above. Your home’s Wi-Fi connection speed will play a very big part in that, as will the connection speed of the network you’re on with your phone or tablet.

Fortunately, like some TiVo models of the past, you can downloaded recorded content to a mobile device. So even in areas where you don’t have access to Wi-Fi or are connecting at poor speeds, you can still bring along some of the backlogged content you’ve been racking up on your TiVo DVR.

The Roamio out-of-home streaming feature will be accessible on the top two models of the line — the Roamio Plus ($400) and the Roamio ($600). Those who purchase the entry-level Roamio ($200) can add out-of-home streaming later by picking up a TiVo Stream device, which will add that capability closer to the holidays.

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