Is TiVo Preparing a Net TV Service?
By Phillip Swann
Washington, D.C. (November 8, 2016) - TiVo appears to be preparing a new set-top called Mavrik that would stream video content over the Internet, possibly even combining local channels and streaming services such as Amazon Prime in tier packages.
On October 27, the company filed a trademark application for Mavrik with the U.S Patent and Trademark Office. The application covers a multitude of possible uses including streaming, cloud computing, and software that could be used to generate, display and manipulate various audio, video and photographic content.
While filing a product trademark does not necessarily mean a company will introduce the product, TiVo's web site already has published a page on how to 'setup' the Mavrik. The page has few details, but under a headline, 'Welcome to Mavrik Setup,' the page reads:
"We'll connect your Mavrik to your network, confirm account details, and set up your channels."
Then there is a button that when clicked begins the set-up process. The page says you can connect your Mavrik to your WiFi network by using a Windows PC. (You can also connect the Mavrik to your network by using an Ethernet cable and router.)
Step 3 of the set-up says, Choose Tier, which could mean choosing a channel package (more about that later) while the final step is 'Set Channels.'
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There is no other information at the TiVo site on what the Mavrik does. The site yesterday did have a picture of the Mavrik set-top but it has since been removed. (The picture is below.)
Blogger Dave Zatz reported in September that TiVo was working on a product called Mantis that would be a 'network DVR' that could receive 'over-the-air' local channel signals and transmit them to a different device, such as a mobile phone. There's a good chance that the Mantis is now Mavrik because the word, 'Mantis' is in the web address of the Mavrik set-up page.
This is an important clue because if you search for 'Mavrik' in Amazon.com, you get a listing for an TiVo app called, 'com.tivo.hydra.app,' which says it's a TiVo app for 'OTA streaming' and the 'TiVo Device Mantis.'
The Amazon page, which was first published last month, says the app enables users to search streaming content, including 'deep linking' into Amazon Prime Video. This might mean TiVo's Mavrik/Mantis device will offer online services such as Amazon Prime as well as access to local channels via streaming, perhaps in channel tiers as the Mavrik set-up page suggests.
A picture featured on the Amazon/TiVo app page shows an on-screen guide with programs from local channels as well as shows that are on premium channels and streaming services such as Showtime, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. See below:
A TiVo spokeswoman yesterday told TVPredictions.com that "we don't comment on future product roadmap."
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