While TiVo announced their own developer program several months ago, we've yet to see any sort of meaningful apps added to the platform. That doesn't mean that TiVo Premiere users can't find something new to watch.
AOL has now added their video platform to TiVo Premiere devices. While not the biggest name in online streaming, AOL does offer a lot of content and now TiVo owners can peruse it at their leisure.
Including sources such as HuffPost Entertainment, TechCrunch, Moviefone and other wholly owned properties, AOL On will also provide content from news and entertainment services such as BBC, Reuters, CNET, Entertainment Tonight and Gourmet TV. That's a lot of new content for TiVo users and while again, it's probably not the most popular content on the internet, it provides a lot of variety for a free upgrade.
TiVo seems to be the one platform that, so far, has successfully combined linear cable content with online streaming. With access to the top streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Video-on-Demand, it's hard to argue that the company has pushed streaming as a main feature of their DVR platform. While others (like Google with their GoogleTV platform) have tried to combine different services, TiVo is the only company that provides you everything in a single package.
It makes you wonder why the devices aren't more popular. In order to get everything that a single TiVo provides without actually owning a TiVo, you'd need to have a minimum of two devices connected to your HDTV. First, a cable DVR from your provider. Since none of the major MSOs have allowed access to over-the-top streaming content on their own platform as of yet, you'll then also need to add a device such as a Roku or GoogleTV device which allows you to pass-through signal from your cable provided STB and adds streaming services. There are, of course, other devices available but these are some of the most popular when it comes to streaming.
When one considers TiVo however, you'll only need this single device in order to access the majority of online services as well as all of the content provided by your cable package. While you won't get everything with a TiVo device, there isn't a single device that offers access to every streaming service. Roku comes the closest but at the same time you lose the cable content.
It could be argued that while many home theater PCs have more storage and slightly more impressive UIs, you'll still need several pieces of different software in order to get access to all of the different internet services available. When you add this to the complication that can arise from using and maintaining and HTPC, TiVo still has an advantage.
Hopefully the company can continue to add content to their UI. You currently can't access services such as HBOGo or MaxGo on the platform. Why TiVo isn't pushing to implement these services as quickly as possible is curious as it only adds value to the platform. As well, since services such as HBOGo require a cable subscription in order to access them, it seems like a natural match for TiVo to offer.
More streaming options plus the forthcoming launch of the TiVo IP STB which will allow you to access your TiVo content on other TVs in your home could push TiVo beyond their current stagnation. While the company is adding subscribers due to deals with cable MSOs, they're still floundering when it comes to being profitable. With the great UI, excellent hardware and the ability to use a single device for most services, TiVo has the opportunity to become the premiere DVR for most people. DVR usage is rising and hopefully TiVo can take advantage of the upswing before it's too late.