Cable companies partner with TiVo to distribute streaming Android dongle

(Photo by Matthew Keys)

Several cable companies announced on Friday that they will begin distributing TiVo-branded Android TV dongles to customers under a partnership with the traditional DVR hardware manufacturer.

RCN, Wave Broadband and Grande Communications said they will begin offering customers one free TiVo Stream 4K device for 12 months, after which the device will be leased to customers for $1.50 a month.

Each additional device costs $1 for the first 12 months and goes up in price to $1.50 per month thereafter.

The device isn’t for customers to keep — instead, it’s intended to take the place of a cable box and other rented equipment for customers who prefer to stream live and on-demand television over the Internet.

Announced in January, the TiVo Stream 4K is an Android TV device that gives customers access to thousands of streaming television apps via the Google Play Store. The device went on sale this summer for $50 per unit.

Shortly after the device began shipping to consumers, TiVo announced a partnership with Schurz Communications to distribute the Android TV dongle to consumers of its telecom services.

TiVo Stream 4K will enhance the relationship Schurz has with our very important broadband-only subscribers,” Tom Williams, the company’s chief technical officer, said in a press release.

The TiVo Stream 4K includes an exclusive TiVo app that aggregates TV show and movie listings from across certain supported services, including Netflix, HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video. The app then recommends other TV shows and movies users might like to watch similar to the recommendation engine in its traditional DVRs.

The app also integrates with Dish Network-owned Sling TV for live, Internet-based television channels. Cable customers who acquire a TiVo Stream 4K through the partnerships announced on Friday were offered a special $10 discount to try Sling TV for 30 days.

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