Not only does live TV from Google's virtual pay TV service now surface in the Stream program guide, that content is now discoverable throughout the Stream user experience, and is now also integrated into main voice and text search functions.
“The highly requested YouTube TV addition represents the largest content-related integration update since the launch of TiVo Stream 4K,” said Ben Maughan, general manager of the Stream platform, in a statement.
The deeper embedding of Google’s live TV service seems curious, given that it was just 11 months ago that Xperi — which bought TiVo two years ago for $3 million — strongly signaled that it's moving away from Google's Android TV software, which is the foundation to the TiVo Stream 4K OS.
Google’s pivot into its own devices powered by its OS, which it now calls Google TV, meant that Xperi, based on competitive imperative, would alter its core software away from Google as it migrates the Stream platform from merely a device on TiVo Stream 4K dongles into a full-fledged OS that powers smart TVs worldwide.
The TiVo-Xperi merger was sold on the notion that Xperi’s established entry into the smart TV OEM business would pave the way for a TiVo OS to compete head-on in the global market with Roku, Amazon and Samsung for control of the connected TV home.
But it remains unclear as to when those Stream-powered smart TVs will ever hit the market, and what the OS will look like once it does. It’s also unclear as to how many TiVo Stream 4K dongles are in the market 24 months after the product's introduction.
For what it's worth, you can now pick one up off of Amazon for $29. ■
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!