With all the competition from streaming video and sexy competitors, Tivo may seem like an outdated relic. However, its new partnership with smart TV app startup Flingo may change that.
As of today, Tivo owners can “fling” video content from the web to their TV screens using Flingo’s technology. Say you spend time finding videos from services like YouTube and Vimeo on your desktop or mobile devices. When you find a video online, you’ll use a bookmarklet via a web browser to send it to the Tivo box. The process is similar to what Boxee has done in the past, but with a greater focus on specific devices.
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“Discovery should not be done on a TV screen,” Flingo CEO and co-founder Ashwin Navin said in an interview with VentureBeat. I’m inclined to agree, because trying to navigate through the billions of videos on a native YouTube smart TV app using only a simple TV remote is both aggravating and fruitless.
Under the new partnership, Tivo owners also gain access to Flingo apps for a variety of premium content providers, including TMZ, A&E, History, Showtime, and TV Guide. Additionally, Tivo owners get exclusive interactive apps via a new “Launchpad for Tivo” platform.
“The cost of setting up an app within Tivo on the platform [for broadcasters] is almost negligible at this point if you’re already got that content available on the web,” Navin said. Presumably, that means more content providers should jump on the Tivo bandwagon in the future, which is good news for the set-top box company’s customers.
While it’s not in the immediate future, Navin said Flingo eventually wants to add more interactivity to what’s being watched on Tivo via its SyncApps technology. The SyncApps tech can detect what you’re watching in just a few seconds and communicate that information to your television, smartphone, or computer — sort of like a location-based service for what you’re watching. You can then use that tech within smart TV apps to pull up social content or services related to whatever it is you’re viewing, thus cutting down on multitasking.
Founded in 2008, Flingo has previously raised $8 million in funding from August Capital, Mark Cuban, and others.