The TiVo Roamio Pro and Plus received glowing reviews when they launched, but they were missing their namesake feature: the ability to stream shows to phones and tablets outside your house. That's all changed now: a new version of the TiVo iOS app lets you stream shows from your DVR anywhere there's Wi-Fi — and you can download shows over both LTE and Wi-Fi as well. (Streaming over LTE will arrive early next year, says TiVo.)
Streaming quality is obviously dependent on your bandwidth, and a new video-quality meter in the app will alert you when things are getting choppy and prompt you to download the show instead — partial download support means you can start watching after just a few minutes. Roamio review units were set up with a beta version of the feature, and it all worked fine in some limited testing — the only hitch is that you have to at least start recording a show on the TiVo in order to stream it, so you can't exactly flip channels on the fly. But if you're just watching stuff you've already recorded, or if you know what you want to watch, it's smooth sailing.
The updated TiVo iOS app is available now, and Roamio Pro and Plus owners should be getting the update today — if you have an older TiVo with an external TiVo Stream, you'll have to wait until sometime in November. And Android users are stuck waiting until spring of next year, which is a drag. But even still, the best DVR on the market just got better. Now if only TiVo would get rid of the rest of those irritating SD menus.