The application allows BlackBerry owners the ability to program their TiVo DVRs (digital video recorders) remotely. This probably doesn't seem like a big deal, since it's something that any smartphone user can do by simply surfing over to TiVo.com.
However, the knee-jerk media reaction is moving in a different direction, criticizing the program because it lacks the ability to stream content that's already recorded on the device.
- "We're living in something called the 21st century, and in this day and age, your app damn well better learn to stream," writes BoyGeniusReport.
- "BlackBerry launches TiVo app a year late and without streaming video," reads the paidcontent.org headline.
There's a disturbing level of entitlement when it comes to cell-phone streaming, isn't there? I guess enough people are watching Denis Leary's DirecTV
They probably don't realize that gridiron fans are paying $400 a season to DirecTV -- $300 for the NFL Sunday Ticket and $100 for the Superfan add-on that includes mobile telecasting. That's on top of their monthly satellite-television subscriptions.
Streaming isn't supposed to be free. It's also rarely portable. Wireless carriers may promote their "unlimited data" plans, but they want nothing to do with network-clogging multimedia. Many audio and video streaming applications are limited to Wi-Fi connections, which pass the bandwidth burden on to the nearest hotspot or home router.
TiVo is different, though. Instead of having Netflix or DirecTV deliver the personalized streams, TiVo -- like Sling -- can simply tax the owner's home network in ferreting out the desired files. It doesn't need the server farm or costly content-delivery network. Sling is already ahead of the game with a video-streaming app, but it, too, is handicapped by working only when an iPhone subscriber is in a free Wi-Fi cloud.
So don't take TiVo or even BlackBerry to task for this incomplete application. Until all wireless carriers live up to the "unlimited" proponent of their data plans, the streaming revolution will have to wait.
What have your mobile video streaming experiences been like? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares in TiVo and Netflix. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.