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Review: Tivo for iOS – A New Way to Control Your TiVo DVR

Review: Tivo for iOS – A New Way to Control Your TiVo DVR

So you have a TiVo digital video recorder, and you love it. But, if you’re like me, you often forget to schedule a recording, and you’re away from home and don’t have access to the DVR. Or sometimes, you just don’t want to walk to the room where the remote control is. Maybe you’ve even lost the remote. Wouldn’t it be great if there was an iOS app that would address all of these situations? Guess what? There’s an app for that!

The app, named simply “TiVo” is available in the App Store for the very reasonable price of free. It is a universal app, so it will work on both the iPhone and iPad, with optimal displays for both devices. (This review was written about the iPhone version.)

When first setting up the app, you will need to make sure your device is connected to the same wireless network as your TiVo DVR. A simple setup process allows you to pair your app and your TiVo using a passcode. Once paired, you’ll be able to use the app over 3G as well using your Tivo.com login, and you’ll be able to view information about your TiVo, and what shows it is currently showing, and has recorded in the past.

Information Screens

You can also use the app to search for shows, and then select a show and setup either a one time recording, or what TiVo calls a “season pass,” which allows you to set all upcoming episodes of the program to be recorded. You can specify just new episodes, or even include reruns. As the TiVo DVR can also stream online content from providers such as Netflix, YouTube, and other services, you can also use the search function to find and play content from those services.

Another great feature is the “remote”. This screen allows you to control the TiVo via the app much like you would the normal TiVo remote. This is handy if, like me, you lose remotes at a regular clip. The remote feature can be used with touch gestures, (left screenshot below), or tapping it like you would the normal remote (right screenshot below). The remote is responsive, and I have not experienced any lag compared to the conventional TiVo remote.

The app also allows you to control the various features of your TiVo from across the room, or across the country. The ability to connect to your TiVo remotely is a big advantage when you’re stuck at the grocery store and you forgot to record a show you wanted to see that’s coming on in 20 minutes.

Some users have reported problems consistently connecting to their TiVo via the app, and a few say the app refuses to see their TiVo at all. I have not experienced any of these issues, however, as the app immediately saw my TiVo and has flawlessly connected to it every time, both via local wireless network and a remote 3G connection.

Verdict: I would recommend the app for anyone interested in the ability to extend their control of their TiVo digital video recorder. The app is easy to use, and comes in handy when you’ve forgotten to set a program to record.

Rating: 4/5[rating:4]

The free TiVo App is available now through the App Store.


  • Easy to use
  • Allows you to schedule new shoes for recording, and allows you to view and edit previously scheduled shows.
  • It’s fun to mess with whoever is in charge of the regular TiVo remote.


  • Doesn’t work with all TiVo models, be sure to check the TiVo website for more information.
  • Some have reported problems pairing the app with their TiVo.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Nice review!

    Only had one quibble!  🙂  

    Who among us, truly, has ever been stuck at the grocery store and thought “Oh, my word!  My show is coming on in 20 minutes and I forget to set up the Tivo for it!”    🙂  
    Never happened!  That’s the beauty of Tivo.  Set up your season passes and it finds the shows for you!  It doesn’t matter if they change the time, Tivo’s got it.

    I was initially fascinated by all those remote control apps on the i-devices, but then realized what an expensive trap they were!  I mean, who really wants to use a $400-800 device as a remote?!

    How many times have you dropped the remote?  Gobs!  They’re built for that… iPhones, iPads, not so much!  It’s a cool idea– control the Tivo or Netflix or Roku or TV from the iPod Touch or iPhone, but give me the security, ease of use, and physical buttons any day!

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