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Photo: TiVo

TiVo at this year's CES show in Las Vegas unveiled a new low-cost device that would compete directly against the likes of Roku and Apple TV, marking a pivot to what the company says is its future.

Why it matters: When TiVo debuted its iconic digital video recorder 21 years ago at this very same gadget trade show, recording video and skipping commercials marked a revolution in consumer control over how and when to watch TV. But things have greatly changed since then.

How it works: TiVo's new Stream 4K device is a little dongle, a la Google's Chromecast or the Amazon Fire TV Stick, that plugs into a TV's HDMI port. It will cost $49.99 at launch and eventually be priced at $69.99.

  • Customers will be able to use the device for streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO and Tivo's own ad-supported video network, TiVo+, as well as for watching live TV and cable via Dish Network's Sling TV.
  • There are no monthly fees other than those for streaming services customers have to pay anyway.

Yes, but: TiVo's Stream 4K device will have to compete with established players like Roku, Apple TV, and Android TV.

  • TiVo says its algorithm-based customization of the content it displays and suggests to a viewer will be its edge over other products. But it's unclear if that'll be enough to get consumers to switch over if they're already content with their existing setup.

The big picture: TiVo's new CEO, Dave Shull, who joined last May, knows the company has to make a bold move, and he wants to kill off its set-top boxes, he told Axios in an interview in Las Vegas. This is the first step on the way to a fully software-based future, he said.

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.