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Roku 3 with Play On vs Tivo Premiere

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by bacevedo, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. bacevedo

    bacevedo Member

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    Does anyone here have any experience using a Roku 3 with Play On to watch network shows via the network's website?

    We currently have 2 premieres; one for the main family room TV and one in our master bedroom. I am getting tired of paying Tivo $130 each for the annual plan when we only record a few shows. We mostly use them for Netflix and it's a subpar experience for that. It locks up and becomes unresponsive all of the time.

    So I am thinking about replacing them with Roku 3s and Play On to stream the few OTA shows that we watch. This includes Amazing Race, Mentalist, Revolution, etc.

    If you have used this set up before, how well does the Play On work with CBS shows on their site? Picture quality and sound quality acceptable? I don't need them to be perfect, but I don't want to feel like I am watching an amateur youtube video either. I have read great things about the Roku 3 but want to make sure I know what I am getting into before going through the hassle of switching everything out.

    Bryan
     
  2. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

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    Using a tivo only for netflix? Ouch. netflix for tivo premiere is a nice add-in but not a primary feature, especially with the issues the new app has had recently on the premiere.

    Why not have more season passes, at least to give you more viewing options? Since you did not purchase lifetime service, probably a moot question at best. If you used the tivo more, I would point you to the new box, the roamio. I'm sure you'll get lots of replies on the Roku, many here have one alongside their tivo for the various apps.
     
  3. bacevedo

    bacevedo Member

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    We used to record more and started using Netflix after we already had the Tivos.

    I would record more if there was anything worth watching. We aren't the typical family that watches a lot of the crap on network TV. My kids watch their Disney stuff from Netflix and my wife and I watch a few shows. We watch Amazing Race as a family - we enjoy the challenges and travel locations.
     
  4. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    I think Plex has a much better picture than PlayOn, but that may be because I now have Plex on a newish Mac and I used PlayOn on a windows pc from 2007. Plus you'd have to pay for PlayOn and Plex is free, but Plex apps for ios and android devices will cost a few dollars.
     
  5. bacevedo

    bacevedo Member

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    Oct 31, 2003
    Chandler, AZ
    Does Plex work well? I looked into that, too, but read that it was finicky and the "plugins" didn't work like they say the do. I am highly technical, but I don't want to have to fiddle with it while my family just wants to sit down and watch TAR.

    I know Play On will cost like $60, but I would rather spend the money and know that it will work. I am under the impression that Play On works well with the Roku and network website streaming.

    It's either spend $260 ($130 annual for each Tivo) on Tivo again for service for a year or spend $260 on two Rokus and Play On and be done with spending more money just for the hardware.
     
  6. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    You should get a one month subscription to PlayOn and try it using the free XBMC client running on the same PC that runs PlayOn, or on any other networked PC. There is also a free PlayOn client app for iPad. That is by far the best way to assess whether it satisfies you. They have a 30-day money back policy (see their FAQ's on www.playon.tv).

    There is also a free pyTivo plugin that lests you push or pull PlayOn videos to your Tivo (which requires a free pyTivo installation of course).

    PlayOn videos are not HD resolution although they look quite decent on my little 40" LCD flat panel TV. PlayOn uses the Internet Explorer engine to grab videos that would normally appear in your browser and serve them to a client.

    PlayOn is an interesting product that is well done and well supported. But it can't give you any better video quality than what comes over the internet to a browser, and is subject to any download interruptions your system experiences.
     
  7. bacevedo

    bacevedo Member

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    Chandler, AZ
    Thanks dlfl, I was going to do their free trial and use my Sony Bravia TV's built in app to stream it and see how it goes before I get the Rokus.

    I just wanted to know what other's experience was with this kind of set up before I spend the time trying it out myself. I know Play On can't improve the quality of the video it's served, I was just wondering how good that quality looks on a big screen TV.

    As far as pyTivo. I did that a while back. I am pretty much done with trying to use the Tivo for anything other than recording OTA TV. Once I have Play On, there is really no need to ever record OTA TV, so the Tivo becomes pointless. I am hoping I can sell them and get a little bit back to offset the cost of the Rokus and Play On.
     
  8. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    Some of the Plex plugins don't work very well at all, but I've never had a problem with the CBS or CW channels - the only network tv channels that I ever use on Plex.
    I'd recommend trying the free option first. If it works to your liking great, If not, give PlayOn a try and see if it's any better for your needs.
     
  9. DreamBanger

    DreamBanger New Member

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    Yeah plex is awesome. Plex + Netflix + Vudu is a pretty good combo - stream your own movies, stream from a movie library, or rent a movie. Plus there's Redbox Instant now, as well as Amazon Prime streaming. I think its pretty awesome
     
  10. buscuitboy

    buscuitboy New Member

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    Yea, I would definitely give PlayON a trial run. I have a lifetime subscription, but its from a few years ago and when they were much cheaper. I tried using PlayON to watch HBOGO go on an HDTV and the quality was horrible and there were issues. I emailed them about it and they claimed they could help tweek it, but I never pursued it & just wound up using HBOGO on a tablet that I got instead.

    Now, this was a few years ago so maybe things have gotten better. I am sure it was also due to the PC I was using as it wasn't SUPER fast, but still only a few years old. I should actually try mine again since I have a newer PC and see if things improve.
     
  11. bacevedo

    bacevedo Member

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    Chandler, AZ
    I wanted to post an update for anyone that reads this in the future.

    I bought two Roku 3s from Costco (they even include an HDMI cable) and set them all up. I then installed Plex and installed some of the Plex channels (CBS, NBC, Youtube) and tested it all out.

    First, the Roku 3s are amazing little devices. It's hard to believe something that small can deliver such great performance. It's fast and instantenous in the UI. Absolutely no lag whatsoever. Netflix fires up in a few seconds and begins streaming quickly. The difference compared to a Tivo is amazing.

    Plex worked much better than I expected. It took me about 5 minutes to set up, add the Plex channels, and add the Plex channel to the Roku. Streaming from CBS for shows like The Mentalist and Amazing Race were quick and worked great. The picture quality was actually very good. You can tell the frame rate is kind of choppy sometimes, but perfectly acceptable for watching these shows.

    I was thinking about keeping the Tivos without a subscription and using them as a digital VCR, but I see that Tivo has disabled all functionality without a subscription. That's ridiculous and is exactly the reason I am getting away from Tivo. I don't like having to pay a fee just to use a device I already bought and paid for. Off to craigslist these will go as soon as I have a few weeks of use on the Roku.

    Edit: The only downside is that I now need to buy a new AV Receiver (looking at the Denon X2000) to replace my trusty Denon 3802. It doesn't have any HDMI inputs and can't process DD+ from Netflix and other streaming services. My Sony TV can pass through the signal over optical to the AVR, but it can't decode it so I have to downgrade everything to 2ch stereo. I didn't realize that the Tivo was either down-converting the DD+ or using a different stream that didn't include DD+.
     
  12. Beryl

    Beryl Well-Known Member

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    Search for the Plex channel SS-Plex if you enjoy streaming shows.
     
  13. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    PlayOn still isn't in HD??

    I've had it for a while and got the lifetime service deal when they gave a free ROku with it. But I haven't really used it since it's not HD. I figured by now they would have changed it to HD.
     
  14. Beryl

    Beryl Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. I posted an inquiry on their forum about their FAQ stating that HD is in the works and they eventually provided a snarky reply.
     
  15. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    It is disappointing that HD doesn't seem to be forthcoming. And they did take almost a month to respond to your inquiry post. In my experience this response delay isn't typical -- I suspect it was just an error. IMHO calling their response "snarky" is a little harsh. Here is a link to their response and others can make their own judgement about it:
    http://www.playon.tv/forum/feedback...eaming-hd-support-needed?page=3#comment-36781
    At least they say it could still happen.

    There is a post on their forum from one user who states the current quality looks very close to 720 resolution on a 50 inch TV.
     
  16. wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    I would appreciate any updates to this that you might feel comfortable providing. I'm currently on Premiere(s) (2 XL4s and a standard) and 2 minis - using FiOS. I've been thinking a lot about this and am leaning toward leaving Tivo and moving the same direction as you have. I'm very unhappy with the Premieres and the cost, and while the Roamio feature set seems a little better, I have zero interest in investing so much all over again. I'd like to get off the Tivo train.
     
  17. DawnW

    DawnW New Member

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    I bought PlayOn about 2 years ago and added it to my Roku channels, but I rarely use it.

    I have to have the program open on the PC to have it work, which is a pain.

    It often glitches and buffers. Picture quality is awful.

    It just simply never worked very well.

    I use my Tivo with lifetime now exclusively for current shows I want to watch. The ability to record shows is the biggest thing I missed when we gave up satellite TV. We aren't home a lot during prime time TV watching, so a Tivo with an antenna has been perfect.

    Dawn
     
  18. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Wish you lived closer so I could try to talk you into parting with that 3802 cheaply. :rolleyes:;):cool:

    (the 3805 I lucked into for $65 kinda got drafted to make the system I set up for my mom sufficiently versatile.)

    As for paying a fee to use a device you already paid for, technically you already paid for the hardware, it's just a license to use the software that the monthly fee covers.

    Of course the hardware being dependent on the software to actually function as a TiVo is inconvenient if you don't have a sub. :(
     
  19. Beryl

    Beryl Well-Known Member

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    I'm referring to his first response -- not the last one. He waits a month to respond and then only says to read the one year old thread? It was a dismissive reply to a customer, IMO. An apology for the delay and a brief update or what he said in the second response would have been more appropriate.
     
  20. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    Nothing Snarky about it at all, but your response to this was snarky.
     

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