Amazon Fire TV

Discussion in 'TiVo Stream' started by hrosee, Jul 31, 2016.

  1. hrosee

    hrosee New Member

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    Jun 30, 2016
    I just bought a Roamio OTA and a Stream a couple of weeks ago. One of the feature that made me buy it was the streaming to the Fire TV since I already had a couple of them.

    The problem is that my video is jerky and out of sync with the audio most of the time. Both Fire's are the box types and are hardwired to the router. I also have iphones and ipad and the streaming works fine there. I even have an Apple TV box that I can mirror the streaming from my apple devices and it works fine. Out of house streaming works fine also to my apple devices.

    I have pretty much concluded that the beta software for the Fire just doesn't work well. It probably doesn't buffer up enough before it starts playing.

    Has anyone figured out any setting on their Tivo's, stream's, or routers to make it run smoother?

    Thanks in advancel for any advice.

    Hal
     
  2. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Aug 13, 2015
    The best solution is set the Fire on top of a Mini, unplug the HDMI cable from the Fire and plug it into the Mini.

    But seriously, the software is terrible, and no setting can fix it.
     
  3. hrosee

    hrosee New Member

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    Jun 30, 2016
    Thanks probably not a bad idea but the last thing I need is another device. Actually using the ipad or iphone with mirroring to the Apple TV works very well.

    I was hoping I was missing a setting somewhere. As it is they may as well delete the app. IMO, it doesn't work good enough to even use for watching the shows.
     
  4. Aug 1, 2016 #4 of 11
    Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    Mar 14, 2010
    My TiVo app on Fire TV works very well and is reliable, with one quirk to be explained later. Could it be your router? Your traffic? I have found the router to be the #1 culprit with EVERY problem I've encountered regarding things like this and OTHER things using my network, as well. How old is your router? Does it get very warm or hot. Is it really capable (chip, memory etc.) for the job? All this can make all the difference in the world.

    I use the TiVo app on Amazon Fire TV in home (LAN) only and have not had the opportunity to view from out of the home. So far, it works very well, and I use it often. In fact, I would recommend people go ahead and use the Fire TV option for situations where it makes sense. It has been that reliable and high quality PQ and a great solution for me.

    OK, here is the quirk: Sometimes when I FIRST launch the app from the Fire TV, I will get a notice at the bottom left that my video quality is less than optimal and I can see a somewhat degraded PQ--this also sometimes happens on my tablets, as well. Well, the one thing that ALWAYS works and so far the ONLY thing that works, is to go back to the selection of ANOTHER TiVo, usually my other Roamio, and start streaming from there. Now the PQ is excellent and no poor PQ notice at the bottom left of the screen. Now, I go back and select the TiVo I wanted to watch in the first place and when it plays, it is at excellent quality with no poor PQ notice at bottom and it behaves well all through the session even if I switch to other TiVo's. That is the ONLY problem I have ever had using the Fire TV app. But after I exit the app and reload, say the next day, well . . . who knows if it is working well from the start or if I have to perform the above fix, which is EASY enough to do.

    I would say in my many, many experiences using the TiVo app on Fire TV, it seems to me the "not ready for prime time" is the TiVo Stream itself. This forum is filled with all sorts of frustrating Stream stories, and I've had some of my own, I assure you. While the TiVo app is labeled a "BETA" it has been so for far too long. I don't think TiVo ever intends to do anything further with it, and I (along with others) consider it a live production to all release, but, as I said, the "BETA" app really works very well and behaves no worse than any of the other TiVo tech that sometimes is still not ready for prime time, like the TiVo Stream itself. It is the TiVo Stream that is the root of all the moodiness of performance, not the TiVo app on Fire TV, and my experience is positive using the app on Fire TV. It does what it is supposed to and reliably, but for the one silly and easy to fix quirk.

    Keep in mind the other reason to have the TiVo Stream is that it can transfer shows to your mobile devices. Now, we come to some of the real weaknesses of the TiVo Stream: the playback of some transfers can be FRUSTRATING if they are 30 minute shows because they don't always responding to skip commands or other commands for some 30 minute shows. I haven't a clue why. Otherwise, the Stream transfers do perform well on the mobile device--BUT sometimes there is the very annoying prompt that will require you to sign in-----WHEN YOU HAVE NO INTERNET CONNECTION! That is the very point of having the transferred shows. That is a well known bug of the TiVo Stream and much talked about on this forum.

    OK, if nothing above works for your Fire TV TiVo app, you might consider what I use and do for some remote playback: get a Slingbox. The Sling Player app on the Fire TV works very well, and the Slingbox (I have 2 of them) itself has been solid as a rock and is the go to when all else fails (on rare occasions my Dish Anywhere is moody), and the Sling tech provides for much better PQ in situations of slow internet speed compared to the TiVo Stream. The only thing is that the Slingbox does take over the device it is connected to during streaming. Everything happens as if you are at home controlling the DVR/box. This means that someone else can't use that same DVR/box without interfering with your experience, but while the Dish Anywhere is working perfectly, I can't have Picture-in-Picture like I can at home, and that is when I switch to the Slingbox because it is the same experience as if you were at the box (the same Slngbox is also connected to a TiVo).

    One solution is to connect the Slingbox to a secondary device like a client (say a TiVo Mini, or Dish Joey, or DirecTV client) or a DVR or box in another room so as not to interfere with those in the main room. The best part is that your investment in the Amazon Fire TV's are not wasted. I've used the Sling Player app on Fire TV many times and it is has performed perfectly since day one (you can Sling to mobile devices, too, by downloading the free app for iOS, Android, or Fire Tablets).

    Another important point: if you plan on Slinging channels from a cable or sat company using a Slingbox, then it is important that you connect the device to the Slingbox using either component (HD) or composite (SD) cables, NOT HDMI. This is because HDMI will apply the HDCP to many protected channels and you won't get a stream to watch. The analog component (HD) or composite (SD) are immune to HDCP and will pass ALL content through the Slingbox to your location in the home or out of the home. On the other hand, if your source is a box, like a TiVo, receiving ONLY OTA channels (and I mean capturing that signal Over the Air and NOT via the cable or sat box), then HDMI will work just fine and does have a slightly superior PQ when you stream.

    Anyway, I hope you really investigate your LAN and router before giving up. You can even try a new router from Amazon (don't go cheapskate; get a decent router) and return it right away if that does not help as an experiment. Best Buy has a 2 week full refund return policy if you want to try a GOOD router from there.

    Please, the best of luck, and let us know how things turn out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
  5. hrosee

    hrosee New Member

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    1
    Jun 30, 2016
    Thanks for all your comments. I just switched internet provider and bought everything new. The Fire TV is the only streaming device that doesn't work well. It is just not smooth. I finally got Tivo customer service to admit it has issues and needs updating. Aftre 6 or so trouble tickets I offered to be a Beta tester for any changes. They say they don't know when they will update it.

    In the meantime I bought a couple of cheap use Apple TV version 3's and use my iPhone/iPad and mirror to the Apple TV. Works perfect so I'll probably give up on the Fire TV. I don't really look for them to update it. I came to the conclusion that if all other streaming works fine except the Amazon boxes, then it must be the app. Glad yours is usable.
     
  6. OmeneX

    OmeneX Member

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    Jul 2, 2016
    AZ COX (CMTS)
    The only place where I experience consistent "jittery" TiVo Beta app performance is when I use my Fire Stick - which I kinda expect givin the limited specs of a Fire Stick. Although I really haven't given investigating it much time, since it's rarely used for much of anything on the TV it is connected to.

    However - my full fledged Fire TV setup in the backroom gets ALOT of use by family members for TiVo Fire TV app streaming as well as alot of other streaming apps. It is connected to my home network via WiFi additionally.

    I've received only one single complaint from family members of "jittery" Fire TV TiVo Beta app behavior. There has been also maybe two other times where the TiVo Beta app UI was (lost?) not able to navigate it's menu properly. As in clicking a menu button either did nothing or, did seem to accept a command but still do nothing, but other commands worked. Pretty much expected behavior you would expect from a *Beta* app. A quick reboot of the Fire TV unit itself corrected all of these issues. However - while the Fire TV unit required a reboot, it is used heavily and is pretty reliable overall. In comparison other apps have also had a couple issues, and can also be flaky even for being supposed non *Beta* apps.

    Netflix has crashed a handful of times. (Most used app)
    Hulu a couple of times.
    Game lock ups.
    Plex had bad quality a times.
    Voice remote was unresponsive. (Battery change)
    Alexa control was bugged.
    Game Controller could not process/send commands.


    Every single time a reboot of the Fire TV has fixed these issues.

    For your problem, maybe you can check your QoS on your router? On my particular router you can turn on QoS but also set if you want thruput to be low/med/high initially. QoS could be limiting the data stream / thinking you don't need so much bandwidth / when in fact you do? I've seen a couple of occasions with other devices that QoS was causing some initial slow down. A couple of tweaks to the system usually remedies this. If you don't have many devices on your network and have a ton of bandwidth, perhaps turn off QoS completely and try it?

    Just some thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
  7. spocko

    spocko Member

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    Feb 4, 2009
    Thanks for the comments in this thread. I just ordered a Roamio Pro to upgrade from my current Tivo HD. One of my main motivations for the upgrade was to be able to stream from the Tivo to Fire TV devices around my home. I already own a couple of Fire TV devices. As I read more about the problems with the Stream and the lack of support for the Fire TV Tivo app, I'm starting to wonder if the upgrade was a mistake. I considered just buying a Slingbox instead of upgrading the Tivo, but I thought the Fire TV app would provide a better user experience. I'd appreciate any info comparing the features and usability of the Tivo Stream vs Slingbox when streaming across a LAN to Fire TV or other Android devices. I understand the basics of how a Slingbox works, so no need to talk about that, I'm just interested in learning more about the user experience. This needs to be something that my wife and kids can use. :)
     
  8. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Aug 13, 2015
    I use both outside my home. I would never even consider using it inside. As I and others have said before, the user experience is pretty miserable on both. Stream is unreliable, limited and clunky. Sling is more reliable and full featured but even more clunky. But when it works, Stream is much easier to use than Sling, and the controls are fairly well thought out. However, reliability is really what kills it for me. There's a reason it's still in beta. Your wife and kids will figure it out but will constantly be asking you to fix it when it freezes or loses its connection.

    I know you really want to make the most of the hardware you already have (Fire TV), but it's really not a good solution for Tivo. You laid out some serious cash for a Roamio Pro. What's another $100 for a Mini that will give you the same user experience and picture quality as the Roamio and works 99.9% of the time instead of 50% like Stream?

    Let us know how it turns out.
     
  9. Dec 2, 2016 #9 of 11
    spocko

    spocko Member

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    Feb 4, 2009
    Thanks for your thoughts. It does look like the mini is clearly the best option for in-home streaming. Where can the mini be purchased for $100? I'm seeing $150 at most places.
     
  10. measel

    measel New Member

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    Dec 17, 2015
    I've got a Bolt and it streams perfectly to my Fire TV and ok to my Fire Stick on the patio tv. The stick is dependent on the wireless so I don't expect much there.
    Except: When I first use it, it will list programs, but then says it can't play...blah, blah. If I tell it to try my mini in the bedroom ( which wouldn't work so i don't know why it's listed ) and then switch back to the bolt it works fine. Go figure.
     
    krkaufman likes this.
  11. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Aug 13, 2015
    I've seen at least 4 for $100 from individuals here in the forum in the past several days. I bought all mine for $69 on woot a while back.
     

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