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Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by omelet1978, Mar 18, 2019.
After a couple of weeks of evaluating YouTube TV (YTTV) as an alternative to our TiVo/Comcast setup, we've decided to go with YTTV. After 15+ years of TiVo, we will miss the feature rich experience; however, our key decision points were:
Saving $600+ per year (cost of Comcast over YTTV)
No more maintaining TiVo hardware (replacing failed disk drives, replacing dead TiVos, etc.)
We watch less TV than in the past and more streaming content and TiVo's streaming capabilities are weak (slow/old apps, missing apps, etc.)
TiVo's direction of late (pre-roll and Grid ads, TiVo+, etc.) isn't matching our needs
I've pulled the cable cards from our TiVo's and will be visiting our local Comcast store this week to return and cancel service.
Good move. I cut the cord a couple of years ago, but recently signed up for YTTV. I'm pleased so far. I miss DD5.1 and a couple of channels like Comedy Central. But the DVR and trick play functions are excellent. I also like how I can "pause" the service and save a few bucks.
Agreed on all points. I tried the 5 day free trial of YYTV and it's pretty nice. I'm moving to a spot that does not have the ability to use Xfinity, so I'll be using YYTV when I'm there. That being said, once you pay for the cost of Tivo and the boxes it's still just a really nice service to have (TE3 at least).
For you guys trying out or using YTTV what client device are you using? Is there much difference between Roku or Fire Stick 4K experience as far as YTTV goes? Also does YTTV have quick skip functions similar to TiVo (8 seconds back, 30 seconds forwards) and if so, is the lag acceptable? I've always found trick play for cloud/streaming based solutions to be horrible. On Tivo when auto skip is not an option I rapidly press 30 sec skip several times to advance through commercials and get the feeling that may be frustrating to do with YTTV.
I use the Nvidia Shield (Android TV). The way YTTV works on the Shield is that when you hit the arrow or ff button on the remote, the playback bar appears and a little video window appears above it (see attached screenshot). Hit the arrow key again, it goes forward 15 secs. Rewind goes back 15 seconds. Hit play to restart playback. I quite like this as you can see your progress through a set of commercials and then hit play once you've located the correct time location. Also, should you see an interesting commercial (like for an upcoming show or movie), you can chose to play it back. This is something my wife disliked about the auto-skip TiVo feature - she missed seeing commercials she wanted to see.
As to lag, I've never noticed it. Forwarding/rewinding seem immediate.
I like auto-skip of commericals best, but this is a close second.
Fire tv works the same as the Shield, with 15sec skips and the thumbnail boxes.
YTTV trick play is instantaneous on Fire TV. I’ve never tried it on Roku.
Which Fire TV do you have? I have a gen1 Cube and FFW clicks give instantaneous 15 sec jumps with thumbnails, but when I hit play there is about 2 seconds of spinning circle before the video resumes. Holding down FFW gives smooth rapid advancing but again the delay before resuming.
I am through the trial and into the paid subscription to YouTube TV. I have tried it on Roku, Android and Windows 10 (surprisingly good) apps. The experience with skipping commercials is the same on all three: as @saeba said above, you get a pop-up window that shows a frame preview blurred of where you are in the recording with the option to skip ahead 15sec. You can press it multiple times and it is very responsive going ahead in 15sec blocks. Transitioning from TiVo SkipMode auto has been pretty smooth for me and my wife. Although we have to a press a button now, the frame preview is very useful, allowing us to press play when we see the TV rating in the top left corner. We have yet to have a problem skipping forward (unless we are watching VOD where you can't skip the commercials).
Let me make one other point about the move to YouTube TV: One show "The Walking Dead" was six episodes in when I switched. I chose that as a show to record. I thought that I might have to watch the VOD of those six episodes. Within about five days of choosing the show, YTTV recorded all six of those episodes so I could watch them on the DVR and skip commercials. No worries about hard drive space like on the TiVo, of course, because YTTV has an unlimited DVR.
Please see my Pros/Cons list next that supplements the original one posted.
Let me add a few more.
YouTube TV Pros:
* Can Chromecast Live TV and DVR content to any Chromecast-compatible device such as Google Nest Home Hub/Max, Android TV, Lenovo
* Google Assistant voice interaction for playback
* Option to integrate Premium content for DVR and VOD such as Showtime and Starz
* Similar interface across platforms so easy to learn and use
* More sports channels in the package than competitors such as Hulu and others
* Slow motion and fast motion playback is available in the Windows 10 app (but not other platforms)
* (PBS and PBS Kids coming soon)
* (Recordings can be downloaded with third party software but NOT built-in functionality)
YouTube TV Cons:
* No HBO in Premium channel add-ons (probably Ok since HBO Max will only be available via a direct HBO NOW subscription in March 2020)
* Somewhat hard to tell what new shows have been recently recorded (no list view or date sort option like TiVo)
* Probably giving up LOTS of viewing information to Google rather than a smaller company like Rovi
Interesting. Are you talking about something like Playon or actually being able to download the recording from YTTV in native form?
I use Amazon Prime channels to occasionally subscribe a month at a time to HBO, so that is another option.
@moyekj PlayOn doesn't yet have support for YouTube TV and they dropped the browser plugin about one major version ago. I use Replay Media Catcher (or TubeDigger in REC mode) with the browser option and it automatically finds the video player frame and records it to MP4 720p 30fps. No direct downloader...yet. YouTube TV uses WideVine L3, though, so there are no tools in the wild to do so but they do exist in private groups. While this isn't the best solution because it is not the native file download in best quality, it suffices for archive purposes and offline viewing for the kids. I cut the commercials with Replay Splitter but there are freeware tools, too.
PM me if you would like any tips that go beyond this, uh, fair use discussion.
Current gen. I don't recall any delay on play. But I can't verify as I have my plan paused for the next few weeks.
Commercial skip works great. You can voice commercial skip too. with the right setup, you can say skip 2 minutes 30 seconds and it starts playing again ~2 seconds later at least on the AppleTV.
I started to like the thumbnails too for same reason as a poster above - they give you a preview of where you are at without spoiling anything so you can go back if you want. Also you don't have to be alert to stopping exactly at the right time like you do if you were fast forwarding through something.
ON AppleTV you can right click or left click on touchpad and it insta-skip forward/backward 15 seconds. (no thumbnails.) If you tap right or left, it brings up the thumbnails like other devices. It has been more responsive than my Mini connected to my Roamio Plus was.
ON a TCL Roku tv it is slower going back to the menus than the AppleTV and probably a tad slower at fast forwarding. It doesn't look like the Roku Tv can insta-skip forward/backward 15 seconds (without bringing up thumbnails.)
You can't really constantly skip forward and backward though on YTTV in my experience. Doing so likely to lead to beachballs/minor hiccups/spining circles.
I returned my cablecard a few days after getting the service. IT's been ~3 weeks now. I'm going to put my Tivo setup up on Ebay or something.
I like Youtube TV better than Tivo before we talk about the cost savings. Unlimited storage and unlimited tuners is awesome. You pretty quickly start to feel like something is missing because there is no prioritizing recordings and there is no deleting anything. It seems too simple.
Oh noticed another Pro although haven't tested it to know how it exactly works. When I was beaming a game to my Dad's tv from my phone during the holiday, I noticed a 3rd viewing option besides start live and start at the beginning and that was "quickly catch up to live by watching key plays" or something like that. That was interesting. It's not on the apps on AppleTV or Roku though.
The guide only goes out ~7 hrs. So if you're used to skimming the guide to see what's coming and maybe coming across something that interests you that you hadn't thought of recording...well you can't do that. You can search though. And it does have recommendations and that sort of thing. Also on AppleTV and on a rokuTV too it's slow to move up and down that guide. This could easily be fixed. I mean on AppleTV scrolling up/down on edge of trackpad is a method used by other apps to scroll up/down very fast.
YouTube TV tweeted this today (2 Dec 2019):
What's sweeter than unlimited DVR space? Full control of your recorded shows! Starting today, you can ️⏸, ⏪, & ⏩ through your @CBS, Smithsonian Channel, & POP TV favorites to your heart's content.
So the major complaint about CBS recordings has been eliminated.
Yes, just saw this and updated my comparison post (#78) in this thread - here's the direct link: Anyone tried Youtube Tv and can compare it to Tivo?. They also said they removed this restriction for CW as well. So YTTV is an even better choice!
For series recordings I understand from this thread YTTV has very limited options compared to TiVo, but how bad is it? Does it record all episodes aired regardless of new or old? Does it record the exact same episode more than once? Is there an easy way to tell from recordings list what season and episode numbers are without having to go into details of each and every recording? Does it categorize different recordings of series as folders or is it just one big flat list of recordings listed in no particular good order? If you just get a long list of recordings not sorted in any smart way by season and episode (and even worse, inter-mixed with other shows) then it could get very frustrating compared to TiVo experience.
If someone can point me to a good demo of using YTTV that would be appreciated. I searched around but have yet to find a good demo without a bunch of marketing fluff.