Cord Cutting (Take 3) – TiVo Relegated to 4th string behind Sony Playstation Vue, ROKU, and PLAYON

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by IDontSpeakMonkey, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. Apr 5, 2017 #1 of 23
    IDontSpeakMonkey

    IDontSpeakMonkey New Member

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    Apr 5, 2017
    Lake Orion, MI

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    SUMMARY
    There are alternatives to both cable and TiVo. If you want to save money and have the patience to hunt out content from multiple sources, you can save well over $1000 / year, not to mention up front equipment cost. The downside is that it is not packaged conveniently like TiVo and Cable.

    For us, in our home, my current solution is OTA, PLAYON, ROKU, and PlayStation VUE for OTT content bundles. We do have to hunt around for shows, in multiple locations, but that is the trade off to save a great deal of money each year.

    LONG DRAWN OUT STORY

    Like most here I’ve had a love hate relationship with TiVo for about 15 years.
    TiVo is increasingly being relegated to the sidelines in our home. I’m not happy about it, and I wish it were not the case.

    My Relevant Gear (and approx. cost at the time of purchase)
    - 3X TiVo Premiere Lifetime (about $300 each W/ Lifetime) = $900
    - 1 Roof Mounted Outdoor Antenna and telescoping pole. = $300
    - Used Lenovo Quad Core i7 Laptop 1TB HDD (for PLAYON) = $400
    - ROKU Premiere + = $80
    - PLAYON Plus, Lifetime, 1 Time Purchase Sale = $30
    - (hardwired ethernet 1Gb for everything)

    My Monthly Subscriptions / Content Providers
    - OTA = $0
    - Amazon (part of Prime Shipping already sunk cost) = $0
    - Yahoo (Hulu Free) = $0
    - Netflix = $12
    - PlayStation Vue (* More Later) = $30
    - Internet from Comcast 75 Mb (own Modem 2 Yr Contract) = $50

    My Current Goals
    - Legally access as much content as possible as cheaply as possible
    - Watch any content (but especially “recorded” content) any time and any where

    CORD CUTTING – TAKE 3
    Our rationale is fine, instead of paying the cable company $100+ / month, we purchase content from Amazon as it became available. This worked pretty well until TiVo messed up the integrated Guide Data.

    THE TIPPING POINT FOR PAY AS YOU GO CONTENT VS A SUBSCRIPTION.

    Two things happened that made me seek out an OTT content bundle subscription. There was a big power outage in our area whereas our in-laws had to live with us for several days during March Madness. I realized I had no way to let my father in-law watch the NCAA games, other than the few that were broadcast OTA on CBS.

    We also stumbled across 2 shows that we liked and had no way to catch up with past shows without buying new seasons @ $30 each. Since we had recently laid out $30 each for 3 other shows, it was starting to get expensive. (Still cheaper overall, but eating into savings).

    SLING-TV – NICE, BUT NOT RIGHT FOR ME.

    Tried the free trial, everything worked well, nice UI. You either get limited channels W/ESPN for $20 or Popular Channels W/O ESPN for $25 or both for $40. It was too much. They also don’t have DVR service. DVR Service is rumored to be coming with a $5 extra charge.

    However, the main reason why I discontinued SLING had nothing to with above. I can use PLAYON as my DVR, but it must be able to log into each content provider’s website, which requires you to select your TV Provider (like Xfinity or Uverse). I only found 1-2 channels that had a selection for SLING-TV. This meant we could only use Sling for Live TV or a handful of catch up shows. ROKU channels had the same requirements and again most of them did not have SLING as an option.

    PLAYSTATION VUE – CONTENT VS. INTERFACE

    We currently are using the PlayStation Vue – Skinny Bundle and plan to continue the paid subscription. It has most of the same channels as Sling (- LifeTime), it also has live local channels, it has more channels overall, and DVR(~ish) capability. The price is $30. Vue has user profiles for each user in the house (like Netflix), it can support simultaneous streams. It works on ROKU, PS3, PS4 , and via the Sony Vue website. (more devices are supported by both Sling and Sony, but these are the ones I use). I was a little surprised that there are no SmartTV Apps for my 2 Sony TV’s (2013 and 2015) for PS Vue, but maybe they will come over time.

    More importantly however, is that this subscription allows you to select “Playstation VUE” as a content provider network on every single website and standalone app I have tried.

    TOO MANY CHOICES CAUSES CONFUSION

    Why is being able to log into a website or ROKU Channel to watch directly so important to me, instead of aggregated on the Vue or Sling App? My number 1 priority was as much content as cheaply as possible. Each way to view a content provider’s shows has different results. I don’t know why, that is just the way it is.

    Say for example I want to catch up a show that has been running for 3 seasons on HGTV.
    - Sony (or Sling) might have the past 2-3 shows
    - The ROKU Channel for HGTV might have all episodes of the current season.
    - The HGTV Website (accessed via PLAYON) might have every episode of all 3 seasons.

    So, if I can’t log into the provider’s website directly, then I can’t catch up on back episodes unless I pay for them on Amazon. This is not a hard and fast rule, and any of these 3 sources may or may not have different content at any given time. But now with a little detective work I can usually find what I want. For example, we recently could not find “episode 1” of a new show, it was not on SONY, it was not even on the ABC website, it was not on Yahoo/Hulu, it was only on the ABC Channel in ROKU. I don’t know why. All the other sites started at episode 2.

    This presents a problem now, if we want to watch something other than a current show we have to remember where to find it. (Sony App, ROKU Channel, WebSite, Hulu), it takes some time.

    PLAYON - AN INCREASING IMPORTANT ROLE.

    Recording
    Today I set a OP on TiVo for OTA, but then as a safety I also set a “Subscription” to everything also in PLAYON for both OTA and anything else I want to watch from my Sony Content Bundle.

    Playback
    Through the ROKU PLAYON Channel, if I playback my recordings from PLAYON Recordings, I have instant commercial skip, which we are really starting to enjoy. I see now what all the excitement is about on the Bolt (when it reportedly worked).

    TIVO BEING RELEGATED TO 4TH STRING BENCH WARMER.

    We use TiVo mostly now as a tuner for live TV, just because that is what we are used to using (the remote etc). I could easily turn it off and just watch OTA from the TV Tuner (without pause).

    Almost anytime we sit down to watch “our shows” it is now through ROKU, and either the PlayStation VUE channel, or the PLAYON channel, and occasionally the content providers channel if I had not yet recorded it on PLAYON.

    If we want to watch Amazon or NetFlix, the ROKU is blazingly fast almost instant, we no longer have to wait sometimes up to several minutes for Netflix to load on TiVo. Perhaps this unfair to TiVo comparing an old 2009 Premier to a 2017 ROKU as far as processing capability, etc. Nevertheless, the only way to “upgrade” the experience with TiVo is to shell out another $500, instead of $80 for ROKU. The image quality on the ROKU Premiere+ is fantastic! We only have a 1080P TV, but whatever ROKU is doing (perhaps down-converting a 4K stream) it looks great!

    CONCLUSION
    We are only a week or so into this experiment with ROKU and SONY VUE, I know I am not breaking any new ground here. I tend to be on the downward curve of early adopters instead of bleeding edge.

    Again, I must state, if you want a homogeneous and consistent experience then stay with TiVo and Cable. Worts and all, it is still the best overall experience. It is just not the cheapest, nor the most flexible and guide data / recording can be hit or miss. Most of our frustration with TiVo has been that we see and implicitly understand its potential to be our universal entertainment aggregation point, but it can’t ever seem to reach its full potential. As soon as it gets close to this nirvana it shoots itself in the foot.

    I feel like I am rooting for the Detroit Lions again and again. It just leads to frustration and disappointment. I’ll probably keep the TiVo’s until I can prove they no longer serve a purpose. Mostly in hopes that something magical happens to make TiVo Great Again. Who knows, maybe the Lions will win the Super Bowl too!

    As always your mileage may vary.

    Anyway, these are my experiments. Have Fun, it is just TV.

    As my wife says if it all stops working we can always just read books.
     
  2. Apr 5, 2017 #2 of 23
    alevenso

    alevenso Member

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    this is awesome - I plan do a cost analysis myself now that Vue can get local sports content like NESN and Comcast Sportsnet in the Boston area
     
  3. Apr 5, 2017 #3 of 23
    RoamioPete

    RoamioPete Active Member

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    Apr 3, 2017
    Cord cutter here as of 5 days ago. :)
     
    TeamPace and megory like this.
  4. Apr 5, 2017 #4 of 23
    IDontSpeakMonkey

    IDontSpeakMonkey New Member

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    Apr 5, 2017
    Lake Orion, MI
    There are extra fees in some markets for local live, so be careful. But at least there is a free trial.

    I look forward to increased competition in this space. Seems the packages for OTT are changing frequently as they compete.
     
  5. Apr 5, 2017 #5 of 23
    IDontSpeakMonkey

    IDontSpeakMonkey New Member

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    Apr 5, 2017
    Lake Orion, MI

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    Good Luck, I've been trying to cut the cord on/off for about 6 years. Hopefully with new OTT options from several places I can finally do it for good, or there will be enough competition that the cable companies will lower their prices. Already Xfinity is planning to roll out their own streaming only options, so maybe that will be worth coming back. Once I got over the emotional hurtle of accepting that TiVo might not be the only solution for us, it makes the choices a lot easier. It is hard having been with them for almost since the start.
     
  6. Apr 5, 2017 #6 of 23
    RoamioPete

    RoamioPete Active Member

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    So far happy utilizing a new Roamio 1TB, a mini and 2 (soon to be 3) Roku smart TV's. Been working pretty well.
     
  7. Apr 5, 2017 #7 of 23
    krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    It is. ;)
     
  8. Apr 5, 2017 #8 of 23
    IDontSpeakMonkey

    IDontSpeakMonkey New Member

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    Apr 5, 2017
    Lake Orion, MI
    My impression from these forums is that Launching Netflix and Amazon even on the Bolt is still pretty slow, is that your experience? Granted it all subjective. It is like booting windows in the morning, I turn on my computer and go get a coffee and usually it is ready by the time I get back. Usually, on my Premier it takes about 30-90 seconds for an app to fully load. Sometime it hangs for several minutes.
     
  9. Apr 5, 2017 #9 of 23
    leiff

    leiff Active Member

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    SF Bay area
    I'm very unhappy to be living somewhere I cannot get my locals with my roof antenna since I already have lifetime TiVos with OTA built in. I think I'm paying 20 something dollars to Comcast every month just for locals since thats all I paid them now. for a side note they forgot to turn off the Discovery Channel For some reason and I'm also able to also access all their Discovery content through the Xfinity app. It makes the high price I pay for just locals more bearable for the moment but I still don't like paying for what I should be getting free
     
  10. IDontSpeakMonkey

    IDontSpeakMonkey New Member

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    Apr 5, 2017
    Lake Orion, MI
    How do you like the ROKU SmartTV do you know how it compares to standalone as far as performance etc?
     
  11. IDontSpeakMonkey

    IDontSpeakMonkey New Member

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    Apr 5, 2017
    Lake Orion, MI
    While I do have OTA options, I also felt the same way. If you have decent internet speed you might want to experiment with one of the OTT bundlers like Sony. For a little more +$10 from you are paying today, you might get the OTA's plus 20-30 other stations. Try the free 7 days trial, nothing to lose.

    No I don't work for Sony, just happy when I find something that works for me.
     
  12. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    Nope. Netflix resides in memory, is instantaneous. Roamio apps are light years ahead of the Premiere in app launch speed, though not at Bolt speed.
     
  13. IDontSpeakMonkey

    IDontSpeakMonkey New Member

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    Apr 5, 2017
    Lake Orion, MI
    Good to know - Really, I had the impression there were little to no differences, just seeing all the comments here about problems on all platforms. I always saw comments like "slightly faster", but still also comments like "hangs on loading, and audio drop outs, and and and" most of the same problems I am having on Premiere.
     
  14. RoamioPete

    RoamioPete Active Member

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    The TV's are pretty slick overall. Only downside is the remote, meaning that it solely control the TV and all it's functions, not universal in any way. And I don't think you can program a Harmony remote to sub the Roku remote if you have a big A/V set up.

    I think I'm going to go try the Stick on our non-smart TV and see if that will suffice for now vs. investing in that 3rd TV with Roku built in.
     
  15. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

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    Every Roku TV I have looked at on line can be controlled by a universal remote. However, I would assume that is controlled by the TV manufacturer, not Roku themselves.
     
  16. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    I have one basic Roamio connected to a Sharp/Roku TV. The TiVo's settings for Sharp work. TV is 32" and has very good 1080p picture and above average audio. I don't use the Roku functions but do use a Roku 3 a lot. I bought the TV since the price was very good. WiFi only. Sharp LC-32LB481U.
     
  17. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    Slow load is a feature of a premiere considering its age and the complexity of today's apps compared to those that were around in 2009.

    Plus, you see primarily complaints here as folks who are satisfied are rarely starting threads.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  18. RoamioPete

    RoamioPete Active Member

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    We got a 39" Roku TV last night and sure enough they had a "Streaming friendly" universal remote that has all the typical buttons on it you'd find on the Tivo and Roku so I grabbed one. It's pretty basic but it's better than having to juggle the Roku and Tivo remotes to watch TV.
     
  19. eherberg

    eherberg Active Member

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    Although it is 100% correct that the Roamio is much improved over the Premiere for app responsiveness - I still believe it is lacking when comparing them to other platforms. I can't speak for the Bolt (as I don't own one) - but we still use the equivalent apps on the Roku as opposed to the Roamio due to performance benefits with the Roku versions.
     
  20. IDontSpeakMonkey

    IDontSpeakMonkey New Member

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    Apr 5, 2017
    Lake Orion, MI
    Just a short followup to this old thread. I expanded my older Harmony "Smart Hub Solution" with a Harmony Elite Remote (used from Ebay) and it works better than expected. I have my TiVo set up now with favorites (something I suppose I could have done with the old hub if I used it with my phone) and also the Roku Channel which also has its own set of favorites. (50 for TiVo and 50 for Roku)

    Now I have icons on my remote for both my Roku and OTA (TiVo) Channels. As an added bonus the hub is integrated to Alexa, so now I can either press an icon for example "HGTV" or say "Alexa Turn on HGTV" and it will change my input to Roku and launch the HGTV App. Or, I can say "Alexa Turn on ABC" and it switches back to TiVo and changes to 7-1.

    So, yes the Harmony remote works great for subbing out a Roku Remote. The only caveat was that I had to assign the "*" options button to a random button on the remote. On hind sight I probably did not even need to upgrade to the Elite remote, I'm 80% certain this would have also worked on the much cheaper "Smart Hub" but man those icons on the remote are great, and having activities like "Watch TV" or "Watch Cable" or "Watch DVD/BD" or "Watch Amazon" right there on the screen of the remote increase the Wife Acceptance Factor by 10X. This helps immensely since all the shows are no longer though TiVo and I can use the fast apps on the Roku for Amazon and Netflix.
     

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