Cutting the cord and need some advice...

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Nachtrafe, Aug 26, 2017.

  1. Aug 26, 2017 #1 of 145
    Nachtrafe

    Nachtrafe New Member

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    So, I've finally reached the point where the cost of my cable subscription has become overshadowed by the ridiculous charges, confusing packages, and general craptastic-ness of all things cable. I've been doing some research and I think I've finally figured out what I want to do and what equipment I want to do it with, but I'm having trouble getting the last few little ducks to line up. I've been doing some searching on the forums here, as well as many, many other places, and was able to get most of my questions answered, but I'd like to be 100% sure I have the info I need before I pull the trigger.

    So...here's the sitch: I currently have an Amazon Prime subscription, as well as Netflix. To get most of the other stations I regularly watch (and cant get with an HD antenna), I'm also considering a Hulu Live subscription (mainly for Disney and various sports channels), as well as HBO Now (got to get my GoT fix). Hardware wise, I'm getting an HD antenna so I can get my local stations (the Big Four and PBS are most important to me, and all are available with a decent antenna).

    I've been looking at an Amazon FireTV box. It's price point is lovely, and it would allow me to stream all of the services mentioned above. I can plug the antenna directly into my TV, and while it would be annoying to have to switch back and forth, I'm willing to put up with that if I have to. The main problem with this is, of course, no DVR. I'd like to be able to DVR football games as well as some weekly shows, and the Stick wont do that (not without a lot of shenanigans, and while I'm more than technically competent to put the hardware together - I work in IT and I've been building PC's since I was a teen - again, it's far more trouble than it's worth, especially since the rest of my family isn't as technically competent). I've looked into the Channel Master and the Tablo, but neither impressed me as much as the Roamio OTA. Again, after quite a bit of research, I've tentatively decided that this is what I'd like to go with.

    BUT...If I'm understand the threads I'm finding right, TiVO only natively supports HBO Go. Considering I'm telling Spectrum to go pound sand, HBO Go is kinda useless for me. I need HBO Now. My question, therefore, is: Assuming I have a compatible streaming service (Amazon Video or Hulu), and an HBO Now subscription, is there a way to get it to play on the Roamio OTA, or am I going to have to get a FireTV stick/box and use that for my HBO viewing while watching everything else on my Roamio?

    Any help and/or advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for your help.

    PS: This is my first post on the community, so if this is in the wrong place, I apologize, and ask that the resident mods please put it in the proper forum. :)
     
  2. Aug 26, 2017 #2 of 145
    scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    You are correct. You need to have an HBO sub to get HBO GO and you need HBO GO to access HBO via Amazon streaming video.
    I'd recommend a Roku over the FireTV
     
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  3. Aug 26, 2017 #3 of 145
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Here are several bits of info as well as questions to consider:

    1. TiVo only has the HBO Go app. It does not have the HBO Now app and we don't know if it ever will. That said, you can add an HBO subscription to Amazon Prime via their "Amazon Channels" feature and then watch all HBO programming in the Amazon Video app on your TiVo.

    2. The new Hulu with Live TV service ($40/mo) requires the new redesigned Hulu app, which is not available for TiVo. Hulu has given no indication that the updated app will ever come to TiVo. So if you want to subscribe to Hulu with Live TV, you'll need to use a different device. (The platforms that currently have or soon will have the new Hulu app are Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, Samsung smart TV, and Xbox.)

    3. Depending on where you live, Hulu with Live TV may include all of your local HD channels, in which case you wouldn't really need an OTA DVR anyway. They're regularly adding additional locals across the country.
     
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  4. Aug 26, 2017 #4 of 145
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    If you really need OTA DVR that's integrated into the same box you use for all your streaming apps, an option you may wish to consider is Plex. If you have a premium Plex Pass, you can use your Plex Media Server (a PC, Mac or NAS) to record OTA TV from a compatible tuner and then watch those recordings in the Plex app for various devices (Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, Android TV, smart TVs, etc.). You can also use that same Plex app to watch live TV on Apple TV and Android TV devices now, with support for Fire TV and Roku coming soon.

    Aside from Plex, there are other OTA DVR options available for Android TV devices (the most popular such device being the Nvidia Shield TV). But keep in mind that Android TV doesn't have the new Hulu app that supports Hulu with Live TV and no announcement has been made by Hulu that it will ever get it (although it probably will, eventually).
     
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  5. Aug 26, 2017 #5 of 145
    Nachtrafe

    Nachtrafe New Member

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    @Scandia: According to Amazon, the FireTV box works with HBO Now. That's what it says in the product description, anyway. I've looked into Roku, and it's pretty sweet, but FireTV works just as well, and I can get the Amazon equipment for much less.

    @NashGuy: 1) Sweet! That's exactly the info I was looking for. :D Thank you!

    2) Well, damn...that does put a crimp in things. Hulu Live TV has several channels that are the core ones I watch. That could be a deal breaker. Must ponder...

    3) Yeah, with an OTA antenna I can watch my local stations with or without the TiVo, but it's the DVR part of that equation that's critical to this whole deal. I dont watch a ton of TV, but the few things I do watch are important to me. I cant always be around when they're on live, so the DVR part of that equation is pretty critical. Again, must ponder...

    RE: PLEX: Thanks. That's good info as well. Who knew cord cutting would be so blasted complicated? I just want to watch the things I watch, and not pay through the nose for it. We shouldn't have to jump through so many hoops just to watch a little tv! :p
     
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  6. Aug 26, 2017 #6 of 145
    mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    $29 Roku Express is cheaper than $39 Fire stick. I got a couple of sticks for $20 a few years ago, but haven't seen any deals like that lately. Roku seems to have a lot more apps and is much easier to navigate, IMO.

    If you have a universal remote, then Roku has another benefit - one button access to many of the streaming apps, including HBO NOW. That makes for really fast, simple macros when switching to/from watching Tivo. It's actually faster and easier for me to switch to HBO on my Roku than launch it from Tivo. Here are all the Roku discrete app commands available at the moment:
    Amazon
    Crackle
    FandangoNow
    Netflix
    Pandora
    Vudu
    SlingTV
    YouTube
    Cinema Now
    Google play
    Hulu
    HBO Now
    Showtime
    Red Bull TV
    Spotify
    TED
    PS Vue
    Starz
    DirecTV NOW
     
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  7. Aug 26, 2017 #7 of 145
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    You may already know this but, in case you don't, Hulu with Live TV has a cloud DVR feature that allows you to record shows off of both cable and local channels. (Unfortunately, you can't FF through ads in recordings unless you upgrade to their "premium DVR" for an extra $15/mo.) Click on their "View all channels in your area" link to see which locals are available in your zip code. If a local is available through Hulu with Live TV, you wouldn't need an OTA antenna or DVR for it.

    And, at the risk of further complicating your decision, keep in mind that there are other live cable TV streaming services besides Hulu with Live TV. You can read about them at CNet and click here for their master spreadsheet of which services carry which local channels in every US market.
     
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  8. Aug 26, 2017 #8 of 145
    Nachtrafe

    Nachtrafe New Member

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    @mdavej: So, Sling works with the Roamio? If that's the case, you may have just solved my issue. I looked at the Sling site and I can get all the channels I want with their Blue package and a couple add ons (which ends up being less than Hulu Live), I can still use my antenna for the local stuff, and according to NashGuy I can add HBO to my Amazon channels and watch that through the Roamio.

    @NashGuy: LOL...It's already complicated, so no worries. Fortunately I'm the geeky type of guy who doesn't mind creating my own spreadsheets for all this. :) So reading the one on CNet is no issue, and I really appreciate all the info. I like to have the maximum info possible, then winnow down to exactly what I need. :)

    So, to summarize the (new, revised) situation: If I get a Roamio OTA, I use the HD antenna for local stuff (I checked and I can get nearly 30 channels in my zip code, free OTA, so that's pretty sweet), then I use the Roamio for Netflix, Amazon (and I load HBO into my Amazon Channels, so I can use HBO Now to watch GoT). Then I get Sling Blue and a couple add ons, so we can have Disney, ESPN, and the others we want (which I can watch live or DVR with the Roamio).

    Does all that look correct? If it is, I'm golden.

    And again, thanks for all the advice. :)

    EDIT: Hmmm...upon re-reading this, it looks like @mdavej meant that Sling works with Roku, not Roamio. It that's the case, I'm still not quite there. But I am closer. :)
     
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  9. Aug 26, 2017 #9 of 145
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    No, Sling does not work with any TiVo, but it's available for pretty much every other streaming box out there, including Roku.
     
  10. Aug 26, 2017 #10 of 145
    tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

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    It's a lot like Property Brothers or House Hunters, what are your must haves and what is your budget. :D Seriously, once you know what you want and when you want it the how will be much simpler then you think. So just make a list before you start reading web sites. And of course you can keep posting here, a few of us have gone through the process. Forums are about information and sharing it. :)
     
  11. Aug 26, 2017 #11 of 145
    Nachtrafe

    Nachtrafe New Member

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    @NashGuy: Yeah, I've discovered that. :p It looks like, to get what I want, I'm going to have to get the Roamio and the FireTV box - I looked at the Roku, and I like it, but The Boss (aka my lovely wife) prefers the FireTV...so we compromised...and we're getting the FireTV. :D

    On the plus side, I really like the Roamio's features, especially how it grabs all the various schedules and puts them into one interface. It really seems to take the 'smooth, easy to use interface' seriously. :) And the FireTV will let me get Sling, which gives me the channels I want - plus a few other ones that my current cable doesn't have, so that's cool.

    @tenthplanet: Yeah...been working on that list (wife actually started a spreadsheet). We figured out what channels are essential, what are 'want to have but can live without', and what are 'meh'. I figured out what services we want to use to get the channels we want, mostly it was just a matter of finding the hardware that could give me all of them. Sadly, there was no 'one box' solution to do it all. The Roamio came close, but it wont do Sling (I was going to go with Hulu Live instead, but TiVo wont do that either :p).

    Once I have all my ducks in a row (they're mostly there now), I'll post again. And if I have more questions I'll definitely post. Hopefully once I finish headbutting my way through this process, I can pay it forward and help someone else eventually. :)
     
  12. Aug 27, 2017 #12 of 145
    mattyro7878

    mattyro7878 Well-Known Member

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    Pluto tv is an app that has movie, news,sports and...local channels. At least on my Roku tv it does. I would guess the Roku devices are the same. you can also use it through your web browser.
     
  13. Aug 27, 2017 #13 of 145
    tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

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    Beware one box solutions, it's better to have your dvr and streaming as separate units. One box means a single point of failure and can sink your recordings and your streaming.
     
  14. Aug 27, 2017 #14 of 145
    wizwor

    wizwor Well-Known Member

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    Could not disagree more. One box solutions are simpler to use and have less points of failure. No need for multiple power sources, multiple network, etc. TiVi is close for me, but the apps are not very good. The DVR+ is also close if you supplement your OTA with Sling TV. If you have a remote tuner like Tablo or HDHomerun, the Roku may be your box to rule them all. Op wants a Tablo DVR plus a Roku.
     
  15. Aug 27, 2017 #15 of 145
    mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    If you accept that you'll have to use 2 boxes and get a universal remote, your options are wide open. If you insist that every streaming app lives on your Tivo, then your options are very limited. That pretty much eliminates every TV channel streaming service. My 80+ y/o mother handles Roku and Tivo just fine with a universal remote, every service is just one button press away.

    The closest you can get to a one box solution for OTA DVR and TV channel streaming is with an Nvidia Shield and HD HomeRun or with a Channel Master DVR+ that can run Sling TV. Personally, I think the 2 box solution is much more desirable and flexible and is what I use myself and have set up for other family members in their households (parents, kids). I've programmed their remotes so they can instantly switch to/from any app/source with one button and even have nice icons/logos so there is no confusion whatsoever, even if the user can't read (toddlers).
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
  16. Aug 28, 2017 #16 of 145
    Nachtrafe

    Nachtrafe New Member

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    One box would have been nice, but I can live with two. My worry was that I was going to end up with eight or ten new pieces of hardware. One antenna, one DVR, and one streaming box should work fine.

    Thanks again for all your help!! :)
     
  17. Aug 28, 2017 #17 of 145
    gfweiss

    gfweiss Member

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    Here's another simple solution to view stuff on your TV to consider. I have Verizon FIOS on my TiVo Roamio Pro but I lost the Verizon On-Demand via the TV. I can still get On-Demand on my laptop and my laptop has an HDMI out port. I simply ran an HDMI cable from the couch to a second HDMI in port on the TV (I went through the floor, across the basement ceiling and back up under the TV). Now I can watch anything that I can get on my laptop on the TV by simply switching inputs on the TV. This includes much more than FIOS On-Demand, such as shows offered on most of the networks own web sites.
     
  18. Sep 5, 2017 #18 of 145
    b_scott

    b_scott TiVo Fan

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    no, Go is for cable subs. Now is for purchasing standalone.

    And give me reasons you recommend Roku over Amazon Fire TV. Especially for 4K content. Because after research I disagree and I bought the Fire, which is awesome. Plus you get Amazon stuff integrated.
     
  19. Sep 5, 2017 #19 of 145
    indyrobb

    indyrobb Active Member TCF Club

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    Any thoughts on YouTube TV? Cloud based dvr with unlimited storage and has access to some on demand. All your locals, several other channels (sadly missing TNT).

    My only thing was you have to control it thru your phone and cast it to your TV, and I'm wondering if it will work so you can cast out to the tivo like one do with regular YouTube videos.

    It just became available for me here in Indianapolis. Thinking of signing up for the 14 day trial just to see. I've heard good things, but also some not so good things.

    Sent from my HTC U11 using Tapatalk
     
  20. Sep 8, 2017 #20 of 145
    johnfasc

    johnfasc Active Member

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    Have you thought about how much all these extras are gonna cost you?? First the TiVo ota box, then hbo, then Netflix, then sling, then Amazon prime, then Hulu!!!! Sounds like you should have just kept a slimmer cable package. The whole point of going ota is just that. By a fast estimate you will be paying like $75 a month for the next 3 years figuring in the cost of the tivo box. Add in a Roku or Apple TV ups it again. You can get many shows via computer with an HDMI connection, then pick one or two sub providers to keep you monthly tv bill below $50. Just my thoughts...
     
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