Google Fiber's DVR vs TiVo

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Joe Siegler, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. mschnebly

    mschnebly Well-Known Member

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    Asking how good another DVR is on a Tivo enthusiast forum is like asking about the new Chevys on a Ford board. You answers are all going to be "Not nearly good enough for me!" :D
     
  2. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Except with Nexus devices, like my Nexus 5X phone or the Nexus Player Android TV box. Those are Google-branded devices and Google pushes out the software updates for them directly.
     
  3. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Unless people are planning on replacing their TV ever few years Android based TVs will live a large portion of their life without updates. My guess is the hardware may be up-gradable for a max of 3-5 years if the manufacture chooses to push out updates but that is about it. My further guess is that most TVs will not get updates beyond a few years and some will not even get any. People will be much better off just buying a new stick/box every 3+/- years and will end up doing that anyway at some point in the life of most TVs.
     
  4. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    That's a nonsense argument. If Samsung doesn't update my Smart TV, I can always get a Roku or FireTV or something else external later. At least I have something for now, it will always be an HDMI display that can take a 2160p signal and throw it up on the screen.

    To a certain extent. A lot of cable companies are extremely lacking in the content and picture quality departments. DirecTV has the most content and very good picture quality, Google Fiber has the best picture quality you can have, since they don't re-compress. Therefore, a discussion of whether TiVo is worth it over those DVRs with better TV services behind them is a valid discussion. Of course Google Fiber is only available in a few places, DirecTV is pretty much the same nationwide except for local channels and RSNs, and cable varies all over the place from crappy systems with limited HD lineups and very bad compression to Verizon FIOS.
     
  5. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

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    Perhaps but for now they are all still getting updates for now. And currently there is a grand total of ZERO set top boxes that do HDR on Netflix (the Shield TV is getting it soon). The same is true for several other 4K services (features are missing on set top boxes). So for now if you want 4K content, using a Smart TV (especially one with Android TV) is still a better option. Nothing is stopping you from getting a set top box later if support slacks.
     
  6. nirvanayoda

    nirvanayoda New Member

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    I can probably speak to this better than most given that I had TiVo for several years (during which I also had DirecTV in parallel), DirecTV for about a decade, and have had Google Fiber for about a week now.

    Google Fiber TV Pros: jaw dropping picture quality (if it's 10/10, then DirecTV is 7 or 8 out of 10 -- I think the bitrate is 15 Mbps or so MPEG4 for GF and 7-8 Mbps for DTV), good selection of HD channels, decent DVR hardware

    Google Fiber TV Cons: the DVR software (elaborated below), no NFL Sunday Ticket, no 4k channels or 4k support from the TV box

    To answer your specific question, the DVR is abysmal next to the DirecTV Genie boxes, much less an actual TiVo unit which is much better than anything else:

    1) Fast forwarding is by 4x or 15x, neither of which reliably returns to the spot where you hit play (although it does go back some, it's never enough).
    2) It's difficult to tell which episodes you have already watched when viewing the list of episodes in a show.
    3) It often freezes up and is entirely unresponsive, which makes you wait up to 15 seconds before you can do anything with it.
    4) It sometimes records the same episode of the same show from a different channel.
    5) It has no single button that can take you directly to the recorded programs list. At best it requires two button pushes, which must be spaced enough apart to compensate for the lag to the unit.
    6) The now playing guide has a line through it indicating the current time. While you would think that is a neat feature, you wouldn't once you recognize that everything to the left of the current time line is much too dark.

    After I signed up with GF, DirecTV called me to ask me to reconnect. In exchange, they're essentially matching Google Fiber TV's rate for the first year plus free Sunday Ticket, free upgrade to 4k, and a $200 gift card. I'm now trying to decide what to do -- on the one hand, I'd love to go back to DirecTV for the better DVR, NFL Sunday Ticket, and to get 4k channels as soon as they launch. On the other, the average GF HD channel looks phenomenally better on the things I will watch most and I won't have to argue to keep great pricing year in and year out. But that's another discussion (although if anyone wants to chime in, I'm happy to listen). (And I'm keeping GF internet regardless of the TV decision.)

    Any specific questions that I can answer about GF TV?
     
  7. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    Thanks! I think you covered the big questions.

    My biggest concerns are sluggishness, timer reliability, and random reboots, both of which are common in the support forums. I can get that from TWC!

    Based on your description of the PQ, I think I might be better off never experiencing it. I am happy with OTA and streaming for now -- until the FCC screws it up anyway.
     
  8. nirvanayoda

    nirvanayoda New Member

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    No problem! I'd recommend the Google Fiber Internet service regardless of what you decide on the TV. There's no chance I'm ever giving it up.
     
  9. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    That's a tough call. It's like the better your DVR, the worse your TV service. TiVo is the best, but cable sucks, DirecTV is pretty good with both, but not the best, and GF has an insanely awesome TV service with a sucky DVR.
     
  10. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    It does seem like the two are mutually exclusive. Another issue is price. Cable and GFTV (and Dish for that matter) are much less expensive than DirecTV for the same programming, but D* seems like it is the sweet spot otherwise.

    I am tempted to try PS Vue, just to see what it is like. I probably wouldn't actually switch yet as my locals are not available yet, so only ABC, NBC, FOX on-demand.
     
  11. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Yeah, DirecTV might be price competitive if you're in an area where you can bundle AT&T VDSL. If not, it's way more expensive. D* also has more channels, and more HD than most cable systems. Not sure how it compares to GFTV though.

    DISH can't bundle with anyone for internet, they don't have the premium service that DirecTV does, and they are missing tons of channels, at least here in the greater NYC area. I don't understand what the value proposition for DISH is unless you don't have cable, which is a small percentage of the US population.
     
  12. nirvanayoda

    nirvanayoda New Member

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    I agree with you on Dish. Not only is it missing channels, it also has poor quality HD as well.

    GFTV is pretty close to DTV in number of channels and it actually beats DTV in number of HD channels (although, to be fair, most of the edge comes from the "West" premium channels that DTV carries in SD). GF is missing a few sports channels but carries a few that DTV doesn't, including P12 network and ESPN Goal Line.

    Where DTV really burns GF in content is NFL Sunday Ticket and 4K channels. It's not that GF won't ever have the latter, it's just that there's no announcement in place and the current hardware isn't capable.

    I'll re-visit the GF vs DTV decision again next July. For what it's worth, if TiVo was available on GF as it is on Fios, GF would have won this round.
     
  13. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Yeah, DISH's HD is as bad as Comcast. At least Comcast is cheap with a bundle and you get a TiVo.

    Wow, I didn't realize they had that good of a lineup. Pac12 is an oddball, otherwise, DirecTV is very focused on sports, and has most sports completely covered in HD, unlike many cable systems.

    Yeah, DirecTV has really been the leader on 4k, but they also have a nationwide footprint, so they can reach out to early adopters across the county.

    Where I am we have two awful cable companies and Frontier VDSL/IPTV. I have Comcast, but when I settle down somewhere and buy a house, my TiVo will probably get retired in favor of a DirecTV Genie and maybe a Roamio or Bolt for OTA. HD picture quality and getting all my basketball games in HD is more important than TiVo for me, even though I love TiVo.
     
  14. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, I didn't find DISH's HD PQ to be bad at all when I was a subscriber a few years ago. I had it at the same time my parents had Comcast (both of us using ~50 inch TVs) and DISH definitely looked superior to me. On both DISH and DirecTV, I noticed that some HD channels/shows looked better/less compressed than others on both services, although the quality range extended higher on DirecTV. I'd give the edge in average HD PQ to DirecTV but the difference is fairly subtle, IMO, not a big leap like the difference between cable and Blu-ray.
     
  15. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    Not sure about Comcast, but Dish had better PQ than TWC for me, but not close to Directv. I could bundle Dish with Frontier VDSL2, but I definitely want GF Internet.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. nirvanayoda

    nirvanayoda New Member

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    That may actually be the case -- Dish may look great. I'll admit I've never actually seen it running on a reference display, much less on a reference display back to back with another provider. My comments were based on reports that Dish streams 1440x1080(i) instead of 1920x1080(i). It's possible, though, that their algorithms provide enough detail to look very good.

    That brings up a very good point here, though. Comparisons between providers should really only be done after viewing them on a reference display. The reality is that an awesome TV (such as an OLED) can make terrible feeds look better than otherwise just as a poor quality TV can make them look worse.

    In light of that, for the record, my reference display for DirecTV, Google Fiber, and TWC comparisons is a Sony 85x950b (http://www.sony.com/electronics/televisions/xbr-x950b-series). My reference display for DirecTV, Google Fiber, and Comcast comparisons is a Pioneer Kuro 6020FD (http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Home/Plasma/PDP-6020FD).
     
  17. nirvanayoda

    nirvanayoda New Member

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    If you don't want to inadvertently end up spoiled with picture quality, don't try Google Fiber out. I had second thoughts this morning after seeing how great looking the replay of a college football game feed was and decided to postpone my DirecTV installation another week or so to give the Google Fiber DVR another shot. I was able to figure out how to alleviate some of my earlier concerns with it.
     
  18. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    I had Dish with a professionally calibrated Samsung PN64E7000 (2012 Plasma). There were aspects of the PQ that were quite good. However, compression artifacts were evident in fast motion, and it looked a bit soft, like a lens effect from Star Trek:TOS.

    TWC in comparison just generally stank. I also had TWC with the same Samsung as well as a calibrated Samsung LN55C750 (2010 CCFL LCD), which is what I had with DirecTV.

    My Roamio OTA used to be connected to the Sammy Plasma before it died. Now it is connected to a calibrated Sony XBR70X850B (2015 LED LCD). OTA clearly looks the best. That said, my wife is going to care more about how easy the GF DVR is to use than how accurate the picture is.
     
  19. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Well, I should say that my opinions on PQ are merely my impressions, or recollections. I certainly didn't do any rigorous testing and I never had DISH and DirecTV at the same time. In fact, I had U-verse for one year in between. (U-verse easily had the worst/most compressed PQ of any providers I've ever used.) Also, it's been over three years since I last had DISH, so maybe PQ has degraded a bit since then? Anyhow, I concur with the general online consensus that DirecTV has better PQ but, if I were thinking about going back to satellite, I don't think the difference is great enough that it would be a deciding factor for me in choosing between the two services. I'd be more swayed by channel line-ups, pricing and DVR quality/features.

    I may have to stop in the newly-opened local Google Fiber store just to lay eyes on their TV service. From everything I've read about it, I'm sure HD PQ doesn't get any better for live pay TV service.
     
  20. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    I haven't seen GFTV yet, but I agree with your assessment of Uverse. I suspect Frontier IPTV will be as bad or worse. I doubt Dish has gotten any worse, I think some people just notice the issues more than others.
     

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