How well Can Tivo be controlled by Alexa?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Puppy76, Jan 26, 2020.

  1. Puppy76

    Puppy76 Well-Known Member

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    I’m super tempted to buy a FireTV Cube 2 as I love the idea of being able to control my tv and my TiVo with my voice, and I’m wondering how well he Alexa stuff works with a Tivo bolt...actually practical to use it that way to maybe play pause and fast forward and jump back? So often my hands are full or whatever and it would be so handy!

    otherwise I don’t really like firetv as the old ones were insecure, staying in pairing mode (Bluetooth and WiFi) 24/7 for remotes...it sounds like the new ones supposedly don’t do that anymore. Amazon also doesn’t update these things as long as Microsoft, Apple, and Roku’s equivalents, I trust it the least of the four in general for security even aside from that, AND it’s the only of the four missing Vudu, which I’m using a lot on my Bolt this past month (the free service is surprisingly great!). I also don’t really trust the Echo/Alexa stuff to be secure. I bought a Google Home Mini instead as google seems to do security in them better.

    Cube 2 does support HLG and HDR+ which the other four don't, which is HUGE, but I don’t think my 2016 Samsung was ever updated to support hdr10+ like they originally promised.

    But man, if I could control my TiVo, and streaming stuff, and tv volume and power with my voice, I’d love that! Back when I had a first gen firetv (before dumping it when an OS update left it in pairing mode 24/7) I loved the remote too...cheap, but comfortable and responsive and easy to use.
     
  2. ke3ju

    ke3ju Ed Ludwig

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    I haven't had much luck, if any getting Alexa to control the TiVos; but wait for others to chime in. I actually had more luck getting Cortana to control my TiVos.

    Maybe try an Echo first, as they're relatively inexpensive now.
     
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  3. Puppy76

    Puppy76 Well-Known Member

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    Huh, I didn’t know Cortana COULD control a Tivo...I thought it was just supposed to be Alexa. Thanks!

    now I’m kind of torn too because I can literally buy a 4 tuner recast + fire tv stick for LESS than the price of a Tivo Mini by itself, today
     
  4. m_jonis

    m_jonis Member

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    Yes, we use Amazon Alexa to control the Tivo Bolt.

    Unfortunately it doesn't work with multi-accounts (ie, you can say "Alex, switch account" and then have a 2nd account ALSO control the Tivo). Unless I'm doing something wrong, that is.

    So it only works from ONE account (which kinda sucks because one of the accounts has Prime which has the free Prime Music on certain things and the other doesn't).

    Anyway:
    Also have a Fire Stick (the docs kinda suck on how to set it up with Alexa).

    So I've done things like:
    Alexa, Pause Tivo
    Alexa, change to channel 508 on Tivo (I have to add the "on Tivo" now because she can control the FireTV as well). Unfortunately she only seems to pay attention to the "on Tivo" about 30% of the time so then I have to wait for her to say "I can do that on multiple devices, which do you like, Tivo or FireTV"?

    I've not done much like "Alexa play judge judy"

    Mainly I yell at her from the kitchen. I yell at her actually regardless. haha!
     
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  5. cwoody222

    cwoody222 Well-Known Member

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    I have the original Fire cube. It works great to turn on tv on/off and control volume.

    For TiVo, I use play/pause. Sometimes the “on TiVo” addition is necessary and sometimes Alexa doesn’t like “play” so I have to say “pause” again to resume.

    Changing channels works great (“watch channel 504” or “watch cnn on TiVo”).

    My mini foes into screensaver mode and getting TiVo react to live tv was always difficult - Alexa would try to go to a live streaming app instead.

    But I set some commands using IFTTT to help TiVo press the live tv button. It also works good for custom commands (“watch the news” = turn on tv, press live tv button, go to channel xyz”).

    Hope this helps!
     
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  6. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    I've had good luck in having Alexa change the TiVo channel to a major broadcaster's channel: "Alexa, change the channel to ABC." Less luck in using channel numbers, e.g. "Alexa, change the channel to 11-1."

    Update: just tried again, and changing to a channel number, including sub-channels (e.g. 5-2), seems to be working like a charm. :)

    Also, luck with pause and play ("Alexa, pause/play TiVo").

    No luck with the My Shows screen. :(
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
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  7. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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  8. Puppy76

    Puppy76 Well-Known Member

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    Any of you guys know if FireTV still leaves pairing mode on for Wifi or Bluetooth 24/7 like it used to back on the early models? That’s horribly insecure and I can’t find out if it still does.

    if it no longer does that, this is getting super tempting, and the cube 2 is $20 off right now
     
  9. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    If someone wants to websearch a bit, I know that an intrepid discoverer has a blog column out there with the various Alexa TiVo commands that he's discovered. (I came across it earlier but forgot to bookmark it.)
     
  10. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

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    There's a lot of lag.
     
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  11. Sparky1234

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

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    Found it to be clunky so I stopped using it. It was a novelty at first then frustrating.
     
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  12. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    On top of pause/play, I use it for com skipping. Like anything alexa based, it doesn't always go perfectly, but good enough.
     
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  13. ke3ju

    ke3ju Ed Ludwig

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    Via IFTTT
     
  14. ke3ju

    ke3ju Ed Ludwig

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    I'm wondering if my problem is 4 Echos 4 TiVos. I want each Echo to work with each TiVo without having to say on Livingroom TiVo, or Bedroom TiVo. It kind of works with the FireTV but not well enough to not have a remote handy for when it F's up.
     
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  15. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    You also have to say the full name of the TiVo you can't just say "Alexa, pause" like that chart suggests. Like in my case I use it a lot on the Mini connected to a TV in my dining room. So I have to say "Alexa, pause dining room mini". That can be a mouth full sometimes and I mumble, or sometime the TV audio itself confuses her, so it doesn't always work.

    You can assign a specific Echo to a specific FireTV and in that case just use a simple "Alexa, pause" and it knows to pause the FireTV that it's connected to without saying it's name. But with the TiVo you have to say the full TiVo name if you have multiple devices. Also while I have pretty good luck with "pause" and "play" I've never been able to get "skip" to work. Maybe that only woks on TE4? All my TiVos are still running TE3.
     
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  16. Puppy76

    Puppy76 Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, I'm actually only using a single TiVo right now, BUT have three on my account (one I've never actually had, but TiVo won't remove) so that might confuse things lol

    SO TORN on what to get. The Apple TV is due for an update any time now, and between that and the price I feel bad buying it (Plus I'd like to have HDR10+ for any future TVs I buy, and there's possibly SOME chance my current TV actually supports it since Samsung at one point promised support). But I trust Apple and Microsoft with security, I super don't trust Amazon and to a lesser extent Roku. And $100 for a device that gives me at least some voice controls + most streaming stuff I want, versus $180 for a box I'd be buying almost entirely just for it's security. And I was leaning towards the Roku Ultra at one point too *facepalm*

    I'm bad at making decisions LOL
     
  17. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

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    To be clear, the Apple TV (I assume that's the $180) does have voice control. Well, voice search, at least -- I haven't tried anything else. But the search works really well. And it will also have most streaming stuff you want (whatever that may be -- the only thing I've missed for it, that was on Roku, was Xfinity), and it's all-around a quality, high-performance device, and relatively ad-free (i.e. there are no ads from Apple, per se -- unless you count trailers for the Apple TV+ shows, but they don't even prioritize those over other services -- but individual services still may have their own ads).

    The (standard) voice interface is activated by pressing a remote button, so it doesn't really make sense to use it to pause, for example. On the other hand, there's this, and reportedly some Alexa support, too. I haven't tried those yet.
     
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  18. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I bought an Apple TV. Used it for 2 weeks and then replaced it with a FireTV. I hated the remote so much! Plus it has zero Alexa integration. And honestly I have no idea why it's $200 and the FireTV was only $50. They work practically the same, with no discernible difference in quality or speed that I notice, I just prefer the FireTV remote and Alexa integration.
     
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  19. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    Connect a Homepod to an ATV and you will have some hands-free voice commands at least in some apps. I can't speak for all. Also Homepod will let you turn on tv and adjust volume (of the Homepod) hands free. Still need the remote though to run apps for now afaik. But in an app like the YTTV app, one can pause/unpause and skip fwd/bck (skip commercials) with handsfree voice commands. Gotta say Hey Siri first for hands-free voice.

    I imagine the number of hands-free voice commands with Homepod and ATV can only get better. I wouldn't be surprised at least to see more possible commands over the next year or two.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
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  20. Puppy76

    Puppy76 Well-Known Member

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    The Cube 2 though lets you actually turn on and off your TV, and control your tivo too, to some extent, and control streaming stuff to some extent too, all without a remote. When I had a first gen fire TV it had basically the same voice search type thing that Apple TV has now, which wasn't horrible, but just totally a different category from being able to do some stuff hands free (and I really don't miss it now that I've not had it for years).

    That's interesting there's some support now through other Apple devices...for the price, I'm wondering if Apple is considering integrating homepod with the way-late AppleTV update. Would make sense, AND I'd trust it to be secure, while I don't really trust Amazon at all. I know they just let third party apps run on it arbitrarily, doing whatever the hell they want, even just leaving a mic open to pipe audio somewhere.
     

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