Layer3 TV comparison to Tivo

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by chicagoenergy, May 13, 2017.

  1. chicagoenergy

    chicagoenergy energychicago

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    My Layer3 TV order has been placed. I must say, the promo offer was rather good and I couldn't pass it up. I will still keep my Comcast connected TiVo during my three month transition to see if I like the service or not.

    My order was placed via their website. I opted for the self install so here's what I'm getting:
    - 3 months of 151 HD channels for $45 (includes CSN Chicago which is a must for me)
    - 3 months of free HBO (14 channels)
    - 3 months of free Cinemax (12 channels)
    - 3 months of free EPIX (4 channels)
    - 3 months of free Showtime (16 channels)
    - a second box for free that will be in our loft (similar to the TiVo Mini)
    - I did add a third box for the master bedroom ($10/mo)
    - I received a $10/mo discount for 10 months since I'm doing a self install (I'm in the process of wiring all my rooms with CAT6 so this will be super simple)

    I will give some updates and compare it to my TiVo Roamio setup (Roamio is in the family room, a mini in the loft and a mini in the master bedroom).

    Feel free to ask any questions. I will try to answer to the best of my ability.
     
  2. BillyClyde

    BillyClyde Member

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    Do you already have MoCA setup for tivo? Can't you use that instead of wiring ethernet to every room?
     
  3. chicagoenergy

    chicagoenergy energychicago

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    I do not. The coax was not where I wanted the TVs located as I'm mounting them. The loft had it on the wrong wall and the master bedroom had the jack at floor level in a corner.
     
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  4. Johncv

    Johncv Well-Known Member

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    What is your install date? Also, take pictures, lots of pictures. :)
     
  5. chicagoenergy

    chicagoenergy energychicago

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    I ordered it on Friday. Email stated 4-6 business days so I'm hoping for a delivery of Thursday or Friday.

    I will be sure to take pictures.
     
  6. chicagoenergy

    chicagoenergy energychicago

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    Received a call yesterday to confirm that I did indeed have Comcast and would be able to plug the Layer3 box into my router. The call was very different from one that you receive from a call center. He didn't sound like he was reading off of a script, you didn't hear a bunch of other people talking in the background and he didn't try to sell me anything else during the call.

    Equipment will be shipped today and hopefully arrives at the end of the week or early next week.
     
  7. chicagoenergy

    chicagoenergy energychicago

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    My equipment has arrived!

    I thought this first post would revolve around my first impressions of the remote control after the first hour of use.

    The remote for Layer3 is somewhat longer than my Roamio Pro remote but much lighter in terms of weight. It is shorter than the my TiVo Mini Remote but obviously much bigger than my AppleTV remote. Are there any remotes smaller than Apple's? The underside has a rubber grip on the battery compartment. I really like this as I typically leave the remote on the armrest of my chair. I've lost the ATV remote countless times. The TiVo remote rarely gets lost but does slide off the armrest.

    It contains several buttons not included with the TiVo remote such as a voice control button, a "hang loose" button, a search button, one "three dot" button and one "three dash" button. The "hang loose" button doesn't work currently. The rep stated that the voice control feature is currently in development. The "three dash" button at the top of the remote brings up the on demand screen. The "three dot" button on the bottom of the remote brings up the last 12 channels that you were watching. The search button is so far my favorite addition. So far I'm impressed by Layer3's search function. Much better than TiVo's.

    The remote also has the standard colored buttons: red, blue, yellow and green. These are still under development and this was confirmed by the phone rep. I thought this was odd considering there are onscreen features that refer to the yellow and green buttons in the Notification Center but they didn't work. However, I did use them in other menus so its a hit or miss.

    The remote is very responsive, easy to hold and easy to figure out.

    I found this exciting but also disappointing. The exciting part: the remote is much more "future proof" than the TiVo remote. If and when TiVo releases new features they are restricted by what buttons currently exist on the remote unless they expect users to buy new remotes. For example, I really like the commercial skip feature but having it relegated to the green "D" button is just weird. However, if Layer3 develops this feature they have some specific buttons they could assign this feature to work with. I would like it to be assigned to the the "hang loose" button.

    Obviously its disappointing when something doesn't work right out of the box and when you can see features are coming but aren't there yet. I can see that the remote has the possibility of being very powerful and versatile but its not there yet.

    My biggest concern: I'm not sure if I can program the remote to work with my receiver (I've already programmed it with my Vizio TV). I will let everyone know if I am able to do this.
     

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  8. PSU_Sudzi

    PSU_Sudzi Well-Known Member

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    How does the UI look? The guide listing? Recording list?
     
  9. chicagoenergy

    chicagoenergy energychicago

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    I stand corrected... sort of. I was able to program my remote to control the volume on my Yamaha receiver. Now looking to see if I can get it to control the power.
     
  10. chicagoenergy

    chicagoenergy energychicago

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    So far the user interface is very easy to navigate, albeit much different from TiVo. I've only had it for a day but so far what I see: high resolution pictures of shows, smooth transitions and the ability to get into the DVR menu, to the live guide and the On Demand menu in multiple ways.

    There is the ability to create user profiles (something I've seen requested here many times).

    Good guide information in regards to accuracy and the guide will indicate if a show is available on demand which is nice. Again, only played with it for a few hours yesterday and today so far.

    The system allows the ability to create season passes and tag On Demand items to view later.
     
  11. BadMouth

    BadMouth Member

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    What's the real monthly price after all the introductory stuff goes away?

    Sent from my Life One X2 using Tapatalk
     
  12. chicagoenergy

    chicagoenergy energychicago

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    Here is a comparison of the TiVo Mini with the Layer3 "Lite Box."

    Whereas the main Layer3 box is much smaller than my Roamio Pro, the Lite Box is twice the size of the TiVo Mini. The lite box is capable of 4K resolution compared to my minis never giving me an option higher than 1080i.

    It has two USB ports compared to one on the mini. It also has an "HDMI in" port which came plugged when it arrived. It also has a "cable in" coax connector.

    I have two Lite Boxes, one in our loft and one in the master bedroom. They are able to connect to the main Layer3 box through Wi-Fi, something the mini doesn't do on its own. The main box in the family room creates its own Wi-Fi signal as do the Lite Boxes. They interconnect through their own network. However, I do have CAT6 wired to each of the rooms and the Lite Boxes are connected to my home network.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. chicagoenergy

    chicagoenergy energychicago

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    The main Layer3 box is significantly smaller than my Roamio Pro. The exterior has customization options that is non existent with TiVo. The box can be black or white. The top can be green, blue, purple or red. The bottom of the box has LED lights that can be white, green, blue, purple, yellow, orange or red. Their brightness can be adjusted or turn off.

    There are many ports on the back that would allow for future expansion. The pictures speak for themselves.

    The front has LED screen that can be set to the clock or to show the Layer3 logo. I've read that some users have been told that the channel icon should be coming soon. I currently have it showing the clock but would love to see the channel logos.

    If you're watching in a dark room the display can be dimmed or turned off.
     

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  14. chicagoenergy

    chicagoenergy energychicago

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    $89 per month for 151 channels

    $11 for Showtime (16 channels)
    $20 for Cinemax (12 channels)
    $15 for HBO (14 channels)
    $6 for EPIX (4 channels)

    I think they will need to lower their prices to stay competitive with YouTube, Hulu, Playstation, Sling and others trying to grab customers.

    I've also noticed while channel surfing that I'm missing two channels that will cause me to not stay past my 3 month promo offer: BEIN sports and CSN+.

    They do carry the main CSN but there are times when two Chicago teams are playing at the same time.

    Correction: $89 per month, not $99. I corrected my original post.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
  15. Johncv

    Johncv Well-Known Member

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    That seem to be the problem, no one going to be competitive. If we all just keep internet service, Cox, Comcrap, Time-WaWa, ATT will doulbe the cost or cap it to make it useless for streaming. I just see the top no cap internet service costing $250 a month and anything below that being cap after steaming one 4k episode from Netflex.
     
  16. chicagoenergy

    chicagoenergy energychicago

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    Chicago
    Sorry I haven't given an update in a while.

    Here are some shots of the standby screen. When the system is inactive or put into standby it rotates through different backgrounds while displaying the date, time and current outside temp. They aren't videos like the ATV4 but they are beautiful 4k images. The images also rotate about every 15 minutes.

    Its nice that the system goes into standby rather than constantly running. Data usage would go through the roof if someone left it on overnight for 8 - 10 hours.
     

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  17. chicagoenergy

    chicagoenergy energychicago

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    Home Screen:

    Here are some screenshots of the home screen. It is the first screen that starts after you choose who is watching (you can have up to 6 profiles).

    Audio comes from the 5th large box on the bottom left. All are live action so you are essentially seeing five programs at once.

    The "for me" section learns the shows that you like to watch and will show suggestions of shows that are currently on that I might like. There are also two more tabs: DVR and On Demand. The DVR will show the last 8 shows that were recorded and the On Demand will give me suggestions of shows that I might like.

    The Facebook feature is not active yet as it is in development. The idea is it will scan through your Facebook timeline and display a list of shows that friends and family say they are watching.

    The small picture of my dog (Paco, by the way) is where you would change profiles if someone else wants to switch over. The box with the "4" means I have 4 notifications. This shows what programs the box has recorded.

    The Home Screen reminds me a lot of TiVo's thumbs up/down feature but without needing to tell the box what I like and then taking it to the next level.

    When I first purchased the box it recommended all the news channels (MSNBC, CNN, FOX, CNBC, etc.). It took about two days for it to change it recommendations.

    All screens, graphics and menus are in 4k.
     

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  18. WhenenRome

    WhenenRome Member

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    I looked into Layer3 this week, priced packages & equipment... and while this might bring a slight advantage price-wise to cable TV subscribers who are renting their provider's equipment, for me - and I'd imagine for other current Tivo / Cable users - it would actually cost a chunk more after the 3-month introductory promo expires.

    I currently have in my home Two Tivo Roamios, and 3 minis. Monthly, I'm paying about $45 in Tivo subscription fees. My service is Frontier FIOS, and the TV portion of that is just shy of $80/month (no premium channels, most expanded basics - similar to the Layer3 Platinum package). This includes the service package & cable card fees - but of course doesn't include regional taxes & surcharges, which both services will be hit with.

    The Layer3 Platinum package sure looks great at first glance, with the $45/month flashing at you on their website. But that's only good for 3 months... then it DOUBLES to just shy of $90. To achieve the same home setup I now have via Tivo, I'd have to add 4 of their "Lite" boxes (their versions of Tivo mini) - at $10/month each, bringing my regular monthly total to $130.

    Between Tivo & Fios, my monthly cost for TV services is currently $125. And if I were to cancel Fios-TV in favor of Layer3, I'd lose a bundle discount of $10/month for 75/75 internet... So basically, as their service & packages stand right now, I'd be losing $15/month by switching to Layer3.

    In the reviews I've read via Yelp in DC and Chicago areas, it appears people are generally happy with it when they've switched from a cable provider and don't necessarily use a whole-house setup. On the other hand, users have mentioned that the firmware is buggy, power resets have been necessary (particularly on their "lite" / minis), and that the wireless streaming isn't ready for prime time. A few complained of main box freezing & shutting down during DVR recording - and the recording entirely lost after reset... and, maybe I'm nitpicking here, but no commercial skip feature of any kind, at least not yet. Just a fast-forward with, according to one review, like 5 different speeds that make it very difficult to use.

    I do like that they're entirely 4K ready, but of course TV broadcast in general isn't quite 4K ready just yet.

    So if I were just a cable-TV subscriber, they might be an interesting alternative to me... might be, only after they removed bugs and brought their feature-set in line with what's being offered by every provider out there. But if they're at all interested in capturing any Tivo defectors, they're going have to make some real progress in removing the bugs, getting their features up to speed, and be just a bit more cost competitive.
     
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  19. WhenenRome

    WhenenRome Member

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    Hey, so from what you're describing, it sounds like the channels / DVR'd programs WILL stream via ethernet and that streaming through the wireless connection isn't the only method. Please let me know if that's a correct assumption (because all they mention on their website is that the Lite boxes will stream content wirelessly).

    And do you happen to know if it is MOCA-capable? I see it has the coax, but you never know if connections are really being utilized.

    If it does give you the option to connect & stream wired, at least that leaves a way out of the wireless hiccups some reviews have mentioned!
     
  20. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Have you been paying monthly on your Roamios for 2 years or longer? If so, you might be able to get a discount on All-in service for $199 if you call and get the right CSR. :)

    Also, are you still paying for service on one of your Minis? Trying to figure how your fees are $45 with just 2 Roamios.

    Scott
     

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