pondering my future with Tivo...

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Sequoia225, Jul 31, 2020 at 3:29 PM.

  1. Sequoia225

    Sequoia225 New Member

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    Ive been a Tivo user since the early 2000s. I have been on a Premiere XL4 for years with cable.
    So much has changed with tech, tv service, and competition...
    I am relocating to another part of the state, pondering my future with cable and also with Tivo. Wondering with all the streaming (I use my PS4 for amazon prime, netflix, hulu because the Tivo Premiere streaming apps are nearly impossible to use, I assume cause its old), how relevant the tivo is anymore.

    I am curious what the general thought is today on the new Tivo units, cable service, the current state of TV content, and what the ideal setup for TV is these days and if Tivo is still worth the cost.

    In short, my question is how would you sell me on a new Tivo today moving forward.
     
  2. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    I haven't had cable for three years. I do use my mom's fios login to watch a couple shows, but it's not like I couldn't wait a year for them to hit Netflix or prime.

    I'm actually in the process of parting out my tivo equipment. I picked up an HD homerun quatro tuner and currently use an old laptop and my old 1tb green drive in a USB enclosure to run Channels DVR. I have a few Tivo Stream 4k's with the Channels app, and it's pretty much like I'm running all Mini's. Hit the home button, and I have Netflix, prime and Disney at a button press. No input switching needed.

    Outside of working through some firmware issues with the Stream 4k,ive been pretty happy. Using my mom's login with TV everywhere actually integrates all the participating cable channels into my program guide so it's actually like I have cable again. Also made me realize I don't really need it as I haven't ventured beyond the OTA channels much.

    For $50 for the TS4k and a free trial to Channels DVR, it can't hurt to explore.

    And I would never buy new equipment from tivo at this point. If I was going cable I'd get a Roamio Pro on ebay or a Roamio basic/OTA if I were going OTA. Not supporting them by buying new. If they integrated their stream 4k into a dvr product I would considerate it, but that's about it, and they're not going in that direction.

    Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020 at 4:33 PM
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  3. johnfasc

    johnfasc Active Member

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    Agreed..I have been a Roamio OTA user for upwards of 12 years. I will never purchase cable again. But as the streaming services pop up all over the place it can be even more expensive than cable, if you are not careful.
    I have always had Prime, added Netflix only to the mix. But we get about 28 stations OTA including PBS which has many good shows. Never watch live TV as everything is recorded. So as long as my DVR works I will stay with TiVo.
    But I do wish they would add some useful apps like CBS and peacock. If I had to purchase another dve I would first go with an all in Roamio. Then probably look at tablo or channels to keep it simple. Heck pretty soon everything may be in a cloud so DVRs will be a thing of the past.
     
  4. wizwor

    wizwor Active Member

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    Agree. First step is to investigate OTA or FREE TV options. I get dozens of diginets that are not included with cable or streaming services -- for free. I am very happy with the Roamio/OTA.
     
  5. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    You're getting recommendations for the Roamio OTA, and I agree. I wouldn't go with any of the newer models. Read about those here on TCF and I'm sure you'll avoid them, especially because even if you buy their latest DVR, you'll still get a better and more complete streaming solution from a separate device, preferably one that supports more apps than your PS4. Personally I prefer one of the "Big 4" (Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, or Android TV) to the Stream 4K, but if you're willing to spend some time customizing that one then you might have a ball with it.

    If OTA reception is not good at your new home, you still have options beyond cable. If you're in an area served by Locast I'd try that, then supplement it with the streaming cable channels available from Philo or something similar. If not, you can probably get your locals and cable channels in the next price tier up, which is YouTube TV or Hulu Live TV. Except for Locast, all of these offer cloud DVR service, and if you do want a local DVR then all of them are supported by Channels DVR.

    OTA and cable offer 5.1 surround sound and sometimes a better picture than streaming live TV, but for most people stereo is plenty and the picture quality great. Another thing to look into is many of us find that once we add all the sports and/or news & talk we want, we're not saving a lot of money over cable. But you do have a lot of options.

    Useful threads:
    SOAK: Tell Me About Your Cord-Cutting Experience!
    TiVo Alternatives?
    Channels DVR integration with TiVo Stream 4K <see this post re Channels DVR
     
  6. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Make a list of your must-have channels. If any of them are on cable only, then you keep your Tivo and cable or switch to satellite or a streaming cable TV replacement (Youtube TV, Sling TV, Hulu Live TV, etc.). If the only channels on your list are OTA, and you can get OTA in your location, then you can make do with some sort of OTA DVR (could still be Tivo). But with OTA changing to ATSC 3.0 as we speak, you'll be missing out on a lot if you buy another Tivo that can't do ATSC 3.0. Personally, I'd have a really hard time dropping at lot of cash on any Tivo at this point.

    Good luck
     
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  7. Sequoia225

    Sequoia225 New Member

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    How do I do this - without buying a digital antenna and just trying it?

    And thanks all for all the suggestions - some good stuff here.
     
  8. wizwor

    wizwor Active Member

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    I ALWAYS recommend buying an antenna and some coax to experiment, but you can predict the outcome using this web site...

    RabbitEars.Info

    Get your GPS coordinates in the area where you plan to install an antenna and see how things look.
     
  9. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    Meh. 3.0 will be slow to adopt. There is nothing mandatory forcing the switch, and even if they do switch, they have to maintain 1.0 for 5yrs. Not to mention 3.0 tuner boxes aren't available. Silicon Dust has their tuner on kickstarter which is $200.

    Another reason to go with a used Roamio if you're going that route. You know you'll have at five years with it AFTER your market makes the upgrade. Plenty of time to see 3.0 tuners drop in price or the TV market to not be at such a premium. Here in Philly, we're just a "targeted market". So most likely we'll see it come about maybe some time next year, then go five years from there and you're talking 2026. Now considering you have an f'ton of lower income people that won't be able to afford a 3.0 converter, how quick do you think they'll be to shut off 1.0. Unless there is some subsidy and cheap converters like they did when they did away with analog. But because there is no mandatory cut off, there is no incentive, and they'll just take their sweet time with it.

    But, another reason why going the Channels DVR route with an HD homerun quatro is a good way to go. Few years from now, the 4k quatro won't be $200 and 4k streaming stick are dirt cheap to use on your current 4k set. So no need to upgrade every TV. One tuner box for your entire household.

    Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
     
  10. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    To add to that... The complicated days of running a computer based setup for a connected tuner are gone. I was so against going that route because they weren't very user friendly in households, and the comforts of normal linear TV weren't there.

    Channels changed my mind. $80/year. It'll keep evolving and improving. It'll be ready for 3.0 when it gets there. And if the TS4k fixes its few big issues, some of which got addressed today, it could be a nice option for your streaming box. A single drive NAS isn't expensive if you don't have an old computer around. The little mini celeron PC's and a usb3.0 drive can do the trick too. And you get most of the tivo niceties and better commercial skip as well, as it can apply to all shows, and not just the ones tivo focuses on.

    But that's if you're in an area where an antenna will give you locals. I'm less than 10 miles from the major antenna array, and I have an antenna on the back of my chimney with the cable run into the basement where the quatro tuner is, and where the mini pc and drive will reside.

    So as others have provided the links and info. Just see if you're within range of grabbing your locals with an outdoor (or indoor if you're close enough) antenna and go from there.

    Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
     
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  11. CommunityMember

    CommunityMember Member

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    There are a couple of possible scenerios (one of which ATSC 3.0 simply goes away as a failure), but the most commonly discussed in certain forums is that a consortium of local broadcasters will agree on a "sacrificial" transmitter and then just put all their primary channels on that one (all sharing the ATSC 1.0 bitrate) to meet the FCC 5 year mandate, and then offer those primary channels, and the additional content, on their shiny new ATSC 3.0 transmitters at the improved resolution and quality that ATSC 3.0 can offer. During the spectrum repack all the broadcasters made sure that any upgraded transmitters were going to be capable of (reasonably priced) ATSC 3.0 upgrades when it is time to pull that trigger. Time will, of course, tell.
     
  12. trip1eX

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

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    YTTV. If you want cable still. I wouldn't get a Tivo in the age of YTTV. Nevermind Tivo is a shell of itself at this point. YTTV has some great game changing features for cabletv.

    Otherwise one can not only survive without cable these days but thrive. There are lots of streaming services to choose from and one can rotate in and out of them. Netflix, Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, AppleTV+, Showtime, Peacock, etc. You can carry them all or just a few or carry a few and rotate a few. So much quality tv, as you might know since you have a few of these services, is found on on-demand and commercial free streaming.

    I'd only consider a Tivo for OTA.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020 at 8:08 PM
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  13. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    That makes sense. Seems like that's why most markets appear to be a work in progress, and that's the only way it'll get the push forward, by working together.

    Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
     
  14. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    I still think it's totally relevant.. That is, if you definitely want to see EVERY episode of a show you're interested in, and are interested in more than you can watch at any one time.

    I will watch the commercial free streaming version of a show _if it's available there_ on the ones I currently subscribe to - Hulu, CBS All Access, and Amazon (but I haven't watched more than a smattering of eps of a show on Amazon in a while.. I mostly have it for prime, and I still think they're getting a way better deal. I order more stuff for my mom than for me)...

    But I TIVO the show as "backup". Since shows do/have gone off of streaming before I watched them. NOT all seasons of a show are available. Many times, not even the entire current season is available.

    Also, I know I'm an edge case, but I make HIGH use of QuickPlay, ESPECIALLY since the backdoor to greatly speed it up was leaked. I'll watch most talk/news shows 90% sped up (I listen to podcasts at 2x the vast majority of the time.. sometimes 1.5x if I'm biking or mowing, or if there's someone with a heavy accent)... Other reality/news at 70%.. that's for something a bit 'deeper' that I have to pay a bit more attention to. 50% is the minimum speedup I do (30% is the default for quickplay, not fast enough). Survivor and the Amazing Race I think are the only shows of any genre that I watch "mostly sped up" that I watch at 1x (though when survivor used to have the "remember the past contestants montage", I would speed up that segment). Even Jeopardy, which I love, I watch 50% sped up. (If I could watch 'normal' shows sped up, I probably would. SNL is the only one I nowadays watch sped up, but that's _instead_ of FF the minute a sketch isn't funny.)

    You can't do sped up on ANY streaming service (before the 'backdoor', I would often download from my Tivo and watch in VLC since I could speed up faster).. and with the content timing out, having it on the Tivo (or downloaded to a hard drive) is good.

    If you just want something to watch 'now' and aren't a completist, then yeah, you can probably "make do" with just streaming services.. and yes, I realize the world is moving that way too. I wish they would add sped-up (even if it was just 1.5x and 2x, that would be a good start).. then I would watch some of Gordon Ramsays old seasons I haven't watched yet.. (since my 'backup' recordings are often in SD..)

    BTW, the reason I first got ANY streaming service beyond Amazon was ironically because the Tivo streaming doesn't work for me. I got Hulu so I could reliably watch shows at the gym. Tivo's streaming (with both separate Tivo Stream and the one built into my Roamio Pro) stops downloading or streaming after a minute or two very reliably.. and the few times I do supposedly get a full download, it will randomly 'pause' in the middle and/or give an error message, so I'm hosed anyway. I tried many times to get technical info to Tivo to help them debug this. I am almost 100% positive there's something to do with my setup that's causing the streaming box (either one) to CRASH on the stuff I record.. because after the stopped stream/download as mentioned before, it is not seeable from the Tivo app for many minutes.
     
  15. CommunityMember

    CommunityMember Member

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    Since you are not sharing your locations (especially the new), it may be that you may have very different options in terms of HSI and/or TV (OTA and/or Cable and/or satellite and/or streaming), so any advice may not even apply (the old adage remains: location, location, location).
     
  16. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    *shrug* if you stick with cable Tivo still works great, assuming you don't use that TE4 abomination.

    And it's way better than any streaming service for playback, which is the most important feature you want. Hands down.
     
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  17. Sequoia225

    Sequoia225 New Member

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    May 14, 2005
    apologies.
    Pasadena, California.... to Petaluma/Penngrove, California
     
  18. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    Imagine a nice roof antenna would get you all your LA stations, no?

    Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
     
  19. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    First question I ask someone in your position is "How much do you watch live sports and how much do you watch the cable news channels?" Because if those things are important to you, you'll want to stick with a live cable TV service. If they're not that important, then you may want to go with a few on-demand streaming services (e.g. Hulu, Netflix, Prime Video, HBO Max, etc.) and possibly add in free OTA TV (either with or without an OTA DVR) to get your local stations affiliated with the major networks.

    A TiVo could be part of the solution either way you go, with or without a cable TV service, but I wouldn't really encourage anyone other than die-hard TiVo fans to invest in new TiVo DVR hardware and/or lifetime service at this point. Most folks will find other options to be better and/or cheaper. TiVo DVRs' weak point is their streaming apps; they don't have many and the ones they have aren't kept up very well. Plus, TiVo is now doing stuff like streaming ads at the start of playback of DVR recordings, which annoys a lot of folks. And the company seems to constantly be undergoing some kind of merger/acquisition/spin-off drama; the future of the company and its line of retail DVR products looks increasingly questionable.

    If you decide you want to stick with live cable TV, then consider both YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV. Also consider bundling cable TV with whichever company you'll get broadband from and using their hardware. A lot of folks like Comcast's X1 cable boxes/DVRs. If AT&T Fiber is available there, you might consider bundling in their new AT&T TV service.

    If you decide you don't need cable TV, you can save quite a bit of money by just getting free OTA TV plus a few streaming services. And since those are contract-free, you can swap them in and out of your line-up whenever you feel like it on a monthly basis. If you need a different streaming device than your PS4, I'd suggest either an Apple TV or Android TV device.

    Some folks bother with an OTA DVR. It's a good choice for some but keep in mind that Hulu offers next-day on-demand access to non-sports content from ABC, NBC and Fox while CBS All Access does the same for CBS. The free PBS and CW apps offer recent content from those networks.
     
  20. CommunityMember

    CommunityMember Member

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    So you are moving from a Charter location, to a Comcast or possibly Sonic (for HSI) location. Your OTA options are going to be somewhat limited in that part of the north bay country, and require good directional antennas to get almost anything (from Sutro, and San Bruno, most likely). I presume your purchase agreement included the requirement for actual deliverable HSI service (otherwise some parts of that area might only have DSL). If I had a choice for HSI I would pick Sonic (a good company, and Dane is a great guy to work with), but choosing Sonic for HSI will mean if you want TV you will likely need to plan on an OTT service (or satellite).
     

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