Seems AT&T TV is what the TiVo Stream 4K should’ve been, no?

Discussion in 'TiVo Stream 4K' started by BillyClyde, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. Jun 3, 2020 #1 of 17
    BillyClyde

    BillyClyde Active Member

    327
    164
    Mar 3, 2017
    Due to spousal issues with everything “just working like it used to” (referring to legacy cable and satellite boxes and how they work), I’ve been feverishly working to find a service which replicates the legacy cable/satellite box and DVR experience, but also allows more streaming integration into that single solution.

    It seems the best thing I’ve found is the newish AT&T TV with their version of an AndroidTV box. Of course the BIG issue with this approach is cost, but I am actually willing to do this if it makes the much more important than me, other half happy!

    This solution appears to really merge the two approaches, cable/satellite-like DVR box with remote and streaming apps, perfectly. This seems more like what @Dan203 expected with the underlying background control UI being what appears to be true “old DirecTV/AT&T”, with the apps being within the GUI, or at least easily seen and accessible, and a normal style DVR remote with all the normal direct command buttons, but still having a portal to the AndroidTV backbone.

    This is is stark contrast to this TiVo (can you even call it that really?) Stream 4K dongle which is just essentially a cheaper AndroidTV box with some TiVo customizations and a proprietary app, like any other including the superior ReelGood app!

    I just wish TiVo would’ve done basically the exact same thing, just replacing the AT&T underlying control UI and experience with a similar TiVo one. From what I’ve read around TCF the last couple years, they also have a streaming cable service with MSO type AndroidTV boxes in use that do something similar to this already, no? Evolution Digital or something?

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. Jun 3, 2020 #2 of 17
    BillyClyde

    BillyClyde Active Member

    327
    164
    Mar 3, 2017
    @EIT60, it sounds like this is also applicable here and maybe why TiVo didn’t do it how AT&T did it, like I mentioned above?

     
    cwoody222 likes this.
  3. Jun 4, 2020 #3 of 17
    cwoody222

    cwoody222 Well-Known Member

    11,846
    409
    Nov 13, 1999
    Buffalo, NY
    Yes!

    This is also a reason why TiVo can’t just change their DVR platform to Android.

    If they did, we’d have the same Frankenstein mess we have with the Stream 4K.

    Although Amazon customized Android for their Fire. THAT’S what I’d like TiVo to accomplish.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
    BillyClyde likes this.
  4. Jun 4, 2020 #4 of 17
    stuart628

    stuart628 Active Member

    120
    62
    Jul 5, 2006
    how about just making att tv work with the tivo stream app :) I mean our remotes do have a number keypad on them.
     
    Alex_7 likes this.
  5. Jun 4, 2020 #5 of 17
    mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

    3,403
    1,207
    Aug 13, 2015
    @BillyClyde, I had AT&T TV NOW for 3 years, and the box you're talking about for 1 year. I really liked it over all. Lineup was great, user experience was exactly like a cable DVR (one button record, channel up/down/last, channel numbers, instant on), great picture, great sound, great voice control capabilities. That's the good.

    The bad, as you know, is the price is exactly the same as traditional cable, DVR doesn't actually work very well, AT&T TV box has exactly the same "forced HDR" bug as the Tivo Stream 4k, very limited Play Store access (no Amazon Prime app, for example), no possibility of sideloading, no PBS, recordings expire in 90 days, 3 stream limit, 2 year contract with an ETF of up to $360 with the price of service doubling after year one.

    The DVR is especially bad. It's very bare-bones, clunky and unreliable. It often misses recordings or records the wrong thing entirely. And most annoying of all, to me, is the Rube-Goldberg way they make you delete series recordings. Even when you think you've deleted them, there's a good chance they'll never go away. It's absolutely ridiculous.

    Having said all that, I would have tolerated all of that if that had kept the price at a reasonable level. As it is, it's just not worth double what YTTV and others cost, to me at least. If I'm going to be paying traditional cable prices and be stuck in traditional cable contracts, I'd want all the perks of traditional cable - more than 3 streams, recordings that never expire, DVR that works, all locals including PBS, etc.

    There's a very good reason AT&T is losing a million customers per quarter, not growing.
     
  6. Jun 5, 2020 #6 of 17
    BillyClyde

    BillyClyde Active Member

    327
    164
    Mar 3, 2017
    Thanks so much for the feedback! Was your experience mostly in the Beta realm? Reason I ask is the rep at AT&T said most if not all the issues you see if you read online were from the beta and initial limited release, but they’re almost all fixed now.

    I ended up grabbing two boxes from them and am going to try it for 14 days. Like I said mainly for my wife who is let’s say “streaming challenged”, haha! Can you just elaborate on how you felt it integrated both realms of traditional cable/satellite with the newer cord cutter/streaming technology, all in one box ease of simplicity, cost not a factor (believe me, it’s worth it!)?

    I played around with it last night and to me it seems like it does it’s job and unlike many reviews from only tech savvy, new age “millennials” we’ll call them, who only seem to see the world from their narrow, cutting edge lens and not from the majority of middle America, especially older ones stuck in their ways who aren’t going to accept huge change.

    I do believe it has its place and it does it pretty well. This would be a great first step for my parents. I already transitioned them from Comcast cable boxes to a Roamio Pro with 3 minis a few years ago, and this seems like the next logical step to me since the apps are so outdated and slow on TiVo.

    The main issues I see so far is no Dolby Vision, the same as the Stream 4K I’ve been testing, but now TiVo updated and has DV. The always on HDR/DV has never bothered me and the image looks great. Not sure what all the fuss is about and don’t want to debate it here again, but do agree it should be available as a choice.

    The next biggest issue is it can be SO SLOW at times, like the memory isn’t big enough to handle the load. I believe it’s due to their always on background video they do to replicate the traditional cable box experience. The AT&T manager said he has these at his house and they were slow the first few days because it was doing a lot in the background after initially being activated, which makes some sense since TiVo is similar in this regard. Did you notice this behavior and improvement after a few days?

    Can you also elaborate on not being able to sideload apps, the DVR issue and if you, your spouse or someone else in your household is not tech or streaming savvy coming from traditional cable/satellite and still wants that experience with streaming too? Not from the perspective that we here at TCF are coming from. I do see the normal apps used to side load in the App Store. Do they not work the same as on the Shield or TS4K?

    I believe they’re losing customers mainly from satellite, no?
     
  7. Jun 5, 2020 #7 of 17
    mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

    3,403
    1,207
    Aug 13, 2015
    It does speed up eventually.

    I'm very skeptical about the bug fixes given the fact I saw close to zero progress all those years, including an entire year of testing on two different hardware versions. I also see several posts per day in the AT&T forums asking about the same bugs I saw 3 years ago.

    On the Stream 4k, you can allow apps from unknown sources and load apk files that aren't found in the app store. You can't do this on the AT&T box because the setting is nowhere to be found. So even if you install and run those sideloading helper apps, they won't have permission to actually install anything. If you find a way, I'm sure other AT&T customers would love to hear about it. There are lots of complaints in the forums about having no Prime Video app, among others.

    The DVR issues have been there since the beginning and exactly as I described. About 5% of my recordings were either missed entirely or the wrong program got recorded. Chase play doesn't work very well either. When you get close to catching up to live all hell breaks lose. I'll leave the cancelling of a series recording as a fun exercise for you.

    Nobody in my house cares about the traditional cable experience. But that was definitely my favorite thing about the AT&T box. I loved have a remote with channel and number buttons and not having to launch an app to watch TV.

    As far as customer losses go, AT&T TV NOW used to have 1.5 million subs, by last Nov they had lost 700,000 of those, and an additional 138,000 just last quarter. If you consider the percentages, that's a massive 50% drop in less than 2 years. I speculate this was almost entirely due to the prices more than doubling. Keep in mind most of these losses occurred before AT&T TV existed, so it's not people simply switching from NOW.

    I haven't seen any AT&T TV subscriber numbers. As a new service, I'd expect those numbers to grow from zero for the first few quarters then hit a wall due to the high price. I suspect the only people who would be interested in AT&T TV would be the traditional cable crowd who will only accept a traditional cable experience and have no problem paying a premium for it, a group that continues to shrink very rapidly. I simply can't afford to spend $100/month or more on cable TV content I barely watch.
     
  8. Jun 5, 2020 #8 of 17
    lparsons21

    lparsons21 Active Member

    516
    182
    Feb 17, 2015
    The ATT TV box is sluggish, that’s just a fact of life and having it for an extended period of time doesn’t improve that at all.

    It works well overall but it is slow doing many things. Voice controls work but sometimes take quite a bit of time to recognize and do what you ask. Button pushes to do something often don’t respond very quickly though it is hit or miss with them.

    I’ve had no issue with the DVR portion of the service and I can live with the box, but it is typical ATT/DirecTV programming and box. Minimum hardware to get the job done seems to be a thing with them IMO.

    The ATT TV app works so much better on Roku devices. It is faster in operation, voice controls are quick and so forth. The only downside is that the Roku remote doesn’t have all the buttons that the ATT TV box does, so sometimes you have to twiddle with it a big to get where you want to go. IMO, if the Roku device had HBO Max I’d be using it a whole lot more.
     
  9. Jun 5, 2020 #9 of 17
    lparsons21

    lparsons21 Active Member

    516
    182
    Feb 17, 2015
    In two months I haven’t noticed any speed up.

    What I think will happen is that as ATT TV customers hit the end of the first year and see the rate nearly double that the drop in subscribers will be record setting!

    In my case I signed up for the Entertainment subscription at $49.99/month, got a $100 rebate and free HBO/HBO Max for a year. Unless 2nd year pricing changes before my anniversery I’ll cancel. Assuming I cancel the real cost per month will be $57/month for the 12 months taking into account the ETF and $100 rebate.

    All that said, if you are one of those that just has to have it all from one service then ATT TV is the only one with that. Every other service is missing some things in their channel lineups that most subscribers will want.
     
    mdavej likes this.
  10. dabig25

    dabig25 New Member

    14
    7
    Jun 1, 2020
    AT&T is a big FAIL

    No other streaming service locks you into a contract. Then they screw you big time during that 2nd year by doubling your monthly price.

    They're going to lose a lot of customers like they have with Directv
     
    Alex_7, trip1eX and mdavej like this.
  11. BillyClyde

    BillyClyde Active Member

    327
    164
    Mar 3, 2017
    I found out you can actually use the no contract streaming version, AT&T TV Now, on the same box and it works exactly the same! So no contracts needed. Here is a summary I made in another thread which I think is appropriate here as well:

    I’ve been testing the AT&T TV box and that’s actually what I think a new TiVo should’ve been. The entire background operation and GUI IS AT&T TV, which is the way the TiVo app should’ve been on the TS4K! The menu floats over top of it with selections for Guide, My Shows, Discovery and then the apps. As I use it, it makes me think of what I wanted in the next gen TiVo, BIG time!

    The big downsides are of course price and having a contract, but I actually tested signing up for AT&T TV Now instead which is the streaming version of AT&T TV with the contract and when you sign in with those credentials it actually WORKS and even then gives you channel numbers and the operation is exactly like when using the contract based AT&T TV! You can find the boxes easily on eBay for cheap, around the same as TS4K will be. The other downside for now is no Hulu or Amazon Prime, but they’re apparently promised to be coming soon, but I take that with a grain of salt.

    I’m in my two week trial window and I’ll most likely return them for now. Once they add Hulu and Prime I’ll probably buy boxes on eBay and use AT&T TV Now on them. I loved the experience of melding traditional legacy cable/satellite type box use with channel surfing, always on live TV, GUI overlay, etc. with much more advanced app use like the Google Play Store. This is what a new modern TiVo should have been!
     
  12. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

    3,403
    1,207
    Aug 13, 2015
    I guess I only implied that in my earlier post. But I could have told you all that since I used the box with NOW for a year, 2 boxes actually.

    I sold my boxes for $100 each. Good to see they're down to $50 now.

    Funny thing about Prime and Hulu is we had both on the box during beta testing and they worked fine. They pulled them for money reasons not technical ones.

    Enjoy!
     
  13. Alex_7

    Alex_7 Member

    59
    6
    Jun 24, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
  14. rczrider

    rczrider Member

    85
    34
    May 15, 2020
    Yep, and that's why we're seeing a rise in online piracy again. Between losing net neutrality and a more tech-savvy generation of consumers getting annoyed with fragmentation in the streaming sector - and the cost of these streaming services going up - VPNs are seeing a surge in subscribers and torrent sites are seeing a significant increase in content.

    The idiots driving these companies don't seem to understand what they're doing. Not too long ago, piracy was relatively low because it was easier and cheaper to just pay for the service. Now folks are going to realize they can reasonably get away with just taking what they want since the content providers seem intent on biting the hand that feeds them.
     
    Alex_7 likes this.
  15. tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

    1,583
    468
    Mar 5, 2004
    Prices go up on everything. Food, rent, cars, books, some people's wages, street repairs, coffee beans... internet costs. The average person doesn't torrent either. Piracy is a moral failing, thieves will always steal because they can. Capitalism is expensive people, get in the game, or get out.. The future has no mercy.
     
  16. Alex_7

    Alex_7 Member

    59
    6
    Jun 24, 2020
    Inflation
     

Share This Page