Should I still be investing in TiVo ecosystem?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by JEisen, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. JEisen

    JEisen New Member

    Aug 12, 2010


    I'm a long time TiVo user and have always loved the platform. Right now, I've got a Bolt+ (with lifetime service) and a single Mini Vox. By the end of the year (probably around Black Friday) I’ll be adding a few new TVs to the house. I’ve got coax to every room and a MoCA network running through it, is a year ago I would have said it was a no brainer to just get a few more Minis and hook them all up.

    But that was a year ago. Since then, we’ve been through the sale of the company and now the offloading of the hardware business to a (so far unnamed?) outside vendor. How do others feel? Is it worth doubling the number of TiVo-technology devices in my home, or should this be the point I switch out? Is anyone else skittish about the long-term prospects? Will my devices stop working in a year because the company didn’t make it? Or should I be confident enough that I’m not throwing money away on this?
  2. rdrrepair

    rdrrepair Bill Knapp

    Nov 24, 2006
    845 New York
    I'm not skittish, just bought another Bolt with lifetime and I'm running the newest UI on it. Finding it enjoyable too. They're still releasing updates and are improving their products.

    Are you planning on another Bolt and Mini or two more Mini's? What is your current thought on a TiVo replacement?
    JEisen likes this.
  3. ADG

    ADG Allan

    Aug 19, 2003
    New Jersey, USA
    Is there some reason you think anyone here knows more than you do about the future of Tivo? I assure you that regardless of what anyone says, we don't.
  4. Sparky1234

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2006
    JEisen likes this.
  5. JEisen

    JEisen New Member

    Aug 12, 2010


    rdrrepair: That’s good to hear and makes me feel better. My plan was for another few Minis to connect to the single Bolt. I didn’t really have any idea what I would go to if not TiVo, honestly, I haven’t bothered looking for alternatives in 12 years.

    ADG: It’s not that I expect anyone to have a crystal ball, but I figured I’d check in with other TiVo enthusiasts about their thoughts. Lots of people here talk about, say, having convinced friends to get in on the ecosystem. If they’re now waiting before recommending anything, for example, that says something.

    Either way, my current thought is that I’ve already sunk the majority of the cost in the form of the Bolt+ a few years ago. In the absolute worst case scenario, though, does anyone know if the Bolt/Minis would still at least operate like Rokus if the company completely folded and still be able to use the streaming apps? (Obviously I’m hoping for a scenario where I don’t have to worry about it at all.)
    Mikeguy likes this.
  6. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    I don't think so since I believe the apps do have to load from their servers, but I'm not concerned either about TiVo as a company going under. People have expressed concerns about that for almost as long as we've had TiVo's (18+ years) and now since Rovi bought and renamed their company to TiVo, there are additional streams of revenue (larger I believe?).

  7. Barnstormer

    Barnstormer Member

    Sep 23, 2015
    Given the changes to ownership and manufacturing in the past few years, it would be nice for Tivo to layout a roadmap for the future that Tivo owners could see. I don't mean they have to promise this and that by a certain date or get a FAIL. But, the TV world, both broadcast and streaming, is changing and it would be good to see how Tivo plans to keep up with it Just a roadmap showing the direction they are going and where they plan to end up as of today. We don't have to see every turn, every small city and stop, and it would not be cast in concrete.
    mrsean likes this.
  8. mschnebly

    mschnebly Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2011
    Personally, I wouldn't worry about TiVo as much as I would worry about your ISPs available to you. Find out of they plan any upgrades to their system that will not be compatible with a TiVo. TiVo might be in business for a long time but it wont matter if you cant use it on your cable system.
  9. wizwor

    wizwor Guest

    Dec 17, 2013
    First, what are your alternatives? Right. You don't have to invest heavily or all at once. Watch Woot and ebay for Minis (you do not need new or current gen). Last couple years, Roamio OTAs have been less expensive. I would look for at least one of these so you are not forced into a bad deal in the case of hardware failure.

    I don't expect the TiVo service to end in a year or, frankly, in the next five. When Rovi gets out of the business, you will not get switched off. Features and quality will simply decline as they spend less on the service.
  10. longrider

    longrider Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Oct 26, 2017
    Elizabeth, CO
    I dont see the TiVo service going away anytime soon. Even if TiVo stopped offering consumer hardware the service will continue as the great majority of TiVo's business is cable companies. The new hardware supplier is now known, it is Arris and that makes me feel confident in continued hardware availability as they would never agree to manufacture the hardware if it would be only for a few years
  11. OrangeCrush

    OrangeCrush Active Member

    Feb 18, 2016
    I think it's worth it to get more mini's if you're adding TVs. But definitely wait for Black Friday deals. No sense paying full price when there will likely be better deals in a few weeks.
  12. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2005
    It would be nice to know that TiVo has a roadmap. ;)
    dlfl and mrsean like this.
  13. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2015
    I agree with others that there's really no reason for you to worry that TiVos you own will stop working at any point in the next few years, regardless of what happens to the company. Even if they decide to completely stop selling retail products, they will continue providing program guide data and service to their cable TV partners as well as existing retail units already in use.

    If you happen to have Altice/Optimum as your cable TV provider, though, I would discourage further investment in TiVo hardware. That company is currently converting their network over to all-fiber and changing TV service from QAM to IPTV, meaning that they are embracing a form of TV transmission that is incompatible with CableCARD devices like TiVo. So TiVo owners on Altice will soon be out of luck. (That said, it may take a long while for Altice to convert their entire network. But they're doing a lot of work right now near NYC.)

    As far as buying new Minis (which cost $180 each), you may be interested to know that TiVo has confirmed that they are developing a new app for retail streamers such as Apple TV and Fire TV. The app will allow those boxes to essentially act like a TiVo Mini (although functionality may not be quite as good as an actual Mini, and of course you wouldn't be using a TiVo remote control but rather the remote that came with the streaming box). The rumor is that the app will be free. TiVo blogger Dave Zatz is saying that the app will roll out to retail users in the first half of 2019. So, if you're willing to wait, you may be able to make your additional TVs work with your existing Bolt+ without buying more Minis.

    [EDIT: Corrected app arrival from first half of 2020 to 2019.]
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
    PSU_Sudzi likes this.
  14. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    I'm not sure if I would be comfortable jumping into the TiVo world right now. My small cable company, ranking about 18th right now, has 1Gb DOCSIS 3.1, and is supposed to rollout a TiVo/Arris system with TE4 by the end of the year. I figure it will be moving to IPTV. I will be very unhappy if the streaming has a reduction in quality and features, but that's not under my control. All my HD is "good enough" and the audio is great. Sampling of channels on my Roku doesn't fill me with confidence. I expect change. I just don't feel a need to chase every new thing anymore. Too many variables.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
  15. dmurphy

    dmurphy Home Again

    Jan 16, 2002
    Me, I'd be unconcerned. Still plenty of development activity going on, and I think much ado is being made about nothing ... Exiting the hardware manufacturing business is about 15 years late. There's economies of scale that the big guys in the CE space can bring, that TiVo never would be able to. For example, disk drives... TiVo won't drive the volume that a Pace or Arris would be able to. Every single penny counts when it comes to manufacturing these devices, so even saving a dollar off a disk drive from Western Digital is a huge deal.

    So that wouldn't concern me... you don't think Apple actually manufactures iPhones, do you? Of course not. Pegatron, Foxconn etc do ... And we're not worried about Apple walking away from iPhone; TiVo exiting the hardware manufacturing really is no different.

    The more important thing is watching what TiVo does with the software, and I can say unequivocally that the TiVo software is continually being developed. Not even in maintenance mode, but in active development and enhancement mode.

    If I had to do it all over again.... yep, I'd jump right back in with TiVo again. The ROI for a typical TiVo system is anywhere from 18-24 months, and I don't think that's any concern whatsoever for TiVo's ecosystem.
  16. powrcow

    powrcow Active Member

    Sep 27, 2010
    Depends on what you want. If you want cable TV with a DVR, then TiVo could be an easy decision. A one or two TV system (TiVo + Mini) could have a payback period of around 18-ish months, depending on your cable provider DVR and additional outlet fees.

    If you're comparing between cable DVR, TiVo, or streaming services with DVR (YouTube TV, Playstation Vue, Hulu, etc), you have more to consider, but it all depends on what you want.

    TiVo's advantages are still:
    • Responsive playback controls
    • You can upgrade hard drive size
    • Skip
    • OnePass and Wish Lists, for most people, work great
    • Streaming from DVR (although some cable providers may restrict certain programming from streaming out of home)
    • Can download shows for offline viewing on iOS or Android
  17. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    Hate to get off-topic, but what if money is not an object. Where should someone buy a better solution? Are some MSO systems better? What if I just want a DVR? What if someone just wants the best viewing experience? Keep in mind, I'm not moving. So the equipment would be a replacement for my cable companies equipment.
  18. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2005
    Also: QuickMode (playback at 30% faster--I live with it); SkipMode (skipping commercials on the mainstay channels during ~evening hours with the press of a single button). Plus, a TiVo is just fun to use. :)
    Tylor Dettore and opsman like this.
  19. astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

    Jan 6, 2003
    I just went thru this process, and the answer was still... TiVo beats anything else around, and it's going to be good for... a while (who knows).

    I recently bought four Minis so all my TVs would have the TiVo experience. Two Roamios and four Minis, lets me watch TiVo on any TV. Worth it to me.
    opsman and Mikeguy like this.
  20. mrsean

    mrsean Active Member

    May 15, 2006
    New Jersey
    Where?? Development on TE4 and 1 or 2 other things are ongoing but I'd never use the word "plenty" to describe it.

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