Sling AirTV Anywhere - another OTA DVR option

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Adam C., Sep 10, 2020.

  1. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    It's a pain these days how all these options have a few drawbacks against a cable package of sorts. There's just a plethora out there.

    If you end up at that point you still have the airtv for free. Just one level less of integration unless YT does something similar. Of course, if they do, they'll probably just allow integration of a network tuner as I doubt Google has interest in making an Air anywhere/tablo type of device since their androidtv has live channels already with network tuner access. Surprised they don't have integration already owning YT and having live channels on AndroidTV. Maybe Sling's move will push them in that direction.

    And the convo is enjoybable. I know I come off a bit pointed, but it's just trying to spark convo, understand reasons and sniff out options since we're all in the same boat migrating away from a Tivo dvr environment, but it's like we're all on the same sinking ship, and not one lifeboat is the same... Haha.

    Meanwhile I'm enjoying being a thorn in the cable card thread where people feel like they should be entitled to cable card access in perpetuity like it's covered under the Bill of Rights.

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  2. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Active Member

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    There is a bit of device/channel/source integration going on these days. Kind of like what Tivo could have been had they improved the hell out of their streaming capabilities. Frankly I think they missed that boat entirely.

    Apple is doing a bit of it with their TV app on the AppleTV. For supported apps they have the ‘Next’ strip, which is fairly handy though it grows a bit big. And they have Apple channels which uses the TV app and bypasses the channels apps. Works well too, for the supported services/apps.

    Amazon is doing a bit more these days IMO. On the FireTV boxes the “Live” menu has a grid guide in it. That guide can show Pluto, SlingTV, YouTubeTV and maybe some others, and it also has the grid guide there for their Recast OTA box. You can hide channels, have favorites and it all works pretty well.

    I have a 2nd Gen FireTV Cube and it is rapidly becoming my go to box since it supports all the services out there, though you have to sideload Peacock & HBO Max. It is even a bit quicker to shuffle around and load apps than is the AppleTV with video and audio right up there with AppleTV4K.
     
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  3. wizwor

    wizwor Active Member

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    This what I expected the DVR+ to be. As I recall, they integrated sling, but it was an app rather than integrated into the EPG. They never got much more than that streaming. TiVo did a better job integrating streaming apps. They got the Big Three -- Netflix, Prime, and Plex. Again, never really achieved greatness. Amazon has done the best job to date -- integrating Pluto, Philo, and Prime channels into the EPG. The Recast's limitations (two streams, 720p, and lack of support for other ecosystems) disappoint, but I love having OTA on all of my Echo Shows (though the Show does not integrate Sling, Philo, or Pluto). I like this for (hopefully) retaining native resolution, (hopefully) having four concurrent streams, and out of home viewing -- especially if that is not limited to a phone.

    It's been eleven years since I fired Comcast. I have purchased a LOT of DVRs. Not one has been perfect, but all have saved me money...
    • 5 DTVPals for 5 years for $1000 ($3.33/month/TV)
    • 3 DVR+s for 6 years for $525 ($2.78/month/TV)
    • 5 Roamio/OTAs plus two Minis for 5 years for $1500 ($3.57/month/TV)
    The Pals have all been recycled, the DVR+'s are in other people's homes, and the TiVos are in my home.

    I have enjoyed various whole house DVRs as well...
    • 4 single tuner Simple TV DVRs for $355
    • 2 dual tuner Simple TV DVRs for $90 (they gave me one)
    • 1 SiliconDust HDHR-US HD Network tuner for $50
    • 2 SiliconDust Extends for $60 (trade in of the dual tuner Simple TV DVRs)
    • 1 Tablo TV DVR for $100
    • 1 four tuner Amazon Recast for $230
    • 1 AirTV Anywhere for $99 (sort of)
    I had a farm of Simple TV DVRs harvesting OTA programming. I shared one with an 'internet friend' in New Jersey. We watched out of market football games. It was just cool. I had hoped to share DVRs with someone in the UK when RSS expanded there, but the company went out of business soon after the release of the disastrous dual tuner DVR. SiliconDust -- out of guilt, I imagine -- let me trade the two dual tuner DVRs in for Extends. That worked out.

    I got the Tablo TV and the AirTV Anywhere DVRs just for fun. I was a little reluctant to buy another ATSC 1.0 device, but the price was right. That is nearly $4000 worth of DVRs! About $29.48/month of my savings went towards DVRs. Totally worth it to watch what I want when I want how I want.
     
  4. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    Damn. I feel much better about my gear lust purchases now... Haha.

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  5. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Active Member

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    It is simply amazing how many tech toys we accumulate over the years. I’ve got a slew of tablets, phones and video/audio gear. A couple of computers too though they are long in the tooth.

    But it took me 76 years to gather it all! :)
     
  6. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    Ha. Nice. With Covid, outside of the theater room, I now have a projector that's nicer than my theater room one in my living room. Upgrade-itis kicks in a bit more with tech than anything else.

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  7. Adam C.

    Adam C. Active Member

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    The Recast also works with the Android Fire TV app for phones and tablets. It works well for watching recordings and Live TV, however the guide in the app only displays currently airing shows and there is no way to schedule future recordings from the app.
     
  8. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    Doesn't really help tv owners though. Would think tv's are the primary viewing which you're still tied to Fire devices. Platform agnostic is the ideal solution. The days of being tied to a platform should just die.

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  9. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Active Member

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    Yeah, the FireTV app for tablets/phones is really pathetic! It doesn’t even cast!

    AirTV is a better solution in the respect that it isn’t tied to a platform. You can use it with the Sling app that’s available on nearly everything out there, or you can use the AirTV app. I’m not sure how available or good the AirTV app is as I’ve never actually seen it.

    Right now the FireTV boxes seem to be the best if you want to have some integration with the channels that are available from AirTV, Sling, Philo, YTTV, Pluto and of course, the Recast device. It should be noted that this only works from the main screen on the FireTV, inside the Prime app on it and every other device Prime is on, there is no indication that any of that exists. That’s not a horrible thing, but it means that the profiles that the Prime app allows for doesn’t work outside of that particular app. On the main screen, Prime’s Recent strip will even show some of the live screens as recent as well as videos you watch on Prime or Prime Channel subscriptions.

    On AppleTV the Next strip inside the TV app doesn’t track any live recents, only VOD or what you watched in supported apps. FireTV doesn’t track any other apps in that way.
     
  10. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    You can always screen cast from the home app. You must tie up your device then as opposed to true casting.

    With integration into guides being fairly new, I'd still be hesitant to go recast because you're still tied in to Amazon. I wouldn't buy into the "now" for any proprietary solution be it Amazon or sling. Granted you can always sell and upgrade to something else, so maybe if I got a deal on the devices so I could flip for breakeven or close to it. But I'm over playing with a ton of gear. I've got better things to do with my time. Hence I'm done rooting devices and all that crap. Like I agreed to test test the ts4k and somewhat regretting it because the stuff were testing just seems like a joke. But they have multiple tests going on, and I think I just got assigned a ****** one that I don't see value in.

    With this being fairly new, I'm happy to sit back with my current solution and see how things shake out over the next six months or so and go from there. The fact I have to screens at 100" and 135" respectively and quality surround setups, recast and sling are just a joke, and I see no light at the end of the tunnel for sound or video improvements. If you're a tablet/phone watcher primarily, I guess either does the trick nicely.

    Options will continue to grow, so these types of threads should be interesting moving forward while the clingers to the tivo dvr system just get more and more frustrated and the whining escalates...

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  11. wizwor

    wizwor Active Member

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    The Recast works with the Echo Show. For some, including me, this is very important. In fact, I would have bought the Recast is it ONLY worked on the Echo Show.
     
  12. Adam C.

    Adam C. Active Member

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    Has anyone tried side loading the Fire TV app on an Android TV?
     
  13. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    I haven't, but I don't really care. I would imagine if someone bought a recast they were already into the fire ecosystem. And others have the Prime video app. Not sure why someone would bother otherwise. You have tablo and now sling if you're scared of a NAS or computer being a server for OTA. There's also Prime Live that works with the hdhomerun.

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    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
  14. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Active Member

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    OK, got the AirTV Anywhere in today. Setup is very straightforward and simple. Tuners found all my local channels just fine. PQ seems slightly better than Recast though it isn’t enough to make a difference IMO.

    Local channels with DD5.1 have it with the AirTV Anywhere.

    Big downside = no search for shows on the OTA guide! That really sucks.
     
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  15. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Active Member

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    AirTV Anywhere - some more follow up.

    Tested thoroughly with various boxes. Here’s the results.

    Sony XBR-700E - works fine, including the local channels. I hadn’t expected that as I had seen some articles saying that it wouldn’t do the locals with the Smart TVs. Seems it will at least for some.

    AT&T TV Osprey box - works fine.
    AppleTV4K - works fine
    FireTV Cube 2nd Gen - works fine. And one noticeable thing, the video on Sling for the locals is better than what the Recast produces. Not a huge difference but a difference nevertheless.
     
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  16. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    Think smart tv's meant the likes of Samsung and LG that are proprietary. Your Sony is Android TV and and using the same app as Android tv streaming devices like the TS4k, shield, mibox and so on.

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  17. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Active Member

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    Yeah, platform agnostic has its advantages for sure. The Sling+AirTV is pretty much platform agnostic since the Sling app runs on practically everything. In this case though, the lack of a search that works on the OTA stuff is an issue.

    Recast, even though it does tie you to FireTV has some advantages because of that. Search works for everything and on the FireTV it is a bit better integrated into their UI.

    As an avowed Apple fan I’ve always loved the AppleTV, even own the 1st gen of it with the hard disk drive though it is dead now. But I have to say that Amazon has come a long way with the FireTV stuff. My Cube is quicker at nearly all things compared to the AppleTV and it sure as hell has a better remote. PQ and AQ between the Cube and AppleTV4K is pretty much dead even.
     
  18. wizwor

    wizwor Active Member

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    Platform agnostic plus wireless are great characteristics for the 'other' televisions and personal devices like phones and tablets.

    and it works great with the Echo Show.

    Hate the AppleTV remote and prefer a grid guide to a tiles interface. Got two steeply discounted AppleTVs. Even my iBoy won't use one. My interest in the ATV platform was piqued one weekend I spent on the USS Salem. The first thing I noticed when touring the ship was the number of televisions -- CRTs and LEDs. When we settled down after dinner, the crew gathered around televisions and streamed from their phones to the televisions. They were watching news then movies then music videos and finally youtube videos. I was impressed. I learned they had Apple TV devices on the televisions and that anything you could watch on the phone could be streamed to the television. Hardly magic these days, but pretty impressive then.

    I have a feeling you spend as much on toys as I do.
     
  19. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    I think if you're a frequent poster on here, your tech/gadget spending is quite above the national average...

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    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
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  20. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    As much as I love Prime I don't care for Fire or Recast. I have specific reasons and I've used fire devices and still have a 4k stick collecting dust. I do like the carousels of Android TV and of the Tivo Stream app actually becomes what it should, it should be effective, but it is a long long way off of true cross app integration.

    I truly don't understand why sling and fire gimp in home viewing with low end video and audio. Streaming in general already takes a hit against discs. It's abysmal sling and Amazon think it's acceptable to make it even worse for OTA when it's clearly shown modern devices work with mpeg2 and in ho e networks can handle streaming it.

    It's fine you and others find it acceptable for your use cases, but on a whole it's just unacceptable. It's the dumbification of AV to the lowest common denominator and takes the easy way out.

    The talk of being tech geeks and spending on all this equipement and yet people settle for low end is just wrong. Not that I paid as much but I have about $10k worth of projectors and quality speaker setups to take advantage of quality video and sound. Not sure why Amazon and Sling find it acceptable those people should suffer with an inferior product. Because the integrated search is good? Okay, that's five minutes of whatever as I settle into hours of actual watching. I think I'd take a less integrated search and a few minutes of more work to get better image and sound.

    But I'm one that will still buy blu-ray and mostly the 4k option if I think it's a worthwhile movie that takes advantage of it.

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