TiVo Alternatives?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Saturn, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. spiderpumpkin

    spiderpumpkin Say no to Hydra!

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    I didn't have a Fire Stick right away and just used it on my computer for about a week. You can watch the recordings and live tv in the desktop browser to test things out, etc.

    $8 for a lot of functionality. The developers are very helpful in the getchannels forum and always fixing things and using suggestions for new features. I suppose it they increase the price to $12-15 I wouldn't be happy but $8-10 seems ok.
     
  2. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    A couple years ago the Channels developers produced a Roku app for testing, but withdrew it because the Roku platform does not support MPEG2 natively, forcing the Channels server to do a lot of transcoding on the server. Unlike Plex, they prefer not to put that kind of demand on home networks.

    In fact now that I think about it, that transcoding for Roku may be why you're experiencing issues with Plex. Try a Fire TV Stick 4K with Plex and you may be happily surprised, though I still recommend comparing with Channels.
     
    wizwor likes this.
  3. MassMan

    MassMan Member

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    I'm doing the same thing. I have a Tive Premiere with lifetime. The family really likes it. Easy to navigate. I like how the OTA and my cable are integrated.

    I got the HDHR Quatro today because of the sale ($99) and just will tinker with it for now. What takes getting used to is while I get channel numbers on the OTA of Channels (using it on my iphone) and HDHR app. I can't enter a number on a remote, and haven't found a way to get to "last channel".

    I will build a pc and get a month to month of Channels to see how it goes when recording.
     
  4. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    $99 is a good deal! I paid $150. I hope this doesn't mean BestBuy is dropping the product though. They really don't know how to sell it. Thanks for starting this discussion: https://www.tivocommunity.com/c...
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
  5. peakay

    peakay Member

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    OK, so our tivo minis keep locking up, so we are considering bailing on Tivo too. Customers since series 1, sad to leave. I do think they have the best system for app/content aggregation and if the variosu apps worked better and weren't so slow, wed not be looking.

    My question... how do people deal with the lack of controlability of rewinding, etc., especially when watching sports? I've dinked around with a roku and what absolutely bugged me is not having fine control over fast forward, slow mo and quick replays. You take thet for granted as a long time tivo user, but streaming does not replicate that experience as far as Ive seen.

    Other than that, there's also the issue of local sports being blacked out even when you have a season pass and having to go to a VPN to spoof your location. I guess sports are really wher I have th ebiggest problem.

    Thanks.
     
  6. WhenenRome

    WhenenRome Member

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  7. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    Not a problem for me watching OTA or a cable TVE stream in Channels Plus. Channels is still not TiVo, but it's close enough, right down to manual or automatic commercial skip, and adjustable FF/Rew skip distance. No Roku app though, just Apple TV, Fire TV, Fire devices, iOS, Android, and desktop web.

    I haven't yet tried a virtual provider like YouTube TV via Channels, but it seems to work similarly when Channels can access the same stream. However, there may be others issues with streaming sports. See the reports posted by @inaka today on his cord-cutting thread. Is there really a 30-second delay? Wow.
     
  8. Scooter Scott

    Scooter Scott Member

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    ^^^ What he said. It's not TiVo, but it works well. Even without the DVR server you can still use time shift capabilities with the Channels app.
     
  9. OrangeCrush

    OrangeCrush Active Member

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    I used to be a much bigger proponent of lifetime options vs neverending subscriptions, but a certain other DVR company has taught me that lifetime subscriptions aren't always the best choice. Once they have all the money they're going to get from you, there's not much incentive to keep you happy and they start pulling stupid crap like inserting ads of their own so they can make another buck off you.

    There's some value in a company having to earn my continued business from you, and I think the Channels developers do that in spades. Very responsive, very eager to help and they're always adding new features, (TVE, improving the ad detection system, etc.) I like that I'm supporting a small business as well. I'm happy to support them for as long as they keep actively working to improve the platform.

    Check eBay. There are lots of off-lease corporate PCs that go for super cheap. A few generations old, but plenty powerful for Channels & a modest Plex server. I got a smaller desktop w/ a quad core i5, 8 gigs ram for $85 and dropped in a 6TB hard drive I had laying around.

    Youtube TV & Channels have the best implementation, imo. Rather than trying to do a continuous RW/FW with those little thumbnails--which is impossible for fine control--they jump forward or back a fixed number of seconds with each press of RW / FW. Each tap is forward or back a certain number of seconds. Channels DVR lets you set the number of seconds for forward & back and has separate settings for sports, so you can use a smaller increment if you want. Just no Roku support w/ Channels.
     
  10. mschnebly

    mschnebly Well-Known Member

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    I use it with YTTV and it works very well. I think the thing is becoming more of a "what bothers you the most" or "what can you live with" when thinking about dropping TiVo. These other options might not be as polished as a TiVo but they are quickly changing as more people switch and give them a reason to polish them more. The best thing is try them before you make the decision. Just remember that sometimes it's just what you're used to that make something feel worse. When I first tried YTTV I didn't think I'd like it but after using it for a few weeks and learned how it works I was sold. It's my favorite.
     
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  11. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    I'm keeping my TiVo for the foreseeable future, as I'm perfectly happy with it, but I'd have to say that there is an appeal to the Channels model of being able to put almost everything on an Android TV box like the Nvidia Shield. That would have everything I need except for Blu-Ray, which I don't use too often, and use for large chunks of time. Not that flipping back and forth between Roku and TiVo is anything but a complete first world problem, but the idea that you could have one Channels DVR and scale out to many TVs in a household with a single box at each one is pretty cool. We're getting ever closer to convergence nirvana.
     
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  12. trip1eX

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

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    Are you using YTTV on an AppleTV?
     
  13. Saturn

    Saturn Lord of the Rings

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    That very same company taught lots of people the opposite message too - just because you're paying a subscription doesn't mean you're going to get new features, especially on your older boxes.

    Though that's a bit of an aside - TiVo was a hardware+subscription whereas Channels is pure software subscription.
     
  14. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Sort of since they make the HDHR tuners that go with it.
     
  15. Saturn

    Saturn Lord of the Rings

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    From Channels' own press kit:
    "
    We're two indie developers who got fed up with slow and awkward set-top-box interfaces and set out to build something better. Channels uses a SiliconDust HDHomeRun network TV tuner to stream live television directly to your streaming device, with no intermediate server required. We've built a simple intuitive TV watching experience that's easy for the whole family. It really lets you live on a single input with your Apple TV.
    "
    While they use HDHomeRun products, they are not affiliated with Silicondust.
     
  16. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Oh, interesting. They're clearly partnered with SiliconDust somehow, but they may not be profiting off of hardware sales in that case....
     
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  17. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

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    Eh? Not clear to me.
     
  18. spiderpumpkin

    spiderpumpkin Say no to Hydra!

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    I think the ability to use multiple HDHRs just works with how the developers want Channels DVR to work.
     
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  19. powrcow

    powrcow Active Member

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    Do many of the TVE streams that Channels DVR records have a 30 or 60 fps frame rate?
     
  20. MassMan

    MassMan Member

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    I finally setup a pc to act as a dvr for channels. I have an HDHR Connect Quatro, and using TV Anywhere to pipe in many of my comcast channels.

    It's works very well. The sound doesn't feel as deep as it does through the Tivo. I'm using a 4K Apple TV. Both the Apple TV and the DVR are wired to the same switch.

    Both the Tivo and the Apple TV are connected to the same TV with the same sound output to a soundbar.
    Luckily I'm a tinkerer, and while it doesn't seem like it needs a lot, Tivo is just so easy (for both me and the family)

    Also I don't see if I can watch a small screen while I use the guide as I can with my Tivo Premiere. Not a huge deal but a very nice to have.
     

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