TiVo Alternatives?

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

  1. MassMan

    MassMan Member

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    You're not wrong, the Apple is new the 2nd gen FireTv is 3-4 years old. I guess I really wanted my FireTv to work better (afterall they claim it does 4K)
     
  2. Charles R

    Charles R Active Member

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    Been looking at a Recast (because of the current sale) however seeing this (among other issues - their forum is rather scary especially the Recast "locking up") makes me want to return it before it's ever opened... not so much the issue rather the fact it's never been addressed. I can pretty much imagine the endless minor issues I don't have to deal with now. And lastly outside of a couple of minor updates the OS is virtually unchanged since release.

    I'm also having the same problem on my 2-tuner Recast:

    playback goes blank at the top of the hour or 30 min. mark whenever a recording starts. I have to back out of the black screen and resume the recording I was watching.

    I see that this problem goes back to Feb 2019. Hasn't Development been able to come up with a fix.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
  3. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    None of these OTA DVRs are perfect, and they all have their bugs/quirks. It is just a matter of finding one that fits your wants/needs with a minimal amount of downside. The Recast was the best fit for my wife and me, but other folks might like other solutions better. None of them seem to be unusable, so I think it is merely a matter of trying them out to see which one you like best.
     
  4. Saturn

    Saturn Lord of the Rings

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    So far I've been pretty happy with Plex, but the UI for finding recently recorded shows is bad, particularly on my Samsung TV. It doesn't have the Live DVR section, so the only way to get to shows is to dig them out of the TV Shows section where they end up. Its much better on the phone, but I haven't tried the Roku app yet.
     
  5. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. I have experienced this a couple of times. But I never made the association to a scheduled recording starting in the background. It is annoying, and I'm disappointed it hasn't been fixed. But they have made many other changes/improvements in the mean time.

    What do you mean by virtually unchanged? What sort of major updates were you looking for?
     
  6. Charles R

    Charles R Active Member

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    I largely agree however at the same time I believe a lot of users once they make their selection tend to dismiss its drawbacks and others advantages. I call it tunnel vision and to some degree it makes it rather difficult to get a true grasp of the actual user experience.

    From reading their forum it's hard not to buy into one of the threads... Is The Recast a "Dead" product. Such as most of the issues since release haven't been addressed with some of them being rather serious. As an example posted last week in a thread started around the original release...

    I have the same issue as stated in the original post. Every few days my recast will just freeze up and I have to reboot it. There isn’t a buffering problem and that hidden menu does help this problem. I find it odd that many of us are having this issue.

    I read the rumor about possible commercial skip and went looking if there was a Beta or any details only to find it was referenced back at its initial release and nothing since.

    Bottom line from what I can tell Amazon has shown very little interest in improving the Recast and even worse hardly any in addressing issues since release. If I felt they were going to address their warts and even look to improve the experience it would be much easier to buy into.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
  7. mschnebly

    mschnebly Well-Known Member

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    You don't have to use a PC. Pne of these works perfectly with Channels.

    https://www.amazon.com/Cloud-Home-P...qid=1574703575&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&sr=8-5&th=1
     
  8. OrangeCrush

    OrangeCrush Active Member

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    Yeah, the patents have little to nothing to do with it. The cable companies demand a lot of copy-protection and DRM before a manufacturer can make a DVR that works with their systems. There are licensing fees, certifications & steep penalties (millions of dollars) imposed if any of the devices are hacked and the keys get out. It could be ruinously expensive for any small company. With cable subscribers dwindling, it's hard to see how it could ever be worthwhile to take those risks. This is why the 6-tuner HDHomeRun Prime has been in limbo for so long and just about every recent competitor in the DVR space is sticking to OTA and not even attempting true cable/cable card support aside from some experimentation w/ TVE feeds.

    The latest Fire TV 4k sticks are on sale again for $25
     
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  9. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Take this with a grain of salt, but Cord Cutters News said back on 9/19/19: "Now according to reports, it seems that automatic commercial skipping is also being tested by a small number of Fire TV Recast owners."

    But they don't link to any underlying source of those reports.
     
  10. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    I just saw a possible solution pop up on the Channels community forum for live TV problems on older Fire TV devices. The user wasn't seeing exactly the same issue you described, but this may still be a fix: Help with Channels app and my Fire Cube
     
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  11. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    I've maybe had to reboot my Recast once in the few months I've had it. More often, I have to restart a Firestick. One problem I've had is it missing a few recordings, I assume due to bad guide data. This was typical of my Tivo, Dish, and DirecTV DVR experiences as well. Also, occasionally, I will have to "skip back" to get a smooth picture/higher bitrate on playback of a recording, which is kind of annoying.

    I see updates coming from Amazon on a regular basis, so I assume they are doing something, even if it is minor. Commercial skip would be cool, but it isn't a deal breaker for me, and the low signal messages need to go the heck away. Honestly, if I knew 5 months ago what I know now, I would skip the antenna and OTA DVR and go 100% streaming, given how easy it is to switch from one vendor to another. At this point, the antenna install and Recast are a sunk cost, so no point in not using them while they are useful.
     
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  12. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Good to know. Are there any drawbacks to using a NAS such as this as opposed to a Mac or Windows PC? Does this NAS still support the Channels commercial skip feature?

    I notice you can buy the 2 TB version of that WD My Cloud Home server for $140 tax-free with free shipping at B&H Photo. And you can buy a 2-tuner HDHomeRun Connect for $70 new there (or get a used/refurb one for around $50 or less on eBay). So you can buy the hardware to get started with Channels Plus DVR for around $200. Not bad. Of course, there's still the $8/mo or $80/yr service fee.

    It all depends on what it is you plan to record off of your local OTA stations, of course, but I still think that, for a lot of folks, it may be difficult to justify paying ongoing OTA DVR service fees when you can get Hulu with ads for $6 or ad-free for $12 and it gives you next-day access (with superior picture quality) to all the primetime non-sports stuff from ABC, NBC and Fox (with PBS and The CW content available for free on their own apps). Not arguing in favor of one choice or the other, only that I think the presence of Hulu likely depresses demand for OTA DVRs.
     
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  13. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    The launch of Amazon Music HD has a similar feeling. It's missing features users have come to expect from competitors. It's buggy. It's disappointing. Amazon has been so slow to fix and upgrade it, some are wondering if they ever will. And yet Amazon keeps selling more and more subscriptions, probably at a loss but making that up by selling other products and services to go with it. Sound familiar?
     
  14. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm, TiVo should consider doing something like that. ;)
     
  15. mschnebly

    mschnebly Well-Known Member

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    I have the 2 T version and used it with Channels for a few months. It works exactly the same as on my NAS. Honestly I cant tell the difference. I just use the WD for other things now.
     
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  16. Saturn

    Saturn Lord of the Rings

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    *sigh* Plex on Roku has a decent version of Now Playing (sort the TV Shows by latest recorded), but no 30 second skip on Roku:
    What happened to 30 second skip?

    Anyone know if the Amazon Fire version of the Plex app does? This is a deal breaker for me - I use 30 sec skip all the time when watching football, which is pretty much the only thing I watch from TV anymore...
     
  17. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    @jzinckgra as far as I know the HDHR Scribe does not have commercial skip. If so, that would be a deal breaker for most of us, as we're no longer used to just fast-forwarding thru ads. Channels does a pretty good job of automatically indexing most shows, for manual or automatic skip.
     
  18. tapokata

    tapokata Active Member

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    Just another random data point, but I have never seen the lockup issue at all on the recast, and I have been using it since Prime day.
     
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  19. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    I'm not positive but I think the OP was referring more to a DVR that would attach directly to a TV rather than be headless and rely on another device for display (and they are looking at OTA alternatives).

    Scott
     
  20. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Pretty slim pickins' in that case. Only one I know of is the iView. It's only $30, but you have to add your own hard drive. And it works with timers like an old VCR. No guide to speak of. I'd have to be really, really desperate to stoop to that. OP really needs to consider headless, since all the good alternatives are headless.

    EDIT: I forgot to add that the iView recordings have great names like S0248-012, which are just random numbers, no program title, channel, date or time info whatsoever. It's awesome.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
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