TiVo Alternatives?

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

  1. Jan 8, 2020 #741 of 906
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'd agree that it's not mainly for the majority of folks who frequent this forum, i.e. TiVo DVR owners. I'm not sure if it's even all that important in the grand scheme of things whether this device ever gains Mini capabilities because the additional sales it would net from that feature wouldn't be enough to save it from otherwise being a failure. This device will have to succeed as a high-value, reasonably priced streaming device, pure and simple. This is essentially just an Android TV streamer but one that will potentially be saved from also-ran status (like Xiaomi's Mi Box) by the TiVo branding, UI and remote. We'll see. (They're going to need decent distribution and advertising for this thing if it's to succeed.)

    Remains to be seen how good a job this device does in integrating streaming content from various sources but I'd say from the screenshots alone that it does a better job than either the Roku or Fire TV and possibly even better than the Apple TV (which has been the best so far, IMO).

    As far as core streaming functionality, this device should do everything that the Nvidia Shield TV does since they both run Android TV. But in addition, this device also has the TiVo UI/app and also supports Dolby Vision HDR. (Yes, I realize that some models of the Shield TV -- which cost 3X as much as this device -- let you run a Plex server on it or attach USB tuners and/or storage.)
     
  2. Jan 8, 2020 #742 of 906
    randian

    randian Active Member

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    To whom? While their patents were still good they rested on their laurels and squandered their market lead. What's left to sell?
     
  3. Jan 8, 2020 #743 of 906
    Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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  4. Jan 8, 2020 #744 of 906
    Charles R

    Charles R Active Member

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    If you look at it without tunnel vision... virtually any product (they could introduce) which would be popular here would have virtually no interest to mainstream users. The reverse is also true... so the more they "piss" us off and more likely it might actually be a good product. :)
     
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  5. Jan 8, 2020 #745 of 906
    Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    I'm not P.O.'ed much, but I sure am disappointed. I have Channels DVR and in many ways it's better than TiVo DVRs. I have a Fire TV Stick 4K and in all ways it's better than a TiVo Stream 4K. That disappoints me in niche and mainstream markets right there, and to top it off they didn't include an app on the Stream 4K that would connect the two. All disappointing.
     
  6. Jan 9, 2020 #746 of 906
    spiderpumpkin

    spiderpumpkin Say no to Hydra!

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    Sounds like the Tivo Stream 4K is actually an Android TV stick with some kind of new Tivo app that does the Sling guide?

    It's almost like the actual way to connect to a Tivo DVR with the new Tivo Stick would require them to have a separate app just for that on the stick.

    That's why I think the functionality is missing. They couldn't figure out how to combine the two apps and had to leave out access back to Tivo DVRs.
     
  7. Jan 9, 2020 #747 of 906
    Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    Yes, it's an OEM Android TV dongle that they didn't design or make, licensed from the same source as an identical AirTV product. And yes connecting to the DVRs would require a new app, but at last year's CES they demonstrated exactly that app for Android TV, Apple TV, Roku, and Fire TV, saying they would release them sometime in 2019.

    TiVo_Ted says the Apple and Roku apps are on hold, but maybe we'll still see an Android TV app, and then maybe that could be ported to Fire TV. Yet if they were thinking at all about bringing their installed base along into this new era, they would have at least officially pre-announced the already-announced Android app.

    Which Ted did, kinda sorta, but that got his PR people mad at him (see the bottom of the second article), because their only audience for this launch is the merger managers at Xperi, and nobody else. I'm willing to bet every potential investor or buyer during last year's discussions asked about entering the pure streaming space.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
  8. Jan 9, 2020 #748 of 906
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    Wow, try not to look down on us slobs and recognize that there are things that Tivo can do that would appeal to both. Like maybe integrating Tivo DVR support with their new 4K stick so you could have content aggregation across old and new TV. Just like they should have done with OnePass. Sure no one else would care about Tivo support but they would care about content aggregation that works.

    All of this assumes Tivo can pull it off, which is a very big if considering the epic fail that 1P became.
     
  9. Jan 9, 2020 #749 of 906
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, my concern is that the capabilities of the TiVo Stream 4K when it comes to surfacing and tracking content in the on-demand streaming apps (Netflix, Prime Video, etc.) is really just OnePass, nothing more or better. And if that's all it is, I don't see this device offering much beyond being a reasonably priced Android TV streamer with Dolby Vision and Atmos, which is actually a hole in the market that needed filling. (There are rumors, though, that Google plans to finally come out with their own "hero device" for the Android TV platform this year, e.g. a "Pixel Player," so that could blunt the potential sales for TiVo's device.)
     
  10. Jan 9, 2020 #750 of 906
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    If they are targeting retail, then they've got more serious problems than I thought. I'm a TiVo fan (I mean, I'm here after all), and I wouldn't buy that compared to my Roku or an Apple TV or Shield Pro.
     
  11. Jan 9, 2020 #751 of 906
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    NVidia has already been there, done that.
     
  12. Jan 9, 2020 #752 of 906
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, for $150-200. There's just not much room in the market for streaming devices with that kind of price tag other than from Apple (and even the Apple TV lags well behind Roku and Fire TV in terms of market share).

    IMO, if Google wants to see Android TV succeed in the US retail market (and I don't know that they really do), they need to put out their own device with a high-quality remote, 4K, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, system-wide native contrast/color space auto-switching (e.g. between HDR and SDR), AC wifi, a USB port (for external storage and/or ethernet adapter) and price it at $69, same as the Chromecast Ultra (which it would replace). Work with Amazon and Apple to ensure that it get their apps (along with all the other stuff that's already in the Google Play Store) and encourage all the main services to support their API for two-way content tracking in the universal Play Next watchlist that appears at the top of the home screen. Google's own Live Channels app already works with my HDHomeRun network tuner and actually even has basic free DVR capabilities built into it.

    That's quite a laundry list of things I'd like to see but if Google comes through with something like that, I'd probably buy it and try it out in lieu of my Apple TV 4K.
     
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  13. Jan 9, 2020 #753 of 906
    tommiet

    tommiet Active Member

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    Zoltan says.... "TiVo will live on forever....."

    Ad paid for by TE3 users.
     
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  14. Jan 9, 2020 #754 of 906
    RightHere

    RightHere Member

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    What's the closest thing on the market comparable to this? I'm guessing the price here is at least $25 too low. Even the Roku Ultra that doesn't have some of these features is $100.
     
  15. Jan 9, 2020 #755 of 906
    Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    There is nothing comparable on the market, as the TiVo device does not yet exist. And it's totally unknown, if it ever exists, what capabilities or performance level it will have.

    E.g., a year ago at CES, TiVo "pre-announced" the TiVo Mini Wireless Adapter--it was announced to have a "direct connection" feature under which a TiVo Mini box would connect directly to its Bolt master box without needing to go through the consumer's regular home router, and at a top data transmission speed. A potential great performance boon. When the device finally issued out 2 months ago (months after the expected retail release date), the feature was missing, and the adapter seems no better (or worse) than the WiFi bridge solutions that consumers have been using with their Mini boxes for well over 5 years--albeit, with the TiVo device at up to twice the price of regular WiFi bridges (from mainstay router/WiFi connection device manufacturers).

    Just sayin'.*

    * Boy, including with current comments/characterizations/allusions made by TiVo about its TiVo DVR consumer base, Tivo seems to be burning bridges with its base--the base that pays TiVo monthly, annual, and Lifetime DVR subscription fees, and whose private information TiVo then takes to make even more money off of.
     
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  16. RightHere

    RightHere Member

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    Think you missed my point. It has nothing to do with Tivo. NashGuy referenced a particular config for an Android TV device. I was asking if there's any hardware on the market with specs anywhere near that, and what it costs.

    Agree with you on Tivo burning all of the bridges though...
     
  17. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    My cable company now supplies the TiVo Experience (as they call it). The do not use the USB dongle for their Mini, they support eero (heavily).
     
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  18. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    There is no indication that I am aware of so far regarding which apps on the TiVo Stream 4K will support DV and/or Atmos. It's one thing to specify the capability of the device and quite another to have it work within a given streaming app.

    To date, no streaming device does it all, not even my Nvidia Shield TV, although it probably comes closest--albeit at a premium price.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
  19. foghorn2

    foghorn2 Well-Known Member

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    Could careless about atmos or DV or HDR for the matter. All over hyped tech.
     
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  20. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Well, it's possible that the TiVo Stream 4K will meet all of the specs I listed. We do know that it:

    • has a high-quality remote with voice input, TV power & volume, plenty of (too many?) buttons, etc. (although I'd like a backlight too)
    • supports 4K, Dolby Vision & Dolby Atmos
    • has a spare USB-C port
    • has the Amazon Prime Video app for Android TV (which generally supports 4K HDR for eligible devices)
    • carries a regular $69 price tag but will initially sell at a discounted $50 price

    Here's what we (or at least I) don't know:

    • level of wi-fi -- but it likely does have fast 802.11 AC (i.e. WiFi 5) with MIMO given that the AirTV Mini, which has identical internals, claims that level its specifications.
    • system-wide automatic contrast and color space switching -- This has been a shortcoming of the Nvidia Shield TV (and, as far as I know, all Android TV streamers) for a long time. It didn't have a single system setting like the Apple TV 4K's "Match Dynamic Range" that would automatically switch the unit's video output between SDR and its associated color space and HDR and its wider color gamut based on the native format of the content title currently streaming. (I believe you had to manually switch settings back and forth and/or mess with settings in individual apps.) I *think* that issue finally got resolved (or partially resolved) when Nvidia issued a beta feature called "Match Content Color Space" last summer. Is that something that Google is now baking into Android TV itself? Or if not, is that a feature that TiVo will make sure they include in their Stream 4K?
    • Apple TV app -- will TiVo be able to get Apple to bless their device with the app that Apple uses to distribute their new Apple TV+ service? Who knows. But Apple did just confirm at CES that certain model Sony smart TVs (all of which now run Android TV) will get their app this year. Not sure why Apple would want to keep it from other high-profile Android TV devices given that they're letting $29 Rokus and Fire TVs have it.

    As far as Google working with major apps to generally improve Android TV, by getting them to work with the Play Next watchlist that appears at the top of the Android TV home screen, well, that's up to them. I doubt TiVo has that kind of sway.

    Just for comparison's sake, the closest that Android TV has come to my wish list in the US would be Xiaomi's Mi Box S. It's sold at Walmart and Amazon for $59. It has 4K and HDR10 but no Dolby Vision or Atmos. The remote is decent but not great. It finally got updated yesterday to Android TV 9.0 plus the Amazon Prime Video app. (Like Pixel phones, I would expect that a Google-made Android TV streamer would receive timely updates.)
     

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