TiVo Alternatives?

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

  1. Jan 24, 2020 #801 of 1017
    spiderpumpkin

    spiderpumpkin Say no to Hydra!

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    I've been testing and using Channels DVR for 3 months now and it works great and will probably replace my Tivo someday. However, I find myself missing the trick play with 6 tuners that my Tivo Bolt Vox provides.

    I've mainly been watching Channels on another tv in the house that has a Tivo Mini, and used Channels more. I never really used the Tivo Mini much because a lot of times a live tv tuner wasn't available and trick play wasn't really an option.

    So, I ended up buying a second Tivo Bolt Vox 3TB to replace my Tivo Mini in that room, and will just use Channels DVR to record special things like long marathons, etc.
     
  2. Jan 24, 2020 #802 of 1017
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    They're missing a bunch of channels. YTTV had an incredibly targeted lineup at $40/mo, even when they added some junk and increased to $50/mo, it's still a really complete offering, I've heard great things about it from many people, and the VQ is supposed to be secondly only to DTVN, which is otherwise a lousy service.
     
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  3. Jan 24, 2020 #803 of 1017
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

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    (Maybe repeating myself here...) I'm not sure exactly what you're looking for, but, you should know that Channels records its videos to plain unencrypted files in standard formats on your own disk. You really can do whatever you want with them.
     
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  4. Jan 24, 2020 #804 of 1017
    foghorn2

    foghorn2 Well-Known Member

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    Im glad its missing a lot of channels I dont want and the get the channels I want cheaper.
     
  5. Jan 25, 2020 #805 of 1017
    Saturn

    Saturn Lord of the Rings

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    That's true, but not wife-friendly. And frankly I would rather not muck around with handbrake and VLC on my phone/tablet when I want to take a show with me either. I suppose I could save them to a place Plex would pick up and let it do the re-encoding/transfer to mobile, but that's still extra steps and a different UI to navigate to find the shows you want.
     
  6. Jan 25, 2020 #806 of 1017
    ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    I tried Vue, Sling, DVTN, Phil, Hulu Live, and YTTV. YTTV had the best picture by far. I kept Sling as a way to get the few linear cable channels we want to augment our Recast DVR. PQ wasn't the best, but for the few things we watched, it was fine. Once I realized the Recast could not be counted on to actually record certain shows, I switched to YTTV to get locals. I understand DTVN might be better on the AT&T Android box, but that is a bit too much AT&T overhead for me to buy into. Also, I didn't like the "DVR" functionality and the pricing.
     
  7. Jan 25, 2020 #807 of 1017
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    Which of course means it's good for you, but not 'the best' for everyone.
     
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  8. Jan 27, 2020 #808 of 1017
    Puppy76

    Puppy76 Well-Known Member

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    It strikes me as seriously messed up that today I can literally buy a Fire TV stick 4K + 4 tuner recast for LESS than the price of just a Tivo mini, and without a $15/month fee.

    don’t know if I could stand a recast though, nor do I know how secure the newer fire tv stuff is. And I copy shows off my Tivo all the time... but still...
     
  9. Jan 27, 2020 #809 of 1017
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    It works better for some areas than others. It doesn't work here, since it's missing several key channels here.
     
  10. Jan 28, 2020 #810 of 1017
    ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    The Recast/Firestick experience works pretty well, but it does take some getting used to. The DVR and live TV functions are integrated into the UI fairly well, but they are not as prominent as with traditional DVRs that had streaming added on. Given Amazon's liberal return policy, you could always try it out for yourself and see.
     
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  11. Jan 28, 2020 #811 of 1017
    mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Recast is not a good fit for people who make copies of their recordings. While the files are open, the procedure to copy them is very complex and requires a screwdriver every time you want to copy something. Apparently "Channels DVR" recordings are much easier to copy, but it has a monthly fee like Tivo. So you really haven't gained anything except the ability to record streams from TVE apps.
     
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  12. Jan 28, 2020 #812 of 1017
    spiderpumpkin

    spiderpumpkin Say no to Hydra!

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    Channels DVR price is worth it. The developers are always working on improving the software and communicate very well with users.
     
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  13. Jan 28, 2020 #813 of 1017
    mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I'm very impressed with Channels. No doubt it's worth every penny. I just have no desire to record streams or pay ANY fees at all. So Recast is enough for me. Not to mention the simplicity of having one box versus all the individual parts I'd need for Channels. Been there, done that 10 years ago.
     
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  14. Jan 28, 2020 #814 of 1017
    Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    Recently I almost dropped TiVo completely for Channels DVR. The hard drive in our Roamio Pro started to die, and I seriously considered retiring the whole box. But I eventually put in a new drive.

    TE3 is still a more familiar interface, like an old friend. And we'd rather run the two systems in parallel for a while longer, as you never know which one is going to have a problem. If it's not the lame TiVo/Rovi EPG, it's a bug in the still-new Channels TVE beta, or something.

    I have to say though, Channels has been rock-solid since I replaced TVE with an HDHR Prime. The Prime is sporting the CableCARD that used to be in our buggy old Bolt. I'm also still using an HDHR Quatro for OTA, but cable is the best source of news and talk for us.

    Channels and Roamio cr.jpg
     
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  15. Jan 28, 2020 #815 of 1017
    vaquero

    vaquero Active Member

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    I went to the Channels website and it was a little confusing to me. I couldn't see where they were selling any hardware. I did notice in their example setup they used an HDHomerun. So, how does the OTA signal get into the Channels app so that it can be paused, etc.? And, how do they make money if you don't pay extra for the DVR feature?

    Disclaimer: Sometimes I don't see what is clearly in front of me.
     
  16. Jan 28, 2020 #816 of 1017
    Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    Your confusion is understandable. They develop software only. That software depends on hardware made by others. They support only HD HomeRun tuners, but also recently launched beta support of TV Everywhere. They list a range of suggested server hardware on their site, and they support four client app platforms plus web browsers. To network it all together, they suggest wired Ethernet.

    They make money off the $8 monthly or $80 annual subscription, without which you wouldn't have the guide that makes DVR scheduling possible. But they also offer another app for live TV only which sells for a one time $25 per client.

    It's not at all a turnkey consumer electronics box like a TiVo or a Recast, but only some users get extremely technical and experimental with it, while for others it never gets beyond a relatively basic level of tech. Makes sense?
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
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  17. Jan 28, 2020 #817 of 1017
    vaquero

    vaquero Active Member

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    Good explanation. Thanks.
     
  18. Jan 28, 2020 #818 of 1017
    Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    Glad that helped. I realized I hadn't answered your question about how they make money, so added a paragraph on that about the same time you answered. It's clearly not a big bucks operation, but there are only three developers and they are very responsive.
     
  19. Jan 28, 2020 #819 of 1017
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    This table is outdated for AT&T TV Now. As of a week or so ago, their flagship Plus and Max packages ($65 and $80, respectively, both including HBO) offer a cloud DVR with 500 hours of storage and 90-day retention, with 3 simultaneous streams.

    It seems that they're harmonizing AT&T TV Now with the flagship AT&T TV that will launch nationwide in Feb. I'm still predicting that Plus and Max will be the only set of core packages offered on both services at that point (perhaps with a third "Starter" package sans locals or sports channels slotted underneath them). If that's AT&T's game plan, then they'll add some important missing channels to Plus and Max by then (including the A+E, AMC and probably Discovery networks).

    In the end, the only real differences between AT&T TV and AT&T TV Now is that the latter won't require a contract or credit check but also won't offer some of the perks that the former does, including a free customized streaming device, sign-up gift cards and/or first-year discounts, and ongoing bundling discounts when combining TV with AT&T broadband service. But both services will sell the same set of channel packages with the same regular prices, with the same cloud DVR and number of streams, using the same app across retail devices.
     
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  20. Jan 28, 2020 #820 of 1017
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I think you're the first person I've ever seen post that YTTV has better PQ than AT&T TV Now (formerly DirecTV Now). The consensus among internet posters who've used both seems to be that YTTV has very good PQ but not as good as AT&T.

    I've never seen YTTV firsthand but I know that when I had DTVN a couple years ago, using the Apple TV 4K they gave me, its live channels had the best PQ on average across all channels that I'd ever seen from any live cable TV source. (The second-best I've ever seen was DirecTV satellite.) That said, the PQ on cloud DVR and VOD was noticeably worse. But they've switched out their cloud DVR platform since then and done who knows what else. When I did the free trial of AT&T Watch TV a few months ago, it had the same level of PQ on live channels as I remembered seeing on DTVN.
     
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