TiVo Alternatives?

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

  1. Sep 23, 2019 #101 of 1017

    wombat94 Member

    Nov 18, 2007


    No it doesn't. TVEverywhere just accesses the online streams that are available with either OTT services like YouTubeTV or PS Vue or that you have access to with your cable service (like Comcast or Verizon).

    One of the benefits to that as I see it is that you have effectively a huge number of tuners (as long as you have internet bandwidth)... I am in the process of testing the number of streams I can get recording at once with my Fios TVEverywhere and gigabit Fios service.
    WhenenRome likes this.
  2. Sep 23, 2019 #102 of 1017

    ncted A leaf on the wind

    May 13, 2007
    Durham, NC
    Just to correct this one point: The guide data is a full two weeks. That said, it is loaded on-demand, so it takes a few seconds when you go more than a couple of days out before the data shows up in the UI.
    FubarJeb likes this.
  3. Sep 23, 2019 #103 of 1017

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

    Mar 5, 2004
    Beware the cost of free standing internet, people who have come from cable bundles, have gotten a shock sometimes. As person who is technically a cord cutter let me just say...Don't get into OTA and streaming without testing the stuff for yourself, especially with Live streaming services. If you know what you want to watch vs. finding something to watch you'll be that much ahead. :)
    jjd_87 and wizwor like this.
  4. Sep 23, 2019 #104 of 1017

    reneg Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    As with most things Xfinity, your mileage may vary. For me, CNN & CNNI show up under my Xfinity support under Channels DVR TV Everywhere support.
  5. Sep 23, 2019 #105 of 1017

    dishrich Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Springfield, IL


    Hey, just read over at DSLR, that Comcast has restored remote DVR functionality:
    Re: Remote DVR programming via Xfinity app - Comcast XFINITY TV | DSLReports Forums
    Maybe with this coming (back) it could make having a Comcast (X1) DVR more palatable to more Tivo folks. ;)

    edit: also posted over at Comcast's own forum:
    Solved: Re: I can no longer record shows remotely - Page 34 - Xfinity Help and Support Forums - 3006332
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
  6. Sep 24, 2019 #106 of 1017

    swyman18 Active Member

    Jan 6, 2016
    Honoka'a, HI
    I tried out Channels DVR, and I must say it’s better than I expected. I would really like to keep using it, but there are 2 items for me that make it a no-go.

    - I have Spectrum TV Choice and I was able to authenticate for all of my 10 chosen channels except for History Channel. I’m having a little trouble determining if Spectrum doesn’t allow TVEverywhere access, or if there is no live feed for that channel via TVE.

    - No Premium channel support. I’m not sure if it’s just because HBO, Showtime, etc. don’t have live feeds on their TVE apps, or if Channels just chooses not to support it.

    Regarding the second point, I guess I’m still a little old school in that I like to surf around the movies that are airing. One of the things that sucked me into the Spectrum TV Choice option was the ability to add HBO, Showtime and STARZ all for $15 a month for 2 years. And I get those tons of linear channels for each that I always liked.

    Anyway, Channels DVR is certainly pretty neat. But for me, just not worth the extra $8 a month when I’ll still need to use the Spectrum TV app for History channel and my premiums.

    For now, I’ll stick with TVHeadEnd PVR with Kodi front end for OTA, and Spectrum TV app for the other stuff.

    For anyone who really likes to tinker, check out TVH. It’s not for the easily frustrated, but once you get it going and the EPG configured, it’s pretty cool. And the Kodi front-end works very well with it.
  7. Sep 24, 2019 #107 of 1017

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    This is the feature I'm curious about - so if you're on Comcast, say, you get all the channels in your package just like you do with the Roku app? And Channels will record all of them including premiums? How does Comcast allow this as part of TV Everywhere? Seems like something they wouldn't want users to do.

    In any case it's easy to workaround any missing channels with an HDHomerun Prime and a Cablecard I guess.
  8. Sep 24, 2019 #108 of 1017

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2015
    Well, in the case of the Xfinity Stream app on Roku, you're getting the live channel streams directly from Comcast (i.e. Comcast IPTV service). In the case of the Channels app using their TV Everywhere feature, its using your Comcast user ID and password to fetch the live stream of each cable channel from their respective websites. But this will only work for those cable channels which offer TV Everywhere live streaming and which specifically have a deal in place with Comcast to allow their customers to access it. So it's likely that there would be at least *some* channels in your Comcast package that would not show up in the Channels app via TV Everywhere. (Although if you were getting those channels over QAM via CableCARD, directly from Comcast, that wouldn't really matter.)

    Yes, Channels will record the live streaming channels delivered through their own websites. I've not read about any such live streams that Channels is able to display but unable to record, whether that's for basic cable channels or premium channels. If someone has knowledge of any such restrictions, perhaps they will reply to this with their experiences.

    And, yes, you're right that it seems like this is something that Comcast wouldn't really want their customers doing because it means that they can avoid using Comcast's own X1 boxes and app, and also avoid seeing whatever ads that Comcast might be placing in those cable channels' feeds on their own cable system.

    It also seems like something the cable networks themselves wouldn't like. The intent of their authenticated TV Everywhere feeds is really so that their paying customers can access their content "everywhere," while out of home and away from their cable box. They definitely don't intend for customers to *record* their live streams, giving them the ability to save a copy of that content indefinitely, with the ability to skip past ads. Their TV Everywhere sites/apps do have on-demand platforms, of course, but they force viewers to watch unskippable ads and content disappears from them after awhile, when the streaming rights are instead licensed to other services like Netflix, Hulu, etc.

    I elaborate all of that to point out that we *could* see these cable networks somehow crack down to prevent Channels from doing what they're doing. On the one hand, we might see them implement some kind of technology that prevents the Channels DVR server from being able to log in and access the live stream for viewing and recording. Perhaps a simple Captcha "are you a human or a bot" challenge could do that. On the other hand, we might see them fire off legal threats at Channels to scare them away from what they're doing. Channels is a great little product/service but I think it's a one-man or two-man shop. Tiny operation. (I've wondered why Apple or someone hasn't bought them on the cheap and incorporated whatever bits of their software they find useful.)
  9. Sep 24, 2019 #109 of 1017

    sjsaleem New Member

    Feb 15, 2013
    I agree. The best thing is you get Unlimited DVR and you can add the shows to Plex and download on your device for offline viewing.
  10. Sep 24, 2019 #110 of 1017

    sjsaleem New Member

    Feb 15, 2013
    You do not need HD Homerun tuner. You will need only if you want to watch and record OTA channels.
  11. Sep 24, 2019 #111 of 1017

    powrcow Active Member

    Sep 27, 2010
    From what I read on Channels DVR forum, the TV Everywhere recording option uses Chrome to capture the digital stream to disk. This doesn't require any frame capture or transcoding, hence no SiliconDust tuner required for TV Everywhere DVR. So it's not unlike a TiVo, just that it doesn't need the demodulator before it gets to the digital video stream.

    Is the above correct? Pretty slick implementation.
  12. Sep 24, 2019 #112 of 1017

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

    Jan 19, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Thanks, all your information is helpful, and I appreciate your correcting and clarifying on this topic which will greatly assist others. Personally I would only be selling my boxes with All-In transferred to the new owners, and having purchased one used v2 Mini on eBay I know the transfer is likely to go smoothly.

    Back on topic, based on what we've learned about the pre-roll ads on the other thread, as I posted there I'm likely to consolidate everything onto an upgraded Roamio Pro and v2 Minis all on TE3 for now, but also play with the forthcoming TiVo app for Roku/Fire/Android in one room where I'll also be experimenting with alternative apps like Channels in various cable and OTA configurations here.
  13. Sep 24, 2019 #113 of 1017

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

    Jan 19, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Thanks, I plan to experiment with many solutions and services here before switching. Currently with Comcast we pay $60 in a "Double Play" package with TV, and I have my own modem and router. I expect that could go up to almost $100 outside of the bundle, yes? But even after adding another streaming service to get Live TV we'd still be paying less than we pay Comcast, and as a bonus we could sell off the TiVo stuff. It's still no bargain thanks to Xfinity pricing, but looking for alternative ISPs is another thread all by itself.
  14. Sep 24, 2019 #114 of 1017

    swyman18 Active Member

    Jan 6, 2016
    Honoka'a, HI
    From what I could tell, Channels does not support premiums (HBO, Showtime, STARZ). If anyone sees otherwise, please let me know as I would definitely give it another try.

    At least with Spectrum anyway, I didn’t see any of those on the list that it was attempting to authenticate.
  15. Sep 24, 2019 #115 of 1017

    swyman18 Active Member

    Jan 6, 2016
    Honoka'a, HI
    This may have already been confirmed, but per a sticky on the Channels DVR forum, Premiums are not supported. Also, channels owned by A&E Networks are not supported because they don’t offer a live stream via TVE.

    So that confirms why History Channel is not included.
  16. Sep 24, 2019 #116 of 1017

    mdavej Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2015
    Curious why you would ever bother recording premiums in the first place. Typically their entire catalog is available on-demand for years on end.

    Thanks to streaming, I no longer need to record premiums or other commercial-free content like PBS.
    NashGuy likes this.
  17. Sep 24, 2019 #117 of 1017

    wizwor Guest

    Dec 17, 2013
    Unless you have no internet connection or there are problems with your connection or...
    CopRock likes this.
  18. Sep 24, 2019 #118 of 1017

    chiguy50 U.S. Army (ret.)

    Nov 9, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Myself, I have OP's set to record new shows for the programs I follow on the premium channels even though I usually wind up streaming them for the better A/V quality. My reasoning is that I like having a unified listing in My Shows of what I have yet to watch (including movies). Whether I watch them from the TiVo or via streaming media device, I then delete the My Shows entry. This works for me and my OCD, but YMMV.
    Mikeguy likes this.
  19. Sep 24, 2019 #119 of 1017

    swyman18 Active Member

    Jan 6, 2016
    Honoka'a, HI
    I figured someone would say that. Believe it or not, every so often I will come across a movie on one of the their linear channels that is not part of their on-demand catalog.

    For a while, I subscribed to HBO and Showtime via Prime Channels and they provided a handful of live feeds for each and you could watch them via the Prime Video app. Every so often, I would come across a movie that was in progress that I would be interested in viewing later, but I couldn’t find it in their catalog. Mostly this seemed to be the case with Showtime.

    So, I know a lot of folks say that the linear feeds have no value for the premiums. Not the case for me.
  20. Sep 24, 2019 #120 of 1017

    swyman18 Active Member

    Jan 6, 2016
    Honoka'a, HI
    Right now, I just noticed an example of what I was talking about. On STARZ (pacific feed) is the movie Role Models (2008). However, when using the STARZ app with my Spectrum credentials, it says this particular title is not authorized by my provider. Most movies/shows are available, but not everything.
    And it looks like it is not available on-demand through the Spectrum TV app.

    Now that Spectrum has their cloud DVR, I can record these if I wanted to. But It’s a bit clunky.

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