TiVo Launches $50 Streaming Video Player to Take On Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV

Discussion in 'TiVo Stream 4K' started by mbernste, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. rczrider

    rczrider Active Member

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    Clearly you're more familiar with Android TV licensing than I am. Please, tell me what I suggested that specifically violates said licensing. Because I'm not aware of suggesting anything of the sort.

    I'm guessing I know far more about it than you, by virtue of me knowing someone who works at TiVo (in software development, but has nothing to do with the TS4K). I don't expect you to know my post history, but I've already addressed this. According to someone who knows more than either of us, literally everything at TiVo loses money (as a department/division) except licensing and the selling of their software / algorithms.

    That will never happen, end of story. The device is a hard sell at $50; if they aren't going to up the price to $70 while competition is minimal, they'd be stupid - I mean, truly dumb - to increase the price when there are other, better options out there.

    I'm willing to concede that you seem to know more about this than I do. Because devices like Amazon's Fire gadgets all use Android, IIRC, and they're very clearly different. Of course, I'm assuming that's Android and not Android TV, so that may be the difference.

    No doubt. I gleaned as much from the exhaustive survey I took after returning my TS4K. What I cannot fathom is why anyone would use the Stream app or care about useless buttons on a crowded remote when there are better, similar apps out there (like ReelGood) and customers clearly, overwhelmingly prefer simple remotes (and, again, TiVo managed to forget useful buttons like FF and RW when they were cramming too many buttons on it).

    So, great, the TS4K is different than other devices...that in no way means it's better. Good job, TiVo, you took existing solutions and made them suck.

    I no longer have my TS4K to put side-by-side, so you'll have to hope the site search works as well for you as it would for me. My personal pet peeve was that HDR was always on. I get it, a lot of people have older or lower-end TVs that don't support HDR or Dolby Vision, but mine do. And HDR on when HDR should very clearly be off was obnoxious.

    I don't recall reading that they fixed this, but I could have missed it. I'm fairly certain the black flashing in Kodi and Plex is still present and that almost certainly has everything do with whatever shenanigans TiVo pulled with video display. If I'm not mistaken (please correct me if I am), the audio output stream menu is still missing certain output options, meaning that those with "nicer" audio systems don't get pass-through like they should.

    The amount doesn't matter. The fact is that TiVo - for some reason that is undoubtedly stupid - thought consumers needed fewer choices in their A/V settings. Whatever reason they could stutter out for doing so isn't worth listening to.

    Unless Android and Android TV operate in wildly different ways, that's only sort of true. I agree that they most likely didn't have some sort of "This works perfectly and only make changes if you want to!" source, but they almost certainly received a source that worked out of the box with Google's own reference development device. Yes, of course, there are modifications that OEMs can make to customize the device. To suggest that they had to actively work on HDR and DV support but thought including the default values for display was too much is silly.

    This particular discussion makes it sound like I think the TS4K is a worse device than it actually is. My issue is entirely with TiVo's incompetence. The very fact that you long-term TiVo customers can't even use this (supposedly different) Android TV device to work with your TiVo products is ridiculous. I think you mentioned earlier that you thought this might be a token product to "prove" that they're doing something about streaming. That and extensive data collection are about all I can come up with, because any potential this device had was severely reduced by TiVo's implementation. There's no way they can honestly think they're going to get anywhere with the TS4K.
     
  2. mschnebly

    mschnebly Well-Known Member

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    My guess would be that they are trying to make it as simple and fool proof as possible for the average user.
     
  3. rczrider

    rczrider Active Member

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    Which only makes sense as long as you don't think about it too much.

    If you can still turn on debugging, make yourself a developer, and allow for sideloading, that's far from making it "fool proof". Of course, those settings are inherent to Android and maybe they can't disable them. And if that's the case, removing various AV option to make it "simple" seems a lot like worrying about turning off the lights as you walk out of a burning house.
     
  4. mschnebly

    mschnebly Well-Known Member

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    You really think the average buyer knows how to make themselves a developer so they can find all those awesome hidden toys? Like I said, I think they wanted to make it as easy as possible for the "average" buyer. Less complicated when they go into the settings.
     
  5. rczrider

    rczrider Active Member

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    I don't really think the average person is going to bother modifying A/V settings unless they have a reason to do it.

    TiVo gives them a reason to do it because they broke various A/V functionality for some reason that is still unclear to me.

    If what you say is true, they created a self-fulfilling prophecy: "Let's force the user to use whatever A/V we think they should use whether they like or not, so that they won't be tempted to look for the A/V settings!"

    Although now that I think about, the average TiVo user is probably of a, uh, "older" demographic and is probably confused by settings. Because let's be honest, the 20-somethings are not "confused" by little things like HDR and PCM. They aren't going to stumble on some setting and set their TS4K on fire. They'll go looking because they know to look.
     
  6. cwoody222

    cwoody222 Well-Known Member

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    I don’t think “younger” viewers are any more likely to understand or care about things like HDR and PCM.

    There are plenty of 25-35 year olds who have absolutely no clue what those mean and don’t care about AV quality. And anyone under 25 is just watching on a laptop or handheld anyway :)

    Video- and audio-philes know no age range.
     
    convergent and mschnebly like this.
  7. rczrider

    rczrider Active Member

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    That particular part of my post was mostly (though not entirely) kidding. You've seen my point: folks either don't care (and aren't going to "stumble" on A/V settings, change them, and then make their TS4K unusable) or they know exactly what they're looking for and will be annoyed (like I and others are) that TiVo removed options for no good reason.

    I don't understand any defense of TiVo in this. Sure, some people care about the removal of options more than others, but the point is that leaving things alone would have been fine and removing them clearly isn't fine. Those who care are annoyed and those who don't care don't understand why others are annoyed. Seems to me it's folks who belong to the latter group who made software decisions regarding the TS4K.
     
  8. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    No, they haven't fixed the always-on HDR issue yet. But that's not some kind of A/V setting that is typically present on Android TV devices that TiVo omitted or botched. The norm among Android TV boxes/sticks/dongles is just to have HDR turned on of off systemwide. (That's the way the Apple TV 4K started off too but Apple quickly fixed that with a software update that added the "Dynamic Range Match" option.)

    I'm not sure that there are ANY Android TV devices on the market that have a similar systemwide "auto/native" setting to automatically switch between SDR and HDR (and their associated color spaces) depending on the source content. Well, I'm pretty sure Nvidia finally engineered such an option for their expensive Shield TV after it being on the market for a few years, but then I'd read reports of it inconsistently working. And I'm not sure it's ever worked with all the major apps that offer HDR content (Netflix, Prime Video and YouTube).

    It shouldn't be THAT difficult to do. Amazon has shown it can be done with AOSP Android and simple hardware, as they implemented it awhile back on the Fire TV Stick 4K. So hopefully TiVo can engineer a similar feature for the TS4K. And hopefully Google has it there from the get-go on their upcoming dongle.
     
  9. rczrider

    rczrider Active Member

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    My original (not S) Mi Box does this. If you'd like me to hook it up and take a picture of the settings screen showing this, I'll try to remember to do it next time I visit my parents. They don't have a 4K TV, though, let alone one that does HDR.
     
  10. convergent

    convergent Member

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    The HDR situation on Apple TV isn't much better than TS4K. If you can get it to display HDR properly with Disney+ and other services like Netflix, I'd love to see it. You either turn off HDR and matching, or Disney+ looks terrible.
     
  11. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I have my default output set to 4K SDR 60Hz with Dynamic Range Matching turned on on my ATV4K. It works fine. If something is available in HDR, it switches over to HDR output for just that video. Otherwise, it outputs everything in SDR. Never had a problem with anything looking bad in any app, including Disney+ (although I only did the one week trial for it, so didn't watch much).
     
    morac and mschnebly like this.
  12. BillyClyde

    BillyClyde Active Member

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    I have tried and been using this new LLDV dolby vision trick using an HDFury and it works awesome with an appletv 4k. It also works with 4k uhd blurays with dv and some players can also convert regular hd and uhd blurays to LLDV too. Results have been great!
     
  13. convergent

    convergent Member

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    Well when Disney+ switches to Dolby Vision, all colors become very muted. This has been widely reported. It may be dependent on certain TVs, not sure. The only solution is to turn off matching which keeps every SDR.
     
  14. morac

    morac Cat God TCF Club

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    I don’t think that has anything to do with Disney+ or Dolby Vision. I’ve found on my Apple TV with my Sony TV that a lot of HDR content is dark and drab, especially Marvel movies. Doesn’t matter if I use DV or HDR10.

    It looks slightly better on the apps on my TV itself, but I think that has more to do with the display settings on the TV.

    I’m also not sure that’s technically an “issue”. HDR doesn’t mean bright colors, it just means a wider range of colors. The content may be mastered to look drab. In other words that’s the director’s vision, even if people think it looks bad.

    HDR tends to look darker in general because TV’s don’t correct the brightness for HDR like they do for SDR. There’s no TV out there currently that can display the full range of brightness for Dolby Vision. Most are no where near close. I have a high end Sony and it’s only capable of 1500 nits. Many TV’s don’t even get to half of that. Dolby Visions goes up to 10,000.


    On a side note, a number of shows that Disney+ claims are in HDR, like the Mandalorian, actually aren’t. They are simply SDR sent as HDR.
     
  15. convergent

    convergent Member

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    I understand everything you are saying. Let me clarify. The Disney+ content is crap in Dolby Vision via Apple TV 4K HDR. Its not just that the colors are desaturated, the colors are also wrong. It looks terrible. You can use Toy Story 3 as a test. With all the same settings, Neflix content in Dolby Vision looks amazing. I'm not trying to convince you of anything, I know what I see and its not acceptable. My point is, that you can not configure the Apple TV 4K so that HDR content "just works" across apps, so HDR in general is not just messed up on the Tivo Stream 4K.
     
  16. BillyClyde

    BillyClyde Active Member

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    Have you tried this method I mentioned here, a few posts up?:
    TiVo Launches $50 Streaming Video Player to Take On Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV

    I’m not sure if it’ll fix your issue, but it looks pretty amazing on my AppleTV 4K. You do need certain HDFury devices to get it working though, so not sure if you’re willing to include the extra costs if you don’t have one already.
     
  17. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Hmm. Well, if there's a problem there, maybe it's on Disney. I've seen no problems with quite a lot of DV and HDR10 content I've played on my LG OLED from my Apple TV 4K from Netflix, Prime Video, Apple and Showtime.
     
  18. convergent

    convergent Member

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    You will need to expand a bit on it because I didn't fully understand it and not wanting to weed around in AVSforums trying to figure it out. Which HDFury device do you have... looks like they run up to $400. Is this something you just insert between the ATV4K and the TV and it does its thing, or do you have to be changing things when switching content? I don't mind spending a few bucks to try and get better 4K HDR out of my gear, but not $400.
     
  19. Aug 1, 2020 #2059 of 2148
    BillyClyde

    BillyClyde Active Member

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    Oh sorry. Here is a good link. There is another link in the first post to the original findings initially posted on AV Forums. There’s great info in both.

    Dolby Vision, including HDR10 conversion w/ DTM on...

    The best HDFury to use is the Vertex2, but it works with the Vertex1, Integral, Linker and the upcoming Arcana, which sounds like it’ll be the best most affordable option. The Vertex2 allows more customization so you can input display parameters which Dolby Vision relies on, so I think it’s worth it.
     
  20. Sep 1, 2020 #2060 of 2148
    rczrider

    rczrider Active Member

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    Google Sabrina possibly launching September 30 with a $59 price tag: Google 'Sabrina' Android TV dongle price could be under $50 - 9to5Google

    That's from internal inventory systems at Target and Walmart; Home Depot had it in their system for $50.

    If this is true, the TS4K is officially dead on October 1. It's not worth saving $10 for buggy firmware and a garbage remote.
     

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