What's the user experiene like with streaming (e.g. Netflix) on TiVo?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by shal, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. shal

    shal New Member

    Sep 30, 2004


    I came here to find out how users feel about the viewing experience with stream content on the TiVo platforms. I'm a long time user of DirecTivo boxes from the original units up through the THR-22 and they are my gold standard for viewing experience. Pause, play, step forward or back, fast forward or back, 30-second skip, 10-second back. All execute immediately and flawlessly -- as one might expect from having the program content on disk. Even with "live" content you can do all the tricks for all the content in the past.

    Sadly, my experience with streaming services, whether LiveStream or library services like Netflix, has been quite the opposite. Doing anything other than just letting the content play all the way through is an invitation to pauses, buffering delays, and sometimes crashing out of the stream altogether. Sometimes even just letting it play doesn't even go smoothly.

    It is this night and day difference in experience that keeps me paying the DirecTV bill each month rather than cutting the (virtual) cord. My thought is to replace the DirecTiVos I have with a Bolt or Roamio OTA + a couple TiVo Minis.

    Apart from the question of finding all the content I want (e.g. BBCA) the first question is whether the viewing experience will be worthwhile, or whether it will have my wife screaming to get her DirecTiVo back (and myself likewise). I imagine that OTA recordings will be as good as ever. but what about programs that come from streaming services?

    I'm literate enough to know that there's no technological reason the streamed content couldn't be buffered deeply enough to be flawless, but if the streaming playback is under the control of the providers' apps then I have no faith that they will have bothered to do a decent job of it.

    So, how do Bolt and Roamio users users feel about this?

    (I've been reading about the guide data catastrophe, and that could scare me away by itself, but that is a different topic.) And yes, I do have solid cable internet performance and a capable gigabit router, and I'll hardwire the connection to the TiVo, so those issues are also a different topic.
  2. cybergrimes

    cybergrimes Legend

    Jun 14, 2015
    Netflix on Roamio is fine for pausing and skipping about the stream, no problems with buffering, etc. That's on 50 Mbps cable service but had the same experience with 25 Mbps service too. Netflix on the Bolt is great, app loads super fast because its stored in the memory IIRC. Each service is a little different, for example I feel Hulu is worse at fast forwarding compared to Netflix regardless of device (Tivo or not).

    Yesterday I rebooted my router while streaming Netflix, it kept playing for about a minute while the connection was out. Thats a decent buffer in my opinion...

    I would recommend taking advantage of TiVo's 30 day return policy and seeing for yourself. Both units work great for OTA with a little difference in app performance due to older/newer hardware.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
    ufo4sale likes this.
  3. tomhorsley

    tomhorsley Well-Known Member

    Jul 22, 2010
    I wouldn't touch streaming on my TiVo Roamio with a 10 foot pole. My new LG TV has apps that start about 1000 times faster than the same apps on the Roamio (and don't require navigating through layers of menus just to ask the app to start). TiVo streaming is a joke compared to every other streaming platform in existence. The Roamio is a great DVR and that's all I use it for (or was great, they have tried to ruin it as well with the Rovi schedule info).
    dameatball and hillyard like this.
  4. bonscott87

    bonscott87 Done.

    Oct 3, 2000
    I had originally got a Bolt to have a "one box to rule them all". While streaming Netflix, etc. is "ok" on the Bolt it's much better experience with a Roku or FireTV. Since I got Plex up and running for the networks I haven't used the Bolt in 6 months now so I can do 100% streaming.

    Having said all that, any streaming won't be as smooth as local DVR storage. At least not yet.

    As for BBCA, Playstation Vue carries it. Not sure if Sling or DirecTV Now have it.
  5. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000


    I prefer streaming on my TiVo. The one box, one remote, makes and slight drop in performance more then tolerable in my book.
    bradleys, wizwor, chiguy50 and 2 others like this.
  6. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    We use both Netflix and Amazon Prime on a Roamio Pro. The Netflix app works well for us and I really like how they've done fast forwarding/rewinding. The Amazon Prime apps works reasonably well but we see more delays coming out of fast forwarding/rewinding. I think Amazon's version of the app on the FireTV is better, but usually not enough that it makes me want to switch inputs on the receiver to use it.

  7. jlb

    jlb Go Pats!

    Dec 13, 2001
    Burlington, VT
    I was never very happy with Netflix on TiVo. But YMMV. I tend to use my AppleTV for that
  8. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

    Jul 6, 2002
    I have a Roku and the built-in apps on my TV for streaming, they're far more responsive and comfortable to use over the Tivo implementation, but I guess if I HAD to I could use the Tivo apps, they're not horrible, but they're not the best either.
  9. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    Have to agree with Dan - I also have a Roku and the apps are better on it than the Roamio. But you have to switch inputs and there's no volume control which is a killer for Youtube with all the ads. So I stick with the Tivo.
  10. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2015
    Couple of advantages to the TiVo apps is global search/one-pass and 1080p/24. Not many apps on other boxes or TVs do the latter.
  11. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    Yeah but they broke global search and streaming 1Ps (largely) since the Rovi takeover. And don't seem inclined to do anything about it just like most everything else guide-related.
    mdavej likes this.
  12. TeamPace

    TeamPace Active Member

    Oct 22, 2013
    I use Netflix on my Roamio often. I also have a Roku and 4th Gen Apple TV connected to the same TV, so I could simply switch to those if I wanted. Netflix does load more slowly on the Roamio but I find it tolerable. One Pass is a great feature and although it's not functioning well right now there is still some level of functionality and I'm hopeful it will get fixed eventually. For example we started watching Blue Bloods a while back. We set up a One Pass for it and realized we wanted to watch the episodes in order. So I was able to set the One Pass to streaming episodes only. It's just so much more convenient to have direct access to streaming episodes right in "My Shows" using the remote that we prefer. No grabbing a different remote, no figuring out which input to switch to. We simply select the episode from the Blue Bloods folder and the app launches and takes us right to the episode. If the streaming didn't work reasonably well I'd jump over to the Apple TV instead, but I don't. Fast forwarding etc. isn't nearly as good as on recorded shows but it is useable.

    If you do decide to "cut the cord" make sure you have decent OTA reception where you live. I'd get an antenna set up and working well before you cancel your pay service. It's important to have the right antenna and have it set up correctly. If it needs to be mounted outside, it's definitely worth the time, effort, and $ to do it right so you don't have frustrations with your reception.

    One last thing to consider. The Bolt is a faster machine with a few more bells and whistles. Netflix streaming will be better on it. I as well as others though have found that the Roamio tunes OTA channels more reliably. If all of the stations you need to get have excellent signals then the Bolt may work just fine, but it's something to consider. The Roamio OTA will also be a considerably cheaper option.
    Mikeguy likes this.
  13. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    The mute button is your friend.;)

    I'm also on board with you and Dan. I use my Premiere to stream almost everything despite the comments of some who feel it--and even the Roamio--are not responsive enough. I appreciate the simplicity and convenience of a one-box solution and can tolerate the app loading times of a few seconds.

    I do find the Amazon UI clunky, but the PQ is great on our system (Xfinity HSI @25mbps) so I can live with the ease of use and functionality shortfalls.
  14. enthalpy

    enthalpy Member

    Oct 11, 2006
    Netflix on the Bolt works great for me, very fast, rewind is good. I had used my old Series 3 and that was frustrating. At that time I used Roku instead. Now with the Bolt, I use the Bolt. One box for everything,
  15. CybrFyre

    CybrFyre Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    Very happy w the Amazon app.. responsive & great quality. A bit slow to load on the Premiere but very quick on Minis. FF/RW works no problem & streams start playing or resuming quickly.

    Sent from my Pixel C using Tapatalk
  16. hapster85

    hapster85 Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2016
    Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and YouTube are all usable on my TiVo Roamio OTA, but load markedly slower than on my Fire TV. I don't use it, but Fire TV also supports voice search, which TiVo doesn't.
  17. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    Yeah but there's no mute button on my Roku remote. I'm not going to juggle remotes just to get a somewhat quicker Youtube app experience, the Roamio works well enough.

    Now for the Mini it's a different story, the Youtube app is crap on it (hangs, crashes, locks up Mini). Roku stick is much better for those TVs.
  18. CybrFyre

    CybrFyre Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    I do agree that I really like being able to navigate w a remote vs having to pick up the tablet.

    Sent from my Pixel C using Tapatalk
  19. blackngold75

    blackngold75 Active Member

    Mar 9, 2010
    I use Netflix and Amazon on my TiVo Roamio often and am happy with the performance. Overall, the Roamio has been very good as a streaming device. Since my Roamio is faster at launching streaming apps compared to my Premiere (which was faster than my TivoHD), I'd have to assume the Bolt is faster than all of them.

    No matter what device you use, for streaming a wide internet pipe is needed. I currently have a 75mbps connection, but also had good streaming performance at 25mbps.
  20. ThePennyDropped

    ThePennyDropped Now I get it.

    Jul 5, 2006
    Northeast US
    Netflix and Amazon on the Bolt are very quick and responsive compared to earlier model TiVos. The Netflix app is definitely better than the Amazon app, though, when it comes to fast forward or rewinding (mainly because Amazon doesn't display your current location during the FF/RW, instead just showing the change in the time). I do have the Netflix app on a smart tv in my bedroom, and the Netflix app on the Bolt is just as quick as the one on the smart (LG) tv.

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