Why Do ALL Current Options Stink (DVR & Streaming)?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Agrajag, Feb 2, 2021.

  1. Feb 2, 2021 #1 of 46

    Agrajag Member

    Sep 8, 2001
    Sewell, NJ, USA


    Okay, the use-case is essential here:

    1. I'm mainly watch the Flyers and MUST have a solution that allows for frame-by-frame transport controls for watching replays, watching a game in 1x FF, etc.

    2. I also really mainly watch a few channels, but those include a couple essential news channels.

    3. I own a Roamio 1TB OTA (with a cablecard for FiOS).

    4. I'm lucky enough to have been able to build a nice home theater with a 150" screen, which means low-quality picture stands out heavily.

    First, I tried about six different streaming services and the only one that came close to being livable was YouTube TV. It has 90% of the channels, but now it's both too expensive (about $65 compared to a whopping $50 I pay for FiOS TV with a double-play) and can't do sports as noted in #1 above. The FF is horrible and absolutely no freeze-frame-stepping.

    Then there's the hardware. Comcast's X1 box is terrible. FiOS' DVR is equally bad, if not worse and both lack key TiVo features that should be licensed by all providers. However, TiVo now seems to suck. The Roamio is slow, but newer boxes seem less functional than the Roamio. Worst of all the horrible TiVo Stream (the little blue box they used to sell) is barely functional. It works about once for every 10 attempts -- at best.

    Is there no Valhalla-type product out there? Yes, I'm venting a bit -- and thanks for listening. Just so frustrating that we're here after many years of having lots of decent options.
  2. Feb 2, 2021 #2 of 46

    DouglasPHill Cynical old guy

    Feb 10, 2005
    St Louis, MO
    You have succinctly described what we all are feeling. FF, pause, slowmo, isn't that one of the two reasons to have a DVR? (the other being time shifting) I mentioned in a previous post somewhere that what I want are streaming services that will let my DVR pull down the content so I can have my cake and eat it to: Fast, responsive DVR with all of the Tivo benefits with streamed content. I can't imagine it will ever happen. :(

    Just to be clear, I'm not looking for my Tivo to stream for YTTV, I want it to download the content and have it locally on the Tivo for when I want to watch it.
  3. Feb 2, 2021 #3 of 46

    Agrajag Member

    Sep 8, 2001
    Sewell, NJ, USA
    THAT would get my interest. It'd be a tad more expensive than what I pay now, but it would be the best of both worlds. I suspect, however, that the frames I need are literally missing from streaming options and thus, would result in less-than-stellar results with streaming options. Still... something like this should be possible to solve.
  4. Feb 2, 2021 #4 of 46

    MScottC Well-Known Member

    Sep 11, 2004
    I'm sure most of us understand this, but it has to be said. None of this technology is for your benefit or my benefit. All of this technology is for the benefits of large (and in some cases, small) corporations, and how they can most efficiently pull money out of your pocket with the least amount of expenditure on their part. Companies have determined they get the most continuing cash flow when they keep the content on their end, hence the push to streaming by everyone.
  5. Feb 2, 2021 #5 of 46

    snerd Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2008


    How much are you willing to pay for a box that can record from streaming services? There's a box out there that does this, but I can't remember the name. It was reported on TCF a few months back. I do remember the price tag was something like $6,000.
  6. Feb 2, 2021 #6 of 46

    powrcow Active Member

    Sep 27, 2010
    If they could, the streaming companies would also want you to purchase their own streaming device hardware. Fortunately Netflix had a "on every device possible" market strategy in the beginning. The issue now is that each streaming service forces you into its own playback system.

    The transport controls you want is feasible - TiVo did it with limited processing power on their first attempt. I was hoping YouTubeTV would be the first with good video transport controls (larger buffer, responsive frame-by-frame advance, etc) because they were pushing sports, but they must believe that feature isn't a competitive advantage. At least they don't think there is one yet.

    Channels DVR will probably end up being the best, but their TV Everywhere stream reliance puts their picture quality the lowest. At least that's my experience.
  7. Feb 2, 2021 #7 of 46

    josequinones New Member

    Aug 19, 2010
    Silly suggestion: setup a camera in front of your streaming display, record. Watch recording later on same or other display.
    DouglasPHill likes this.
  8. Feb 2, 2021 #8 of 46

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Tivo is a current option, and while the guide data is lacking in certain ways (esp compared to the old company), it doesn't "stink". My 10 tuners (Roamio pro & premiere 4) provide me with way more than I can watch.. (though I also pay for commercial free streaming and watch the shows there when they're available when I want to watch..) I use the apps on my new TV mostly, since the streaming apps in the Tivo take way too long to launch and aren't "Tivo-y". If they had much closer to the full Tivo UI (including skip back/ff/rewind), I'd wait for those to launch.
  9. Feb 2, 2021 #9 of 46

    buscuitboy Member

    Aug 8, 2005
    Atlanta area

    This is probably why I am now barely using my Comcast TiVO and instead using a $5/month VPN with a $10/month rogue IPTV service that gives me EVERY channel possible; all locals, all premiums (multiple HBO, Starz, Showtime, etc.), 12000+ VOD titles, 3 days worth of catchup, ALL daily sports teams programming (NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB, etc), international channels and MUCH more. They have driven up the cost so high and the service so low that I know more and more are doing this. And when they shut down one of these rogue IPTV services, 10 more pop up so there is no end in sight.
  10. Agrajag

    Agrajag Member

    Sep 8, 2001
    Sewell, NJ, USA
    I've seen services like this and a quality picture is often very much at the bottom of the list. On a 150" screen you see every defect.
  11. Aaron Malloy

    Aaron Malloy Active Member

    Oct 30, 2019
    I remember back when Prime Video had NO thumbnails during search. It was a joke. At least that has changed now. But you're right, most FF/RW/SLOMO options out there aren't known to be precise in any way.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2021
  12. mrsean

    mrsean Active Member

    May 15, 2006
    New Jersey
    Yea. Tivo is superior to the FIOS DVR but not in all ways. The FIOS DVR tuners are superfast at channel changing and they have a larger (45min v 30min) recording buffer.
  13. DouglasPHill

    DouglasPHill Cynical old guy

    Feb 10, 2005
    St Louis, MO
    Ah, I remember the days of dual hour(?) buffers.
    PSU_Sudzi likes this.
  14. mcf57

    mcf57 Member

    Oct 19, 2012
    Yea maybe, but most people don't have a 150" screen. Its HD has been looking great on my 55" & 50" HDTV screens so no complaints here. I guess its all relative as if you want to watch on a mega screen, unfortunately you have to pay through the nose. For $15/month, I can accept the HD quality on my slightly smaller screens :p
  15. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Los Angeles
    That sounds like Modulus Media Systems. They were mentioned in TCF a while ago.
  16. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

    Mar 14, 2010
    Sad that TiVo seems to be sinking, but it isn't the best DVR. I think you only problem is the 150" screen. There just aint a lot of stuff that is gonna look good blown up to that size. Let me tell you, even the OTA local HD's around here has gone DOWN in PQ because they are still stuffing even MORE channels on the channel spectrum. I have seen some Yucky glitches on occasion. Yes, sometimes they use a different channel frequency and then re-map it so it appears on the guide as at another location, but I can tell you that the big O&O's here are, in fact, using the same ONE frequency to stuff more "digi-net" channels and Main HD PQ has suffered.

    OK, you are right. It is pretty bad in finding a replacement for TiVo. The only other DVR I would recommend is Dish's Hopper 3, overall, superior to ANY TiVo:

    16--yes SIX-Teen--sat tuners;

    2 OTA tuners (with OTA USB module); Option to NOT subscribe to LIL Locals via Sat and use OTA tuners exclusively, but can NOT use Prime-Time Anytime with OTA tuners because only 2 OTA Tuners, but Auto-Hop (Auto Commercial Skip) DOES function for OTA recordings, as well.

    Prime-Time Anytime: Automatically records Prime-Time programming of all 4 Big broadcasters (CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX) using only ONE Tuner (meaning that PTAT leaves 15 sat tuners and both OTA tuners available for use) for as many or few days of the week and for as many or few of the big 4 you choose and saves content for at least 8 days, but also provides for users saving episodes or entire series (this is a handy feature when others recommend or want to watch such content not knowing until after airing of its availability).

    On Demand content with internet connection: several TV series and movies can be streamed or saved to HDD for viewing such as recent or long past episodes of TV shows, and movies connected to channels on your subscription levels.

    Picture in Picture of different size and position and side by side with Swapping between channels in full picture mode and includes "Bar Mode" providing 4 different channels displayed on the screen at one time;

    The Joey client TV watching experience does EVERYTHING (except PIP features) that the Main Hopper DVR provides, UNLIKE TiVo Mini Clients and their limitations;

    Joeys can have their own complete independent experience including separate FAVORITE / Custom (4 user defined options) channels and EPG theme settings along with FULL Timer/Schedule controlling, etc. unlike Mini clients;

    UNLIKE TiVO, the DVR and each Joey client will have its own, seperate marked place to RESUME watching a DVR playback recording--SORELY LACKING on TiVo. This means as many people/locations can watch the SAME recording and later RESUME watching where they left off, not where others have left off and NOT affect others RESUME points, and if you change locations to continue watching on a different Joey or the DVR, you are presented with a LIST of names/locations so that you can choose the location/DVR/Joey to RESUME so that YOU can continue from the point YOU left off, not where others left off.

    Custom Folders you name and can set for any recordings to automatically be saved there in addition to default Series folders;

    Maximum of 7 TV's supported at any ONE time, meaning that you can have MORE than 7 TV's on your system, but the 8th viewer will have to wait for the 7th viewer end their session;

    If all 16 sat +2 OTA tuners are in use, and you don't want to view any of the channels being recorded or being viewed or recorded Live, the viewer can still view DVR recordings or On Demand content.

    An option for Shared Viewing if 16 sat +2 OTA tuners all in use. Just select one of the tuners with the programming you wish to view.

    For LIVE TV, continue watching in other room: Turn off TV in one room and and continue watching in another room. The DVR or Client in the first room will stay on for 5 minutes allowing you to turn on TV and DVR or Client on in the 2nd room, then select JOIN the tuner with programming you wish to continue watching live and DVR/client in other room will automatically enter stand-by mode. When JOIN is selected, the buffer still has what was viewed just as if you were still watching it on the first room; no need to press record;

    You have Shared Viewing by selecting JOIN at as many locations as you wish and the very same content is displayed on all the TV's, truly MIRRORED with commands such as skip etc. affecting all displays as a true MIRROR experience. At any of the Mirrored TV's, just tune to a different channel, access the DVR recordings, or On Demand and that Mirrored TV will continue on its OWN experience without affecting the other Mirrored TV experiences.

    Option to buy Hopper and clients and have reduced monthly fees.

    Apps on DVR and Joeys for sports (including on-screen notification that a game starts soon after setting up your preferred teams in the app)/Weather/Netflix/Amazon Prime: While connected devices are still the best for streaming services, Hopper and Joey are more reliable for streaming Netflix, etc. than TiVo, BUT I never bother with Dish for streaming such services because the connected devices are still BETTER at that experience.

    There is probably more, but that is all I can think of off the top of my head. One bad thing is that Dish uses TiVo's awful EPG data services, so at least you can feel at home with that.

    The one thing is, unless your projector/TV is up-scaling to 4K (really UHD), I don't think the picture being blown up to 150" is gonna look that great. I've seen what a big screen UHD up-scaling can do with the HD and it is quite an enhancement, but without it, I don't know. Good Grief, even typical DVD at USA 5.0Mbps won't look good at 150", but maybe DVD at UK 10Mbps, although now the Brits are producing DVD's at the lousy 5Mbps as we do.

    MY PQ with Dish is fine with my 55" and the proper settings of the TV after using an Blu-ray calibration disc to get me to a good starting point, and then tweak from there to my liking, which is usually lots of detail. I can not say how good or bad it will look blown up to 150"

    So, otherwise, you are out of luck. There is just nothing as good as TiVo or the Hopper 3. Everything else if really just a disappointment. Despite my ranking TiVo as second-best DVR, it is an EXCELLENT DVR--at least S1-S5 TiVo's--and I am really heart-broken that I (well, all of us) are going to lose our use of it by TiVo by moving the DVR biz off to the other patent division. While I use TiVo exclusively for OTA, I feel like at some point not too far off, they will brick my TiVo's. TiVo is easily the best OTA DVR--EVER! If the previous Administration had simply stood by the Cable Card mandate, we would probably have a much better chance TiVo being in our lives for more than a bit longer, anyway. Well, good luck, and please let us know what you end up doing.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2021
    shwru980r likes this.
  17. snerd

    snerd Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2008
    That's the one. TiVo on steroids! Up to 32TB, optionally supports 4 OTA tuners in parallel with 6 cable tuners via CableCard, and claims to record from any streaming provider. It appears to include all the best features of TiVo, including commercial skip and variable speed playback.

    Caveat: those who think TiVo is too expensive will be freaked out by the pricetag (apparently now $7K). I'd love to have one of these beasts! If their web site is to be believed, it is everything TiVo wished it could be. Pity that the remote is kinda ugly.
  18. DouglasPHill

    DouglasPHill Cynical old guy

    Feb 10, 2005
    St Louis, MO
    Agreed, the hopper was/is a fine DVR. I cancelled Dish only because it was so expensive. If Dish would let me pay for only the channels I want, at $50 per month guaranteed never to go up (and no additional fees etc etc) I'd sign up again.

    Currently I pay $7 per month for Tivo OTA guide data and $7 per month for discovery plus. Way below the $130 per month Dish.
    shwru980r likes this.
  19. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2015
    One of the reasons I love my Apple TV 4K is that most (but not quite all) streaming video apps rely on Apple's standard set of playback controls and timeline UI. There's far more uniformity on it than you find on Roku, Fire TV or Android TV.

    Yeah, if he's insisting on frame-by-frame transport controls and is looking for something other than TiVo or cableco DVRs, then his best bet is probably either Channels DVR with a used HDHomeRun Prime CableCARD tuner (they don't sell new ones any more) or satellite TV+DVR (either DISH or DirecTV). At least at this point in time, none of the streaming services offer the kind of trick play precision he wants. Not sure if they ever will.
    PSU_Sudzi likes this.
  20. wizwor

    wizwor Guest

    Dec 17, 2013
    You may want to look into Netflix's 'beginning'. Netflix was a major investor in the Roku platform.

    from A Short History of The Roku Player | Cord Cutters News


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