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So I've been using Tivo nonstop since 1999, so I was a relatively early adopter. I've gone through probably 6-8 boxes over that time frame, and purchased boxes for a half dozen family member at one time or another. To say I was a Tivo fanboy is putting it mildly. Heck, my friends still kid me about how much I've raved about Tivo's over the years.

But over these last few years I've noticed a significant decrease in the usability/functionality of my Tivo (currently using an Edge). An easy example, navigation changes are abysmal, particularly when I head down a path in the settings to find something, and instead of being able to back out a level to try something else, I have to start again from scratch. My wife and I both absolutely hate the current Home screen interface. Tivo used to have insane functionality based on continual improvements and user feedback. It just seems like with the Tivo acquisition (for their IP, not the devices), things have gone downhill.

It's at the point my wife, who's the least tech savvy person on the planet, is asking for something else. (fyi - we also have a new Apple TV, Roku, Firestick, & Chromecast, though we use Roku 90% of the time because it's universal search and user interface is superior. Tivo is used for recording sporting events, recurring series, and the Mrs's reality shows.)

Enough rambling. I'm trying to determine the best alternative to Tivo for those who've reluctantly made the switch to something else. Running a NAS or something some sort of PC based alternative isn't an option because I'm looking for plug & play, and minimal tech proficiency required for setup and use. We do have Verizon Fios, so if there's nothing noteworthy option wise, I may end up going with a Verizon DVR, though I'd hate to do it.
 

· Tivo Image Master
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I'd probably build a little media center with an old computer or laptop. All my movies and tv shows are stored on hard drives on my server anyway, so I'd just have to have some kind of recorder, tuners, and an interface that works with a remote. Nothing else out there is like Tivo. I know that's not what you're after, but that's what I'd choose. They have pretty easy to install/use systems now. You just set up a computer, install one program and a tv tuner (or several), then buy a remote to work with it.
You can even use Kodi which is what I use for all my streaming anyway, so that's probably where I'd go first. I bet once you set up the remote and tuners you could teach your wife to use it very easily.
 

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Even though you're looking for something that doesn't require a NAS or PC, you should really take a look at Channels DVR. They have a free trial. It's been over a year that I dumped Comcast and moved the cable channels to Fubo on Channels DVR. I still have OTA Tivos. I bought an HD Homerun and connected it to Channels DVR too and the Tivos are being used less and less. Channels DVR has the ability to aggregate multiple DVR sources into a single UI. This has really helped the spouse just watch shows like she did with Tivo. I think Channels DVR will give you the closest experience to Tivo.
 

· Old !*#$% Tinkerer!
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I'm a long time Tivo user (since '99) but not too technically savvy...

...I know I want:
1 Tivo with lots of storage (prob family room)
1 Tivo with minimal/average storage (guest/mother-in-law's room, so she has her own recordings)
3-4 more TVs with Tivo access (man cave, 2-3 bedrooms)

We have Verizon Fios but don't have Ethernet in all the rooms. There is coax in all the TV rooms. Our wifi signal is strong across the whole house.

My initial thought is 2 Bolts and 3-4 Minis, but I'm open to alternatives...
...But over these last few years I've noticed a significant decrease in the usability/functionality of my Tivo (currently using an Edge). An easy example, navigation changes are abysmal, particularly when I head down a path in the settings to find something, and instead of being able to back out a level to try something else, I have to start again from scratch. My wife and I both absolutely hate the current Home screen interface. Tivo used to have insane functionality based on continual improvements and user feedback. It just seems like with the Tivo acquisition (for their IP, not the devices), things have gone downhill...
IMHO, a TiVo Roamio with Lifetime, upgraded to 3TB with a new Western Digital Red Plus NAS HDD and using TE3 (TiVo Experience 3, * NOT * the TE4 on your Edge) is the way to ride TiVo out to its eventual 'sunset'.

If you're 'not too technically savvy', I don't see setting up separate components and getting them all working together as an 'easy / turn-key' solution for you. Other solutions, like Channels or Plex or Emby, require a Server and individual Clients - possibly a simple task for a 'Techie' but never as simple as plugging in a TiVo Roamio, some Minis and watching your shows.

What TiVo equipment do you currently (still) own besides the Edge?
 

· Cranky old novice
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Consider YouTube TV at $65 + Tax per month. It’s the closest thing to a cable TV subscription of all the streaming services. Over 85 channels plus local broadcast stations in most areas and an unlimited DVR The DVR interface is quirky but useable, although neither it nor any other DVR will equal the TiVo interface. Lots of VOD from the networks associated with the channels. Lack of 5.1 sound is a deficiency although hope springs eternal that it will come. You need a streaming device such as Roku, Fire stick or cube, Apple TV, etc. You also can view on a PC or iPad or IPhone. Up to three simultaneous streams per subscription.

Some TCF people have been using it. Here is a big thread on it:

I’ve been using YTTV for more than two years and am happy with it.
 

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We're all in on the Streaming Apps now that we got a 4k TV. The only downside is it's very difficult to track the shows you're watching and keep track of when new episodes drop. We actually use our TiVo's ToDo list and that covers some of it, but the streaming apps still don't have a good solution for that.
 

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I'm trying to determine the best alternative to Tivo for those who've reluctantly made the switch to something else. Running a NAS or something some sort of PC based alternative isn't an option because I'm looking for plug & play, and minimal tech proficiency required for setup and use. We do have Verizon Fios, so if there's nothing noteworthy option wise, I may end up going with a Verizon DVR, though I'd hate to do it.
Consider YouTube TV at $65 + Tax per month. It’s the closest thing to a cable TV subscription of all the streaming services.
I would also recommend that the OP take a look at YouTube TV, which is IMO overall the best bargain going at $65/mo. However, it isn't the closest thing to a traditional cable TV experience of all the streaming services. That would be DirecTV Stream, which I would also recommend the OP take a look at.

DTV Stream now includes their unlimited cloud DVR for no additional cost (used to be an extra $10/mo). The downside is that it just stores recordings for 90 days before auto-deleting them. But its UI and feature set is more like a TiVo or traditional cable/satellite DVR than is the case with YouTube TV, which also has an unlimited DVR but retains recordings for 9 months before auto-deleting them.

One would have to compare the channel line-ups to determine which service suits them better. DTV Stream's entry-level Entertainment package costs $70/mo compared to YouTube TV at just $65. But it includes A&E, History and Lifetime, all of which YTTV lacks. YTTV, on the other hand, has some channels that DTV Stream lacks, such as NFL Network and some retro diginets like Cozi TV, Get TV, Start TV and Comet.

Another thing DTV Stream has going for it is their optional dedicated Android TV streaming box with full-function voice remote, which makes using it more like a high-quality cable TV service and not as much like a streaming service. Those boxes cost $120 each up-front, although they'll spread the cost out at $5/mo for 24 months at sign-up if you like. You buy them, not rent them. And you don't have to buy them, you can use their apps for Apple TV, Roku and Fire TV at no additional cost on up to 20 devices on your home network at the same time, plus another 2 or 3 mobile devices away from home. And DTV Stream is reputed to have the best HD picture quality and widest support for DD 5.1 audio of all the streaming cable TV services too.
 

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We're all in on the Streaming Apps now that we got a 4k TV. The only downside is it's very difficult to track the shows you're watching and keep track of when new episodes drop. We actually use our TiVo's ToDo list and that covers some of it, but the streaming apps still don't have a good solution for that.
The Up Next queue in the Apple TV app on the Apple TV box does a good job of this. It tracks what you're watching across pretty much every on-demand app except Netflix (who won't participate in Apple's system). I've been using it for years and wouldn't give it up.

 

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go back to the old UI.. if you can.. (You lose your recordings though)

While some features have declined from the peak, my Tivos definitely still do more than what they did when I bought them... (e.g. QuickMode and commercial skip weren't there.. despite the latter being less reliable, I use it when available, even manually going back to now playing to try to get it to update in the rare cases when I watch a recording right after it's done.)
 

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The Up Next queue in the Apple TV app on the Apple TV box does a good job of this. It tracks what you're watching across pretty much every on-demand app except Netflix (who won't participate in Apple's system). I've been using it for years and wouldn't give it up.

Not really.... It mixes up the shows you are tracking with every single show you've even looked at. You eventually end up with a list two miles long. If you turn OFF play history, then all it does, is take you to whatever episode you were on when you turned off Play History. In other words, if you were on S1 Ep 3 when you turned off play history, that's where you'll go every time you click on the image. Even if you are on S3 Ep 10.

Would be much better if you could set it to ONLY track the play history on the shows you are tracking and move them to the beginning of the list when a new episode drops. Much like a DVR does.
 

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I don’t know if that is true? My “Up Next” doesn’t show any shows I didn’t put there, and when I finish current episodes of shows they don’t show there anymore.
No offense, but I think you are mistaken. That's not how it works. It shows every show in your "play history" unless you have "Play History" turned off in which case if basically doesn't do anything except act as a static place holder for whatever shows you put there at the time you put them there. :cautious:
 

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So I've been using Tivo nonstop since 1999, so I was a relatively early adopter. I've gone through probably 6-8 boxes over that time frame, and purchased boxes for a half dozen family member at one time or another. To say I was a Tivo fanboy is putting it mildly. Heck, my friends still kid me about how much I've raved about Tivo's over the years.

But over these last few years I've noticed a significant decrease in the usability/functionality of my Tivo (currently using an Edge). An easy example, navigation changes are abysmal, particularly when I head down a path in the settings to find something, and instead of being able to back out a level to try something else, I have to start again from scratch. My wife and I both absolutely hate the current Home screen interface. Tivo used to have insane functionality based on continual improvements and user feedback. It just seems like with the Tivo acquisition (for their IP, not the devices), things have gone downhill.

It's at the point my wife, who's the least tech savvy person on the planet, is asking for something else. (fyi - we also have a new Apple TV, Roku, Firestick, & Chromecast, though we use Roku 90% of the time because it's universal search and user interface is superior. Tivo is used for recording sporting events, recurring series, and the Mrs's reality shows.)

Enough rambling. I'm trying to determine the best alternative to Tivo for those who've reluctantly made the switch to something else. Running a NAS or something some sort of PC based alternative isn't an option because I'm looking for plug & play, and minimal tech proficiency required for setup and use. We do have Verizon Fios, so if there's nothing noteworthy option wise, I may end up going with a Verizon DVR, though I'd hate to do it.
Might try Tablo. They have a ATSC 3.0, 4 tuner box coming out this spring. I bought a Tablo Dual Lite to see the UI.
Looks OK. I love the Tivo UI, but my unit, like the company, seems to dying. Replaced the HD last year. w/HD Red non shingled. My Premier keeps making noises and the tuner seems to be going.
Commercial skip is an additional charge.
If they had just come out with a ATSC 3.0, 4 tuner, I'd have been happy.
 

· Librocubicularist
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No offense, but I think you are mistaken. That's not how it works. It shows every show in your "play history" unless you have "Play History" turned off in which case if basically doesn't do anything except act as a static place holder for whatever shows you put there at the time you put them there. :cautious:
I guess I must be misunderstanding something here, which is certainly possible.

I have Play History on, I just checked the setting.

I have, for example, The Wheel of Time in my “Up Next” list… or I did, but it disappeared after I watched all of S1. I just checked the show in the Prime app, and it still shows “In Up Next”. I assume it will show back up in S2.
 

· Cranky old novice
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I would also recommend that the OP take a look at YouTube TV, which is IMO overall the best bargain going at $65/mo. However, it isn't the closest thing to a traditional cable TV experience of all the streaming services. That would be DirecTV Stream, which I would also recommend the OP take a look at.

DTV Stream now includes their unlimited cloud DVR for no additional cost (used to be an extra $10/mo). The downside is that it just stores recordings for 90 days before auto-deleting them. But its UI and feature set is more like a TiVo or traditional cable/satellite DVR than is the case with YouTube TV, which also has an unlimited DVR but retains recordings for 9 months before auto-deleting them.

One would have to compare the channel line-ups to determine which service suits them better. DTV Stream's entry-level Entertainment package costs $70/mo compared to YouTube TV at just $65. But it includes A&E, History and Lifetime, all of which YTTV lacks. YTTV, on the other hand, has some channels that DTV Stream lacks, such as NFL Network and some retro diginets like Cozi TV, Get TV, Start TV and Comet.

Another thing DTV Stream has going for it is their optional dedicated Android TV streaming box with full-function voice remote, which makes using it more like a high-quality cable TV service and not as much like a streaming service. Those boxes cost $120 each up-front, although they'll spread the cost out at $5/mo for 24 months at sign-up if you like. You buy them, not rent them. And you don't have to buy them, you can use their apps for Apple TV, Roku and Fire TV at no additional cost on up to 20 devices on your home network at the same time, plus another 2 or 3 mobile devices away from home. And DTV Stream is reputed to have the best HD picture quality and widest support for DD 5.1 audio of all the streaming cable TV services too.
Does DTV Stream include local broadcast stations and PBS (which YTTV does)?

Also the Fire Stick and Fire Cube provide voice control remotes that function with YTTV.
 

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Does DTV Stream include local broadcast stations and PBS (which YTTV does)?

Also the Fire Stick and Fire Cube provide voice control remotes that function with YTTV.
It does now. And it has voice control. I’d still have DTV stream if it weren’t insanely expensive. It’s costs the same as traditional cable/satellite, where YTTV is a lot less, and recordings are kept far longer.

The DTV stream box is by far the closest to the traditional cable/satellite user experience, but you’ll pay dearly for it.
 

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Not really.... It mixes up the shows you are tracking with every single show you've even looked at. You eventually end up with a list two miles long. If you turn OFF play history, then all it does, is take you to whatever episode you were on when you turned off Play History. In other words, if you were on S1 Ep 3 when you turned off play history, that's where you'll go every time you click on the image. Even if you are on S3 Ep 10.

Would be much better if you could set it to ONLY track the play history on the shows you are tracking and move them to the beginning of the list when a new episode drops. Much like a DVR does.
Yes, any on-demand show you begin streaming in a supported app will automatically show up in the Up Next queue. (You can also manually add shows and movies to the queue from within the Apple TV app and from search results.) If you aren't interested in finishing that episode (or watching the next one), then you can simply remove the series from the queue manually by long-clicking on it. This keeps your queue tidy so that it doesn't got clogged up with lots of stuff you're not interested in. I never turn off Play History.

And yes, when a new episode of a show it tracks drops, it will automatically show up at the front of the queue. As time goes by and you neglect a series by not watching the next episode, it slowly drifts down the queue toward the right.
 

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No offense, but I think you are mistaken. That's not how it works. It shows every show in your "play history" unless you have "Play History" turned off in which case if basically doesn't do anything except act as a static place holder for whatever shows you put there at the time you put them there. :cautious:
Uh, something is wrong with your Apple TV app. Because that's not how it's supposed to work. Occasionally I do still have an episode that I've finished still sitting in the Up Next queue (with a progress bar underneath showing as if it's not quite completely), in which case I long-press it and select "Mark as Watched". Then the episode clears from Up Next and appears in the Watch History row at the very bottom of the screen.
 

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It does now. And it has voice control. I’d still have DTV stream if it weren’t insanely expensive. It’s costs the same as traditional cable/satellite, where YTTV is a lot less, and recordings are kept far longer.

The DTV stream box is by far the closest to the traditional cable/satellite user experience, but you’ll pay dearly for it.
Insanely expensive? I mean, the DTV Stream base package (Entertainment) costs $70/mo and now includes unlimited DVR at that price. YTTV is only $5/mo less. I wouldn't say that's "a lot less" -- only 7% cheaper. IMO, if you care about and watch cable TV enough to spend $65 on it, why not spend $5/mo more if that gets you a service you prefer.

Now, some folks would try both and definitely prefer YTTV. So I'm not saying DTV Stream is necessarily better. I'm just saying that folks should consider both (especially if they're coming from a TiVo, because they may prefer the more traditional UI/UX of DTV Stream, especially when used with the DTV custom Android TV box and remote).

I had long anticipated that my parents might switch from DISH to DTV Stream. But after YTTV added a few channels they really like recently (Hallmark channels and GetTV), it became the better choice for them. If they went with DTV Stream, they'd either need to get the Choice package plus the Movies Extra Pack, totaling $95, or the Entertainment package plus Frndly TV, totaling $79. (Plus they'd want 2 of their boxes, costing an extra $10/mo on top of that.) But I realized it was going to be difficult enough for my dad to learn one new UI and that having his live and recorded cable TV split between two apps/systems -- DTV Stream and Frndly TV -- just wouldn't work. So they'd need to spend $105/mo on DTV Stream.

Meanwhile, they could just spend $65 on YTTV. I got them a couple of Onn UHD Android TV boxes with remotes that work well for YTTV (has channel up/down buttons and a dedicated YTTV shortcut button) for only $20 each. Dad's still not thrilled about the fact that he can't keep recordings forever but he can live with the 9 month cut-off. The 3-month time limit on DTV Stream would've been a harder sell for him (although Mom was fine with it). All that said, I do think the learning curve would have been easier on DTV Stream for them and they would probably prefer the way that system works. But not enough to justify spending 62% more ($105 vs. $65).

As their example illustrates, a lot of it comes down to which channels you really care about and therefore which package you'd want on DTV Stream (as well as whether YTTV has those channels or not -- they're still missing History, Lifetime and A&E). There are so many individual factors at play that everyone has to just figure it out for themselves. This website is useful for doing that:

 
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