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· Old !*#$% Tinkerer!
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@ClearToLand had the best answer so far. If you want something a little faster than the Roameo, then a Bolt running TE3 with no more than a 2TB drive. The 3TB drives are failure prone. Even better upgrade to an external 3.5 inch drive from Weaknees or a do it yourself external upgrade as discussed in several threads previously.

It appears that your main problem is with TE4, which is all the Edge will run. Personally I won't move to TE4 or an Edge until I have absolutely no other choice.
My 3TB Bolt+ died a few months ago (failed harddrive yet again on that unit) and I got the Edge. I use the 1st gen mini in my other room. Based on your comment I’m wondering if I can revive my Bolt+ by hooking up an external harddrive to it and use it in place of the mini? I deactivated my service though on the Bolt+ and bought Lifetime with the Edge. Just curious what my options are with the Bolt (if any). Thanks for any input.
You could go the inexpensive route by replacing the 3TB in your Bolt with a new 2TB. The 3TB 2.5 inch drives have proven very unreliable. There are several threads with 2TB replacement drive recommendations. A more expensive solution if you really want a 3TB drive is to install an external 3TB 3.5 inch drive. Weaknees has a package with the drive, enclosure power supply cables, replacement portion of the case with a pre cut hole for the cable for $250. Great video instructions as well. You can roll you own as well. Probably less expensive, but more trouble to get the right hard drive, case and cables. There are several threads here discussion that option as well.

I when with the Weaknees solution just because it was easier for me. I've got more money than time right now.

If you had lifetime on your Bolt, that should still be intact. If you were on an annual plan you'll have to sign back for another one. You will be able to use TE3 or TE4 on your old Bolt after the modifications.
Everyone on the internet has an opinion - here are mine:
  • TiVo, the company, is merely a shadow of what it was in 2000 and is slowly 'fading into the sunset'. :(
  • A Bolt Series 6 TiVo Unit * WITH * a bad HDD * WITHOUT * Lifetime is (basically) worthless. (n)
  • The Roamio Series 5 TiVo Units were the * BEST * TiVo Units built-to-date. (y)
  • If you need 4K, or 'Streaming' capability, buy a separate device (i.e. Nvidia Shield, Amazon Fire Stick 4K, ChromeCast with Google TV, TiVo Stream 4K, etc...) ;)
  • If you're 'Technically-Capable' (i.e. MOST 'Technically-Capable' folks don't need to ask 'Basic Technical' Questions), you can add an EXTERNAL 3½" HDD to a TiVo Bolt * BUT *, IMHO, you'd probably do better buying a Series 5 Roamio with Lifetime on eBay, installing a NEW 3TB Western Digital Red Plus NAS HDD into that and running TE3.
 

· Cranky old novice
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I guess I'm in the "not bothered" group. Everything I record is extremely well organized, by season and episode in order. Watched episodes get marked as watched as they should. If I want to manually mark any, I can do it en masse via the web site. I have no problem at all keeping track. But I can see how a list view would be handy if you have a really huge number of titles.
Not worth quibbling about — each to his own taste. But I defy anyone to tell me exactly what the logic is that determines what appears in “NEW IN YOUR LIBRARY” (in the Fire app for YTTV). More times than not, recordings I know are new recordings of new episodes, recorded just one day ago, are NOT there and I have to go hunting through SHOWS to find them. And having to go to a website to mark things as watched is a poor UI. Then there are the release dates for TCM movies that are decades off for about half of them, requiring going to IMDB to get the correct year, in spite of numerous complaints for years ongoing.

Maybe I’ll try DTV Stream just to experience the better UI. The cheapest package costs only $5 more. It has 20 fewer channels, but I don’t think any of those 20 channels matter much to me anyway.
 

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Not worth quibbling about — each to his own taste. But I defy anyone to tell me exactly what the logic is that determines what appears in “NEW IN YOUR LIBRARY” (in the Fire app for YTTV). More times than not, recordings I know are new recordings of new episodes, recorded just one day ago, are NOT there and I have to go hunting through SHOWS to find them. And having to go to a website to mark things as watched is a poor UI. Then there are the release dates for TCM movies that are decades off for about half of them, requiring going to IMDB to get the correct year, in spite of numerous complaints for years ongoing.

Maybe I’ll try DTV Stream just to experience the better UI. The cheapest package costs only $5 more. It has 20 fewer channels, but I don’t think any of those 20 channels matter much to me anyway.
You got me there. In fact, it's such a mystery to me that I never use that view. I go straight to "Most Watched" most of the time.

As for the DTV Stream better UI, it's not really the UI that makes it better. I think their UI is pretty terrible too. You have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out how to cancel a series recording, for example. What makes it cable-like is their dedicated box and full function remote with numbers, channel up/down, one-touch record, etc., all the stuff missing from the typical streamer remote. I'll also say their guide is better in that it has a lot more show info on it and goes a lot longer. But they don't have profiles or custom filters, so that's a drawback.

If you want the real experience, you have to get one of their boxes. If you get a box directly from them, then you're stuck in a contract. You can take a chance with the 14-day free trial, but make sure you cancel in that time to avoid quite hefty cancellation fees. I highly recommend you get a box from ebay, then resell if/when you cancel. I used to have several boxes that I got for free for various beta tests. I would offer you one if I had any left.

The recent addition of PBS does make DTV much more attractive. But in my case, I'd be paying $15 more per month for less content and also lose my much loved profiles and custom channel lists. As soon as a certain family member moves out, I plan to switch to Philo and OTA anyway. In any case, best of luck to you. If you find the holy grail of Tivo replacements, please let us know.
 

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To cancel a series recording is now easier in some cases. Select the recording and on many it will have a button to cancel series recordings. But it isn’t consistent, some have it, some don’t and I couldn’t figure out why that is.
But the original way that took some sleuthing isn’t a big deal, find out how once and you’re good to go.
And yeah, the box makes a huge difference.
 

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As for the DTV Stream better UI, it's not really the UI that makes it better. I think their UI is pretty terrible too. You have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out how to cancel a series recording, for example. What makes it cable-like is their dedicated box and full function remote with numbers, channel up/down, one-touch record, etc., all the stuff missing from the typical streamer remote.
Yes, the full-featured custom remote with the DTV Stream custom box is a huge differentiator for that service. And whatever its flaws, the DTV Stream UI is definitely more traditional cable-like than YouTube TV's or Hulu Live's.

FYI, for anyone interested in YouTube TV, the remotes for some devices do have channel up/down buttons that let you channel surf inside YouTube TV. That's true of the device I set my parents up with on both their TVs, the Onn UHD Android TV box from Walmart. It's only $20 and works quite well. I've tried both it and the $50 Chromecast with Google TV and definitely prefer to the Onn box, not only for its better remote but also slight differences in its home screen UI. I've read that the channel up/down buttons on some smart TV remotes also work inside the YouTube TV app on those TVs.

If you get a box directly from them, then you're stuck in a contract. You can take a chance with the 14-day free trial, but make sure you cancel in that time to avoid quite hefty cancellation fees. I highly recommend you get a box from ebay, then resell if/when you cancel. I used to have several boxes that I got for free for various beta tests. I would offer you one if I had any left.
False. DTV Stream hasn't offered new customers a contract option since last spring. The service is month-to-month, contract-free for all new customers, regardless of whether you buy their box or not. If you do buy their box, you can either pay the $120 cost up-front or they'll spread it out at $5/mo over 24 months. But if you cancel service before the 24 months are up, they'll simply bill you for the balance due on the box you bought at sign-up. They don't rent those boxes at all, only sell them.

Users generally report that using the DTV Stream custom box works very well with their own service. Since it runs Android TV, it also has access to tons of apps from the Google Play app store. Folks generally say that it works decently with those apps -- a tad sluggish to launch or switch between apps, and there are occasional app crashes, but it's generally fine (though probably not as good overall as most recent model Roku, Fire TV or Apple TV devices). Note that their box does not (yet) support the Apple TV app, although it does support all the other major ones (Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, etc.). So you'll have to switch inputs to get your Ted Lasso fix.
 

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False. DTV Stream hasn't offered new customers a contract option since last spring. The service is month-to-month, contract-free for all new customers, regardless of whether you buy their box or not. If you do buy their box, you can either pay the $120 cost up-front or they'll spread it out at $5/mo over 24 months. But if you cancel service before the 24 months are up, they'll simply bill you for the balance due on the box you bought at sign-up. They don't rent those boxes at all, only sell them.
False. You have a very interesting definition of contract. When you have to pay the remainder of the 24-months for the box (which you do with DirecTV Stream when you choose to pay for the box monthly), that's a contract. When you can return the box if you cancel and have no balance due, like with the cable company, that's NOT a contract.

So when you're in front of the judge explaining why you didn't pay your balance due for the box because you had no contract, let me know how that goes.
 

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Not worth quibbling about — each to his own taste. But I defy anyone to tell me exactly what the logic is that determines what appears in “NEW IN YOUR LIBRARY” (in the Fire app for YTTV). More times than not, recordings I know are new recordings of new episodes, recorded just one day ago, are NOT there and I have to go hunting through SHOWS to find them. And having to go to a website to mark things as watched is a poor UI. Then there are the release dates for TCM movies that are decades off for about half of them, requiring going to IMDB to get the correct year, in spite of numerous complaints for years ongoing.
Yes, in my so-far limited experience with YTTV, I found "New in Your Library" to be very unreliable. And even worse, when going to "Shows" and sorting by Most Recent, it often did NOT put the most recently recorded series at the top of the list. Maybe something that had recorded an episode earlier today would be placed down the list among shows that had recorded a day or two ago.

I ended up just sorting "Shows" in alpha order. And telling my parents to go to "Most Watched" every evening to find recordings of the local and national newscast they watch every day. Those seemed to consistently surface in the short list of titles in "Most Watched". And then beyond that, they'd just need to wade through the lost list of titles in "Shows" in alpha order to pick out something to watch. Of course, there's no visual indicator looking through that list of which ones recorded a new episode recently. They just kind of have to mentally keep track of which shows they're currently watching and know what day of the week they air.

It's a pretty poor UI, to be honest. Google could have followed a simple set of rules consistently but instead they want to employ their own algorithms that they think are super helpful in suggesting stuff for you to watch. Grrr. But hey, they're spending $65/mo for YTTV instead of $120/mo for DISH and getting pretty much all the same channels they care about, so they're learning to live with its quirks.
 

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False. You have a very interesting definition of contract. When you have to pay the remainder of the 24-months for the box (which you do with DirecTV Stream when you choose to pay for the box monthly), that's a contract. When you can return the box if you cancel and have no balance due, like with the cable company, that's NOT a contract.

So when you're in front of the judge explaining why you didn't pay your balance due for the box because you had no contract, let me know how that goes.
LOL, you're a self-parody, dude. There's no contract for the service itself. And they make clear at sign-up that you're purchasing the box, with the option to pay up-front or spread out the cost. The reason you return the box and have no balance due on traditional cable/satellite services is because you're RENTING the box, not buying it.
 

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LOL, you're a self-parody, dude. There's no contract for the service itself. And they make clear at sign-up that you're purchasing the box, with the option to pay up-front or spread out the cost. The reason you return the box and have no balance due on traditional cable/satellite services is because you're RENTING the box, not buying it.
A "24 MONTH AGREEMENT" is a f***ing CONTRACT!
DIRECTV STREAM offers packages with no annual contract. Or, choose an DIRECTV STREAM device included at no additional charge with a 24-month agreement. It’s your choice!
 

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So when you're in front of the judge explaining why you didn't pay your balance due for the box because you had no contract, let me know how that goes.
That would be no different than refusing to pay your credit card bill for items you had purchased on it. Of course you have to pay off things you buy on credit. Except in the case of the DTV Stream box, the credit they're extending is zero-interest.
 

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A "24 MONTH AGREEMENT" is a f***ing CONTRACT!
It's an agreement to pay off the cost of the box over 24 months. It's not a contract for the service itself, which you can cancel at any time and pay the balance due on the box, as I've explained over and over. When someone uses the term "contract" in association with a pay TV service, everyone understands that term to mean a contract to keep the service itself and then pay an early termination fee based on the number of months left on your contract if you cancel early. That's the way it works with DTV satellite and DISH. That's also how it used to work with AT&T TV (the previously brand name for DTV Stream) back when they offered a 2-year contract option. THAT'S NOT HOW IT WORKS ON DTV STREAM NOW IF YOUR CHOOSE TO PURCHASE THEIR BOX.
 

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It's an agreement to pay off the cost of the box over 24 months. It's not a contract for the service itself, which you can cancel at any time and pay the balance due on the box, as I've explained over and over. When someone uses the term "contract" in association with a pay TV service, everyone understands that term to mean a contract to keep the service itself and then pay an early termination fee based on the number of months left on your contract if you cancel early. That's the way it works with DTV satellite and DISH. That's also how it used to work with AT&T TV (the previously brand name for DTV Stream) back when they offered a 2-year contract option. THAT'S NOT HOW IT WORKS ON DTV STREAM NOW IF YOUR CHOOSE TO PURCHASE THEIR BOX.
I know very well how DTV Stream works and how cable/satellite works. I am an earthling with decades of life experience, a former DTV subscriber, DTV Stream subscriber, Dish subscriber, cable subscriber, etc, etc, etc. If you get their box from them and don't pay up front, you are in a binding legal agreement (aka contract) to pay the balance due on the box. Period. That's a contract.

The OP wanted to try the box. He has 3 options:
  • Buy the box from DTV (up front or in 24 installments via an agreement (contract) to pay the balance due at the termination of service)
  • Buy the box from a 3rd party
  • Return before the end of the 14 day trial period
 

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I know very well how DTV Stream works and how cable/satellite works. I am an earthling with decades of life experience, a former DTV subscriber, DTV Stream subscriber, Dish subscriber, cable subscriber, etc, etc, etc. If you get their box from them and don't pay up front, you are in a binding legal agreement (aka contract) to pay the balance due on the box. Period. That's a contract.

The OP wanted to try the box. He has 3 options:
  • Buy the box from DTV (up front or in 24 installments via an agreement (contract) to pay the balance due at the termination of service)
  • Buy the box from a 3rd party
  • Return before the end of the 14 day trial period
Yep that’s how it works, just like the cell phone deals on the phones. Ie, a contract for the ‘box’ but not the plan.

IMO, the box is very nice but not worth $120. EBay usually has plenty on sale from $40 to $60.
 

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Well, as much as I like DirecTV Stream, I refuse to pay a $10/month penalty to stay with them. And as much as I despise YTTV’s UI, I signed up with them. Saving about $50/monthl doing it.

Lose RSNs, but I’ve never watched any.
Lose 5.1 audio.
PQ to my eyes is close enough.

Gain NFL channel
Gain longer retention of recordings.

I’m using a Chromecast w/Google TV with it and that makes YTTV more tolerable
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
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?
Actually, even though we have 5 TVs, we're only using the Edge on the family room set. Own a Mini but could never get it working, and even then with two kids who don't even know what network TV is (all they watch is Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Hulu, Disney+, etc.), the single Tivo has been fine. But I absolutely hate the current interface which I see as a slap in the face to the loyal Tivo user base which collaboratively worked with the Tivo team on enhancements for a 15+ years. Storage wise, that's not a problem. I have the largest Edge storage they sold at the time I bought it, and never come close to running out of space because we don't watch shows more than once and then delete. Plus, aside from sports (and stuff like Ozark), most good TV isn't being created by the major networks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
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.
Thanks for the reply. I have a hunch something like YTTV or Sling is where I'm headed. Lack of 5.1 is definitely a minus. I've got all of the major streaming devices and think Roku comes the closest to Tivo from a user interface perspective. Now if Roku offered channel packages with a DVR.... that would be something!
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
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.
I've found that most of the streaming apps will notify me when new seasons of my favorite shows drop. Usually but not always. The exception being an app I only watch for one show (Paramount+/Star Trek) because they can't notify me if I'm not on the app. But I think that's where it's going. I even subscribe to NBA and MLB games through their apps, which I think gets me to 8 or so streaming apps.
 

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I've found that most of the streaming apps will notify me when new seasons of my favorite shows drop. Usually but not always. The exception being an app I only watch for one show (Paramount+/Star Trek) because they can't notify me if I'm not on the app. But I think that's where it's going. I even subscribe to NBA and MLB games through their apps, which I think gets me to 8 or so streaming apps.
The AppleTV does a very good but not perfect job of tracking shows and the app they go with. Chromecast w/GoogleTV does it well also but not quite as well as the AppleTV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
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.
Thanks! I'll definitely look at YTTV and DTV Stream. We're already firmly entrenched in the AT&T multiverse with our cellular, so maybe they offer packages. Besides sports which is my primary requirement (and optimally decent video/sound qualify), my wife LOVES the Housewives shows. Her one guilty pleasure which drives me nuts. BUT, whatever I end up going with MUST have whatever channel those damn shows are on.
 
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