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To me, the UI looks almost the same to what I currently have on my Roamio.

EDIT: Spoke too soon, its only the same in certain areas (looking at the product pages). The 'channel' list looks the same as Google TV and the Shield too so its familiar.
Exactly. The TiVo Stream 4K runs Android TV, so its home screen in basically the same as that of your Nvidia Shield TV (which also runs Android TV). The "special sauce" that the TS4K offers is an exclusive "TiVo Stream" app which aggregates content from various underlying services into a somewhat TiVo-like UI with unified watchlist. And also, it has a TiVo-designed Android TV remote control. Some folks like the TiVo Stream app, others would just rather use the Android TV home screen for similar features. I do know that the TiVo Stream app now integrates live and on-demand content from YouTube TV. You can read about that here:


So, I dunno, if you're a TiVo-lover looking to subscribe to YouTube TV, it might be worth spending $40 on to try out. How good a job their app does in integrating content from other apps, and handing you off to that app for viewing, I'm not sure. Devil is in the details. My hunch is that you're going to find it simpler to just directly launch the YouTube TV app when you want to watch "regular cable TV" and then go to the Android TV home screen when you want to watch anything from other apps like Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, Apple TV+, etc.
 

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Which services allow you to download or record to a pc?
I don't care about cost. Can you download, record, and edit? That is why I use Tivo and Spectrum.
You're going to need a two-step solution. First, you'll need to figure out which source or sources you will use to legally obtain your desired TV channels. If you want cable channels, you'll need to choose between a streaming cable TV service such as Spectrum TV, YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, DirecTV Stream, Fubo TV, and/or Philo. A subscription to any of these services will give you a way to legally log into almost all of the streaming "TV everywhere" authenticated websites belonging to that service's set of channels. For instance, since YouTube TV includes ESPN, you can use your YouTube TV subscription to log into ESPN.com and live stream the channel there. You'll understand why this is important later, keep reading.

If all you need are your local channels and you can get good OTA antenna reception, I suggest buying an HDHomeRun tuner. Also note that in some areas, with some of the streaming cable TV services I listed above, you will still need to rely on an OTA antenna to pull in some of your local channels, because you may not be able to stream them via their TV everywhere website. For instance, your service may not allow you to log into CBS.com to live stream your local CBS station. And if that's the case, you'll need to rely on an HDHomeRun OTA tuner.

OK, once you've got that all figured out, you're going to want to buy a subscription to Channels DVR for $8/mo or $80/yr. (First month is free to try out.) You'll run their DVR software on a Mac, PC or compatible NAS connected to your home network. You'll run their very nice Channels app on your Apple TV, Android TV or Fire TV device at each TV. The Channels DVR software will take the input from your HDHomeRun OTA tuner (if you have one) plus whatever logins you have from your streaming cable TV service(s) and use those resources to stream live local and basic cable channels to the Channels app at each TV. And of course also allow you to record them. (You won't be able to record, or possibly even watch live, premium cable channels like HBO or Showtime, so I suggest using their own custom apps, e.g. HBO Max, Showtime, etc., where their entire library is available ad-free and on-demand.) From what I understand, some of these streaming "TV everywhere" basic cable channels may not include DD 5.1 surround sound. Some may look better or worse than what you're used to seeing on traditional cable. And a few may not be available at all. You will have to do your own research and experimentation. The support pages at the Channels website (getchannels.com) should be useful to you.

Your Channels DVR recordings will be DRM-free, so you can edit them on your computer as you wish and then share them (but beware of copyright laws). The Channels DVR software features the ability to skip ads, either manually or automatically, with no work on your own part. From what I can gather, I'd say that Channels offer the overall best DVR user experience you can get, second perhaps only to TiVo.

Watch this video to learn more:
 

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When considering alternative devices, before making a decision people should try to live through a few AndroidTV app updates to see how remarkably poorly they are written - something basic almost always breaks, whether it's HDR or ATMOS or DolbyDigital 5.1 support or in the case of, say, HBOMAX how the app won't even load, and if does, how often it crashes. Maybe one out of four releases of that app are stable. It was three years, three years before the Paramount+ app on AndroidTV had 5.1 channel audio. My AppleTV4K app for that service had it from the beginning.

I own a Sony OLED and the Shield Pro, and they are the second and third AndroidTV based devices I've owned, and the pattern I've described has been going on for several years. Years.

I finally stopped using the Shield and the Sony's internal apps to stream, and settled on the AppleTV 4K (the only piece of Apple gear I own) where the apps exhibit none of that nonsense. I now use the Shield strictly as a Plex Server/Client, where it does a great job.

I don't know if the AndroidTV apps issue is the underlying OS, or an incomplete API released to devs, or that the writing of the apps has been delegated to someone's incompetent nephew, and I don't care. People on the AVSFORUMS site have taken to keeping apps that work on their computers and rolling back bad updates by sideloading the older app.

No matter your opinion, that's never a good sign.
 

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That's a handy site. I wish they had locked to top column designators so I didn't have to constantly scroll back up to see which service I was looking at, but in general well done. Thanks.

I've been looking at YTTV, and notice that the CW network where I get my morning local news is listed as VOD only. That means no live streaming of their content, I assume. Almost no streaming services offer the CW as a live feed, I noticed.
Glad I gave you a helpful link. And yes, live local CW stations are missing in many markets on both YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream. I know in the latter case that Nexstar, the nation's largest local station owner, has yet to strike a deal to allow DTVS to carry their CW locals. May be the same situation on YTTV. But I also know that Nexstar is currently in the process of buying the CW network itself, so you can bet that Nexstar will suddenly be hot-to-trot to get all their CW affiliated stations carried on every single pay TV service in the nation before long.

On an unrelated note, many observers think that Nexstar will make big changes to the CW's primetime lineup in time. I suspect that by the fall 2023 season, they'll have renamed the network entirely and we'll see it ditch its focus on teens and young adults, who don't watch broadcast TV anyhow. Meanwhile, Warner would rather keep their DC superhero shows on their own HBO Max.

You can check this list to see if your local CW station is Nexstar-owned:
 

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When considering alternative devices, before making a decision people should try to live through a few AndroidTV app updates to see how remarkably poorly they are written - something basic almost always breaks, whether it's HDR or ATMOS or DolbyDigital 5.1 support or in the case of, say, HBOMAX how the app won't even load, and if does, how often it crashes. Maybe one out of four releases of that app are stable. It was three years, three years before the Paramount+ app on AndroidTV had 5.1 channel audio. My AppleTV4K app for that service had it from the beginning.

I own a Sony OLED and the Shield Pro, and they are the second and third AndroidTV based devices I've owned, and the pattern I've described has been going on for several years. Years.

I finally stopped using the Shield and the Sony's internal apps to stream, and settled on the AppleTV 4K (the only piece of Apple gear I own) where the apps exhibit none of that nonsense. I now use the Shield strictly as a Plex Server/Client, where it does a great job.

I don't know if the AndroidTV apps issue is the underlying OS, or an incomplete API released to devs, or that the writing of the apps has been delegated to someone's incompetent nephew, and I don't care. People on the AVSFORUMS site have taken to keeping apps that work on their computers and rolling back bad updates by sideloading the older app.

No matter your opinion, that's never a good sign.
I have the latest Apple TV 4K. It's expensive but worth it. There's simply no better TV streaming device, IMO. That said, my parents haven't seen the sort of problems with Android TV that you describe on their little Onn 4K boxes in the past 6 months they've used them regularly. But then they only use a few apps (mainly YTTV) and aren't demanding users. I do agree that some apps devs -- such as HBO Max -- have had a poor track record of updates. Remember when they put out a garbage redesign for their Apple TV app last year? Social media ripped them a new one and they got it fixed in a few days, ha!
 

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I have the latest Apple TV 4K. It's expensive but worth it. There's simply no better TV streaming device, IMO. That said, my parents haven't seen the sort of problems with Android TV that you describe on their little Onn 4K boxes in the past 6 months they've used them regularly. But then they only use a few apps (mainly YTTV) and aren't demanding users. I do agree that some apps devs -- such as HBO Max -- have had a poor track record of updates. Remember when they put out a garbage redesign for their Apple TV app last year? Social media ripped them a new one and they got it fixed in a few days, ha!
Wanted to thank you for your excellent detailed easy to understand posts. You clearly take the time to make them very readable and accurate.

As you know, a good informative post can take hours to compose, and I appreciate the effort.
 

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My Tivo Roamio's HDMI port went belly up. I have Spectrum cable Internet and TV. With all the rumors of cable cards going away, I went and got a temporary Spectrum box... and signed up for a free trial on Youtube TV. Put YTTV on all my TV Firesticks, and I have to say I'm impressed...... Spectrum has gone up to over 200.00 a month. Will dump Spectrum TV, and go with the less expensive, but better, Youtube. I will miss using Tivo, there is no better interface out there...... I've used it since the mid 90s! I think the fact that I can watch on all my TVs without Minis is the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #88 ·
You're going to need a two-step solution. First, you'll need to figure out which source or sources you will use to legally obtain your desired TV channels. If you want cable channels, you'll need to choose between a streaming cable TV service such as Spectrum TV, YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, DirecTV Stream, Fubo TV, and/or Philo. A subscription to any of these services will give you a way to legally log into almost all of the streaming "TV everywhere" authenticated websites belonging to that service's set of channels. For instance, since YouTube TV includes ESPN, you can use your YouTube TV subscription to log into ESPN.com and live stream the channel there. You'll understand why this is important later, keep reading.

If all you need are your local channels and you can get good OTA antenna reception, I suggest buying an HDHomeRun tuner. Also note that in some areas, with some of the streaming cable TV services I listed above, you will still need to rely on an OTA antenna to pull in some of your local channels, because you may not be able to stream them via their TV everywhere website. For instance, your service may not allow you to log into CBS.com to live stream your local CBS station. And if that's the case, you'll need to rely on an HDHomeRun OTA tuner.

OK, once you've got that all figured out, you're going to want to buy a subscription to Channels DVR for $8/mo or $80/yr. (First month is free to try out.) You'll run their DVR software on a Mac, PC or compatible NAS connected to your home network. You'll run their very nice Channels app on your Apple TV, Android TV or Fire TV device at each TV. The Channels DVR software will take the input from your HDHomeRun OTA tuner (if you have one) plus whatever logins you have from your streaming cable TV service(s) and use those resources to stream live local and basic cable channels to the Channels app at each TV. And of course also allow you to record them. (You won't be able to record, or possibly even watch live, premium cable channels like HBO or Showtime, so I suggest using their own custom apps, e.g. HBO Max, Showtime, etc., where their entire library is available ad-free and on-demand.) From what I understand, some of these streaming "TV everywhere" basic cable channels may not include DD 5.1 surround sound. Some may look better or worse than what you're used to seeing on traditional cable. And a few may not be available at all. You will have to do your own research and experimentation. The support pages at the Channels website (getchannels.com) should be useful to you.

Your Channels DVR recordings will be DRM-free, so you can edit them on your computer as you wish and then share them (but beware of copyright laws). The Channels DVR software features the ability to skip ads, either manually or automatically, with no work on your own part. From what I can gather, I'd say that Channels offer the overall best DVR user experience you can get, second perhaps only to TiVo.

Watch this video to learn more:
Thanks for the info and video, which I just downloaded.
 

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Can you schedule recordings? Like 24 hours ahead? Also, how easy is it to download movies from TCM?
You can schedule recordings (either one-time or recurring series recordings) ahead of time in Channels, pretty much the same way you would in TiVo, either through the 14-day program grid guide or via a search for a specific show/movie. (Also note that Channels uses Gracenote as their source for TV listings data. This is a better source than the guide data that TiVo uses, which is more prone to errors. TiVo used to use Gracenote years ago, until they bought its rival data source, Rovi.)

You set up, edit and delete scheduled recordings right from the Channels app on your TV with your remote control -- you don't have to go to the computer running the Channels server software to do those tasks.

As for recording TCM movies with Channels DVR using TCM's TV everywhere stream, yes, you can do that. It looks like a few folks were having trouble accessing that channel's TV everywhere stream, to either watch live or record it, back in Jan. 2021 but a quick update to the Channels software fixed the problem. You can see all that at this link from the Channels support website. It's a good example of how very responsive the Channels developer team is to their customers. It's a small company and their users seem very enthusiastic about how good the company is at supporting them.

 

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Discussion Starter · #93 ·
You can schedule recordings (either one-time or recurring series recordings) ahead of time in Channels, pretty much the same way you would in TiVo, either through the 14-day program grid guide or via a search for a specific show/movie. (Also note that Channels uses Gracenote as their source for TV listings data. This is a better source than the guide data that TiVo uses, which is more prone to errors. TiVo used to use Gracenote years ago, until they bought its rival data source, Rovi.)

You set up, edit and delete scheduled recordings right from the Channels app on your TV with your remote control -- you don't have to go to the computer running the Channels server software to do those tasks.

As for recording TCM movies with Channels DVR using TCM's TV everywhere stream, yes, you can do that. It looks like a few folks were having trouble accessing that channel's TV everywhere stream, to either watch live or record it, back in Jan. 2021 but a quick update to the Channels software fixed the problem. You can see all that at this link from the Channels support website. It's a good example of how very responsive the Channels developer team is to their customers. It's a small company and their users seem very enthusiastic about how good the company is at supporting them.

Thanks, again. Reminds me of the way Panasonic DVD recorders used to schedule recordings, several years ago.
 

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Also, what type of remote contol is used? The Tivo remote is the best, and they never wear out.
You'll be using whichever remote comes with the streaming device you have at each TV -- Apple TV, Fire TV, or any of the various Android TV devices (e.g. Onn 4K Box, TiVo Stream 4K, Nvidia Shield TV, etc.). Because you'll be running the Channels app on that streaming device.

If your smart TV happens to run either Android TV or Fire TV as its built-in smart operating system, then you can just use the Channels app right on the TV, using the remote control that came with the smart TV.

IMO, the overall best low-cost streaming device is the Onn 4K Android TV box at Walmart for $20. But if you're not concerned about spending, then the best streaming device of them all is the Apple TV 4K (the current one, with the improved newer-style remote), which regularly costs $170. That said, since you really like the TiVo peanut remote, you might want to check out their little Android TV box, called the TiVo Stream 4K, which regularly costs $40. Its remote is a bit smaller and somewhat differently laid out than a traditional TiVo DVR remote, though. And frankly, even though it costs twice as much, it's not any faster or more powerful than the Onn 4K box, except for the fact that the TiVo Stream 4K supports Dolby Vision HDR while the Onn only supports regular HDR. (And if you don't know the difference between those two, then you probably won't be able to see the difference either. It's not a big deal for most folks.)

Remember that while the Channels app will be installed on a streaming device (or smart TV) at every TV around your house, the Channels server software will be installed on a central computer connected to your home's wifi router. (It would be best if you can connect this computer to the router via an ethernet cable but if they're too far apart for that, a solid, fast wifi connection might be OK.) This computer can run Windows, Mac, or Linux. It can even be a specialized type of storage computer, Network Attached Storage (NAS). For a list of the requirements of what kind of computer can run the Channels server software, see their webpage here:

The last piece of the puzzle will be an HDHomeRun over-the-air tuner which you will also connect to your wifi router, and it must be connected to it with an ethernet cable). This device will pull in your local free over-the-air stations via a connected antenna (either an indoor or outdoor antenna) and feed them into the Channels software for live and recorded viewing. I don't know how well you can receive over-the-air stations where you live, so this might be a problem. You can buy a new 2-tuner HDHomeRun tuner for $110, although you can find used ones for less on eBay (which is what I did years ago and it's still running fine). Do a search on eBay for "HDHomeRun Connect". You'll see some that have 2 tuners inside and some that have 4 tuners inside, allowing you to watch/record either 2 or 4 different over-the-air channels simultaneously. Here's a 2-tuner Connect that's available right now for $65 including shipping. (BTW, you do not want any of the following: HDHomeRun Prime, HDHomeRun Scribe, HDHomeRun Dual.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #100 ·
You'll be using whichever remote comes with the streaming device you have at each TV -- Apple TV, Fire TV, or any of the various Android TV devices (e.g. Onn 4K Box, TiVo Stream 4K, Nvidia Shield TV, etc.). Because you'll be running the Channels app on that streaming device.

If your smart TV happens to run either Android TV or Fire TV as its built-in smart operating system, then you can just use the Channels app right on the TV, using the remote control that came with the smart TV.

IMO, the overall best low-cost streaming device is the Onn 4K Android TV box at Walmart for $20. But if you're not concerned about spending, then the best streaming device of them all is the Apple TV 4K (the current one, with the improved newer-style remote), which regularly costs $170. That said, since you really like the TiVo peanut remote, you might want to check out their little Android TV box, called the TiVo Stream 4K, which regularly costs $40. Its remote is a bit smaller and somewhat differently laid out than a traditional TiVo DVR remote, though. And frankly, even though it costs twice as much, it's not any faster or more powerful than the Onn 4K box, except for the fact that the TiVo Stream 4K supports Dolby Vision HDR while the Onn only supports regular HDR. (And if you don't know the difference between those two, then you probably won't be able to see the difference either. It's not a big deal for most folks.)

Remember that while the Channels app will be installed on a streaming device (or smart TV) at every TV around your house, the Channels server software will be installed on a central computer connected to your home's wifi router. (It would be best if you can connect this computer to the router via an ethernet cable but if they're too far apart for that, a solid, fast wifi connection should be OK.) This computer can run Windows, Mac, or Linux. It can even be a specialized type of storage computer, Network Attached Storage (NAS). For a list of the requirements of what kind of computer can run the Channels server software, see their webpage here:

The last piece of the puzzle will be an HDHomeRun over-the-air tuner which you will also connect to your wifi router (again, preferably with an ethernet cable). This device will pull in your local free over-the-air stations via a connected antenna (either an indoor or outdoor antenna) and feed them into the Channels software for live and recorded viewing. I don't know how well you can receive over-the-air stations where you live, so this might be a problem. You can buy a new 2-tuner HDHomeRun tuner for $110, although you can find used ones for less on eBay (which is what I did years ago and it's still running fine). Do a search on eBay for "HDHomeRun Connect". You'll see some that have 2 tuners inside and some that have 4 tuners inside, allowing you to watch/record either 2 or 4 different over-the-air channels simultaneously. Here's a 2-tuner Connect that's available right now for $65 including shipping. (BTW, you do not want any of the following: HDHomeRun Prime, HDHomeRun Scribe, HDHomeRun Dual.)
Thanks for more great info. I have an LG-32-LM62 TV, but its remote is flimsy. I love my Tivo remote.
 
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