Ever since I heard about the 6 tuner Tivo Roamios I have been interested in maybe switching back to Tivo. I have been with Directv for almost 14 years. I started with the RCA DTC-100 (the first HD satellite stb). Then used almost every Directv DVR including: the Microsoft Ultimate TV (the first dual-tuner satellite DVR), the SD dual-tuner Directivos, the HR10-250 Directivo (HD dual-tuner DVR), the HR-20 and the HR-34. I was skeptical about the new Directv branded DVRs but eventually got used to them.
I am about 3 weeks into a 30 day evaluation of the Tivo Roamio and Tivo mini and would like to share some of my observations. For a few days I had both my Directv system and Tivo up and running at the same time. I now have my Directv account suspended until I decide what to do.
My existing Directv system includes (1) Genie(HR-34), (2) HR-20, (1) GenioGo with whole home service using DECA. My Tivo system consists of (1) Roamio Pro (3TB w/integrated Stream) and (1) Mini, both with lifetime service. My use in the 3rd room is very light. At first I used just 2 DVRs and supplied my 3rd room with a modulated channel off one of my HR20s. Then Directv changed the SD signal on the composite jack so I just used an extra HR20. Now for my 3rd room I again use a modulated channel off the Tivo mini. It's a small 22" bedroom TV so SD doesn't look that bad. I admit that this may not be a an exact fair comparison because my Directv equipment isn't the newest and my Tivo stuff is the latest and greatest. Anyway here are some of my observations.
Tivo Roamio Pro/mini/Comcast system.
- 6 tuner
- Both Roamio and Mini have very fast UI
- Large 3TB hard drive without having to add or replace drive
- Unit has good resale value after 3 years
- Support for other content providers (Netflix, Huluplus, Amazon Instant videos, etc.)
- On Demand now available with Comcast
- Tivo Stream is integrated into main box
- Very nice iPad app for all functions including: Season Pass view/manage, To Do list view/manage. Way better than Directv iPad app
- Streaming (locally. I haven't used much out of home) shows from DVR to iPad allows use of trick play and is in general a much better experience than using GenieGo and the Directv iPad app. With Directv I have found it is better to download the show and then watch it especially if you want to be able to navigate around the commercials.
- Many tools (including Tivo Desktop and 3rd party) to legally copy content to/from DVR
- High initial cost. About $925 for Roamio Pro and $230 for Mini including Lifetime service for both. (current pricing on Amazon).
- Cable TV only. no OTA. 4 tuner Romaio Basic can do OTA or cable but not both.
- Having to deal with cable company(Comcast) for install of cable card.
- No Android support for Tivo Stream.
- Having to get used to new system again.
- No way to use "real" channel numbers for locals
- No way to "hide" SD channels.
- If using a single Roamio and it goes out you have no backup. Minis can't do anything on their own
Directv Genie/GenieGo system.
- Able to add OTA option.
- Low initial cost.
- Andriod support with GenieGo.
- Better support. Although sometimes not great Directv is better than Comcast/Tivo combination
- Low maintenance/repair costs since you don't own the equipment.
- SD channel hide feature.
- Use "real" channel number for local channels.
- Affordable to have multiple DVRs for redundancy and extra tuners
- Slow (sometimes extremely slow) UI on both HR34 and HR20. Don't have Genie client to test.
- No way to manage DVR from PC or tablet.
- GenieGo is separate product (not integrated).
- No practical way for existing customers to get "latest and greatest" equipment.
That's all I can think of for now. I welcome any question or comments.