TiVo Stream 4K

Discussion in 'Internet Streaming Services' started by techguy88, May 6, 2020.

  1. techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

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    Mar 19, 2015
    If anyone is interested in the TiVo Stream 4K device it's now available to order from TiVo. Regular price $69.99 however they are offering a special where you can get it for $49.99. Offer ends 5/27/20.

    The device appears to be running on the Android TV Operator Tier. According to their YouTube videos its supposed to have Hulu but their website currently doesn't list Hulu alongside other popular apps like Netflix and Prime Video.

    Tech Specs for the device are similar to what is in the AirTV Mini. It has the same RAM & Storage found in the AT&T TV device and other Android TV devices within its price range.
    • SoC: Amlogic S905Y2
    • RAM: 2GB DDR4
    • Storage: 8GB eMMC Flash
    • Bluetooth 4.2
    • Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n/ac 2.45/5G MIMO 2T2R Wi-Fi
    • Video: 4K@60fps, 1080p/i, 720p / HDR; Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
    • Audio: MEPG, AAC, HE-ACC, OGG, OGA, FLAC, ALAC, Ape, M4A, RM, MPEG-1 layer1/2, MPEG-2 Layer II, Dolby Digital/Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos, DTS, WMA, WMA Pro (WMV optional)
    • Interface: HDMI 2.0a, Micro USB2.0, USB-C
    I'm mainly interested to see how the UI works. I ordered one from their website to test out as I always like TiVo products when I had cable in the past.
     
  2. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    I am struggling hard with this device. Until they add a way for it to act like a Tivo Mini.. It is nothing more then another streaming stick
     
    I WANT MORE likes this.
  3. TheRatPatrol

    TheRatPatrol Hall Of Fame

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    I thought I heard/read somewhere they were supposed to do that but TiVo couldn't get it to work?
     
  4. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    Evans City PA
    Supposedly it is in the works But this was delayed for a long time so who knows. Tivo is bad at meeting release targets
     
  5. Jim148

    Jim148 Godfather

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    Jun 22, 2004
    I ordered one yesterday and may have it on Saturday. I was actually due for a new streaming device since our first generation Amazon Fire TV box remote control went bad. The price of a replacement remote control is about $20. So, at that point, I decided to wait until the TiVo Stream 4K was available.

    I also have a Roku Smart Soundbar to play with. New toys during the COVID-2019 restrictions!
     
  6. mjwagner

    mjwagner Icon

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    Oct 8, 2005
    Seems like a bit of a Hail Mary for TiVo as it has become more and more irrelevant.
     
  7. Phil T

    Phil T Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Mar 25, 2002
    Littleton,...
    Sadly I invested a lot in TiVo boxes after dumping DirecTV. They were great until recently when they added pre roll ads, TiVo+ crap and the guide information turned to crap.

    My TiVo's and minis are now used in the basement and bedrooms.

    I have a new Xfinity XG1v4 DVR I received on Tuesday for my main family room TV.
    So far we are really liking it.

    I will not invest any more in TiVo or AT&T products. Back to rental cable boxes until something comes along better.
     
  8. techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

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    Mar 19, 2015
    So I just got my TiVo Stream 4K in today (would have had it a week sooner if FedEx didn't lose my first package but that's a rant I will not go into here :) )

    This is an Android TV powered device and there is no app available that will allow it to communicate with regular TiVo DVRs (I checked thoroughly). This really is meant for cord cutters but those who want to like/want to keep some sort of TiVo experience. I'm using a standard HD 1080p set so I can't test the 4K/HDR capabilities of the device at this time.

    Setup
    Setting everything up was quick and easy. To pair the remote you just press and hold the "TiVo" button and back button at the same time. In my experience after pairing the remote just worked with my Vizio TV no extra setup required (I like this). Just like with any Android TV powered device you will need a Google account for things like Google Assistant and to use the Google Play Store. This device also requires a TiVo account to activate just like with any other TiVo product.

    Performance
    This is the first kind of dongle/stick I honestly wouldn't mind using on a daily basis for most of my streaming needs. Unlike the Amazon Fire TV Stick and the Roku Streaming Stick which I have tried in the past that were laggy and slow this is quick and responsive even after setting up all my regular streaming apps.

    GUI
    Unlike other Android TV devices with custom GUI the TiVo Stream 4K boots into the stock Android TV Home screen first so anyone who has used a Mi Box S or Nvidia Shield TV will be familiar with this. By default in the App favorites bar a "TiVo Stream" app is placed first. This is where the new hyped GUI is housed. Across the entire device the default Android TV sounds have been replaced with custom sounds from TiVo.

    TiVo Stream App/GUI
    You can get to the TiVo Stream app by selecting it from the Home screen or by pressing the "TiVo" button on the remote. The Stream GUI is sleek and modern and very nice after going through the initial setup where it will ask you to chose between two similar shows it will pre-populate a list of shows it thinks you will like under "My Shows". The main home screen will show "Trending" shows, live TV selections (from Sling and TiVo+), Recommended Shows & Movies and various other categories.

    When you click on a TV show it will display all the services the show is available from (i.e. Netflix, Hulu, etc.) so if Netflix has Season 1 of a particular show but Hulu has Season 2 you can see that all in one place.

    Compatible apps

    So the device itself, TiVo Stream 4K, can pretty much support any app that supports Android TV. TiVo managed to secure agreements with the three big players Netflix, Prime Video and Hulu at launch. This is rare for a new Android TV device just launching as it a newcommer to the Android TV space typically lacks either Prime Video or Hulu or both. In rare cases some lack Netflix.

    Live TV wise this means it lacks support for AT&T TV/TV Now but does have support for Sling TV, Philo, YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, fuboTV and Vidgo.

    It also supports a wide variety of on demand streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, CBS All Access, Showtime, Showtime Anytime, Starz, HBO Go, HBO Now, Funimation, HIDIVE, Crunchyroll, VRV, DC Universe, etc.

    TiVo Stream Integration

    So with the TiVo Stream app and what apps the device can actually run out of the way. What apps are actually integrated with the main TiVo Stream app (the main reason to buy a TiVo Stream 4K)?

    Not many at this time only 7 apps support TiVo Stream integration.
    • Sling TV (Live TV + On Demand)
    • Netflix
    • HBO Now
    • Prime Video / Prime Membership
    • Hulu (On demand content only not w/Live TV)
    • Disney+
    • Google Play Movies & TV

    Technical Issues

    I did notice as I was downloading some of my apps the Android TV home screen flickered between a black screen and went back to normal. Something I've not experienced before with an Android TV device (even the ones on the cheap end of the scale.) However it seemed to recover and no other issues.

    Verdict

    It has potential but it has a long way to go before the device catches up to the hype. I'm rather shocked TiVo didn't think to include HBO Go integration support since they have HBO Now integration support. To me this is a big misstep as there are more people that have access to HBO Go rather than HBO Now and both should have been included. Also surprised at the lack of Showtime/Showtime Anytime, Starz, Epix/Epix Now and CBS All Access integration.

    Final Thoughts

    If your on the market for the best Android TV experience I stand by the Nvidia Shield TV 100%. It is at the top end of the spectrum at $149.99 and also has 8GB of onboard memory but it easily expandable with your flavor of microSD cards. Really nothing beats the Tegra X1+ SoC when it comes to the Android TV space.

    If you are more an Apple fan then the Apple TVs will also suit your fancy at the same price point of $149.99 for the HD model or $179.99 for the 4K model (both 32GB non-expandable memory). If your looking for a streamlined, integrated experience where one app connects with all your other apps (similar to the TiVo Stream) then the Apple TV app on Apple TV has you covered. The Apple TV app supports integration with more cord-cutting apps and even popular TV Everywhere apps.

    If you just want a good reliable device for your streaming needs then Roku's line of devices are also good choices like the Walmart exclusive Roku Ultra LT which is only $10 more than TiVo Stream 4K's soon to be regular price. The Roku Ultra LT and Roku Ultra also allow you to use micrSD cards to expand your device storage.

    I would only recommend the TiVo Stream 4K to someone wanting a decent option into the Android TV space who doesn't want to pay $149.99 for an Nvidia Shield TV. The only other consumer I would recommend this device for is someone who happens to have Sling TV and is wanting an integrated experience similar to the Apple TV app on Apple TV devices and doesn't want to pay $149.99 or higher.

    I would also recommend checking out this review (has info about the device's 4K capabilities) and this in-depth post from the TiVo enthusiasts on what they see as the "Path to Perfection" for the TiVo Stream 4K.
     
    AngryManMLS and rey_1178 like this.
  9. AngryManMLS

    AngryManMLS Active Member

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    Jan 30, 2014
    MN
    Fantastic review. Honestly if one went down the road on getting the Shield TV I would highly recommend spending the extra $50 and get the Pro model. That one has 16gb on board storage and 3gb RAM over the 8gb on board storage and 2gb RAM on the cheaper model. Plus the Pro model has two USB 3.0 ports so you can hook an hard drive to it or use the ports for wired game controllers or keyboard/mouse or whatever.

    I own the 2017 Shield TV it's an fantastic device that still holds up very well. The only thing that the new Pro model offers is more RAM (good thing) and the 4K upscaling for 1080p and lesser content. Maybe I'll upgrade to the Pro model down the road but for now I'm very content with my 2017 model.
     

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