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TiVo stream 4K streaming media player review

TiVo stream 4K streaming media player review

Does TiVo Edge need a cable card? As powerful inside as it is streamlined and sleek on the outside. Schedule and record up to 6 cable shows at once and store up to 300 HD hours, and watch on your tablet or phone with the free TiVo app. TiVo EDGE for cable brings all your cable TV channels, recordings and top streaming apps like Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu and HBO Go to one easy-to-find place. Find more in TiVo stream 4K streaming media player review.

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Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Remote finder is useful.
  • Top-notch DVR recording and viewing options
  • The antenna version has a backlit remote
  • Much quieter than earlier TiVos
  • Records shows.

Cons

  • Requires a subscription
  • Recordings are getting pre-roll video ads
  • Unappealing, text-heavy menu system.
  • Whole-home DVR still requires expensive add-on boxes
  • App support is falling further behind dedicated streaming players

Specs

Ports 2xUSB + 1xHDMI 2.0

Recording capacity 300 HD hours
Storage 2TB
Tuners 4 – 6
Video HLG, HDR10, Dolby Vision

Audio Digital + Dolby Atmos
Connectivity Wi-fi 802.11ac

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Price

TiVo Edge for Antenna costs $350, has 2TB of storage, and can play or record up to four broadcast channels at the same time. DVR service costs an extra $7 per month, $70 per year, or $250 for the life of the hardware.

For those who plan to plug in a CableCARD, the TiVo Edge for Cable costs $400, also has 2TB of storage, and can play or record up to six channels at a time. TiVo charges $15 per month, $150 per year, or $550 for lifetime cable DVR service.

TiVo stream 4K streaming media player review

Design

It measures 1.8 by 11.4 by 7.3 inches (HWD) and weighs 1.9 pounds, making it shorter and sleeker than the boxy Fire TV Recast. The TiVo Edge looks like a stack of two flat, glossy black plastic boxes, with the top box pushed slightly to the right and back from the bottom box. The front of the Edge features a TiVo logo in the middle and two indicator LEDs (for power and recording status) on the right. 

Ports

The port arrangement around back has barely changed despite the new look, with a coaxial input, optical audio output, HDMI, a pair of USB ports, ethernet, and a remote finder button that plays a tone on the TiVo remote. The old eSATA port for storage expansion is gone, but WD stopped selling its sole compatible hard drive years ago anyway. Unfortunately, the USB ports still don’t support external hard drives, so they don’t serve much purpose beyond charging your phone.

Control

As for TiVo’s remote, it remains aggressively chunky with too many extraneous buttons (TiVo’s recommendations don’t even utilize the thumbs-up and -down buttons anymore), but the TiVo Edge for Antenna remote has one major improvement this time around: It’s backlit, so the keys light up when you press them. Strangely, TiVo is sticking cable customers with the non-backlit version for now.

Processor & storage in TiVo stream 4K streaming media player

Compared to the Bolt, the TiVo Edge has a faster processor and more memory (4GB instead of 3GB). According to TiVo, the hard drive can store up to 300 hours of HD recordings (naturally, standard definition broadcasts will take up less space), and the two USB 3.0 ports on the back let you add additional storage with external hard drives.

The TiVo Edge for Cable has the same 2TB of storage, but six tuners instead of four, and a CableCARD slot. The tuners and storage easily eclipse the Amazon Fire TV Recast, which has an entry-level model with a paltry 500GB hard drive and two tuners, and a step-up model with a still-comparatively-small 1TB hard drive and four tuners.

4K HDR

High-definition TV broadcasts are largely limited to 720p and 1080i formats, both of which have less detail than the standard 1080p HD format used by most streaming media. Fortunately, the TiVo Edge also incorporates a handful of streaming services into its system, and can output video to your TV at up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second.

Audio

The audio and video output capabilities are definitely cutting-edge, with support for 4K video, but also Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos sound. The Edge has built in Wi-Fi but given the high bandwidth requirements for streaming 4K content, either a hardwired Ethernet or MoCA connection to your home network is recommended.

Apps support – TiVo stream 4K streaming media player

With TiVo, you can access certain video apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and HBO Go without a separate streaming player, and some of them even integrate with TiVo’s DVR menus, so for any given program, you can view recordings and on-demand episodes in one list. Still, the list of apps that TiVo supports is small, and the omissions are piling up. To watch Disney+, Apple TV+, Pluto TV, Crackle, PBS, Tubi, Sling TV, Philo, Spotify, YouTube TV, or Hulu’s live TV service, you’ll need a separate streaming player.

Does TiVo Edge need subscription?

TiVo continues to require a subscription, and for the TiVo Edge for Antenna that means $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year to use the DVR (you can also go all-in with a lifetime subscription for $249.99). The TiVo Edge for Cable subscription is considerably more expensive at $14.99 per month or $149.99 per year, or $549.99 to go all-in with a lifetime subscription.

Setup

Unboxing and setup proved relatively painless—not unexpected when you’ve installed as many TiVo DVRs as I have. If you’re going with the Cable version, do NOT install the CableCARD during initial setup—trust me on this. Connect the coax cable to the Edge, link it to your display via HDMI, then power it on and go through the Guided Setup. Next, when it asks you if you have a CableCARD, just skip that step and the box will continue through the setup process. You will then need to wait a good 15-20 minutes for the unit to connect to the TiVo service and download any software updates.

TiVo stream 4K streaming media player Performance review

TiVo does offer one notable benefit: Skipping commercials. My recordings had markers that let me skip past commercial breaks with the push of a button. That’s handy, though not necessarily handy enough to justify the price of TiVo hardware and service.

TiVo Edge diligently recorded every show I wanted, from the latest episodes of The Flash to the perplexingly numerous episodes of Night Court. For all of my chosen shows, the Edge also offered me access to every episode in the series, available through Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. I could just keep up with recent episodes by filtering the menu only to recordings, or I could binge from the beginning.

TiVo stream 4K streaming media player customer review

Much better than the Bolt

I dont know why the Bolt was noisy, hot, and a strange curved design, but the Edge makes up for it. A very svelte design thats quiet and gets the job done. Its a little pricey however…i think shave a $100 off the price and it becomes much more attractive. No problems after a couple months of owning it. I really like the Tivo software and Tivo mini concept for satellite rooms when used with cable content, but yes, the apps are nothing to get excited about. Tivo…you guys desperately need real TV apps, but then again i guess that would not be good for the cable guys. Im a traditional (Spectrum) cable TV consumer and will probably use Tivo for as long as i can in that context, but i do sometimes wonder if the yearly subscription is worth what I get.

By RKBinAustin at Best Buy

Alternate of TiVo stream 4K streaming media player

Chromecast with Google TV

SPECIFICATIONS

Number of Apps: Over 6,500Size: 6.4 x 2.4 x 0.5 inchesPorts: HDMI, USB-CSupported HDR formats: HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby VisionSupported audio formats: Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby Atmos

REASONS TO BUY

+Sensible layout+Lots of streaming services+Remote included

REASONS TO AVOID

-General Google searches poorly formattedAdvertisement

The Chromecast with Google TV makes the company’s traditional streaming device a whole lot more complete. It starts with 4K UHD streaming with support for HDR and Dolby Vision, for excellent picture quality, and Dolby Atmos for immersive sound. An update has added Dolby Vision support to the Chromecast with Google TV for even better picture quality. Also, it’s got Google TV, an interface and operating system that supports the over 6,500 Android TV apps. That means you get everything from HBO Max to Disney Plus to Peacock — plus Netflix. Even Peloton’s in there. A lot of other streaming devices can’t boast as much.  

While it’s not the minimalist streaming device that the Chromecast 3 was, the new Chromecast remote could even replace your TV’s remote. It’s got the power and volume controls you need to turn on your TV, plus a TV Input button for switching to other devices, such as gaming consoles. On top of that, its $49.99 price makes it more affordable than the Chromecast Ultra, Google’s previous 4K streaming device. This is easily one of the best streaming devices available. 

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