Tivo Stream 4K Review

Tivo Stream 4K Review

tivo stream 4k review

While software updates are helpful, issues still exist.

TCL 65Q825 Samsung OLED65CXPUA Sony XBR-555X950G Samsung PN59D8000 We tried the TiVo Stream on a range of TVs. The main problem, as we have mentioned before, was that the TiVo Stream stopped midstream, and then returned to the menu. Although it happened more frequently on the LG than the Sony, the issue appears to have been solved with software updates. The LG still has this problem.

A few other minor problems were also encountered. During setup on the remote pairing stage, the device would attempt to connect after pressing the requested buttons and then time out and return to the pairing page. They worked with persistence and quick reflexes as we pressed the Next button. Also, sound dropped out with an Onkyo receiver and a Sony TV, but thankfully, that problem was fixed by a software upgrade.

Beyond that, the Stream worked well in our testing. Navigation of the various screens was zippy and we didn’t notice any lag when opening any apps. Sling TV is a great alternative to TiVo Stream. It was also possible to stream videos from a mobile phone and a web browser using the TiVo Stream 4K Chromecast feature. If you’re familiar with the Android TV ecosystem, you’ll feel right at home with the Stream 4K, and the Stream app on top is a usable and fun addition.

Initial hopes were that the Nvidia Shield would be replaced by this device to stream PC gaming to the TV through the Steam Link app. But it failed to work. It couldn’t stream at enough bandwidth to keep the interface stable or play any games. Additionally, it doesn’t support the recommended Ethernet port. TiVo representatives state that you can connect an Ethernet adapter to the USB C port, which might be helpful if your Wi-Fi is noisy. The normal Android TV gaming experience was good. We also enjoyed a couple of rounds with Crossy Road.

tivo stream 4k review

Android Tv And Tivo Stream

The Stream 4K can run thousands upon thousands of apps or streaming services, including the most popular ones like Amazon, Google Play. Hulu. Netflix. Sling TV. YouTube. Twitch is still missing. You can also stream content directly from your smartphone, tablet or Google Chrome tab to your television using Google Cast.

Check out Our Chromecast With Google TV Review Amazon Fire TV 4K. Read our Amazon Fire TV 4K Review

Roku Premiere+ (2018). Read Our Roku Premiere+ (2018). Review Amazon Fire TV Cube (2019). Read Our Amazon Fire TV cube (2019). Review Apple TV4K. Read Our Roku Ultra Review Roku Ultra (2018). Review Android TV features Google Assistant. Press and hold the Google Assistant button on your remote. Then, speak into the microphone. Google Assistant allows you to open and search for content. You can even provide general information, such as weather conditions and scores. It can search content, open apps and provide general information like weather scores.

TiVo Stream runs over Android TV. To access the app, press the TiVo button at the remote. TiVo Stream serves as this interface. It allows for access to all your content and apps using a TiVo-like menu system that is different from stock Android TV.

There are several menus available on the left hand side of your screen. Home aggregates different recommendations for movies and shows across multiple services and live TV. My Shows allows you to view all your shows at once, similar to the OnePass feature of TiVo DVRs. Guide can be used to find local television channels and other services on Sling Locast. The categorical suggestions pages TV Shows and Movies, Kids, and Sports are easy to understand. Finally, you can access all apps installed on your phone through Apps.

It’s a vast improvement over TiVo’s very text-heavy menu systems, however it is still quite messy when compared to Fire TV, Roku or Google TV. The circular Home button on the remote can be used to return to Android TV. However, Android TV feels less elegant than the other interfaces.

tivo stream 4k review

What’S Good?

Let’s get started with setup. You will see step-by-step instructions on the screen. The screen will guide you through connecting your remote to your Google account and setting your preferences regarding viewing for enhanced suggestions. You also have the option to use your phone as a remote control if this is not convenient.

TiVo 4K is Android TV’s best-selling product. It also includes some TiVo-inspired features.

The TiVo 4K is easy to use if you are familiar with Android TV. Simple UI design allows the device to focus on content rather than apps. The home page has a column showing app info on the left side, but the rest of the screen is filled with content previews. Up top, there are some settings and controls. While it is great that the design of TiVo’s website is minimalist and focuses solely on content, there are some settings and control options up top.

tivo stream 4k review

2. Tivo Can Aggregate All Your Streaming Content

You may not like the Roku’s tile-by-tile browsing style. TiVo can be a great way to search content.

Navigating from one app tile or another on Premiere and Roku Express is the only way to browse your content. TiVo helps you streamline that process. It allows you to aggregate your live and on-demand TV viewing across all streaming subscriptions. For instance, you can search for The Sopranos in the TiVo menu. This would display which streaming services have the show. You can click on the preferred app to watch it (as pictured below) and even add it to your “My Shows” section for quick access in the future.

This aggregation works with live streaming through an integration to Sling TV. TiVo provides a free seven-day trial of its service in the package that comes with the Stream4K device. The remote can be used to display a complete list of streaming live streams.

This review covered streaming services that were accessible within the TiVo application guide, without needing to launch a separate program:

Sling TV

Netflix

HBO Now

tivo stream 4k review

Tivo Stream 4K Review: Amped-Up Android Tv

The Stream 4K announcement at CES 2020 was a surprise to us. The company that built its reputation (and arguably an industry) around the invention of the DVR showed off a gadget that couldn’t record TV shows to a hard drive and couldn’t even be connected to traditional TV sources like cable, satellite, or free antenna-based broadcasts.

Stream 4K is also a departure from TiVo’s past when it comes to price. The Stream 4K product is the most affordable TiVo has ever offered. It comes with an introductory $50 price and no additional fees. However, the question remains: Did TiVo really sell its soul to capitalize on the streaming video revolution’s power?

Let’s take another look.

What is TiVo Stream 4K and what does it do?

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Despite being TiVo’s brand, the Stream 4K doesn’t have much in common to other DVRs such as the TiVo TiVo Edge OTA TiVo TiVo TiVo. To access your TiVo recordings or live TV, it can only be used in a separate household from these TiVo products (so it is not a cheaper TiVo Mini). But here’s one thing the TiVo faithful won’t miss: The fee for the TiVo service (because this isn’t a TiVo DVR).

It’s instead a $50 streaming media device powered by Android TV. The Stream 4K could be considered an Android television device, although TiVo added a few tweaks.

tivo stream 4k review

Share all the Sharing Options

TiVo launched the TiVo streaming dongle TiVo Stream4K last May to challenge Amazon Roku and Roku. This $70 TiVo streaming dongle was a competitor to Roku and Amazon. Now, it appears the company is abandoning its Android TV dongle plans.

Jon Kirchner from Xperi Holdings stated that they no longer feel that Android TV can be competitive. He said that while the company still believes its distinguishing feature is a content-guide that surfaced and let you search for movies across a variety apps, it now sees that Google has already added a Google TV “Google TV” layer onto Android TV. TiVo sells it at $50 so it’s unlikely to have much success there.

Kirchner is transcribed here by Seeking Alpha Sure. So as originally we approached the combination we did a lot more planning around a sort of a 3-phase approach. First, there’s the Stream 4K product that attaches TVs. Next, we plan to move into an embedded app, where we’ll choose the preferred user interface on a broader platform. This was originally based on the assumption that it would be on top Android TV.

The third is a deeper embedded solution. We’re an even bigger provider of embedded OS and are really the main interface for wider content search, discovery and engagement. Google’s announcement last fall about their plans to get beyond the core OS platform and into UX has changed things.

Kirchner wants TiVo smarts to be embedded directly in TVs. It’s an approach that has been very successful for Roku, where Amazon is also competing with Fire TV Edition for quite a while.

The truth is the Stream 4K wasn’t loved by all the reviewers. One of its best-reviewed models called it confusing and cluttered, while others said it is comparable in quality to Amazon Prime and Roku for the same price. TiVo dropped to $50 the price of the Stream 4K at launch and then reduced it to $39 after Google’s $50 Chromecast arrived in December.

tivo stream 4k review

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TiVo Stream 4K Review: A Budget-Friendly HDMI Dongle Packs a Limited, but Promising App TiVo’s Stream 4K represents a different approach for the company. The Stream 4K, a streaming device that is priced at a fraction of the price of traditional DVRs and supported by premium service plans, replaces dedicated DVRs. Its unique selling point, however, is the integrated approach to content. This allows viewers from multiple platforms and services to access one central location. How does it do on this front? Is the hardware capable of serving up the content that you desire? To find out, I spent several days streaming from the Stream 4K.

Hardware and Setting Up If your first impression of TiVo is of large, hard-drive-equipped DVRs, with a fair amount of entertainment center space, the Stream 4K might be a surprise. TiVo takes on the tiny, concealed-away HDMI dongle. Chromecasts and Fire TV Sticks will replace giant cable boxes. However, the Stream 4K does not look as big as some of its competitors. The main housing measures roughly 3 x 2x 0.6 inches (77x53x16mm), with the HDMI “tail” at the bottom.

It is long and flexible enough to allow the Stream 4K to reach all the cables plugged in my TV’s inputs. Depending on where your HDMI inputs are, however, the Stream 4K might stick out a bit though that’s nothing double-sided tape can’t fix if it’s too distracting.

Apart from the HDMI connection permanently attached, you will find a micro USB port for power, a pair button and a USB C connector. TiVo says you should use the provided power supply instead of plugging the power cord into a USB port. Although it is not mentioned on the Stream 4K product page, nor in the support documents, the USB-C port can be used to connect additional storage, or an Ethernet cable, if you have the right adapters. Unfortunately, the USB-C port was not available for me to test these capabilities. TiVo representatives however confirmed that this can be used to further expand the Stream’s capabilities.

The Stream’s 8GB onboard storage could make it useful to have external storage. This compares well to competitors such as the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (8GB), however, it could prove a little restrictive depending on how large you wish to load.

Its remote evokes that familiar TiVo “peanut shape”. Even though the size of the device is reduced, it’s still very comfortable to hold. Although it is slippery, the overall texture could be more grippier. It took some getting used to button placement before I was truly comfortable navigating without looking at the remote. At first I was hesitant about pressing the TiVo button logo instead of the confirmation buttons located under the directional Arrows.

tivo stream 4k review

Wrapping up

Your suite of services should be compatible with current Stream apps. This will ensure that you get the greatest value. If those two groups don’t perfectly overlap, you might find yourself navigating to and from the Stream app to access all of your content, which somewhat dulls the app’s main appeal. Even ignoring the Stream App, Android TV streams are still affordable and highly capable at a price of $49.99.

If TiVo hikes the price above the $69.99 regular, the value proposition becomes less attractive. Therefore, you will need to balance the attractiveness and cost of TiVo’s Stream over alternative Android TV options such the Xiaomi Mi Box S (around $50).

The Stream app integrates the supported services and offers an intuitive interface. TiVo could expand support and offer the Stream app as an independent application that you can run on any other device. As of now, we haven’t heard about any plans for this. However, we will keep you informed if there are.

Overall the Stream 4K is a good choice if your goal is to get an Android TV unit at a reasonable price. We recommend that you get one as soon as possible, since more expensive competitors such Amazon or Roku are much more attractive once the price rises.

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tivo stream 4k review

Tivo Stream 4K – Initial Thoughts

These are my thoughts as I prepare to unbox the TiVoStream 4K.

As someone who has been waiting for the TiVo 4K to be released, I am excited to challenge Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K. I think the Fire TV Stick 4K currently is the most widely used streaming device. Due to its low price, as well as the possibility of streaming 4K content, it is very popular. Additionally, sideloading on Fire TV Stick 4K makes it possible for cord-cutters and users to download their preferred APKs. TiVo Stream 4K currently retails at $49.99. It is also the same price as Fire TV Stick 4K. TiVo states that this rate is their initial price, but that prices will rise to $69.99 later. In my opinion, TiVo would make a mistake raising their price as that extra 20 bucks will make a difference and the Fire TV Stick 4K won’t lose its coveted status.

This unit has a USB C port that should be able to connect external devices like thumb drives, Ethernet adapters, keyboards and so on.

In my opinion, the biggest shortcoming of the Fire TV Stick 4K is the lack of expandable storage. While it’s possible to expand the storage of a Fire TV Stick 4K with a hack, this is still not optimal.

An external hard drive can be used to expand our storage. Once the drive is formatted, it can then be used as internal storage. This will allow you to install more applications, and store app-specific data.

Both the TiVo Stream 4K and Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K only come with 8GB of internal storage and this fills up rather quickly. If you like playing games on these devices, you can easily max out the internal storage by installing a couple of games.

Android TV is another feature I enjoy seeing on the new streaming device.

Is Tivo Stream 4K Worth It?

TiVo Stream 4K: Verdict The TiVo Stream 4K is a great, very affordable 4K streaming device. Android TV platform is smooth, the Live TV Integration app works for Sling subscribers, and the Google Assistant enabled remote is very well designed. February 3, 2021

Are there monthly fees for Tivo Stream 4K

There are no additional monthly fees for either the Stream 4K phone or the app. Google Play offers streaming apps, but some might require paid subscriptions through the app provider. August 30, 2021

Is Tivo Better Than Roku?

Roku provides better Internet support (Netflix and Hulu), which I believe is the greatest difference. TiVo is not compatible with Amazon Prime, although it supports video-on-demand from Amazon. TiVo, the most popular DVR to record things. Roku offers streaming media at its best.

Does Tivo Stream 4K Have Local Channels?

Tivo Stream doesn’t include an over-the air tuner. Youtube TV and Hulu Live offer local viewing. Locast is donation based and provides locals in major markets. Sound like they need a digital tuner or Tivo DVR if in fact they have a Vizio monitor instead of a television.Jun 3, 2021

.Tivo Stream 4K Review