I didn’t quit the DVR. I just quit TiVo.

Despite Roku proclaiming the “DVR is dead” (all the way back in 2011!) and the seismic shift to streaming content, quite a few still appreciate the ability to consume and record “linear” television content. Including me. Yet, as the last TiVo blogger standing, I’ve… unplugged my TiVos.

I’ve often been something of a prickly customer, but TiVo choosing to prepend video advertisements onto my recordings* finally pushed me down this path and the apparent cancellation of set-top streaming clients (think Roku and Apple TV) sealed the deal in January. TiVo hasn’t fulfilled their promises of television on my terms. I recognize my new, possibly convoluted solution won’t be for most and I’m not advocating satisfied customers abandon something that works for their household. But this has always been a first person blog and, thus, I’m reporting my needs are now being met in a chiller, more efficient manner – along with full WAF. While, my approach may be unique, I suspect the defection trend likely isn’t.

As to the upcoming TiVo Stream 4K, well I’ve already invested in several solid streamers. And, even should the TiVo Android TV dongle provide the best cross-app experience out there (that’s the pitch), it doesn’t directly integrate with live television other than Sling TV. As in: my (your) existing TiVo ecosystem and content are begin left behind. Lastly, given what seems to be frequent internal turmoil and leadership changes, I just don’t have faith in the company to stick with it.

So, yeah, I’m out. So long TiVo, and thanks for all the fish.

101 thoughts on “I didn’t quit the DVR. I just quit TiVo.”

  1. *Yes, I know I can click-to-skip the ads. But I’d rather not. Also, whereas I know what ads are shown on Disney Jr. and Nick Jr., I have no idea what (or if) TiVo will spam my daughter with. I’m further aware you can call in to have pre-roll ads removed. However, some have had ads reapplied after software updates and with our advocate, VP Ted Malone who made it happen, mysteriously departing the company, I don’t have faith that’ll be honored going forward (nor that TE3 will be able to stay on TE3). Initially, ad blocking counter-measures failed to load recordings. While that’s been resolved, the periodic ads-crashing-settops was still in play shortly before my departure. I don’t trust them, don’t appreciate the disruption, and have no desire to play a cat and mouse game.

    As far as the last blogger reference, I’m referring to tivoblog pvrblog, and tivo/gizmolovers – shuttered sites, my TiVo-centric contemporaries. I believe there may still be other bloggers out there still using TiVo, maybe Richard Lawler, Richard Gunther, Nilay Patel.

  2. Your words echo my feelings and the reason I finally left Tivo as well….but not the DVR. I don’t trust them any more.

    I went to a Channels DVR install and after a bit of a learning curve, the wife actually likes it and it works across all our sets.

  3. Wow, I am shocked but I certainly understand. So does this mean you no longer will be posting in the Tivo Community Forums?

  4. I will continue to use it since I still prefer the trickplay controls and PyTiVo. If I lose access I will probably shift half to Plex to replace PyTiVo and the TiVos will be used for current shows and feeding Plex. The day CableCARD or TiVo goes away is more than likely when I dump TV and play catch-up with my Plex library.

  5. I have three active TiVos: A Premiere, a Roamio, and a Bolt. The Bolt has not worked right for almost a year. After trying 5 different CableCards, Suddenlink is unable to pair any of them. And it doesn’t seem like they care much, nor do they really have to at this point. CableCard is a dead end, but the software-only system that was supposed to replace it is also missing-in-action (or is it just inaction?)

    My Premiere and Roamio are on the older TiVo Experience 3, as is the Bolt, which is functioning essentially as a TiVo Mini. As such on TE3, I’ve not had to deal with the pre-roll ads. They work the way I want. But I won’t be buying any more TiVo products either.

    I like the idea of the centralized search of the Stream 4K, but I just don’t think it will be enough of winner to draw development and content/partnership deals to keep it alive. As a TiVo user for 17 years, I hate to see it go but perhaps it is time.

  6. Wow! Never thought I’d see the day. Long time lurker and anonymous poster. I gave up on Tivo probably 6-8 years ago, going through a myriad of solutions, until finally landing on what I think is the most solid and economical solution – TCL Roku TV’s with Youtube TV and Netflix.

    I miss the TiVo remote (still!), but what I gain far outweighs being tied to their box. Yeah, technically the TCL is a “box” too, but you know what I mean. I can buy a new TCL 49″ 4K for not much more than the loaded TiVo.

    I give ’em props for hanging in so long, and I’m amazed they managed this longetivity after the lawsuit money ran out.

  7. John, I still plan to peruse the forum and blog interesting topics – despite no longer running TiVo hardware, I sort of feel some responsibility as the TiVo historian. I’ve been engaged with the company far longer than most employees, with far greater institutional knowledge. ;)

    Frank, they continue to extort, er leverage, patents for licensing (and lawsuits), having bolstered their portfolio when merging with Rovi and will again with Xperi. Beyond that, as far as tangible goods/services go, cable companies here and abroad are their primary customers with retail owners largely beta testing solutions for them. Fortunately, our negatory pre-roll advertising response was noted and at least one US MSO decided ‘hell no’ that the incremental revenue isn’t worth alienating customers.

  8. Dave, thanks for the response. I am going to start playing around with the Channels DVR stuff since I have a nvidia shield too.

  9. Appreciate all the coverage thorugh the years. I’m sticking hanging on, barely, the lose of the aTV streamer, and in ability to have more than 12 devices – on top of the hugely alienating pre-roll ads (which they **have** to have telemetry that everyone is istantly skipping) are pushing. Any glitch, billing problem, or hardware failure and I’m out too. Sad, really, because I’ve loved them so much for so long, but I guess some love is unrequited…

  10. I left Tivo just last month. Was a user/customer since 2001. It was a hard choice, but the preroll ads put me over the edge.

    I’m still trying to find the best solution as a cord cutter now. Currently just using streaming services like Hulu/Netflix/appleTV+ over an appleTV.

    I’m struggling with some of it (ads??? what the hell, and how do you know when a new show episode drops? Its not consistent across platforms). I might look into a cloud DVR solution at some point.

  11. I went with the Recast about 8 months ago, and have been pretty happy with it. Although it’s rough around the edges and a little buggy, I just couldn’t continue the $14.99 monthly subscription with TiVo. It was a sad day when I cancelled the service, I enjoyed my Roamio for 6 years and it worked almost flawlessly. One of the best (if not THE best) electronic devices I’ve ever owned. It did everything I wanted and was fairly intuitive and very smart (such as not recording duplicates), but it was showing it’s age and getting a little sluggish opening streaming apps. Overall it was a great experience for a new cord-cutter, but right after I cancelled is when they came out with the ads on the recordings and I was very glad I made the decision to leave. That was the whole reason I had a DVR was to skip the commercials. Sorry TiVo, and good luck.

  12. Good for you!

    I quit TiVo in 2014 and am currently using ShieldTVs with YouTube TV. The service works great and you get 5 individual accounts each with their own PVR, so I have my entire family sharing my account.

    Google is evil, but _nothing_ compared to Time Warner/Spectrum/Comcast/etc. Memories of the day I stopped paying TWC remain a real bright spot in my life.

  13. Dave, what is your new DVR solution? I purchased two HDHR Primes on eBay and I got two cable cards from Verizon FiOS to test out channels DVR. I used my Synology NAS for storage. I used channels DVR for a month using our Apple TV 4K and I liked it. But I don’t have an Apple TV on each of my four TV’s. One older Samsung K8000 TV with the Apple TV 4K, one LG C9 OLED without an Apple TV, another Roku TV and lastly a smaller newer 7000 series Samsung TV with no Apple TV. I use the TV’s smart TV apps which are pretty good but none of them offer the channels DVR app. So if I need to buy three Apple TV STB’s or a few Fire TV boxes that just isn’t going to be ideal. I don’t like the Fire TV boxes at all. And the WAF (wife acceptance factor) was not there with channels DVR anyway even though I thought it was doable. So for me it’s probably a no go.

    I’d like to try the TiVo stream 4K but switching to Sling TV might not be great since they don’t offer locals. I do have an HDHR quad OTA tuner and an attic antenna that I feed to Plex. Plex DVR just isn’t that great IMO. It’s slow and sluggish unlike the Channels app.

    Just looking to see what others are doing.

    It might be time to dump TiVo and cable TV for good and get YouTube TV. But YTTV does not offer all of the channels that my wife watches. Maybe a combined YTTV and Plex setup would be better but not sure.

  14. I have quit TiVo, but not the DVR. We have been multi TiVo box users since the HD hit the market, but since updating them to Bolt units, one of those is resting in long term storage, and the wife is still using the other on the “old” experience. I have evaluated other DVRs, but moved on to the FireTV Recast DVR. I even upgraded the wife’s primary screen to an Insignia FireTv, in preparation for the day when she finally releases her grip from the peanut remote.

    The FireTV solar system includes plenty of well established and supported streaming applications, and the FireTV Recast is just another moon in the sky.

    The TiVo becomes just another sunken technology cost that I have played with over the years to satisfy specific needs. My Sling Box place-shifter is stored on the same closet shelf.

  15. We have been on the fence last few years really. With Disney +, Hulu, Apple TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime, not sure we need Tivo anymore. We just got 2 new LG TVs and WOW, I feel as if I have been living under a rock last 5 years. Those TVs are amazing, you get every app you can dream off when it comes to your streaming needs, all the apps mentioned above, plus YouTube, YouTube Kids, and Xfinity Stream Beta. Sure Xfinity is NOT Tivo, and yes I will missing my ability to skip ads and watch Sports faster but I am willing to make those tiny sacrifices, besides ESPN is getting Bundesliga next season (whenever that happens) and hopefully LG TVs will get ESPN streaming app soon. Either way Tivo is on the chopping block, and I think it is time to pull the plug. Tivo had a chance to remain relevant and they will keep making money through various independent/smaller Cable Companies but I think they lost ability to keep many of us interested anymore.

  16. As sometime who is feeling similarly, but can’t stand the FiOS DVR… What are good alternative for someone who plans on keeping a service like FiOS?

  17. Will Channels DVR work with an HDHomerun Prime & Cablecard to record cable material? Alternatively, will it record local channels you have available on Youtube TV?

    I’ve been contemplating giving up my Tivo too, for a second time. I went HTPC for a several of years after I gave up DirecTV and a DTivo. I wouldn’t mind going streaming only, but I do like having local material during power outages which also seem to bring Internet outages.

  18. I’m using my TiVo Roamio as my primary TV device, with an Amazon Fire Stick as my secondary device for Amazon Prime and Apple TV+.

    I’ve avoided upgrading to the Hydra interface because the only thing I know about it is that it loses functionality I use, the ability to transfer shows from my PC to the TiVo.

    I’ve not seen any prepended ads, and I am guessing that’s a feature of Hydra. (Heil Hydra!)

    I’ve avoided the deals to upgrade my hardware to a Bolt because I’m afraid it would be one more upgrade that loses functionality.

    It really makes me sad that I can’t recommend a new TiVo anymore, and that I don’t think there’s any single platform I can recommend anymore.

  19. Mike, Jeremy, Kary, I use Channels DVR to record my FiOS TV via local HDHR Prime w CableCARD and two of my mother’s Xfinity channels via her online Comcast account – Channels will record streaming “cable” if you have it. Instead of a computer or NAS, I use a SHIELD TV PRO as the DVR hub (w USB drive) and also as the primary display client for family room TV. I have Apple TV (on a Roku television) in the bedroom and a Fire Television in our other TV room. Sadly, there’s no Roku client. If I was OTA for TV, I’d go with Tablo – it’s a simple setup, but with more clients and a preferable presentation than Recast. Although Channels also make it pretty easy to offload recordings. I use Infuse to download my daughter’s shows from SHIELD drive onto iPad.

  20. I’m in the process of setting up something similar to what Mike referenced above – I have one and am looking for a second HDHomeRun Prime 3, I got a lifetime Plex Pass (not having learned my lesson from getting Lifetime on oh-so-many TiVos), and I have a 4-bay Synology on its way as a media store.

    I’m hoping someone knows of a good tutorial (I have it all working but would like to make it work WELL/RIGHT) for getting all this stuff set up and working together, or if there’s something better I should be doing instead…

    Also, have people moved their archived (‘hoarded’ in my case) shows off the TiVo and onto a Plex server? If so, any write-ups on the best way to do that? While I don’t CARE much about the quality of the recordings, disk space is cheap.


  21. Dave, just for clarification: I have Fios cable on contract so I will continue with it for the time being. I also have a nvidia shield Pro set up. In order to dump the Tivo and use the Channels DVR to record my cable shows I must also purchase a subscription to Channels Plus and purchase a HDHomeRun? I just want to make sure I understand all the necessary components. And I also understand I must insert a USB drive into the Nvidia Shield Pro to enable the Channels DVR, correct? Am I also correct in assuming that the Channels DVR will also be able to record my streaming shows from the various apps I have installed on the Nvidia? Sorry if I am asking a lot of questions.

  22. If I could talk my DH out of of his TiVo Romario I would. The rest of the house watches on Channels app. I use a WD NAS with Apple TV and Amazon Fire. I use 2 Silicon dust products, one for OTA which has great picture quality and one for Fios Cablecard. As long as I reboot the crappy Verizon router every couple of days Channels works great. To me Channels is worth the expense because it integrates OTA with Fios. I even have access to TV everywhere in the same app. The only other streaming apps I use regularly are Netflix and HBO.

  23. Alan, kmttg and pytivo are the tools to offload TiVo recordings. Not familiar enough with them these days nor with Plex conventions to suggest a workflow.

    John, Channels DVR can record from 1) HDHomeRun OTA models 2) HDHR Prime w/ CableCARD for cable/FiOS or 3) cable TVE login. It will not record directly from other apps on SHIELD or elsewhere. On SHIELD, you’ll need an external drive. If running DVR Server on a computer or NAS, storage is covered. There is a subscription fee, but I also think they have trials. You could easily test the service and content from the TVE login without investing in a HDHR.

    Here are the Channels DVR TVE details:

    There’s other ways to slice and dice it too. Do HDHR for local OTA and then also subscribe or Sling or Philo and use that TVE login for some cable…

  24. This is truly momentous Dave.

    I’m leaving TiVo too… I just haven’t quite gotten around to it yet.

    I’ve been a TiVo owner since 2001 and have owned every iteration of the hardware (always lifetimed) up through my current Roamio and TiVo Minis. TiVo was a no-brainer up until, say, five years ago, but now it’s hard to justify given the alternatives.

    Like you an many others, the pre-roll ads were the last straw. Between UI sluggishness and those dang ads (even though I skip them), it now takes almost ten seconds from the time I press play until my show starts.

    Hell no.

    Rather than roll my own TiVo alternative, I’ve decided to take the easy route for now and just get an Xfinity X1 with satellite boxes, especially since it’s included in the cable package provided by my Homeowner’s Association (and which I already pay for).

    I’d have done it already, but I’d actually planned to go pick up the hardware back on 3/21 and thought better about it given the COVID-19 situation at the time.
    Maybe I’ll venture out this weekend, assuming the store is open.


  25. I don’t intend to make this post a TE3/TE4 argument, but the bottom line is, despite advocating for a long time for Tivo to modernize their UI, TE4 isn’t it for me and I was less happy using TE4 than TE3. And that was BEFORE pre-rolls and Tivo Minus spammed the UI. Autoskip is all it has left going for it, but it wasn’t enough for me to stay with it.

    As for the Stream 4K, does Tivo plan to release new models annually like the competition, to remain visible and viable in an actually competitive market? I doubt it. They aren’t built to be fast, flexible, or competitive. The 20 year id of their company has been the slow slog of mild progress. They don’t have what it takes to make a real dent in the streaming market.

  26. Heads up today only may 5 2020 best buy is taking $1000.00 off the TCL 65”series 8 4k roku tv ,Its o sale today for only $999.00! Dave Thank you for all these tivo new you gave us over the years! I have benn using tivo sinct the year 2000,I am still hanging in there the ads dont bother me at all as soon as the screen come on to watch a recording i hit channel up and the tivo instantly skips the commercial and my recording starts.I think all you guys are all just using this as an excuse to switch to streaming,good luck with that.

  27. You’re certainly not alone. I quit last month for similar reasons. As a consumer of nearly every TiVo product they offered over the last 2 decades, I finally became fed-up with the issues, the changes, the unfulfilled promises, etc, and unplugged my last TiVo – I had canceled the account the month before…and I will never go back. It took a lot to break my loyalty and it would be nigh impossible to earn my trust again.

  28. As my primary source of Tivo info, I am sad for this day. As a Premiere with lifetime service owner who hasn’t been subjected to the preroll (yet), I’ll ride it out until the unit completely dies. May look for an alternative at that point but otherwise Hulu, Disney+ and Netflix (on and ofF) should suffice.

  29. Joseph, I totally advocate the easy route. The DISH Hopper and Comcast X1 (mom has) platforms provide a highly functional, modern approach. For those tired of set-tops, YouTube TV and the others are also quite good. And even though my solution sounds complete, it’s been pretty much set and forget.

    Another Mike, yeah I wanted a more modern TiVo interface, but TE4 isn’t it. They’ve improve upon many of the early nits, but still not a fan.

  30. TiVo is the greatest example of how not to run a tech company. My series 3 still blows away any new product buy TiVo because it’s fast and just plane generally works. I have a bolt I barely use it there’s no reason to unplug it since the subscriptions paid for but it’s worthless compared to the S3 because it’s so slow. Never got to Hydra thank goodness and the TiVo streamer it’s probably just as poorly done as everything else that’s come out from TiVo the last what 5 years 10 years? hopefully you’ll still blog about some of the TiVo issues if nothing else than for the humor. Plus that’s the only way I’ll know the TiVo streamer is out so I can tell everybody not to buy it and then watch its eventual demise.

  31. Good points. Here I’m sticking with my non-Hydra over-the-air Roamio until it gives up the ghost. That covers local network shows, sports and news, and I supplement it with Netflix and Amazon Prime. If my Roamio dies (or is forced to update to Hydra with pre-roll ads) then I’ll look into alternatives. But for now my old Roamio covers everything I need.

  32. Yes I just started youtube tv after the free trial. The interface is a bit more challenging, but since I record tons of programming since they have unlimited DVR and much of the time I can play a recording of the show and skip the commercials. If I am forced to stream it from their library, there may be a few commercials but it is bearable. With my old 10 channel Spectrum bundle, you had little control over commercials. My questions now is what to do with my TIVO roamio device

  33. I’ve had Tivo for years and am close to dropping them, was well as cable. I use Pi-hole which stops the ads from playing, but the interface for the ads still pops up on the screen for a few seconds. I’ve been testing Channels DVR with a HD Homerun Quattro and Philo/TV Everywhere for a couple of months and it’s pretty good. The only thing I’ll miss about Tivo is the auto-skip of commercials. Channels commercial detection leaves a lot to be desired, but I guess you can’t fairly compare them when Tivo has someone actually watching the shows and marking commercial breaks. On the cable side, the only thing I’ll miss is Dolby 5.1 surround on the cable channels. TV Everywhere is unfortunately only stereo. I think the picture quality of TV Everywhere streams is much better than what I get with Spectrum.

  34. I reverted my Bolt to the previous experience level (no big pictures taking up screen real estate, and the Premier-like interface)), and opted out of forced ads. Except for the fact that this level doesn’t seem to be getting ANY new features, I couldn’t be happier. Over the long run (10-20 years), I’ll be leaving Tivo too, if nothing improves. I won’t be buying another unit.

  35. I don’t see any reason to leave TiVo either. I’m still totally happy with my Bolt and TiVo Mini’s in that they are stable and don’t make many mistakes. Pre-roll ad takes less than 2 seconds to skip and is no big deal.

    I don’t see why go to the hassle of running Channels DVR when TiVo does it all for you?

  36. Channels DVR also is a lot more expensive then a TiVo. You can buy a TiVo on Ebay with lifetime service for $200-$400 and use it for 5-10 years.

    Channels is $80 a year. So if I count my three TiVo’s since 2004 – 2020 it would cost 1,280 for Channels whereas my three TiVo’s with Lifetime service have cost my way less than that by always buying used on Ebay and re-selling after upgrading. I might have spent a totally of $500-$700 and own my own equipment for 3 rooms with TV’s in them compared to Channels for double or more of my cost and owning nothing.

  37. @Ben …because I paid them a bunch of money for hardware and a service that allows me to skip ads. Putting their ads on top is, in my opinion, like peeing on my shoes. I paid the bill, you don’t get to sell ads to me, period. They know their customer base largely skip the ads, that’s why they developed, tested, deployed, and defended in court their ability to provide that service. I understand they’ve lost thier business model, but that doesn’t make this OK to many of us. And it will likely be the end of the company. The product is not superior enough to put up with the nonsense (like spewing Tivo+ into every 8th listing in my guide).

  38. I have a Roameo. Never “upgraded” to the newer UI, and Tivo hasn’t pushed this on me, so still using the UI from many, many years ago. No ads tacked on the front end of recordings, no ads slipped into the guide, can skip directly past commercials, no need for a huge assortment of other hardware. OTA reception where I live is terrible, and I watch a lot of live sports, so I use a FIOS cable card in the Tivo. Bought a Roku many years ago, and it has all the steaming I want, or could ever need. Call me a happy Tivo dinosaur. Hope they hang around for a long time.

  39. It’s interesting you posted this. I have been using TiVo since 2001, and also recently unplugged mine. I have been a cable user, not an OTA user.

    I left for multiple reasons

    Their Android app was going downhill fast – I travel a lot – and take all my shows with me – and the Android app was constantly giving me issues

    The gaps in available service on the DVR – there were a few streaming services that did not have TiVo apps, and likely wouldnt ever – Disney+, etc

    And Comcast pulled on-demand from my boxes, and I loved having all that extra content available if I didn’t get around to recording it.

    I went to Comcast’s X1 platform. I definitely miss things about my TiVo – the beep of their remote clicks, the one click commercial skip, and so much more.

    Comcast’s platform is OK – it’s SUPER SLOW – which gets really annoying after a while – but it’ll do for now. It doesn’t cost me as much as TiVo did and I get more content on it. Their Android App works – but has issues of it’s own. But my family knows how to use it all so that’s a plus.

    I haven’t found the perfect system that’ll do everything. So like you I’m living a multi-device lifestyle.

  40. I’m glad I don’t any stock in Tivo, because if they’ve lost Zatz…

    I’m sticking with my Bolt (on TE3) and first-gen Mini as long as they last — and I hope not to have to deal with that for a while. While I think Channels seems like a good solution, it seems somewhat more complex to setup than Tivo.

    But Tivo definitely lost me with the pre-roll ads (and the lack of personality and worse UI of the new experience)

  41. I ditched Tivo last year shortly after pre-roll ads were announced. I wasn’t willing to call and beg to have them removed, and I wanted to sell my Bolt ASAP. It was obvious that a lot of people were going to respond the same way I did which would depreciate the used lifetime boxes. I see a lot of 1TB models now selling for less than what I got for my 500GB box.

    I initially got a Recast to go with my Fire TV 4K, but I’ve now moved to Channels DVR with a HDHR Quatro, and I wish I would have done it sooner. I even backed the new HDHR 4K on Kickstarter because I live in a market that’s already begun rolling out ATSC 3.0, and Channels has indicated they’ll support it.

  42. I recently upgraded my Bolt and Roamio to Hydra interface and what a mistake that was. I like some of you was completely shocked when i figured out the delay loading my recordings were TiVos Ads. What are they thinking? I pay for TiVo to eliminate Ads and they think sticking in their own is ok? I’m looking for a new DVR solution. I’ve been a TiVo customer for nearly 20 years and this is the final straw.

  43. So I had called months back and had pre roll ads turned off. Coincidence that they just started playing again today?

    I have spent a fortune on lifetime service boxes. Can’t begin to convey my anger at tivo.

  44. I left Tivo 6 months ago to take advantage of hoepfully lower bills by going to Directv. What a mistake!
    I can’t wait to get back to Tivo. Tivo’s user interface is light years ahead of where Directv is. I spend too much time yelling at Directv’s lousy interface. Bloody awful!
    As long as I can skip commercials, I’m good.

  45. Mjk, I’ve been protesting pre-rolls for months, as well documented here and on Twitter. But I didn’t sever ties until January’s non-launch of streaming set-top client apps.



    Ben, TiVo doesn’t do it all for me. Not the way I want anyway and that’s the point. If money was the driving factor, I’d be watching TV from a Recast. Or I’d plug in my Lifetimed units again. Anyhow, everyone needs to do what’s right for themselves.

  46. Also running Channels DVR here with HDHR Prime on FIOS. Just about to send all our FIOS cable boxes and DVR back.

    It does everything we need, plus integrates with our Sony Android TVs, Nvidia Shield, and FireTV sticks. Only downside is all FOX owned cable channels do not record and only render live on some platforms (generally Android and Windows, but not FireTV). Fox 5 local tv works fine though. Honestly I’m fine with that. Same goes for pay channels like HBO, so we just use the apps for those.

    I do miss our ReplayTVs.


  47. I got my 1st TiVo in 2001 which I replaced with Sage TV for several years until Google bought them. Then I ran a Windows Media center PC until Microsoft stopped supporting it. I came back to TiVo with a romio, and currently have a bolt. I’m currently tolerating the pre-roll ads. As long as you can skip them. If they force me to actually watch the ads, I’ll just get YouTube tv, which I suspect uses some of the tech Google bought from Sage TV.

  48. They are also losing some of their cable customers as well. They’ve pissed away a good product with bad company culture/arrogance, poor execution (particularly timelines even when they do even get to the point of delivering something they say they will…), and pricing / costs that don’t reflect the modern video paradigm.

  49. I am still at TiVo user and have been from the very beginning. Paid $999 for a 14-hour basic recording TiVo with dial up modem. I have been very disappointed with the path that TiVo has chosen, but I have a disabled person that knows the interface and I just don’t know if I can teach him a new interface. I’m also locked into paying Comcast since that’s all two of my tivo’s support. I have a premier and an elite and a Roamio.

  50. I was able to get rid of commercials. Tivo did it for me. Tivo is still cheaper then renting from my cable provider!

  51. Still using Tivo…(all non-Hydra, all upgraded to 3TB)….one over-the-air Roamio plus a base Roamio with CableCard & tuning adapter…very few problems with the latter, but I plan on dumping my nearly $200/month cable “triple-play” package to downgrade to just broadband for ~$60/month.

    No plans to upgrade my non-4Ks HDTVs yet, but I did back the Kickstarter for the HD HomeRun Quatro 4K w/ ATSC 3.0 tuners…

  52. We left TiVo last August. We found we were watching less and less tv and we cut the cable. No one in the house has really noticed. We were with TiVo since 2003 sometime. We had two TiVo’s with lifetime but somewhere along the way switched to streaming and buying. Roku and AppleTv were fine for us and we drifted away. My son prefers his xbox to view content and my wife and I often watch on headphones on our iPads. We had used TiVo less and less.

  53. I’m still using TiVo – down to one Bolt with two minis. But I use it for less now – mostly just a DVR, and sometimes streaming apps – though I also find myself using apps on the smart TVs or BD players too, sometimes because TiVo just doesn’t have them (Disney+, etc.).

    I’m still using TE3 and do not like TE4, so I’ve avoided the pre-roll ads. If I were forced to TE4 I think that might be the end of the line for me. I briefly checked out the Comcast X1 when I moved last year, and it wasn’t bad really. But more and more of what we watch is available via streaming – and sometimes in 4K, better than HD cable – so I could see eventually just not needing a DVR at all anymore and cutting the cord.

  54. I feel like there’s egg on my face. I just got my TiVo Bolt Vox last December along with two mini box’s. I never knew what hell as until I started to set it all up. My main problems is keeping the signal on for the minis. I have had the Moca work fair success and thought the new WiFi 5 adapter would be the end all but it’s become a steady game of wack a mole. The investment is not cheap and the rewards are not equal to what I’ve put out. Eventually all of this equipment is going to end up either in the trash or on eBay!

  55. Open a support ticket to request pre-roll ads are shut off. I did and after several followups they disabled them for all three of my tivos.

  56. Any news on Tivo releasing the Firestick app they promised to release in 2019? I was hoping to stream my Tivo content to any TV in my house via Firestick, but alas, still waiting…

  57. Those of you using ott streaming cable services…can any of them pause and rewind live television streams?

    I tried directv now for a bit and that drove me nuts not being able to pause and rewind/jump back 30 seconds on a live news or sports broadcast. The whole experience even with ‘dvr’ options seemed to be a horrible alternative to a tivo with native dvr hardware.

    That intuitive ease of use and snappiness of a hard drive plugged directly into the tv is also why I am skeptical of networked dvr solutions.

  58. Series S3 TVHD, S2 DVR fan here, Pioneer 810/57, Toshiba TX, Humax DRT. I am mostly using them for VHS to Digital file conversion and moving the files over to a Buffalo NAS.

    But I use the The TiVoHD for ATSC.

    AppleTV HD with a Component to Collossus (v1) for Streaming DVR, Sling for cable channels. its not 4k but i only watch on the PC or iPhone.

    Channels DVR sounds interesting for ATSC 3.0, but since most contents is still below 4k.. I’ve got time to browse.

  59. TiVo is making me swallow a bit of anger every time I have to skip a preroll, which of course is not preloaded. I’m a lifetime/”all in” subscriber, so it’s a double insult in my case. Their streaming apps have always been crap. I can’t imagine what BS line the company uses to claim the prerolls are “enhancing the user experience.” Even so, TiVo is still the best OTA DVR. Great thanks for your two workarounds.

  60. I am a current and VERY long time Tivo user. We have a lifetime box, so we pay nothing… with a 2TB drive, etc. Works great… but I know the day will come when it dies, and I do not wish to buy another.

    Is there something I can build, or whatever that will do the same thing. I do not want a monthly fee. I am OK with paying a one-time “ownership” type fee… or no fee is even better. Hehe.

    I have cable TV and would like to be able to DVR from it (just like I do now).

    What’s out there (if anything) and what would need as far as tuner cards (?) or whatever??


  61. IMHO TiVo’s biggest liability is cable — and their failure to adopt to a world where it’s no longer the center of the universe.

    We quit cable, not TiVo. We found ourselves watching fewer and fewer shows on cable, but unfortunately doing so on more esoteric channels that ended up in higher tiers. We’d negotiated prices for years, but never got the total bill under $125/mo. When I realized that the *taxes and fees* on our cable+internet bill were equivalent to the total price of 500Mb/s internet service from another carrier, I realized it was time to move on.

    We subscribed to Sling TV to replace it. I hate their interface, but it’s got the channels we care about for a good price, and most of the shows we watch are available on demand. (Honestly, we’d probably cancel Sling, too, but we shared the login with my partner’s mom and she uses it frequently.)

    We were planning to hook an antenna up to our Bolt (which has lifetime), but I’ve just never gotten around to it. Nothing much we want to watch on broadcast outside of PBS, and there’s an app for that.

    I’m interested to see what TiVo can do with the Stream 4K — it sure *sounds* like the device I wanted them to make years ago — but I’m skeptical that they can provide a streaming experience on par with (let alone better than) Roku. And that’s what they’d have to do to convince me to switch.

  62. Pete, I believe Plex moved their live TV/DVR functionality outside of Plex Pass and is now free. You’d need a used HDHomeRun Prime (until/unless the new one ever happens) for your CableCARD tuning and a computer or NAS as your Plex server. Then Plex clients on your streaming boxes. The NVIDIA SHIELD TV PRO I have can also be a Plex server, but I don’t know if that includes the DVR stuff – I’m not super familiar with it.

    Wow Little Bird… must be real bad (and expensive) to blow it all up. Thanks for sharing the intel.

    John, don’t hold your breath for a Fire TV app. Those plans and resources were seemingly shifted to the TiVo Stream 4K.

  63. I might be leaving soon myself. I called in when the preroll ads would reset my box and they removed them. Then they came back recently and in the first couple they reset the box again so I called in and they removed them for a second time. If those come back for a third time and end up resetting my box, then I’m not calling in, I’m just dropping it.

    With TiVo Series 2 we had 3 in different rooms and would transfer shows between the different rooms they were in. We mostly moved to Windows Media center with streaming to Xbox 360s instead of waiting for a show to transfer, but kept a TiVo as a backup in case shows didn’t record on WMC. Then WMC support was dropped in new versions of Windows and Comcast changed their encoding so it mostly worked, but I couldn’t watch and record HBO with it. I used HBO Go for a short while to watch shows before getting a Bolt and a TiVo mini. So back to sharing shows between rooms and recording HBO. Now they might irritate me enough that I might leave and have to find another way to get the same setup. I think my remaining options are just going with the Comcast DVR or Silicon Dust’s HDHomerun network DVR.

  64. Coincidence. Just the other day I cleaned out the basement and tossed two Tivo units in the trash. I was a very early adapter and investor in Tivo, back in the Series 1 days. I was forced to abandon Tivo a few years back when I moved to an area without cable and my only choice was satellite, which Tivo never decided to support. (I know all the excuses – IR blasters would have suited me). What little recorded satellite that I watch now is recorded on a Dish Hopper. The Dish catalog is sadly inaccurate, and their UI is not very goo, but it suffices for me. A shame that a company that size cannot do better. Fortunately, most of my viewing is from Netflix and Amazon, done using Roku.

    Tivo is a sad story, not uncommon in the tech industry. A great idea, early in the game, with initial implementations well done and a killer UI. They battled content owners, networks, and cable companies to a somewhat truce. After that, Tivo seems to have lost it’s way. Prices skyrocketed, customer base declined, they never took much advantage of IP delivery. Tivo was never able to pivot their business model to taker advantage of the changing TV environment and customer base. Again, much like the fate of other companies in the tech field that failed to take advantage of great ideas.

    Imagine if Tivo and Roku had combined somehow. Low priced devices, IP content combined with cable, satellite, and OTA. Recording capability (as storage prices plummeted). All with a great UI, content catelog, and a platform for applications.

  65. FWIW, blocking the pre-roll adds is ‘easy’ if you are utilizing a DNS sinkhole. However, I do agree that it should not have to come to that.

  66. Tivo Series2 and Series3 still receive over the network updates, but I’ve never seen a pre-roll ad.. I guess I missed out.. sounds awful.

    I’ve been curious about FireTV with the Recast.. sounds dreamy.. or too good to be true.. ATSC, Cable and Streaming Apps in one unified interface. The only downside to me is the lack of archive flexibility.

    Since VHS backup for my Dad was a big issue, I was held back on the Series 2 with Lifetime and TiVo to Go. Series 3 was 1080p and good enough for me all the way up to today.. I never got into Blu Ray in a big way… after cutting the Cord.. Blu ray looks the same as DVD on a PC or phone.

    Tivo To Go still works between Series 2 and Series 3.

    Apple TV HD was a capitulation to Streaming Apps for me, and let me get back Cable channels like SyFy. Since its older than 4K its still only HDMI 1.3 and self powered HDMI to Component RGB at 1080p connectors let me record direct to the PC.. weirdly I think CPRM didn’t come along for the ride.

    Everything I have is old, really old.. but maybe thats not so back.. pre roll ads sounds terrible.

  67. Been with Tivo since 2004…and still like it. I have a Roamio Pro (6 tuner) in our family room which acts as my mothership to my 4 minis in the bedrooms. I have a Tivo HD XL in our basement that still works great. I have a yr old Bolt that has OTA capability in case Roamio dies or in case we go to OTA, but we use the Bolt in our Master Bedroom.

    I have 2 Roku devices…1 stays in basement TV and other is usually in a bedroom, but is passed around when we need apps that Tivo does not have. We have Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime which all work great from the Tivos (and minis), so tivo still works pretty well. Losing the Xfinity on demand app from the Tivos hurt big time, and Disney+ is not on tivo either, but that is why we have the Rokus.

    I have yet to see (knock on wood) any pre-roll ads, as i am on the old software for all my tivos, except for the Bolt, but the Bolt does not appear to have any ads yet (I did contact them to not have ads).

    The tivo app on iphone use to be great and pretty darn reliable ~3-5yrs ago. I have not used this app in a year since it is no longer reliable for me. My daughter in college will use it to connect to the mothership, and usually works for her good enough, but i will have to talk her through how to re-set it and use different strategies to make it work.

    I have loved following Dave’s blog over the years as I learn a lot of tech info here and have always loved my tivos (always lifetime on all). I still like my tivos, but know the day is eventually coming where they are gone, but i hope to have another 5+ with tivo.

    Dave, thanks for all the wisdow and hard work over the years. I hope you continue to report on tivo as they transition moving forward.

  68. I’m surprised the pre-ads are so annoying to people. They go away with a single click, one you’re likely to have to do anyway because the program doesn’t typically start at the right place anyway. That’s not the reason I’m considering dropping Tivo.

    It’s all the other Apple-like non-choice stuff they do, like not allowing you to adjust the FF/REW intervals, or much of anything else. And the recent change to their web-based schedule page was a step backwards in usability.

    Also, there have been a few negative comments about the streaming. I’ve found that pretty good, although obviously it might not have every service someone might desire.

    Finally, Comcast had an Internet and TV outage yesterday at my place–the reason I want to be able to store material locally.

  69. I have Roamio OTA, interface was upgraded last year to New Experience. I did not ask or invoke TIVO+(plus). It showed up one day and then I could not play any ANY of my recordings because instead of playing the selected recording it would go to TIVO+. Over and over. I completely reset Tivo to default, had to re-enter EVERYTHING, lost all previous recordings, log-ons for Netflix and Amazon. Guess what? It continued to do the same thing: select a recording and it would go to Tivo+. it actually brought me to tears. Only by accident reading and scanning every Tivo forum I could find, a woman had accidentally found that by hitting the remote’s Skip button, it would force Tivo to leave tivo+ and go to recording. So now when I select a recording, it starts to go to tivo+, I hit skip and my recording starts. Every once in a while though, doing this causes my Roamio OTA to restart.
    I would like to sue TIVO, report them to FCC, I have invested money in this DVR, it does not have a comparable dvr or service that is free anywhere.
    I have not been able to roll back the system, I am just stuck and hate it. Never will I recommend Tivo even to an enemy!

  70. After a decade I left TiVo last year for Channels DVR. Other than missing the TiVo remote, I have zero regrets and maybe with some creativity a custom remote could be configured. I would suggest people have a look as its really a great option.

  71. Long time Tivo fan since Series 2. Long time follower of your blog. Not surprised at all to see you making this choice. Tivo has been on a slow decline ever since Hydra/TE4. I have so much hate for TE4, I knew it was straight up garbage the moment it booted up the first time. The tiny font hard to read text, the sluggish convoluted interface, it was like they took everything that was great about TE3 and tossed it out the window with no regard for it’s principals, and tried to dress it up with eye candy and hoped you wouldn’t mind. While I do also love modern interfaces, they ALSO NEED TO BE DONE RIGHT. Fast, clean, simple, organized, not too many presses to get to things. Go back to basics TV, and pull a TE5 that meets these goals. Bring out your thin client apps. If you want to save your business this is how. Streaming is indeed the future some day, but you can’t lose the basics that made you great.

  72. Dave, I have stuck with my premiere and Roamio Plus on TVE3 and have been generally happy with that.
    I have no desire to upgrade to Hydra on my DVR, but I am wondering if the Stream 4K might be a good replacement for my old Fire TV in that it theoretically would be able to handle every app I currently use (And theoretically any new ones I want to add – as long as they’re in the Android tv App Store) AND it should be able to help me find all the streaming shows I watch in a central location which will feel like the TiVo interface I am used to.
    Do you have any info on how the apps in the Android app store (that aren’t being advertised with the device) integrate with the TiVo search on the Stream 4K?

  73. I love to download or record old movies (TCM, etc), and edit out the best scenes to a hard drive. Also, fast forward through movies with the Tivo remote. Without Tivo, how can I do these things? Record, fast forward, edit.

  74. Hi Dave, it is with great sadness to hear a fellow TiVo-tee hanging up his hat on what used to be the greatest DVR platform.

    I’m probably not far behind, especially with TiVo dropping the ball on providing apps in order to easily extend the TiVo DVR functions to other TVs in the home.

    I came here first to read up further, after seeing their $49 promo for their TiVo Stream 4k product on slickdeals.com. What a totally useless product.

    FYI – my TiVo BOLT mysteriously hung and rebooted on its own last night. Looks like the pre-roll ads may be the culprit. Thanks to your articles, I’ve just completed a call to Tech Support to opt-out.

    This surely looks like the beginning of the end…

  75. Tivo user since the series 1 came out, and the first guy to stick a second disk drive in one that wasn’t identical to the drives tivo used (a whopping 80GB maxtor!).

    Tivo always made its money off of their patents. Honestly, their UI is great and I’ll always love the remote. Now the company that bought them (forget the name) stripped out the patents and spun the company off to survive on only hardware and services sales.

    I have a Roamio and 3 older tivo minis. It irks me I can’t integrate my other stuff like netflix into it, or watch tivo content on a roku. Yeah, you can use their netflix app if you want to re-experience app loading speeds from 2005. Yeah, you could buy a tivo ‘stream’ box for $100+. However, tivo never left their walled garden nor let their customers outside of it, other than doing an input change on the tv.

    The preroll ad thing reeks of desperation. Its going to annoy every customer and they can’t be making that much off of it. Fortunately my roamio is on Tivo Experience 3 so no ads, and I understand they’ll remove them if you call customer service.

    I attempted to escape the walled garden last year with several dvr products that stream to my roku players. The amazon one was out, as I’m not buying new fire tv boxes when I own 3 Roku Ultras. I tried a tablo. LOL. Where do I start? The four tuner tablo could pull in ONE station badly, while the four tuner tivo pulls in ~70 channels, all but a few crystal clear without splats. For the one station that did work, tablo’s “commercial skip” failed due to “inadequate signal”. Now they want you to pay a monthly fee for it. And it was hotter than heck. I opened it to check it out and can see why. They bought a reference board made for dvr usage, then mounted the PCB upside down and put a metal heat sink ON THE BOTTOM of it, with only the cpu ‘tied’. So basically all the heat generated was trapped between the PCB and the ‘heat sink’, and the heat from the metal sink had to flow around and up past the edges of the PCB in a narrow space. In short, they built it upside down and nobody at Tablo knows a damned thing about building hardware.

    So…I went back to the roamio, and I have another one for when that breaks. Until someone makes a quality roku compatible streaming device with four tuners that doesn’t suck, I’m afraid I’m stuck with them, or getting a streaming service with broadcast tv channels. Unfortunately, I watch the NFL Network a lot and only Sling and Fubo carry it for some reason. And when I used youtube tv to record and play back everything, including ‘broadcast channels’, I was going to fly right by my 1tb data cap.

    Unfortunately, I can’t see tivo the company as an ongoing thing. Nothing in their product pipeline is attractive to me. Nothing else offers 4 high quality tuners and roku compatibility. I hope they live as long as my hardware does…

  76. Alan D:
    I “hoard” recordings from my TiVos onto my Plex server. I use KMTTG to download the files and trans-whatever to MP4 video files with an external .SRT file for subtitles coming from KMTTG. I put them all in Plex and watch via my HD FireTV sticks. I have 2 TiVo Premieres, one TiVo Roamio, and a TiVo Mini, all on TE3, all on OTA, and all have Lifetime subs so there’s no cost in using them and NO annoying TE4 bugs, crashes, or unwanted commercials.

    I have transferred the entire set of classic Lost in Space, Flintstones, My Three Sons and about half of the entire set of “The Waltons” from my OTA TiVos to Plex. Probably a few others that I can’t remember right now.

    My PLEX server runs on an older iMac that is also my Channels DVR server. (It seems to handle both at the same time without issues.) I have a YouTube TV subscription so I can record HGTV or other “cable” channels and enjoy the excellent automatic commercial skip that the Channels DVR provides. I have an HD HomeRun Extend for OTA connected to the Channels DVR, so I’m just about there with an acceptable alternative should I decide to shut down my TiVos.

    It works for me…hope this gives you some ideas.

  77. At this point I’m responsible for 4 Bolts, 2 Romios, a handful of Minis, and more obsolete/taken out of service TiVo equipment than I care to think about, between my house and my parents’ house, and I’m just about done.

    I agree that the software quality has taken a dive recently, but that’s nothing compared to the hardware quality issues I’ve been seeing with the Bolts. I’ve lost all content from 2 (and I keep stuff on there forever!)… One of mine is now coming up with the 4 flashing lights every few weeks, BUT power cycling it brings it back. When I think of it I copy the shows off to my Mac… What an annoyance…

    I have 1 HDHomeRun Prime 3-tuner unit already, and will be picking up 1-2 more, to replace all the tuners I have now. I’m planning on using Plex for my DVR, because it should give me pretty much everything that TiVo does, for much less $$$ per TV. It’s not quite as plug-and-pray (sic) as TiVo, but the pray part (that the hardware doesn’t die) is the critical piece here…

    I used to own TiVo stock, too, but I sold that when they replaced the Bolt with something almost as bad (internally equally bad, but at least it wasn’t a stupid shape!!!!). If I hadn’t then, I definitely would have when they added the preroll ads. And/or when they released a streaming stick that isn’t compatible with their main product… *eye roll*

    At least I can tell my folks they don’t need to buy any more minis… I can ship them mine once I cut over to Plex completely…

  78. I came to TiVos after being with ReplayTV. Have lifetime TivoHD, Roamio, and now Bolt along with both generations of TiVoMini. Needless to say I feel like I’ve put a lot of money into the TiVo ecosystem.

    I have been generally happy and even like Hydra and Vox features but have become more annoyed with:
    1. Preroll ads (even after opting out)
    2. App crashes (e.g. on loading youtube from Vox).
    3. Tivo+ polluting the guide.
    4. Lack of streaming apps (e.g. Disney+)
    5. Abandonment of Roku client after development was announced.

    If/when my hardware dies I will likely leave TiVo unless some or all of the above changes. Ideally I’d like to see ASTC 3 supported as well on existing hardware via a network tuner (as was also demonstrated but never mentioned again).

    Unless Tivo turns things around I will likely go to Channels or Plex eventually.

  79. @Brian thanks- I’m using something called cTV which put a nice (well….) Mac UI on either KMTTG or one of the other similar systems. I’m taking this opportunity to start to pull the files down now and have the app remove it from the TiVo once it’s downloaded… I feel like this is a huge step. :)

  80. I just reactivated one of my lifetime TiVo subscriptions with an HDTV antenna. I still love it. But it’s slow compared to the Roku so I’ve only hooked one of my two up and put a. Roku elsewhere.

    I hadn’t used TiVo for almost two years and missed the ad skipping improvement, which I like. As a streaming platform though, it’s fair at best.

  81. Also a long time lurker. The last sofware upgrade is killing me. My Premiere and Romio are fine. Just sent my bolt plus in for exchange and had 4hours of support with RCN to get it paired. I could stay with the platform except for a few issues. 1 – they dont support all of the streaming sources like bbc america, nbc, cbs and such. 2- i LOST all the previously saved content in this last exhange… i was able to grab some with pytivo but non of the protected content. Staring over is disheartening enough to quit.

  82. I’m an outlier… I have a 32″ Toshiba 1080p (3D!) from a decade-ish ago, and not a single streaming service… I don’t really watch much, but the Tivo’s grabbing Austin City Limits and a few other shows for when I’m in the mood to watch. The last actual series I watched was “The Good Place,” but just the first season. I had a Series 3 HD and when an upgrade plan was mentioned in one of Dave’s posts here, it was roundly mocked, but for $3 a month more than the 3 HD, I got better picture quality and a bunch of features. The preroll ads don’t bother me much, unless it’s been so long since I turned on the TV that I forgot about them. I just flick the remote’s right-arrow button automatically a moment after I hit the play button.

    That said, once that obligation is complete, I’ll probably move on to the Tablo. A lot of what I watch is on independent and subchannels that YouTube TV and Sling TV and the lot don’t seem to be interested in. I have a Roku Ultra I can dig out from the box it was in when I moved last summer for a client and a Nexus Player if I ever get a second TV (narrator: “He won’t.”).

    Always have appreciated your work to keep Tivo owners up-to-date on what they’ve been doing, Dave. I started with a Philips S1 that got the Hinsdale upgrade (which he was nice enough to do while I waited one night as I brought it out to him after work). My S2 still has the 2004 ALCS and World Series. Checking in to not only see what was going on but getting some behind-the-scenes gossip was a lot of fun. Stay well.

  83. I bought my tivo HD XL lifetime in April 2009. Paid for itself many times over. I also upgraded to the slide BT remote that lasted for 7 or so years. The greatest remote control EVER MADE. But finally this April, the blow dryer couldn’t get the tivo past the flashing light to get the restart going. That, and the death of sports means we Finally Dumped cable TV and went full time Apple TV 4K’s. A few subscriptions, mainly Hulu, and My parents, um, login for oddballs, and we are as happy as pigs in crap. Rarely watch ads, better picture quality, can watch anything on The AppleTVs or The iPads, to iPhones Wherever same experience, same shows.

    The only thing to fear is the fear itself. And lack of your own knowledge.

  84. I don’t ask much out of my Tivo setup so I consider the experience “fine,” but if I was a power user I’d probably be aggressively looking to exit. Tivo’s job in my household is to play live OTA TV like sports and the news, and occasionally record programs like SNL. On the rare occasion I’ve pushed my Tivo to do more, like trying to bring up a streaming service or the Tivo+, it just can’t handle it. I either get a blank screen for minutes, or a spinning circle endlessly. Eventually I give up. If I paid for service (my OTA was the model that came with free lifetime service) I’d probably be more irritated about it.

    Tivo, as a company, has been staggering around for some time, there is no future in what they are doing, they are not pushing towards a coherent future for customers. Product promises made and broken, ever-changing strategies, onerous monetization attempts like pre-roll commercials and random things like “Tivo OTA is for cord cutters, but we only give you access to HBO Go not HBO Now” – huh?

    My Roamio OTA has a noisy fan, and I need to take it apart to replace it. Why you have to basically disassemble the whole unit to get at the screws for the fan is definitely a palm-face kinda thing – thanks Tivo. So my plan is to setup Plex live tv as a backup, and maybe I just never really go back to the Tivo. At that point I can do it all with Apple TV – streaming services plus live tv with dvr using the Plex app and related hardware (silicon dust, etc.). No incentive to go back to Tivo, really.

  85. Tivo Meh, you don’t specify the device, but on my Tivo Bolt streaming is fast. I did have spinning circles in the past, but that was due to my Wifi. Since dealing with that very few delays, virtually none. Streaming is not one of the issues I have with Tivo.

  86. That’s very good, I would expect current models to handle the launch of these streaming services swiftly. I have gotten current-model Tivos a few times and tried out these “app launches” when they were the latest and greatest and got no joy. Then I went back to them here and there as the models aged (but updates were applied) with no improvement. I keep my Tivos wired in so wifi was never an issue. It’s not a big deal, it’s just something I tried and didn’t work. Fortunately there are so many ways to get at these streamers – smart tvs, Roku, pushing video from your phone/laptop to your TV, all kinds of “sticks and set top devices,” Plex even. If it weren’t so easy to shrug and switch to alternate hardware I would demand more out of my Tivo. BTW I have a Roamio OTA and I like it, does everything I ask of it.

  87. I dumped TiVo due to the ads being forced on me. This company is doomed with so many people dumping the subscription service. I now use Channels DVR with OTA and YTTV for cable channels. Both integrate with Channels DVR and everything has commercial skip.

    Don’t trust TiVo.

  88. Dave – you and I met in the Tivo Forums YEARS ago (think right after the Sony Tivo). I have watched you do your best to be positive about Tivo for a decade. Tivo has and I guess always wanted things their way. That’s where they lost me a few years back.
    I’ll always love reading your blogs for almost all things gear wise!!

    Tivo isnt BurgerKing – cant have it your way. Their way or highway.

  89. Interesting perspectives above. For me, my multiple TiVo boxes, on TE3, work as well as they ever have (although the TiVo Guide data since the Rovi merger years ago occasionally is incomplete or buggy, sadly, and needs improvement)–no ads, and the nice TiVo ease-of-use. I am content, and want it around for another, oh, 20 years.

  90. I cut the cord a couple of months ago when sports ended. I have a Roamio Cable version and 4 minis. I use Plex for my recordings and was getting a little fed up with its greenness and almost jumped on the $250 OTA Bolt. Then I realized that we are on the cusp of atsc 3.0 and it may only be useful for a couple of years. So it’s back to Plex.

    At this point, I may get Spectrum again, I no longer have to deal with their internet. I’m not sure where to go because the OTT offerings cost more! The Tivo does not work well with my Denon/LG b7, hdmi cec perfers all the other inputs and I often get no signal….

    One point in favor of Plex, it actually removed commercials from the Nascar race this weekend. Plex like the TiVo seems to have problems with Colbert. Sometimes it works.

  91. I’ve been with TiVo since Series 1. Nowadays I use a Roku (for streaming) and a TiVo Bolt for everything else. After having two 2.5″ drives fail, I broke out a dremmel, cut a whole in the back of the Bolt, and “Frakensteined” my TiVo to use a cheap 3.5″ drive.

    Sadly, with the TiVo Edge being an utter disappointment, I’ll continue to use the Bolt until I can no longer resurrect it with off the shelf parts.

    At that point, I will really miss the consistent interface across channels and seamless fast-forwarding / reverse offered by TiVo. The tiny, stuttering FF/REV windows offered by streaming devices are simply awful.

    It really breaks my heart to see what has become of the once mighty TiVo. Repeatedly, they ignore what long-time customers actually want…expecting them instead to simply use what they offer. Its a recipe for extinction. RIP TiVo.

    I keep hoping my Roku will mate with my TiVo and birth the device that I actually want. No luck so far :)

  92. I have TiVo roamio in my living room, an older TiVo mini in the bedroom, I like that I don’t need to use my internet data to watch cable television, I have two Apple T.V.’s for that, one in the kids room, and the other in my living room, with the atv’s I can watch Plex and youtube, with no issues, I also have the Channels app with no dvr, and i use it when I’m too lazy to change inputs. Both my TiVo boxes are on the old experience and I don’t have a clue what pre roll ads are, and I monitor everything my kids watch so no worrries there. I’m pretty happy with all my devices yet the one thing I don’t like is the fact that my TiVo broadcasts cable channels in 720p, because of Comcast, but oh well, I can always Use my Apple devices for 1080 or 4k. I’m hoping TiVo releases and app for the Apple TV but I think that’ll mean I have to update my roamio to a bolt, so we’ll see. I’m happy with what I have with TiVo so far, I get to have my cable with no data usage and when I want a better quality image, I just go to Apple for it. I really like TiVo’s ad skipping features, and mainly that’s why I’m sticking with them until I’m forced to go full internet tv.

  93. I had many Tivos on lifetime over the years, but dumped them all about 4 years ago when Time Warner became unbearably unreliable and AT&T showed up in the neighborhood with gigabit fiber and Uverse. I sold it all on Ebay and became a happy Uverse customer. We moved and I tried Spectrum again but survived only a few months without whole house DVR and went back to Uverse TV as a new customer with a good price a year ago. Then the year ended and just the TV rate went from $70 to $140. I ditched them and signed up for YouTube TV and Philo. A couple weeks later YTTV raised their prices and my wife had been struggling with the DVR on both of them vs. a traditional DVR. The filtering and sorting was a mess. So I’m currently about to turn off YTTV and am using Channels DVR to tie together Philo with OTA. I’ve got two 4 tuner HD Homeruns and running Channels DVR on an old 2012 Mac Mini I wasn’t using. This thing is a beast… seen it simultaneously doing 12 recordings, processing commercial removal on finished recordings, and serving up live TV without any stress. The seamless experience is quite good and I’m going to be down to $20 a month plus $80 a year for this setup.

  94. As someone else mentioned, you can call TiVo and have the preroll ads removed. At least, you used to be able to. I called months ago and still do not have them (TiVo Roamio). However, looking at TiVo’s newer boxes, it would cost almost $1k for a TiVo Edge for cable. My old TiVo mini is unusable for YouTube and often just slows down since hydra. I am OTA only with the Roamio, and noticed if you get a new TiVo you have to decide if you want cable or OTA, you can’t have one box that does both anymore. I was starting to look into other sticks/boxes that could record OTA content (more options are definitely available now), and would be able to have better/faster apps, and boxes that don’t require ethernet or MOCA.

  95. I am not super tech savvy. I have a regular TiVO Roamio and would like to cut the cable. Will my Roamio be able to record shows from streaming services? If I leave cable, will I be able to use my Roamio as a DVR and do I need any other devices? I have had no problems with the Roamio, but my cable bill is ridiculous! The streaming services all seem to be about $65 a month and internet runs up to $70 a month! Not a huge savings leaving cable…or am I missing something? I would appreciate your expertise in this. Thanks!

  96. Joann,
    1) No – the TiVo won’t record from streaming services. And FWIW, it doesn’t even stream from many of the biggest (Disney+, HBO Max, etc.)

    2) You will likely be able to use the Roamio as a DVR, recording over-the-air (OTA) signals as long as you have a TiVo subscription, you’d just have to redo guided setup to switch it from cable to OTA.

    3) Yep, you’re not likely to save much money switching from cable to streaming. You may end up paying more, if the streaming services lose their revenue from cable companies and raise prices to compensate.

  97. Joann, that’s kind of how things seem to me as well. I have a TiVo Roamio too. I used it for cable up until 3 years ago, now I use it for over-the-air antenna recording (Roamio and earlier models could be set up to record from Cable or Over-the-air antenna). I do subscribe to Netflix and occasionally Hulu.

    TiVo cannot “record” from streaming services, but I like that I can create a “One Pass” on my TiVo, and it doesn’t matter where the show is. TiVo either records it when it airs, or bookmarks where it is on Netflix or Hulu for me. I have been spoiled by TiVo’s commercial skip feature for things it records. If you subscribe to some of the other services you may or may not be able to fast forward through commercials, and you would have to use their “cloud DVR” feature. I have been doing trials for other streaming service to try out, but I am seeing how there are benefits, but I don’t get all the detailed information and control like I have with TiVo.

    If you are paying a lot for cable, remember you need to renew your contract when it expires to go back to the discounted rate. Some of the major companies let you pick a new package online now, you don’t have to call up and threaten to cancel anymore. So comparing the “discounted” cable rate to online streaming services, you may or may not save that much. It depends on if you will need to subscribe to multiple services to be able to see all the shows you were seeing with your cable package.

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