Looking to "cut the cord" Tivo a good option?

Adam Gregorich

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I'm seriously thinking about dropping satellite TV. I was looking at Comcast, but the hidden fees for local and sports programming along with their equipment fees make it hard to justify the price.

I'm thinking of installing an antenna in the attic for local tv, and then getting a streaming service (Hulu, Sling, etc) for some of the cable channels others in my family would miss (cartoon, HGTV).

I would miss having the ability to time shift and play/pause, so I'm looking at the Tivo Bolt.

Should I get the Bolt Vox so I can use it with either cable or OTA, or just the Bolt OTA? are their any "gotchas" with using only OTA on the Vox (besides being limited to 500 GB)?

For anyone who has done this, does it work well with the minis in other rooms?

Anyone else cut the cord with or without using Tivo? Did you use only an antenna or did you add a streaming service?
 
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JQuintana

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We cut the cord a little over a year ago and my first stop was to Best Buy to buy the Tivo Roamio OTA box and a Tivo mini for the main living area. Been a total success for us. My wife still records all her fav shows as do I.

We bought 3 Roku TV's and use Netflix (free with T-Mobile) and Hulu Plus to watch the rest. It works perfectly, I can watch my recorded Tivo stuff downstairs and wife can watch what she wants on bedroom TV she records on,

Full disclosure. We do use my parents cable login to get "live" programming on HGTV and similar streaming apps that require you to login to watch.

I highly recommend Tivo+ Hulu (no commercials) and Netflix.
 

Todd Erwin

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As much as I dislike Fire TV devices, the Fire Recast is another option and may be less expensive than placing Tivo Minis in your other rooms (you can place Fire Sticks instead). It's 4 tuners and a 1 TB drive. It's restricted to OTA, though, and Fire devices won't have Vudu.

You might also want to consider a service like Playstation Vue, which does have a cloud DVR and offers local network affiliates in most markets. The only hardware required would be a Roku, Chomecast, Apple TV, or Fire TV attached to each TV. When I tried it two years ago, it was limited to 720p resolution and stereo audio, and the DVR only stores programs for 28 days. It does give you access to sports and other "cable" channels.

Here in the Erwin household, if we are unable to negotiate an affordable contract with DirecTV this Fall, the plan is to cut the cord and use our Rokus to access Hulu for our favorite NBC, ABC, and FOX shows, CBS All Access for CBS and Star Trek: Discovery, NewsON for local news, The CW app for CW shows (ironically, we currently get better video and audio on the app than the local affiliate), and of course Netflix, Amazon Prime, Vudu, etc. The one thing we will miss is the ability to skip commercials. We don't watch sports, so that would be no loss for us. We will also look into what features are on the Spectrum app for Roku and how much the monthly fee would be, as they are the cable company servicing our area and our preferred ISP.
 
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Todd Erwin

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Why the dislike for FireTV devices (I don't have any)? Both that and Playstation Vue look interesting. I could play Vue through Apple TV.
I've tried them a few times, and I just don't like the interface - which is geared, obviously, more towards purchasing and viewing content on Prime. I also do not like that you still need a second streaming device to access services like Vudu, FandangoNow, etc. What I find even more frustrating is the support team for Fire - it is never, ever Amazon's fault if something is not working right or content can't be found.

Case in point: I purchased a Fire Stick 4K because Amazon's press release hinted that the only way to get Jack Ryan in 4K with Dolby Atmos was to have a 4K-capable Fire device. I connected it to my receiver, got the device authorized and added to my Amazon account. Then I went to play Jack Ryan in 4K, and all I could get was Dolby Digital + 5.1 audio. Called tech support, they first tried to tell me that Jack Ryan wasn't in Atmos, and that the content provider likely did not provide an Atmos audio track. I asked why, then , did Amazon send out a press release indicating that Jack Ryan would be their first Atmos title on Prime Video. The rep placed me on hold, then transferred me to another agent, who said the same thing, then transferred me to yet another agent, this time one in the US. The US agent told me that Atmos does not work on the Fire TV devices if it is connected to a home theater receiver, because the devices are made to be connected directly to a TV, and if I am having problems with Fire TV connected to my Denon receiver I should call Denon for support. Then, just for fun, I pulled up Jack Ryan on the Prime Video app on my Roku, and lo and behold the show played back in Atmos. I promptly packed up the Fire Stick and shipped it back to Amazon as defective.
 

Bryan^H

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That "4K UltraHD" logo has me a little concerned....
Yeah I'm not sure about that. A friend that I keep in contact with by phone has an antenna similar to this. He swears by it(says the image quality is way better than cable), and gets close to 100 channels.
 

Adam Gregorich

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Yeah I'm not sure about that. A friend that I keep in contact with by phone has an antenna similar to this. He swears by it(says the image quality is way better than cable), and gets close to 100 channels.
The image quality should be better than cable, its uncompressed. In my area I would only get 10 channels, but they are all "good" ones, and the only ones I would bother watching.
 

Todd Erwin

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OTA is pretty much out of the question out here in the boonies, as most of the channels are on translators and reception is still spotty.
 
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Ronald Epstein

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Adam,

This is going to be a learning experience for me.

I, too, would like to cut cords one day. Probably not for the next two years, though, as I just recommitted to a bundle through Verizon Fios which includes 1GB download speeds.

I can vouch for Tivo as being a very capable and awesome DVR. I have them all over my home. However, each is a "main unit" so I don't have the mini's which I believe allow you to pick up watching recorded content from one location in your home to another.

My only issue with Tivo is that it's awfully, awfully expensive. Once you buy the unit for a few hundred dollars, it's a few hundred dollars more for their lifetime subscription service. So, right off the bat, I don't know how much money you would save.

My next concern would be OTA content. I don't know how Tivo handles this. Do they have a subscription service where you get channel and content listings? My guess would be, yes, as they make OTA units. Fortunately, these units are cheaper than the standard units.

I'll be watching this thread closely to see how all this pans out as I am looking to do the same thing you are in the upcoming future.

PS: Really surprised cable hasn't begun lowering prices to compete with OTA customers. The cable industry has to be taking a hit on this.
 

Adam Gregorich

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Adam,

This is going to be a learning experience for me.

I, too, would like to cut cords one day. Probably not for the next two years, though, as I just recommitted to a bundle through Verizon Fios which includes 1GB download speeds.

I can vouch for Tivo as being a very capable and awesome DVR. I have them all over my home. However, each is a "main unit" so I don't have the mini's which I believe allow you to pick up watching recorded content from one location in your home to another.

My only issue with Tivo is that it's awfully, awfully expensive. Once you buy the unit for a few hundred dollars, it's a few hundred dollars more for their lifetime subscription service. So, right off the bat, I don't know how much money you would save.

My next concern would be OTA content. I don't know how Tivo handles this. Do they have a subscription service where you get channel and content listings? My guess would be, yes, as they make OTA units. Fortunately, these units are cheaper than the standard units.

I'll be watching this thread closely to see how all this pans out as I am looking to do the same thing you are in the upcoming future.

PS: Really surprised cable hasn't begun lowering prices to compete with OTA customers. The cable industry has to be taking a hit on this.

The TiVo service (either lifetime or monthly) covers the channel/content guide for OTA content.
 

Ronald Epstein

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The TiVo service (either lifetime or monthly) covers the channel/content guide for OTA content.

Problem solved then.

This is good to know, as I don't yet use OTA services.

I suppose the next big step is whether the huge cost of owning a Tivo is worth it or not.

I think there are other OTA DVRs out there for much less, though I don't know how they stand up to Tivo.
 

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I'm also following this thread with interest as I need to lower costs and am considering cutting cable.
 

DaveF

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I'm seriously thinking about dropping satellite TV. I was looking at Comcast, but the hidden fees for local and sports programming along with their equipment fees make it hard to justify the price.

I'm thinking of installing an antenna in the attic for local tv, and then getting a streaming service (Hulu, Sling, etc) for some of the cable channels others in my family would miss (cartoon, HGTV).

I would miss having the ability to time shift and play/pause, so I'm looking at the Tivo Bolt.

Should I get the Bolt Vox so I can use it with either cable or OTA, or just the Bolt OTA? are their any "gotchas" with using only OTA on the Vox (besides being limited to 500 GB)?

For anyone who has done this, does it work well with the minis in other rooms?

Anyone else cut the cord with or without using Tivo? Did you use only an antenna or did you add a streaming service?
I was TiVo HD OTA circa 2009-2011. It worked great. I’m sure the Vox OTA would be superb today. (I’m TiVo Roamio + cablecard these days.)

A caveat: OTA is only four tuners compared to six with a cablecard.

A tip: see if you can upgrade the hard drive DIY. I bought the base Roamio in 2014 and followed the instructions at TiVocommunity.com and upgraded to 3TB easy peasy. I expect it works for the Vox similarly.
 

Adam Gregorich

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Before going all in, do some preliminary tests with the antenna and just a tv to check reception and channels.

Another option is HTPC dvr with Emby, Plex, etc.
I will need a large antenna, either room mount or attic mount for any option but Sony Vue. I will order one this week and just run a line to a TV and see what channels I pick up. My research shows I should get some, but I think you are right I need to check. I may not have a choice in that case Sony Vue might be my best option (paired with Apple TV)
 

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I will need a large antenna, either room mount or attic mount for any option but Sony Vue. I will order one this week and just run a line to a TV and see what channels I pick up. My research shows I should get some, but I think you are right I need to check. I may not have a choice in that case Sony Vue might be my best option (paired with Apple TV)
I think PS Vue gives you a 5-7 day free trial. I know, big whoop, but at least you can get a feel for what channels are available and how they look and sound.
 
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We currently use an RCA indoor HD antenna but I'm planning to get a Channel Master CM-3020 with 100 mile range. I like the Tivo Bolt OTA for recording but the streaming option is a little clunky. I'm interested in the Amazon Fire Recast but don't really like being an early adopter. It would be nice to get rid of the subscription fee with Tivo though. We subscribe to Sling TV with the lifestyle and DVR options. Even though they recently bumped up the price a little it's still a good value and the interface has improved dramatically since we first started using it. We also get Hulu (with commercials), Netflix, and Amazon Prime with our prime subscription. Some good free streaming sites with commercials are Pluto TV, The CW, Tubi TV, and NBC.
 

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