Tivo Stream 4K Review

Tivo Stream 4K Review

tivo stream 4k review

Software Updates Have Helped, But Issues Remain

TCL 65Q825 Samsung PN59D8000 Samsung XBR 55X950G Samsung PN59D8000. This is because the TiVo Stream 4K stopped working midstream. It happened with both the LG and the Sony. However, it appears to be resolved by a software upgrade. It happens still with LG.

We had some minor issues as well. When the remote pairing stage was being set up, the device attempted to connect once it had pressed the appropriate buttons. Then the screen would time out and take you back to the pairing page. They worked with persistence and quick reflexes as we pressed the Next button. A Sony TV as well As an Onkyo receiver experienced sound dropouts. However, a software fix seems to have solved that issue.

The Stream also worked in our testing. The navigation of various screens was quick and there wasn’t any lag in opening apps. The handover from TiVo Stream to Sling TV, a potential choke point, was seamless. Also, we were able to access the TiVo Stream 4K Chromecast ability to stream video directly from a desktop browser or from a phone using Spotify. The Stream 4K is a great addition to the Android TV ecosystem.

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 say the USB-C port can be used to connect an Ethernet adapter, and this may help if you live in a noisy Wi-Fi environment. We enjoyed a lot of Crossy Road, Fast like a Fox, and normal Android TV gaming.

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. It also supports Google Cast, so you can stream content from your phone, tablet, or a Google Chrome tab on your computer to your TV.

Our Chromecast with Google TV Review Amazon Fire TV stick 4K Check Our Amazon Fire TV stick 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 TV 4K Read Our Apple TV 4K Review Roku Ultra (2019) Read Our Roku Ultra (2019) Review Android TV features Google Assistant, which you can access by pressing and holding the Google Assistant button on the remote and speaking into the microphone. Google Assistant is able to search content and open apps. It can also provide information such as weather, sports scores and how smart home devices are controlled. 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 is the user interface and allows you to access all your content through an easier menu than Android TV.

It is divided into different menus that can be accessed via a left-side bar. The Home tab aggregates recommendations from multiple TV services, as well as live TV. My Shows is a single-stop listing of all shows that you have viewed. It works in the same way as the OnePass feature for TiVo DVRs. This allows you to access your Sling DVR recordings and streaming episodes. Guide can be used to find local television channels and other services on Sling Locast. TV Shows, Movies, Sports, and Kids are self-explanatory categorical suggestion pages. Finally, Apps lets you access any installed app on the device.

Although the interface is markedly better than the text-heavy TiVo menu system, it still feels cluttered in comparison to Fire TV and Roku devices or Google TV on Chromecast. Android TV works with the standard Android TV interface. You can return to it by using the circular Home button.

tivo stream 4k review

What’S Good?

The setup is quite straightforward. You can follow the steps on screen. The screen will guide you through connecting your remote to your Google account and setting your preferences regarding viewing for enhanced suggestions. You have the option of using your phone for setup too, if you prefer that over the remote.

TiVo Stream 4K provides all the functionality of Android TV and some TiVo inspired additions.

TiVo and Android TV are easy to learn, so you will feel right at home using the TiVo stream 4K. The UI of the TiVo Stream 4K is very simple. It focuses on content more than it does applications. You will find app information in the column on the left of your home page. Content previews fill the rest. There are a few settings and control options up top too. This minimalistic layout is great and allows you to focus on your content. But TiVo did something a little more complex by adding some of its unique touches. (more information in the next section).

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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.

To search for your content on the Roku Express and Premiere you need to move from one tile of an app to the next. TiVo streamlines that process by letting you aggregate both your on-demand and live TV viewing across all available streaming subscriptions through what it calls a “unified guide experience.” For example, you could search for The Sopranos within the TiVo menu, and it would show which of your streaming services offer the show. For quick and easy access, click on the desired app (as shown in the below image) to view it. You can even add it as a “My Shows”, for later use.

This aggregation works with live streaming through an integration to Sling TV. TiVo will give you a seven day trial free of charge with every package of its Stream4K product. The remote can be used to display a complete list of streaming live streams.

At the time of this review, the following streaming services were available within the TiVo app guide without opening a separate application:

Sling TV



tivo stream 4k review

Tivo Stream 4K Review: Amped-Up Android Tv

The Stream 4K, which was unveiled at CES 2020, surprised 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.

TiVo’s past price history has been rewritten with Stream 4K. The Stream 4K, which is available at a discounted price of $50 with no additional charges, is TiVo’s most affordable product. Did the company have to sell its soul?

Let’s take one look.

How does the TiVo Stream 4K work?

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Despite the TiVo branding, the Stream 4K has virtually nothing in common with DVR devices like the TiVo Bolt OTA TiVo Edge . The Stream 4K can’t be used with other TiVo products in the same house to access DVR recordings and conventional live TV. (In case you thought it would serve as an affordable version of the 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).

Instead it is a streaming media dongle that costs $50 and runs on the Android TV OS. The Stream 4K could be considered an Android television device, although TiVo added a few tweaks.

tivo stream 4k review

Please Share all Sharing Options: Tivo’S first Android TV Dongle also appears to be its last

Last May, TiVo attempted to muscle in on Roku and Amazon with an HDMI streaming dongle of its own the $70 TiVo Stream 4K, which traded in the company’s traditional live TV + DVR functionality for the likes of Sling TV, Netflix, HBO and YouTube. The company now plans to discontinue its Android TV dongle endeavors because of the failure in this attempt.

Jon Kirchner, CEO of Xperi Holdings, stated in an earnings call Zatz Not funny ) that the company no longer believes it can compete with Android TV. The company likes to believe that its unique feature is a content search that surfaced across multiple apps and allows you to find shows. But now that Google has already added a layer called “Google TV” on top of Android TV, and it sells for $50, TiVo does not see much hope there.

As Seeking Alpha Sure has translated Kirchner’s words, the original approach to the combination was to use a three-phase plan. We started with the Stream 4K product which attaches directly to TVs. Then we moved into embedded applications, which will be the preferred interface option on a broader platform. However, it originally revolved around the idea that the application would reside on top of Android TV.

The third step is to go deeper into embedded solutions, embed OS, which we are a larger provider and where we really serve as the primary interface for broader content searches, discovery, and engagement. Google’s announcement last fall about their plans to get beyond the core OS platform and into UX has changed things.

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Kirchner says he would rather embed TiVo smarts directly into TVs. This strategy has worked well for Roku and Amazon, which have been competing with Fire TV Edition sets over the past few years.

But here’s the problem: While the Stream 4K was highly reviewed, many reviewers didn’t like its user interface. Some of its most glowing reviews called it cluttered confusing compared to the competition, and most concluded that it was just fine compared to slicker offerings from Roku and Amazon at or under that 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 that packs a limited, but promising App TiVo’s Stream 4K is a new approach. The Stream 4K replaces DVRs supported by paid plans. This streaming device, which is budget-friendly, can compete with Roku and Amazon Fire TV. Its unique selling point, however, is the integrated approach to content. This allows viewers from multiple platforms and services to access one central location. However, how does this company do? Does the hardware have the power to provide the content it wants? For the last several days, I used the Stream 4K to test it.

Hardware and Setup If thinking of the TiVo brand calls to mind large, hard-drive equipped DVRs that need a decent amount of entertainment center real estate, the Stream 4K might surprise you. TiVo offers a smaller, more discreet HDMI dongle. Instead of giant cable boxes, think of Chromecasts and Fire TV Sticks . However, the Stream 4K’s size is a bit more than that of some direct competitors. It measures approximately 3x2x0.6inches (77x53x16mm), which is less than two boxes of matchboxes.

Flexible and long, the HDMI attachment allows the Stream to pass through any cables plugged into the inputs of my TV. It may be noticeable that the Stream 4K sticks out a little depending on which HDMI inputs you use. But, that’s not something double-sided tape cannot fix if it gets too distracting.

There’s also a permanently attached HDMI connector, as well as a micro-USB port to provide power and a pairing button. TiVo says you should use the provided power supply instead of plugging the power cord into a USB port. The USB-C port isn’t mentioned prominently in the Stream 4K or its support documentation. However, you can attach extra storage to the device or use the Ethernet cable if the adapters are available. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the connections around to test those capabilities, but TiVo representatives did confirm that the USB-C port can be used to expand the Stream’s capabilities in the future.

The Stream comes with 8GB of storage, so having an external option might be a good idea. 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.

The remote itself evokes the familiar “peanut” shape TiVo’s known for. It is still easy to grip even though it has been reduced in size. It is a bit slippery, however, and could benefit from a grippier texture overall. It was difficult to get used to the button layout before I felt comfortable using my remote for navigation. Especially at first, I kept pressing the TiVo logo button instead of the confirmation button located just below within the directional arrows.

tivo stream 4k review

Wrapping it up

Your services must be in sync with the current Stream app support. You will receive the most value. If these two categories don’t exactly overlap, it’s possible to find yourself navigating between the Stream app and your content to view all of it. It can be frustrating which could make the app lose its main attraction. But even if you ignore the Stream app entirely, you’re still left with a budget-friendly and capable Android TV streamer especially at its $49.99 intro price.

Of course, that value proposition weakens if and when TiVo bumps the price up to the regular $69.99, so you’ll need to weigh the attractiveness of the Stream’s signature app over competing Android TV options like the Xiaomi Mi Box S (around $50).

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The Stream app works as expected and integrates with supported services. It also has an intuitive user interface. TiVo might expand their support, or even make it a separate app that can be used on different devices. We’ve not heard of any plans to do that as of yet, but we’ll let you know if plans change.

Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable Android TV device, the Stream 4K delivers. The Stream 4K is a great option, but we suggest you grab one before the price increases. Roku and Amazon are more popular than newer competitors.

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tivo stream 4k review

Tivo Stream 4.5K Initial Thoughts

These were my thoughts just before unboxing TiVo’s Stream 4K.

TiVoStream 4K was something I had been anticipating. This will challenge Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K. Most of that popularity comes from the sub $50 price tag and ability to stream 4K content. Plus, the Fire TV Stick 4K allows for sideloading so cord-cutters can install their favorite free APKs As of this review, the TiVo Stream 4K is selling for $49.99 which is the same price as the Fire TV Stick 4K. TiVo claims that this price is an introductory rate, and will increase to $69.99 thereafter. 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.

I like the fact that this unit includes a USB C port which should allow for connecting external devices such as thumb drives, Ethernet adapter, keyboards, etc.

My biggest complaint about the Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick 4K expandable You can increase the storage space on Fire TV Stick 4K using hacks, but this process is not perfect.

When expanding storage is available, you can connect an external harddrive and make it internal storage. This increases the storage available for applications as well as app data.

TiVo 4K and Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K come with only 8GB of storage. It fills up quickly. Installing a few additional games can help you max out your internal storage.

One other feature that I like seeing is the use of Android TV as the operating system on this new streaming device.

Is Tivo Stream 4K Worth It?

TiVo Stream4K Review: The TiVo Stream4K 4K streaming TV is a fantastic, extremely affordable 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. You can stream apps from Google Play. Some may require you to pay a fee through an app provider.

Is Tivo Better Than Roku?

Roku offers better Internet service support than Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon. TiVo cannot support Amazon Prime Video on Demand, even though it can support Amazon video on demand. TiVo is the best digital video recorder for recording things. Roku has the greatest streaming media platform.

Does Tivo Stream 4K Have Local Channels?

Tivo streaming does not have an on-air tuner. Locals can be viewed via a pay service such as Youtube TV, Hulu Live. Locast, which is donation-based, provides locals to major cities. It sounds like they would need a Tivo DVR, digital tuner, or a Tivo monitor. But they actually have Vizio monitors. Jun 3, 2021

.Tivo Stream 4K Review

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