TiVo Roamio Plus gives you the power to watch practically any show, anywhere, anytime. Stream shows on your iPad or iPhone around the house—on up to four iOS devices simultaneously—or download shows and take them to go.
- Excellent Interface
- 500 GB Storage space and Built In WiFi
- RF Remote So You Can Hide The Box
- Get’s Expensive When Adding Extra Subscription Costs
- Only The Entry-Level Roamio Records Over-The-Air TV
- Not Enough Premium Streaming Services EX: HBO
TiVo, with its monthly fee that is burdensome, has always been a tough sell for wire-cutters, a number of whom went cable-free to eliminate monthly fees in the very first place.
Interface and TiVo’s software stays best-in-group and very user friendly, plus it is been passed to be considerably quicker than preceding versions. There is even some of streaming media programs as well as built in WiFi, in order to see much more than simply network TV.
And TiVo’s subscription policies can look downright customer-unfriendly: “life” subscriptions are connected to your carton and will not transfer to a brand-new TiVo if your box breaks or you would like to update in the future.
But even with the excessive price, the TiVo Roamio is the first choice I’d advocate for most twine-cutters. More affordable choices such as Tablo Nuyvvo and the Channel Master DVR are great choices should you simply have fundamental record needs or you also are a bit more technology savvy, but both have simply enough frustrations to make them tiring in day to day use. The TiVo Roamio’s command of the over the air TV expertise provides you with the most effective opportunity to avert going back to cable, although It definitely costs too much — and that can save you much cash in the future, it practically makes TiVo appear to be a deal.
Editors’ note: While this review of the entry level TiVo Roamio focuses on its attractiveness to wire-cutters, the carton is additionally effective at working with many cable providers.
The mascot of TiVo could be a brilliant, friendly television, but the cartons of the firm have been bulky, grey, and joyless. Compare that to its forerunner, the TiVo Premier, which weighed in at 6.8 pounds with a significantly bigger body.
Not only is the Roamio smaller, it seems slicker too. The edges are rounded, as well as the carton tapers off toward the underside. Swooping and the shiny black finish, duotone appearance to the front allow it to be clear this is not a generic box from your cable company.
TiVo remotes have ever been among the very best accessible for any DVR, as well as the newest variation follows the same pattern that was recognizable. Often-used buttons like pause and fast forward fall under the thumbnail, and all the buttons have exceptional shapes and sizes which make it simple to browse by feel.
Greatest-in-class layout that is remote would be enough to solidify the clicker superiority of the Roamio, but TiVo’s gone one step farther by including RF control, which implies that you do not want to line of sight to control the carton. You control the carton from afar without contortions to train the clicker, or can stash the Roamio itself in a cupboard, out of sight. And the Roamio can get conventional IR remote commands, therefore it’ll operate with a universal remote like the Logitech Harmony Smart Control.
Set Up: Simple, but drawn-out
If TiVo’s a fantastic first impression is made by hardware, the program is underwhelming from the gate. The guided setup of the Roamio uses older, standard definition images, since the majority of TiVo’s interface was polished to a high def glow, which is a pity.
The setup itself is easy enough, with clear-cut questions regarding your WiFi password and zip code. Nevertheless, it takes longer than you’d expect, thanks to an hourlong software update before you are up and running that is needed.
There is a 500GB internal hard disk and both built in WiFi. Compare TiVo’s all in one bundle to products such as the Channel Master DVR, which need you to add a WiFi dongle as well as your own hard drive. You additionally have the choice of adding more storage using the eSATA interface of the Roamio; you will run about $100 if 500GB is not enough.
You will also value the skill transport records from your old carton via your home network in case you currently have a TiVo.
So what can you see?
You will have the ability to get free over the air TV signals, when using the Roamio with an antenna. In an ideal universe, you need to be able to get all the main networks (ABC, and CBS, NBC, Fox) in addition to some of other stations as well as PBS. In real life, your reception might change greatly, depending upon where you are, antenna, as well as a number of other variables, for example, elements.
In addition to over the air content, the Roamio additionally provides a smattering of streaming services. There is additionally Amazon Instant Video, but the program is not capable of playing back Amazon Prime content that is free and the interface is archaic. For music, you get Spotify Pandora, and Live365.
In all, it is only an average group of programs for a premium-priced carton, missing major services like HBO Go, Vudu, Rdio, Vevo, and Amazon Immediate streaming that is accurate.
User interface the considerably faster, and greatest
The Roamio’s layout should appear familiar, in the event you have used a TiVo anytime during the past couple of years.
The house display (“TiVo Central”) lets you jump straight to your records or discover other content, whether that is via TiVo’s worldwide search, the “What to Observe Now” attribute, or TiVo’s streaming media programs. Worldwide investigation is very neat, combing through streaming services, and your records, TV listings to seek out the content you are trying to find.
Bound to live TV and it is also possible to bring up the application guide, while live TV continues to play in a picture in picture window, which reveals coming TV listings in sharp high def images. You may select between a conventional grid layout or TiVo’s own organization, which reveals you an additional-future look at one chosen station.
On the records display, your applications sorted by date are laid out rationally and grouped into folders on the basis of the show. There is even a convenient “lately deleted” folder that allows you to retrieve shows you have panned, like a PC’s recycle bin.
That is because cable and satellite DVRs have greatly duplicated TiVo’s look and feel, if all that looks like old hat. But other OTA DVR options are not nearly as complex. Nuyvvo’s Tablo relies on a clunky Roku program for its onscreen interface that is conventional, while the interface of the Channel Master DVR is better, but more than serviceable. In the event you do most of your TV viewing on a real TV, instead of a tablet pc or smartphone, you will value the much exceptional family room encounter of TiVo.
And above all, TiVo has listened to the criticisms about responsiveness. The Roamio feels considerably quicker than its forerunner, TiVo Premier. It is not on level with the fastest living room devices I have used, such as the Roku 3, but it is fast for a DVR, free from the occasionally-interminable delays that plagued the last carton.
The Roamio has by far the most sophisticated software and hardware abilities of any over the air recording alternative — short of building one yourself in regards to records.
That begins with the Roamio’s four internal tuners, letting you record record or four coincident shows viewing a fourth live. That you gives you an amazing quantity of flexibility with over the air TV, as there’s on cable, where there is not almost as much programming. I seldom find myself running into recording struggles with two-tuner OTA DVRs, but I am pretty sure I had not have a battle with all the four- Roamio tuner.
TiVo also shines in regards to recording choices.
In case you think is not a huge deal, you will alter your mind the very first time you miss an epic ending because your DVR did not record overtime or extra innings.
And there all kinds of other attributes which are merely icing on the cake, like Ideas (records additional content you might like when there is additional space), Wishlist (auto-records any content that fits a particular performer, director or key word) and Groups (hand-curated groups of similar plans, like “New Autumn Shows,” which can be set to auto-record).
When a Roamio can not roam
The reviews around the Web were glowing, including CNET’s when TiVo started the brand new line of Roamio DVRs.
Unfortunately, none of that functionality can be found in the entry level Roamio, which is the only version to contain over the air tuners. In the flip side, you can schedule records — using the TiVo program on Android and iOS, in addition to TiVo.com — both in as well as beyond your home network.
It’s possible for you to schedule records with the program, but you can not stream content from the entry level Roamio.
The great news is it is possible to add distant flowing functionality by buying the $130 (USD) TiVo Stream. It is a costly add on for what is already an overly-high-priced merchandise, in the event you are willing to pay for the full Roamio experience, however you can get it.
Their defects become evident with day to day use, although most DVRs look quite great from the gate. That was my encounter with Nuvyyo Tablo and the Channel Master DVR — quite striking with some of that luster fading over time. The DVR may be set to record a whole show, but nevertheless, it can not record only new episodes your hard drive is filled up by repeats. Tablo can not add additional time to sports records, so you will nearly always miss the game’s ending, plus its commercial-jumping function does not operate on Roku.
It is a dependable workhorse that expects your record needs records your over the air TV, and makes it simple to tweak the settings just how you enjoy them. All the small matters TiVo does the outstanding distant, Season Pass direction, 30-second skip, open interface — add up to make the TV viewing experience seamless. It is a luxury to take a seat without needing to think twice about your DVR and watch TV, but sadly it is a luxury you will need to cover.
Prices: The high-end OTA choice
The Roamio’s $200 list price makes it look affordable, but the required subscription fees of TiVo drive up the cost considerably.
Sure, you do not need to purchase WiFi dongle or a different hard drive as you’d with the Channel Master DVR, but those added prices do not come close to equaling the subscription fees of TiVo.
You can definitely rationalize the price by factoring in just how much you’ll be saving by not having cable.
$500 is plenty of cash but it’ll probably wind up being the greatest price for the majority of buyers.
Decision: Value the first pain in the wallet
For quite a long time, TiVo was actually the only practical over the air recording option for anybody which did not need to assemble their own media center PC. That is not the case as Channel Master DVR Aereo, and Tablo are these fledgling, software, and credible options -centric products will likely get better over time (provided that they stay authorized).
But the Roamio is completely mature now, also it is undeniably head-and-shoulders over the contest for recording OTA TV. There aren’t any glitches, recording quirks, image quality problems, or clunky interfaces to cope with — it “only works,” and gets out of your way when you would like to view TV. Whether that is worth $750 to you depends on your financial plan as well as how much TV you see. Myself wish there was a more economical option to advocate that is not almost as bad, but TiVo remains the greatest overall pick for the time being, also it is worth it for wire-cutters seeming to create the most easy transition from cable.