Since it launched 20 years ago, Tivo has continued to release innovative DVRs and has changed how we watch television. For the younger generation who barely know what life felt like before Netflix started streaming, you’ll not understand the joy that Tivo delivered, especially in an era when recording your favourite movies and TV shows weren’t so easy.
Today, Tivo is still making innovative DVRs as the company keeps rolling out new models now and then. Thanks to its innovative and cutting edge technology, Tivo has built a solid reputation for itself. One thing we love about Tivos is that they are built with you in mind. Right now, Tivos come in both over the air and cable models, plus they work exactly as they should: record live television.
But with so many Tivo models on the market today, deciding which Tivo model best works for you can be pretty tricky. Not just that, Tivo can be quite expensive too. Besides the amount you pay for DVR, you’ll be required to pay monthly or yearly subscription fees, which can drive pricing over the roof. Read on to find everything you need to know about Tivo.
Tivo Ultimate Buying Guide Review
With lots of Tivo models on the market today, choosing the best Tivo DVR that works for you can be pretty daunting. But that’s what we are here for; making your life easy. Thankfully, you don’t have to look too far as we have put together a list featuring some of the best Tivo models. Read on to find out why these DVRs are a must-buy for people who want to change how they watch television.
Tivo Bolt Vox DVR
While the Bolt Vox DVR isn’t as big as the Amazon Fire Recast, it still packs a lot of features that will give other DVRs on the market a run for their money. The highlight of this powerful DVR is that it features over 1TB of storage space as well as over 150 hours of storage to meet all your TV needs. The icing on the cake is that it comes with four special tuners that allow you to record four different shows simultaneously.
In a bid to compete with other DVRs on the market, the Tivo Bolt Vox DVR comes with a unique controller with some nifty features, including voice control. Using voice control, you can easily tweak channels; schedule shows you’d like to watch and record your favourite movies or TV shows. The best part is that this DVR features a one-press button you can use to skip advertisements.
The not so cool part is that the Tivo remote has a lot of buttons and may not appeal to people who prefer a remote with a minimalistic design. That said, the Tivo bolt is all shades of amazing and comes with bonus features like 4k viewing.
The Tivo Edge
The Tivo Edge is no doubt one of the best DVR you’ll ever come across. And for those who want a DVR that can stream 4K UHD with Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos, you’ll not go wrong to give the Tivo Edge a try. Featuring impressive specs like QuickMode, Commercial Skips, One Pass, Voice Remote (VOX), and more, the Tivo Edge DVR will not fail to impress you.
Besides its impressive performance and connectivity, the Tivo Edge comes with four powerful tuners that allow users to record four channels simultaneously. Best of all, the Tivo Edge boasts of a 2TB storage space and lets you record 300 hours of HD. And except you’re a heavy user, the 2TB storage is more than enough to record your favourite movies and TV shows.
The cool thing about the Tivo Edge is that it comes with an amazing remote control with voice command functions that lets you guide, manage, and schedule recordings. With this feature, you can enjoy a hands-free experience while relaxing to watch your favourite shows.
Tivo Roamio Pro
Featuring six tuners and 3TB storage space, the Tivo Roamio Pro finally delivers all the exciting features that Tivo faithful have been clamouring for over the years. Being one of the first DVRs to come with a built-in streaming capability, the Tivo Roamio DVR leapfrogs the competition with exciting features you’ll not get with other DVRs on the market. Fitted with six powerful turners, the Roamio Pro lets you record six shows simultaneously. Also, this DVR allows you to record 450 hours of HD or 3,500 hours of SD content.
With all these exciting features, the Roamio Pro outshines DVRs from other brands, which typically come with only two tuners and a little lower than 100 hours of HD storage space.
And just like other Tivo Models, the Roamio Pro comes with an impressive remote control that allows for seamless navigation and unrivalled voice control. From unbeatable storage capacity to six simultaneous streams to overall performance, the Roamio Pro is a must-have for anyone looking for a robust DVR.
Lets not also forget to add that the Roamio Pro, just like other Tivo DVRs, requires a monthly subscription.
Tivo Premiere XL4
The Tivo Premiere Elite fixes two of the major complaints users had with the Premiere and Premiere XL Tivo models. These two previous models did not provide support for more than two turners; more so, they didn’t allow for multi-room viewing.
But thanks to the Tivo Premiere Elite that comes with four turners, you can now record four shows simultaneously. On top of that, you can still continue streaming your favourite movies or shows while the DVR is recording.
Featuring 2TB of storage space, the Premiere Elite is capable of recording 300 hours of HD programming. Together with its multiroom features, Tivo lovers can now enjoy amazing specs that were missing from the Tivo Premiere and Premiere XL.
However, like older Tivo models, the Tivo Premiere Elite doesn’t come with a built-in Wi-Fi. To this end, you may need to buy an additional Tivo Wi-Fi Dongle which will cost anywhere from $60 to $90, depending on the type of dongle you want.
For average TV users, the Tivo Premiere isn’t such a bad choice. As a matter of fact, it is an amazing upgrade for people who are currently using the Tivo HD or Series 3. While its storage space may not come anywhere close to what you’ll get with the Tivo Bold or Tivo Edge, it still gives other DVR on the market a run for their money.
Featuring a 320GB storage space, the Tivo Premiere will let you record 45 hours of HD content. However, if you’re only interested in SD recordings, the Tivo Premiere will deliver 400 hours of standard-definition recordings.
The biggest letdown with the Tivo Premiere is that users have to pay for the box outrightly. In addition to that, you’ll be required to pay a monthly fee. Add all these together, and the price will go through the roof.
Tivo is pretty big on design and has done a fantastic job with its impressive interface. While their designs have pretty much remained the same with only very few changes coming with newer models, Tivo lovers have come to love their consistency. That said, Tivo DVRs all come with an easy to use interface that makes navigation hassle-free. Tivo’s menu options come as a row of text, and users can easily explore menu options they like by switching from one menu option to the next.
Why we love Tivo
Spots an intuitive UI than other DVRs: You have to give a lot of credit to Tivo for their all-rounded user interface. It pretty obvious they spend a lot of time to understand user experience and go on to build a sophisticated user interface design. Most of their screens are appealing. In addition to excellent visuals, Tivo leverages audio cues as well as distinctive sound, to deliver an experience their users will love.
The amazing part is that the Tivo DVR lets you delete channels you’re not subscribed to. This makes the channel guide more manageable as you wouldn’t need to scroll through hundreds of channels to find the kind of contents you like.
Powerful Built-in tuners: The best way to enjoy all the content you want is to have tuners in the box. And as much as we want to explore all over the top content, pay-TV and free over the air TV are here to stay. That said, there are lots of amazing DVRs on the market today that let you record two or four shows simultaneously. With this, you wouldn’t have to miss out on watching your favourite movies or shows.
With a Tivo DVR, there is no stopping you as most Tivo DVR feature 4 to 6 tuners as well as a large storage space. Thanks to this, you can record all your favourite shows and watch at your convenience.
Impressive remote: The truth is many electronic manufacturers pay very little attention to the remote. They simply just look at what other brands are doing, copy their designs, make a few changes and launch it as their own. But not Tivo; Tivo takes their remote game to the next level because they believe that the remote control is the primary tool most TV users interact with daily.
What we love about Tivo is that their remote control is unique and feature prominent buttons for smooth navigation. Not just that, the company makes very good use of colour, shape and button grouping to improve their DVR’s usability.
Excellent mobile app: As amazing as the Tivo remote is, we love the mobile app even better. We find ourselves interacting more with Tivo through their mobile app, and the reason is simple. The mobile Tivo app comes with 2-way connectivity. Unlike other DVR apps that features a boring cursor that masks content on your screens, the Tivo app lets you see all the information right on your screen. With the Tivo app, you can explore everything on your screen without shrinking what’s on TV.
Another thing we have come to like about the Tivo app is that it includes a scrubber control which allows users to instantly navigate to any point in a program without necessarily fast-forwarding or rewinding what they were watching. Also, the on-screen keyboard on their mobile app is quite responsive. This makes searching for contents on Tivo a hassle-free experience.
And because the Tivo mobile app uses Wi-Fi instead of infrared, you can easily control your TV from anywhere in your house.
Get plugged to all the popular streaming services: Tivo is among the few DVRs that let you bring all your premium subscription to one place. With Tivo, you can watch content across multiple streaming services including Hulu Plus, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Xfinity. If you have ever wanted to watch all of Amazon’s a la carte rentals and video purchases, now will be the perfect time to give Tivo a try.
Although the Xfinity app offers access to Comcast’s finest on-demand services including their free content, the Tivo DVR is still ahead on all fronts. More so, the Tivo library also offers exclusive access to all of Netflix library.
Powerful search function: It is exciting to have access to lots of great content. But without an intuitive search function, it will be tricky getting the best out of it. Thanks to Tivo’s powerful search function, you can now conveniently and easily search through all the content they offer.
To perform a search operation, simply enter the name of a TV series or movies, and you’ll be presented with a grid of episodes related to your searched keyword. Plus, each episode has extra information regarding where you can find it. If the TV series is yet to be released, you can schedule recording so that you don’t miss anything. However, if the show is already airing on Hulu, Netflix or Amazon, you can simply start watching right away.
Second screen experience: Another thing that thrills us about the Tivo mobile app is that it delivers a solid second screen experience. While apps like IntoNow and GetGlue require you to check into a show, the Tivo app doesn’t require you to check-in as it already knows what you are streaming. More so, the app lets you easily pull up details about the show you’re watching.
Where Tivo is lacking
A lot of the issues we have with Tivo seem like cobwebs from their history. And if we ever had the chance to redesign Tivo, rest assured we will do things differently. Read on to find out where Tivo is lacking.
Lacks built-in Wi-Fi: It’s the 21st century, and Tivo still doesn’t have a DVR with built-in Wi-Fi. Today, all Tivo models require either the use of wired networks or the need to buy an additional wireless adapter which can cost as high as $90. On the flip side, almost all Roku devices include wireless N and cost way less than Tivo. Even small players like Apple TV have DVR’s that come with wireless N. So if this is a big deal, you’ll want to give Roku or Apple TV a try.
Remote set up is tricky: Configuring the Tivo remote can be quite tricky. While most Roku devices are configured to discover devices over wireless networks automatically, Tivo has a complicated setup process which requires users to locate a Media Access Key buried within the Tivo menu to pair a device. Trust us when we say the process can be a lot stressful.
The worse part is that the whole pairing process doesn’t even connect to your Tivo account. We still don’t understand why Tivo is still towing this direction, despite the many complaints from customers.
Can’t tweak it to record only HD: Recording your favourite video quality over Tivo isn’t a walk in the park. There are many times you only want to record HD, but Tivo doesn’t let you do this as there is no way you can only set Tivo to record the HD versions of content you’re interested in. We really hope they do something about this as other popular brands already have this feature included in their streaming devices.
Another annoying thing is that some of Tivo’s menu screens are still in SD, which is a big No-No for us. At this point, all of Tivo’s menu screens need to be upgraded to HD, and that needs to happen soon.
What streaming services are available on Tivo
Tivo has gone through a series of rebranding to be where it is right now. Today, Tivo now offers streaming and Live TV to its growing customer base who want more from their TV subscription. From Amazon Prime Video to Netflix to Hulu to HBO and more, your Tivo DVR will give you access to quality programming from some of the biggest streaming services on the block. It doesn’t stop there as Tivo also offer access to Tivo+, the company’s ad-supported TV and movie service.
What channels does Tivo offer?
With Tivo, it’s programming like you have never experienced before. With tons of streaming services including Sling TV, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO and Netflix providing support for Tivo, you’ll never run out of what to watch. From free TV to paid entertainment and more, Tivo provides you with exclusive content you’ll love.
Thanks to Tivo+, Tivo users can now watch free entertainment exclusive to Tivo customers. Here, check out some of the popular channels you’ll find on Tivo+
- Food and Travel: Food52, Hell’s Kitchen/Kitchen Nightmares, Traveler, Tastemade, Journy, Bon Appetit
- Movies and TV: Filmrise Classic TV, Filmrise Free Movies, Filmrise Family, The Assylum, The Preview Channel, Filmrise Unsolved Mysteries, TMZ, OMG! Network, Law & Crime, American Classics, Real Truth, America’s Funniest Home Videos.
- Entertainment and Comedy: Funny or Die, Mobcrush, Atmosphere, People Are Awesome, FailAmy, The Pet Collective, All Time, Nature Vision TV, The Chive.
- Sports content: Football Daily, Adventure Sports Network, Outside TV, MMA Junkie, PGA Tour, Sportwire.
- Lifestyle: Revery, Glamour, Latido Music, Wired, GQ, Complex, Baebel Music, Power Nation.
- Kids Channels: Mr Bean and Friends, Puddle Jumper, Kabillion, Battery Pop, Ameba, Kids Genius.
- News: Cheddar, Newsy, USA Today.
All these amazing channels are an addition to what you’ll get via stop streaming services supported by Tivo.
Tivo pricing and packages
Besides the outright purchase of the Tivo DVR, users are required to pay monthly subscription fees. Again each Tivo DVR model comes with its own unique pricing, so monthly fees vary across Tivo models.
To get the best pricing and plan, we suggest you explore their annual DVR fees. And depending on the DVR you use, annual fees can be between $69 and $149.
Overall, Tivo can be a really pricey option, especially if you put everything together.
Pros and cons
- Impressive user interface
- Hassle-free recording
- Built-in streaming services
- Intuitive voice search
- Tivo is a tad pricey
- Lacks built-in Wi-Fi technology
- Requires monthly subscription
Frequently asked questions
How many programs can Tivo record simultaneously?
Most newer Tivo models like the Tivo Bolt and Tivo edge can conveniently record six shows simultaneously. But if you use older models, you should be able to record 2-4 shows simultaneously.
How can I add apps to my Tivo box?
Adding apps to your Tivo box is easy. Simply navigate to your Tivo using your remote, scroll down to Tivo Central and select showcases and apps. Now, press the okay button on the remote and proceed to select Add Apps. Its that simple.
What apps does Tivo offer?
Tivo provides support for a number of apps including popular streaming services like HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Netflix, Epix, Youtube and more.
How much does Tivo cost?
It’s hard to say exactly how much Tivo cost per month and this is because they have a lot of DVR models with unique pricing.
Tivo has built an impressive reputation in the TV landscape. With so many incredible Tivo DVRs up for grabs, you’ll be spoilt for choice of which DVR best works for you. Thanks to Tivo, you can now kiss goodbye to boring DVRs and say hello to an amazing collection of powerful DVRs that lets you record more shows simultaneously.
Featuring some of the finest features, you’ll ever see in a DVR; Tivo will deliver an awesome experience every time you switch it on.