TiVo and Apple TV have been praised for their performance, tons of features, and affordability, but which among them is the best bet in terms of performance, reliability, and value for your money? Let’s find out in this comparison.
With a streaming media player, you can watch videos on the internet and streaming services without any wiretaps.
With such devices, it’s now easy to watch Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, ShowMax, and Disney Plus, among many other streaming services, from the comfort of your house. However, these devices require you to have an internet connection, and they also vary in their properties and features.
Digital Media Players and Digital Virtual recorders’ manufacturers are in a constant move to change the way people perceive video streaming, watching, and recording.
Consequently, they are constantly adding new features and properties to improve the performance and reliability of these devices. With so many players keying in every day, choosing between these devices can prove to be a daunting task.
For that reason, we’re introducing to you two of the most popular digital media players and DVRs that you can consider today – TiVo and Apple TV.
TiVo vs. Apple TV: Overview
What is TiVo and how does it work?
TiVo is one of the oldest pioneers of VCRs and DVRs. TiVo devices are produced by TiVo Inc. which joined the market in 1997. The company entered the market with a promise of making recording and watching TV shows and movies easy and straightforward using a simple interface.
TiVo Inc. has manufactured and sold millions of DVRs and provided its subscription service to millions of customers.
TiVo as a service acts as a contact between the viewer and the TV signal provider. The service interprets the signals and helps you reschedule recording and perform some additional actions.
This is a clear indication that you will have to notify TiVo where your service comes from so that they can easily link up to help with recording and watching your favorite movies and TV shows at a later date.
Currently, many manufacturers are making TiVo sets, including TiVo itself. The devices are currently being manufactured by Phillips, Sony, and several other manufacturers.
Regardless of who the manufacturer is, these sets have one thing in common-a hard drive. They all make sure that a hard drive is connected outside the world to provide a hub for thousands of hours of watching.
TiVo streaming 4K Pros and Cons
- It’s very affordable
- Android TV and Google Assistant Functionality
- Live TV support through Sling and Locast
- Its supports Dolby Vision
- It supports HDR10
- Its remote is a little Clunky
- The interface is not as sleek as that of the competitors.
How does TiVo work?
TiVo works in a very simple and straightforward way. As a matter of fact, the TV signal will come into the TiVo set’s Built-In tuner through the antenna, digital cable, satellite, or analog cable. However, this is not the case with the Series 3 TiVo devices, which don’t support satellite signals.
Some of these set Boxes have more than one tuner meaning that users can record more than one channel simultaneously. The signals from the antenna or the cables will go through the MPEG-2 encoder, eventually conveying the signals from analog to digital formats.
Immediately after this, the signals will easily be sent to the hard drive for storage. The signals must be decoded back to analog signals for people with analog TVs whenever you want to watch.
TiVo as a product is a set that uses an Operating system managed by Linux. In simple terms, TiVo DVRs are grouped into Generations known as Series.
Currently, the manufacturer is on Series 3. Series 1 DVRs were manufactured by Phillips and Sony. From Series 2, TiVo Inc. Started manufacturing their own DVRs. The first generation was very easy to hack.
There were many sites devoted to teaching people how to deal with that. TiVo has phased out the Series 1 DVRs but the fact remains that the TiVo service still supports them.
The latest model, in this case, is Series 3 HD DVR which makes recording in HD quality easy. It also has the ability to record more than one channel simultaneously. An additional benefit is a fact that you can hook the device to the home network.
What is Apple TV and how does it work?
Apple TV on the other hand is a streaming media player. This in short means that this device helps you stream and watch videos, shows, and movies in the comfort of your home.
It also allows you to listen to audio, play games, and use other types of apps from the Internet to your TV. Currently, there are two models of Apple TV which are Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.
The Apple TV 4K supports 4K Ultra HD and HDR videos. The other one only supports 1080P quality. The main benefit of the Apple TV 4K is the fact that it has 32GB and 64GB options.
The prices for the two models significantly vary. The Apple TV 4K retails at $199.00 for the 64GB version and $179.00 for the 32GB version. The Apple TV HD retails at $149.00.
Regardless of the one you go for, you will get all the relevant features such as a dedicated App Store, Guides and search capabilities across multiple popular apps, Siri Voice control capabilities, and a remote with a touchpad for additional buttons and capabilities such as connecting to Bluetooth and motion controller.
What can you do with Apple TV?
There are many things you can do with Apple TV. The main goal is to make streaming and watching movies, video content, and TV shows as easy as possible.
The device supports most of the top popular entertainment providers such as Hulu, HBO Max, HBO Now, PBS, YouTube TV, and many others.
The best Apple TV deal right now is a free year of Apple TV+ immediately after you purchase a new Apple, TV 4K device.
Other things you can do with this device are to listen to streaming videos, play games, and cast videos and audio from Mac, iPad, and iPhone. Furthermore, you can mirror your iOS Device’s screen and at the same time use Miscellaneous apps.
Apple TV Pros and Cons
- It supports 4K streaming
- A home kit to configure, communicate and control Smart Home appliances using the Apple Devices.
- Elegant Design
- Supports use of Miscellaneous Apps
- Supports 4K HDR Gaming
- Mirror iOS Device
- Its relatively expensive
- Apple TV app is pointless if you own a Smart TV
- It has some compatibility issues
- It heavily relies on Apple Products.
How does Apple TV work?
You are just required to plug Apple TV into the TV using the HDMI port and eventually start streaming. It comes with a remote and instructions on the screen that instructs you how to connect the device to the Internet and how to select the apps.
TiVo vs. Apple TV: What’s the Big Difference?
Apple TV and TiVo are the newest and most popular Innovations introduced in the TV viewing world. Closely looking at how these two devices and services work, it’s easy to realize that there’s a noticeable difference in their approach to video streaming and recording video content.
TiVo Streaming 4K has taken the task of challenging Apple TV 4K. The features and interface are easy and straightforward to use.
However, TiVo lacks Apple TV app support. TiVo Streaming 4K was introduced in May 2020 with the main aim of changing most features that Apple TV 4K currently has. It came to the market with a relatively cheaper price and a new approach to streaming.
A different approach to streaming
TiVo came with a very different approach to Streaming. Instead of having to move back and forth from one app to the other as it’s the case with Apple TV 4K, you can easily subscribe to the service and link their services to the device.
Eventually, users can easily find programming either by searching or by browsing without having to change apps from time to time.
It actually works as an Android TV-powered Dongle that will easily connect to the TV using the HDMI cable. This is the same case with Cable TV devices. It supports Dolby Atmos audio and Dolby Vision HDR Video.
TiVo vs. Apple TV: Features
To be able to rule out which of these two DVRs and streaming devices is right for you, we have to compare their unique features.
In the upcoming Apple TV, the company has upgraded the CPU and the processor. The CPU has been upgraded to A12 Bionic.
The previous models had CPU A10X. This new upgrade gives the new model more power and improves its performance significantly.
Given that the TiVo streaming 4K runs on Android TV, it has all the Chromecast abilities and features. It means that you can cast easily from the Mobile Phone to the TV screen.
Major competitors are very limited when it comes to screen mirroring. There are chances that you are not only paying TiVo streaming 4K for the function of watching your movies and TV shows only.
You need a device that can stream seamlessly and at the same time help record your shows and movies without any issues. You are probably choosing this device because of the convenience of gathering everything you want to watch on a single screen.
This is the biggest difference between TiVo streaming 4K and Apple TV 4K. Both devices have the same features but there are reasons to choose a device that will work well for you.
TiVo Streaming Device outweighs Apple TV 4K when it comes to streaming and recording features.
If you need a device that can record simultaneously and at the same time bring you advanced capabilities, then TiVo Streaming 4K is the best on the list. It doesn’t matter whether you want to record Live TV for games or news, there are additional benefits that you can get with this device.
TiVo streaming device supports all wireless networks with Wi-Fi and comes with 802.11ac technology. It also supports a couple of streaming apps such as Sling TV, Prime Video, HBO Max, Netflix, Disney+, and thousands of other android streaming apps from Google Play Store.
With TiVo streaming 4K, forget learning to navigate a new screen with all different streaming apps. The streaming device enables one to centralize a place for browsing, creating a watch list and searching for what you want.
Another major feature of this streaming device is the fact that it can recommend different apps and streaming contents.
With this device, you smoothly eliminate the walls between you and what you want to watch. The technology recommends what you want to watch depending on your watching history.
With the new Google assistant feature, you can say it and watch it seamlessly. This is the power of voice control that comes with TiVo streaming 4K.
This feature is not new. As a matter of fact, Apple announced that the latest devices will come with such features soon. We are waiting to see whether the Apple voice assistance feature will be as effective as what is offered by TiVo Inc.
Lastly, users have everything they want to watch in a simple interface. TiVo streaming 4K includes Prime Video, Disney+, Peacock Plus, Netflix, and several other streaming services.
Verily, TiVo is one of Time Magazine’s 2020 Best Inventions. This streaming device does everything the way it was supposed to be done.
Apple TV on the other hand introduced two versions of the Apple TV 4K streaming devices. The two of them vary depending on the storage capacity.
The main feature is the 4K HDR and Dolby versions for stunning video quality. You can watch original stories from the best TV minds and Films on Apple TV+.
Another major feature is the fact that you can use Airplay to View photos and videos from iPhone and iPad on your TV. You can easily ask Siri to search for TV shows, games, and movies.
Finally, Apple TV is compatible with almost all streaming apps including HBO Now, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix.
On 20th April 2021, Apple announced the new Apple TV 4K series. The new device features a faster processor and improved HDR support.
It also comes with a new Siri remote and unique features. We can actually expect a lot from this new generation of Apple TV 4K streaming devices. This performance improvement will allow an improvement in frame rates when playing games and watching videos.
Unluckily, the new version will not support a 120Hz Frame rate as it’s the case with TiVo.
The main feature in this new version is what the company refers to as Color Balance. This feature allows the users to optimize the color and contrast capabilities of the TV. This ensures more accurate and faithful reproduction of TV shows and movies.
Winner: TiVo Streaming 4K wins the battle of features.
However, the upcoming generation of Apple TV streaming app will prove to be more advanced especially when remote features and streaming capabilities are considered.
TiVo vs. Apple TV: Remote features
These devices come with Remotes that have different designs, features, and functionalities. Compared to the Apple TV remote that has a minimalist design, TiVo Clicker has additional buttons.
It includes a Guide key which makes access to content easier. Additionally, the stream has a proprietary TiVo streaming App that is easily designed to find content from various streaming apps. Additionally, you can add all that in a single place using TiVo’s search and metadata technology.
Moving on, there’s a button in the TiVo remote that lets users use the Built-In Google Assistant for Voice Search. The device is smart and for that reason, learns what you want to watch and eventually brings you many suggestions. There are many free channels provided through the TiVo plus that are made visible to the TiVo users.
In what seems like a competition to TiVo Streaming 4K remote, Apple has recently unveiled the next generation of Apple TV 4K remote that brings new functionality.
The news for this redesigned remote for Apple TV 4K series was revealed on April 20, 2021. The company has just realized that the Apple TV remote was one of its weakest parts and their devices.
Apple just unveiled a redesigned Siri remote and a new Apple TV 4K generation.
The previous Apple TV remote made it easy to manually activate the Screensaver, switch between, and at the same time force close apps, skip and forward movies and shows by 10 seconds. You can as well scrub through video and at the same time swipe down for hidden settings.
Winner: TiVo streaming 4K remote is smart and offers numerous features.
TiVo vs. Apple TV: Interface
Apple TV comes with a new 4K Interface that looks great. However, some people claim that there are some occasional lags when switching apps. But the screen mirroring is great.
The new interface on the Apple TV is a major improvement from what we have seen with the previous models.
Apple has designed the Apple TV 4K streaming device with ease of use in mind. They have made it very easy to mirror across all Apple devices using the new Apple TV app.
The other noticeable upgrade here is Live sports coverage, which has been missing for a long time. It means that you can now see live scores and be able to follow up with your favorite sports.
Once you are on the TiVo Streaming 4K app, it’s very easy to get all the shows right at your fingertips. You can actually select to install the TiVo streaming 4K app for android or Apple.
The Home screen comes with a collection of your favorite and most-watched shows. You can click on the left for the menu which offers categories and guides. It also makes it easy for everyone to search for their favorite Videos and Movies at the comfort of their seats. The picture and the sound of this device are gorgeous.
Winner: Apple TV 4K: It has the best interface, easy to use, and straightforward. But searching for content is not as easy.
TiVo vs. Apple TV: Design
The new Apple TV 4K is a useful-Looking tool for HDR content. It comes in different colors that you can choose depending on your preferences and needs. It easily hooks up to your TV and allows access to your iTunes Library on the TV screen.
Moving on, the TiVo streaming 4K was created just like Chromecast. The only difference is the rectangular shape instead of the round shape with the Chromecast.
It is actually a black plastic device with a short, one-inch cable from the top. It also has a terminating HDMI plug. You will also notice a USB port on one end of the cable and a USB-C port on the right side. The device uses power from the TV. This is through the micro USB port.
Winner: TiVo has one of the best designs.
TiVo vs. Apple TV: Performance
Both TiVo and Apple TV 4K can deliver 4K resolution and also supports high dynamic range (HDR) in both HDR10 and Dolby Vision.
TiVo Streaming 4K loads Videos on CBS All Access, Sling TV, YouTube TV, and Netflix clearly. Most of the people that have tested the product claim that all the videos load fast enough.
To test TiVo signal filtering capabilities, I added some shows on record but the antenna fell down and for that reason, most of the shows didn’t record.
This means that TiVo has good signal filtering capabilities. Immediately after returning the antenna, the DVR resumed recording the shows from the latest episodes to the last ones.
The TiVo Streaming 4K will offer you access to every episode of the series you pick but only if it’s available through Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.
Moving on, you can easily keep up with recent episodes by just filtering the menu only to record the shows that you want to begin watching. This is another drawback because it highlights the outdated nature of TiVo and the conventional DVRs.
With TiVo streaming 4K device, you have the capability to skip commercials. Most users claim that this is the most important benefit because you just have to press a button and everything will be in order.
This is hardy but it’s not hardy enough to justify the price of TiVo hardware and the amount of money you will pay for the subscription.
Another thing I noticed with TiVo is that the suggested recording was uneven. This shows the limitation of what’s available over the air in the middle of some cities. Fortunately, most of the shows suggested by this device are top-notch and trending.
A new version of Apple TV 4K was introduced in April 2021 and we expect that this device will be a performer especially when it comes to features, the time it takes to load videos, and reliability.
The new generation of Apple TV 4K will have an all-new Siri Remote and a faster processor. The reason why we’re comparing the upcoming new version of this Digital streamer with TiVo is that the device will be ready in the market within the shortest time possible.
There are many notable internal improvements with this version. It’s designed wisely but continues to look like the previous generations of the Apple TV. It has a simple Black Box design that will easily plug into the TV set through the HDMI port.
As the name suggests, the Apple TV 4K will offer 4K resolution with support for High Frame Rate HDR content including the Dolby Vision and HDR10. All these features have been added to improve its performance.
If you want full performance, you have to pair the device with a 4K TV. You will also have to stream 4K content at all times.
Apple has revealed information that they are working closely with NBC Universal, Paramount Plus, FOX Sports, Canal+, and many other companies to make 4K content available to the public.
The device equally comes with a faster A12 Bionic Chip that will offer a CPU boost and faster video decoding. This will also offer improved gameplay and better audio processing.
Besides the fact that the design is the same as the previous generations, the company has improved the Remote. The Siri remote now features an all-new design with a one-piece aluminium body. The remote also comes with a click pad control wheel with five-way navigation. This also supports touch gestures.
Winner: If all the features promised by the new generation of Apple TV 4K will come into reality, then Apple TV 4K 2021 will win the battle of performance. If otherwise, TiVo will claim the medal.
Apple TV vs. TiVo Streaming 4K: Price
The main benefit of TiVo streaming 4K besides the features is its price. This is one of the cheapest media streaming devices and DVR that you will ever come across.
You can easily acquire this box at a very reasonable monthly charge and price. Depending on the size of storage you want, you can get a reasonable amount of money. The device currently costs $49.99. You can purchase it right now on TiVo.com or Amazon.
Apple offers two models of the Apple TV 4K streaming devices. The cost for the new Apple TV 4K is still too much. This actually remains one of the many drawbacks of getting Apple TV 4K.
The 32GB version will cost you $179 while the 64GB version will cost you $199.
This is actually very expensive for a streamer. Comparing this price to what TiVo TV offers, you don’t need a lot of knowledge to detect that the price difference is very significant.
Winner: TiVo Streaming 4K is the winner. The price is three times cheaper than what Apple TV offers.
TiVo vs. Apple TV: Storage space
Apple TV 4K currently has two models with different storage capacities.
The prices for these devices vary significantly depending on the storage. The 32GB storage capacity will cost you $179 while the 64GB storage capacity will cost you $199.
Both Amazon Fire TV and TiVo streaming 4K have a storage capacity of 8GB. This storage fills up rather quickly.
Do you need a subscription to watch Apple TV and TiVo TV?
Yes, you should pay for premium features. However, you can watch with limited features for free.
Which is better, TiVo or Apple TV?
TiVo wins in major categories including the Performance Category, Price Category, remote features Category, and many other categories. It’s the overall winner.
Which is cheaper, Apple TV or TiVo?
TiVo is the cheapest of all streaming devices and DVRs. It costs less than $100 which is not the case with Apple TV 4K devices that costs up to $199.
The final verdict
The upcoming Apple Streaming device is a game-changer. However, when it comes to prices and performance, this device will face stiff competition from TiVo streaming 4K.
Most of the current Apple Streaming device features are exactly what is offered by TiVo streaming devices. TiVo wins in most categories.
However, there are several other things to look out for such as Features and value for your money.
The only additional noticeable features are the extra power and the new Siri Remote. The color feature is also a game-changer in the streaming world.
But still, few other things set this streaming device from the competitor.
Unlike TiVo streaming devices, Apple TV 4K devices come with 32GB and 64GB internal storage. This space is enough to save a lot of movies and TV shows for watching later.
Even though the new Apple streaming device has some additional features, the price is still high. If you already have the 2017 Apple TV 4K mode, you don’t have to upgrade to the new Apple TV.
In conclusion, TiVo streaming 4K device wins the battle of the best streaming device and DVR in 2021 in all the categories.
It has the best features, is a top performer, affordable, and has enough storage for storing movies and TV shows. The only thing I didn’t specifically like about the TiVo streaming 4K device is the storage space. The space is little and fills up rather quickly.