TiVo Stream transcoder evaluation: TiVo is bringing streaming to cellular units, beginning with iOS

TiVo Stream transcoder review: TiVo is bringing streaming to mobile devices, starting with iOS

Again once we first reviewed the TiVo Premiere for iPad app, there have been people who complained about not with the ability to stream content material. It appears, although, that TiVo was one step forward of us: again at CES the corporate teased a transcoder — a tool that might later be generally known as the Stream. As its identify suggests, this little field streams recordings out of your TiVo Premiere to as many as 4 iOS units with the assistance of your native community. You may as well use it to switch exhibits for on-the-go viewing. So is it well worth the further $129? Let’s discover out.%Gallery-163753%

seventy six
TiVo

TiVo Stream

Execs

  • Nice image high quality
  • Responsive consumer interface
  • Easy setup

Cons

  • Costly for what it does
  • Solely suitable with iOS units

Abstract

The TiVo Stream works as marketed, however appears extra like a function that must be constructed into the DVR, versus a standalone $129 accent.

Hardware

TiVo Stream transcoder review: TiVo is bringing streaming to mobile devices, starting with iOS

The TiVo Stream is an easy little field with solely a single standing mild and two connections ‘spherical again. For many shoppers, measurement issues and certainly, this field is about on par with the Apple TV and Roku’s field. As an alternative of inputs and outputs, this little man has a wired community jack and an influence connection. There is no constructed-in WiFi or some other wi-fi radio, resembling Bluetooth. Significantly, there’s nothing else. This implies you’ll be able to plug it into your community anyplace you please, which may be proper subsequent to your TiVo or on the opposite aspect of the home. For those who occur to have a TiVo Premiere XL4 that is related to the community over MoCA, then the Stream can hook up with the free community port on the again of the Premiere. (That is how we examined it.) All informed, it is a foolproof setup, and we would not be stunned if this performance trickled down into the subsequent era of TiVo DVRs as properly.

Software program

TiVo Stream transcoder review: TiVo is bringing streaming to mobile devices, starting with iOS

As normal, the software program is the place the magic occurs and on this case it is all in your telephone or pill. For now, meaning iOS solely, however we’re assured help for Android is within the works, however no phrase as to when. Fortunately, at the least, you need not obtain a standalone app only for streaming; you will solely have to replace the prevailing TiVo Premiere for iOS app. After you launch the app, it shortly discovers the Stream in your community, configures itself and does a fast check. Then, as soon as you choose a present, you will see a “Watch on iPad” button together with the remainder of the choices. There’s additionally a brand new tab beneath My Exhibits itemizing what you’ve got transferred to the gadget.%Gallery-163754%

Consumer interface parts apart, the TiVo Stream does simply what it units out to, however with a number of quirks. The primary is that it solely streams recordings, so choosing “Watch on iPad” whereas searching the information is tantamount to beginning a recording on the fly. Meaning it takes about eight seconds to start out streaming, whereas it will take much less time to start streaming one thing that was already recorded. That is not an enormous deal, however it’s a bit odd when a present ends and the subsequent one does not start. Additionally, this setup requires a bit of additional cleanup afterwards in the event you like maintaining your listing of recordings tidy.%Gallery-163756%

In the event you attempt to watch a stay present when all of the tuners are in use, you will see the identical battle decision display as on different TiVo merchandise — the identical one which’s optimized for a twin tuner DVR, even when you have the 4-tuner XL4. In fact, when you attempt to watch one thing that was beforehand recorded, it simply works as anticipated and we now have to say on this rely that the image high quality and responsiveness of the playback controls are each wonderful. In case you watch half of a present on the large display and need to end on the iPad, or the opposite method round, resume works as anticipated.

The TiVo Stream works as marketed, however appears extra like a function that must be constructed into the DVR.

Streaming exhibits from the TiVo is the system’s main perform, however that is not its solely trick: you can even switch exhibits (marked Copy Freely) to your telephone or pill to observe on the go. What can we are saying? It is fairly simple: simply choose a recording after which hit “Obtain.” You possibly can select between normal and top quality, which works out to 600MB or 1GB for a one-hour present, respectively. Transferring a 30-minute present in commonplace high quality took about 10 minutes and a excessive-high quality recording clocked in at round thirteen minutes. Good factor too, because the app will not obtain whereas within the background, nevertheless it does hold the system from turning off routinely.

As you’d anticipate, the distinction in high quality between the 2 is noticeable, with excessive wanting like actual HD and commonplace displaying seen compression artifacts. In fact, contemplating the restricted obtainable area on many units, the standard is a small worth to pay if it means having room on your favourite present. Downloading a present as an alternative of streaming it means the transport controls are far more responsive, however the draw back is you can’t resume on the TV the place you left off on the iPad. Simply one other small worth to pay to make amends for your favourite exhibits if you aren’t residence. The obtain function is particularly essential because the TiVo Stream will solely work with units related to your property community, which suggests it does not utterly exchange one thing like a Slingbox. Then once more, a Slingbox is not very helpful if you do not have an honest web connection — say, in a aircraft or at a lodge.

Wrap-up

TiVo Stream transcoder review: TiVo is bringing streaming to mobile devices, starting with iOS

The TiVo Stream works as marketed, however appears extra like a function that must be constructed into the DVR, versus a standalone $129 accent. In the event you’re a TiVo Premiere proprietor and simply need to have the ability to stream your favourite exhibits in your telephone or pill whereas round the home or switch the occasional present that will help you sustain together with your novellas on the street, then we will not consider a greater match. However, this looks like a steep worth to pay when you think about all the opposite methods to stream and obtain exhibits to your units — in any case, $129 will purchase you loads of exhibits by means of iTunes or Google Play.

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<a href=”http://www.engadget.com/merchandise/tivo/stream/”> TiVo Stream </a>

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  • Key specs
  • <a href=”http://www.engadget.com/merchandise/tivo/stream/” title=”TiVo Stream evaluations” goal=”_blank”> Critiques 1 </a>
  • Costs
  • Discussions
  • Sort Audio / video participant
  • WiFi Sure
  • Ethernet 10/one hundred/one thousand [Gigabit]
  • Dimensions 1.05 x four x four in
  • Launched 2012-09-06

see all specs →

9common consumer score
  • Media help eight
  • Video high quality 10
  • Audio high quality eight
  • Ease of use 10
  • Design and type issue eight

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