Is it a Google Chromecast killer?

Patrick

You keep in mind TiVo, proper? All of the cool (and probably wealthy) youngsters had it, leaving the remainder of us jealous. TiVo DVR service allowed you to report reside TV content material so you can view it later, which was revolutionary in a time when on-demand video providers like Netflix didn’t exist. Now the enduring model has moved into media streaming with the TiVo Stream 4K.

In an more and more crowded house, does the TiVo Stream 4K have what it takes to turn into the middle of your front room expertise? Let’s discover out in our TiVo Stream 4K evaluation.

See additionally: One of the best media streaming gadgets you should purchase

What you want to know concerning the TiVo Stream 4K

TiVo Stream 4K 6

Credit score: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

The TiVo Stream 4K is powered by Google’s Android TV platform and has a retail worth an identical to Google’s Chromecast with Google TV. The massive distinction right here is that you simply don’t get the brand new Google TV UI, because the Stream 4K runs a mixture of the inventory Android TV UI and its personal customized interface.

The TiVo Stream 4K dongle connects to your tv by means of HDMI and creates a wise TV expertise. It additionally has entry to a complete host of apps by way of the Google Play Retailer. This implies you need to use it to observe movies on YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and others. It additionally helps reside TV apps and music providers. Don’t wish to use the UI on a regular basis? Chromecast assist is built-in, so you’ll be able to beam content material straight from different gadgets to your TiVo Stream 4K-connected TV. You possibly can even use the distant’s microphone to ask questions or search for your favourite exhibits utilizing Google Assistant voice instructions.

The design is so simple as it will get. The TiVo Stream 4K is a small black field that measures 77 x 53 x 16mm. There’s an HDMI connection on one finish, a micro-USB port for charging, and a USB Kind-C port for connecting different equipment and peripherals. It may well stream in 4K, as its identify implies, and there’s assist for each Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR and Dolby Atmos audio.

What’s good?

TiVo Stream 4K review - remote and the dongle

Credit score: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Let’s begin with the set-up, which is fairly straight-forward. Step-by-step directions are displayed on the display screen. This contains connecting the distant, establishing your Google account, and telling the system your viewing preferences for improved strategies. You may have the choice of utilizing your telephone for setup too, for those who choose that over the distant.

The TiVo Stream 4K offers you all the facility of Android TV, with some distinctive TiVo-inspired additions.

If you already know your means round Android TV you’ll really feel proper at residence with the TiVo Stream 4K. The machine has a easy UI that focuses on content material, versus functions. The house web page has a column exhibiting app data on the left facet, however the remainder of the display screen is crammed with content material previews. There are just a few settings and management choices up prime too. It’s nice to have such a minimalist design that focuses on content material, however TiVo made issues a bit extra complicated by including its personal particular touches (extra on that within the subsequent part).

TiVo Stream 4K 4

Credit score: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Speaking about navigating the UI, that is carried out with an included distant. This accent is bigger than the one included with the Chromecast with Google TV, however it is usually far more purposeful. There are extra buttons that make it sooner to get issues carried out. These embrace quantity buttons, extra media controls, a Stay TV shortcut, a devoted TiVo button, and extra.

Additionally learn: One of the best video streaming providers

TiVo’s distant physique additionally has a extra ergonomic design with strategically formed curves within the again. This, together with the bigger dimension, makes holding the TiVo distant extra snug than Google’s streaming machine. It doesn’t really feel like it would abruptly slip out of your hand.

TiVo Stream 4K 5

Credit score: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

If you happen to’re nonetheless a fan of reside TV and don’t thoughts utilizing Sling TV, the TiVo Stream 4K has an enormous benefit over its opponents. TiVo has partnered with Sling and provides one thing just like a TiVo DVR expertise, permitting you to observe your favourite exhibits and flicks later. Whereas DVR performance won’t be vital for all customers, some reside TV content material doesn’t make it on-line or takes longer to take action. In different phrases, for those who watch to observe sure reside programming DVR is likely to be the one (or a minimum of quickest) method to do it.

What’s not so good?

TiVo Stream 4K 2

Credit score: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

We will’t deny Google’s design is attractive when in comparison with the TiVo Stream 4K. The Chromecast with Google TV has a rounded, tremendous clear look. It’s undoubtedly prettier than TiVo’s black field, however this actually shouldn’t hassle you. Nobody will see your dongle as soon as it’s arrange, as it would reside behind your TV.

One factor individuals will see and use on a regular basis is the distant. Whereas it’s extra purposeful, the TiVo Stream 4K’s controller can be arguably uglier than Google’s. If you’d like one thing that’s easy, the TiVo Stream 4K is probably not for you.

Whereas inventory Android TV isn’t fairly as compelling because the newer Google TV UI, it’s nonetheless straightforward to make use of. Nonetheless, TiVo’s implementation is a bit odd.

As a substitute of giving us simply the inventory Android TV machine, TiVo tacked by itself UI on the facet. Consider the TiVo menu as a UI inside a UI. You’re introduced with the Android TV expertise upon turning in your TiVo Stream 4K, however you can too enter the TiVo Stream expertise. It exhibits all the identical issues like exhibits and flicks, simply introduced another way.

A few of TiVo’s distinctive options are welcome, however the twin UI interface could be a bit complicated.

This makes the expertise redundant, however we suppose it’s good to have choices and we will see how TiVo improves upon the expertise. There are extra classes and it may be additional personalized. Regardless, you’ll be able to’t assist however really feel like Google and TiVo are preventing in your consideration inside a single machine.

TiVo Stream 4K evaluation: Ought to I purchase it?

TiVo Stream 4K review - streaming dongle up close

Credit score: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

The TiVo Stream 4K is a superb sensible TV machine for those who don’t thoughts just a few compromises. The design and ease aren’t pretty much as good as you’ll discover with the Chromecast with Google TV and the twin interface expertise is annoying, however that’s about all we will complain about right here.

4K video high quality is nice, and having the facility of Android TV is unquestionably handy when it comes to content material availability. The distant, whereas much less aesthetically pleasing, is stuffed with choices and options that come in useful and avoid wasting button presses whereas navigating round. To not point out it’s extra snug.

Different choices: One of the best Android TV bins you should purchase

Except you’re an enormous TiVo fan, we’d advocate Google’s streaming machine for many customers. That’s, except you could find the TiVo Stream 4K at a reduction. Fortunately, you’ll be able to. Whereas each have a $49.99 MSRP, you’ll be able to usually discover the TiVo Stream 4K for below $40. At that worth, the TiVo Stream 4K turns into extra interesting, particularly as a secondary machine for a visitor room or den.

TiVo Stream 4K

The TiVo Stream 4K is a superb media streaming machine that offers you all the facility of Android TV, with some distinctive TiVo-inspired additions.


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