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User Impressions of the New TiVo Stream
And Getting Device to Play Nice With ISP-Provided Premiere
by IONEX 02:36PM Tuesday Oct 23 2012
I love purchasing new gadgets. I still regret my Apple Newton purchase, but c'est la vie! I put in a pre-order for the new Tivo Stream as soon as I found out it was compatible with my TiVo Premiere. The TiVo Stream is a tiny box only a few inches in width and length with only an indicator light and an Ethernet port. The device allows one to watch programming that has been record on the TiVo Premiere on any iOS device on the local network. An upgrade for the Android TiVo application is in the works so Android devices should be able to use the device soon.

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You can also access the guide and start recording and streaming something that is currently airing so you can essentially use it to watch live TV on your local network as well. The TiVo Stream also allows you to download shows saved on your TiVo Premiere to an iOS device to be watched anywhere. The TiVo Stream will not let you download some programming if your MSO has enable certain copy protection mechanisms.

I am one of the lucky few who was issued a TiVo Premiere from my MSO (Charter) during a small window before they stopped issuing them and decided to work with TiVo to make a cloud-based DVR solution (and to also load Tivo DVR software on existing equipment). Since my TiVo Premiere was issued by an MSO, I had to make confirm with TiVo that it would be compatible with a TiVo Stream. I was told that all MSO provided TiVo Premieres are compatible with the TiVo Stream -- though multi-room recording must be enabled by your MSO for it to work.

So, if you can't get your TiVo Stream to work with the cable company provided TiVo Premiere -- call them and ask them to enable multi-room streaming on your account. Charter had already enabled multi-room streaming on my account since I have two TiVo Premieres. If you have multiple TiVo Premieres on your account and can access another unit from another unit then multi-room streaming is already enabled. If you have a retail TiVo Premier you will not run into any difficulties.

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After taking it out of the box, I plugged it in to my router via Ethernet cable. The device does not have Wi-Fi so before you order it make sure you can put it near your router and that your router has an available Ethernet port. The TiVo Stream then gets an IP via DHCP and lets you know it is ready via an indicator light. The TiVo Stream is only compatible with TiVos that are connected to the local network via Ethernet cable.

I have one TiVo Premiere connected via Wi-Fi and one connected via cable so I can only pull content and interact with the TiVo Premiere on the wired connection. After the indicator will turn solid white, it is ready to go and just needs to be setup from any iOS device. If your light does not turn solid white, it means you probably need to activate your TiVo Stream. Activation is free you just need to add it to the account on TiVo.com that has your TiVo Premiere listed.

If you have an MSO provided TiVo Premiere you will still have an account on TiVo.com. If you need help locating your account call or chat with them online and provide them the TSN off of your TiVo Premiere. Next, download the TiVo app from the App Store and launch it on your iOS device. It will recognize the TiVo Stream on the network and set it up in just a few minutes.

I have really enjoyed the device so far as my MSO does not seem to have copy protection enabled in my system. I have been able to easily download all shows from the TiVo Premiere to my iPad for watching on the go.

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The device allows for two different quality types so you can download a show in poorer quality if you want to be able to transfer the show more quickly. The quality of the low quality setting is excellent so I never use the high quality setting any longer since the shows transfer faster with that setting. Sadly, you have to keep the app open for transfers from the TiVo Stream to the iOS device to occur so no surfing with Safari at the same time or using any other app for that matter.

The live TV streaming functionality could also be better. If you pick a show from the guide that is currently on to live stream to your iOS device you must hit record and the recording will start showing after a few seconds. You then have to go back and delete the recording when you are done. It seems like there should be an option to let it know your intent is just to watch live and to auto delete the recording that is occurring.

Another complaint is that the Stream should have been compatible with Android at launch so that all of our family members could use the device. At $129.99 plus tax with no monthly fee and free shipping when ordered directly from Tivo I highly recommend the device since the advantages out weigh the slight annoyances. If you don't currently have a TiVo, one might consider giving up the cable box they currently have, ordering a TiVo Premiere from TiVo.com and getting a CableCard from the local MSO to be able to purchase and use a Tivo Stream. One might also check with their MSO to see if TiVo Premiere are available for rent directly through them.

(Editor's note: Suddenlink is the only ISP we've seen allowing users to lease the TiVO Stream for $10 a month).

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FIOS is Awesome
Fresh Meadows, NY

2 recommendations

So a $129 device just to stream to my ios device?

Maybe I'm missing the value here.