Which TiVo device is best?
You may know TiVo as the innovator of the digital video recorder back in 1999. During this time, cable TV ruled the content space, and TiVo allowed you to record your favorite shows and watch them back at a later time. Nowadays, apps like Hulu and Netflix are users’ primary sources of entertainment. Luckily, TiVo has kept up with the times and includes these streaming services alongside their technology to record video. Today’s TiVo devices offer high-quality HDR video, Dolby Atmos audio and the ability to watch your recorded shows and streaming services from your phone and tablet.
The best TiVo device is the TiVo Edge for cable. This unique hardware lets you record up to six cable TV shows simultaneously while still leaving room for Netflix, Hulu and other streaming apps.
What to know before you buy a TiVo device
There are only a few variations when it comes to TiVo devices. While the product is quite innovative, the premise is still straightforward. The most popular type of device is the cable DVR known as the Edge. This unit lets you record live cable TV, including sports games, news broadcasts and television shows. There’s also another version of the Edge for antenna TVs.
Similarly, this device gives you the power to record live TV but is built specifically for over-the-air broadcasts. Finally, there’s a streaming-specific TiVo device known as Stream 4K that acts as a plug-in streaming platform to download and stream your favorite entertainment apps.
TiVo is essentially a small computer and can store and operate many of the same apps you use on your smartphone. There are TiVo devices that handle recorded TV and apps. You can purchase a more affordable TiVo that focuses exclusively on the apps themselves without the added benefit of recorded TV. The apps available on the TV include Netflix and Hulu, but you can also operate Sling TV, which includes nearly the same variety of channels as cable TV. You can even use Spotify and YouTube through TiVo.
There are a few impressive features that TiVo devices offer that are worth noting. The first feature is known as OneSearch. Think of OneSearch like the Google search bar but exclusively for your personal TiVo. Here you can search for specific shows and actors and TiVo will bring up a list of all relevant choices. There’s also QuickView which lets you browse what else is on while never leaving the current show you’re watching. QuickBar can be found on the main hub of your TiVo screen and shows your current most popular viewing options for that specific day and time.
What to look for in a quality TiVo device
Some TiVo devices let you control your viewing experience from your mobile phone or tablet. Through the TiVo app, you can schedule which shows you want to record and include up to six shows simultaneously for many devices. The TiVo app also lets you watch your recorded content through your phone or tablet. This means that you can remotely schedule a recording and then watch that same show from your phone while you’re on the go.
Atmos is a specially designed technology from the innovative audio engineers over at Dolby. TiVo devices implement this feature in their recorded audio which adds significant quality to your viewing experience. Dolby Atmos allows sounds to be interpreted by your TV as three-dimensional audio. This boosts sound quality and mimics that of surround sound speakers.
High-quality TiVo devices also include 4K high-dynamic range visuals. The 4K represents the 4,000 plus pixels on your screen. The HDR technology translates the image with greater luminosity bringing a more vibrant and stunning image to your TV screen. This technology works with both streaming apps as well as recorded TV.
How much you can expect to spend on a TiVo device
TiVo devices cost $40 -$296.
TiVo device FAQ
How much does a TiVo subscription cost?
A. Along with your regular cable subscription, you’ll need a TiVo subscription to operate certain devices. TiVo subscriptions for the Bolt and Edge cost around $15 per month. You can also purchase a lifetime TiVo subscription for $540.
Do TiVo devices work with all cable providers?
A. The older generation TiVo Bolt works with all cable providers including Xfinity, Spectrum and Cox. Similarly, the TiVo Edge can work with most providers, which include Comcast and DirectTV.
What’s the best TiVo device to buy?
Top TiVo device
What you need to know: This is the best device TiVo has to offer, which includes upgraded features and a sleek, modern design.
What you’ll love: The new hardware features Dolby Vision HDR, a new and innovative way to bring super high quality images to your screen. You can record up to six shows simultaneously, skip commercials with a single button and still use your favorite streaming services.
What you should consider: You need a TiVo subscription to use this device.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top TiVo device for the money
What you need to know: This small device plugs into the HDMI port of your existing TV to create a live streaming platform for Netflix, Hulu, ESPN and more.
What you’ll love: Think of the Stream the same as an Amazon Fire Stick or Apple TV device which has a streamlined menu to search for your favorite apps. It also has 4K resolution support and includes Dolby Atmos audio.
What you should consider: This is not a DVR, so you can’t record live shows.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Similar to the other Edge device, this unit allows you to record and playback live TV, but from over-the-air broadcasts via your antenna.
What you’ll love: You can schedule and record two shows at once and then watch them back on other smart devices such as your phone or tablet. You can also skip commercial breaks with the click of a button.
What you should consider: This version of the Edge does not allow you to record cable TV.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Jordan Beliles writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.