Is it a Google Chromecast killer?

You bear 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 document stay TV content material so you could possibly view it later, which was revolutionary in a time when on-demand video companies 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 area, does the TiVo Stream 4K have what it takes to change into the middle of your lounge expertise? Let’s discover out in our TiVo Stream 4K evaluate.

See additionally: The most effective media streaming units you should purchase

What you’ll want to know in regards to 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 value 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 mix 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 sensible TV expertise. It additionally has entry to an entire host of apps by way of the Google Play Retailer. This implies you should use it to look at movies on YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and others. It additionally helps stay TV apps and music companies. Don’t need to use the UI on a regular basis? Chromecast assist is built-in, so you may beam content material straight from different units to your TiVo Stream 4K-connected TV. You may even use the distant’s microphone to ask questions or search for your favourite reveals 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 stream in 4K, as its title 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, organising your Google account, and telling the system your viewing preferences for improved ideas. You’ve gotten the choice of utilizing your cellphone for setup too, for those who desire that over the distant.

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

If you understand your means round Android TV you’ll really feel proper at dwelling with the TiVo Stream 4K. The system has a easy UI that focuses on content material, versus purposes. The house web page has a column displaying app data on the left facet, however the remainder of the display screen is crammed with content material previews. There are a couple of settings and management choices up high 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 completed with an included distant. This accent is bigger than the one included with the Chromecast with Google TV, however it is usually far more useful. There are extra buttons that make it sooner to get issues completed. These embrace quantity buttons, extra media controls, a Dwell TV shortcut, a devoted TiVo button, and extra.

Additionally learn: The most effective video streaming companies

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 system. It doesn’t really feel like it’s going to instantly slip out of your hand.

TiVo Stream 4K 5

Credit score: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

For those who’re nonetheless a fan of stay 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 gives one thing just like a TiVo DVR expertise, permitting you to look at your favourite reveals and films later. Whereas DVR performance may not be needed for all customers, some stay TV content material doesn’t make it on-line or takes longer to take action. In different phrases, for those who watch to look at sure stay programming DVR is likely to be the one (or no less than quickest) option 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 truthfully shouldn’t hassle you. Nobody will see your dongle as soon as it’s arrange, as it’s going to stay behind your TV.

One factor individuals will see and use on a regular basis is the distant. Whereas it’s extra useful, the TiVo Stream 4K’s controller can be arguably uglier than Google’s. If you need one thing that’s easy, the TiVo Stream 4K will not be 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 system, TiVo tacked by itself UI on the facet. Consider the TiVo menu as a UI inside a UI. You’re offered with the Android TV expertise upon turning in your TiVo Stream 4K, however it’s also possible to enter the TiVo Stream expertise. It reveals all the identical issues like reveals and films, simply offered differently.

A few of TiVo’s distinctive options are welcome, however the twin UI interface is usually 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 custom-made. Regardless, you may’t assist however really feel like Google and TiVo are preventing in your consideration inside a single system.

TiVo Stream 4K evaluate: 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 good sensible TV system for those who don’t thoughts a couple of 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 ability of Android TV is certainly handy by way of content material availability. The distant, whereas much less aesthetically pleasing, is stuffed with choices and options that turn out to be useful and avoid wasting button presses whereas navigating round. To not point out it’s extra snug.

Different choices: The most effective Android TV packing containers you should purchase

Except you’re a large TiVo fan, we’d advocate Google’s streaming system for many customers. That’s, until you could find the TiVo Stream 4K at a reduction. Fortunately, you may. Whereas each have a $49.99 MSRP, you may typically discover the TiVo Stream 4K for beneath $40. At that value, the TiVo Stream 4K turns into extra interesting, particularly as a secondary system for a visitor room or den.

TiVo Stream 4K

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