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July 29th 2014 3:00 pm

Streaming some baseball through TiVO's iOS app and the Roamio

I can watch baseball in the backyard! Life is good...

I've written about our TiVo Roamio before, recently when I was wondering why the TiVo app didn't seem to stream with it: www.engadget.com­/discuss­/what­-s­-up­-with­-my­-tivo­-ap...

Anyway, fast forward a few months and a couple of app updates later, and things seem to work much better! So much, that I'm able to actually stream live games (and recorded shows) to my iPad without many hiccups. Overall, it works really well!

More than anything, it's caused me to notice some WiFi dead zones in our backyard (buahaha, time to install another bridge!). I have to say, I'm impressed with it, and I think it's a feature I'm finally going to use a lot more -- I previously neglected it since it rarely worked.

As Dignan17 mentioned in my previous thread, TiVo support for Android has been pretty lacking. here's hoping they push some updates in the near future and bring it up to parity. I guess that is basically what having a Slingbox is like, right? (Though I'm not sure if I can stream my recorded content remotely -- I don't think that's possible though).

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That's probably my largest disappointment of DirectTV - it's really bad for any sort of streaming support. I basically have to buy another box and attach it to my network, and then I've read it is poor quality.

I do miss my TiVO, pretty sure I'm going to switch back to cable when my two year contract is up.
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Tivo has never really been seen as a sexy product. Perhaps that's because it's been around for so long, but I really do think that it's the best consumer DVR on the market.
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I'll start from the end and go backward :)

The Tivo Roamio and Tivo Stream have one thing going for them that Slingbox doesn't: they don't take over the feed. If you're using a Slingbox on your cable box, that cable box is tied up and nobody can use it unless they want to watch whatever you're watching (whether it be live TV or recordings - it just takes the video feed from the box). The only time you run into that problem on the Roamio/Stream is when the Tivo they're leeching off of is already recording on all but one tuner. In that case, only the streamer or the local viewer could watch live TV. But the local viewer could still watch a recording independently of the streamer.

You shouldn't have a problem playing recordings remotely. They built the product to do that.

In January, Tivo claimed at CES that Android streaming would be arriving "in the coming months." Wow, what a cop-out! What a way to give yourself an infinite amount of time while making it sound like it'll happen soon. Anyway, clearly it's been more than 7 upcoming months, so lets see if we get to the point where "the upcoming years" would have been more accurate. It's so frustrating that this isn't out for Android yet.

It sounds to me like you'd be better off with some managed APs. Have you looked into any of the recent batch? I've used Unifi's products for a while now and I think they're fantastic. They have outdoor models too. It's wonderful being able to have a single seamless WiFi network that I can roam on. The only downside is that their most advanced APs are still pretty pricey. While their 802.11n units are cheap (around $90), their ac units are almost $300. I'll wait until those come down in price before I replace my current models in my house.

I'm really jealous, though. Do you have a spot for a hammock in your back yard? How awesome would it be to lie in the shade in a hammock, sipping lemonade and watching a baseball game? Heaven!
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The Tivo Roamio and Tivo Stream have one thing going for them that Slingbox doesn't: they don't take over the feed.

Completely agree that this is huge! My fiancée doesn't really care to be around me when I watch sports (can't say I blame her, I wear my emotions on my sleeve when Favorite Team does really well or really poorly).

One thing I want to try: I wonder if this might mitigate the need for having 2 TiVo boxes at home thanks to something like Airplay mirroring? We only have one TiVo device, but I can see a need for her wanting to watch a show and myself wanting to watch a different show. If I can stream from the iPad to the TV in the office... (a bit convoluted, but hey!).

As far as remote access goes, it's an interesting idea but I'm not that much of a TV junky that I need to worry about this. I think you can download recorded shows though, so this might be an interesting way to catch up on some relevant entertainment ahead of a long flight or something. Hrmmm!

With regard to the setup at our house: we have 2 routers (1 in bridge mode) connected via Cat-6 through the crawlspace. So, thanks to this we have a seamless WiFi network throughout the house with no apparent bandwidth drop off. That said, the location of one of the routers is less than optimal, so we get a weak signal in the yard.

I was thinking of having someone install a patch board and running another cable into our basement in the backyard and setting up another router there -- it should fix the spotty access in the backyard! Right now, both are 802.11n -- but I'll definitely upgrade to 802.11ac as more things pop up on the market and more devices support it. I wonder if a single 802.11ac would potentially replace the need for 3 APs (or maybe I'm being overly optimistic of their advertised improvements).

Anyway, no hammock right now, but I think that's a good idea! For now, we have to make do with a new umbrella and some string lights we just installed. ;)

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Nice patio! I like the lights.

I'm not sure that two Airports with one in bridge mode creates the same kind of seamless network, but if you're not having any problems then I guess any difference is moot. I'd be curious to see if ac routers really do have a distance improvement. I'll be setting up 4 Unifi ac APs in August so I'll let you know!

These days, you definitely only need one Tivo. When I first moved almost two years ago, it looked like I'd need a Tivo for at least three rooms. Then the Tivo Mini came out, and that's what I have in my office. It's basically the exact same thing. The only real limitation with this approach is one of resources. I believe that the Tivo DVR will only allot up to two tuners to networked devices (two minis, two streams, or one of each), but that's only for live TV. Three networked devices in total can stream from the Tivo DVR, so at maximum you can have two live TV streams and one recorded stream. And of course, if you're recording three or four things at one time, those remote devices won't be able to do live TV at all without cancelling the recordings. In the end, it's mostly a matter of how many people are in the house. For my wife and I, none of these "limitations" would matter.
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You're touching on one of the reasons I picked up a HDHomeRun and ditched my cable-co provided set top boxes. The built-in UPnP support means I can access one, of three, streams in the HDHR from any device in my house. Unfortunately there is no iOS or Roku support officially, so that kind of stinks. On iOS I can use any app the supports UPnP though to access the stream and in places where I'd need to use a Roku I have a Ceton Echo (similar to a TiVO Mini).
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