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Roku or TiVo HD?

Old 02-08-09, 03:04 PM
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Roku or TiVo HD?

I am contemplating having my DirecTV turned off because I'm tired of paying a hefty monthly fee to watch SD programming on my HDTV. I briefly considered signing on with their HD package but was scared off by terrible reviews of their HD DVR and the two-year commitment.

To fill the void, I have rabbit ears (with free, sparkling HD reception) and am considering Roku or TiVO HD in order to gain access to Netflix streaming and Amazon Unboxed. Advantages and disadvantages I've found so far in my research:

* TiVo HD would allow me to record my over-the-air HD programming but would would require a monthly fee plus more expensive up-front costs.

* Roku is cheaper and has no monthly fee (although I'll have to subcribe to Netlflix with either option) but can't record OTA.

Does anyone have experience with either of these and care to share your experiences and/or recommendations? I am not quite tech savvy enough to go the HTPC route and need a relatively idiot-proof solution.

Thanks much.

Edited to add: I should also mention I am aware of the forthcoming DirecTivo HD thing, but I am tired of waiting for that to materialize.

Last edited by DVD Guy ATL; 02-08-09 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 02-08-09, 08:41 PM
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Re: Roku or TiVo HD?

I use my HD Tivo to stream Netflix and I love it. I don't car what the upfronts are, I can't live without my Tivo. You won't get every Netflix movie, fyi. It is limited to what they offer on-line. But between the disks coming to my house and the online service, it is fine with me. Anything newer I want to see on Blu-ray anyway so streaming it would be out of the question.

I have no experience with Roku.
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Old 02-08-09, 08:56 PM
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Re: Roku or TiVo HD?

I have the Roku box, it's cheap and it works, but the selection is VERY limited. Even moreso if you are looking for HD content.

I also have DirecTV and they have the most HD content around here by far. I have one of their HD recorders also, TiVo doesn't really offer anything more than that has.

From your post it sounds more like you just want to record HD stuff. You need to look more at the providers if that's the case and get an HD PC capture card.

TiVo and Netflix (roku) just show what they can get. Check out "playon" software also. It does the same thing as the roku box.
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Old 02-09-09, 12:13 AM
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Re: Roku or TiVo HD?

I have had both the Roku and the Tivo Series 3 HD. I think the the Tivo is mush better IMO.
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Old 02-09-09, 01:15 AM
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Re: Roku or TiVo HD?

Originally Posted by SoSpacey View Post
I use my HD Tivo to stream Netflix and I love it.
Streaming what? Is it SD or HD? I did some Netflix streaming last summer via HTPC (only SD available) and I have to say I wasn't at all impressed. I guess I can't really complain about a free lunch but I wouldn't buy anything or pay anything in order to get it.
I would give netflix it another look if they now have HD via computer (HTPC).
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Old 02-09-09, 01:51 AM
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Re: Roku or TiVo HD?

Right now Netflix HD is only available on STBs, like Tivo, Roku's box, and Xbox 360. Who knows when they'll enable it on computers. I don't know why it's not, already. In my opinion, even the non-HD stuff looks good on TV. It's a little below DVD quality and for streaming video, that's damn good.

I'd go with the Tivo as it does everything Roku's box does and you can record. The month-to-month costs and upfront cost are a drawback, though...
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Old 02-09-09, 09:56 AM
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Re: Roku or TiVo HD?

Originally Posted by Easy View Post
Streaming what? Is it SD or HD? I did some Netflix streaming last summer via HTPC (only SD available) and I have to say I wasn't at all impressed. I guess I can't really complain about a free lunch but I wouldn't buy anything or pay anything in order to get it.
I would give netflix it another look if they now have HD via computer (HTPC).
Movies and TV shows.

As I said in my original post, I like the Netflix/Tivo option because I can get the HD disks mailed to me for the movies I must see on Blu-ray and I lean on the on-demand feature for movies I don't really care about on Blu-ray. Right now I am going through 30 Rock through Netflix OD in High-def. It looks good...not Blu-ray good but good ebough. I watched Brooklyn Rules, a Bill Burr comedy special, and an Annie documentary all through streaming. I have no need to wait for those disks to be shipped to me.
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Old 02-09-09, 10:16 AM
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Re: Roku or TiVo HD?

I briefly considered signing on with their HD package but was scared off by terrible reviews of their HD DVR and the two-year commitment.
For the record I have had few problems with my Direct TV hd-dvr. I like the channel lineup, the content and the quality.
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Old 02-09-09, 01:52 PM
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Re: Roku or TiVo HD?

Originally Posted by SoSpacey View Post
Right now I am going through 30 Rock through Netflix OD in High-def. It looks good...not Blu-ray good but good ebough. I watched Brooklyn Rules, a Bill Burr comedy special, and an Annie documentary all through streaming. I have no need to wait for those disks to be shipped to me.
Thanks for the info. Just one more question if you don't mind. Is a certain connection speed required? Do they reduce the quality if your connection isn't up to par? I know for SD they tested my connection every time.

Shaun3000: Sorry, but below dvd quality isn't acceptable to me. I tried streaming several TV programs and movies when I had it and I just lost interest because of the low quality. I have never tried amazon but I imagine it to be about the same. Can anyone comment?
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Old 02-09-09, 06:44 PM
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Re: Roku or TiVo HD?

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I too would be interested in hearing what speed Internet connection you'd recommend for quality streaming video. I think my ISP's offerings top out at 6 mbps.
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Old 02-09-09, 10:08 PM
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Re: Roku or TiVo HD?

According to http://gizmodo.com/5071275/netflix-h...ns-on-xbox-360 Netflix recommens 8mbps for maximum quality. The slower your connection, the lower the quality.
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Old 02-10-09, 08:48 PM
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Re: Roku or TiVo HD?

I have the Roku box and can say that the quality has gotten better for both SD and HD movies but the selection is still small. The box is small and can be out of the way and I watch multiple movies each week on this.
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Old 02-11-09, 03:04 PM
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Re: Roku or TiVo HD?

Originally Posted by shaun3000 View Post
According to http://gizmodo.com/5071275/netflix-h...ns-on-xbox-360 Netflix recommens 8mbps for maximum quality. The slower your connection, the lower the quality.
Good info, thanks.
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