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Cord Cutters: Our review of TiVo’s new Roamio DVR

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TiVo’s new Roamio DVR promises a tight integration of personal recordings and online streaming services. But does it work for cord cutters?

Show notes for this episode:

  • TiVo’s new Roamio comes in three flavors: The $200 Roamio comes with 4 tuners and a 500GB hard drive, the $400 Roamio Plus has 6 tuners and a 1 TB hard drive and the $600 Roamio Pro has 6 tuners and a 3 TB hard drive. However, only the $200 base model works with an antenna for free over-the-air TV. The two other models require a cable subscription. More infos on TiVo’s website.
  • Roamio got its name from its ability to stream recorded shows to mobile devices both within your home and on the go. However, only the $400 and $600 models can stream video. Buyers of the base model need to invest another $130 in a streaming adapter.
  • Check out our interview with TiVo VP of Product Marketing Jim Denney.

Are you a TiVo owner looking for an upgrade? Or have you given up on DVRs because Netflix, Hulu and similar sites serve you better? Let us know in the comments below, get in touch with us on Twitter (@cordcutters) or email us at cordcutters @ Also, please check out our new Google+ Cord Cutters community!

5 Responses to “Cord Cutters: Our review of TiVo’s new Roamio DVR”

  1. Anthony Gill

    Hi Janko,

    You mention:
    ‘Roamio got its name from its ability to stream recorded shows to mobile devices both within your home and on the go.’

    Are you sure that’s right? On the features page of Roamio there are the three following features:

    1) Watch Live TV from remote location (coming soon)
    2) Transfer/download recorded shows to mobile device
    3) Watch recordings within your home network on mobile devices
    4) iOS & Android app for browsing/scheduling

    None of these indicates that you can stream recorded shows to mobile devices. The closest is feature 2, which enables you to download recorded show to take with you, which is a different proposition. I’m genuinely curious as to whether that the PVR streaming functionality is available however.



  2. I am a cord cutter for the past five years and TiVo is the singularly the device that makes that work for us. I find the programming I can get from an over the air antenna works best for our desires and having a TiVo leverages that by setting up season passes to all of the shows we like to watch. The OTA recordings picture quality is amazing, and the functionality of the TiVo is much better than that of streaming. You can start watching a program live if you care to (no delay for it to be available on a streaming service) and the fast forward, pause, and scanning through commercials works exceptionally well. I bought the additional TiVo steam device at a much lower price online, so while it would have been nice for that feature to have been built-in to the base Roamio model, it is certainly available and works very nicely. While the Roamio does leave a few things for my wish list of capabilities, I think it is by far the premier device for cord cutting in areas with decent OTA channel availability. It is also nice to have access to live TV (in beautiful high definition) for news, some live sports, and just when you want to channel surf. Personally I would find it very hard to live without.

  3. Marlon Deason

    I have used Tivo for years and only keep it because it has a rock-solid and extremely intuitive user interface for browsing, watching, recording and skipping commercials during live TV. If I didn’t already have a Premiere I would get the Roamio. There just aren’t enough features in the low-end model and there’s no antenna support on the high-end, so I’m probably going to skip this generation.

    I hope they last long enough to produce another round of products because I think they’ll get it right. The Roamio was the first Tivo to have built-in WiFI. Feature lag.

  4. Florence Webb

    I can’t use my Tivo since Comcast here does not have cable cards or analog cable. At least with Time Warner Cable I had analog cable. I do most of my TV watching on my Roku.