Apple TV vs. Tivo

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by naftalim, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502

    I just got my Tivo a few days ago and loving it. I was considering Apple TV, but the Tivo seems to do so much more and its a much more open system, with lots of 3rd party apps/hacks. Its also cheaper. $199 for the Series2DT here in Canada, plus $13/month for the Tivo Service. $99 in the US for the box.

    Curious what people think of the two. I assume that Apple will update/upgrade Apple TV on the 15th.
  2. macrumors 604


    Subscription fees with Tivo just for the privilege to record broadcast. You still have to pay for Amazon Unbox downloads on top of that...
  3. macrumors 68000

    I've stuck with Tivo and a CAble subscription because ATV can't replace them yet. Cable offers more content. More shows. Sports. News. ...... and that content is available on all my TVs. ATV means just 1 TV at $300 or $400. So for now it's Tivo.

    I think Tivo with a reasonable Cable subscription is cheaper too especially if you're a family of four.

    And you can stream music, photos and movies from your computer. It's not as slick as ATV, but it works.

    I did try Unbox and the movie never made it to my Tivo so I can't say that's working yet. Instead of doing their testing for them I figured I'd wait a few months to see if the kinks are ironed out yet.

    Also got my Tivo free reduced to $7/month by calling in and telling them I was thinking of dropping Tivo in favor of the Comcast DVR.
  4. macrumors 68020


    I don't even see how you can do Apple TV "vs." TiVo. They do two separate things. I have both, and their uses do not overlap.

    My TiVo HD records and plays content from my cable provider, and gives me easy access to Amazon Unbox. It cannot play video files I have stored on my server.

    My Apple TV plays video files and music I have stored on my server. It can't tune or record TV broadcasts.

    So this like "sports car vs. SUV". Two different uses; if you're not concerned with recording live TV, there's really no reason to get the TiVo.

    And while we're on the subject, anyone who thinks the Apple TV is going to get a DVR feature this week at MacWorld is insane. You really think Apple is going to get into broadcast TV?
  5. macrumors 68000

    ? I'm not sure why you don't think their uses overlap when you pointed out a few. Ordering movies via Unbox is the same type of feature as ordering movies via iTunes.

    And you're wrong that Tivo can't play video files located on your Mac. It can. They just have to be converted to .tivo format with a program like Visual Hub. You can start watching them a minute or two after the Tivo starts downloading the file.

    Also Tivo can play music found on your Mac and you can look at photos. Tivo plays all the music in my iTunes music folder. Of course it's all ripped from cd.

    The fact that Tivo records TV really is just a different means of getting to the same end as purchasing TV shows from iTunes is.

    So saying their uses don't overlap is pretty much dead wrong. Although I will say if you don't want to watch TV shows anytime you want then, I agree, don't get a Tivo. You can watch movies tho too although often edited for content and time.
  6. macrumors 6502

    No kidding. Very different purposes, to say the least. Just because they can do some things in common does not mean that they are in any way comparable beyond those few things.

    It's like asking "DVD vs live TV."
  7. macrumors 6502

    ATV was not designed to replace a DVR or cable/sat and won't be in the future.
  8. macrumors regular

    Tivo is a great device and people that complain about the subscription for guide data don't get it. Check out the tivo community and you'll find many other people who love it also.
  9. macrumors 603


    I too have both.

    However, a Tivo can play music and stream photos stored in iPhoto/iTunes. It can also play some video podcasts, albeit a very limited selection. It just doesn't play iTunes videos easily (i.e. without conversion/uploading).

    There is more overlap between the two devices than most people are suggesting.

    Personally, I would love to see Apple invest/buy Tivo and add polish to what I consider a pretty cool entertainment platform.
  10. macrumors 68020


    I'll give you that, that is indeed quite similar.

    How incredibly someone else pointed out, just because they share a few features does not mean they're pretty much the same. The process here is vastly different. If you read my post, I never said the TiVo couldn't play files from my Mac -- I said it couldn't play files from my server, which runs Linux. I have 1.5TB of movies in standard formats like MPEG and DiVX -- you really think converting them to .tivo is practical? Or desirable? I want to sit down on the couch and be able to watch anything I want from my collection, right away. The ATV gives me that capability. The TiVo was not designed for that. It was designed to play back files that it or other TiVos recorded. My wife certainly isn't going to know how to convert videos, even if I do. So for that reason, you can barely consider the TiVo a device to stream locally stored content.

    No way. The selection from my 300 or so cable channels is a hell of a lot more than what's available on iTunes, and most importantly the TiVo allows us to discover new shows by recommending things based on what we watch, and it allows us to watch sporting events, news, and tons of stuff not available on iTunes. Not to mention that the TiVo lets me watch HD content, while the stuff from the iTunes store is not. So in the end you're watching something, yes, but just because you're seeing content on the screen you consider them the "same"? So when you put a tape in a VCR, you're also watching something. You want to say a crusty old VCR is the same thing as the Apple TV? No. Totally different delivery systems.

    For the most part, their uses don't overlap. The TiVo is designed for watching, recording, and managing broadcast TV. Trying to use it for your own media is kind of painful, and limited. But clearly it's all in how you've decided to use it, so I suppose for the determined user there could be some overlap. But I'm not "dead wrong", that was pretty rude given how much you're generalizing both devices. It's at least as much about the experience as the actual functionality, and when you consider the *experience* then they're quite different.
  11. macrumors newbie

    :cool:Can someone expand on how VisualHub works and what it costs. I have a TiVo and love it. I want to watch my home video on my TV. You can do it on a PC (using the TiVo Desktop Plus software $25), but when I bought a mac I found that Toast wouldn't do the same - just allow transfers to DVD etc. Do I need to do a lot of file manipulating to get home video to show up on my TiVo?
  12. macrumors demi-god

    Only on a Mac do you have to convert.

    A Windows box running the TiVo Desktop Plus software appears as a networked TiVo to all of the other TiVos in the house. It also transcodes videos on the fly, so the user doesn't have to do any conversion themselves. They simply drop the videos they want to see on their TV into a folder on their PC, go to "Now Playing" on their TiVo, scoot down to the bottom of the list and select their PC, and then select the video. Works exactly like Multi-Room Viewing with another "real" TiVo.

    I understand that you and most others here probably don't have a Windows box in your house, but for the majority of the world that does, the TiVo solution for watching your own videos on TV is an easier process than getting stuff to an unhacked AppleTV. IMO, respectfully and all of that. :)
  13. macrumors 6502

    Only when you speak in terms of number of capabilities, and compare them as though they all have the same level of importance. When you consider how people actually use DVRs--recording programs and watching live TV--to how people use ATV--streamed movies, for me--the similarities become minimal and the differences huge.

    Did you enjoy watching the playoff games on your ATV? Of course not. Did you pause the game to take a call, while watching your ATV? Of course not. See the new Terminator show on your ATV? Of course not. Watch those two episodes of MASH that your ATV records for you each day? Of course not.

    It's better to be honest about the differences in the purposes of the devices. They simply aren't the same. Anyone who buys one expecting the utility of the other will be very disappointed, so why try to give people the impression that they're alike?
  14. macrumors demi-god

    Try this. :)
  15. macrumors 68020


    I was not aware of that capability with Windows computers...that's very nice. When I had Windows, TiVoToGo was *very* young and didn't really work all that well. That's a nice feature.

    Spot on. That's exactly the point I was trying to make, but I think you put it better.
  16. macrumors demi-god


    First off, I want to note that I agree with you that though they have some features and functionality in common, the core functions of the :apple:tv and Tivo are quite different.

    But the :apple:tv itself supports only MP4 and H.264 by default. So you have to convert any content not already in either format to it, as well. So I don't see that as a drawback to Tivo - especially if in a Windows environment, based on what aristobrat noted.
  17. macrumors 603


    Notice I was replying to a comment that says they don't overlap, which in fact they do - at a feature level. That was all. Keep the conversation in context and save yourself a blown coronary.

    I wouldn't own both if they had the same purpose. :rolleyes:
  18. macrumors 6502

    Thanks for worrying about my health. I appreciate kind thoughts.

    Forums are often used by people looking for product information. What you've written would mislead people. If you'd taken the time to clarify what you were trying to say, nobody would be jumping on you.
  19. macrumors 68000

    Yeah not sure why some are still so adamant the uses of Tivo and ATV don't overlap.

    I think some folks didn't really pay attention to the word overlap.

    Sure you can't watch recorded episodes of Mash on ATV, but can you buy them? If iTunes has them you can and thus you can accomplish the same goal you had.

    And watching a recorded episode of LOST seems like the same thing as buying it from iTunes and watching it on your ATV to me. :) I'm pretty sure you can do that.

    To me that's overlap. Both are examples of on-demand viewing. There are differences no doubt. But there are similarities too and thus overlap.

    Converting your DiVX files to H.264 seems like the same thing as converting your DiVX files to .tivo format which is really just an MPEG wrapper. IF you're already ripping content to your hard drive and converting it from the Video_TS files so your ATV can read then you can't complain that converting it to .tivo isn't practical and that your wife can't do it. Oh and afaik you can hack Tivos too. :)

    And on Tivo I move through a list of movies 1 by 1 in order to select them just like on ATV.

    No doubt Cable has more channels, but that's doesn't mean iTunes content doesn't overlap with it. Everything on iTunes is on Cable. That's called overlap.

    My Tivo sees the photos and music on my Mac. And I can play it through my stereo. That seems like overlap to me too. Now I think the ATV is slicker, but Tivo gets the job done.

    That's why I haven't picked up an ATV. I can already pretty much do what it does because of something called overlap. And yet if I purchased one I'd still have to keep my Tivo, DVD player and cable subscription because ATV doesn't replace any of those devices at least not today. :)

    ATV is marketed as 'What's on iTunes is on AppleTV' not as 'Rip your 600-DVD collection to 1.5 TB of mirrored hard drives and watch them on ATV.'

    Now I'm saying each device is just as easy to use as the other in all areas nor does it mean each device isn't better suited for some uses than the other. I don't think I said that anywhere. That's not what overlap means in my world though.
  20. macrumors 603


    Nothing I said was misleading.

    Congrats on making my ignore list.

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