Making the switch - DVR habits

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Jungo, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. Jungo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #1
    We are used to dvr'ing our shows and watching them at will - there is no drv on Apple tv - SO if we wanted to watch say Lawrence Odonnell on MSNBC (10:00 pm) after it happened and say start watching it at 10:30 from the beginning - CAN we do this on apple tv ?
     
  2. d21mike macrumors 68040

    d21mike

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    #2
    Apple TV is all about the App Store. There are multiple Apps that support DVR Functions. You mainly have to determine how you plan to get/pay for the the content.

    Example: SLING, PS VUE, Hulu Live TV all have a DVR which are all Streaming Apps. Other Apps like Channels Live and DVR requires other hardware like a HDHomeRun TV Tuner and DVR Box.

    A lot of options. Also, might check Youtube. I do not use it but I hear it has options.
     
  3. HobeSoundDarryl, Jun 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #3
    If you really like DVR functionality, apps are generally subpar to a good (hardware) DVR. d21mike summarized a number of streaming services with software DVRs but if you look into them, you'll find limitations & shortcomings atypical of the hardware DVR experience. For example, some software DVRs have time expirations (watch within X number of days or the video auto-deletes). Like to skip commercials? I'm not sure any of them will let you do that. Some services have DVR support for only some channels. Etc.

    Nutshell: from all I've read & heard, software DVRs still have a ways to go to match up well vs. hardware DVRs.

    If you really love DVR functionality but are increasingly attracted to the (sometimes perceived) lower pricing of streaming, I suggest looking at aggressive offers from players like DISH. Their 2-year price lock with one great (hardware DVR) is very competitive against any of the streaming options... and that comes with a real DVR, generally better HD video, 5.1 surround sound instead of just stereo or mono, etc. With the Dish Anywhere app, the service streams well to any iDevice too, whether home or away.

    In my experience, when one assembles the channels & shows they really like (in a legal way), what they are spending tends to be close- if not more than- getting a "fat" bundle with an offer like theirs. Then, one needs to potentially jump app to app, or even box to box to watch what you want, without an at-a-glance, on-screen guide that includes everything, and any dollar "savings" just doesn't seem to be worth it... especially if you have to train less tech-savvy family members to hop app to app and box to box too.

    I think streaming works for some people. But it sure has many disadvantages right now. From my own perspective, the loss of 5.1 surround + DVR commercial skip + comparable HD picture quality, etc. is too much. Even if I could save $15-$30, stuff like that is well worth the extra to me.
     
  4. Jungo thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #4
    wonderful response - and gives me much to think about. - Oh yeah I have a few boxes , apple tv, amazon firestick, Netflix everywhere etc.

    thanks
     
  5. HobeSoundDarryl, Jun 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #5
    The good thing about streaming is that most of them will give you at least a trial, so you can investigate directly and see for yourself. I'd definitely really work over any of these services via free trial to be sure you'll get what you want out of them.

    I've tried to find a streaming option for my home but none seem to fit yet. I've built up a nice surround sound setup and none of them have 5.1 surround. I've paid up for quality HD and then 4K TVs and picture quality in trials seem to be a notch below SATT. DVRs seem to be missing key features. Each bundle seems to be missing a few desirable channels. And so on.

    Besides the hardware DVR and quality (picture & 5.1 sound) what I would miss most is a unified on-screen guide to bring everything available at-a-glance. Of course, several of them have on-screen guides but those only cover the channels in THEIR package(s).

    Hopping app-to-app or box-to-box to save what amounts to a meal or two out or maybe 1-2 movie tickets in a month just seems to be an awful lot of trouble to get to "brag" about saving $15-$30 or so. There seems to be a LOT of fixation on savings but the only situation where it seems sizable is the homes with many TVs that all need to be fed with leased boxes via traditional television services... or those who are unwilling to threaten to cancel/switch services when promotional prices are ending. And in those homes, you then have the enduring hassle of having to play tech support to help all those people find what they are wanting to watch in the streaming app & boxes setups.

    So for now, I cling to DISH with a great hardware DVR and unified on-screen guide that "just works." That plus an :apple:TV seems to cover all bases well for me. If it costs me a few dollars or tens of dollars more each month, I'm mostly an Apple person... so it seems strange to line up to pay $1000 for a smart phone and $2500 for a laptop and then freak over $15 or $30/month extra for "unlimited" HD television service with 5.1 surround and a real DVR.
     
  6. d21mike macrumors 68040

    d21mike

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    #6
    Another thought. I fully expect that the DVR as we know it will eventually be a thing of the past. Kind of like no one uses a VCR anymore. The main reason for a DVR is to remove commercials and also watch a show at a later time.

    1. Hulu with no commercial option and CBS All Access with no commercial option reduced my DVR usage be about 80% (or more). I.E. CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX are almost all on demand and commercial free. If you are willing to pay for it. So much better then using a DVR.

    2. Cloud DVR. For what is left. For me that is mostly AMC shows. The Cloud DVR is not that bad. My hope is that AMC and others will offer a no commercial option in the future.

    3. As you know Netflix, HBO, Showtime, Amazon Originals, Hulu Original and more are commercial free now. Netflix and Amazon are investing BILLIONS next year for Original content without commercials.

    For me I would not use the CABLE Company equipment for any reason. Once the Apple TV 4 came out I returned by $70+ per month 2xDVRs and 2xSTBs (hardware cost) and now only have the Apple TV 4 on all of my 8xTV's which means ALL TV's now have the exact same content and only 1 remote.
     
  7. HobeSoundDarryl, Jun 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #7
    I agree that hardware DVRs may indeed be obsoleted by software ones. However, the whole suggestion revolves around "some point in the future" when they are capable enough to make the hardware ones obsolete. What about the time between now and then?

    To me that's the same argument about Bluetooth "the future" justifying getting rid of the headphone jack on iPhone. Between now and when Bluetooth is able to deliver the same quality of sound, it's a few steps back to be an early adopter of "the future."

    Or in this streaming stuff, picture & sound quality. Again, a few steps back until some streamer is able to deliver a matching quality of picture and/or sound (for those of us that care about those variables). Lots of people have been building up surround sound systems in their living rooms since the late 1990's. And yet here's "the future" of television rolling out options with sound in stereo or mono.

    When these services are as good as what they aspire to replace, I'm as interested as anyone. But it sure takes a lot of sacrifices to- in my case- maybe save $15-$30/month if I was willing to do without a few channels and hop app-to-app and box-to-box to cover what all I get now.

    In a case like d21mike's, lease fees on a bunch of cable or SATT set-top boxes makes the monthly cost difference more sizable. Apparently, it's worth it to him to hop app-to-app, have no unified on-screen guide, get mono sound from Hulu, etc. To each his own of course. I'd readily justify probably $25/month just for surround sound per my own tastes.

    To those reading stuff like these posts and thinking about making the change: do your homework, thoroughly test the free trial(s) and then make the best decision for you. Don't fool yourself into believing it's fully toe-to-toe with the traditional but just happens to cost a lot less. That's not automatically the case.

    I'll be first in line to adopt a streaming solution that delivers quality sound & picture, full DVR functionality, unified on-screen guide, all the channels & programming that I desire without compromises or complications. If it can save some money, great, but so far from my perspective, the savings comes with a fair amount of tradeoffs that matter to me.
     
  8. d21mike macrumors 68040

    d21mike

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    #8
    Just wanted to clarify this point.
    1. I do not watch a lot of Live TV where maybe a "guide" is important to some. But I do have DirecTV Now for Live TV which has a Guide which I use for News and my wife uses for other things. But 95% of the time I am watching delayed.
    2. Regarding hop app-to-app. I never do this. I use an App called WatchAid which is great. It is a Universal WatchList for pretty much everything I watch. When a New Episode shows up it will automatically appear on my Newly available list. I use it for Hulu, CBS All Access, Netflix Shows, HBO, Showtime and more. I am also on their beta with New Support for PLEX TV Shows so as I add episodes to that they automatically show up as well. PLEX now has a DVR so I use that a little bit and those shows are fully integrated. However, when I click on a show it does play it on the relevant App and then after the show is over i just menu back to WatchAid where it ask me to indicated I have watched the episode where I normally Yes and then it disappears from my WatchList. You might think this is similar to the TV App but only a bit. It is so much better. But it is only for TV Shows and not Movies which I mainly use PLEX for.

    And for me it is not about saving money. It is for a better experience. You have to understand I hate commercials. Even those I have to FF thru.

    Granted I am not that much into surround sound and my other sound enhancements for TV Shows. And that is mainly what I watch. I like it a bit for Movies but again it is not a high priority for me. But picture quality I am pretty happy with streaming video. I do have FIOS 150/150 so maybe that helps.
     
  9. CarlJ macrumors 68020

    CarlJ

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Location:
    San Diego, CA, USA
    #9
    +1 for WatchAid - it does for me what I was hoping for from Apple's "TV" app (which seems overly concerned with having you watch things in a particular way): it alerts me to new episodes of the shows I'm following, and it's a convenient one-stop place to check to see how long until the next episode of a show will be released.
     

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