A TV Box works to connect our television with an external source signal. It works to compress the digital signal into a TV content and able to enjoy through a display form on the TV screen. Surely this technology brings a happy face for many entertainment lovers. This article will compare between Amazon Fire TV Recast 1TB (4 tuner) model and TiVo Bolt OTA for Antenna.
Both allow you to record up to 4 programs at once and both provide 150 hours of storage. Both can stream live TV and recordings at home and on the road. With the exception of those similarities Amazon’s and Tivo’s approaches are very different which will become apparent as you read on. In some cases it might be difficult to compare since they are so different but at the end of the day they are OTA DVRs so I’ll do my best.
Tivo is the pioneer in this field and their offering is very mature with all basic DVR functionality is there. Complete Tivo experience quite simply has not been matched yet by any other OTA DVR offerings. Their SkipMode which skips commercials is a great service that simplifies the process. OnePass records all broadcasts of specific shows and sporting events airing on the specific channel or any channel.
|Amazon Fire TV Recast||Tivo Bolt|
|Product Dimensions||12.5 x 9.9 x 3.9 inches||7.3 x 11.4 x 1.8 inches|
|Shipping Weight||8.13 pounds||1.9 pounds|
|Best offer||Check price||Check price|
Amazon is planning to match all those features but we don’t know if all of them will be available at launch. Voice control through Alexa is obviously available on all Amazon devices.
Amazon Fire TV Recast is a networked DVR (headless device) that makes free over-the-air (OTA) HD channels and recording available over the network. There is no HDMI port to plug into your TV so it requires another device to view both live TV and recorded content. Received TV signal is then recorded to local storage or live feed is broadcast locally over your wired or wireless network to both TV and mobile devices.
TiVo Bolt OTA takes a different approach here. Their device is both a DVR and a player, so it has to sit right next to the TV since it has to be attached to it. You only need one device if you only have one TV but you are also in some ways limited when you need to send recordings and live TV other screens.
If you only need one screen and have no plans to expand to other TVs then Tivo is a simpler solution. If you already have the working antenna plugged into a TV all you need is plug it into the Tivo and connect it to the TV via provided HDMI cable. Cost would be $249.99 and $6.99 per month after that. There is also an option to purchase lifetime subscription for $249.99 which we should probably rethinking since Recast comes with subscription for free.
In this single screen scenario Amazon Fire TV Recast would be deployed closest to the TV signal (either coax or new antenna) and one of the Fire TV devices would be plugged into the TV to play the recordings and live TV. Least expensive route would be 4 tuner Fire TV Recast model which costs $279.99 and Fire TV Stick 4K which is $49.99 (there is a cheaper Firestick but we are trying to match Tivo’s 4K player claims) for the total price of $329.98.
Tivo Bolt OTA with Lifetime subscription would be $499.98 vs Recast which would cost $329.99. You can opt for monthly $6.99 subscription with Tivo but after 1st year cost is equal and from that point on Recast is more cost efficient.
Tivo ecosystem requires Tivo Mini VOX to be deployed to every TV. Each of those devices costs $179.99 but at least they no longer require additional subscription like they used to. Another serious limitation is that those boxes are not wireless so either Ethernet or MOCA will be required to connect back to the Bolt OTA. Huge oversight in my opinion. If those are not available where you have the TV you will need to pull the cable or install the WiFI to Ethernet bridge. This might not be a complicated task for some but Tivo should be easy and this could be complex and costly.
On the Fire TV Recast side all you need to add is another Fire TV Stick 4K for $49.99. That’s it, you’re done.
While the case could be made for Tivo in the single screen scenario once you need two or more screens Amazon becomes a clear winner from both financial and technical perspective.
WINNER: Amazon Fire TV Recast
Fire TV Stick 4K supports all three major HDR standards (Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HDR10+) as well as Dolby Atmos. Most video
Not much is known about what Tivo Bolt supports except for the 4K claim. After scoured their spec sheets and forums and couldn’t find the definitive answer but we think that if specific standard was supported it would be listed on their spec sheet. Read also: Tivo Bolt Vox vs Edge.
Amazon Fire TV Recast Vs Tivo Bolt
It is really hard to recommend Tivo Bolt OTA over the Amazon Fire TV Recast. Yes, it is a mature product and Recast might not be all that great when it comes out but if it delivers on its promises it is a very clear winner in this contest. Only place where it is lacking is the simultaneous streams limit of 2 which could affect some but other than that it is a clear winner in all categories.
Another think to consider is that Tivo has been trying to get out out of the hardware market and going all in on licensing only. They already signed yet to be named partner to take over hardware manufacturing and retail side. This could affect the future all current and future Tivo DVR owners.