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Cut The Cord

TiVo All The Way

This article is intended to provide a guide to setting up a home TV environment with combined OTA (over-the-air) or 'trimmed' cable subscription and on-line streaming services. The hart of the setup is a TiVo DVR with additional devices in each room.

• A home network. For best streaming quality a hard-wired network is recommended. This can consist of a co-ax network or an ethernet network. The ethernet network is most versatile because other devices, such as gaming devices or printers can be connected. However a co-ax 'network' can be used if it exists from a previous multi-room cable TV installation.

• An Internet service provider. Technically the ISP does not matter, at&t, Comcast, etc. all work as long as the download speed is fast enough to allow video streaming. Also pay attention to your data usage as to not exceed the data caps the ISP imposes, a 1TB data cap my be sufficient.

• Traditional cable subscription or TV antenna. Get receive basic local TV channels you'l ether need an antenna available from electronics stores or on-line. A simple leave antenna will work. Alternatively a normal cable subscription when reception is inadequate (at&t U-verse, DirectTV, Dish or other fiber-based TV service does not work with TiVo).

Buy your own hardware
Skip the rental fees. The ISP will happily charge ever-increasing fees while keeping the monthly subscription the same. However, some ISPs require their special hardware (e.g. at&t U-verse or fiber installations).

Choose The DVR
TiVo* makes a variety of DVRs and multi-room devices. Their offerings include OTA or multi-stream CableCARD, or combination of both:

  • TiVo BOLT
  • TiVo BOLT+
  • TiVo Roamio and Roamio Plus or Pro,
  • TiVo Premiere 4 and XL4/Elite,
  • TiVo Roamio OTA

TiVo currently offers the BOLT VOX for cable and antenna or the Roamio OTA VOX. Study the specs carefully before making a selection. Selecting the OTA devices requires an antenna and good reception. Selecting the digital cable option requires a CableCARD from a cable TV provider (at&t U-verse and IPTV-type services will not work).

Multi-Room Installation

Tiro's multi-room device include

The Minis allow live TV to be streamed to each device. For cable service, this means that only one cable drop is necessary in your home and the only CableCARD is installed in the DVR. The antenna signal is also streamed/available on each Mini. Of course all the popular streaming services are available on the main DVR as well as the Minis.

* This is not a TiVo payed-for or sponsored article.