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    TiVo Stream 4K review: A reboot for streaming (and for TiVo)

    In extra methods than one, the TiVo Stream 4K is an try and let the previous die.

    The $70 TV dongle (on sale for $50 by means of May 27) has little connection to TiVo’s storied DVR historical past. Instead of recording films and TV reveals, it streams them from on-line companies reminiscent of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.

    But the TiVo Stream 4K can also be a break from how most different streaming gadgets work. Rather than serving up an enormous checklist of apps to launch, TiVo funnels programming from a number of common apps into one huge TV information, so that you don’t need to bounce aimlessly between sources.

    This is type of rethinking has been long overdue in the streaming world, and it’ll change into solely extra vital as new streaming companies proliferate. Still, it’s too early to declare TiVo’s huge pivot a hit. Unless it expands past the handful of companies it helps now, TiVo’s streaming enterprise will succeed extra as a proof of idea than as a killer client product.

    This evaluation is a part of TechHive’s protection of the best media streaming devices, the place you’ll discover opinions of competing merchandise, plus a purchaser’s information to the options it is best to contemplate when buying.

    Jared Newman / IDG

    A unified streaming information is the TiVo Stream 4K’s major draw.

    Downsizing from DVRs

    Compared to TiVo’s DVRs, the Stream 4K appears to be like like an cute miniature. The dongle itself has the identical staggered edges as final yr’s TiVo Edge DVR, however is sufficiently small to hold away from the TV by means of its built-in HDMI cable.

    The TiVo Stream 4K distant is equally cute, retaining the identical peanut form as TiVo’s DVR remotes, however with barely much less button bloat. It has TV controls for energy, quantity, mute, and enter switching, together with Guide and Info buttons for TiVo’s dwell TV menus. There are channel quantity buttons and a “skip” button as properly, however I haven’t discovered a lot use for these. Unfortunately, TiVo’s downsizing left off devoted play/pause/rewind/quick ahead keys, which might have been useful.

    tivostream4kremote Jared Newman / IDG

    The TiVo Stream 4K distant has a number of buttons, however not all of them are helpful.

    I’ve additionally run into an issue with my evaluation unit: After a few days, the TiVo distant’s quantity keys stopped working with my TV. Strangely, the distant nonetheless controls my TV’s energy and switches inputs, which suggests the core infrared blaster remains to be working. As of this writing, TiVo has not addressed the difficulty.

    The system runs on Google’s Android TV platform, and inside there’s a quad-core Amlogic S905Y2 processor, 2GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and Wi-Fi 5 connectivity. These are typical tech specs for a low-price Android TV streamer, and I didn’t run into any points scrolling by means of menus or transferring out and in of apps.

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