If you are moving from cable to streaming, and you want your streaming experience to be as seamless as your cable experience, then the TiVo Stream 4K might appeal.
The major selling point of the TiVo Stream 4K, aside from its very affordable price tag, is the TiVo app, which integrates content from all your streaming apps into a single interface, which lets you browse available live TV, search titles across all your streaming services, and even provides smart recommendations.
But there is no denying this is not one of the most powerful boxes on the market. So if you want your content handed to you, like with your cable service, you’ll be impressed. But if you want to do anything more with your box, you will probably want something with a bit more under the hood.
Read our full review to decide whether the TiVo Stream 4K might be the right Android TV streaming device for you.
Overall, we award the Tivo Stream 4K 3 out of 5 stars.
It earns points because it is a very affordable 4K TV streaming box, currently available for less than $30. We also like the TiVo app, which allows you to access all of your content (OK, most of your content) through one interface, rather than having to switch between the various apps to find what you are looking for.
This box also stands out for its great voice remote and integrated Google Assistant smart home integration. This is a rare feature for such an affordable device.
But it loses points because it is a relatively lightweight device, so if you want to do anything additional, like download Kodi, you probably won’t have enough space and power to get it working properly.
Also, while this device is powerful enough to stream in 4K, and while some of the streaming devices produced by TiVo allow you to unblock Netflix in full 4K, with this particular device you will be limited to HD. So, anyone with a premium Netflix subscription won’t be pleased.
|Processor||Amlogic S905Y2 Core|
|Memory||2GB of RAM & 8GB of ROM|
The TiVo Stream 4K is a dongle device that looks quite a bit like the Chromecast. Simple to use, it is a matter of connecting to power and connecting to your TV via HDMI and then following the simple instructions to get started.
There are no extra slots in the device to add USB data or TF cards, so you are pretty much stuck with the device as it comes, with few options to customize. The exception is that it does have an ethernet port if you prefer to connect that way, but its dual Wi-Fi does a good job of providing a stable connection.
So, while the device has a decent Amlogic chipset, it has only 2GB of RAM and 8GB of ROM. This is more than enough for doing the streaming that the TiVO is designed for. But if you wanted to customize your device with personal skins, or download more complex streaming apps such as Kodi, you will probably be disappointed with the performance.
But, these are not the people the TiVo Stream 4K has been designed for. It is designed for those who are moving to streaming but want to retain the convenience of the cable experience.
The device runs on the Android operating system, so you can do everything you would with any Android device, downloading your favorite apps from the Google Play Store and getting them running quickly and easily.
But not everyone likes having to switch between apps to find the content they want, swapping between premium streaming services and live TV applications. This device aims to do away with that with its own TiVo app.
The TiVo App pulls in content from compatible apps to create a single interface. You can search under titles, actors, and more, and you get results from all your apps. If you want to browse, you can also browse by service and look at individual apps or genres, so you can look across all your content.
The app also pulls in content from compatible live TV applications and creates a live TV guide you can browse, just like on your cable box. It works well with Sling TV and Pluto but is less effective with services such as Hulu Live TV and Fubo TV.
On top of this, there is also an easy and intuitive method to cast content directly from your smartphone to the TiVo Stream, functioning a lot like the Chromecast.
It also comes with a pretty good remote with fast access buttons for all the apps you are likely to use most often. The remote also delivers pretty good voice control using Google Assistant, and you can integrate the box with your Google smart home setup if you have one.
The box is capable of delivering content in 4K at 60 frames per second and also includes Soldy Digital/Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos, and DTS.
But, just because the box is capable of delivering 4K doesn’t mean you will always get it. While some TiVi devices are authorized to unblock Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in full 4K, the Stream 4K isn’t one of them. Even if you have a premium 4K Netflix subscription, the device means you will be restricted to watching in HD.
This is an authorization issue rather than a tech issue. You can read more about why so few 4K devices can actually deliver Netflix in full 4K here. But regardless of the source of the issue, this will still be a deal-breaker for some streamers.
That is a lot of information to absorb. So, what are the main pros and cons to consider when deciding whether the TiVo Stream 4K is the right Android TV box for you?
You can now buy the TiVo Stream 4K on Amazon for less than $30. This is a very affordable price tag for a 4K TV box, especially one that comes with voice control and smart home integrations.
But what are you comparing it to?
The most comparable devices are probably the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and the Dynalink device that runs the Google operating system. These devices are similarly lightweight options in terms of tech and are a little more expensive at around $50. But, both of these devices unblock Netflix in full 4K, while the Tivo device doesn’t. You get the same voice control and smart home integrations.
If you are looking for a more powerful Android box that you can personalize to run applications such as Kodi, one of the main competitors is the Sunnzo X96Air, which we also reviewed recently. Again, it is available for around $50 but is a lot more powerful and has options to personalize and expand as desired.
So, the TiVo device is certainly the cheapest option, but you don’t have to pay a lot more to get some of the features that the TiVo is lacking.
Is there a monthly fee for the TiVo Stream 4K?
There is no monthly fee for the TiVo Stream 4K device; it is a one-off hardware purchase. However, you do need to subscribe separately to the various streaming apps that provide content to the device, such as Netflix and Sling TV.
What apps are on the TiVo 4K Stream?
The TiVo 4K stream runs on the Android operating system, and you can download any of the apps in the Google Play Store.
Can you record with the TiVo 4K stream?
The TiVo 4K stream device and app do not offer any independent recording services. But the services that you subscribe to in order to access live TV, such as Sling TV, usually include DVR options that you can use via the device.
Please help. I think I got duped again. Not sure. trying to connect tivo stream 4k to my phone (use as hotspot – while in RV), but as always I keep forgeting the fine print. I know amazon fire stick allows you to do this but doesnt allow download of google apps. Not sure Tivo stream 4k does allows connection to your 4 or 5 g phone? Any thoughts if this will work like this with tivo or do you know of another product that allows me to download apps from google play and stream from my phones hotspot (other than an andoid tablet with hdmi connection to tv)?