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.
- Amlogic S905Y2 Core
- Android Operating System
- 2GB of RAM
- 8GB of ROM
- 2.4/5Ghz WiFi
- 4.2 Bluetooth
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?
- Highly affordable – Currently available for less than $30.
- Integrated browsing – The TiVo app is a great way to search or browse all of your content in one place without having to constantly switch between a variety of different applications.
- Voice remote and smart home integrations – Google Assistant comes built-in, which is a very rare feature for such an affordable device.
- Easy to use – It will only take you a few minutes to get up and running, and there is no learning curve.
- Relatively low spec – The box is relatively low spec. It has enough under the hood to do the streaming it has been designed for, but if you want to do anything additional, such as use Kodi, you might find the device too limited.
- No expansion options – There are no USB ports or SD card drives that allow you to expand or personalize the device.
- Doesn’t unlock Netflix in 4K – Despite being capable of streaming Netflix in 4K, this TiVo device is not on the authorized list, so you are limited to HD.
- Doesn’t work equally well with all apps – While the TiVo app is great, it doesn’t work equally well with all streaming apps. Some of your favorite apps might not be pulled in by the service,
Where To Buy
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.
The TivoS Stream 4K has entered the market as one of the most affordable 4K TV streaming devices currently available. For less than $30 you get 4K streaming with Dolby Atmos sound, plus voice command and smart home integrations.
The device also comes with the TiVo app, which pulls in content from across your subscription services and lets you access everything within one simple interface. This makes searching, browsing, and watching movies, series, and live TV as easy as it was on your cable box.
But if you want to break the mold and do anything with this device other than what it was designed for, you will probably find that it is not powerful or flexible enough to support things such as Kodi. Also, the device is not authorized to access Netflix in 4K, so you’ll be watching in HD.
But considering the low price, the TiVo Stream 4K is a pretty good deal right now.
Have you used the TiVo 4K stream? What do you think of it, and especially the Tivo App? Share your insights with the community in the comments section below.