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Friday
Oct142016

Podcast #761: Tivo Mantis... Cord Cutter's Dream Box?

We have read countless emails from listeners who have cut the cord over the years and many of them have turned to Tivo to become the center of that process. With an antenna and a Tivo box you can cut your TV subscription services to almost nothing. Tivo boxes support Hulu, Netflix, Youtube, Plex, and Amazon Prime so you really don’t have to give up everything. Yes there are cable channels that you may miss, but many of those have an app where you can watch some of the programming for free. Worst case you may need to buy a few season passes of a couple of TV shows that are not available through an app. Regardless, you should be able to watch everything you want and dramatically cut your yearly bill.

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Tivo Mantis...Cord Cutter's Dream box?

We have read countless emails from listeners who have cut the cord over the years and many of them have turned to Tivo to become the center of that process. With an antenna and a Tivo box you can cut your TV subscription services to almost nothing. Tivo boxes support Hulu, Netflix, Youtube, Plex, and Amazon Prime so you really don’t have to give up everything. Yes there are cable channels that you may miss, but many of those have an app where you can watch some of the programming for free. Worst case you may need to buy a few season passes of a couple of TV shows that are not available through an app. Regardless, you should be able to watch everything you want and dramatically cut your yearly bill.  

Tivo even has options for those who want to connect multiple TVs through a network connection. The $150 Tivo Mini will connect a bedroom TV to the main Tivo Unit bringing the full Tivo experience to any room in the house without any additional fee. A typical multi room setup can run about $750 including a year of the TV service. Compare that to $1,200 ($50/month 24 month min required) for a basic level of  DirecTV service. For some this is still a bit steep because you have to come up with the money up front.

Well we have heard that Tivo is working on a new box called the Mantis. It is a headless network DVR box that may change everything for the cord cutter. It's a box that isn’t much bigger than than Roku or AppleTV that connects to an antenna and then transcodes the signal for viewing by other devices. It's not clear if it will come equipped with a hard drive or will require an external drive for storage.

Tivo will also include an app for viewing what’s on the Mantis for AppleTVs, Rokus, and the FireTV as well as the apps for tablets and smartphones. That means that you can now bury the Mantis in any room that has a network (or within range of Wifi) and antenna connection. With minimal details at this time we can only speculate on the feature set. Our wish list would include:

  • Online viewing of live and recorded content - This is kind of like a personalized Aereo service and slingbox all rolled into one.
  • Offline viewing of recorded content -  It would be nice to be able to catch up on all the TV that is piling up on your DVR without needing an Internet connection.
  • Cloud Support - No need to open up ports on your router. This makes setup and use much easier.
  • Content Archiving - It would also be nice if the content on your local drive could be archived to iCloud, Amazon, or Google Drives

Tivo has not confirmed or denied that the Mantis actually exists. The information has been gleaned from an FCC filing. Look for the Mantis to be announced at CES in January. Or you can pick up a Tablo (Buy Now $199) right now. It doesn’t have all the features we discussed but it will give you access to your DVR from anywhere you have a network connection.


 

 

 

 

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