Hot on the heels of Roamio’s out-of-home streaming release, TiVo and Sling have begun trading blows online. And, once again, TiVo is positioning their DVR as the One Box. However, unlike the Premiere platform, they have a much more compelling argument this time around… featuring that aforementioned streaming and a usable Netflix client. However, without the Opera TV app store, they still fall ridiculously short of Roku’s vast library of channels and TiVo’s limited DIAL support is no match Apple’s infinitely capable Airplay.
In the other corner, Sling lays out a streaming comparison that is mostly correct. TiVo Roamio is currently limited to iOS and WiFi, whereas a Slingbox is largely agnostic when it comes to connection and platform. Sling claims Roamio is incapable of automatic quality adjustment, which we now know to be inaccurate (out of the home, at least). However, a Slingbox provides a broader bitrate range for potentially higher quality remote streaming and continued viewing under lower bandwidth conditions. Slingboxes are also unencumbered by CCI Byte copy protection flags – meaning TWC customers and HBO subscribers can actually benefit from the placeshifting functionality. On the flip side, and left unsaid, TiVo’s streaming is baked directly into Roamio Pro & Plus set-tops for an experience more akin to Sling’s integration into DISH Hopper – with control being much more intuitive and efficient. Further, TiVo offers up the ability to download shows for consistent picture quality and offline viewing.