Spotlight on the Tivo Roamio Over-The-Air Tuner DVR Combo

TIVO Roamio OTA 1TB DVR. Image courtesy of

Many TV viewers have joined the trend of cutting the cable/satellite cord by taking advantage of alternatives, such as internet streaming services and receiving local over-the-air TV signals.

There are several product options available to assist in cord cutting, including the Channel Master (DVR+) and Nuvyyo (Tablo), both of which offer alternatives to cable and satellite. However, Tivo, which has an extensive foundation in DVR technology, also offers its own "affordable" solution for those wishing to cut that expensive cable/satellite cord with its Roamio OTA (OTA stands for Over-the-Air) platform.

In an effort to make the Roamio OTA more attractive, Tivo has made some updates to the original Roamio OTA (such as doubling its built-in storage capacity) and renamed the product: The Roamio OTA 1TB.

What The Tivo Roamio OTA Offers

The first thing to note is that the Tivo Roamio OTA features over-the-air TV reception (it is not compatible with cable or satellite) with four built-in tuners. This allows users to simultaneously record TV programs on four different channels at the same time or record three channels and watch one channel live. You can also record 4 channels and while watching a recording at the same time.

To save all those recorded programs, 1 terabyte of built-in hard drive storage is included. That is enough to record 150 hours of HD content, up to 1080i. However, it does allow viewing of streaming content up to 1080p (no 4K yet). NOTE: If 1TB isn't enough storage you, you can also add a compatible external hard drive.

Connections provided include an RF Coaxial input for connecting an indoor or output TV antenna, a USB input, HDMI, Composite A/V (via 3.5mm adapter), and Digital Optical Audio (outputs).

The Roamio OTA is compatible with the Tivo Mini, which can send recorded content to additional TVs around the house.

In addition to over-the-air reception, the Tivo Roamio OTA 1TB also connects to your home network via Ethernet or WiFi, for both content distribution, as well as access to select internet streaming services (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, iHeart Radio, and more to come...

The Roamio OTA provides flexible operational and content navigation interface for both over-the-air and access streaming content, including:

  • SkipMode: This feature allows users to skip commercials on recorded content.
  • QuickMode: For those that don't have a lot of time to wastes, the Quick Mode provides 30% faster-than-normal playback with pitch correction. This means you can view a recorded program fast, but still understand the dialog at normal pitch, rather than that annoying "chipmunk" tone.
  • OnePass: Allows creation of a consolidated watch list for both over-the-air and streaming content).
  • OneSearch: The Roamio OTA provides an integrated search menu that includes both local and internet streaming channels. that way you don't have to toggle back-and-forth between your local station selections and internet streaming channels to find out what you want to watch.
  • Casting: This feature enables users to send video content from compatible mobile devices directly to the Tivo Roamio OTA 1TB without using an added dongle - such as Chromecast.

Free smartphone/tablet apps provide additional remote content management capabilities (scheduling recordings, add/remove recordings) added convenience.

Size, Weight, and Price

Product Dimensions (HWD): 2 x 14.2 x 7.4-inches

Product Weight: 3.7 pounds

The Tivo Roamio OTA carries an initial suggested price of $399.99, with no additional product subscription cost (Buy From Amazon).

Additional Items That You Might Need

The Tivo Roamio OTA is a tempting solution for cord cutters, but there are additional costs to keep in mind. For example, add-ons require a separate purchase.

  • The Tivo Mini allows you to stream content from the TIVO Roamio OTA, through your home network, additional TVs around the house. However, you need a mini for each TV (Buy From Amazon).
  • Although there are no additional subscription fees required to use the TIVO Roamio OTA 1TB, online services such as Netflix, HuluPlus, Vudu, may require their own subscription or pay-per-view fees. It is also important to note that the Roamio's recording capabilities only apply to over-the-air TV programming, streaming services cannot be recorded.
  • It is important to note that an indoor or outdoor antenna is required to receive over-the-air TV programs. Any antenna will work, depending on your proximity to local TV transmitters.