TiVo Bolt+ or DVR?
One Box Does It
Over the past several years, TiVo has made a concerted effort to develop a product that can serve as the single box beneath their television, and the result is the Bolt+.
The Bolt provides built-in streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Video, along with a host of others, including Hulu, Spotify, and YouTube. This is an area where cable company DVRs tend to be lacking: in a 2015 CNET comparison between the TiVo Bolt+ and cable-provided DVRs, only one provider supported Netflix, and none of them provided Spotify or Amazon Video, two enormously popular streaming services.
The Bolt+ also offers exceptional support for recording simultaneous shows. Conventional DVRs can typically record three to five shows at a time, and pack somewhere between 75 to 200 hours of HD recording capacity. The Bolt+ can record up to six shows simultaneously, with 450 hours' worth of HD storage available on its 3 terabyte hard drive.
As an increasing number of streaming services offer content in 4k HD, perceptive customers will be looking for a DVR that can accommodate these high definition streams. Some cable companies are beginning to support 4k content on their DVRs, but the TiVo Bolt's combination of 4k support and robust streaming app offerings make it an excellent choice for viewers that prize image clarity.
The Expense Myth
One of the perennial objections to TiVo is its subscription fee. Many customers opt for a cable-provided DVR because it appears to come at no additional cost. The idea of adding another monthly fee, even for an expansion of capability and features, is unappealing to many people.
However, closer inspection of a cable auto-pay bill will reveal that the DVR is hardly free. There's generally an initial purchase price as well as a monthly service or leasing fee, as well as additional charges if you want to play content on multiple devices. These charges are simply appended to a monthly bill, however, and so customers often never see the charges. TiVo's monthly charges are not significantly higher than these baked-in fees from cable companies.
Investment in TiVo Bolt+ also frees customers from a commitment to a particular cable company. If TiVo Bolt+ users switch providers, move, or opt to cut cable all together, they still own the TiVo, with its recorded shows and streaming capabilities, and can take the box with them into their next entertainment set up.