TiVo Bolt OTA review: Not quite a set-top box, not quite a full TiVo experience

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Despite the plethora of services and devices dedicated to satisfying your binge-watching need, veteran company TiVo hasn’t been completely pushed out yet. The company has made an effort to modernize over the past few years, elevating its DVR boxes with features like voice commands and access to third-party streaming apps.

Now, TiVo is going after a specific group of cord-cutters—those who haven’t made the commitment yet but want to put their toes in the cable-free water. The company’s new $249 TiVo Bolt OTA box axes the cable card slot so it can only receive antenna-based channels. The company believes some users who haven’t gone full cord-cutter yet may be willing to take the plunge if some channels remain available to them at first.

The Bolt OTA lets users connect an antenna as well as stream content from services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. As someone who still pays for cable but would love to leave that life behind some day, I was intrigued by the Bolt OTA. I spent about two weeks testing the device, and, while it has a number of features I never had access to on other set-top boxes, I’m not convinced that it’s the best option for most wannabe cord-cutters.

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