Fetch vs Tivo: the winner is?

Riley Riley

For those wondering how the new Fetch is working out.

A few weeks ago we traded in our Tivo on the Fetch Mighty, thanks to a $100 incentive.

We had no choice really because they were getting ready to turn off the Tivo service from October 31, after 10 years of faithful service in our loungeroom.

It’s a shame because the Tivo digital video recorder is probably the best bit of tech we’ve ever purchased, certainly the easiest to operate.

So, after signing up to take the deal (some might call it hush money) which involved surrendering any further claims to the “lifetime” Tivo service, I prepared to wait for my new purchase to arrive.

The goss’ was that it could take up to several weeks for stock to come in.

Imagine my surprise when I received an email from Harvey Norman the following morning to say it was ready to pick up.

It was several days before I could actually get there, but before proceeding I should mention the deal also stipulated that I surrender my precious Tivo.

tivo 450
Exhibit A . . . the Tivo.

Why, I hear you ask?

Why indeed? It seems like a lot of trouble to go to, just so they could de-register the thing and “E-cycle” it.

Some people had apparently managed to avoid handing over their Tivo, but the sales guy I got was punctilious to a point – no Tivo, no Fetch.

Reluctantly I returned that afternoon to hand over my machine, minus the 1Tb hard drive that I’d nervously installed the day I got it.

I’d only thrown out the box a few weeks before in a cleanup.

Exhibit B . . . the Fetch Mighty.

It was pristine.

Priced from $399 ($299 with the Tivo swap out offer) the Fetch Mighty is a multifaceted device that can record both free to air and pay TV, with all the catch up TV apps, as well as supporting streaming services such as Stan, Netflix and YouTube.

You can also pay to watch movies, replacing the need to hire DVDs – does anyone do that anymore?

It has a 1Tb hard drive and supports the latest 4K resolution, 5.1 surround sound and can record up to 580 hours of standard definition television – up to six of channels at a time.

The Mighty is much smaller than the Tivo but like the Tivo is easy to set up and operate.

To plug it in we simply hooked it up to the existing cables from the Tivo, although it uses a 12 volt power pack instead of drawing current directly from a power point.

You also need to connect it to the Net via cable or AC wireless connection, but if you happen to be with the right ISP the data you use costs nothing.

The Mighty and its smaller sibling the Mini also support the latest H265 HEVC codec, that lets you stream Netflix at 4K with a 15.3 Mbps connection.

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The Mighty’s on-screen TV guide.

Registration costs a dollar and requires a credit card, with the option of four Pay TV packs priced from $6 a month or $20 for the lot.

If you just want to watch the odd movie, another $1 a month gets 30 recent movies to chose from, with a new one added each day – not a bad investment.

The Mighty can pause, rewind or fast forward live TV for up to three hours at a time, provided you remain on the one channel.

The box has four tuners – three for recording and the other for watching – letting you record up to six channels while you watch a seventh.

But to record two channels at a time with the one tuner, they have to be  part of the same channel family – for example Nine and Nine Life.

And, just like our Tivo, it has season passes – so you can track and record TV series (and it knows if the times change).

So far so good.

We’re not missing the constant requests from the Tivo to change channel, but the Mighty’s graphics are smaller, more complex and harder to read.

Like the Tivo you can pad out recording times so you don’t miss the start or finish of shows and so far it seems to have missed only one episode of a show.

Once, when we were watching Netflix, a message about problems with the internet connection popped up and the picture started to freeze – not sure whether to blame it or us?

And, if I want to part with another $169 for the Fetch Mini, I can stream recordings to another room – about the size of a CD it does everything the Mighty does except record.

You can also download an app and watch stuff on your phone or tablet.

There’s lots of options.

The only thing the Mighty can’t do is access our Plex media server (an app would be nice guys), but then neither could the Tivo – that job falls to our Telstra TV.

The Telstra TV is also better and quicker at serving Netflix too.

Don’t you love technology?

We’ve read the stories about the Fetch playing up for some people, so we’re not quite ready to call it yet – but the Mighty is a worthy replacement for the Tivo and certainly offers more options.


You can buy an add on pack for as little as $6 a month.

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