Note: All my costs quoted below for products or services include sales tax unless otherwise indicated.
I feel TiVo hurt themselves by being so greedy for so many years asking $16mo (with 1 yr agreement) and an astronomical $648/lifetime for guide data, etc. Had they not been so greedy, I feel they would have been a bigger part of the early cord cutting revolution. Not until recently (just prior to Rovi buy out) have they tried to play catch up with the Roamio OTA for $399+tax which includes their lifetime subscription, which in reality is for the lifetime of the box you purchase, not YOUR lifetime which is the big difference between Tablo and TiVo. However, it helps make TiVo a viable alternative to Tablo so the decision between the two now comes down to a matter of personal needs and preferences. I have used both and I chose TiVo and I've taken a bit of abuse here in the Tablo forums for sharing that decision. Here is my personal cord cutting journey to help you better understand how I got there.
Way back in January of 2013, I bought two 3rd gen TiVo boxes (500GB Premiere/2 tuner) + two 1TB media drives + one TiVo Stream for $574 to avoid having to rent Time Warner Cable equipment. The addition of the media drives gave me a total of 3TB. The TiVo Stream gave me TiVo on my iOS devices in & away from home. With the $30/mo in TiVo fees ($16+$14 with 1 yr agreement) and the $11/mo for TWC's cable cards, I don't think I saved that much but I just had to try TiVo. I liked TiVo over the TWC box except for the ever present Charmin ad and having to use TWC's tuning adapters (for signal decompression), MORE boxes under the TV. Had I known all this, I may have just rented TWC boxes.
In April of 2015, I decided to cut the cord. I compared the current offerings and chose Tablo. I liked the $150/yr lifetime guide (MY lifetime). I paid $770 for a 4-tuner Tablo + lifetime sub + a 1TB drive + two Roku 3's + a 35-mile antenna. I boxed up my TiVo equipment, returned TWC cards & tuning adapters, and told TiVo that I was tired of paying $30/mo. and still having to endure their relentless Charmin ad.
I enjoyed using Tablo for a few months, 4 tuners was nice (no recording conflicts), the iOS app was really nice but the Roku app crashed almost every time I tried to fast forward a recording. Then as my 1TB drive got to 70%, I realized that I really missed the TiVo feature of keeping only the latest X number of episodes of shows. I didn't want to keep every game show, talk show, news broadcast, etc. I began my weekly ritual of deleting (one at a time) all the extra episodes that I would never watch. Also, I wasn't happy about having to go back to the Tablo guide for every channel change and then having to wait 3 seconds while the new channel loaded. About the time I got tired of the Roku crashes, deleting episodes, and slow channel surfing, I realized I could plug an antenna into my old TiVo Premieres. So I hooked them up, called TiVo and was pleased to be offered lifetime subscriptions for $106 per box (as a longtime customer - 23 months) so I went for it. I was also pleased to see the ads gone. Also changing channels on TiVo is much faster. For me, the only downside to TiVo is that when the equipment dies or becomes obsolete, so does my lifetime subscription. But I figure I'll have it long enough to absorb that cost. Either way, I felt that I found a set up that works for me, at least until another technology entices me with improvements (Tablo?).
In the last couple months, PlayStation Vue finally went national and I jumped at their offering of 55 on demand cable channels for $30/mo on my PS3 system. It's the perfect companion to recording the local broadcasts on my TiVo. I can watch anything I want at anytime.
I am selling one of the TiVo boxes (plus a 1TB media drive) for $350-$400. I bought two Amazon Fire TV's for about $180. I went with AF TV because they have apps for TiVo, PS Vue, (and also Tablo, should I ever go back there in the future). The new AF TV 4K has a faster CPU and is very snappy - no slow loading of menus, channels or anything.
So at present I have TiVo (local broadcast recordings) and PS Vue on all 3 of my TVs (up from 2). The devices on each TV are: (1) PS3 + TiVo Premiere (2&3) Amazon Fire TVs. Also I have TiVo and PS Vue on my iOS devices (TiVo Stream still needed to get TiVo on phone & tablet). So for $30/mo, I have everything I had with cable TV for 3-4 times that cost. I am happy with the performance of my equipment: Not one crash since I began. I must add that I recently got Google Fiber so I have a 1Gb/s (1,000Mb/s) data speed which is saweeeeet!