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3 TVs: 1 4-tuner + 2 Minis? or 3 2-tuner TiVo's?

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by dmk1974, Mar 15, 2013.

3 TVs: 1 4-tuner + 2 Minis? or 3 2-tuner TiVo's?

  1. Keep the 3 TiVo's as-is

    22 vote(s)
    62.9%
  2. Upgrade to a single TiVo XL4 + 2 TiVo Minis

    13 vote(s)
    37.1%
  1. dmk1974

    dmk1974 DA BEARS!!!

    549
    0
    Mar 7, 2002
    Cary, IL
    I am intrigued by this TiVo Mini device and it's ability to allow sharing of a single box throughout the home.

    I currently have 3 HDTV's, each with a TiVo Premiere box, each with Product Lifetime Service. One of the boxes I upgraded myself and installed a 2 TB hard drive. 2 are wired with ethernet, 1 is using a TiVo wireless-N USB adapter. I think i should be able to net about $1200-$1300 for the trio if I sell them on ebay.

    Looking at the investment and capabilities, I am considering buying a 4-tuner TiVo Premiere XL4 plus 2 TiVo Mini boxes. Via the TiVo site, this would cost me just over $1300.

    Being pretty close to a wash, is it worth making this change to a single shared TiVo across all 3 TVs? Or just pass on it and wait another couple years for whatever is next? Too bad the Mini does not work with the TiVo's that I already own :( Thanks!
     
  2. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    5,740
    26
    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    At this point the only thing you would gain from the switch is 2 less cable cards and going to one do to list. You loose storage and tuners plus some other functions. I would wait until fall to see if TiVo gets their new 6 tuner box out and gets the Mini software updated & make the switch then.
     
  3. dmk1974

    dmk1974 DA BEARS!!!

    549
    0
    Mar 7, 2002
    Cary, IL
    Good observation regarding the cable cards and additional digital outlet charges. Would save me just over $5 per month. Not a ton, but always adds up.
     
  4. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    19,194
    27
    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    I would say keep the Premieres and when a six tuner TiVo comes out, then get that and the Minis. Of course if you save alot in cable card fees than using the XL4 and Minis now might be better. I guess it really depends on how much you watch TV at each location.
     
  5. dmk1974

    dmk1974 DA BEARS!!!

    549
    0
    Mar 7, 2002
    Cary, IL
    I also have a small 4th TV in the kitchen (22" HDTV) that is currently only connected to a cheap Comcast digital adapter box (so the feed is stretched low-def on it). Getting then a 3rd Mini to mount behind it would be nice, but then again, it would be another $250 (with lifetime) for that 4th TV. Nice to have, but not as important as the other 3.
     
  6. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

    3,960
    0
    Oct 14, 2004
    Philadelphia...
    My vote: Sell one 2-tuner box and replace it with one 4-tuner box. Done.
     
  7. bdraw

    bdraw Member

    465
    4
    Aug 1, 2004
    Tampa, FL
    I can't imagine going back to managing more than one Series Recording list, etc. It really does reduce the one downside to using a DVR.
     
  8. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

    1,951
    0
    Jan 20, 2004
    I did something slightly similar, I sold 1 S3 TiVo last fall and replaced it with an Elite... I did this in anticipation of the Mini.

    I went from two S3s and a room that was served with a Slingbox to one Elite and two Minis, with an option to add another Mini later if our guest room really needs TiVo frequently.

    I am happy with the switch, but part of the reason for that is that I was happy to move from the S3 UI to the new HDUI that I now have in all rooms. Being able to pause/resume a recording in another room is a pretty good feature too.

    The advantage of making the move to the TiVo Minis would be that you have central control of your recordings, and assuming that 3 tuners is enough to record all of your content it is a pretty good setup.... hopefully TiVo makes good with dynamic tuner allocation in another 3-6 months which will eliminate one of the only downsides to the setup.

    Minis are much much faster in the HDUI than the Premiere.... and you will save a LOT in electric costs as you will go from consuming 90-100 watts for your current setup to about 40 watts using 1 XL4 + 2 Minis.

    On the downsides, you won't be able to watch Netflix on your Minis and you won't be able to manage season passes on them. If you watch a lot of shows simultaneously, you might be irked by the current tuner setup. You are also arguably losing extra "storage" capability by losing extra full functioned DVRs... so if you're the kind of person who records dozens of shows a week and wants them all archived (along with multiple copies on different DVRs as "backups") then the Mini is probably not for you. If you're a more typical viewer I think you'll be quite happy with the way the Mini operates.
     
  9. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    11,151
    35
    Jan 23, 2006
    Mission...
    I'd say stay with what you have for now. The current 4 tuner units have dog slow interface (much slower than the 2 tuner units even) so IMO it's kind of a downgrade from 2 tuner units. Wait until a new 4+ tuner unit comes out with faster processor (rumored for release towards end of this year) and chances are by then the Mini will have dropped in price or TiVo will offer a discounted package for new 4+ tuner unit + Mini(s).
    I can't in good faith recommend the current 4 tuner units to anyone since they are so slow. The speed of the Mini serves as a constant reminder how the HDUI should be speed wise and how slow the 4 tuner units really are. (I know and expect followup posts to disagree with my assessment about speed, but this is from my 1st hand experience).
     
  10. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

    3,960
    0
    Oct 14, 2004
    Philadelphia...
    Baloney.
     
  11. dave13077

    dave13077 Member

    279
    0
    Jan 11, 2009
    Not unusable but the HD menus are slower on the 4 unit Premiere as compared to the two unit Premiere.
     
  12. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

    3,960
    0
    Oct 14, 2004
    Philadelphia...
    Yes, they are slower. But barely slower. moyekj makes it sound like the difference between a 486 and a Core i5.

    I replaced a Premiere with an Elite and nobody in the household has ever made a comment on speed of the UI.
     
  13. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    37,532
    184
    Apr 17, 2000
    Nevada
    Since it's a wash price wise you have to decide if giving up 2 tuners is worth saving $5/mo and only having to manage one To Do List. Personally I think only managing one To Do List is worth the cost, but some people don't mind managing multiple TiVos.

    And if TiVo does come out with a 6 tuner unit later this year you can sell the XL4 and upgrade. It wont lose much value in that time.
     
  14. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    11,151
    35
    Jan 23, 2006
    Mission...
    Your household is a lot more tolerant than mine or maybe there is just something wrong with my Elite. But I consider having to wait 4-5 seconds after pressing TiVo to start seeing a list of My Shows ridiculously slow compared to my 2 tuner Premiere which starts filling out in less than half that time (after not interacting with it for a while). So for me it is not "barely slower" but literally twice as slow or worse depending what its doing at the time I try to use it. The Mini is the first thing TiVo product running the HDUI my family and I find acceptable speeds and hopefully any future TiVo DVRs will be that speed or better which is why I suggest waiting.
     
  15. dmk1974

    dmk1974 DA BEARS!!!

    549
    0
    Mar 7, 2002
    Cary, IL
    Hmmm....these are definite downsides if no Netflix on the Mini's as well as losing the ability to manage Season Passes. Basement is "my" TiVo (and also has a Slingbox connected. Bedroom is my "wife's" and the family room is the "kids'". I suppose that we can all get used to setting recordings using the TiVo app on our iPhones/iPads/iPods. But I am now seeing many of the trade-offs.
     
  16. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

    1,951
    0
    Jan 20, 2004
    If you have different "user communities" that each manage their own box then I see nothing but downside for you of aggregating your setup and deploying the Minis, at least until TiVo adds more functionality to the Mini.
     
  17. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    37,532
    184
    Apr 17, 2000
    Nevada
    I agree. Sounds like you need more tuners, full TDL/SPM support and Netflix before this is a good idea. I'm still hoping that one of these days they're going to add multi-user capabilities to the TiVo software. That way everyone in the house can use one TiVo but have their own My Shows, Season Passes, etc...
     
  18. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

    1,951
    0
    Jan 20, 2004
    All it takes is one pack rat who refuses to delete anything and it pretty much screws that whole thing, unless they will put in a quota system.
     
  19. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    37,532
    184
    Apr 17, 2000
    Nevada
    I think they're going to have to have a quota as well as user priority to make it work. (i.e. Dad's recordings take priority over kids recordings if there is a conflict)
     
  20. buscuitboy

    buscuitboy New Member

    736
    0
    Aug 8, 2005
    Atlanta area
    I pretty much am in the same boat. 3 TVs; two Premieres and one Series 3 (lifetime). One premiere is lifetimed, but the other isn't as I was waiting first to see what these minis offered. For now, I think I am just gonna stay with my 3 TiVos for two main reasons

    - more storage.
    - 6 tuners (vs 4 w/ a mini setup)

    Not to mention that if the host DVR goes down in a mini setup, you lose ALL TVs networked to that device. with 3 different TiVos, at least you don't lose them all.

    My Series 3 is in a basement area that isn't used a lot. I use it to record basic shows and then offload/MRV them to the Premieres when needed. Of course, this is also dependent on your cable company. My Comcast doesn't allow MRV of Premium channel (HBO, Showtime, etc.) content from S3 to S4, but does allow it for regular digital channels (TNT, FX, TBS, etc.). Comcast allows multi-room streaming of HBO from Premiere to Premiere so I'll take that while I can.

    Combine this with all the buggieness I am reading about with the minis and I feel comfortable with just staying with three TiVos for now. Hell, I would probably go with a multi-tuner Ceton/SiliconDust solution (with Xbox360 "extenders") before I went with this buggy mini.

    Maybe in a few months they will work out a good portion of the bugs and allow dynamic tuner allocation, but until then I would prefer NOT to be one of the early adopters.
     

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