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An alternative idea to a TiVO mini

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by buscuitboy, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. Mar 15, 2013 #21 of 148
    wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    And actually another question. Assuming the highly theoretical idea of one host xl4 and a bunch of minis, how do multiple minis consume the xl4 tuner? Can 5 minis use a single xl4 tuner -all on different channels at the same time, and still allow th other 3 tuners on the xl4 to operate independently?
     
  2. Mar 15, 2013 #22 of 148
    tatergator1

    tatergator1 Active Member

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    At this point, I believe a limit of 2 Minis per host. I can't find the definative language to that, but this has been the understanding since before the Mini was released. There is rumor of up to 9 Minis tied to one host when Dynamic Tuner Allocation is released, but that is in the future.

    Currently, in the case of 1 tuner allocated on the host, 2 Minis would then share the tuner on a first-come, first-served basis. In that setup, only 1 Mini could watch Live TV at a time. There are certain timeout limits and such, but the basic answer is 1 tuner allocated, 1 Mini with Live TV.

    I'm unclear whether the 2nd Mini could use MRS from host at the same time. Someone else with 2 Minis would have to clear this up.

    With that said, I think some of those with Mini's should consider compiling a FAQ as a Sticky for this forum that covers everything and lays it out in black and white.
     
  3. Mar 15, 2013 #23 of 148
    cherry ghost

    cherry ghost Well-Known Member

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    Call TiVo
     
  4. Mar 15, 2013 #24 of 148
    jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    How could it use one tuner to provide the work of five tuners? And why on earth would all of these folks be watching Live TV if you have a Tivo with lots of content to choose from?
     
  5. Mar 15, 2013 #25 of 148
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    No. A tuner can only be tuned to 1 channel at a time.

    And in any case only one Mini can requisition a tuner at a time. Even if they both want to watch the same thing it still requires 2 tuners. Assignment of the tuners is first come first serve. So if you have 3 Minis and only have 1 tuner assigned for network use then the first Mini to request it will get it. If you try to access live TV from one of the other TiVos you'll get an error saying there no network tuners available.
     
  6. Mar 15, 2013 #26 of 148
    wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    Ummm, please review post #18 in this thread.

    I've called Tivo twice. According to others in this particular thread, the information provided by both of those TiVo representatives was not correct.
     
  7. Mar 15, 2013 #27 of 148
    wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    That is the answer I expected. And given that, it seems to me that the idea of a single Tivo multi-tuner box hosting multiple mini's is not actually practical unless people are willing to essentially go back to the old days.

    I'm not even sure how this would work out in practice. People in this forum have talked about 6 mini's connected to a single xl4. The Tivo rep two days ago mentioned NINE!!!

    I think there is quite a bit of confusion as to the true capability and use case of the mini. Clearly, asking Tivo has resulted in answers different than people here are claiming. In either case, I still maintain that for me it's really not much of a bargain, and still a step back from what cable providers have been delivering for years.
     
  8. Mar 15, 2013 #28 of 148
    wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    Ah, but if it's multiple mini's per multi-tuner Tivo, it means that if/when tuners are consumed by season pass recordings, and for example somebody wants to just watch something else for a short while, they can't - or else they sacrifice the recordings.

    And btw, I never said all would be watching live TV. But more than one could easily be (live sports, etc).
     
  9. Mar 15, 2013 #29 of 148
    jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    It appears you are confusing live tv with streams from the premiere. They are totally different.

    Or- you wrote your initial question poorly, as you say
    Using a tuner requires live TV.
     
  10. Mar 15, 2013 #30 of 148
    Loach

    Loach Member

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    A member on another thread confirmed using 3 minis on a host earlier today without problems:

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=9573376#post9573376
     
  11. Mar 15, 2013 #31 of 148
    wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    No, I am not confusing it. I'm just trying to get a straight answer about what the mini can and can not do. As stated (several times) I called Tivo twice and got very consistent answers from each representative. That is, that the mini can only see content on the 4 tuner Premier that it has selected as its tuner "host" and not the other premiers that may or may not be on the network. Second, that the Tivo reps referenced connecting up to 9 tuners to an XL4.

    I assumed myself that live TV would be limited to available tuners but really had not thought through the details on that one. What I had not thought about specifically is whether multiple mini's on an XL4 for example would somehow be "allowed" to consume more tuners if they simultaneously wanted to get to live TV.

    I'll say it again - Tivo has really done a very very poor job in adequately describing the characteristics of this product. Whether or not the product is great or terrible is a different discussion. For me, it's a non-starter assuming it cannot stream from multiple Premiers. Since people here are saying this is not true but Tivo has stated emphatically that the mini cannot, then I have to assume that it won't until Tivo states it clearly. Otherwise, it's a "feature" that might be a mistake that could disappear at any time.
     
  12. Mar 15, 2013 #32 of 148
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    The Mini's don't work quite the same as regular TiVos. They don't default to live TV. They have a screen saver for their default. You have to specifically request live TV via the menu or by pressing the live TV button. At which point it checks with the host to see if there is a free tuner and if there is grabs it. If not you get an error.

    If you go back into the TiVo menus it releases the tuner back to the host immediately. It also releases the tuner automatically if there has been no input from the remote for 1.5 hours.

    So the only time it's really a problem is if you're actually using more then 2 Minis to watch live TV at the same time. If not then 2 tuners could easily be shared by 9 Minis.

    There are other limitations imposed on streaming as well that would cause an issue. A single TiVo can never have more then 3 out going streams at a time. So if you had 9 Minis you'd still never be able to use more then 3 at any one moment even for regular streaming, not just live TV.

    There is some evidence that suggests that TiVo is working on a new 6 tuner unit which will be available later this year. It will likely be able to dedicate more tuners to Minis and probably support more outgoing streams. Although I still expect the limit to be 4 or less.

    If you really need 9 Minis then you'd need at least 3 host units for them to connect to.
     
  13. Mar 15, 2013 #33 of 148
    wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    Dan, thanks for this response. It answers at least part of the question for me. I will say that this part does not go toward my lack of interest - the biggest question I have remains the multi-premier streaming to a single mini question. I've seen some posts on this site that show that people have gotten it to work but Tivo always indicates that it is restricted to one. I'm very reluctant to assume things work that Tivo themselves deny or do not understand. Frankly, my experience is that the things they say SHOULD work can be problematic enough that I don't want to go outside of that scope.
     
  14. Mar 15, 2013 #34 of 148
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    That works fine. It can even stream from 2 tuner units.

    When you're using the Mini it's basically a reflection of the host unit. It has a My Shows list which looks identical to the host TiVo. And at the bottom of that list you can select your other TiVos and pick shows from them as well. (premiere units only)
     
  15. Mar 15, 2013 #35 of 148
    wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. Seems as though Tivo needs to do a much better job training their own representatives. Maybe I need to reconsider whether a mini "might" help in my case. Right now, I'd still say probably no, but this is a much better situation than what the Tivo people said.
     
  16. Mar 15, 2013 #36 of 148
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    What is your situation?
     
  17. Mar 15, 2013 #37 of 148
    buscuitboy

    buscuitboy Member

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    Yea, I am with Comcast and I know what you are talking about at $9.95 though as this is what I used to get charged for some additional ones. And several threads on this board have talked about how AWFUL the Comcast billing is and how inconsistent it is.

    The way it is SUPPOSE to work is the first device is free. Cable card or Comcast box. The 2nd cable card in the SAME DEVICE (i.e. Series 3 TiVo) is only a $1.50/month. Then, any additional cable card is an "outlet fee" at $9.95/month with a $2.50 "equipment credit". I have my first two cable cards in two totally different Premieres and they don't really have any way of knowing they are two different boxes. I told them they are both in the same box & they just took my word for it so they just kept charging me $1.50 for the extra one.

    That is Comcast for you. :cool:
     
  18. Mar 15, 2013 #38 of 148
    wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    Large house. Fully CAT6 enabled (16 port gig switch). Very solid RG6 cable plant.

    Very diverse viewing interests.

    Want live capability where each display is.

    Need a minimum of 6 tuners available plus live TV

    Want to be able to watch recorded content on one device in a room, stop, and then resume from that stopped point in another room.

    Must be able to see all recorded content on all devices.

    Concerned about device failure (currently have XL4, Premier, and HD - and a retired HD. Every single device except the "newest" one (premier) has failed and required replacement. This includes retired devices, such as retired HD and boxes I no longer have. Not just hard drives, but....)

    Existing Tivo performance is "so-so". XL4 is pretty lethargic to be honest. It's the slowest device in the house by far.

    Given this, replacing the HD and premier with another XL4 and a mini "might" work.

    Concerns:

    Software. Every new Tivo I've gotten has had more defects for the first 6 months at least than I'm comfortable with.

    Speed. Not sure in practice how fast the mini will really be. I've seen some strange things.

    Support. When I'm getting what appears to be clearly incorrect info about the product directly from Tivo - twice - I'm less than enthused about taking a chance on the product.

    Digital Rights Management: Will I be able to view Amazon instant downloads recorded on XL4 through mini? Important because I won't be able to get Amazon via Mini, right?

    This is kind of it in a nutshell at the moment.
     
  19. Mar 15, 2013 #39 of 148
    Videodrome

    Videodrome tivo - please wait..

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    This the best response ever. Turn Tivo into true dlna. Then any internet connected tv could become tivo, including roku type boxes.
     
  20. Mar 15, 2013 #40 of 148
    Bigg

    Bigg On the fence to being a cord-cutter.

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    LOL. I was wondering how long it would take for someone to actually read that ridiculous post. Obviously it would be horribly impractical, but I wonder if it is possible to tune the 3 HD's that are in one QAM with one tuner if someone had the right software? Kind of like DISH is doing with PTAT, getting 4 channels off of one TP with one tuner.

    If you only have 3-4 people, 9 minis and one Premiere XL4 might do the trick, just to move stuff to different locations.

    What I do wonder, is can 3 Mini's all watch the same channel live off of one tuner? I'm thinking no, but I don't see what it's a technical impossibility. Or, could one start a recording, go to live, and then the others do the same?

    Yeah, Comcast is insane. Their systems are all different, they have different capabilities, different lineups, different problems.

    For the CableCards, where it's real murky is, would two Ceton cards on an MCE PC be one device? What about two HDHR's in a network closet somewhere feeding the same PC? But what if you have the 6-tuner version that has a single power supply with two units?
     

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