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Considering the move to Roamio + Mini...

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by vanclute, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. vanclute

    vanclute Member

    Aug 3, 2003
    Hi all, I'm considering a pretty drastic change to our household TiVo usage and wanted to get the thoughts & advice of the forum before I pulled the trigger. So here goes... :)

    Current setup is a pair of Premiere units connected to Comcast Digital Cable, one in the Media room and one in the Bedroom. Both wired into the home network and using HDMI for A/V. Both have been upgraded to 2TB HDs. Both use Streambaby to stream/pull content from our Media Server (A Mac Mini dedicated to the task). This Mac Mini also uses AirVideoHD to stream content to iOS devices (but NOT from the TiVos themselves, have to rip the content from the TiVo units to the server first in order to do that).

    I'm considering the move to a Roamio Pro, primarily to get the built-in iOS streaming so my lady can watch native TiVo content on her iPad from anywhere, and not just content that's been ripped to the server.

    To that end, I'm looking at getting a Roamio Pro to live in the Media Center, and a TiVo Mini to live in the bedroom. This has the benefit of a smaller footprint and more importantly, it's silent (a definite consideration in the bedroom). This would give us 450 hours of HD which is only a modest amount less than we have currently between the 2 Premieres, and the only impact I see it really having is that we'd get fewer suggestions (we have a LOT of free space generally since upgrading the units).

    I believe this would give us the same basic features we have now of a TiVo in both rooms, but at a reduced monthly expense (I'd get lifetime on the Mini, monthly on the Roamio) since I don't intend to keep the Premieres active. And we'd get the added bonus of being able to stream content directly to our iOS devices.

    So that's the general lay of the land. Now for my questions, in no particular order...

    1. Does this generally sound right? Anything I missed or special considerations with the above scenario?
    2. For those who have a Roamio/Mini combination, how do you like it? Any complaints?
    3. Does TiVo still restrict the streaming functionality from working on Jailbroken iOS devices, even for legit paying customers?
    4. Can I run HDMI video out of the Mini to the TV, but analog audio into the old receiver I use in the bedroom?
    5. Is the Roamio storage capacity upgradeable via any standard external drive or is it restricted to just the WD MyBook that they sell through TiVo?
    6. If we take the Premiere units off our plan, can they be used just to watch whatever is stored on them currently, like in a guest or spare bedroom? Or are they useless bricks without monthly service? Any suggestions on what to do with them if they can't be used as simple dumb playback devices?
    7. Do I use the current CableCard from one of the Premiere units in the Roamio? Or do I need a new one? Does the Mini need one too?
    8. Insert question I didn't think to ask here. :)

    Thanks all, this is a pretty significant potential change to our setup so I want to make sure I've done some homework first!
  2. lgnad

    lgnad Pantless Mofo

    Feb 14, 2013
    If just getting streaming is your #1 priority, you could just get a stream.... but there are quite a few more advantages to upgrading.

    -Much better performance of the Roamio and Mini
    -No cable card needed for the Mini, so that'll save you a few $$/month
    -If you're currently paying monthly on both units, getting lifetime on the Mini will save you $/month and eventually pay for itself
    -Future proofing yourself
    -More tuners (6 vs 4... assuming you've got 2 tuner Premiers)

    Roamios are easily upgradable with their internal drive. You could buy a Plus, and an a/v rated drive (up to 3gb), drop it in and the Roamio sets it right up to save some more $$. Officially, the WD 1gb extender is the only external drive. Adding the external 2nd drive does of course increase your odds of having a problem. (Thier longevity is sometimes questioned)

    My understanding is that the Premiers with no subscription: very few function work... you can watch what shows are saved on that one, but no sharing/streaming with other boxes, no guide, basic channel tuning with no buffer or trick play

    You'll have to buy the breakout cables to get the analog audio out on the mini. (You can find em on tivo.com or some peeps have figured out cheaper alternatives if you want to save a couple bucks)

    You can take a cablecard out of a Premier and put it in the Roamio... and then get it re-paired. I prefer to do my upgrades in parallel tho... get another card and get the new one fully up and running before I shut down the old system.

    Didnt answer all of your questions, but hope I helped :)
  3. vanclute

    vanclute Member

    Aug 3, 2003
    Oh that's excellent, thanks! I hadn't realized the Roamios were quite so easy to upgrade the drives in. In that case I would certainly go with a Plus instead and upgrade it to 3TB. Sweet!

    Also if the Premieres work strictly as "dumb playback boxes" then that's fine by me. They would just be relegated to spare rooms so that my gal can have something on when she's doing stuff in/around those rooms. She works well with TV as background, though I'm just the opposite :D

    I would likely do a parallel upgrade as well, and get the new setup up fully before taking the old one down at all. Sounds like this may just work out. Thanks for the tips!
  4. Devx

    Devx New Member

    Jun 1, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't sound critical to your setup but the Premiere in the spare room without a cable card or Tivo sub may not be very useful once the recorded content is exhausted. In my market for example, I need a cablecard to tune channels, OTA could be an option if you can receive any stations.
  5. sheshechic

    sheshechic Member

    Apr 14, 2012
    I wish I hadn't upgraded. It's been nothing but headaches and glitchy video.
  6. dcpmark

    dcpmark Member

    Feb 8, 2006
    Sorry to hear! I've had the complete opposite experience.....I LOVE my Roamio Pro + 3 Minis to replace my hodgepodge of S3s, Tivo HDs, and Premieres. The Premiere was so slow I almost hated watching TV in the room it was in. I love having a true whole-house solution now, being able to pause a recorded show and pick it up in any room is great. The navigation speed is really nice. I did switch to MoCA about a year ago, and that makes a huge difference over wireless.
  7. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    +1 for me except wireless. With my network, whether I use wireless, MoCA, or Ethernet the user experience has been identical between my Roamios and Minis. I tred out each connection method over several days to compare. Wireless was rock solid for me, as was MoCA and ethernet. But where ethernet had the advantage was in transfers to my TiVo Desktop machine with the Roamio Pro GigE port. Which got me around 180Mb/s transfer rates.

    I also have a properly setup wireless network(ie. multiple APs, no interference, and no congestion.) When the wireless network is setup right it can be rock solid too.
  8. zalusky

    zalusky Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Apr 5, 2002
    Cupertino, CA
    IN addition to the above and ignoring the C133 error,

    I really enjoy the single view to the Now Playing, ToDo, Season Passes.
    Performance and Smaller Footprint are also bonuses as well.

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