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Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by geekmedic, Sep 7, 2013.
+1. You won't regret it.
I have a friend that I set up with a Roamio+ and 5 Minis, works great as you can watch 5 different shows in each room on each Mini and another on the Roamio itself, my friend loves this MoCA setup and is saving 5 cable cards at about $40/month. The total system had a cost of about $2,050, and the six TiVos that were sold on E-Bay got him back $1,750, great deal.
Does the streamer that is built-in to the Roamio Plus/Pro work on copy protected content? There are very few shows that actually use the copy flag that I've noticed, but who knows how long Comcast in my area will leave it that way. Also, with the streaming, could I theoretically record an NFL game on Sunday and watch the recording-in-progress game on the iPad (within the house Wifi)? And would I have full DVR controls?
I was hoping to have my whole system ordered by now, but the boss (aka wife) is having me holdup after hearing of all the additional fees. So, I'm trying to justify the new system versus our "free" Windows Media Center w/ extenders setup.
For in home streaming you can stream anything to an iPad regardless of copy protection. Out of home streaming however is limited and can not stream shows which are protected.
Yes you can stream a show to an iPad independent of what's playing on the main TV. So if your wife is watching TV in the main room you can watch something else on your iPad, including an NFL game.
You should also look at the Mini. It's a way to stream shows to another TV in the house, even live TV. It's also completely independent so you can watch something different in one room then what's being watched in the main room.
I am a past multi-Tivo customer, but not since DirecTV divorced from Tivo years ago. Now, I'm looking at getting Xfinity and going with Roamio + Minis. So I, too, was wondering how many clients (Minis or iPads) I can have.
One limitation that isn't mentioned here, but I've inferred from other threads is this:
Each Mini that is in use grabs a tuner on the Roamio, even if you're watching recorded content. So, if my understanding is correct, then if you have a 6-tuner Roamio (i.e. Pro or Plus), you could be watching something on the Roamio (doesn't matter whether it's Live or Recorded), and you could be watching stuff on 5 Minis (again, doesn't matter whether it's Live or Recorded), and then you could watch recorded stuff on iPads, all at the same time. But, in that scenario, you could not watch anything on a 6th Mini - not even a Recorded program or On Demand, and you could not watch any Live TV on an iPad.
To me this seems like the biggest reason (for me, anyway) to buy a 6-tuner Roamio versus a 4-tuner. OTOH, if Tivo would enhance the Mini to allow "Recorded Only" watching, where it didn't grab a tuner, then I would probably be fine with a 4-tuner Roamio. I mean, seriously, how many DVR owners watch that much Live TV? It somewhat defeats the purpose (not entirely, obviously). So, not being able to watch Recorded content on a Mini, without tying up a tuner, is kind of dumb, I think. Even if the Mini releases the tuner as soon as you start watching Recorded content, that doesn't really help. All 4 tuners could easily be busy (say, recording 3 shows and watching Live TV on a 4th channel on the Roamio itself). In that scenario, I can't see why I should then be completely blocked from starting to use my Mini, if I just want to watch a recorded show. Especially, if I could watch a recorded show on an iPad in the same scenario.
Or let me put it another way. Imagine all your tuners are in use recording programs. If you're at the Roamio itself, you could still watch a recorded program. Why shouldn't you be able to do the same from a Mini?
The biggest reason to buy a 6-tuner over 4-tuner Roamio if you're talking about Minis and iPads is that the 6-tuner model has integrated stream functions and integrated MoCA to work with the Minis.
I was not aware of the Mini using a tuner slot when playing back pre-recorded content, that is not my impression.
If you're installing multiple Minis (four or what not) into a large home with lots of TV viewers then the current way things work might not be 100% ideal as there are situations in which even suggestions will over-ride the Mini getting access to a tuner.
I'm hoping that TiVo improves some of this in the coming year. Setting up support for device profiles and user accounts would be a big one, along with giving certain Minis the ability to have higher priority than TiVo suggestions.
However, bottom line, if you have a household with numerous voracious consumers of TiVo content then even one six tuner model might not be enough, with Minis, to satisfy your users... at that point you are probably better off with multiple TiVo Roamios.
I read the info about the Mini always grabbing a tuner in another thread here, but I'd have to go looking to find the link. That thread did even have some discussion of a desire for a "Recorded Only" mode, so you could watch while all tuners were otherwise occupied, and the folks in the thread all seemed to agree that that's how it works (i.e. the Mini grabs a tuner, no matter what).
As for the rest, I was considering a Roamio ($200) plus Stream ($130), instead of a Roamio Plus ($400). It would be cheaper and let me view OTA. And, like I said, if Minis could watch Recorded content even when all tuners are in use, I think 4 tuners would be plenty. It's just 2 of us in the house. But, we each have tablets, and we may end up with 5 or 6 TVs in the house (Master bedroom, main floor/TV room, basement, guest bedroom, her office, and/or my office). If the main unit is recording 2 programs, it would be nice for us to be able to have a guest over and still be able to let the guest watch whatever they want in their room while we're each watching recorded content in other rooms (e.g. late night viewing).
Oh, and the new house we're looking at has Ethernet to every jack plate that has coax, so no need for MoCA.
That's not true, a Mini only grabs a tuner if you go to live tv. I just tested that to verify as I would really annoy me if it grabbed a tuner from my 4 tuner Roamio just to play a recording, but when it's playing the recording it still shows all 4 tuners avail.
So, I'm guessing that a Roamio plus (eth connected) and 3 mini's (moca connected) should not present any issues with quality or capacity of streaming)?
If my math is correct, I can watch 'live' tv on the 4 tv's, and still record two shows all at once?
Yeah, what he said!
You can get a Roamio plus for under. $350 right now.
If there are only two of you then you are really over-thinking this as far as tuner allocation goes even if u have the occasional guest.
Thank you for testing that. I still have a question about it, though. The other thread implied that the Mini would grab a tuner when you start it up, then let it go when you start watching a recording.
Can you test it by starting to record 4 different things on your Roamio (with the Mini off or in Standby or whatever the correct term is), then attempt to start watching a recorded show using the Mini?
If that really does work, then that would definitely alleviate a lot of my concern.
I've had a DirecTV DVR for years. With the 2 of us, it is quite common to have the DVR recording 2 different things simultaneously, and not uncommon (in the past) for me to want to record a 3rd thing that overlaps with 2 others. So, I don't think I'm overdoing it to say that I want a setup where I can record at least 3 things while, at the same time, at least 2 people are wanting to watch different recorded content at the same time.
As I've said, if the Minis can watch recorded content without ever touching a tuner, then 4 tuners definitely should be enough for us. But, if a Mini has to have a tuner - even if it's just for 2 seconds - in order to let me get to recorded content, then that's a restriction that will probably bite us.
I recommend getting a 6 tuner model and grabbing the integrated Stream capability.
The Mini doesn't use a tuner unless you are watching something with it. Two people wanting to watch different things is not an issue, you have 4 or six tuners.
I went from a four tuner Premiere Elite to a Roamio Plus. I have two Minis. I have never run out of tuners and there are times when I'm recording four or five shows at once.
You are over-thinking this. The solution, especially for two people works extremely well. I would be very surprised if you somehow found that it was not working to your satisfaction with such a small household.
jmpage2, thanks for that info.
In that case, it sounds like 4 tuners would be plenty for me. I don't foresee ever wanting to watch or record 5 or 6 things that are all on at the same time. Recording 3 things while watching something(s) that is already recorded is the most I've ever wanted to do, so it seems that a 4 tuner box would do everything I have ever wanted plus give me a tuner to spare.
In which case, why buy a 6-tuner model for more money versus a 4-tuner and a Stream? The latter would also give me OTA capability. I have several large eSATA drives laying around unused, so the extra storage on a 6-tuner model doesn't really do much for me.
That was probably referenceing the XL4 before it had Dynamic Tuner Allocation like the Roamio line. Before DTA the mini would always tie up a tuner. With DTA, a tuner is only used by the Mini when you are watching live TV.
For me I've definitely run out of tuners. I have six concurrent recordings going on many times through out the week. But one of those porgrams being recorded is what I will want to watch on the Mini, so not having a tuner available is no issue in that situation.
If you really see the need for OTA (remember you can't use OTA and cable card at the same time) then sure, go for the 4 tuner box and the stream... I would argue for most users that the Plus is a much better buy, it is not much more expensive, has extra tuners, has better build quality, has integrated stream and MoCA and has double the storage.
I didn't know that I could not use OTA and CableCard at the same time. I ASSumed if I had both I could switch between them and see the channels from both in my Program Guide.
Thanks for that info!!
I would rather have the extra tuners, but I have to justify in my own mind the extra expense. You have definitely helped!