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Tivo Mini tuner sharing ("piggybacking")

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by aryndub, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. aryndub

    aryndub New Member

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    I've just received my Roamio Plus and 3 Mini's the other day and am still working through the setup. I'm coming from a Windows Media Center setup with 4 extenders spread throughout the house. I'm comparing features and noticed that tuner allocated to the mini won't "share" with the main Roamio while it's being viewed in another room.

    For instance, Roamio Plus is recording 4 shows and viewing live channel ABC. If I tune to ABC on the mini it takes the 6th tuner to do this rather than "share" the 5th already watching the same channel. Is this the expected behavior? If so, is there any plan to piggyback in the future like Windows Media Center? Since they addressed dynamic tuner allocation with a firmware update, maybe they could do the same with this?
     
  2. tatergator1

    tatergator1 Active Member

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    Such a feature is probably unlikely to be implemented. Given how the Roamio and Mini currently interact, if the Mini has a tuner, it would suggest the program is being actively viewed at the TV connected to the Mini. The control of that tuner is rightly delegated to the Mini. The viewer at that location can pause/rewind/change channel at will. Allowing the a viewer at the Roamio to "piggyback" on the Mini's tuner would have to be in a sort of "read only" mode. Your viewing of the Mini's tuner would be at the mercy of the other viewer.

    Sure, in the case where both TV's would be simply doing Live TV only, it would be fine. However, such a feature could introduce too many negatives to the viewing experience that Tivo is unlikely to provide such a feature.
     
  3. aryndub

    aryndub New Member

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    I have yet to test on my own, but will once I get home... but if with the prior example, the Roamio is recording The Walking Dead on one of it's tuners and I select the AMC channel on the Mini, will it acquire the 6th tuner for The Walking Dead or is it smart enough to playback the already in progress recording without me selecting the recording?
     
  4. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    North...
    No. The Mini live-tv tuner can only be used for Mini live-tv - it never has a recording associated with it. You can, of course, select the recording in progress and play from that buffer.

    You would need very fine-grained communication between all TiVos on the network if you want dual-purpose live-tv tuners - it's not at all simple to make sure they don't interfere with each other, and very difficult to convey conflicts to the user understandably.
     
  5. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

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    It works the same way as Tater already explained, the mini gets its own tuner and is controlled by the mini. "smart enough" is a misnomer, as it is smart enough to let each unit work independently.
     
  6. aryndub

    aryndub New Member

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    Jun 25, 2009
    I think "smart enough" is the appropriate term. If the Tivo is constantly buffering on all 6 tuners, why couldn't it allow the Mini to view the session of an already tuned channel?

    Again, I'm trying to understand as a new Tivo owner coming from Media Center. As a test, I have both WMC and Tivo setup at the moment and tuned to ESPN. On the Tivo, it immediately starts it's new buffer as it wasn't previously tuned to this channel, while WMC starts the buffering when tuned (as it shuts off tuners when not actively viewing or recording). On the Mini, I tune to ESPN and it comes up no problem, I do the same for the extender... no problem. I then go back to the Roamio to list all the tuner activity, it lists ESPN amongst it active channels, while one of the tuners is locked to the Mini. While on WMC, the already buffered channel is actively available and only consuming one tuner. Each extender (and master WMC box) can fast forward, skip/reward the buffer independently without affecting the other. If I change the channel, it simply tells another tuner to start, but if I change back to ESPN, it again uses the already live tuner and buffer. The way Tivo is doing it is just giving the Mini a tuner rather than selectly streaming something it already has available. In my opinion, streaming the already active tuner is "smart" rather than giving one up blindly.

    I absolutely love the Netflix integration, better looking menus (at least HD ones) and the streaming to iOS devices though. I hope this isn't coming off as trying to offend anyone, I'm just hoping something like this might be on the roadmap for the Mini (or Mini v2 should one come out). I'm currently evaluating the system to see if it passes the wife test, but has been a tough sell especially due to the high initial cost.

    Thanks.
     
  7. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    North...
    Example: Two Minis, both streaming live-tv on the same channel. In your scenario, they would be using the same tuner. Suppose 5 other shows are recording. Now one of the Minis wants to change the channel (they are watching live-tv after all). What happens?
     
  8. dianebrat

    dianebrat I refuse to accept your reality TCF Club

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    boston'ish
    Exactly, the Mini logic is that the user utilizing it should have a tuner to do whatever they want with, and that would include changing the channel, so they don't "share"

    Trying to mimic WMC and its extender logic won't work, apples and oranges, etc.
     
  9. aryndub

    aryndub New Member

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    I've done a bit more research on this and it appears DirecTV Genie clients do the same thing as WMC.

    Regarding the example of two mini clients viewing the same live channel while the other 5 are busy recording. I could see this as a prompt for the other user to choose another "live/recording" channel or choose to interrupt... or simply prompt to take it over much like it does when the main unit wants to record using that additional tuner. I see this scenario as far, far more useful than locking the tuner and taking it out of the mix. If anything, give us the option to enable something like this as it would completely solve all of my issues. As at this point, I'm either going to DirecTV or sticking with WMC due to this issue and Comcast only allowing 4 "stable" and 5 "somewhat stable" tuners with my current cablecard firmware.
     
  10. s10023

    s10023 New Member

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    Nov 12, 2013
    Having the mini share a tuner if on the same channel as another box's tuner should not be overly difficult to implement. It makes a lot of sense and Tivo should do it.
     
  11. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

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    I'll never understand why so many people with such a great DVR resort to live TV so often. Nobody needs to try and explain it, its simply beyond my comprehension. However, everyone is free to use their Tivo however they see fit, and I certainly don't see it as "wrong" (and don't want to institute yet another discussion on the topic).
     
  12. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    North...
    When I'm watching a football game and want to briefly check another game on another channel, neither I nor my son in the basement watching the same game with friends will appreciate having to negotiate what channel will be changed.

    You folks are suggesting a fundamental change in the way people use TiVo - that other people would then be allowed interfere with what you are watching on the TV in front of you. The way it is now, if you can start watching live-tv, then you are in control of what you watch and don't have to worry about others.

    The Roamio is a whole-house DVR solution; it's meant to accommodate several people watching TV at once. In such a family situation, minimizing the conflicts between viewers is a high priority!!!
     
  13. s10023

    s10023 New Member

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    tuner sharing does not mean that you wouldnt get to watch what you want to watch. if you and your son are sharing a tuner and watching the same football game on two separate tvs, and you want to flip to a new channel, then you would get a new tuner but your son would stay on the tuner he is on. if you want to go back to the same game your son is watching then your tuner would be released back into the pool and you would share again.
     
  14. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    Did you read the post I was replying to?

    I had earlier asked what should happen if there are 5 shows recording at the time. His answer was that permission should be asked of the other shared tuner. What is your answer?
     
  15. s10023

    s10023 New Member

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    Nov 12, 2013
    well rather than asking the other tuner to change, you should be prompted to stop recording one of the shows on the other five tuners. after all, if you were originally given your own tuner, one of the shows wouldnt have even started recording.
     
  16. stuartv

    stuartv New Member

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    Seriously! Some of you sure do spend a lot of time trying to justify a Tivo behavior as technically "required" when it's totally not.

    If multiple Minis could share a tuner, then the scenario where all tuners are in use and one of the Mini users tried to change to channel that is not currently tuned on any tuner, it's really no different than if all tuners are recording something and the user of the main box tries to change to a channel that is not currently tuned.

    In that case, the user trying to change the channel should be prompted to choose what tuner they want to use (showing what each one is currently doing), and they can choose to cancel an in-progress recording, change the channel that one or more other Minis are using, or Cancel and stay on the current channel.

    If Junior is watching the same football game downstairs, then Dad could choose to cancel what another tuner is doing in order to change his own channel, or Dad could choose to change what he AND Junior are watching.

    How is that different than if Mom is watching something that is currently recording "near-live" and all other tuners are in use, and Dad chooses to cancel that recording (that Mom is watching) in order to change that tuner to something he wants to watch?
     
  17. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

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    I think that you are just about alone on your preference. You are welcome to it, no issues there, but alone nonetheless.
     
  18. stuartv

    stuartv New Member

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    Dec 12, 2013
    So, you're saying if you have 2 tuners and 3 TVs, the majority PREFERS to NOT be able to watch the same program on all 3 TVs at the same time?

    The majority PREFERS to be required to buy an additional tuner in order to watch the same football game on a 3rd TV as is being watched on the other 2 TVs in the house (and not be able to record anything else while doing so)?

    Wow.
     
  19. aryndub

    aryndub New Member

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    Jun 25, 2009
    I think the majority would welcome the change and probably wouldn't even notice it... they would just notice that they have more tuners free and less recording conflicts.

    Having said that, the Tivo service has been cancelled and are being shipped back. The Tivo experiment was fun, but I can't justify the costs based on the C133 errors, 4 out of 6 tuners working (due to Comcast cablecard) and not even being able to share the few tuners I have left. I'm back to Windows Media Center for now and will probably move to DirecTV shortly.
     
  20. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

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    You completely misunderstand what I'm saying. Hit record and stream it almost live it you want to watch "live TV".
     

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