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Old 03-12-2013, 09:19 PM   #1
jmpage2
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Thumbs down TiVo Mini setup - Pain in the ass

I ordered a TiVo Mini from TiVo that shipped out Monday, but for grins I stopped in a local Magnolia Best Buy today and they had five of them on the shelf... I could not resist and purchased it on the spot (this was the Park Meadows Colorado location).

In anticipation of hooking the Mini up, I turned on MoCA on my Tivo Elite in the networking menu and also set one tuner up for remote viewing in the cablecard menu. I actually have ethernet throughout the house, but one advantage of using MoCA is that it will allow me to leave some network switches powered off, saving power, so that's why I opted to go the MoCA route.

Plugged coax into the Mini and booted it up. Someone made a comment that the Mini takes as long to boot as the Premiere. Not even close. I actually timed it. Mini takes about 2 minutes to completely boot up, the Elite takes close to five minutes.

The Mini ran me through some kind of "guided setup", but bizarrely it never asked me about my TiVo account, or what kind of service I wanted (monthly vs. lifetime). It clearly was connected to the internet as it got access to TiVo and did the entire connection sequence.

However at this point it simply popped a screen indicating it could not find any compatible TiVos and my only option was "try again" with an error code V70. There is no way to get out of this menu other than rebooting the box (that I or support could find).

I tried to reboot the Elite (a couple of times) and rebooted the Mini. I tried switching from MoCA to ethernet and still no joy. I tried forcing connections from the Elite, still no joy.

Finally in frustration I called TiVo. TiVo told me that they would need to activate this Mini (and they were actually confused as they for a while thought I was setting up the one that was shipped out yesterday and won't be here for another couple of days).... I asked why the guided setup never offered to do that and they had no explanation.

Activated lifetime service on the Mini and then did another forced connection on the Elite and then rebooted the Mini a couple more times. Still nothing.

Finally the support guy at TiVo told me to change the name of the Elite TiVo and then try again. Bizarrely (or by coincidence) after the next reboot the Mini downloaded some extra data on the connection attempt, and prompted me to go to my Elite and enable 1 or 2 tuners if I wanted live TV. I did that and all was working (finally). The tech had no idea what it was that got it going, he said sometimes changing a device name causes something to shake loose. He also said that perhaps I should not have turned on the 1 tuner for remote viewing prior to turning the Mini on.

Total time to get a product working that should have been 10 minutes tops? 3 hours. Big fail on that one.

The Mini itself is very very cool. The slight delay in tuning channels does not bother me at all. The HD guide is super snappy and "zoom" from the guide to the currently playing show is instantaneous. It's everything that the HD menus on the Elite should be but isn't.

Also, I do not see any ability to manage recordings or season passes on the Mini. Not sure why others have reported it has that capability, from what I can see it does not.

Very good purchase. I will activate the 2nd one when it shows up and might even go for a third when dynamic tuner allocation becomes available.

The two Minis will replace a sling catcher, TiVo HD and Slingbox. All told these items can be sold for about $600 which more than covers the cost of the 1st two Minis. Will also reduce "vampire" power consumption in my home by about 70 watts, which is nothing to sneeze at. Will also get rid of one cable card and outlet fee from Comcast, which will be good for at least $5 a month off of my bill.

All around, other than the setup fiasco I am satisfied with the product.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:24 PM   #2
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I don't recall guided setup letting you activate it always had to be done online or on phone prior
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmpage2 View Post
I ordered a TiVo Mini from TiVo that shipped out Monday, but for grins I stopped in a local Magnolia Best Buy today and they had five of them on the shelf... I could not resist and purchased it on the spot (this was the Park Meadows Colorado location).

In anticipation of hooking the Mini up, I turned on MoCA on my Tivo Elite in the networking menu and also set one tuner up for remote viewing in the cablecard menu. I actually have ethernet throughout the house, but one advantage of using MoCA is that it will allow me to leave some network switches powered off, saving power, so that's why I opted to go the MoCA route.

Plugged coax into the Mini and booted it up. Someone made a comment that the Mini takes as long to boot as the Premiere. Not even close. I actually timed it. Mini takes about 2 minutes to completely boot up, the Elite takes close to five minutes.

The Mini ran me through some kind of "guided setup", but bizarrely it never asked me about my TiVo account, or what kind of service I wanted (monthly vs. lifetime). It clearly was connected to the internet as it got access to TiVo and did the entire connection sequence.

However at this point it simply popped a screen indicating it could not find any compatible TiVos and my only option was "try again" with an error code V70. There is no way to get out of this menu other than rebooting the box (that I or support could find).

I tried to reboot the Elite (a couple of times) and rebooted the Mini. I tried switching from MoCA to ethernet and still no joy. I tried forcing connections from the Elite, still no joy.

Finally in frustration I called TiVo. TiVo told me that they would need to activate this Mini (and they were actually confused as they for a while thought I was setting up the one that was shipped out yesterday and won't be here for another couple of days).... I asked why the guided setup never offered to do that and they had no explanation.

Activated lifetime service on the Mini and then did another forced connection on the Elite and then rebooted the Mini a couple more times. Still nothing.

Finally the support guy at TiVo told me to change the name of the Elite TiVo and then try again. Bizarrely (or by coincidence) after the next reboot the Mini downloaded some extra data on the connection attempt, and prompted me to go to my Elite and enable 1 or 2 tuners if I wanted live TV. I did that and all was working (finally). The tech had no idea what it was that got it going, he said sometimes changing a device name causes something to shake loose. He also said that perhaps I should not have turned on the 1 tuner for remote viewing prior to turning the Mini on.

Total time to get a product working that should have been 10 minutes tops? 3 hours. Big fail on that one.

The Mini itself is very very cool. The slight delay in tuning channels does not bother me at all. The HD guide is super snappy and "zoom" from the guide to the currently playing show is instantaneous. It's everything that the HD menus on the Elite should be but isn't.

Also, I do not see any ability to manage recordings or season passes on the Mini. Not sure why others have reported it has that capability, from what I can see it does not.

Very good purchase. I will activate the 2nd one when it shows up and might even go for a third when dynamic tuner allocation becomes available.

The two Minis will replace a sling catcher, TiVo HD and Slingbox. All told these items can be sold for about $600 which more than covers the cost of the 1st two Minis. Will also reduce "vampire" power consumption in my home by about 70 watts, which is nothing to sneeze at. Will also get rid of one cable card and outlet fee from Comcast, which will be good for at least $5 a month off of my bill.

All around, other than the setup fiasco I am satisfied with the product.
RTFM man, the first step is to reg it online.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:35 PM   #4
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In the past I usually go to TiVo.com and get service for the TiVo before I even boot it up for the first time. Not everytime time though, but I guess I need to make sure I do that with the Mini when i get it on Friday. If the BestBuy rep is correct about my order showing up then.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:38 PM   #5
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With a regular TiVo you can skip registration during setup and it will still be able to record and watch live TV. However you still have to activate service before it will be able to see your other TiVos on the network and do streaming. Since the Mini can only stream it makes sense that it has to be activated first.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:52 PM   #6
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In response to the RTFM comments, it's 2013. I don't expect to have to pick up the phone or go to a website to get something to work. At a minimum the device could have had a screen in the guided setup that indicated that activation prior to starting the guided setup was a requirement.

It's also worth noting that even after activating it still did not work until a bunch of other hoops were jumped through.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:53 PM   #7
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This is taken directly from the "start here poster".

1. Activate the TiVo Service on your Mini
The TiVo service is required to use your TiVo Mini. Some TiVo boxes are sold with a TiVo
service plan. If yours was not, activate the TiVo service at tivo.com/activate or call TiVo Customer Support at 1-877-367-8486. You’ll need your TiVo Service number; you can find it on the bottom of the device.
Once you have activated your service, wait 15 minutes before moving on to Step 2
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bwatford141 View Post
This is taken directly from the "start here poster".

1. Activate the TiVo Service on your Mini
The TiVo service is required to use your TiVo Mini. Some TiVo boxes are sold with a TiVo
service plan. If yours was not, activate the TiVo service at tivo.com/activate or call TiVo Customer Support at 1-877-367-8486. You’ll need your TiVo Service number; you can find it on the bottom of the device.
Once you have activated your service, wait 15 minutes before moving on to Step 2
Can not get more clear.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:26 PM   #9
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What part of "even after it was activated it didn't work without jumping through hoops" don't you guys understand?
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:32 PM   #10
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What part of "even after it was activated it didn't work without jumping through hoops" don't you guys understand?
the jumping through hoops part...
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:45 PM   #11
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the jumping through hoops part...
Even after the device was "activated" it did not work. It simply gave the same V70 error. Even after re-connecting several times, re-booting the Elite, etc, it would not work.

It was only after the TiVo support guy had me reset settings on the Elite, change the name of the Elite, reconnect it to TiVo central, reboot the Mini, then it allowed guided setup to continue.

And none of this invalidates my earlier comments. It's 2013. Having to get on a web site to activate a product or make a phone call is archaic. There's no reason that the entire activation product couldn't be done right on the device itself, or via a "master" TiVo on the same network....

It's one thing to cry "RTFM", it's another thing entirely to argue that there's no room for improvement or that the more complicated you make a simple activation the more it affects the customer experience.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:37 PM   #12
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With a regular TiVo you can skip registration during setup and it will still be able to record and watch live TV. However you still have to activate service before it will be able to see your other TiVos on the network and do streaming. Since the Mini can only stream it makes sense that it has to be activated first.
Exactly. There really isn't a way to have a "trial" mode on the Mini I'm guessing. So activation is required. And activation, even when done online, can take a while to take effect. Units ordered from Tivo.com are pre-activated so it shouldn't be an issue with those.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:46 PM   #13
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The problem you ran into is that the Elite had not been updated to know that the Mini was activated on your account and allowed to connect to it. You shouldn't have needed all the rebooting, etc... Simply forcing a few calls on the Elite should have done the trick. Although even then it can take a little bit for the info to propagate through TiVo's system so a little patients is required as well.

I guess this is one advantage to buying direct from TiVo. When you do that they pre-register it on your account for you so when you get it it's all ready to go.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:08 AM   #14
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RTFM man, the first step is to reg it online.
+1
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:35 AM   #15
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I took about a half hour from the time I opened the box to watching TV. The only delay was having to put in the activation code in several times before it took..... My provider is Verizon/Cablecard.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:49 AM   #16
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The problem you ran into is that the Elite had not been updated to know that the Mini was activated on your account and allowed to connect to it. You shouldn't have needed all the rebooting, etc... Simply forcing a few calls on the Elite should have done the trick. Although even then it can take a little bit for the info to propagate through TiVo's system so a little patients is required as well.

I guess this is one advantage to buying direct from TiVo. When you do that they pre-register it on your account for you so when you get it it's all ready to go.
What Dan said.. If you would have activated it prior online, waited the 15 minutes for your account to update you probably would have been fine
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:32 AM   #17
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Even with my Roku 3 I got last week, I had to go to their website to activate it.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:27 AM   #18
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Now that you got that off your chest jmpage2, care to tell us what you think of the product? Not everyone will have read to the end of your post.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:34 AM   #19
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What part of "even after it was activated it didn't work without jumping through hoops" don't you guys understand?
well the first step was to activate...you did it out of order...hence the issues...i followed the steps exactly on the "quick start" and had absolutely no issues...
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:38 AM   #20
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Now that you got that off your chest jmpage2, care to tell us what you think of the product? Not everyone will have read to the end of your post.
I am rather impressed with the product. The speed and "recreation of the full TiVo experience" is quite impressive. I wish it had the ability to do season pass management and set up programs to record.

I would also like the ability to set each Mini for permission to delete recordings, as I might put one in a guest room and don't want guests deleting my shows after they've watched them.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:28 AM   #21
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I took about a half hour from the time I opened the box to watching TV. The only delay was having to put in the activation code in several times before it took..... My provider is Verizon/Cablecard.
Are you talking about a Premiere or a Mini?
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:54 AM   #22
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I wish it had the ability to do season pass management and set up programs to record.
You can schedule recordings and new season passes and modify existing ones from the Mini. You just don't have access to season pass manager which is a strange omission given that it's easily accessible via RPC protocol.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:34 AM   #23
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You can schedule recordings and new season passes and modify existing ones from the Mini. You just don't have access to season pass manager which is a strange omission given that it's easily accessible via RPC protocol.
That makes me feel better. I was having some buyer's remorse about putting in my order yesterday after reading some of the earlier posts. I'm not sure how they could call this a whole home solution if I still had to walk to the room where my P4 resides to schedule a recording.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:02 AM   #24
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I'm guessing season pass management will come. Clearly it supports it. I'm not sure why they are holding it back though. If they added it, it would truly be a mirror of the host box which would make sense for users.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:22 AM   #25
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I'm dreaming here, but ideally, Tivo will be rolling out profiles for the Premiere software sometime "soon", which amongst the options for the profiles, would be assigning access rights and privileges to profiles, which would control what you see in "My Shows", whether you have delete permissions, whether you can see the SP manager, etc.

Many will remember the HDUI screen shots from way back when the Premiere was launched, indicating some sort of "profile" system. Maybe after 3 years and more momentum behind Whole Home, we might actually have a chance.

(Let the "Tivo delivering products and enhancements in a reasonable amount of time" jokes begin.)
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:57 AM   #26
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I'm guessing season pass management will come. Clearly it supports it. I'm not sure why they are holding it back though. If they added it, it would truly be a mirror of the host box which would make sense for users.
I do also. I think we will see alot of updates as this thing moves on.. I mean hell iOS is always at least 1 or 2 software updates behind android in terms of features It is a brand new product give it time
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:59 AM   #27
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Profiles would be great.... you might want to put a Mini in a kids room and restrict content and channel lists. A Mini in a guest room, you might want to lock down for things like show deletion, etc.

If nothing else it would seem possible to allow administration of these types of things from TiVo.com.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:07 PM   #28
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You can schedule recordings and new season passes and modify existing ones from the Mini. You just don't have access to season pass manager which is a strange omission given that it's easily accessible via RPC protocol.
How do you do it? At first glance I simply noticed that the Season Pass Manager was missing.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:10 PM   #29
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How do you do it? At first glance I simply noticed that the Season Pass Manager was missing.
For scheduling new stuff you can do it from Guide or from Search just like normal. For changing existing SP options you can browse to an existing episode on the host TiVo from My Shows and push into it and edit SP options there.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:25 PM   #30
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For scheduling new stuff you can do it from Guide or from Search just like normal. For changing existing SP options you can browse to an existing episode on the host TiVo from My Shows and push into it and edit SP options there.
Thanks. It seems they are making it more complicated than necessary, should just put the stupid SP manager right on the Mini. With its speed it would be a pleasure to manage a season pass or set up a new recording from the Mini.
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