First of all my setup:
- Tivo XL4 with a tuning adapter hardwired into a switch which is hardwired into a router. One tuner configured to use the Tivo mini (and yes, that tuner is dedicated to the Tivo mini live TV and cannot be used by the XL4 at all. You do NOT need to allocate a tuner to the Tivo mini if you don't want to watch live TV on it)
- Tivo HD connected to the router wirelessly
- Tivo Mini hardwired into a switch which is hardwired into a router
I hooked up the Tivo mini. It's boot time was almost as long as the XL4's, which is amazing. Only Tivo engineers can manage to have something boot that slow off a chip. Guess they are having it calculate pi to the 10,000th digit as it boots.
Went through a guided setup similar to the XL4s but minus the ZIP code and cable company configuration. At the end of the setup, it was loading guide data, which took forever and made no sense since it's using the guide data off the XL4 from what I can tell (keep reading and that'll make sense to you).
Set up my remote to control the TV, named the Tivo mini and all that other fun little stuff.
Main menu claimed my XL4 could no longer be found. I unplugged the network cable and plugged in another straight from the router (so bypassing the switch). I get a message that I no longer have internet connectivity and it didn't go away even after I plugged in the network cable again. Found a place to have it test my connection. It went through the test and then hung at the last step "Disconnecting."
Found that somewhere along the lines I lost live TV on my XL4, everything else on it still worked. Could be an odd coincidence, but I'm guessing the Tivo Mini somehow jacked that up.
Rebooted the XL4. Power cycled the Tivo Mini (still hung at "Disconnecting).
All worked well, I could watch live TV and recorded shows, forward, rewind, everything with no apparent lag.
I wanted to post my experience on the forums and while I looked for a good place to do so, I found someone asking if the Tivo Mini played video off the USB port. Just for kicks I copied .AVI, .WMV, .MP4, .MPG and also a .JPG picture to a USB stick and plugged it into the Tivo mini. I got an error that the Tivo Mini does not support storage expansion and saw no way to browse or play the files off the USB stick (I checked under Photos as well to see if maybe you could show .JPG pictures, but no option for the USB stick there either).
Tivo Mini now gave me the error that it could not find the XL4, yet I was still able to watch live TV (but not recordings). When I tried to use the guide, it just gave me an error that it couldn't find the XL4 (which leads me to believe that it's using the XL4's guide, not it's own to where loading data when it connects should not be taking as long as it does).
I removed the USB stick, rebooted the Tivo Mini and no more error. Tried several channels of LiveTV, then noticed that I didn't have the switched channels.
Checked the XL4, sure enough, no switched channels. Rebooted tuning adapter (guess I should have done that when I rebooted the XL4 earlier, but tuning adapter reboots can be such a pain).
Tivo Mini gave an error that the XL4 was doing something using all it's tuners (makes sense for a tuning adapter reboot). Then I was back to it not being able to find the XL4 (UGH!!!). Rebooted the Tivo Mini, all seems well.
I tried some switched channels, apps and Live365 streaming radio off the mini without issues.
I have the suggestion banner on the top enabled on my XL4. I don't see an option to disable that on the Tivo Mini, so it must take over the setting from the XL4 for that. Since the Tivo Mini doesn't come with Netflix, I wondered what would happen if I tried to go into one of the suggestions it listed from Netflix. Want to guess?
If you guess that Tivo Mini no longer found the XL4 and required a reboot, you are a winner!
BTW, it can only Stream of the XL4. It sees my Tivo HD, but won't let me browse it or anything.
I'll use it some more and will let you guys know if I find out anything else, so far the losing connectivity to the XL4 when anything unusual happens and me having to reboot the Tivo mini seems to be the only major issue.
I guess you just have to watch what you select until they fix their bugs (I guess they had some lame beta testers for me to get the error as many times as I did and they didn't catch it in beta)...
- On subsequent service connections, I noticed that loading the guide data is much faster.
- The mini downloaded and installed a service update last night. No message detailing the changes like there usually is on the regular Tivo boxes, I just know because I noticed that there was a pending restart and when I manually restarted, it applied the update.
- Even after the update, the Mini intermittently kept giving me errors that it lost connection to the XL4 despite Live TV working fine. I tried static IP addresses for both which made no difference. I suspect that that rather than using the IP address to contact the XL4 directly, Tivo must use something broadcast-based for the heartbeat and maybe that's not always making it through my two switch/router setup.
- This morning I changed over to a secure MoCA connection (I do not currently have a POE filter hooked up). During the setup, at first the Mini was acting as if it wasn't seeing the XL4. Then it saw the XL4, but claimed there was an issue connecting to the Tivo service. As before, a reboot fixed 'er up and I was able to use Live TV, Stream shows, use Live365, look at shows on the suggestion banner etc. My advice is definitely if you make any changes to the Mini configuration whatsoever, reboot it.
Since switching over to MoCA, I've not received any more lost connection errors or other issues, so I guess I'll keep using encrypted MoCA rather than ethernet. Seems to work fine without a POE filter and I'm probably not going to install one since I don't need a performance boost and am worried that it could interfere with cable company communications (i.e. the tuning adapter communicating back to Time Warner to get a stream), so I'll go with "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Since I'm using encrypted MoCA, I don't have to worry about the MoCA signal making it to my neighbors and them streaming off my Tivo... ;-)
After than statement, I'm sure someone will tell me that there is a way to crack MoCA encryption, but based on what I'm using MoCA for and that there aren't many MoCA devices out there to where probably nobody else in a mile radius has one, I'm not too worried...
I hope my experiences above prove useful to somone and that either everything works for you right after you hook up the Tivo Mini or that you get any issues squared away quickly so you can enjoy your Tivo Mini. Good luck everyone!
This will be the final update unless I run into any major issues that just haven't manifested themselves yet.