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Old 03-14-2013, 12:27 PM   #61
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Although I agree that reading the directions saves time and frustration, I also agree that the out of the box Mini experience could be better.

For example, the error you receive if your P4 hasn't phoned home since activating the Mini should be clearer instead of referring to the more obscure error code. But even better, there should be be a troubleshooting screen that lets you verify the Mini is connected to the network and a list of TiVos on that network and why they can't be connected to (two tuner, not activated on the same account etc.).

Bottom line is that I read direction first and it still took almost two hours before I could use the Mini because of the time it takes for the devices to phone home.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:42 PM   #62
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I agree with everything you just said. TiVo makes it pretty painless to set the Mini up if you order from them. If you buy one locally it is more difficult than it needs to be.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:44 PM   #63
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I agree with everything you just said. TiVo makes it pretty painless to set the Mini up if you order from them. If you buy one locally it is more difficult than it needs to be.
TiVo sent me the unit directly and even activated for me. Still was a pita.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:05 PM   #64
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TiVo sent me the unit directly and even activated for me. Still was a pita.
Interesting. In my case, my Elite had already "phoned home" and knew about the Mini that I ordered directly from TiVo.

In any event, I do this kind of stuff for a living (product introduction engineering) and there's a ton of room for improvement here. I have a feeling that TiVos development budget is being directed towards new features with very little work being done to make the product easier for the user to install.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:51 PM   #65
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The Mini's primary target is actually MSOs who have trained installers that do the setup. So they may not have as much effort into simplify the setup process as they could have.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:58 PM   #66
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My suspicion is that the current XL4 model is going to become the "nearly free" base level model in TiVo's lineup sometime later this year (with a new six tuner unit with faster silicon becoming the high-end model). At that point they will be selling a whole lot more of these Minis and the install process with units purchased at retail has to be as foolproof as possible.

I'm an engineer and rarely read directions when dealing with consumer level gear. If I can install a $100,000 router by the skin of my teeth then a $99 piece of hardware should not be this difficult. Admittedly, it's "on me" to some degree with the activation SNAFU, but even after that it took over an hour to get the unit working. Many users would give up and return the equipment.

A lot of the trouble has to do with the entire activation->phone home->check status loop that is required to add a new piece of equipment and have it authorized for use on an account.

There are alternative licensing/activation schemes that more or less completely circumvent this sort of thing. Would be nice if they moved in that direction at some point.
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:01 PM   #67
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A major overhaul of their licensing/activation system isn't very likely right now. They may revamp the Mini setup screens to allow you to force a quick connection or remind you that you may need to do that on the host TiVo as well, but I doubt they're going to revamp the whole activation system any time soon.

Plus if they're selling bundles then all devices will be pre-activated and the TiVo will need to be setup first, so the process should be a lot more seamless then it is when adding one to an existing setup.
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:29 PM   #68
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A major overhaul of their licensing/activation system isn't very likely right now. They may revamp the Mini setup screens to allow you to force a quick connection or remind you that you may need to do that on the host TiVo as well, but I doubt they're going to revamp the whole activation system any time soon.

Plus if they're selling bundles then all devices will be pre-activated and the TiVo will need to be setup first, so the process should be a lot more seamless then it is when adding one to an existing setup.
But only when ordering it directly from TiVo.

I ordered my Minis from BestBuy because there was less out of pocket expense for me(because of gift cards and reward zone dollars). Plus BestBuy has a four year warranty option. Which can come in handy if/when I sell the Mini when/if a newer model shows up in a few years.
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:36 PM   #69
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That's true. I still think that the best we'll see if better on screen instructions. I just don't see TiVo completely changing how the activation process works.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:07 PM   #70
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Interesting. In my case, my Elite had already "phoned home" and knew about the Mini that I ordered directly from TiVo.

In any event, I do this kind of stuff for a living (product introduction engineering) and there's a ton of room for improvement here. I have a feeling that TiVos development budget is being directed towards new features with very little work being done to make the product easier for the user to install.
Mine too. My setup experience with the unit from Tivo was exactly opposite the original poster's. I think maybe getting it before Tivo was ready to release might have contributed to the problem.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:11 PM   #71
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Mine too. My setup experience with the unit from Tivo was exactly opposite the original poster's. I think maybe getting it before Tivo was ready to release might have contributed to the problem.
LOL, I am the original poster. The Mini I bought at retail was a major PITA to set up. The one that I ordered from TiVo practically set itself up, as the Elite had already phoned home and knew about the Mini.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:39 PM   #72
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The retail one I got from BestBuy and I setup this evening was a breeze. But that was mainly because of this thread. The first thing I did was subscribe the Mini to the TiVo service. Then I had my three Premieres connect over the internet to the TiVo service. Then, while they were connecting I booted the Mini. After I went through the setup of the Mini it could see my boxes and the recordings on them. (The other day I had already setup one of my Elites to use one tuner with a Mini)

The only issue I had was that I forgot there was a software update. So I didn't reboot the Mini after if got the update. Without the update the "My Shows" list from my two tuner Premiere was showing up with an SD screen. Once I rebooted the Mini and the update was installed the My Shows list was an HD screen(The MY Shows lists from my ELites were always fine)

I'm also using a Slide remote with the Mini and it's working very well with it. I should get my second Elite tomorrow form BestBuy. At least that is when it's supposed to be delivered. Based on my use of the Mini this evening I will go ahead and keep the second one and use one in a bedroom and the other one will be used where one of my Elites are located. For the faster menu access. It's certainly much faster using the search function on the Mini than the Elite.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:46 PM   #73
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The retail one I got from BestBuy and I setup this evening was a breeze. But that was mainly because of this thread. The first thing I did was subscribe the Mini to the TiVo service. Then I had my three Premieres connect over the internet to the TiVo service. Then, while they were connecting I booted the Mini. After I went through the setup of the Mini it could see my boxes and the recordings on them. (The other day I had already setup one of my Elites to use one tuner with a Mini)

The only issue I had was that I forgot there was a software update. So I didn't reboot the Mini after if got the update. Without the update the "My Shows" list from my two tuner Premiere was showing up with an SD screen. Once I rebooted the Mini and the update was installed the My Shows list was an HD screen(The MY Shows lists from my ELites were always fine)

I'm also using a Slide remote with the Mini and it's working very well with it. I should get my second Elite tomorrow form BestBuy. At least that is when it's supposed to be delivered. Based on my use of the Mini this evening I will go ahead and keep the second one and use one in a bedroom and the other one will be used where one of my Elites are located. For the faster menu access. It's certainly much faster using the search function on the Mini than the Elite.
Can you tell us what happens if you disconnect the Elite/XL4 from the network? Does the Mini keep working and have access to the recordings on your 2-tuner Premiere?
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:13 PM   #74
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Can you tell us what happens if you disconnect the Elite/XL4 from the network? Does the Mini keep working and have access to the recordings on your 2-tuner Premiere?
I just tried it. I was streaming a channel from the Elite the Mini is linked to when I pulled the Ethernet cord from the Elite. The Mini said it lost the connection. When I went back to the My Shows list, the My Shows list showed up for a brief second then disappeared and then a message at the top said that I didn't have a connection to that Elite.

In the My Shows list it still shows my second Elite and my two tuner Premiere. I was still able to browse those "My Show" lists and play back content from them. I was also still able to play back content from Hulu Plus on the Mini.

Edit: Pandora is also working.

EDIT: Everytime I go to "My Shows" It first comes up with a message saying it lost the connection to the ELite it was linked to. I hit OK and then the only thing in the "My Shows" list are the Elite and Premiere I have. Then I can select either one to view their recordings.

No idea how long this lasts but I've had the Elite disconnected for ten minutes and I still have access to the other Elite and the two tuner Premiere.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:54 PM   #75
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I set mine up tonight with my XL4 & connected my slide. I even got it working with my Roomie Remote iOS software with a few minor exceptions. I set it up without an issues in what I think was a reasonable amount of time.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:17 AM   #76
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I just tried it. I was streaming a channel from the Elite the Mini is linked to when I pulled the Ethernet cord from the Elite. The Mini said it lost the connection. When I went back to the My Shows list, the My Shows list showed up for a brief second then disappeared and then a message at the top said that I didn't have a connection to that Elite.

In the My Shows list it still shows my second Elite and my two tuner Premiere. I was still able to browse those "My Show" lists and play back content from them. I was also still able to play back content from Hulu Plus on the Mini.

Edit: Pandora is also working.

EDIT: Everytime I go to "My Shows" It first comes up with a message saying it lost the connection to the ELite it was linked to. I hit OK and then the only thing in the "My Shows" list are the Elite and Premiere I have. Then I can select either one to view their recordings.

No idea how long this lasts but I've had the Elite disconnected for ten minutes and I still have access to the other Elite and the two tuner Premiere.
So... what I posted in the 2-tuner rant thread might be true, at least until Tivo closes the loophole - you don't have to have a 4-tuner box to use the Mini after you set it up with one, so you can simply buy and return a 4-tuner to get it working if all you have is 2-tuners.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:37 AM   #77
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Big Grin

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Today is the day you get to see a unicorn.

I wouldn't be kidding if I said I was a bit sheepish opening the box. All the waiting, the frustration, and most importantly, the DISBELIEF. It REALLY exists!

A real unicorn sat there right in front of me.

I never thought I would see the day.

Setup wasnt too bad, I did a temp setup of it just to test it and make sure it worked. I was honestly amazed at how fast the MoCA streaming was from the Elite to the Mini. Fast-Forwarding and all. I elected to NOT lock down the tuner (after confirming it worked) and use it for streaming only.

I think the most annoying part of the install was having to turn the computer on to put in that stupid access code to enable the Pandora. It was THAT easy.

Next project: finding a nice compact swiveling wall mount with a VESA 100X100 for my kitchen TV that I can rig an additional mounting surface or bracket to for the Mini. Off to Mono***** I go!
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:44 AM   #78
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I just tried it. I was streaming a channel from the Elite the Mini is linked to when I pulled the Ethernet cord from the Elite. The Mini said it lost the connection. When I went back to the My Shows list, the My Shows list showed up for a brief second then disappeared and then a message at the top said that I didn't have a connection to that Elite.

In the My Shows list it still shows my second Elite and my two tuner Premiere. I was still able to browse those "My Show" lists and play back content from them. I was also still able to play back content from Hulu Plus on the Mini.

Edit: Pandora is also working.

EDIT: Everytime I go to "My Shows" It first comes up with a message saying it lost the connection to the ELite it was linked to. I hit OK and then the only thing in the "My Shows" list are the Elite and Premiere I have. Then I can select either one to view their recordings.

No idea how long this lasts but I've had the Elite disconnected for ten minutes and I still have access to the other Elite and the two tuner Premiere.
If you still have it disconnected: it would be a good test to reboot the mini with the XL4 off the network. Any return of the XL4 would require the mini be fully self-sufficient.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:04 AM   #79
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When will we see the arbitrary complaint thread created that the "Mini cannot stream from Series 3/HD"?
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:31 AM   #80
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If you still have it disconnected: it would be a good test to reboot the mini with the XL4 off the network. Any return of the XL4 would require the mini be fully self-sufficient.
I'll have to try that tonight.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:09 AM   #81
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When will we see the arbitrary complaint thread created that the "Mini cannot stream from Series 3/HD"?
I am guessing that most people made that assumption because they already new you couldn't stream from a Series 3 unit to a Premiere. Another one of those areas where I wonder if it is technical or not. In any event it doesn't matter as I doubt TiVo is going to be updating the Series 3 units anymore.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:49 AM   #82
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If you still have it disconnected: it would be a good test to reboot the mini with the XL4 off the network. Any return of the XL4 would require the mini be fully self-sufficient.
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I'll have to try that tonight.
And if that works, disconnect your other 4-tuner so that all you have left is the 2, then reboot the Mini and see if it still works.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:34 PM   #83
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I set mine up tonight with my XL4 & connected my slide. I even got it working with my Roomie Remote iOS software with a few minor exceptions. I set it up without an issues in what I think was a reasonable amount of time.
Can you elaborate on that? I also use roomie and have a couple minis on the way.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:45 PM   #84
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I am guessing that most people made that assumption because they already new you couldn't stream from a Series 3 unit to a Premiere. Another one of those areas where I wonder if it is technical or not. In any event it doesn't matter as I doubt TiVo is going to be updating the Series 3 units anymore.
The S3 units could easily be updated to support streaming. But they'll never do it. That's a Premiere exclusive feature and something TiVo uses to get people to move up to the new platform.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:51 PM   #85
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Exactly, just as the Mini is a carrot to encourage users to upgrade to 4 tuner units.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:56 PM   #86
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That was probably a minor part of their thinking, but I really think that the main reason they don't work with 2 tuner units in the live TV thing. If they really wanted to sell more boxes they would have just held it back from retail until the new model TiVos were out later this year (hopefully) and then made it only work with them.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:01 PM   #87
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That was probably a minor part of their thinking, but I really think that the main reason they don't work with 2 tuner units in the live TV thing. If they really wanted to sell more boxes they would have just held it back from retail until the new model TiVos were out later this year (hopefully) and then made it only work with them.
If that was the case then they would lift the restriction on using Minis with two tuner Premieres as soon as dynamic tuner allocation is available, but they've clearly said they aren't going to do that.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:05 PM   #88
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If that was the case then they would lift the restriction on using Minis with two tuner Premieres as soon as dynamic tuner allocation is available, but they've clearly said they aren't going to do that.
One guy in an interview said that. It's not guaranteed yet.

And even with dynamic tuner allocation the "experience" is still degraded because if you're watching live TV on the host and the Mini at the same time there are no tuners available for recording.

I'm betting that even after dynamic tuner allocation hits you'll still only be able to assign 2 tuners for network use on a 4 tuner box. That way between the Minis and local live TV there will still always be one tuner available for recording.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:13 PM   #89
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I think that the current situation is nothing but a holdover until they can get a six unit premiere with newer silicon on store shelves, probably end of this year or early next.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:29 PM   #90
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I completely agree. Something new is coming. Which is why I think that if their primary goal was to get people to buy new units then they would have just held the Mini back from retail until the new units were released and then made it do the Mini only supported the new units.

While selling a few more 4 tuner units is icing on the cake. I really do believe that a fear of diminished user experience and support issues was the primary reason for current 4 tuner requirement.
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