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Old 03-14-2013, 07:11 PM   #1
redbeard25
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I've had a Tivo mini for two hours, and here are my thoughts...

Just two hours ago, Igot my Tivo mini. I can already tell the simplicity and feature set will blow anything else away. Here are the instant wins for me:

1. Same awesome Tivo interface that I'm used to. Well, basically... we still use SDUI on our Premiere because we're old school. Still, everything's in the right place.

2. No need for another Comcast cable box or card. no extra "outlet" fee and no box rental. The two of those fees together mean I'll recoup my lifetime purchase in 10 months.

3. Everything streams... even the "do not transfer" content, which I can't figure out for the life of me why some of it is flagged that way. It doesn't matter to the mini.

4. Zero setup. I literally plugged the thing in, turned it on, told it to set itself up, and it did. No configuration - it found my premiere and there it worked.

5. No noise, low power. I had a Series 2 with lifetime limping along with a Comcast DTA box on that TV, and it was amazing the difference in sound. I would imagine that my electricity usage will dip with a solid state device on that plug instead of a spinning drive device (that's a half decade old.)

6. Same bat channels, same bat content. I don't have to wonder what's stored on what box. It's all in one place, and the mini just shares it.

It's not for everyone. I'm a Tivo snob since 1999, so I'm weird like that.

The things that I hope Tivo will do soon:

1. Dynamic Tuner Allocation. It is a little onerous to have to give up a tuner ALL THE TIME for the extender, even when I'm not using the box. I guess they want to avoid turning on the extender and getting a message that says "I'm sorry, all four tuners are in use. What recording do you want to cancel?"

2. Netflix and Amazon. To be able to have those apps would be golden.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:17 PM   #2
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Can you watch something that was downloaded from Amazon on the Mini?
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by magnus View Post
Can you watch something that was downloaded from Amazon on the Mini?
I believe the answer was no.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:22 PM   #4
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Can you watch something while it is being recorded?
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:38 PM   #5
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Can you watch something while it is being recorded?
Yes
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:39 PM   #6
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Can you watch something that was downloaded from Amazon on the Mini?
I think this is an across the board block. I don't think you can use the Stream on that content either.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:58 PM   #7
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Can you watch a web video download (e.g., HD Nation; video podcast(s)) on the Mini?
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:07 PM   #8
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Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbiller View Post
Can you watch a web video download (e.g., HD Nation; video podcast(s)) on the Mini?
I watched The Apple Byte, on the Mini, that was already recorded on the Elite.
Then I used the Launchpad, from the Mini, to watch CNET. It all looked pretty good.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:09 PM   #9
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I watched The Apple Byte, on the Mini, that was already recorded on the Elite.
Then I used the Launchpad, to watch CNET. It all looked pretty good.
Excellent. An advantage over the Stream. You can't watch downloaded web video's on the stream. They are blocked. You also can't MRS web videos.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:12 PM   #10
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Excellent. An advantage over the Stream. You can't watch downloaded web video's on the stream. They are blocked. You also can't MRS web videos.
I don't think that anything is blocked. Well, almost. Even my DVD's, that I ripped and pushed, to the Tivo's. I can watch any of them, where before they were blocked.

I really, really need Netflix though. With two young children, we wear it out in my household. Also my young wife and her "One Tree Hill"

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Old 03-14-2013, 09:13 PM   #11
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I don't think that anything is blocked. Even my DVD's, that I ripped and pushed, to the Tivo's. I can watch any of them, where before they were blocked.
I'm 99.9% sure Amazon Instant Video downloads would be blocked.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:15 PM   #12
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Can you watch something that was downloaded from Amazon on the Mini?
Amazon blocks it's content from streaming (MRS). And since the Mini uses the same MRS protocol, it is no different than trying to stream a Amazon download from another premiere (it is blocked).
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:17 PM   #13
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I'm 99.9% sure Amazon Instant Video downloads would be blocked.

Yes, 100% sure. I just tried it. Got the "Due to Copyright" Message.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:22 PM   #14
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Yes, 100% sure. I just tried it. Got the "Due to Copyright" Message.
Interesting - I don't have any to test, but like the above poster, I got Cnet's "do not transfer" stuff to stream.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:38 PM   #15
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Interesting - I don't have any to test, but like the above poster, I got Cnet's "do not transfer" stuff to stream.
Do not transfer doesn't prohibit streaming. Amazon's videos do not allow transfer or streaming.
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:50 AM   #16
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I ordered a mini from Tivo last night. Couldn't wait till it gets here and I needed a second one anyway. So I bought one from Best Buy tonight.

Installation was easy and painless. I had it up and running in less than half an hour, most of it waiting for downloading programming information (I think).

Everything works as expected. This Mini is sitting next to a Tivo HD and streams from a Premier upstairs. So I needed to make sure the Tivo remote and Mini remote do not interfere. A little bit searching in old HD manual and following the instructions took care of setting the remotes to different numbers.

It may be my imagination but it seems to me the quality of the picture is not as good as watching it locally. I was hoping that I wouldn't lose any fidelity due to some compression. For the record I am using wired 1 Gbps Ethernet. In particular fast action scenes showed noticeable pixilation and I saw some softness in some other scenes that was similar to watching Netflix HD off the internet. It might have been the show I was watching but I am going to run some side by side tests. I will be really disappointed if the quality of the picture is not the same as watching the show locally.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:24 AM   #17
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No, I noticed it as well, the quality is definitely a notch below watching it on the Premiere. Not that bad though.

Good enough reason to make sure the host DVR is always at the primary TV-watching location.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:44 AM   #18
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No, I noticed it as well, the quality is definitely a notch below watching it on the Premiere. Not that bad though.

Good enough reason to make sure the host DVR is always at the primary TV-watching location.
Interesting. I would have expected zero degradation in quality since the Mini should be streaming an exact copy of the Mpeg 2. Perhaps the Elite's THX video design makes a difference?
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:59 AM   #19
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Interesting. I would have expected zero degradation in quality since the Mini should be streaming an exact copy of the Mpeg 2. Perhaps the Elite's THX video design makes a difference?
I didn't think THX was as much as a design as it was a set of standards.

I absolutely insist its a notch below. I understand what you're saying, but there was definitely a tad more blur to the picture, and the color was not as vivid as the original.

I will test the Mini in in a different location in the house over the weekend and see if I get the same result. But, I have the FiOS provided 8-way splitter fed from a home run from my ONT, and all rooms are on their own home run directly from the splitter as well, all cable is RG6 quad shield with matching compression fittings on each and every termination I installed myself when i bought the house. So each and every room of the house is technically the same.

I am already nervous about having that 8-way splitter currently filled as I am on the horizon of beginning to think about finishing my basement, and that will require a 9th feed
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:05 AM   #20
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I didn't think THX was as much as a design as it was a set of standards.

I absolutely insist its a notch below. I understand what you're saying, but there was definitely a tad more blur to the picture, and the color was not as vivid as the original.

I will test the Mini in in a different location in the house over the weekend and see if I get the same result. But, I have the FiOS provided 8-way splitter fed from a home run from my ONT, and all rooms are on their own home run directly from the splitter as well, all cable is RG6 quad shield with matching compression fittings on each and every termination I installed myself when i bought the house. So each and every room of the house is technically the same.

I am already nervous about having that 8-way splitter currently filled as I am on the horizon of beginning to think about finishing my basement, and that will require a 9th feed
You also need to consider that most TVs require calibration of each and every input. i.e. It's not apples to apples comparison until you have fully calibrated the TV for each device on each input. Personally I don't see a difference between Mini and a Premiere on my small bedroom 40" TV using HDMI, but I did have to calibrate the TV to the Mini since it didn't look right with default TV settings.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:07 AM   #21
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Its likely the video hardware driving the image is different. The streams are the same, the Premiere does not re-encode the stream at all.

The mini might be loosing bits due to speed of data transfer.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:19 AM   #22
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I will test over the weekend on some different TVs in differnet rooms and see if I notice the same.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:09 AM   #23
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Its likely the video hardware driving the image is different. The streams are the same, the Premiere does not re-encode the stream at all.

The mini might be loosing bits due to speed of data transfer.
The bitstream should pretty much be identical... the most likely explanation for any perceived difference in PQ would be the previously mentioned different silicon in the Mini vs the Premiere. Also, as mentioned, if you aren't watching both devices on matched inputs on the same TV, the subjective feel of a degraded picture could be just that, subjective opinion.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:54 AM   #24
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Swap the inputs. Plug the Mini into where you currently have the THD HDMI input, and visa versa. See if there is a difference.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:06 AM   #25
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It's a bit-for-bit transfer, it's just outputting differently. It's a different device and TV, so that's to be expected. Calibration is always a good idea.

Back when I first got the Elite I dumped a couple of the AVS HD 709 videos onto it for calibration (the included THX video was too simple for my liking.) I'm going to stream the videos to the Mini to calibrate the other TV.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:10 AM   #26
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I will test over the weekend on some different TVs in differnet rooms and see if I notice the same.
I would if possible swap it with your 4 tuner model. This way you can see how the Mini compares when used on the same input and the same TV as the 4.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:14 AM   #27
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Random questions....

1. Do you know where TiVo ship from? I want a mini and want to know how long it will take to get here...

2. Does the mini output THX certified sound (from my XL4)?

3. Anyone used with ethernet over powerline? I have an AppleTV running XBMC and it works OK, but if the mini uses more bandwidth then maybe I will run into problems.

Thanks!!
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:19 AM   #28
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Random questions....

1. Do you know where TiVo ship from? I want a mini and want to know how long it will take to get here...
Mine shipped from Texas. It was here in Colorado two days later via regular ground shipping. I imagine they have warehouses in several places it might ship from any of them.

Quote:
2. Does the mini output THX certified sound (from my XL4)?
It is not "THX certified". Whether that means you can tell any difference in the sound quality is another question entirely.

Quote:
3. Anyone used with ethernet over powerline? I have an AppleTV running XBMC and it works OK, but if the mini uses more bandwidth then maybe I will run into problems.
I'm running MoCA. Don't you have coax where the Mini would go? If powerline can give you 30-40mbps performance without problems then it should be more than enough to service a Mini.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:23 PM   #29
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I didn't think THX was as much as a design as it was a set of standards.
...
It is a set of standards, but the certified product has to be designed to meet those standards.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:31 PM   #30
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3. Anyone used with ethernet over powerline? I have an AppleTV running XBMC and it works OK, but if the mini uses more bandwidth then maybe I will run into problems.
I used powerline for streaming between two TiVos for a while. It worked OK. However the FF/RW were really jumpy and hard to control. I switched to MoCa and it's a lot better.

Edit: The powerline modules I was using were older AV200 ones. The newer AV500 ones might work better.
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