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View Poll Results: 3 TVs: 1 4-tuner + 2 Minis? or 3 2-tuner TiVo's?
Keep the 3 TiVo's as-is 22 62.86%
Upgrade to a single TiVo XL4 + 2 TiVo Minis 13 37.14%
Voters: 35. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-15-2013, 11:45 AM   #1
dmk1974
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3 TVs: 1 4-tuner + 2 Minis? or 3 2-tuner TiVo's?

I am intrigued by this TiVo Mini device and it's ability to allow sharing of a single box throughout the home.

I currently have 3 HDTV's, each with a TiVo Premiere box, each with Product Lifetime Service. One of the boxes I upgraded myself and installed a 2 TB hard drive. 2 are wired with ethernet, 1 is using a TiVo wireless-N USB adapter. I think i should be able to net about $1200-$1300 for the trio if I sell them on ebay.

Looking at the investment and capabilities, I am considering buying a 4-tuner TiVo Premiere XL4 plus 2 TiVo Mini boxes. Via the TiVo site, this would cost me just over $1300.

Being pretty close to a wash, is it worth making this change to a single shared TiVo across all 3 TVs? Or just pass on it and wait another couple years for whatever is next? Too bad the Mini does not work with the TiVo's that I already own Thanks!
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:54 AM   #2
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I am intrigued by this TiVo Mini device and it's ability to allow sharing of a single box throughout the home.

I currently have 3 HDTV's, each with a TiVo Premiere box, each with Product Lifetime Service. One of the boxes I upgraded myself and installed a 2 TB hard drive. 2 are wired with ethernet, 1 is using a TiVo wireless-N USB adapter. I think i should be able to net about $1200-$1300 for the trio if I sell them on ebay.

Looking at the investment and capabilities, I am considering buying a 4-tuner TiVo Premiere XL4 plus 2 TiVo Mini boxes. Via the TiVo site, this would cost me just over $1300.

Being pretty close to a wash, is it worth making this change to a single shared TiVo across all 3 TVs? Or just pass on it and wait another couple years for whatever is next? Too bad the Mini does not work with the TiVo's that I already own Thanks!
At this point the only thing you would gain from the switch is 2 less cable cards and going to one do to list. You loose storage and tuners plus some other functions. I would wait until fall to see if TiVo gets their new 6 tuner box out and gets the Mini software updated & make the switch then.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:11 PM   #3
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At this point the only thing you would gain from the switch is 2 less cable cards and going to one do to list. You loose storage and tuners plus some other functions. I would wait until fall to see if TiVo gets their new 6 tuner box out and gets the Mini software updated & make the switch then.
Good observation regarding the cable cards and additional digital outlet charges. Would save me just over $5 per month. Not a ton, but always adds up.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:14 PM   #4
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I would say keep the Premieres and when a six tuner TiVo comes out, then get that and the Minis. Of course if you save alot in cable card fees than using the XL4 and Minis now might be better. I guess it really depends on how much you watch TV at each location.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:16 PM   #5
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I also have a small 4th TV in the kitchen (22" HDTV) that is currently only connected to a cheap Comcast digital adapter box (so the feed is stretched low-def on it). Getting then a 3rd Mini to mount behind it would be nice, but then again, it would be another $250 (with lifetime) for that 4th TV. Nice to have, but not as important as the other 3.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:17 PM   #6
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My vote: Sell one 2-tuner box and replace it with one 4-tuner box. Done.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:54 PM   #7
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I can't imagine going back to managing more than one Series Recording list, etc. It really does reduce the one downside to using a DVR.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:03 PM   #8
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I did something slightly similar, I sold 1 S3 TiVo last fall and replaced it with an Elite... I did this in anticipation of the Mini.

I went from two S3s and a room that was served with a Slingbox to one Elite and two Minis, with an option to add another Mini later if our guest room really needs TiVo frequently.

I am happy with the switch, but part of the reason for that is that I was happy to move from the S3 UI to the new HDUI that I now have in all rooms. Being able to pause/resume a recording in another room is a pretty good feature too.

The advantage of making the move to the TiVo Minis would be that you have central control of your recordings, and assuming that 3 tuners is enough to record all of your content it is a pretty good setup.... hopefully TiVo makes good with dynamic tuner allocation in another 3-6 months which will eliminate one of the only downsides to the setup.

Minis are much much faster in the HDUI than the Premiere.... and you will save a LOT in electric costs as you will go from consuming 90-100 watts for your current setup to about 40 watts using 1 XL4 + 2 Minis.

On the downsides, you won't be able to watch Netflix on your Minis and you won't be able to manage season passes on them. If you watch a lot of shows simultaneously, you might be irked by the current tuner setup. You are also arguably losing extra "storage" capability by losing extra full functioned DVRs... so if you're the kind of person who records dozens of shows a week and wants them all archived (along with multiple copies on different DVRs as "backups") then the Mini is probably not for you. If you're a more typical viewer I think you'll be quite happy with the way the Mini operates.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:04 PM   #9
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I'd say stay with what you have for now. The current 4 tuner units have dog slow interface (much slower than the 2 tuner units even) so IMO it's kind of a downgrade from 2 tuner units. Wait until a new 4+ tuner unit comes out with faster processor (rumored for release towards end of this year) and chances are by then the Mini will have dropped in price or TiVo will offer a discounted package for new 4+ tuner unit + Mini(s).
I can't in good faith recommend the current 4 tuner units to anyone since they are so slow. The speed of the Mini serves as a constant reminder how the HDUI should be speed wise and how slow the 4 tuner units really are. (I know and expect followup posts to disagree with my assessment about speed, but this is from my 1st hand experience).
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:35 PM   #10
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The current 4 tuner units have dog slow interface (much slower than the 2 tuner units even)
Baloney.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:42 PM   #11
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Baloney.
Not unusable but the HD menus are slower on the 4 unit Premiere as compared to the two unit Premiere.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:45 PM   #12
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Yes, they are slower. But barely slower. moyekj makes it sound like the difference between a 486 and a Core i5.

I replaced a Premiere with an Elite and nobody in the household has ever made a comment on speed of the UI.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:01 PM   #13
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Since it's a wash price wise you have to decide if giving up 2 tuners is worth saving $5/mo and only having to manage one To Do List. Personally I think only managing one To Do List is worth the cost, but some people don't mind managing multiple TiVos.

And if TiVo does come out with a 6 tuner unit later this year you can sell the XL4 and upgrade. It wont lose much value in that time.
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:52 PM   #14
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Yes, they are slower. But barely slower. moyekj makes it sound like the difference between a 486 and a Core i5.

I replaced a Premiere with an Elite and nobody in the household has ever made a comment on speed of the UI.
Your household is a lot more tolerant than mine or maybe there is just something wrong with my Elite. But I consider having to wait 4-5 seconds after pressing TiVo to start seeing a list of My Shows ridiculously slow compared to my 2 tuner Premiere which starts filling out in less than half that time (after not interacting with it for a while). So for me it is not "barely slower" but literally twice as slow or worse depending what its doing at the time I try to use it. The Mini is the first thing TiVo product running the HDUI my family and I find acceptable speeds and hopefully any future TiVo DVRs will be that speed or better which is why I suggest waiting.
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:39 PM   #15
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On the downsides, you won't be able to watch Netflix on your Minis and you won't be able to manage season passes on them. If you watch a lot of shows simultaneously, you might be irked by the current tuner setup. You are also arguably losing extra "storage" capability by losing extra full functioned DVRs... so if you're the kind of person who records dozens of shows a week and wants them all archived (along with multiple copies on different DVRs as "backups") then the Mini is probably not for you. If you're a more typical viewer I think you'll be quite happy with the way the Mini operates.
Hmmm....these are definite downsides if no Netflix on the Mini's as well as losing the ability to manage Season Passes. Basement is "my" TiVo (and also has a Slingbox connected. Bedroom is my "wife's" and the family room is the "kids'". I suppose that we can all get used to setting recordings using the TiVo app on our iPhones/iPads/iPods. But I am now seeing many of the trade-offs.
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:45 PM   #16
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If you have different "user communities" that each manage their own box then I see nothing but downside for you of aggregating your setup and deploying the Minis, at least until TiVo adds more functionality to the Mini.
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Old 03-15-2013, 05:16 PM   #17
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I agree. Sounds like you need more tuners, full TDL/SPM support and Netflix before this is a good idea. I'm still hoping that one of these days they're going to add multi-user capabilities to the TiVo software. That way everyone in the house can use one TiVo but have their own My Shows, Season Passes, etc...
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Old 03-15-2013, 05:46 PM   #18
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All it takes is one pack rat who refuses to delete anything and it pretty much screws that whole thing, unless they will put in a quota system.
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Old 03-15-2013, 05:49 PM   #19
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I think they're going to have to have a quota as well as user priority to make it work. (i.e. Dad's recordings take priority over kids recordings if there is a conflict)
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:51 PM   #20
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I pretty much am in the same boat. 3 TVs; two Premieres and one Series 3 (lifetime). One premiere is lifetimed, but the other isn't as I was waiting first to see what these minis offered. For now, I think I am just gonna stay with my 3 TiVos for two main reasons

- more storage.
- 6 tuners (vs 4 w/ a mini setup)

Not to mention that if the host DVR goes down in a mini setup, you lose ALL TVs networked to that device. with 3 different TiVos, at least you don't lose them all.

My Series 3 is in a basement area that isn't used a lot. I use it to record basic shows and then offload/MRV them to the Premieres when needed. Of course, this is also dependent on your cable company. My Comcast doesn't allow MRV of Premium channel (HBO, Showtime, etc.) content from S3 to S4, but does allow it for regular digital channels (TNT, FX, TBS, etc.). Comcast allows multi-room streaming of HBO from Premiere to Premiere so I'll take that while I can.

Combine this with all the buggieness I am reading about with the minis and I feel comfortable with just staying with three TiVos for now. Hell, I would probably go with a multi-tuner Ceton/SiliconDust solution (with Xbox360 "extenders") before I went with this buggy mini.

Maybe in a few months they will work out a good portion of the bugs and allow dynamic tuner allocation, but until then I would prefer NOT to be one of the early adopters.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:34 AM   #21
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I can't imagine going back to managing more than one Series Recording list, etc. It really does reduce the one downside to using a DVR.
Funny you should mention this. Seems kmttg is solving yet one more issue, managing multiple to do lists and sharing of available tuners. Its in beta and being tested. Works very well so far. So for me, the only remaining down side of multiple DVRs vs the thin client model is the integrated NPL.

For now, I have kmttg roll all recordings to the tivo in our home theater with the 2TB drive, leaving the other two empty. Tivo has stated that an integrted NPL was in the works for next release....
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:41 AM   #22
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- more storage.
- 6 tuners (vs 4 w/ a mini setup)

Not to mention that if the host DVR goes down in a mini setup, you lose ALL TVs networked to that device. with 3 different TiVos, at least you don't lose them all.

.
Actually you would be moving from 6 tuners to record with to 3 as the mini's will need at least one of the 4 full time.
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:34 AM   #23
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I think I am definitely going to remain with 3 TiVo boxes instead of one box with the two Mini boxes.

However, another option that I am now considering, is to buy one 4-tuner box with lifetime to replace one of my existing boxes. TiVo has that sale ending today that bundles the basic 4-tuner box with a TiVo Stream and MoCA adapter all for $299 (plus lifetime). I recently bought a TiVo Stream from Best Buy for $129 plus tax (which I would return to them) and would then use the one from the bundle instead. From my current situation, it would cost me $170 to buy a 4-tuner TiVo and MoCA. Of course an additional $400 for the lifetime on the 4-tuner box as well. I do figure that I can sell one of my existing 1-tuner Premiere boxes for a net of ~$400 so that part would wash out.

SO, is it worth it with this math to replace one of my existing boxes (giving me 2 additional tuners) so I am ready to add a TiVo Mini for that 4th TV if I choose?

-$170 4-Tuner TiVo w/MoCA
-$400 Lifetime
+400 Sell 2-Tuner TiVo
--------
-$170 net cost

I could then also upgrade the new 4-tuner box with a larger hard drive (I've done that on one of my 3 current boxes) for less than the difference of an XL4 box.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:48 PM   #24
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Big Grin

Well, I did pretty much as I planned per above. But got it all done at the local Best Buy. Went in there with my receipt for my previously purchased TiVo Stream and then showed the guy the TiVo online promo. Not an exact match, but pretty close. They don't carry the TiVo MoCA adapters and I didn't need one anyway.

They basically rang the TiVo Stream as a return and then bought it again on the updated ticket. I also had $35.00 in RZ certs that I was able to use and apply to the pre-tax total.

+$129.99 TiVo Stream
-$90.89 TiVo Stream
-$84.89 TiVo Mini
-$180.11 TiVo Premiere 4
+$35.00 RZ certificates
--------------
-$190.90 pre-tax for adding the Mini and Premiere 4 today (since I owned the Stream)
or
-$320.89 pre-tax for the Stream, Mini, and Premiere 4 (bottom line spent on the 3 items)

I did then elect to buy the Product Lifetime service on the Mini and Premiere 4, so tack on another $549.98 to that BB total.

Hooked it all up and I think it's running fine. I now have a 4th TV connected in my kitchen via the Mini (wife and kids are pretty happy with that).

Assuming I clear over $400 for the 2-tuner Premiere that I am replacing with this 4-tuner Premiere, I basically will have spent about $355 today (net after taxes and selling the 2-tuner box) to go from 6 tuners across 3 TVs to 8 tuners across 4 TVs. And one of my boxes increases from 45 hours to 75 hours. Same number of cable cards as before and I get to turn in a digital adapter which was just $2 a month.

Pretty slick...all connected to watch tons of TV practically anywhere in the house (or out when copied to the iPad or iPhone).
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:07 AM   #25
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Congrats. Nice whole home setup!

Good luck with the Premiere sale. You should post it on TCF first as many sell pretty quickly here.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:20 AM   #26
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Nice setup!

Tivo Stream is great and I cannot believe how fast the menus are on the Mini's. It is how the Premier menus should have been. They are now close but still not as fast.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:22 AM   #27
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Congrats. Nice whole home setup!

Good luck with the Premiere sale. You should post it on TCF first as many sell pretty quickly here.
Thanks. I've never sold through the forums here, only ebay and Craigslist in the past. I may give it a shot once I have everything transferred off and have it all reset.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:23 AM   #28
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Nice setup!

Tivo Stream is great and I cannot believe how fast the menus are on the Mini's. It is how the Premier menus should have been. They are now close but still not as fast.
Thanks. One thing that I also notice, is while the Mini seems to be very fast via the MoCA connection to the 4-tuner TiVo, the 4-tuner TiVo itself seems slower...even slower than my two 2-tuner TiVos. Maybe it's still processing guide info or something in the background.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:48 AM   #29
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I put up the Premiere on ebay and also placed the link in the appropriate forum here on TCF. Thanks again everyone for your thoughts. The family is pretty happy having the 4th TiVo (the Mini) in the kitchen.
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