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Old 03-24-2013, 12:15 PM   #1
Digital Man
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Loving the Mini

I've read every thread here for months, so I'm aware of the many people where the Mini doesn't work for them. I'm a new Tivo customer because of the Mini, so I must be the kind of customer Tivo is targeting. Here is my story.

Until November 2012, we just had a standard definition CRT TV in our family room where we did most of our TV watching. The Comcast 3416 DVR with a 160G hard drive we had was good enough for SD. We had been sticking with the SD TV for so long just because I didn't think there was a good enough HD DVR solution available. We had another 3416 downstairs in the home theater (110" front projection, high definition, etc) but we really only watched football games, the Tour De France and the Pro Cycling Challenge down there. I paid almost $20/month for each of these crappy DVRs, but they worked good enough. I hated the idea of paying for the 3416 in the home theater since we used it so infrequently.

We decided to finally upgrade our family room to an HD TV, but before doing so I had to figure out a better DVR solution since 160G won't cut it for HD. I first looked at Comcast's new offerings, but they were terrible. Their whole home solution base DVR had a 500G HD and I think only 2 tuners. It was not expandable to add more storage at the time. In some Comcast locations they are starting to allow you to add a 1TB external drive to the 3416's but that wasn't available in my area.

I had looked at Tivo in the past many times but never made the switch because of the cost or the lack of features such as access to Comcast Xfinity On Demand. In November 2012 when I re-visited Tivo and learned about the Premiere XL4 and forthcoming Mini, this solution now did everything I had ever wanted:

- Lots of storage space (2TB)
- 4 tuners
- access to Xfinity On Demand
- ability to watch our recordings on either TV

I now have an XL4 in the family room and a Mini in the home theater. This is perfect for us since we don't watch much TV in the home theater. I allocated zero tuners to the Mini since I have no need to watch live TV in the home theater. I certainly didn't want to waste a tuner allocating it to the Mini permanently. On the rare occasion when I need live TV in the home theater, I'll just hit record from the guide on the Mini and immediately play back the recording. When DTA becomes available, I won't even have to do this. I don't need Netflix in the home theater since I have a PS3 there.

I've been following the DVR market for years but there has never been an ideal setup for me available. Now the XL4 + Mini is exactly what I've been hoping for.

No need to respond saying the Mini doesn't work for you. I've read every one of your threads already. I just thought I would share MY experience as a new Tivo customer that is very pleased with an XL4 + Mini for a whole home DVR solution.

DM
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:31 PM   #2
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DM,

Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm curious to see how many other new households TiVo will add now that they have a viable whole home solution. The availability of Xfinity On Demand is certainly a bonus in your market.


I do have a few more questions for you.

Did you go with monthly or lifetime service on your TiVo boxes?

Did you self-install or have Comcast perform the installation?

Are you using MoCA or Ethernet?

How did you hear about the TiVo XL4 & Mini?

Were you a TiVo user in the past?
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:25 PM   #3
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DM

As a new TiVo customer you purchased a Q4 and Mini put a cable card into your Q4 activated the cable card and the system worked great, my problem was not putting the cable card into the Q4 before I tried to mate the Mini to the Q4.
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:14 PM   #4
Digital Man
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbiller View Post
Did you go with monthly or lifetime service on your TiVo boxes?
I bought the XL4 in November. Since this was my first time trying to get Tivo to work, I was hesitant to commit to the cost of lifetime. So I'm on monthly right now on the XL4. It also made the cost of entry lower. I'm well aware of the long term benefit of lifetime, so I could always switch I assume, but probably will stick with monthly. Don't really want to hassle with resale, so this will make it easier for me to upgrade to a newer model in the future. The XL4 does everything I need now, so that's why I bought one rather than waiting for something better to come in the future.

I bought the Mini the first day it was available on bestbuy.com. Now that I've used the XL4 for a few months, I'm sold on Tivo. So I did get lifetime on the Mini. I personally think $250 lifetime is a great price to allow me to watch my recordings on another TV. Much more functionality and I won't have to keep paying Comast for their DVR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbiller View Post
Did you self-install or have Comcast perform the installation?
I did the self install and it was very simple. I'm very technical and I research things to death before purchasing so I knew exactly what to expect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbiller View Post
Are you using MoCA or Ethernet?
I have both available, but I'm using Ethernet now. Ethernet is working great, but I'm considering trying MoCA to offload the Tivo <-> Tivo traffic from my Ethernet network.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbiller View Post
How did you hear about the TiVo XL4 & Mini?
I'm a huge DVR fan in general, so I've been keeping up with the various choices mainly on AVS Forum for years. In November when I started researching, I started with AVS and quickly found TCF. I've been looking for a whole home solution for ages and Tivo finally had exactly what I wanted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbiller View Post
Were you a TiVo user in the past?
Nope, I've looked at Tivo many times but there wasn't ever enough to make me switch from the crappy Comcast solution I used to have. The Mini was what pushed the value of the Tivo solution into my "must buy" category.

One thing that really helped me be satisfied with my purchase is that, as I mentioned above, I researched this purchase to death before committing. I knew exactly what I was getting.

DM
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:19 PM   #5
Digital Man
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lessd View Post

As a new TiVo customer you purchased a Q4 and Mini put a cable card into your Q4 activated the cable card and the system worked great, my problem was not putting the cable card into the Q4 before I tried to mate the Mini to the Q4.
Ah, yes, I see. I probably wasn't clear that I got the XL4 in November and activated it then. Then I just added the Mini last week. I had read every one else's Mini activation stories, so I followed the recommended proceedure.

DM
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Digital Man View Post
Ah, yes, I see. I probably wasn't clear that I got the XL4 in November and activated it then. Then I just added the Mini last week. I had read every one else's Mini activation stories, so I followed the recommended proceedure.

DM
Great, you came to this forum to get your instillation information, TiVo should have provided a good deal of that information in their installation instructions, or just have a one line; to install go to this web sight to get your information about installing this Mini.
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:38 PM   #7
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DM, Glad you found your whole home solution. I am almost there with the MINI but remain a few steps short.

If Verizon ever gets off the mark with their Media Server, I can make a decision on a single provider. As it is now, I have both TIVO and FIOS DVR. The fact that the MINI grabs a tuner is a drawback.

Right now, I am OK, but ideally would like one DVR with six tuners and MINI like satellites. It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out over the coming months.
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:57 PM   #8
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I'm happy with my switch to Tivo at the first of the year, too. My P4 and 2 Minis have been working great so far. Even my change-averse 14 year old son, who gets mad at me every time I get rid of an old piece of electronics or sell a car, is loving the Tivo. My only regret is I probably should have bought an XL4 instead of the P4, as I can see myself upgrading the drive at some point, and I will probably end up buying a Glo remote for the bedroom Mini (could have just used the one that would have come with an XL4).

I went with lifetime on all 3 of my Tivos. I'm a buyer, not a renter.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach View Post
I'm happy with my switch to Tivo at the first of the year, too. My P4 and 2 Minis have been working great so far. Even my change-averse 14 year old son, who gets mad at me every time I get rid of an old piece of electronics or sell a car, is loving the Tivo. My only regret is I probably should have bought an XL4 instead of the P4, as I can see myself upgrading the drive at some point, and I will probably end up buying a Glo remote for the bedroom Mini (could have just used the one that would have come with an XL4).

I went with lifetime on all 3 of my Tivos. I'm a buyer, not a renter.
When you upgrade the drive you will not have any program loss and will be able to store the original TP-4 drive should something every happen to your new drive, with the XL you would have to purchase another 2Tb drive to back the system up.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:18 PM   #10
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When you upgrade the drive you will not have any program loss and will be able to store the original TP-4 drive should something every happen to your new drive, with the XL you would have to purchase another 2Tb drive to back the system up.
True, but there is also the PITA factor of educating myself on how to upgrade, researching drives, etc. - all of which I could just put off until if and when a drive failure ever occurs.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:21 PM   #11
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You are not allowed to love the Mini.. It does not act like a Roku even though it was never supposed to... It also does not make me breakfast in the morning

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Old 03-24-2013, 07:41 PM   #12
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True, but there is also the PITA factor of educating myself on how to upgrade, researching drives, etc. - all of which I could just put off until if and when a drive failure ever occurs.
Except when your drive goes you will not have a working copy so you would have to purchase a TP-4 drive from Weeknees or on E-Bay, about $100 or so more in cost + with a new 2Tb drive you will get 317 hours of HD programs.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Man View Post
I bought the XL4 in November. Since this was my first time trying to get Tivo to work, I was hesitant to commit to the cost of lifetime. So I'm on monthly right now on the XL4. It also made the cost of entry lower. I'm well aware of the long term benefit of lifetime, so I could always switch I assume, but probably will stick with monthly. Don't really want to hassle with resale, so this will make it easier for me to upgrade to a newer model in the future. The XL4 does everything I need now, so that's why I bought one rather than waiting for something better to come in the future.

I bought the Mini the first day it was available on bestbuy.com. Now that I've used the XL4 for a few months, I'm sold on Tivo. So I did get lifetime on the Mini. I personally think $250 lifetime is a great price to allow me to watch my recordings on another TV. Much more functionality and I won't have to keep paying Comast for their DVR.



I did the self install and it was very simple. I'm very technical and I research things to death before purchasing so I knew exactly what to expect.



I have both available, but I'm using Ethernet now. Ethernet is working great, but I'm considering trying MoCA to offload the Tivo <-> Tivo traffic from my Ethernet network.



I'm a huge DVR fan in general, so I've been keeping up with the various choices mainly on AVS Forum for years. In November when I started researching, I started with AVS and quickly found TCF. I've been looking for a whole home solution for ages and Tivo finally had exactly what I wanted.



Nope, I've looked at Tivo many times but there wasn't ever enough to make me switch from the crappy Comcast solution I used to have. The Mini was what pushed the value of the Tivo solution into my "must buy" category.

One thing that really helped me be satisfied with my purchase is that, as I mentioned above, I researched this purchase to death before committing. I knew exactly what I was getting.

DM
DM,

Thanks for the detailed answers!

It will be interesting to see if the availability of the Mini will spur an increase in truly new TiVo users like yourself. I think the consensus is that it won't because the friction associated of a retail purchase and the hassle of CableCARD, etc. is too much.

I picked up another Mini this evening at a local Best Buy and the installation on my Mom's 3rd TV took less than 20 minutes. I activated it online, purchased lifetime, waited about 15 minutes, and connected it to her bedroom TV which was previously connected to a cable box. I had already upgraded her to MoCA previously. What was very interesting is that as soon as I activated the Mini online, I noticed that the XL4 immediately decided to call-home to TiVo on its own. When I connected the Mini, it also started to phone-home as soon as it was connected. It looks like TiVo is starting to work out the kinks in the activation process. I was up and running with live-TV on the 3rd TV in less than 30 minutes.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:37 PM   #14
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DM,

Thanks for the detailed answers!

It will be interesting to see if the availability of the Mini will spur an increase in truly new TiVo users like yourself. I think the consensus is that it won't because the friction associated of a retail purchase and the hassle of CableCARD, etc. is too much. (snip)
I know I'm only one person, but I am eagerly anticipating switching from a Moxi & Moxi Mates setup to TiVo & Mini once new TiVo hardware is introduced (hopefully later this year). I appreciate the OP's candor, approach, and thoughts on his experiences so far with his setup.

I'm really pulling for TiVo's success with both retail and MSO offerings, although that's a tricky balancing act. My first choice in the whole home dvr solution, although paying for itself and then some, will (is) going the way of the Dodo.

Skid
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:34 AM   #15
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I had Tivo many moons ago and just came back due to the mini. I am on Cox cable and their DVR options are terrible. I had 2 dvr boxes and one standard box that I was renting from them for about $25/mth plus $20/mth for DVR service. I went with the XL4 and a 1(Mini) to start. I purchased lifetime on both. Break even is about 22 months. Considering I had the Cox DVR's for about 4 years this was a no brainer for me. Tivo offers me 4-5x the storage, 4 tuners, and a whole home solution. Software is light years ahead of Cox. Cable card setup was painless and Mini setup over Moca went without issue. Been running for a few weeks now without issue and is a huge upgrade compared to what I was on. I use Apple Tv for my rentals/on demand.
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