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Old 05-24-2013, 04:46 AM   #1
Emacee
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Why Does Tivo Take So Long To Boot Up?

Last night another hiccup from the electric company. Power was down for a few seconds. Tivo came back but it took about seven minutes for recording to resume (seven minutes including the idiotic cartoon). PCs, smartphones, tablets all can boot in about a minute (or less). Tivo has always taken a long time. Why? Tivo has been on the market for about 13 years. You'd think this is something they could have solved by now.

Yes, I know about UPS. Still, there's no reason why a reboot should take seven minutes. And don't add insult to injury with a Tivo cartoon and a THX cartoom (much as I like George Lucas, I don't need the cartoon).
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:22 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Emacee View Post
Last night another hiccup from the electric company. Power was down for a few seconds. Tivo came back but it took about seven minutes for recording to resume (seven minutes including the idiotic cartoon). PCs, smartphones, tablets all can boot in about a minute (or less). Tivo has always taken a long time. Why? Tivo has been on the market for about 13 years. You'd think this is something they could have solved by now.

Yes, I know about UPS. Still, there's no reason why a reboot should take seven minutes. And don't add insult to injury with a Tivo cartoon and a THX cartoom (much as I like George Lucas, I don't need the cartoon).
I don't know, but you can skip the cartoons, I think. (My Tivos are on a UPS and haven't been rebooted in... very long time).

I was an embedded systems engineer, and boot time was always a huge concern for us. We'd do everything we could to minimize it (well, after doing everything we could to make sure you never needed to reboot, but infinite unlimited energy was initially beyond our grasp. It took us a while to solve that one.)
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:25 AM   #3
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I have read that most of the boot time consists of security checks and whatnot.
Someone else will have to give the specifics, but that is the gist of it.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:08 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Emacee View Post
Last night another hiccup from the electric company. Power was down for a few seconds. Tivo came back but it took about seven minutes for recording to resume (seven minutes including the idiotic cartoon). PCs, smartphones, tablets all can boot in about a minute (or less). Tivo has always taken a long time. Why? Tivo has been on the market for about 13 years. You'd think this is something they could have solved by now.

Yes, I know about UPS. Still, there's no reason why a reboot should take seven minutes. And don't add insult to injury with a Tivo cartoon and a THX cartoom (much as I like George Lucas, I don't need the cartoon).
TiVos have always taken some time to boot. No big deal in my use since they will typically only boot when there is a software update. A power outage does not make my TiVos reboot unless it is many, many hours long since I have always had my TiVos connected to a UPS to make sure I always get my recordings. It was no different with a VCR. They were connected to a UPS too so I wouldn't miss any recordings. At least since I started using UPSs in 1996.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:19 AM   #5
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TiVos have always taken some time to boot. No big deal in my use since they will typically only boot when there is a software update.
Or a $#@! "channel not authorized" message you need to reboot to recover from (a heck of a lot more frequent than power failures :-).
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:26 AM   #6
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Hey it could be worse. If you used a Tuning Adapter you could add 2.5 minutes for "acquiring channels" (YMMV)

And having a UPS doesn't mean you'll rarely have a reboot if you're on my TWC system with a TA. I have to power cycle the TA and restart the TiVo every several weeks when SDV channels go missing.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:47 AM   #7
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Tivos aren't all that fast when you compare them to a standard desktop PC. The internal bus speeds are much slower and the CPU is minimal at best. The software has also gotten a bit bloated over the years with all of the add-ons they've included. Factor in all this and it's no wonder Tivos take so long to boot.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:07 AM   #8
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I as still a bit surprised at how fast my Premiere boots compared to the TiVo S2 DT boxes I had years ago. The premiere is blazing by comparison.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:30 AM   #9
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I would rather Tivo concentrate on fixing other things that cause reboots than address the boot time itself. Its not a PC that is shut down every day.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:21 PM   #10
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Or a $#@! "channel not authorized" message you need to reboot to recover from (a heck of a lot more frequent than power failures :-).
Is this something to do with a tuning adapter? You can't just change the channel or exit live TV?
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:42 PM   #11
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I have to power cycle the TA and restart the TiVo every several weeks when SDV channels go missing.
I preemptively power-on restart my TA twice a month to prevent that.

I believe the TiVo is computing checksums on every system file to detect modifications and keep the box locked down.
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:16 PM   #12
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I believe if you press the tivo button it will take to your now playing list by passing the animated tivo guy and the THX start.
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:29 PM   #13
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I believe if you press the tivo button it will take to your now playing list by passing the animated tivo guy and the THX start.
..or hit the live tv button. That is what I do.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:54 PM   #14
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Reboot time reduced from 12 to 5 minutes

After the Fall update v20.2.2.1 in December 2012 my Premiere 4/XL4/Elite's reboot time dropped from 12 minutes to just 5 and recordings that were in progress resume after about 6 minutes instead of 11. Pressing the TiVo button or going to Live TV doesn't speed up those lost 6 minutes.

If TiVo could shave more than 50% off the reboot time with a software update, who knows what other unnecessary startup junk could be eliminated to reduce it even further for those of us whose Premieres are more prone to frequent crashes.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:59 AM   #15
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Smile

For those of us who used dial-up internet in the past, some web pages took as long to load as it does for TIVO to boot.

I can live with the boot time since it is used infrequently. Getting more patient with age, I guess!!
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:58 PM   #16
Emacee
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Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post
TiVos have always taken some time to boot. No big deal in my use since they will typically only boot when there is a software update. A power outage does not make my TiVos reboot unless it is many, many hours long since I have always had my TiVos connected to a UPS to make sure I always get my recordings. It was no different with a VCR. They were connected to a UPS too so I wouldn't miss any recordings. At least since I started using UPSs in 1996.
In my case, even the briefest power interruption makes Tivo re-boot. If it's recording at the time, that means seven minutes of the show are missing. Fortunately, Comcast Xfinity On Demand now supports Tivo Premieres so most shows are available that way.
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Old 05-25-2013, 05:04 PM   #17
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In my case, even the briefest power interruption makes Tivo re-boot. If it's recording at the time, that means seven minutes of the show are missing. Fortunately, Comcast Xfinity On Demand now supports Tivo Premieres so most shows are available that way.
Have you tried a UPS ??
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:35 PM   #18
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Is this something to do with a tuning adapter? You can't just change the channel or exit live TV?
No tuning adapter. Apparently this has been traced to firmware on the Scientific Atlanta cablecard which comcast says they may roll out an update for in June/July.
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:37 PM   #19
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To actually answer the question I believe (based only on my suspicions so take with a grain of salt) that upon reboot Tivo performs a full error check of the hard drives file system.

I base this on the fact that the boot times seem to be effected by the size of the hard drive, how many recordings you have and whether you are using the external hard drive.

I suspect Tivo does this during the boot up process because reboots should be rare. And if the Tivo is rebooting it likely the reboot may have been unexpected. If the reboot was unexpected then the file system could be corrupted.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:58 AM   #20
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I always assumed it was 2.5 minutes to load the actual Tivo operating system, and all the rest of the time for the Digital Rights Management junk, plus a few seconds all the Charmin/Bounty ads.
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:56 PM   #21
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I as still a bit surprised at how fast my Premiere boots compared to the TiVo S2 DT boxes I had years ago. The premiere is blazing by comparison.
The Mini boots even faster, which bodes well for whatever new TiVos are coming down the pipe since the Sister chip to the one in the Mini is even faster. Although the Mini might be helped along by it's SSD storage which the new unit likely wont have.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:22 PM   #22
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The Mini boots even faster, which bodes well for whatever new TiVos are coming down the pipe since the Sister chip to the one in the Mini is even faster. Although the Mini might be helped along by it's SSD storage which the new unit likely wont have.
How much SSD storage do you think it has ?? I would think just enough for the software, 4Mb or 8Mb like a USB stick.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:36 PM   #23
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More then that. I think TiVo uses about 500MB for the OS partition and it has two of them so that if a software update fails it can fall back to the old one. Although since the Mini doesn't have to maintain a DB for guide data it might be able to use less, but these days SSD is so cheap they probably have a couple GB in there just in case.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:55 PM   #24
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I always assumed it was 2.5 minutes to load the actual Tivo operating system, and all the rest of the time for the Digital Rights Management junk, plus a few seconds all the Charmin/Bounty ads.
Ugh. I can honestly say I STOPPED buying their products because of their advertisements on TiVo.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:18 PM   #25
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Ugh. I can honestly say I STOPPED buying their products because of their advertisements on TiVo.
Unless you actually *informed* the advertisers, what you did was meaningless.


BTW, it was mentioned before briefly in this thread, but IIRC, in previous threads, people have mentioned (paraphrase) that the binaries' signatures are actually checked, or something like that. Basically, a very thorough security check.

But yeah, Premiere 4 is a ZILLION times better than Series 3 OLED... But none is anywhere near as fast at rebooting as a S1, which is SO FAST. Though a S1 is SO SLOW when getting into Now Playing if you have an expanded drive (like 20 seconds or so..)
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:26 AM   #26
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Though a S1 is SO SLOW when getting into Now Playing if you have an expanded drive (like 20 seconds or so..)
That cache card helped with that. But those were simpler times. They've added a LOT of features since then, and gotten a lot more strict with security.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:06 PM   #27
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The Mini boots even faster, which bodes well for whatever new TiVos are coming down the pipe since the Sister chip to the one in the Mini is even faster. Although the Mini might be helped along by it's SSD storage which the new unit likely wont have.
That's because the Mini doesn't have a "hard drive" to boot up so to speak like the other boxes. But you're right, it's night and day with the Mini compared to any other TiVo.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:21 PM   #28
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While the hard drive may play a role, I still think a big portion of the time is CPU bound. TiVo performs a lot of security checks during the boot up all of which should be sped up by a faster CPU. If it does in fact do a full scan of the HDD, like someone above suggested, then that may slow down a real TiVo a little but with a faster hardware that should be helped along a bit as well.
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:44 PM   #29
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For a properly working TiVo boot time should never be much of a problem, not the same as a computer. I don't think TiVo should spend any time reducing the boot time as that will not sell anymore TiVos and it not a feature needed by anybody.
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:24 PM   #30
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I agree. My TiVos are on a UPS, so unless they get a software upgrade or I intentionally pull the plug for some reason they never reboot.
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