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Old 09-06-2013, 09:21 PM   #1
jdaniels1982
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Thumbs down Roamio Review - Let Down

I'm a longtime tivo customer who was very excited when the Roamio Tivo Plus was announced. Sorry to say I've been very disappointed in the tivo Roamio plus. I currently have a very reliable Tivo Premier XL with 2 Tuners. Picture Quality has always been great and the user interface, while slow, has always been reliable. I was excited for the Roamio due to its faster interface, built in wireless ability. and promise of 6 tuners.

Boy was I wrong...while the user interface was slick and looks great. the Roamio's tv picture quality was degraded compared to my old XL Premier. The live tv and recorded shows appear darker then the old unit and colors either washed out or bleeding, particularly the premium channels were bad. In addition some channels are more pixelated than I have noticed in the past. My theory is the cable signal being split 6 ways leaves less signal for each of the 6 tuners.
Also the Roamio sporadically and unpredictably will completely loose signal on one or more tuners, causing one or more programs to not record. If I have to be in the room to make sure my favorite shows are actually recording it kinda defeats the purpose.
In addition, the new internal wireless connection is WEAK! My new Roamio sat in the same location as the old XL but struggled to find a wireless signal. My tivo wireless adapter for the old unit never had any trouble. Roamio frequently looses Internet while I'm in the middle of searching for programs, so u can imagine how we'll Netflix or Hulu streaming work....or don't.

Just so your all aware, I didn't plug one Roamio box in for 10 minutes and give up, I actually exchanged the Roamio twice and spent days between tivo and the cable company troubleshooting. Tivo has worked great for me for years, the only thing that changed is the Roamio so I'm doubtful it's something I've hooked up wrong or my cable company did.

At the end of the day the faster user interface lives up to the hype, but the bottom line is I love tv and the Roamio needs to reliably record what I want with a great quality picture...if it can't do that then what's the faster interface worth.

So I'm going back to my reliable Tivo Premier XL...hopefully it has another year or 2 left in it and I can only hope tivo can work out the bugs by the time I have no choice but to get another one.

Hope this honest review helps
Joe
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:26 PM   #2
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If you are losing the signal it sounds like you need a stronger signal input into the Roamio before it is split six ways. I'm not having that issue in my setup. But I'm on FiOS and it has a very hot signal. My signal goes through an eight way splitter to reduce the signal strength before going to the different rooms in my condo since the signal is so hot coming out of the FiOS Optical Network Terminal.

In the past I could split it several more times and still have no signal issues. So I have not seen any signal dropouts on my Roamio PRo. You might want to try and get an amp to increase the signal, or if there are splitters prior to the ROmaio, remove them and see how it does.

As far as the picture being darker, have you calibrated tour display? Every device can be different and need different settings. And even each input on a TV can have different settings for different resolutions. I have not seen anything from MY ROmaio Pro picture was that is unusual that doesn't occur with other devices. I streamed the THX test pattern from my ELite and I just needed to tweak the Brightness on my DVDO DUO by one. Some devices might need the brightness lower, or some even higher. Different devices might need different settings. But this has always been the case.

I guess that is the one thing that was night with the TiVos that were THX certified. They came with the THX video that had the test patterns which made it easier to tweak the brightness and contrast to get the proper picture from the TiVo.
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:30 PM   #3
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been there done that...signal strength was as high as Cablevision could get it...Usually between 90-95 according to the tivo.

And like i said, my other tivo, as well as several cable boxes had no trouble with the signal.
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:36 PM   #4
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Then maybe there is something else going on with your signal? I have no idea what my signal strength is since I've have not checked it in my ROmaio Pro. But I have not seen any dropouts or missed recordings during the past week with my ROmaio Pro in place with a new cable card. I've recorded around 150 shows during the last week without any issues.
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:53 PM   #5
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been there done that...signal strength was as high as Cablevision could get it...Usually between 90-95 according to the tivo.

And like i said, my other tivo, as well as several cable boxes had no trouble with the signal.
To be fair, I believe these issues are with flaky Tuning Adapters and SDV. I've had the same problems and love the Tivo Roamio experience, but am returning it tomorrow as well. IMHO there is more to SDV working reliably than just the tuning adapter. Brighthouse has stated on their website that only 4 tuners are supported on 1-way devices. That's unexpected because my CableCard and Tuning adapters both show 6 tuning instances with realitively recent firmware loaded. My point, I think the head-end systems may be also the problem.

With that said my tuning adapter is FINE with 2 signals but starts blowing chunks when more SDV channels are tuned. If you look in the TA diagnostics under SDV session info, you'll usually find that the Tuning Adapter (Cisco sta1520 for me) has no frequency tuned when getting a tuning error. I was on with Tivo tech support today and they indicated their teams are working with Cisco directly on a number of issues with their systems. They did recommend the Motorola products to me as well - as if I have a choice

Anyway, its very disappointing. I think the Series 5 is wonderful and would probably keep it if there were a way to put in two tuner mode - like the older TivoHD and Premiers. I may try again once Brighthouse starts peddling their 6 tuner boxes as maybe by then they'll have their SDV limitations worked out.
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:13 PM   #6
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I have never needed a tuning adapter with Cablevision on Long Island.
Sounds like your taking the same "return it and check back in a few years" approach that I am.

I love my tivo and the whole tivo experience...I hope they figure this out
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:00 PM   #7
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If you believe the 6-tuner box is causing issues, perhaps try the 4-tuner Roamio? With so many options for easy disk expansion, it seems worth a shot. It is what I am using.
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:04 PM   #8
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4 tuner entry model lacks wifi and streaming...I'm not settling for that when it might have the same issues anywa
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:32 PM   #9
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Did you try switching the box to only use 5 or 4 tuners? it is working fine for me at 5. I am hopeful that the firmware issue will be worked out since Wilt said it is being worked on, as well at the Tivo support guy I spoke to today.

I am coming from the cablevision sa8300hd box and to me the picture quality is much better then what I am used to. With the speed, increase in recording space, increase of tuners from 2 to 5 (hopefully 6 soon), I certainly am better off with the Roamio.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:17 AM   #10
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4 tuner entry model lacks wifi and streaming...I'm not settling for that when it might have the same issues anywa
All Roamio models have built in Wi-Fi.

The 4 tuner Roamio doesn't have a remote finder, no built in TiVo stream, no MOCA, and only 100Mb/s Ethernet.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:52 AM   #11
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4 tuner entry model lacks wifi and streaming...I'm not settling for that when it might have the same issues anywa
The 4 tuner has wifi, and now that the Plus/Pro models include streaming, you will probably be able to pick up a used TiVo Stream for a decent price on eBay or Craigslist.
I understand that you're tired of trying to get the Roamio to work, and I certainly sympathize. Only posting to make sure you're aware of all your options, in case you want to give the Roamio one more shot.
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:03 AM   #12
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I did knock the Roamio plus down to 4 tuners, it did not help with the picture quality issues....V58 error dropped signal continued intermittently on both Roamios.

I should have also given more backstory ..a year ago I purchased the 4 tuner premier and had the same issues (dropped channels, video audio quality diminished.) I eventually returned that one as well. I know I am not alone this message board is filled with people having similar problems. I was hoping tivo had worked out the bugs with the Roamio release but guess I was wrong

Sorry I realize now wifi is available in Roamio but I'm not gonna buy a Roamio, buy an extended hard drive, purchase a TiVo stream just so I can work around tivos hardware/software issues.
Also if u check my review the internal wifi is spotty at best, so it's not exactly selling me on the smaller Roamio.
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:25 AM   #13
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TiVos really should be using hardwired for things like MRS. Thought I read somewhere that the built in wifi is intended for daily data pickups, scheduling, and controlling the thing from a mobile device. MRS is supposed to be hardwired to work right.
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:33 PM   #14
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OK, got our Roamio today. Very happy so far.

About 2.5 hours after opening the boxes (TiVo and 3TB hard drive from Amazon), completely up and running on the new hard drive. Very happy. I can finally get rid of the old Pentium III piece of crap Dell I use for upgrades. My notes (and that first one is a DOOZEY for us, we have three Premiere's in the house along with our Roamio).

  1. STREAMING TO IPAD. OMG, this is cool. Works great, but get this--now that the Roamio is on our home network, I can stream from ALL of our S4+ TiVos to the iPad. WHa! GET OUT!!!! No one mentioned that, that I saw. (And no...I didn't really read much on the Roamio yet from TiVo. Once I saw the streaming, and a friend's S2 finally bit it, I pulled the trigger. She's getting one of the S4's once I transfer.)
  2. HARDWARE: Very slick interior. Slightly smaller fan, I think. Two less screws on the outer case--I always thought they could save a penny by eliminating some of them. One improvement I saw on removing the hard drive--the brackets are now symmetrical. There's no way to put the bracket on the wrong side. (I suppose you could still put it upside-down.)
  3. HARD DRIVE UPGRADE: I never bothered booting the stock HD. The new 3TB one took the upgrade quite easily--it maybe added an hour to the initial guided setup. I was watching Netflix on the Roku for a while, so it may have been at some prompts waiting for me up to a half hour I'd say, but not even three hours later I am up and running.
  4. Roamio CAPACITY: Recording capacity with 3TB == 476 HD, 3270 SD
  5. CABLECARD: Comcast in Baltimore City: Existing CableCARD is working fine. Popped it out of the Premiere, into the TiVo. No channel on that immediate screen during guided setup as I put in the card, but by the time the rest of the upgrade finished, all the channels were there. (no pay channels on our account.)

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Old 09-07-2013, 05:50 PM   #15
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I do not think this is a signal problem. I found a channel that was not coming in. Lets say channel 200. I then moved the channel to 201. I then go to another tuner. I punch in channel 200. In comes up fine. I move this tuner to channel 205. I go back to the original tuner and punch in channel 200 again, suddenly this tuner is now showing channel 200 perfect. If this was a signal problem why would this work. I think this is a tuning problem with the TiVo. Some how the TiVo is not tuning to the exact frequency. But then again what do I know, I just use the thing. I agree about the picture. That was the first thing I noticed when I hooked it up.
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:19 PM   #16
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I did knock the Roamio plus down to 4 tuners, it did not help with the picture quality issues....V58 error dropped signal continued intermittently on both Roamios.

I should have also given more backstory ..a year ago I purchased the 4 tuner premier and had the same issues (dropped channels, video audio quality diminished.) I eventually returned that one as well. I know I am not alone this message board is filled with people having similar problems. I was hoping tivo had worked out the bugs with the Roamio release but guess I was wrong

Sorry I realize now wifi is available in Roamio but I'm not gonna buy a Roamio, buy an extended hard drive, purchase a TiVo stream just so I can work around tivos hardware/software issues.
Also if u check my review the internal wifi is spotty at best, so it's not exactly selling me on the smaller Roamio.
i have an XL4 (bought in 05/2012) on comcast in south florida and have never had any problem using all 4 tuners and the video processor is brilliant compared to my old moto.

what i really wish is that they would allow bigger esata drives to be used, not only the 1TB model they say we must use.
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:38 PM   #17
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so what is the verdict? Roamio > XL4? Is the THX version of XL4 better or just that they actually "certified" it?
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:47 PM   #18
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Well, I still think that this still that typical very first months of release buggy period experienced by all DVR's. We ought to give a little bit of time for TiVo and the MSO's to get right with updates and fixes. This is the pain of the early adopters. We already know that the lack of 5 or 6 tuner support is all the MSO's fault, but all the MSO's are committed to providing updates soon to support all 6 tuners to record. Some have already done so. But for those of use who always wait a bit, we'll never experience this pain, along with other TiVo bugs that are sure to be fixed in the coming months.

I would suggest that for those who don't have the patience for being a near-beta tester for the initial roll-out, to resist temptation and wait a few moths for the bugs to be ironed out. By that time, it will be an even better experience with the Roamio's. Previous TiVo's, the Genie, and the Hopper have all had their initial roll-out buggy blues. As much as I want a Roamio, I'm gonna wait for at least a bit for a smoother Roamio experience, but by that time, I would think TiVo would be ready to offer discounted upgrades for current owner .

Everyone keep posting good and bad. Your efforts are most helpful and informative.
Thanks.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:06 PM   #19
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Well, I still think that this still that typical very first months of release buggy period experienced by all DVR's. We ought to give a little bit of time for TiVo and the MSO's to get right with updates and fixes. This is the pain of the early adopters. We already know that the lack of 5 or 6 tuner support is all the MSO's fault, but all the MSO's are committed to providing updates soon to support all 6 tuners to record. Some have already done so. But for those of use who always wait a bit, we'll never experience this pain, along with other TiVo bugs that are sure to be fixed in the coming months.

I would suggest that for those who don't have the patience for being a near-beta tester for the initial roll-out, to resist temptation and wait a few moths for the bugs to be ironed out. By that time, it will be an even better experience with the Roamio's. Previous TiVo's, the Genie, and the Hopper have all had their initial roll-out buggy blues. As much as I want a Roamio, I'm gonna wait for at least a bit for a smoother Roamio experience, but by that time, I would think TiVo would be ready to offer discounted upgrades for current owner .

Everyone keep posting good and bad. Your efforts are most helpful and informative.
Thanks.

I guess it is a good thing automobile manufactures do not have this business model.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:58 PM   #20
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If the same person keeps having problems with new units then it is there cable's problem. I have 4 new TiVo's and 3 worked great. 1 had a few minor picture problems (room we never had any box). I had Comcast fix the connection to the box. Today all 4 work great.

If you still have your TiVo... What is the SNR number on each tuner?

Also your cable card could be messed up and cant handle 6 tuners correctly. A bad CC can cause a bad picture.
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:22 PM   #21
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If the same person keeps having problems with new units then it is there cable's problem. I have 4 new TiVo's and 3 worked great. 1 had a few minor picture problems (room we never had any box). I had Comcast fix the connection to the box. Today all 4 work great.

If you still have your TiVo... What is the SNR number on each tuner?

Also your cable card could be messed up and cant handle 6 tuners correctly. A bad CC can cause a bad picture.
I agree on all your points except the last one, cuz it's untrue and can't do that! It can cause "no picture", but not a bad one unless maybe there's a short in it that leaks into chassis ground causing noise, etc.
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:58 PM   #22
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Trouble free first six hours here. Love it.

It took about two hours to upgrade to the new 3TB drive and get guided setup to the end. Since then, transferring from my Premiere, streaming to the iPad.

All six tuners....working great. As H as HD gets.

Interface is noticeably better and faster.

SPS30 and SPSP both worked, first try.
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:59 PM   #23
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I agree on all your points except the last one, cuz it's untrue and can't do that! It can cause "no picture", but not a bad one unless maybe there's a short in it that leaks into chassis ground causing noise, etc.
So what you're saying is, it COULD be a bad cable card then?
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:59 PM   #24
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So what you're saying is, it COULD be a bad cable card then?
No. Not in any normal sense (activation, etc), but in the extremely rare broken card, someone jamming it in wrong and bending or breaking connectors, etc.
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Old 09-08-2013, 12:35 AM   #25
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No. Not in any normal sense (activation, etc), but in the extremely rare broken card, someone jamming it in wrong and bending or breaking connectors, etc.
So what you're saying is, it COULD be a bad cable card then?
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Old 09-08-2013, 01:13 AM   #26
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So what you're saying is, it COULD be a bad cable card then?
Haha yeah I certainly see what you're saying, but I'm putting it into context with what you posted earlier about him having more than one doing the same thing, so that tells me that the chances are next to nil that he'd have that many (4?) with damage.
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Old 09-08-2013, 04:20 AM   #27
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Trouble free first six hours here. Love it.

It took about two hours to upgrade to the new 3TB drive and get guided setup to the end. Since then, transferring from my Premiere, streaming to the iPad.

All six tuners....working great. As H as HD gets.

Interface is noticeably better and faster.

SPS30 and SPSP both worked, first try.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

question: what do you mean by transferring from your premier? can you transfer recordings from your old tivo to the roamio (hate that stupid name)?

ah, you cant get me to pay $600 for a new dvr. i think thats a little nuts even though i love my XL4, i only got it in 05/2012 because comcast would not expand the recording space. a roamio regular would be fine with me except it only has .5TB space. and they got us penned in with this stupid 1TB extender restriction.

and as far as all dvrs being buggy in the beginning, THERE IS NO REASON FOR THIS TO HAPPEN. THAT IS WHY THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE "QUALITY ASSURANCE" PEOPLE TO TEST EVERYTHING. after all, how many things does a dvr do? not much really, i could knock a great test out in less than 2 hours!
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:37 AM   #28
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question: what do you mean by transferring from your premier? can you transfer recordings from your old tivo to the roamio (hate that stupid name)?

Yes, you can transfer all you shows. You can also transfer all your SP's if you use a program or the Tivo.com website. I was done and setup like before in no time.
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:46 AM   #29
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-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

question: what do you mean by transferring from your premier? can you transfer recordings from your old tivo to the roamio (hate that stupid name)?

ah, you cant get me to pay $600 for a new dvr. i think thats a little nuts even though i love my XL4, i only got it in 05/2012 because comcast would not expand the recording space. a roamio regular would be fine with me except it only has .5TB space. and they got us penned in with this stupid 1TB extender restriction.

and as far as all dvrs being buggy in the beginning, THERE IS NO REASON FOR THIS TO HAPPEN. THAT IS WHY THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE "QUALITY ASSURANCE" PEOPLE TO TEST EVERYTHING. after all, how many things does a dvr do? not much really, i could knock a great test out in less than 2 hours!
You're not limited to .5TB on the base roamio. All you have to do is plop in a new internal AV drive from the likes of WD in 1,2 or 3 TB sizes and woila', new bigger TiVo recording space! It automatically formats it and sets it up for you. Yes, it's THAT easy! See the main Roamio forum and read the "Hard Drive Upgrade Info" thread.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:01 AM   #30
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That's odd. My husband and I both thought the picture looked brighter/better. It's plugged into a different input on my TV so maybe that's the difference.
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