Tivo Premiere Q/4 and Tivo Preview
My local cable company is Grande Communications and to my surprise, their cable box DVR is a 4 tuner Tivo called the Tivo Premiere Q/4 - it's a four tuner Tivo. Bundled with this DVR is a "Tivo Preview" which is a hardback book sized Tivo interface/cable box thing. I've just seen brief mention of these on the forum, so thought I'd share my experience.
I started out with my own Tivo Elite. The best cable package here included the Q/4 and Preview. I have to say that it's the best Tivo experience to date and I've had Tivo since the beginning in 1999.
What's shocking is how well the little Tivo Preview thing does. It's a small box with one tuner and a cablecard so you can watch live TV on it - no 30 minute buffer, just live. But from the My Shows you can pick any other DVR on the network and play any of the shows on it using the Preview. It just works.
The cable modem is a Cisco that has a router and MoCA built in and all three boxes are on the MoCA network - the key to making this work so well.
You can still transfer recordings between the machines, but the streaming makes that unnecessary because you can't tell the difference. When Tivo works well like this, it's really great.
So I can watch anything on any of the DVRs from any of the other DVRs and any DVR from the Tivo Preview. They really have this down and working the way Tivo should be. Just awesome.
I'm not certain if the Tivo Preview steals a tuner from the Q/4 or has it's own. There is no setting on the Q/4 like there is on the Elite to explicitly share a tuner. The Q/4 odd quirk has to do with Channel selection. You can tick and untick channels you receive in the menus, but it has no effect in using it. All the channels are virtually selected anyway when you channel up/down or use the guide. The Tivo Preview does not have this problem, the guide and channel button skips over channels not in your list of channels you receive. There is a custom remote control for the Q/4 and Preview that is the peanut style with a few extra buttons for On-Demand programming. The On-demand features however have not been implemented. You do have Amazon, but not Netflix yet. The System Information screen has a Netflix ID thing, but there is no Netflix app on the Q/4 itself.
So it's still being developed and does not have all the Tivo features. But the multi-room viewing thing is pretty good. I've just never had this before and it may be old news for others who have had this working for a while.