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Old 12-07-2012, 09:21 AM   #331
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And maybe that is the reason they decided to delay the release. To get dynamic tuner allocation incorporated into the software.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:24 AM   #332
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One speculative question about the mini if anyone knows. I have an XL4. If I get two minis, does that mean that at all times 2 tuners will be "reserved" for the minis even if the minis are not in use? Or is it smart enough to realize that the minis are off and all 4 tuners can be used on the XL4. Thank you!
Based on information we had on initial plans for Mini deployment you would have to manually specify on your XL4 how many tuners you wanted to dedicate to Minis, and you could choose 0,1 or 2 tuners. Whatever number you choose to dedicate to Minis are not useable anymore for XL4 recordings. Obviously the early reaction to this by this forum was very negative and perhaps that is one reason why the Mini release is delayed, so that TiVo can work on dynamic tuner allocation where tuners are still available to the host when not in use by Minis for live TV. I still hope even if there is dynamic tuner allocation in place at launch that one has the option to allocate 0 tuners to Minis still.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:30 AM   #333
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Dynamically releasing the tuner when no one is watching would be the smart way to design it.
The problem with this is what happens if 4 shows are scheduled to record and you suck away a tuner. What I would think should happen is your "live" show on the mini should get an on screen warning 2-5 minutes before the scheduled recording with an option to cancel a recording or stop watching the "live" show.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:11 AM   #334
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And maybe that is the reason they decided to delay the release. To get dynamic tuner allocation incorporated into the software.
I agree. TiVo probably had a combination of problems including software maturity as well as consumer confusion over this new box and which TiVo models it would work with.

It is much, much smarter to spend another six to twelve months getting it right... even if it is frustrating to those of us in the market for this.

I applaud TiVo's decision to avoid releasing another 1/2 baked product, but I'm very disappointed that their technical capabilities have not improved over the past year. Pretty much anything they develop right now is late, lacking and increasingly irrelevant.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:47 AM   #335
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The problem with this is what happens if 4 shows are scheduled to record and you suck away a tuner. What I would think should happen is your "live" show on the mini should get an on screen warning 2-5 minutes before the scheduled recording with an option to cancel a recording or stop watching the "live" show.
This is no different than the warnings you get today if you were watching live recently on all tuners, so you'd think it wouldn't be that hard to implement for the Mini. Obviously there's more to it than what we think or they would have done dynamic allocation from the beginning.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:56 AM   #336
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The problem with this is what happens if 4 shows are scheduled to record and you suck away a tuner. What I would think should happen is your "live" show on the mini should get an on screen warning 2-5 minutes before the scheduled recording with an option to cancel a recording or stop watching the "live" show.
Yes. The Mini should have a top-level status/menu screen analogous to TiVo Central. If you leave the Mini sitting on that screen, it would (after a few minutes) deallocate any live tuner that it had been using. That screen could list each TiVo available on the network to allow browsing their My Shows listings and playing a recording, and it might also allow choosing live TV within each TiVo's submenu, which would request a tuner from that particular TiVo.

But it would be slicker to have just one live TV choice in the top menu, which would poll all available TiVos to find an unused tuner, requesting one from whichever unit has the most free tuners or whichever promises to have a free tuner longest. While the user is watching live TV, background polling of the TiVos on the network might even allow for live tuner duties to be handed off from one TiVo to another as necessary, although the programming required to do that transparently might be more trouble than it's worth.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:22 PM   #337
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Yes. The Mini should have a top-level status/menu screen analogous to TiVo Central. If you leave the Mini sitting on that screen, it would (after a few minutes) deallocate any live tuner that it had been using. That screen could list each TiVo available on the network to allow browsing their My Shows listings and playing a recording, and it might also allow choosing live TV within each TiVo's submenu, which would request a tuner from that particular TiVo.

But it would be slicker to have just one live TV choice in the top menu, which would poll all available TiVos to find an unused tuner, requesting one from whichever unit has the most free tuners or whichever promises to have a free tuner longest. While the user is watching live TV, background polling of the TiVos on the network might even allow for live tuner duties to be handed off from one TiVo to another as necessary, although the programming required to do that transparently might be more trouble than it's worth.
Dealing with 1 host/Mini combination is complicated enough. I highly doubt TiVo will even attempt to look at multiple hosts on your network for a free tuner. i.e. I think you will still have to dedicate a host to a Mini for live TV purposes and it may very well be it will have to be a 4-tuner unit, at least for initial release.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:08 PM   #338
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Dealing with 1 host/Mini combination is complicated enough. I highly doubt TiVo will even attempt to look at multiple hosts on your network for a free tuner. i.e. I think you will still have to dedicate a host to a Mini for live TV purposes and it may very well be it will have to be a 4-tuner unit, at least for initial release.
But surely if TiVo is going to handle dynamic tuner allocation (which many people seem to think they will), the first option I mentioned shouldn't tax their programming staff unduly. A tuner would be requested from a specific TiVo when you select live TV within the submenu for that particular unit (instead of selecting a recording). Then when you later back out to the top-level menu (or maybe just back up and select a recording to play), the live tuner could be deallocated. Unless TiVo just gives up on dynamic allocation, how could it be done more simply?
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:11 PM   #339
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I think Tivo will want to preserve their traditional tuner box revenue and only permit a Mini connected to one regular box. However, it would be great if the option would be:

2 tuner Premiere = no mini
4 tuner Premiere = 1 mini
6 tuner future box = 2 or 3 minis

Really I cannot see several mini's attaching to a 4 tuner Premiere, but maybe Tivo will surprise us all.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:37 PM   #340
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I believe there was a review or something somewhere that showed a 4 tuner box with the option to dedicate 0, 1 or 2 tuners to remote streaming. Which seems to indicate that they will allow at least 2 Minis to be attached to a 4 tuner box.

As for tuner allocation from multiple TiVos I doubt it will work that way. The info we've seen indicates that the Mini will require a "host" and it will basically be a remote view of that host. It did say it could stream from other TiVos on the network, but that is likely done through the standard MRS interface. Most of the core functionality, i.e. scheduling recordings, managing season passes, etc..., will likely only apply to the host. I guess they could add some sort of host selection screen to the Mini, like the iOS app, but even so you would still only be controlling one TiVo at a time. It wouldn't dynamically choose the best one for the task. That would be very difficult and potentially very slow.

My ideal setup would be a 6 tuner box, with a few Minis spread around the house AND the ability to setup users so that each member of the family could log in and only see the shows's they requested to record. There could be a user priority list, like the SP priority list now, and if there is a conflict between users it would always record the highest user's show first.

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Old 12-07-2012, 02:08 PM   #341
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Why

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I believe there was a review or something somewhere that showed a 4 tuner box with the option to dedicate 0, 1 or 2 tuners to remote streaming. Which seems to indicate that they will allow at least 2 Minis to be attached to a 4 tuner box.

As for tuner allocation from multiple TiVos I doubt it will work that way. The info we've seen indicates that the Mini will require a "host" and it will basically be a remote view of that host. It did say it could stream from other TiVos on the network, but that is likely done through the standard MRS interface. Most of the core functionality, i.e. scheduling recordings, managing season passes, etc..., will likely only apply to the host. I guess they could add some sort of host selection screen to the Mini, like the iOS app, but even so you would still only be controlling one TiVo at a time. It wouldn't dynamically choose the best one for the task. That would be very difficult and potentially very slow.

My ideal setup would be a 6 tuner box, with a few Minis spread around the house AND the ability to setup users so that each member of the family could log in and only see the shows's they requested to record. There could be a user priority list, like the SP priority list now, and if there is a conflict between users it would always record the highest user's show first.

Dan
Dan or anybody else,
Why do you think that TiVo went ahead and put the Tuner Allocation option in with the last software update?

I'm just curious.

Thanks
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:20 PM   #342
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If a TiVo Mini is streaming live TV from a TiVo over a network how will it know when to stop? Would you have to turn the TiVo Mini off? If so that is a significant departure from normal TiVo operation. I suppose an alternative is that it will play the live show till it is over then stop streaming, requiring you to select the next show to watch live.

The problem is that it will be slowing down all your network traffic until specifically told it no longer needs to do so.

The more I read about the Mini the more pointless it seems. It doesn't surprise me that TiVo is not making a big deal of it for the retail market.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:29 PM   #343
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I wonder what it would have cost to have one tuner in a mini for live tv?
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:34 PM   #344
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Dan or anybody else,
Why do you think that TiVo went ahead and put the Tuner Allocation option in with the last software update?

I'm just curious.

Thanks
Because by their original plans they were going to release the Mini before Christmas which required the host machine to have that option.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:35 PM   #345
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I wonder what it would have cost to have one tuner in a mini for live tv?
And a slot for a cable card? Plus the subscription to the cable company for the extra card?

What you are describing is called a 'TiVo' and is what I would personally buy instead of a TiVo Mini based on what I've heard of it so far.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:35 PM   #346
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I wonder what it would have cost to have one tuner in a mini for live tv?
Not really relevant TiVo should just sell the Preview at retail. Regardless it would mean another CableCARD and a Tuning Adapter for SDV systems, not really elegant.

SiliconDust and Windows Media Center already have dynamic tuner allocation so I can't imagine it is that hard to do. I believe Ceton also has it.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:38 PM   #347
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If a TiVo Mini is streaming live TV from a TiVo over a network how will it know when to stop?
Similar to SDV it will probably time out after some period of time with no interaction with the Mini (1 hour, 2hours?) and ask you if you are still watching and if no response exit live tv to screen saver mode.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:43 PM   #348
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Similar to SDV it will probably time out after some period of time with no interaction with the Mini (1 hour, 2hours?) and ask you if you are still watching and if no response exit live tv to screen saver mode.
What is SDV?

I'm not liking this timing out business because I like to play videogames online and if someone else in the house starts watching live TV on the Mini even for just a couple of minutes then that would be at least 1 or more hours of unnecessary network traffic slowing things down. I don't really know if the streaming video over ethernet would significantly slow down my network but I know that any wifi traffic certainly does.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:51 PM   #349
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What is SDV?

I'm not liking this timing out business because I like to play videogames online and if someone else in the house starts watching live TV on the Mini even for just a couple of minutes then that would be at least 1 or more hours of unnecessary network traffic slowing things down. I don't really know if the streaming video over ethernet would significantly slow down my network but I know that any wifi traffic certainly does.
SDV = Switched Digital Video
These are channels the cable company only sends down the line to a neighborhood if someone in the neighborhood is actually watching it. It requires a Tuning Adapter with TiVos and there is messaging back and forth such that after a period of time of no interaction the TiVo will ask if you are still watching and if not it will time out the channel.

I don't see it as a big deal since:
1. You should always have option to disallow live TV on mins by not allocating any tuners from the host
2. If you do use Mini for live TV you can train yourself to hit TiVo button before you leave, or add it to a smart remote macro "off" sequence which turns off TV/amp etc.
3. The maximum possible data rate of HD channels is 19 Mbps and typically HD channels are much less than that, so assuming you have a decent LAN (1Gbps) that data rate is pretty insignificant.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:00 PM   #350
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What is SDV?

I'm not liking this timing out business because I like to play videogames online and if someone else in the house starts watching live TV on the Mini even for just a couple of minutes then that would be at least 1 or more hours of unnecessary network traffic slowing things down. I don't really know if the streaming video over ethernet would significantly slow down my network but I know that any wifi traffic certainly does.
SDV is Switched Digital Video. It's a means that some Cable Cos use to save bandwidth by allocating lesser viewed channels to be sent along the line only when particularly requested by a viewer. It's existence has been a headache-filled journey for many Tivo users since it requires additional hardware from the Cable Co to act as an intermediary between the Tivo and the Cable Co head end to request that a SDV channel be broadcast when a Tivo user wants to watch or record it.

As for your concerns about network traffic, it's possible it may impact your network somewhat, but since Live TV streaming would be entirely internal network traffic (LAN), it seems unlikely to greatly affect any online gaming like you experience with WiFi. Since the ultimate destination of most WiFi traffic would be external and would require some of your external internet bandwidth, this is why it would adversely affect any online gaming, which would be competing for the limited external bandwidth from your internet provider.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:00 PM   #351
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SDV = Switched Digital Video
These are channels the cable company only sends down the line to a neighborhood if someone in the neighborhood is actually watching it. It requires a Tuning Adapter with TiVos and there is messaging back and forth such that after a period of time of no interaction the TiVo will ask if you are still watching and if not it will time out the channel.

I don't see it as a big deal since:
1. You should always have option to disallow live TV on mins by not allocating any tuners from the host
2. If you do use Mini for live TV you can train yourself to hit TiVo button before you leave, or add it to a smart remote macro "off" sequence which turns off TV/amp etc.
Your point 1 is pretty much what I would expect and want out of the Mini, i.e. it is an extender that can play shows recorded on another device but has no live capability. I am of the opinion that if a feature of any product isn't prefect then drop it to avoid creating frustration or expectations that are unrealistic.

Point 2 is what I was indicating earlier would be an irritating aspect of the Mini if it comes to pass. It is different to how normal TiVos work and won't be adhered to by people who like things to just work without messing around.

The TiVo mini sounds more and more like a network hog/killer and for people who don't care about that then fine but I'm not a big fan of what I've read so far.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:28 PM   #352
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Dan or anybody else,
Why do you think that TiVo went ahead and put the Tuner Allocation option in with the last software update?

I'm just curious.

Thanks
At a guess it might be one of a couple of things:
1) The software was too close to release and they didn't want to delay it to pull a feature, even if they ultimately plan not to use it.

2) Even with dynamic tuner allocation it might be nice to lock down a TiVo and restrict minis from stealing live-tv tuner(s); even dynamically. [Image a household where you have kids or guests that might not understand that they'd be screwing up recordings by channel surfing. Easier to block that ability and make them stick with pre-recorded content]

3) The delay of the mini has nothing to do with dynamic tuner allocation and (at least at initial release) it'll need perminant tuner allocation So the software it still totally necessary.


I'd hope that it's 2 (or even 1), but we won't know until either TiVo says something or the mini is released and people can play with it and find out if/how that setting interacts with it.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:38 PM   #353
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What is SDV?

I'm not liking this timing out business because I like to play videogames online and if someone else in the house starts watching live TV on the Mini even for just a couple of minutes then that would be at least 1 or more hours of unnecessary network traffic slowing things down. I don't really know if the streaming video over ethernet would significantly slow down my network but I know that any wifi traffic certainly does.
I'm betting that tuner allocation setting sticks around. SO that if you have no desire to watch live TV via a Mini you can just turn it off.

Also if you want to prevent live TV from using unnecessary network bandwidth when it's not actually being watched then train your family to always go to My Shows, select a program and pause it before turning off the TV. That will halt all network streaming immediately.

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Old 12-07-2012, 05:30 PM   #354
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Couple of clarifications compiled from the mountains of MegaZone research and the like...

The last good information we had, you select the number of tuners you wanted allocated to other devices. You can select between 0 and 2. You can find this screen already in the fall software.

Those tuners are not then dedicated to a specific device. They become part of a "pool". If 1 tuner is allotted to multiple Mini's, they all have to share that 1 tuner. Or if you have 2 tuners allotted to other devices, the second Mini will grab the free one. If no tuners are available for the device to use, obviously some sort of screen would have to be presented if they try to watch live TV. There's no known limit to the number of Minis you can have, but you can only share up to 2 tuners per Elite/4/XL4 as the screen currently indicates.

Conflict resolution on the DVR would function the same it always has. The 4-tuner Tivo becomes a 3- or 2-tuner box (depending on how many tuners you give up). If there aren't enough tuners to record everything, it either won't record the lowest priority program(s) or it'll reschedule them for a later viewing if available. So while 4 tuner boxes are spoiling us a little bit, go back to your 2-tuner roots and make sure your SP list is prioritized correctly.

Of course, ideally, the tuners would not have to be added to a semi-permanent "pool" and they'd just be borrowed and returned to the DVR once the Mini is off. And conflict resolution would be resolved the same way it is now as if you're watching live TV -- ask you if you want to cancel the recording or not. This would open the possibility of the Mini working with regular Premieres too.

That is intended to be fixed with a future update, but the very latest data we have still says it's a 4-tuner accessory, so folks shouldn't get their hopes up that just because it's delayed, it's to wait for that fix. It still may be released in the gimped state.

Quote:
If a TiVo Mini is streaming live TV from a TiVo over a network how will it know when to stop? Would you have to turn the TiVo Mini off?
Supposedly the Mini was going to detect whether or not the TV was on based on an active/inactive video output from the box. Or something like that. This seemed up in the air at the time and was one of those things they were still figuring out.

This data is accurate as of May when Tivo last talked about it, except for a Margret interview at the end of September which still indicated it was a 4-tuner accessory. What's changed, if anything, is anybody's guess. Unless testers are lurking.

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Old 12-07-2012, 06:14 PM   #355
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All this 4-Tuner "needed" BS really stinks, I have purchased 2-Tuner Premieres for my extended family, and that is all they need. I would buy them all a TiVo Mini for Christmas if they were available and would work with a 2-Tuner Premiere, even if all it could do was playback recordings. A plus would be dynamic tuner allocation, Netflix and Hulu.

As it is now I am getting them Rokus instead.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:25 PM   #356
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Yeah with the option to set the number of tuners available to Minis I wonder why they would limit the Mini to a 4 tuner host? Obviously the Mini can function if there are no tuners available for live TV, so why not just make it so if the host is a 2 tuner box live TV is simply disabled? Could even put some sort of warning in the initial setup process telling the user that if they select a 2 tuner host live TV will not be available. They might even get a few upsells that way.

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Old 12-07-2012, 06:34 PM   #357
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Based on information we had on initial plans for Mini deployment you would have to manually specify on your XL4 how many tuners you wanted to dedicate to Minis, and you could choose 0,1 or 2 tuners. Whatever number you choose to dedicate to Minis are not useable anymore for XL4 recordings. Obviously the early reaction to this by this forum was very negative and perhaps that is one reason why the Mini release is delayed, so that TiVo can work on dynamic tuner allocation where tuners are still available to the host when not in use by Minis for live TV. I still hope even if there is dynamic tuner allocation in place at launch that one has the option to allocate 0 tuners to Minis still.
That was just part of the major negative reaction. The other (perhaps even more important?) was the insanely stupid requirement that it be an XL4. There is absolutely no valid reason the Mini should be restricted to only a single model. None.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:38 PM   #358
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Originally Posted by mr_smits View Post
I think Tivo will want to preserve their traditional tuner box revenue and only permit a Mini connected to one regular box. However, it would be great if the option would be:

2 tuner Premiere = no mini
4 tuner Premiere = 1 mini
6 tuner future box = 2 or 3 minis
That is just plain STUPID. There should be no requirement at all for how many tuners are in the hosting Premieres. Probably most users have ZERO interest in watching "live" TV, which is the ONLY reason it would need to "steal" tuners in the first place. Even with no tuner, you can select something playing right now and just tell it to record it and start watching it immediately.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:45 PM   #359
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I agree. There is no reason to limit the host just because of a feature most people wont even use. (i.e. live TV) I'm hoping that the delay signifies they are rethinking their strategy on this.

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Old 12-08-2012, 10:59 AM   #360
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Originally Posted by button1066 View Post
Your point 1 is pretty much what I would expect and want out of the Mini, i.e. it is an extender that can play shows recorded on another device but has no live capability. I am of the opinion that if a feature of any product isn't prefect then drop it to avoid creating frustration or expectations that are unrealistic.

Point 2 is what I was indicating earlier would be an irritating aspect of the Mini if it comes to pass. It is different to how normal TiVos work and won't be adhered to by people who like things to just work without messing around.

The TiVo mini sounds more and more like a network hog/killer and for people who don't care about that then fine but I'm not a big fan of what I've read so far.
Yes it's certainly not going to affect any online gaming. I can be transferring a terabyte or more for data over my network at 800Mb/s and it will have no effect on me playing a game on my Xbox. Plus there is very little data transferred over the internet connection while playing a game. At least there was very little when I was playing MW3 over a cellular hot spot and I kept checking the data usage.

The only time the network transfer would affect my usage if if I initiated another large transfer and then I would run up against the speed limit of my gigabit connection which would slow both transfers down from what they could be. And the data streaming to a mini would be small. It would only be an HD stream which is a very small amount bandwidth.
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