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Old 10-23-2014, 11:02 PM   #1
wizwor
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Help a Stingy Cable Cutter

It's been more than four years since I parted ways with Comcast. The two things we missed the most were 1) the EPG, and 2) the DVR. I quickly remedied this with the purchase of an EchoStar DTVPal DVR. It was so awesome, I bought four more. For a total investment of $1k, I had a two tuner DVR with an EPG on every set in my home.

Four and a half years later, two of these have failed. I suspect the end is near for the rest.

I have seven Simple DVRs. (If either Channel Master or Tivo added a Simple or Plex app, I would upgrade all my DVRs the same week.) The Simple DVRs serve up my library of OTA recordings on my LAN, WLAN, and even on the road. So, my my need is primarily a set top DVR with great pause, rewind, fast forward, and slow motion and a good EPG.

I'm looking at either a TiVo or a DVR+. I know a lot about the DVR+. There is a lot that is attractive about the TiVo, but the more I look into the TiVo, the more confused I get.

The most important quality of my next DVR is the quality of the tuner. My understanding is that the Roamio (series 5) has the best tuner and that the tuner in the TiVo HD (series 3) has about as good a tuner but that the Premiere (series 4) is not as good.

My TVFool report is at freetvforme.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/tvfoolhome.png. Will I notice the difference between a Roamio and a Premiere 4?

We have a lot of TVs, but only use two at a time, so I was planning on getting one or two DVRs and a bunch of minis. I think the mini only works with the Roamio (all models) and the four tuner Premieres (Premier4 and Premier4 XL). So, I think to use minis with TiVos with good tuners, I will need to buy Roamios, right?

How does the mini work when you have multiple DVRs? Do you pick a DVR when you power the mini on or does it remember the last used DVR? Is it possible/easy to switch from one DVR to another on a mini? What happens if you try to use a DVR with no available tuners?

Now, the Roamio OTA has no lifetime service option, so that costs $15/month forever. For the Roamio, you can buy a lifetime service plan for $500. On the WeaKnees site, I see they offer the same plan for $400 for current subscribers and I have seen a promo code PLSR you can get the plan for $400. I also see a $50 off code. WeaKnees says you have to subscribe for a year before you can get the $400 lifetime plan on their site. TiVo support says there is no plsr code.

What is the least expensive way for me to get two Roamio two tuner DVRs plus four minis?

Finally, the TiVo has a very disappointing warranty -- 90 days. Do people tend to get extended warranties? How long do these things last?
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Old 10-24-2014, 01:40 AM   #2
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Roamio basic model has 4 tuners (OTA or cable), Plus/pro has 6 tuners, digital cable only. The Premiere is a 2 tuner model for OTA and/or cable, whereas Premiere 4 are 4 tuners, cable only.

Tivo service is $14.99 monthly, $499.99 lifetime, there is a Multiple service discount on secondary service on the same account, $12.99/monthly, $399.99 lifetime.

Mini needs a wired ethernet, or MoCa (ethernet via coax). MoCa is builtin on the Mini, Roamio Plus/Pro.
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Old 10-24-2014, 01:51 AM   #3
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Some get extended warranties, some don't. Count me in on the no extended warranty side. 5 TiVos over 12 years and no problems. Also with the Roamios you can just put in a new HD if one fails. (HDs and the most common point of failure.)
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Old 10-24-2014, 03:35 AM   #4
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I've had to use my warranty -- but I once had a Premiere fail just a couple months out of the extended warranty, and they let me exchange it for a new-to-me (refurb) box for $89 with free transfer of my lifetime service. I don't think TiVo would have given me that deal had I not had the EW.
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Old 10-24-2014, 06:27 AM   #5
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Thank you. Seems like the Roamio is a no brainer then. Sounds like the discount on lifetime is on a second DVR not being an existing customer. So, the best deal is to simply look for the best discount on the hardware. Maybe BF?

I'm replacing five DVRs. Generally, as I said, one to two of the TVs is on at a time. Can four minis be used with one Roamio as long as no more than four are on at a time?
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Old 10-24-2014, 07:30 AM   #6
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EDIT: This is Limit One DVR per code, and that one may not qualify for MSD Lifetime on the second.

The best overall deal would be to purchase a discount code. Check out the reviews. 100% Positive feedback
http://www.ebay.com/itm/TiVo-Promo-D...-/221567055169 Make him an offer.

or http://spherular.com/ use COMMUNITY as the promo code to get it for $39
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Last edited by CoxInPHX : 10-24-2014 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 10-24-2014, 10:21 AM   #7
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How do you keep track of which Simple.tv has which programs? Or does the UI merge the shows from all of them?

the Antennta graph looks hard at first glance. Do you use a single antenna right now? Maybe if you separate the channels you actually watch vs never watch, it would simplify the equation.
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Last edited by telemark : 10-24-2014 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 10-24-2014, 11:00 AM   #8
wizwor
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How do you keep track of which Simple.tv has which programs? Or does the UI merge the shows from all of them?

the Antennta graph looks hard at first glance. Do you use a single antenna right now? Maybe if you separate the channels you actually watch vs never watch, it would simplify the equation.
The UI separates the shows by name. I separate the shows by genre. I have DVRs called Movies, Sitcoms, Dramas, etc. Using Plex, I can drill down through DVR (Genre), then show, then episode.

I have two VHF and three UHF antennas. One of each in the attic and the rest on a mast outside the house. The attic antennas are my live backup. One of the UHF antennas on the mast points to a weak broadcaster in the wrong direction. It's attached to a Simple DVR and collects a couple shows I cannot find elswhere (Mad About You, That 70s Show). The VHF antenna in my attic is easily repositioned and points to Maine stations (Maine is still mostly VHF) when everything outside is working well.
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Old 10-24-2014, 01:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizwor View Post
TiVo support says there is no plsr code.
They're lying. The "PLSR" code still works to get $100 off lifetime service.
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Old 10-24-2014, 05:29 PM   #10
telemark
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So how many Tivo's are you going to get? One per antenna? If not, you'll need to look into some kind of antenna combiner.
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Old 10-24-2014, 05:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
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So how many Tivo's are you going to get? One per antenna? If not, you'll need to look into some kind of antenna combiner.
I just did a rebuild from the roof top antenna wiring in the house. Had to crawl up in the attic, wire that comes in is the round wire coax, but it was then changed to the 2 wire flat cable long ago and the bare wire connection there often come apart when disturbed. I thought just pushing the new coax down the wall would work, but failed, so I taped the new coax to the old wire and stuck that bad boy down and past the hole leading to the wall plate. There is a splitter that's still the flat wire which serves a TV in another room and cannot change it. I'm hoping to find a way to split the coax properly in the wall to serve the twin coax wall plate and need to find a couple of very short coax cords. Until then, I have a coax to 2 wire converter, to the splitter box (old), 1 side serves the other TV, other gets converted back to coax to serve the living room TV. So far, its working alright. Previously, I had issues with a channel that would pixelate and block up and I would blame it on the local station.
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Roamio! Oh, wait, Its Juliet!
OTA! OTA! OTA!

~~~~~

The TiVo Apocalypse begins on Sat 2013 Feb 16 00:00 GMT!
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Old 10-26-2014, 12:46 PM   #12
wizwor
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So how many Tivo's are you going to get? One per antenna? If not, you'll need to look into some kind of antenna combiner.
I think I can get away with one Roamio and five minis. Generally, no more than two of the televisions are powered on at one time, but I would like to have an EPG and pause/rewind on all five sets.

The Simple DVRs collect and present our library of OTA recordings. (I would love a plex channel for TiVo). We use the Simple DVR for remote access and local LAN/WLAN access. We use them for really rarely used TVs (via a Roku) as well.

The fact that I can do all of this with the Simple DVRs is what allows me to splurge on a TiVo for interactive use.
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Old 10-26-2014, 02:25 PM   #13
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instead of Plex, I'd rather see a generic DLNA client. I'm used to the interface of my WDLIVE and Twonky. A more generic client would allow more flexiability for the masses. I've messed with Plex and it's too cumbersome and requires more screens to thumb through a given amount of files.
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Old 10-26-2014, 03:06 PM   #14
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wizwor: are you using 1 or 2 tuner Simple.tv's. Did you find any difference between them?

kherr: Plex server offers DLNA serving, which lets you run those native clients you want. Too complicated?
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Old 10-26-2014, 05:23 PM   #15
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wizwor: are you using 1 or 2 tuner Simple.tv's. Did you find any difference between them?

kherr: Plex server offers DLNA serving, which lets you run those native clients you want. Too complicated?
Both. Lots of differences...

http://freetvforme.wordpress.com/201...simple-tv-dvr/

It's complicated. Right? LOL ;-)

The single tuner DVR is a beast to setup. It only works with a short list of disks, it takes several scans to get all the channels. But it has no moving parts, runs cool, and, for the most part, just works once you set things up.

The dual tuner hardware is much better. Disk support is much better. First scan usually picks up all channels. Channel changing is much snappier. It's better supported. Just got a download feature for files that will not come to the single tuner, for instance.

For me, price matters. You can (I did) buy a single tuner DVR with lifetime software licence for <$100. That's a 30% discount plus a free tuner to purchase the software.

I recommend people buy at least once single tuner to get a good deal on the software. After that, dual tuners for live tv. Both work fine for recording. My gut tells me it is not a great idea to save two files concurrently to the same disk, but I cannot say it has been a problem. Here are some cool uses for the single tuner units...

- share it. Find someone in another market to swap antennas with. I am hoping to sharing an antenna with someone in the UK. My mother uses my antenna via a Roku at her house.
- host it. When your disk is full, you can use the tuner for live TV and the rest of the hardware to share your library with up to five viewers.
- make it kid safe. Create a separate account for family friendly content and make those DVRs available to your kids.
- remote control it. i like these for remote access either on my WLAN or LAN and even from remote locations.

What I want to do is run an app on the TiVo that lets me run content off my plex server without using a Roku. Plex has a Simple app, so I would be able to play files on my Simple server via a TiVo DVR or mini of there was an app.
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Old 11-01-2014, 08:55 AM   #16
wizwor
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FYI, this is how I am trying to integrate the Tivos (red text)...


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Old 11-01-2014, 04:33 PM   #17
telemark
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I'm counting 9x tuners from Simple.TV and 4 or 6 from Tivo.

Not to knock it but curious, how many channels are there that you would record from?

9 in my market gets me every major and minor network that broadcasts in English.
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Old 11-01-2014, 08:40 PM   #18
wizwor
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I'm counting 9x tuners from Simple.TV and 4 or 6 from Tivo.

Not to knock it but curious, how many channels are there that you would record from?

9 in my market gets me every major and minor network that broadcasts in English.
We have ABC, Bounce, CBS, Cozi, CW, Escape, FOX, Fox Movies, GetTV, ION, ION Life, Qubo, MeTV, MyTV, NBC, PBS (+ Create, Explore, Kids, and World), The Works, This TV, and ZUUS.

It's really not the number of channels as much as it is the number of episodes of shows. Essentially, if I would stop for a show on the dial, I record it. At my house, everything is on all the time. Keep in mind that the STV DVRs provide remote, LAN, and WLAN access to live and recorded programming as well. Each acts as a server once it is full.

I use the Simple DVRs to harvest and serve content and DTVPals for EPG, pause/rewind/slow motion, and ad hoc recording. My DTVPals are beginning to fail (2 of 5 have failed) and I am looking at the Roamio/Mini vs DVR+ options.

Last edited by wizwor : 11-04-2014 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:03 AM   #19
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FYI, this is how I am trying to integrate the Tivos (red text)...

Holy crap!!!!
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:27 AM   #20
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Holy crap!!!!

My thoughts exactly!
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