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Old 11-12-2014, 07:38 PM   #1
PatrickNSF
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Swap two Premiere XL4s for one Roamio Pro

We have two Premiere XL4s with Lifetime feeding 5 TVs through a component matrix switch. The switch (and IR repeaters) behave wonky from time to time.

I've been considering switching to one Roamio Pro with Lifetime, directly hooked up to the main TV, paired with 4 minis. I would assume I'd see some improvement in audio and video quality, as all TVs are only receiving component signals now.

Am I missing any downsides to consolidating the two Premieres to one Roamio Pro (other than the loss of two tuners)?
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:15 PM   #2
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You'd be losing 2 tuners. Otherwise I think the setup would be better because all 5 Minis and the Roamio could be watching different things at the same time. Whereas you're currently limited to two different locations at a time due to using the main TiVo's output.

I use to have the same setup as you. The Roamio/Mini setup is MUCH simpler and easier to manage.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:17 PM   #3
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Thanks, Dan. I'm likely making the switch, as the market for Premieres with Lifetime seems pretty good.

And if we ever get to the point where we think we need more than 6 tuners at once, I think we've got problems a Tivo won't solve ;-)
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:23 PM   #4
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You could also keep the two XL4s and run Mini's off of them. My XL4 handles 3 Mini's with aplomb... Just another option.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:36 PM   #5
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I've been under the impression that each mini needs to be paired with only one main Tivo. I thought it would simpler for the family having them all paired to the same Tivo, instead of multiple XL4s. But maybe I'm missing something?
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:28 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by PatrickNSF View Post
I've been under the impression that each mini needs to be paired with only one main Tivo. I thought it would simpler for the family having them all paired to the same Tivo, instead of multiple XL4s. But maybe I'm missing something?
Whether or not it would be simpler depends on how your family members watch TV. If only certain TVs are watched by certain people, then it could be easier to keep recordings for certain family members segregated on one of the Premiers or the other.

Since you already have the 2 Premieres, why don't you start by just buying 3 Minis and try using them with the 2 Premieres you already have to see how it goes. Then after a while if you decide you'd rather get a Roamio, you can then buy it (and another Mini) and sell the 2 Premieres.
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Old 11-13-2014, 04:30 PM   #7
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I've been under the impression that each mini needs to be paired with only one main Tivo. I thought it would simpler for the family having them all paired to the same Tivo, instead of multiple XL4s. But maybe I'm missing something?
The Mini is reflection of the host TiVo so just like the host TiVo it will list all other TiVos on your network at the bottom of My Shows which you can then select and play any recording from that TiVo as well.

However you can only schedule recordings and manage SPs for the host TiVo, so it can be a bit confusing there.
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Old 11-13-2014, 08:18 PM   #8
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Thanks for the follow-up. I'm going to buy a couple of minis first and see how they work for us with the Premieres. If I can catch a good deal on a Roamio Pro I'll bite the bullet and make the switch. It looks like I have until Jan 6 to take advantage of the current promotions.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:38 PM   #9
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Whether or not it would be simpler depends on how your family members watch TV. If only certain TVs are watched by certain people, then it could be easier to keep recordings for certain family members segregated on one of the Premiers or the other.

Since you already have the 2 Premieres, why don't you start by just buying 3 Minis and try using them with the 2 Premieres you already have to see how it goes. Then after a while if you decide you'd rather get a Roamio, you can then buy it (and another Mini) and sell the 2 Premieres.
Correct. The OP could also have all 3 Minis on one XL4, and one XL4 somewhere else with no Minis. The system scales pretty well.
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Old 11-14-2014, 11:48 AM   #10
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Correct. The OP could also have all 3 Minis on one XL4, and one XL4 somewhere else with no Minis. The system scales pretty well.
Thanks. I'm picking up a mini today at Best Buy to experiment before committing to an overhaul.

But your comment has me thinking that I may be best off keeping both XL4s instead of consolidating to one Roamio Pro. I'd keep "my" XL4 on the main TV (where I normally watch) and have the minis paired with the other XL4 for the rest of the family. If I need to watch TV from other than the main TV, I'll still be able to access my recorded shows. But it may be nice to keep my recordings separate from the rest of the family so they don't mess everything up ;-)
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Old 11-14-2014, 02:18 PM   #11
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But your comment has me thinking that I may be best off keeping both XL4s instead of consolidating to one Roamio Pro. I'd keep "my" XL4 on the main TV (where I normally watch) and have the minis paired with the other XL4 for the rest of the family. If I need to watch TV from other than the main TV, I'll still be able to access my recorded shows. But it may be nice to keep my recordings separate from the rest of the family so they don't mess everything up ;-)
You could definitely do that, but depending on how many family members you have and how often they all want to watch TV or record shows at the same time, they might start to run short on tuners from time to time. You could upgrade one of the XL4s to a Roamio Plus and run all the Minis off it, and then the rest of the family would have 6 tuners to work with and you can keep your XL4 to yourself.
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Old 11-14-2014, 07:23 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the responses. Just spent the afternoon hooking up two minis and moving our Premiers from the media closet (routed through a component matrix switch) to direct HDMI connections to our two main TVs.

Wow. I knew I was losing some picture (and sound) quality routing everything through the component matrix switch, but it was more of a loss than I realized. Huge upgrade here just dumping the switch for the two minis :-)

Based on all the suggestions – which were really helpful – I think I'll keep two two host Tivos and add another mini to the remaining 5th TV (or just skip it – it's in the office/gym and rarely used). I think there's still some value to having the spouse/kid TV shows recorded on one Tivo, and my TV shows/shared movies on the other. I didn't really pay attention until getting everything hooked up this afternoon, but one Tivo is at 50% and the other is at 80% capacity. I'm not sure going down from 4TB to 2TB makes sense without getting more disciplined about deleting shows. So I'll just leave that be for now.

I think the last remaining issue is whether it makes sense to swap out one of the XL4s for the Roamio. I think best case I'm looking at a $300 outlay (very rough guess) after selling the XL4 and buying the Roamio w/ Lifetime. I need to take a closer look at what it gets me, apart from the two additional tuners.

But all in all, a really nice change here. Wish I had looked at doing this sooner. Thanks for all the help.
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Old 11-14-2014, 07:33 PM   #13
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Keep in mind that the Plus version only has 1TB and the Pro has 3TB, so there is no direct replacement for an XL4 which has 2TB. Since the Roamio has more tuners, which means more recording, you'll likely want to go with the Pro, which is about $150 more then you're figuring. Even if you buy the Plus and upgrade yourself the drive is going to be about $100-$120, so it's not a huge savings. (although you end up with a 1TB drive you could use for something else)
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Old 11-14-2014, 07:36 PM   #14
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Keep in mind that the Plus version only has 1TB and the Pro has 3TB
Thanks. I didn't realize the Pro had 3TB. I assumed 2TB for some reason.
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:05 PM   #15
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Thanks. I'm picking up a mini today at Best Buy to experiment before committing to an overhaul.

But your comment has me thinking that I may be best off keeping both XL4s instead of consolidating to one Roamio Pro. I'd keep "my" XL4 on the main TV (where I normally watch) and have the minis paired with the other XL4 for the rest of the family. If I need to watch TV from other than the main TV, I'll still be able to access my recorded shows. But it may be nice to keep my recordings separate from the rest of the family so they don't mess everything up ;-)
Yeah, that would work fine, and the XL4s are more than capable of handling up to 3 Mini's at once. If you really wanted to expand, you could also replace one XL4 and keep another- you have plenty of options.
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:14 PM   #16
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Yeah, that would work fine, and the XL4s are more than capable of handling up to 3 Mini's at once. If you really wanted to expand, you could also replace one XL4 and keep another- you have plenty of options.
Thanks. That's the plan (for today). I ordered the 3rd mini and will hang onto both XL4s for the time being. If I find a great deal on a Roamio Pro (with lifetime) I'll swap one of the XL4s out. But thinking it over and talking it through this morning after playing around with the new setup, I think we're better off for the time being having two Tivos that can record.
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Old 11-15-2014, 05:57 PM   #17
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Thanks. That's the plan (for today). I ordered the 3rd mini and will hang onto both XL4s for the time being. If I find a great deal on a Roamio Pro (with lifetime) I'll swap one of the XL4s out. But thinking it over and talking it through this morning after playing around with the new setup, I think we're better off for the time being having two Tivos that can record.
Cool. You're really going to enjoy having the Minis around and having a true whole-home DVR setup!
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:31 PM   #18
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The Mini is reflection of the host TiVo so just like the host TiVo it will list all other TiVos on your network at the bottom of My Shows which you can then select and play any recording from that TiVo as well.

However you can only schedule recordings and manage SPs for the host TiVo, so it can be a bit confusing there.
As someone who has never owned more than one TiVo... What? TiVos can play recordings off each other?
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:30 PM   #19
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As someone who has never owned more than one TiVo... What? TiVos can play recordings off each other?
I don't know about minis. But tivos can TRANSFER recordings between each other. At the bottom of the list of items will be the other tivo's name/id. It can only transfer one at a time but you can queue them up.
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Old 11-17-2014, 10:06 PM   #20
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As someone who has never owned more than one TiVo... What? TiVos can play recordings off each other?
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I don't know about minis. But tivos can TRANSFER recordings between each other. At the bottom of the list of items will be the other tivo's name/id. It can only transfer one at a time but you can queue them up.
You can watch shows recorded on another Tivo as well as transfer them. In fact, you can watch shows that can't be transferred because of copy protection. I have a Premiere and a Roamio and do this fairly regularly in both directions.
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:57 PM   #21
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You can watch shows recorded on another Tivo as well as transfer them. In fact, you can watch shows that can't be transferred because of copy protection. I have a Premiere and a Roamio and do this fairly regularly in both directions.

Okay, how to you "WATCH" as opposed to transfer? Or is it dependent on the Tivo models involved? My other tivo is a Series S3 of some sort. I just navigated to DVR S3, located a show and hit Select. I am offered TRANSFER, not watch. Oh, I should add, they are both on wifi, and not directly wired to a router, if that makes any difference.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:33 AM   #22
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Okay, how to you "WATCH" as opposed to transfer? Or is it dependent on the Tivo models involved? My other tivo is a Series S3 of some sort. I just navigated to DVR S3, located a show and hit Select. I am offered TRANSFER, not watch. Oh, I should add, they are both on wifi, and not directly wired to a router, if that makes any difference. Thanks in advance.
An S3 won't work. It must be a premiere or newer TiVo to stream to another TiVo premiere or Roamio.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:03 AM   #23
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An S3 won't work. It must be a premiere or newer TiVo to stream to another TiVo premiere or Roamio.
Thanks for the answer.

That brings up another question. Is this Tivo to Tivo transfer slower than when I've used Pytivo to transfer from my computer to the S3? It seems quite slow but that's only a feeling. The Roamio is relatively new and I don't think I've used Pytivo to transfer to it yet.

And a reason to potentially replace the S3
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Old 11-18-2014, 02:08 PM   #24
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Thanks for the answer.

That brings up another question. Is this Tivo to Tivo transfer slower than when I've used Pytivo to transfer from my computer to the S3? It seems quite slow but that's only a feeling. The Roamio is relatively new and I don't think I've used Pytivo to transfer to it yet.

And a reason to potentially replace the S3
Transfer speeds from my Roamio Pro to my Roamio BAsic are over 90Mb/s.

Transfer speeds from my Roamio Pro to a PC are over 170Mb/s using KMTTG.

The Roamio Pro has a GigE port but the Roamio BAsic only has a 100BT connection so it's transfer rates will be under 100Mb/s.
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Old 11-18-2014, 02:40 PM   #25
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Transfer of shows here is very limited (and not really needed for me) since Time Warner blocks almost all transfers due to it's heavy copyright protection scheme. But streaming between my XL4 and Premiere works almost flawlessly, amazing to me considering it's all done via Wifi. Each Tivo shows up as a device on the Tivo window, you just navigate to it and pick shows like normal. You can delete shows too from either Tivo.
great feature.
I considered getting a Mini to use off my main Tivo but decided to keep my old Premiere and use it in the bedroom. I get full Tivos in 2 rooms with easy sharing (streaming) between them. (got the $99 Lifetime on the older TIvo) so kept it.
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Old 11-18-2014, 05:41 PM   #26
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Yeah, 100mbps Ethernet is limited to ~93mbps in practice if you're lucky. My XL4 is a dog with transfers. I'm transferring some stuff off to my HTPC right now, which is connected via a gig switch, and it's barely managing 40mbps. Pathetic. The HTPC can take over 100MB/s from my laptop, so it's not the issue.
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:14 PM   #27
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As someone who has never owned more than one TiVo... What? TiVos can play recordings off each other?
Yes. All other TiVos on your network will show up at the bottom of My Shows (or there is a new selection for them in the left column if you have that turned on) when you select one it will show you the My Shows list of that TiVo. Select any show and hit Play and it will play on the TiVo you're using instantly just as if it was stored on that TiVo. If the show is not copy protected you can also select it and select copy to this DVR and it will actually create a copy of the show on the TiVo you're using. However this is really only necessary if you're trying to free up space on one or you're moving stuff over to a new unit. Otherwise the streaming method works way better.

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I don't know about minis. But tivos can TRANSFER recordings between each other. At the bottom of the list of items will be the other tivo's name/id. It can only transfer one at a time but you can queue them up.
S3 units can't stream. Premiere and newer units can. Also if you do need to transfer it's a LOT faster with newer units. Between two Roamio Pros, connected via gigabit switch, I can transfer a 1 hour HD show in a couple of minutes. Unlike the old S3 units I use to have where it took almost realtime.
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:41 PM   #28
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S3 units can't stream. Premiere and newer units can. Also if you do need to transfer it's a LOT faster with newer units. Between two Roamio Pros, connected via gigabit switch, I can transfer a 1 hour HD show in a couple of minutes. Unlike the old S3 units I use to have where it took almost realtime.
How does that compare to TiVo Desktop? TiVo Desktop from a Premiere on a gig switch runs at about 3-4x realtime (35-40mbps with heavily compressed Comcast).
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Old 11-20-2014, 07:58 PM   #29
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I have a MoCa network between my TiVo and PC, which is limited to 10/100 by the ethernet port on the MoCa bridge. But I just ran a test. I downloaded a 35 minute show, that was 2.84GB in size and it took exactly 4 minutes. The download meter in my browser was hovering between 11.2-11.4MBps the whole time, which is roughly 90Mbps, which is pretty much the max for a 10/100 network.

Others who have pure gigabit between TiVo and PC report even faster speeds.
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:55 PM   #30
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I have a MoCa network between my TiVo and PC, which is limited to 10/100 by the ethernet port on the MoCa bridge. But I just ran a test. I downloaded a 35 minute show, that was 2.84GB in size and it took exactly 4 minutes. The download meter in my browser was hovering between 11.2-11.4MBps the whole time, which is roughly 90Mbps, which is pretty much the max for a 10/100 network.

Others who have pure gigabit between TiVo and PC report even faster speeds.
On a Roamio? The Premiere sure can't get those speeds...
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