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Old 03-21-2014, 10:30 AM   #1
ChrisNylen
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Making the Switch from WMC: Roamio vs Roamio Plus

Hello!

After a few years of using Windows Media Center (WMC) + a Ceton infiniTV, I'm ready to make the switch back to TiVo. The experience with WMC at first was great, but I've lost interest in customizing and troubleshooting issues. I'm also tired of my fiance complaining that the TV "doesn't work".

I'm looking at both the Roamio and Roamio Plus DVRs, but had some questions. I'm not finding much in the way of comparisons (maybe I'm searching wrong) outside of the TiVo website. So far, the only compelling argument for me to go with the Roamio Plus is the 6 tuners versus the 4 on the Roamio (I'm already used to 4 with my WMC+Ceton). I don't need MoCA as my home is wired with Ethernet, and I don't have a use for TiVo Stream as I don't own an iOS device. Additionally, I would upgrade whichever device with the 2TB HDD that's currently in use in my HTPC.

Am I overlooking anything else? Is performance any different between the devices?
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:47 AM   #2
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Aside from the hard drive size, the other major difference is the Roamio is the only model that can connect to an antenna. The Plus and Pro are cable only.

Here's another useful comparison chart:

http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-roamio-comparison.php
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:50 AM   #3
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Some other important differences:
Roamio basic has OTA capability, Plus/Pro do not.
Roamio basic does not have integrated Stream, Plus/Pro do.
Roamio basic has 100 Mbps ethernet, Plus/Pro are 1000 Mbps
Roamio basic has no integrated MoCA capability, Plus/Pro do.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
........
Roamio basic has OTA capability, Plus/Pro do not.
.........
Note you have to re-configure and swap input cables to switch between OTA and cable.

Also, the basic has no component outputs while the other two do.
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Old 03-21-2014, 04:55 PM   #5
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Great feedback, thanks all. The only thing I didn't see before was the lack of Gigabit Ethernet on the Roamio. It's not a huge deal to me and not a deal breaker. No need for Component out either, I run everything through my AVR via HDMI.

Is anyone aware of any performance differences between the devices? Specifically UI performance and overall "feel"?
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Old 03-22-2014, 08:31 AM   #6
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Note you have to re-configure and swap input cables to switch between OTA and cable.
When I had TiVo with DirecTV many years ago, the OTA and satellite channels were all integrated together in the guide. I could easily tune to any OTA or satellite channel without doing anything special. Am I understanding correctly that Roamios do not work that way and that it's an either/or (OTA or cable) kind of configuration? Hmmm....rethinking things now!

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Old 03-22-2014, 10:02 AM   #7
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Yes, either OTA or cable for roamio basic. Other roamios are cable only. Premiere two tuners can handle both at the same time, but anything more than two tuners cannot. If you have cable its really only a big deal if you prefer to use the uncompressed OTA signal in lieu of what you get over the wire.
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:38 AM   #8
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From my perspective if you need or think you will ever want cut the cable and go exclusively OTA then get the basic. If that isn't in your plans that get the Plus.

Remember you pay the same service charge on the basic as you do on the plus/pro.

The only difference between the plus/pro is the hard-drive size ad you can upgrade that at a whim if ever decide too.

Roamio Plus is the set spot and you will not regret the decision.
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:01 PM   #9
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....If you have cable its really only a big deal if you prefer to use the uncompressed OTA signal in lieu of what you get over the wire.
I don't know why everyone keeps thinking and saying that OTA is "uncompressed"? I used to work for an NBC affiliate as the transmitter engineer and I can attest that their OTA HD transmission was compressed down from the normal atsc channel bandwidth of 19.2 Mbps to 12.x Mbps. The remainder was used for their sub channel. Nowadays it's probably compressed more with even more sub channels. The difference you see is probably more attributed to the ATSC to QAM conversion and maybe the RF modulation process at the cable plant.
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:07 PM   #10
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I don't know why everyone keeps thinking and saying that OTA is "uncompressed"? I used to work for an NBC affiliate as the transmitter engineer and I can attest that their OTA HD transmission was compressed down from the normal atsc channel bandwidth of 19.2 Mbps to 12.x Mbps. The remainder was used for their sub channel. Nowadays it's probably compressed more with even more sub channels. The difference you see is probably more attributed to the ATSC to QAM conversion and maybe the RF modulation process at the cable plant.
True, but from what I understand, OTA signals are usually less compressed than the cable company signals.
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Old 03-22-2014, 11:42 PM   #11
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True, but from what I understand, OTA signals are usually less compressed than the cable company signals.
And not every station has sub-channels. Where I live (Detroit area) CBS has two O&O stations (one CBS affiliate and one The CW affiliate) and neither station has sub-channels. Recordings on both channels are close to 8gb per hour (measured by OTA recordings on my WMC pc). Some stations here that run multiple sub-channels are down to about 5gb per hour for the main HD channel..
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Old 03-23-2014, 12:17 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the feedback. I went for the basic Roamio and will be upgrading it with the 2TB that's currently in my HTPC. As I've brought up in my original post, I don't own any iOS devices, and unless TiVo decides to support Windows Phone in the future, I don't care much about TiVo Stream.
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