Another attempt at cutting the cord with my Roamio OTA-- seeking guidance

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by srwdc1, Jan 29, 2019.

  1. srwdc1

    srwdc1 New Member

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    Hello community. There is so much information on these forums, I'm hoping some of you are kind enough to point me in the right direction.

    About four years ago, I bought a Roamio OTA (with cable card option also) to try to "cut the cord". After a few months, we went back to the Cable Company and relegated the Roamio to the rarely-used basement, and connected the Roamio to the Cable Company's coax with a cable card (at least I didn't have to pay a 2nd rental fee).

    Now our viewing habits have changed, and we actually watch a lot more streaming (amazon and netflix via firestick) than Cable TV, and we get good OTA channels here, so I'm going to go back and try OTA and save $100/month from not buying Cable TV. So in creating my new setup, I have a few questions. How do I figure out the right setup/configuration? call the tech people at Tivo? find a savvy installer nearby? Many thanks to this community in advance! Here's my thoughts:

    1. Move Roamio OTA upstairs to serve the main TV in the family room. Use Roamio and HD Antenna to get local OTA channels
    1a. Problem-- how to get service to basement TV? old house, so running Ethernet isn't likely.
    1b. MOCA to a Mini in the basement seems ridiculously complicated. I've read several tech articles on Tivo's website and it's way too complicated.
    1c. Can I set up a WiFi extender in the basement (runs through the house electrical wires), and plug a Mini to the ethernet jack in the extender? or wait for the new WiFi Mini? (when?)
    1d. Or I could just forget OTA channels in the basement, and forget watching the recorded shows from the Roamio in the basement while i'm on the exercise treadmill (I have like a dozen Metropolitan Operas from PBS on the Roamio), just get streaming channels via a separate firestick.

    2. Extract some recorded shows on the Cable Company's Premiere TIVO before I have to return it. Is there anyway to "download" some shows from the rented TIVO and "transfer" or "save" so I can watch on my owned Roamio?

    3. Or, just unload the owned Roamio OTA/Cable (and save the $100/yr Tivo Fee), and buy a new Amazon Recast OTA? It would pay for itself vs the Roamio in 2 years.

    Thanks to everyone. If these questions have been addressed, (I didn't see any similar threads), please feel free to point me in the right direction.

    --Steve
    Washington, DC
     
  2. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    If you already have a cable run to the basement, MoCA is pretty much just a matter of 'activating' it in the devices.

    I vote for the Roamio, but you ought to clarify what unit it really is.

    There's no Roamio OTA w/ Cable Option. There's a Roamio (4 tuner) that can do either, or a Roamio OTA, but I think all of those are Lifetime Service. And the CableCard Bracket is removed from the device.

    You possibly could extract your shows from the Premiere. I'd use KMTTG.

    -KP
     
  3. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    MoCA is USUALLY not complicated, especially if you have a TiVo unit with built-in MoCA. A Mini does, but a 4-tuner Roamio does not, so you would definitely need a separate MoCA Bridge somewhere in the house where you have access to both the TV coax and Ethernet wires (the MoCA bridge is what "bridges" the MoCA signal to the Ethernet network). The most simple setup is to make sure the incoming cable for internet is ONLY connected to the cable modem and not to the rest of the house coax that feeds the TVs.

    If the Roamio is connected to Ethernet, it does NOT need to use MoCA, even if you use MoCA to the Mini. Besides the MoCA bridge, the only other thing you should need to buy is a POE filter for the antenna (about $8). You will only need a MoCA adapter for the Roamio if it is not able to use wired Ethernet in the intended location. BUT . . . As far as I know, to use a Mini, no matter how it is connected, the Roamio MUST have either a wired Ethernet or MoCA connection, not wireless. I am sure there are others here that can verify if that is correct.

    A powerline Ethernet adapter, or any other type of Ethernet adapter that provides a normal wired Ethernet connection should work fine with the Mini also, eliminating the need for MoCA at all.

    Moving programs off the cable company TiVo to your own can be a problem. You cannot have both of them on the same TiVo account, so there is not way to do it directly, even if they are not copy protected. That means your only option is to use something like pyTiVo or kmttg to move them first to a PC, and then to your Roamio. And since the two different TiVo boxes cannot have the same Media Access Key, you probably cannot even move them to the Roamio at all unless you convert them to a different format first - I am not sure about that, but just throwing out the warning for further research.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
  4. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    I went with option 3 myself and highly recommend it. You already have Firesticks, wouldn't have to mess with Moca or powerline and can run ALL your apps including DVR/LiveTV on the same device. Yes, you lose a few bells and whistles (commercial skip and quick mode), but the overall streaming experience is much nicer from the unified Fire TV interface. Supposedly commercial skip is planned for Recast in the near future.

    I did NOT sell my Tivos however, just in case I ever want to go back to cable in the future or the upcoming Tivo app happens to work really well. With a Tivo app, I could still use Fire sticks as my interface and my DVR/LiveTV from Tivo would just be another app.
     
  5. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    MoCA is surely unfamiliar but not complicated at all, especially as compared to a solution entailing both wireless and Powerline. Further, once MoCA is working, you may be able to gain benefits beyond simply connecting your TiVo boxes (e.g. better connectivity for gaming systems, improved wireless coverage via wired remote access points, etc.).

    As for just how you could implement MoCA and what additional hardware might be needed, it depends on device locations and capabilities, and available coax runs. So, a few questions...

    Assumption: You currently have cable Internet and will keep this service, and currently have a coax connection at the intended Mini location (basement) that connects to the incoming cable provider coax, same as the modem/gateway. (So these two locations are connected via the home’s coax plant.)​
    1. What network hardware are you using for your Internet connection (modem/router brand & model #), and who is your Internet provider? (To determine if your cable gateway has built-in MoCA bridging, and whether your provider supports enabling it. A MoCA adapter will be required if the gateway lacks built-in MoCA bridging.)

    2. Would you install the Roamio in the same room as your router, enabling a wired Ethernet network connection for the Roamio? (To determine if a MoCA adapter would be required at the DVR location to enable a wired network connection for the DVR, since this model lacks the built-in MoCA bridging of other TiVo DVR models.)

    3. Where will the antenna be located relative to the Roamio, in-room or remote — such as in an attic, another room, or on the roof? If the antenna will be remote from the DVR, will it have a dedicated coax connection? (To determine whether the antenna feed will be isolated from the cable provider-connected coax, necessary to avoid conflicts between OTA and cable TV/Internet signals.)

    Answers to these questions should clear-up what's needed to enable MoCA for your setup (though followups may be required).
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
  6. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Just an example; potentially quite simple ...

    srwdc1 simple example.png
    ... and potentially quite cheap, depending on priorities.
     
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  7. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    ... so long as those apps are allowed on the Amazon device (or you're willing to jump through a few hoops, where needed/possible).
     
  8. Oct 9, 2019 #8 of 19
    okay_see

    okay_see New Member

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    Is there possibly a way to connect the Roamio to BOTH MoCa AND antenna? Would some sort of splitter that takes 2 inputs and sends 1 output work? Does something like that even exist?
     
  9. Oct 9, 2019 #9 of 19
    mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Certainly. A simple coax splitter in reverse would do the job. But it would be pointless since the Roamio OTA would have no idea what to do with a Moca signal as it has no Moca capabilities whatsoever. But if you add a Moca bridge, simply plug it into Roamio's ethernet port and, voila, it's connected to Moca.
     
    krkaufman likes this.
  10. okay_see

    okay_see New Member

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    I actually have a Roamio (not Roamio OTA) that does both cable or antenna. It can accept Moca directly. So a splitter in reverse is all it takes? Also, any thoughts on Roamio (not Pro) being upgraded to TE4?
     
  11. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    I personally use a diplexer since the loss is lower and you can get by without adding a Moca filter to the antenna side. But a splitter in reverse will work so long as it can pass Moca frequencies ( > 1Ghz). Many older cable TV splitters are only rated for 1GHz.

    Regarding TE4, that's like asking if you should go with Windows 7 or Windows 8. Many viewed old reliable Win 7 as near perfect - familiar, functional, feature rich, but Win 8 as a train wreck - Fisher Price interface, missing features, something we didn't want or need being shoved down our throats. Later versions correct many of these issues, ending up with a modern interface that does just about everything Win 7 did and more. You can easily see the parallels. There are already a million threads on the subject of TE3 vs. TE4 where this has been very thoroughly hashed out.

    But since you asked, I have no problem with Hydra. For me, it's quicker and easier to navigate, works more logically, looks nicer and will be getting all the new features (good and bad) moving forward. Bad of course is the pre-roll ads, no transfers to PC, and only a mini (thumbnail based) live guide. Good is auto-skip, nicer tuner management, better OTA diagnostics and channel management, modern look and feel similar to Netflix and other streaming apps, and probable integration with forthcoming Tivo apps on other streaming platforms. Those are the features most talked about around here. There are very valid reasons on both sides of the argument. It's up to you to judge whether you can live with the trade-offs.

    For the record, I despised Windows 8. I thought Hydra missed a lot of opportunities and was mainly just lipstick on a pig (never was a fan of TE3 or its predecessors to begin with). But like Windows 10, some improvements were made and it grew on me. But Hydra was nowhere near the total rewrite that was actually needed to make Tivo relevant in this new age of streaming. My Tivos have been in moth balls for nearly a year now. I'm all in with Amazon Recast and Fire sticks as they better combine streaming and OTA DVR at a much lower cost than Tivo.

    EDIT: The next post makes an excellent point. I have no idea what the OTA capabilities of the Plus and Pro are, but my basic 4-tuner Roamio (not OTA) has no Moca capabilities whatsoever. My diplexer feeds a Moca bridge. But both OTA and Moca signals share the same coax and are successfully split to multiple devices as you desire.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
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  12. pfiagra

    pfiagra Well-Known Member

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    I don’t think this is true. Only the Roamio Plus and Pro models have MoCA capabilities built in. You will still need a MoCA bridge for your 4-tuner Roamio.
     
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  13. snerd

    snerd Well-Known Member

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    Roamio Plus and Pro are cable only, no OTA.
     
  14. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    ^^^ this ^^^

    And the same is true for all 4-tuner Roamio models. If needing to network such a box via MoCA, a standalone MoCA adapter is required.
     
  15. okay_see

    okay_see New Member

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    What I meant by Moca capable is the Roamio is able to receive Moca and connect to the network. I already have a separate Motorola Moca bridge installed on my network. I highly recommend it by the way. Was cheapish ($70), has a 2 year warranty (who even does that anymore in tech?), and is running Moca 2.0. Excellent little device.
     
  16. okay_see

    okay_see New Member

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    Thanks for your well thought out and thorough response. I have to use TE4. I currently have a Roamio Pro that runs well enough on TE4, but I can tell it's still a slight step behind my VOX minis. They actually run circles around it when it comes to loading apps etc. I know the Pro is processing much more, but still. What I have noticed is with the latest TE4 update, the Pro is slightly quicker (and did anyone notice the VOX minis now show PIP in Tivo central? Brilliant update.)

    So the reason for my question (or the real question rather) is if the Roamio Pro slowed down a bit with TE4, how would the Roamio handle the upgrade performance wise? Does its processing power and RAM help it to keep up? I think we all saw the failure with A93 minis upgrading to TE4. If I decide to cut my cable service, I'll have to swap out my Roamio Pro for the Roamio and I'd like the confidence of knowing it'll run well.

    For the record, I actually appreciated Windows 8. Sure, it was a very jarring user experience with a fairly steep learning curve. BUT, it had a lot going on under the hood. My laptop booted much more quickly after I installed it, and I liked the idea of apps (and a convenient app store) on the desktop (also had advanced security features). But what I probably appreciate most about Windows 8 is...it paved the way for Windows 10 which is the best of both worlds (traditional Windows feel w/ new improved feature set).

    I like Hydra GUI wise and I use 3rd party software to copy recordings from my Pro box to my PC. Check out pyTivo. Not all shows are transferrable due to copyright issues. And yes, Tivo should support this with native software like they used to. Heck, they should even have an app for Windows 10! But Tivo as a company is starting to suck...I noticed that after they fired all their real tech support staff about 3 years ago and went with cheap outsourced script readers. Ah well.
     
  17. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    No 4-tuner Roamio can directly connect to a MoCA network; a 4-tuner Roamio can only network via Wi-Fi or Ethernet, with the latter allowing connection to a MoCA network via Ethernet connection to a standalone MoCA adapter.

    edit: p.s. Screenshot of the Change Network Settings dialog, with MoCA options absent:

    B0F51AF9-F743-4338-AE97-4019C562B982.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  18. okay_see

    okay_see New Member

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    Oh wow, thanks. I guess I just assumed all Roamios could connect to a Moca network even if they didn't necessarily have the ability to create the bridge. Changes my setup options. Thanks! This forum is way more helpful than TiVo tech support :/
     
  19. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Yes. Feel free to post back if assistance Re: those options is needed.
     

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