Bolt - SATA Add-On

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by BlueAngel, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. BlueAngel

    BlueAngel New Member

    Jun 11, 2004


    Has anyone found a commercially available external disk to expand the storage on the Bolt without ripping out the internal hard disk?

    It seems all the supported models are no longer manufactured.

    I don't mind buying a SATA enclosure and putting in a disk, but I don't really want to go through all that effort with a used eBay drive of uncertain provenience.
  2. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    Feb 4, 2008
    Nope. Tivo would need to authorize it, and they have chosen to not do so. My guess- the forthcoming "bolt pro" will have a much greater capacity as a selling point, or another option for additional capacity is forthcoming.
  3. geko29

    geko29 This space for rent

    Dec 13, 2000
    I think the closest anyone's come is using a SATA-to-eSATA cable/adapter in place of the internal drive, running it through a hole drilled in the case, and hooking a standard eSATA drive up to that.
  4. brettb

    brettb New Member

    Jan 5, 2016
    In the comparison matrix, the column for the Tivo Bolt 500/1000GB has a checkbox in the "Expandable Storage" line.

    This is not cool if there are no ways to expand storage.

    And from the Bolt FAQ:

    I can never get enough of a good thing. Will I be able to add an expandable drive to my TiVo BOLT?

    Load 'em up, Hoss. You indeed can connect an external hard drive via the eSATA port on the back of TiVo BOLT. The 1 terabyte My Book AV DVR Expander from Western Digital can be purchased on

    Links and references to the My Book AV DVR Expander take you to the accessories page - which has no storage options available.

    They really should fix their FAQ and get rid of that checkbox in the grid. If it's "Coming soon," say that. It's not even a footnote!
  5. GoodSpike

    GoodSpike Active Member

    Dec 17, 2001
    Seattle, WA


    As I noted in another thread a couple of weeks ago, one of the user surveys for the Tivo site asks what device you use, and it didn't include the Bolt! Seemingly keeping their website up to date isn't a high priority. :rolleyes:
  6. GoodSpike

    GoodSpike Active Member

    Dec 17, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Wow, I like that idea! :D

    Is there a video showing anyone doing that? I'm curious whether you have to disassemble the entire case, as you do when replacing a drive, or whether removing the one cover would give you enough access to remove the cable from the drive.
  7. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    Considering that the web page also says you can stream anywhere with a Bolt, I wouldn't trust anything they say.
  8. brettb

    brettb New Member

    Jan 5, 2016
    I hear you. But I think the expandability issue is more (not necessarily much more) towards the "blatant lie" end of the spectrum than the stream-anywhere, at least as far as the "Mobile streaming of live and recorded TV" language on the chart goes. The latter is plenty misleading but I can actually stream "on my mobile device."

    If I get motivated, I may try setting up a VPN server at home and see if I can stream using a VPN client outside my home. :)
  9. cwicomputers

    cwicomputers New Member

    Jan 9, 2016
    vpn don't work
  10. HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

    May 14, 2007
    Works fine for me using an Asus AC56U with Merlin and OpenVPN.

    I'm even VERY close to being able to use a TiVo mini in my remote location. I can connect to the Roamio Plus over the Internet and it sees everything just fine and acts like a client of it, but it just won't stream recorded or live TV yet. I think it's due to the slow upload speeds at the Roamio location. I won't be able to test this theory until I get back there this summer and switch from Comcrap to FiOS's symmetrical internet services.
  11. rolfl

    rolfl New Member

    Dec 27, 2015
    I get max 10Mbps using OpenVPN on a EdgeRouterLite.
    Is this enough BW to stream ?
  12. paulmlemay

    paulmlemay New Member

    Sep 29, 2014

    I think now you can use an Amazon Fire TV at your remote location and access recorded content on your Tivo (as long as your Tivo supports out of home streaming)
  13. JoE 15

    JoE 15 Member

    Nov 19, 2015
    I really need this to be addressed. I bought the Bolt under the impression the eSATA port was universal. Not enough research on my part, I admit, but how can you claim expandable storage when there's only one option and it cost's $200?!
  14. razor237

    razor237 Member

    Feb 1, 2002
    Jackson, NJ
    Yeah 200 if you can even find one ..... Only options is upgrade the internal HD probably unacceptable for most or give Tivo a call but i don't think you will get to far with them
  15. JoE 15

    JoE 15 Member

    Nov 19, 2015
    I emailed Margaret. I doubt I will get a solid answer, but I figured the more people that bring up the issue directly with her, the more likely we'll get an answer.
  16. JoE 15

    JoE 15 Member

    Nov 19, 2015
    Got a response from Margaret. I asked her if she thought more products would become available for the esata port, and her response:

    "I don't think so."
  17. ThePennyDropped

    ThePennyDropped Now I get it.

    Jul 5, 2006
    Northeast US
    I've contacted TiVo regarding the lack of availability of the only TiVo-approved external drive (WD seems to have discontinued that series of drives and the existing supply seems to have sold out everwhere I've looked).

    Here's their emailed response: "We appreciate your feedback about the TiVo External Hard Drive. We unfortunately are out of stock of this device as of a week ago. We don't currently have any information on when a restock or new product will be available. However, you can continue to watch our website for new products to be available. I will also provide your feedback to our developers. When or if a new drive becomes available it will be verified to work with the Bolt that you purchased."

    So it sounds like they're at least aware of the issue, but it doesn't sound like a solution will be found anytime soon.
  18. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Los Angeles
    Great. We have two seemingly authoritative yet contradictory answers to this question.

    If I cared at all I'd believe Margaret, her answer sounds way more truthful.
  19. red9086

    red9086 New Member

    Oct 12, 2014
    I called WD today and they confirmed that the DVR Expander has been discontinued. I then called TIVO tech support and spoke to Shaun. He stated that they are currently working on a new partnership / supplier for a compatible expander. He thought that their might be news in about 2 weeks but the only way to know would be to call the support line again. I was able to get my 30 day money back guarantee extended 60 days. I had a Roamio w/2TB but the menu started to get slow and all the streaming services (especially YOUTUBE and HULU) would pause constantly. I have been very happy with the BOLT up to now; streaming is fast, menus are fast, commercial skip is awesome! Just hope they straighten this out soon.
  20. clark_kent

    clark_kent Member

    May 6, 2007
    Some FYI on external eSATA in this Thread:

    My guess is that ggieseke could have a solution quicker than TiVo but, as he says, it's low on his list of stuff to do. If enough members wanted external eSATA, one thought on motivating ggieseke and his priority list is to perhaps start a "donation" bucket?

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