Can a Bolt act as a Mini?

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by lafos, May 24, 2020.

  1. lafos

    lafos Well-Known Member

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    I dropped cable and bought an antenna, which is connected to a Bolt. I have a second Bolt in the basement, and wish to avoid buying a second antenna, nor routing the antenna signal through the house, as the signal can't seem to handle splits. Can a Bolt borrow a tuner from another Bolt like the Mini does?
     
  2. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    No.
     
  3. terpfan1980

    terpfan1980 It's Just TV TCF Club

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    Xbox Live:...
    Borrow a tuner? Nope (as already answered above)
    Show recorded content from another TiVo box? Yes. If that works for you, you can use the Bolt to play back content that another TiVo has recorded.

    A Mini Vox is not terribly inexpensive, though not that badly priced either. Roughly $165 - $169 at the A to Z store. No additional fees required (other than sales tax).

    You might find one cheaper by looking on eBay and catching a used one from a seller with a good rep.

    The original mini devices would work also, though I just retired/replaced one because it was having issues (stuttering on playing of streaming content, using a Moca connection, of content from Vudu and Amazon Prime Video) that were annoying me. I've got a few more of that series around and probably should toss a couple up on eBay but I generally hate starting sales there because you can never quite tell whether you're getting a good buyer or getting someone trying to scam you or not interested in actually paying for items that they win auctions for (especially true for hacked eBay accounts :(). I don't expect I'd get much for either one of them, but some return would be better than nothing I suppose. I've kept at least a couple around to have available as spares in case I needed one, but I'm back to not really needing them at this point.
     
  4. Davelnlr_

    Davelnlr_ N5GGG

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    I have one bolt on cable, and a premier on antenna. If I want to watch something on the antenna from the bolt, I just use the Tivo app to start recording what I want to watch, then use the bolt to watch it while its recording on the premier. Its not exactly "borrowing a tuner" in the literal sense, but does the same thing.
     
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  5. schatham

    schatham Well-Known Member

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    If the Bolt has lifetime sell it to buy a mini. If not it still makes more sense to get a mini, otherwise your paying fees for the Bolt.
     
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  6. dishrich

    dishrich Active Member

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    Have you tried some sort of (small) amplifier on your antenna? Adding only a 2nd Tivo box on an amplified signal should normally NOT cause reception issues, if you are properly doing the split(s). (proper quality cable/connectors/splitter, etc.)
    I have my OTA antenna split 4-ways after a 10db amp & have no problems with any of my OTA devices, including 2 Tivo's.
     
  7. lafos

    lafos Well-Known Member

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    I already have three mini vox units. Seems silly to need a mini next to a bolt in the basement. The basement bolt is the moca bridge in my system. I tried to use the bolt connected to the antenna as the moca bridge, but the splitter killed the antenna reception. I'm afraid of the same result if I move the basement bolt and attach an antenna.

    So I have options, all but one requiring money. I can add a moca bridge to connect an antenna to the basement bolt, add an amplifier and hope the splitter works, or add another mini vox. The only free option, thanks @Davelnlr, is to start recording and stream, which I've done, but it's sort of a kludge.

    Thanks all for the advice!
     
  8. lafos

    lafos Well-Known Member

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    The bolts are both lifetime, but I don't plan on selling one. I agree that if I was paying a subscription, that stopping makes sense, as a moca bridge is more cost effective
     
  9. snerd

    snerd Well-Known Member

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    You could use a diplexer like this dpd2 with the UHF/VHF port connected to coax from the antenna, the IN/OUT port connected to coax to the Bolt, and the SAT port to coax feeding the rest of the house. This allows the OTA signals from the antenna to reach only the Bolt, while allowing MoCA signals to also reach the Bolt so that it can be on the MoCA network. If there is also wired ethernet connected to that Bolt, then it could act as the MoCA bridge.

    Of course, you still can't use the basement Bolt as a mini.
     
  10. lafos

    lafos Well-Known Member

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    So it sounds like I'd need a diplexer and either a preamp or distribution amplifier. I have had good luck with the mini vox, so I guess I'll bite the bullet and get another for the basement. I see on the TiVo web site that I can have up to 10 in the network, though limited by tuners to share. I think four minis with no more than two active at a time will suffice.
     
  11. snerd

    snerd Well-Known Member

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    If your current setup feeding the antenna directly to the Bolt works without issue, then adding a diplexer probably won't attenuate the signals enough to cause problems. The loss through a diplexer is only about 1.5dB, much less than the 3.5dB loss through a 2-way splitter.
     
  12. lafos

    lafos Well-Known Member

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    I went down to the basement and disconnected the incoming cable feed from the house coax except for the cable modem. I have an Infinity Premise Extreme IPA 1001 amplifier rated at 52-1000 MHz at +15 dB. If I feed the antenna through the amplifier into the splitter for the house, would I need a diplexer? Is the bandwidth enough, or would I need to get a different amp? My current amp is not in use at the moment.

    If the amp + distributed antenna signal doesn't work, I'll try the diplexer route. They aren't very expensive.
     
  13. snerd

    snerd Well-Known Member

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    That would probably work. Can't hurt to try it.

    If you had a cable feed connected to the coax at the same time that the antenna was connected to coax, it is likely that the cable signals would interfere with OTA signals. You can't have both on the same coax at the same time.
     
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  14. lafos

    lafos Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, @snerd, for your help. I fed the antenna through the amp, then to a two-way splitter with one signal to the upstairs Bolt, and the other to the wall outlet. I changed the far end of the wall outlet to the first splitter input (a 3-way), and connected the downstairs Bolt to that. I left the rest of the connections the way they were. Even going through three splitters (2, 3, and 7-way), I could hook up a TV to the far end and get my local channels. Antenna signal strengths to the Bolts are good.

    I might hook my Premieres back up for fun, though I can't imagine enough content to have all those extra tuners.
     
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