Considering implementing a Tivo Bolt setup

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by Sean Ganess, Mar 4, 2020.

  1. Sean Ganess

    Sean Ganess New Member

    Mar 4, 2020


    Hi. I'm considering purchasing some used Tivo Bolts and Minis for a whole house solution. I'm coming from a Windows Media Center setup that consisted of:

    • Two MCE machines each with 4 extenders assigned to it (8 total)
    One MCE machine is headless and 4 of it's extenders are hooked up to a 4 input 4K multiviewer which can display 4 sources at the same time (typically for sports). No recordings happen on this MCE setup. This machine has 4 cablecard tuners and 4 ATSC tuners

    The other MCE machine is hooked up in the main home theater, has 6TB of storage and is responsible for all DVR functions. The four Extenders are scattered throughout the house. This MCE has 6 cablecard tuners and 4 ATSC tuners
    • All wired ethernet - no wireless whatsoever for any TV related service.
    • Extenders are POE powered using a POE splitter
    I'm thinking of getting two Tivo Bolts to start. One with the 6 tuner cablecard and one with 4 tuner ATSC. Plus 2-4 Tivo Minis. My questions are:

    • Can the Tivo Minis access content from either Bolt? How does it work? Do I have to select which Bolt to connect to or does it aggregate all the content into one view?
    • Can the Tivo Minis work with just Ethernet and no MoCA? Although coax cabling does reach every display in my home, it's currently bringing an ATSC signal to the TV's built in ATSC tuner. I use this as a backup if there is an issue with the MCE machines for live TV.
    • Can one Bolt (cable) access the content on the other Bolt (ATSC)? Does it work the other way too?
    • Can one remote control both Bolts (some sort of A/B switch on the remote)?
    • When it comes time to feed the Multiviewer, i'll get 4 more Minis. Can I control them all with one remote (toggling thru A/B/C/D somehow?)
    • Can I power a Mini via a POE splitter? What's the power requirement on a Mini and what kind of power connector does it use?
    • Can the Bolts or Mini play back Blu-rays stored on a file share? How about 4K Blu-rays? Note that they are straight rips in their native format and file structure, not MKV or recompressed.
    Thanks for your time and responses!

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2012
    Riverside, CA
  3. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2015
    Regarding the remote, here's where I programmed a $15 remote to independently control 9 Tivos in the same room (could be any mix of Bolts and Minis):
    Can Harmony Elite Remote control up to 8 running Tivo's

    Not sure how you feel about IP control, but that's also an option.

    I guess POE might be do-able. Depends on the DC voltage requirements of the Tivo, which I don't know off the top of my head.

    I also came from a big WMC system years ago to Tivo. I've since dropped Tivo and downsized to an Amazon Recast system plus YTTV with cloud DVR. Far simpler and far lower hardware costs, especially considering ATSC 1 will be obsolete in a few years.

    Good luck. Sounds like a fun project.
    Mikeguy likes this.
  4. My Cape is a Recliner

    My Cape is a Recliner Member

    Oct 5, 2019
    Unless you need more than 6 tuners, I would personally just get one bolt, then swap the hard drive to an 8TB. The 2.5" drives are the main weak point in this thing.

    No clue how many minis can be run off it.

Share This Page

spam firewall