Do I need to activate a new TiVo BOLT VOX if just for watching videos transferred from computer?

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by abdu, Dec 23, 2019.

  1. abdu

    abdu New Member

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    My 2003 Tivo died on me. I don't have cable. Just Internet through Comcast. I used the DVR by watching shows which I transferred from my computer to the Tivo using wifi and pyTivo app.

    I am shopping for a new Tivo. I want to use it the same way I explained earlier. Do I need to activate it with the company? Do I need to pay anything or subscribe to their service? I don't want to subscribe and pay for anything.
     
  2. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    If all you want to do is watch things from you PC on you TV then skip the TiVo and just use Plex or Kodi instead.

    Any TiVo you buy will require service and all of the newest ones come with the new Hydra UI which doesn’t support transferring from PC toTiVo anyway.
     
    krkaufman likes this.
  3. abdu

    abdu New Member

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    Kodi and Plex seem to be apps. I am looking for at least a DVR with remote and choose shows on the TV screen.
     
  4. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    You use a streaming device like a Roku, FireTV or Apple TV to connect to the TV and then a companion app running on a PC or NAS to serve the shows to the TV.

    If you need to record OTA you can get an Amazon Recast, Tablo or HDHomeRun to record the OTA shows and then feed those to the streaming device as well.

    TiVo is really only needed if you want to record from cable.
     
  5. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    As Dan already told you, newer TiVo boxes actively block transfers from PCs. Because of the high prices and requirement for paid active service, a TiVo is probably the WORST thing you can use to watch programs from a PC. But if you insist on it, your best bet is to find an older model with lifetime instead of wasting huge $$ on a new box. Even a Series 3 TiVo will do what you want.

    Other options you might consider would be to just watch them directly on your TV via a DLNA server (many newer models have this capability built-in - my 3 year old Samsung does), or cast directly to the TV from your PC using a wireless receiver (again, many models have this built-in, like my Samsung, or you can buy a USB device for about $50 to receive the signal). The latter option does not give you TV menus to select the programs, but a DLNA server on your PC or network does.

    You might actually find many newer TVs that can do this for less money than you would spend on a new TiVo! But if all your programs are still stored in the .tivo format, and you do not like messing with technology, buying an old S3 with lifetime might be your easiest and cheapest option.
     
  6. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    One other thought - many devices, including older TVs and DVD players, will play all your normal video files directly from a USB drive connected directly to the the device. If your files are not still in .tivo format, this might be a very simple solution for you.

    Stripping off the .tivo wrapper to make it a "normal" video file is quite simple, but if you have a lot of them you might not want to mess with that extra step.
     
  7. abdu

    abdu New Member

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    I like the simplicity of the Tivo where I can transfer shows using wifi from the PC and the device has its own storage. Aside from getting an older Tivo, are there other DVRs which work similar to Tivo and do not require a service?
     
  8. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    Nothing will be like TiVo. Other solutions require at least a bit more complexity and we can certainly help you with those, but they are not for everyone. They can be much cheaper than a TiVo though.

    A Premier would be a good replacement at a good price. You can pull recordings from a PC to a Bolt or any older TiVo if you downgrade it to TE3 or leave it on TE3 if that's what it comes with.

    You don't want an Edge because you cannot downgrade an Edge to TE3, so you cannot pull content from a PC to an Edge within the TiVo interface.

    Edit: deleted a sentence per @dianebrat's next post
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
  9. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    NO, a tivo without a subscription has no network connectivity and can't do what the OP wants.

    The only things a Tivo without a subscription can do are play existing recordings already on it, and tune TV channels.
     
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  10. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    Thanks @dianebrat for clearing that up. Apparently it took awhile for my Premier to go completely offline. I've deleted the offending sentence for posterity.

    @abdu the rest of my post still stands I guess: any TiVo on TE3 ought to work well for you. So anything older than an Edge, as the Edge cannot be "sidegraded".

    I should note though that I had a lot of trouble with my Bolt and was very unhappy with it. Our Premier was, and Roamio still is, rock solid.
     
  11. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I’m all wet, but how about an OTA model TiVo? They don’t require a sub, do they?
     
  12. schatham

    schatham Well-Known Member

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    They do, but all in is cheaper. OP should consider this.
     
  13. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    OTA Tivo requires service, but comes with it at this time for certain models.
     

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