Gripe - TiVo quality has tanked.

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by MelSmith, Apr 16, 2020.

  1. MelSmith

    MelSmith New Member

    May 10, 2008


    I need to gripe, please ignore me.

    I've had every model of TiVo since the original TiVo twenty some years ago. Apart from hard drive failures, which are expected; the software on every TiVo has been reasonably rock solid. The Bolt/Bolt+ models are atrociously unreliable. I am on my third one, all under warranty. The first Bolt would crash and reboot randomly. The second Bolt did nothing but boot loop as soon as it was plugged in. Had the third one (Bolt+) for a year or so, and I am so disappointed in how downhill the software quality has gone.

    Some of the most frequent issues:
    • always starts with the attached striped rainbow start up screen:
    • intermittently black screens with no audible/visible audio/video output, even though the light on the front responds to button presses on the remote.
    • almost every time - sans reboot - apps will not start, and you get a TiVo message to try again later. Eternity is not later, so the only fix so far has been to reboot.
    • multiple times every day audio/video sync drifts on cable input, so the audio progressively lags further and further behind the video.
    • at least once a week the screen will show the busy spinner for a number of minutes when deleting a program, and the program has not been deleted once the spinner goes away.
    • weekly random crashes and reboots.
    • overheating.
    I've been a vociferous proponent of TiVo since the very beginning, always shunning the cable boxes; even though TiVo STILL doesn't provide the once planned On-Demand capability.

    I'm just really really disappointed.
    </rant> :(

    Just saw that TiVo is in it's death throws, and will stop producing hardware; now that Xperi bought them.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
  2. vaquero

    vaquero Active Member

    Jan 14, 2020
    cwerdna likes this.
  3. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2005
    I can see why you're upset. Fortunately, my Bolt box has been rock solid for me (knock wood).
  4. lprimak

    lprimak Member

    Jun 30, 2019

  5. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2008


    If you have all in service, return it again. If you are paying monthly or yearly, then buy a roamio.
  6. leiff

    leiff Active Member

    Aug 24, 2005
    SF Bay area
    Consider aftermarket cooling to keep bolt running stable. Or run your bolt with the top lid removed completely like mine runs much cooler.
    davahad and cwerdna like this.
  7. tommiet

    tommiet Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2005
    I'm on my 3rd Bolt in about 20 months... But the last one has extra cooling added. The BOLT is a POS... But you can extend its life by reading some on the cooling mods. I've remove the cable card cover and placed a fan under it. I'm hoping the fan mod will last longer than TiVo will be in business.
  8. MelSmith

    MelSmith New Member

    May 10, 2008
    I still have my Roamio with lifetime service – and for that matter my Series 3 and Premiere – but bought the Roamio for 4k.

    I noticed the Bolt ran rather hot, and wasn't aware of this being a known issue that warranted extra cooling. I'll be looking in to this for sure.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
  9. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    So how's it look?
  10. MelSmith

    MelSmith New Member

    May 10, 2008
    The Bolt is connected to a Samsung Q90, so – apart from the previously mentioned issues – looks great!
  11. MelSmith

    MelSmith New Member

    May 10, 2008
    Checked ODT last night, and was at 74. Flipped the Bolt over and removed the cable card cover, and am getting 69 today...
    shwru980r likes this.
  12. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

    Feb 22, 2001
    SF Bay Area, CA
    That's way too hot for me. I've been having mine sit atop laptop cooling pads with fan(s) for years now.

    I just checked and mine is at 51 C (123.8 F). It is 68 F (20 C) in that room.

    74 C is 165.2 F. 69 C is 156.2 F.

    In the past, I'd buy laptop cooling pads (containing fan(s)) that went on sale for cheap at Fry's. I'm currently using the Zalman ZM-NC3 pad that I posted about at BOLT Stock Cooling SUCKS. When it gets to be a hot day or we hit prolonged multiple hot days, I will swap it out for one w/an adjustable speed fan and turn it up high/to the max.

    Update to what I posted at How reliable are the Bolts?. My Bolt+ ordered on April 9, 2017 w/lifetime (due to a service transfer from a lifetime TiVo HD) and out of the 3 year warranty I bought still works fine.

    I've never had any of the issues in the OP other than maybe some reboots that happen at unknown time when I'm not using the TiVo. As for apps on the Bolt+ itself, I honestly almost never use any of them, so I guess I can't give my take on that.

    I do agree the software quality has gone downhill. The core DVR functionality works ok but anything beyond is very YMMV. I have the issue at TiVo app suddenly stopped working where the only fix is to reboot my TiVo Bolt+.

    IIRC, I've also had occasional problems when using the iOS TiVo app to access my Bolt+, it causing the Bolt+ to reboot.

    My Bolt+ has never been opened up and is still on the original 3 TB drive. I've had TiVos going back to Series 1 (a Philips and a Sony).

    We did kinda have Xfinity on-demand for awhile until that went away. It wasn't great.
    Last edited: May 5, 2020
  13. davahad

    davahad Member

    Dec 1, 2002
    San Jose, CA
    After hard drive died on my Bolt prematurely replaced with external WD Red Drive plugged into internal SATA port with cover off. Also have adj speed fan blowing over motherboard and ODT runs 36-38. Hopefully this setup runs for 3-4 years without issues.
  14. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

    Feb 22, 2001
    SF Bay Area, CA
    I suggest the OP cool their Bolt better (e.g. laptop cooling pad), put it on a quality UPS and make sure it's not in anything enclosed nor with a heat source underneath. Also, I have no idea if this helps at all, but I've disabled all power saving/management on my Bolt+, so it's like old TiVos that always left their drives running and thus always recording & playing back.
  15. Rose4uKY

    Rose4uKY Member

    Mar 28, 2003
    Great I hope we don't have any problems. I'm like you been with tivo since the very beginning had almost everyone. We've had our Romeo since 2013 but now that we have a 4K TV and got a good deal on the bolt yesterday we have one on order.
  16. Rose4uKY

    Rose4uKY Member

    Mar 28, 2003
    Did you mean you bought the bolt for 4K? That's why we are getting in cause we now have a 4K TV but we love our Roamio and nothing is wrong with it. We're going to try to sell it but the Bolt plus lifetime was on special so we did it. Hope we don't regret it.
  17. cubdukat

    cubdukat Member

    Nov 15, 2015
    The first Bolt I got had a bad HDMI port that went out on me after the first four months, but I have had no problems with the second one after that. I've had it for about four years or so, and I am considering an upgrade into the new Edge, failing a more PC-friendly option...

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