How reliable are the Bolts?

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by mandms7, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. Aug 27, 2018 #21 of 106

    leiff Active Member

    Aug 24, 2005
    SF Bay area


    Were you doing anything to cool your Bolt that failed? Were you using power saver feature?
  2. Aug 27, 2018 #22 of 106

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Los Angeles
    See link. The procedure is identical for Roamios and Bolts.
  3. Aug 28, 2018 #23 of 106

    mkrsm New Member

    Jan 31, 2016
    Just the power saver feature, set to medium. It was in a 2'x3' cabinet with an open front and it gets a bit hot in there, along with the tuning adapter.
  4. Aug 28, 2018 #24 of 106

    Sibedog New Member

    Aug 27, 2018
    No, not aware of that. What should I do with the new one?
  5. Aug 28, 2018 #25 of 106

    ohboy710 Member

    Jun 30, 2008


    Because everybody keeps saying its a cooling issue (and my last one died after 13 months) I took my current bolt and put it up onto some rubber feet so its about 1 inch off the cabinet now. I can feel with my hand that is seems cooler now and that was simple to do.
  6. Aug 28, 2018 #26 of 106

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    One reason why a DVR should be connected to a UPS. Personally, I have never used a TiVo without it being connected to a UPS.
    compuguy, DocNo, Joe39565 and 2 others like this.
  7. Aug 28, 2018 #27 of 106

    darklyte Joe

    Sep 16, 2003
    New York, NY
    There are instructions around the forum that will tell you how to downgrade the UI, I've done it myself recently. Probably under one of the long "Hydra" threads.

    Do you know or did they give you any explanation as to what went wrong with the unit?
  8. Aug 28, 2018 #28 of 106

    darklyte Joe

    Sep 16, 2003
    New York, NY
    This exact method works on Bolts too
  9. Aug 28, 2018 #29 of 106

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
  10. Aug 28, 2018 #30 of 106

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

    Jan 19, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    I bought a 2TB 4-tuner model from WeaKnees about two years ago. It immediately demonstrated more sensitivity to minor power fluctuations than any other product I'd ever owned, spontaneously rebooting as if possessed. Replacing an old surge protector fixed that, but no other component on the same protector had any problem, including all sorts of video and hi-fi boxes.

    It was also noisier than it should have been, and within a year the noise (from a buzzing board component and the fan) was unbearable. I put it in the server closet where I don't have to listen to it, to just let it die a peaceful death while we access it with Minis, rather than send it in for repair ...regardless of warranty; I was too busy to deal with it. If it lasts in there three years I won't consider repairing it. The server closet is well-ventilated, and I elevated the Bolt for good measure.

    A few times the Minis couldn't find it. I disabled the power-saving mode, and we haven't had that problem since. We can't browse the multiple tuners with Minis, but aside from that we're happier with it locked in the dungeon, um, I mean closet. Mostly. Luckily our main workhorse here is a Roamio Pro.
  11. Nov 5, 2018 #31 of 106

    RWS3 New Member

    Apr 13, 2018
    This just happened to me. Its sad how the new stuff is not as reliable as the old. My TivoHD is still running like a champ. I'm nervous about how long the replacement Bolt+ will work... Good luck to everyone else on the forum. I don't post often, but I've been with you guys for over a decade.
  12. Nov 5, 2018 #32 of 106

    XIBM Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    I think high heat levels are killing Bolts and drives. A USB external fan blowing on the back of the Bolt is suggested.
    JoeKustra likes this.
  13. Nov 8, 2018 #33 of 106

    DocNo Member

    Oct 10, 2001
    Bristow, VA
    I do think the Bolt from a performance stand point is a worth upgrade from a Romio and Premiere. It's just the other issues with it that have been gone over in this thread. Luckily most of the downsides of the Bolt can be remedied if you really want to.

    Just getting the hard drive out of the bolt case makes a huge difference. I just ran a regular SATA cable (NOT an eSATA) out the back to a 3.5" drive that I just sat on the shelf behind the Tivo. The hard drive is powered from an external power supply. I was cleaning out stuff in my basement and came across an old dead Premier so, I think I'm going to put the guts from the Bolt in the Premiere case. I'll be able to get the hard drive and the Bolt's guts in to the same case, get rid of that ugly white case with it's crease or whatever the heck it is, utilize the much larger fan in the Premiere case (and power it from the HD power supply to get rid of the aforementioned whine from the motherboard fan power header) and streamline things in my AV stack again.

    Tivo was so close to having the perfect Tivo but for the horrible case they put the bolt in - along with the whole move to 2.5" hard drives. Just bonkers.
  14. Nov 9, 2018 #34 of 106

    pj1983 Active Member

    Dec 26, 2016
    BFE NoVa
    Please post pictures of the Bolt-into-a-Premiere conversion when it's all done. I have a couple of Premieres I was planning to e-cycle but am intrigued by the notion of a Bolt in a Premiere form factor, especially if doing so increases reliability.
  15. Apr 14, 2019 #35 of 106

    mickrussom Member

    Dec 21, 2007

    Yes, they are worse. My Tivo buddies complain about them, almost all the ones (we all have Bolt+) from 2016 have failed at least once. The hard drives are trash. They do seem to fail slowly, if you ever notice blocks or skips or audio "junk" or judder or any other anomalies on live TV or recording that arent signal/compression artifacts its a clue the HDD is going.

    Tivo should really put the SMART status somewhere - there is no way they dont know these things are about to fail. Ill bet they sit on that data.

    Another annoyance is the OnePass stuff only transfer if both boxes are "alive". After the warranty runs out on my bolt+ I think Im probably done. Cheap plastic, bad cooling, difficult hard drive add/upgrade/etc. There is such a short list of basic issues that would be trivial and easy to fix but Tivo doesnt seem to care. I dont mind spending $1K on a great DVR - but I feel the Series5 Roamio Pro was the last of the "good ones".

    My observation between myself and my friends is the Bolts last 1.5 to 2 years. The stuttering and playback and live TV record anomalies are the warning sign.

    These units should have a small SSD partition that is extra-reliable to hold all the "good stuff" (OnePass,etc) and the hard drive should be on a removeable tray to make swapping them trivial. The move to 2.5" from 3.5" was just stupid. The 3.5" drives are much more reliable and have been getting better every year. The lockouts (like not allowing 14TB drives) are childish.

    Now I have to re-pair and re-setup a new Tivo after RMA.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  16. Apr 15, 2019 #36 of 106

    aspexil Active Member

    Oct 16, 2015
    I commented on this post last year. We got our Bolt when it was released around Oct 2015 and it has been running just fine ever since. It does seem some people have received bad units but knock on wood things are still good here.
  17. Apr 15, 2019 #37 of 106

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    One of my Bolts with a 4TB Seagate is still running. I've been using the 4TB Seagate in Bolts since October 2015.

    Sent from my Galaxy S10
  18. Apr 15, 2019 #38 of 106

    rjrsouthwest Active Member

    Feb 19, 2016
    My bolt 500gb has been running fine since May 2016.
  19. Apr 23, 2019 #39 of 106

    tommiet Active Member

    Oct 28, 2005
    6 months with no issues and it started with the video freezing and rebooting... Replacement on the way... Had to call twice to get someone to send me another Bolt.

    NOTE: The refurb id is now listed on line and I can no longer manager my current Bolt on line OR remote access (not that remote access worked that great anyway.) ReCast handles my remote viewing today.....
  20. Apr 25, 2019 #40 of 106
    Tony Chick

    Tony Chick Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    Replacement Bolt Vox #5 is on its way. This is simply the most unreliable piece of gear I've ever had, ANY power outage kills it even when plugged into UPS (?). My ancient Premiere XL4 just keeps on going though

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