How reliable are the Bolts?

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

  1. Apr 25, 2019 #41 of 106
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    23,353
    1,184
    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...

    Advertisements

    Something isn't right. I've used seven or eight Bolts since October 2015. I've used them in multiple locations, on multiple APC UPSs. I have never had any of the Bolts go down during a power outage while the APC UPSs were supplying power.

    Are these all Bolts from 2018 or later? Maybe something changed with the later Bolts? All the Bolts I used were manufactured between 2015 and 2017.
     
    compuguy, Mikeguy and CloudAtlas like this.
  2. Apr 25, 2019 #42 of 106
    Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

    1,842
    754
    Jan 19, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    The Bolt here was purchased in 2015, and has been more sensitive to minor power fluctuations than anything I've ever owned. It also has defective parts that make it very noisy. We recently retired a Premier XL and two HDs that were still running fine, just older and slower. In our experience the Roamio Pro was the best TiVo ever made, and is the last reliable model. More on our Bolt here: https://www.tivocommunity.com/community/i...
     
  3. Apr 26, 2019 #43 of 106
    Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

    27,636
    9,203
    Jul 28, 2005
    Fortunately, like @aaronwt, I have had none of those issues; knock wood, 2 years up and running, and no noise issue (the sound is slightly different, but generally no more apparent, than that from my Roamio box--I can recall hearing the (original) fan from across the room perhaps a couple of times). I have my Bolt box (as well as my Roamio box) on water bottle cap risers.
     
  4. Apr 26, 2019 #44 of 106
    Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

    1,842
    754
    Jan 19, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    I would hope and expect that most Bolts work OK. It seems to be a rule of the internetz that unhappy customers are more likely to post, but when it comes to Bolts we are an unusually high percentage. Until the Bolt the only hardware troubles I'd reported over ten years, with four previous base units and three Minis, were due to Comcast and cablecards. Later I finally zapped a Mini, but that was my fault.
     
    compuguy and CloudAtlas like this.
  5. May 1, 2019 #45 of 106
    Dan115

    Dan115 New Member

    2
    0
    Apr 17, 2019

    Advertisements

    I'm on my 4th Bolt in just over 2 years. First one was new and lasted about a year. The other 3 are refurbished units. This is the main reason I can't recommend Tivo to my family and friends.
     
  6. May 1, 2019 #46 of 106
    Anotherpyr

    Anotherpyr Active Member

    454
    122
    May 6, 2015
    Actually my experience is that it’s a sign the hard drive is overheating. When I took steps to reduce the temperature in the bolt enclosure the anomalies stopped for me.
     
  7. May 1, 2019 #47 of 106
    Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

    27,636
    9,203
    Jul 28, 2005
    And what's your current general temp./what steps have you employed? Thanks--
     
  8. May 2, 2019 #48 of 106
    cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

    14,657
    811
    Feb 22, 2001
    SF Bay Area, CA
    I received and set up my Bolt+ at the end of April 2017. I've not had any problems with it and am on the same unit. (knock on wood) I'm on the stock hard drive and have never disassembled my Bolt+, unlike my prior TiVos.

    Ever since I noticed the internal temps are high, I've been using laptop cooling pads (with fan or fans in them) under the Bolt+ to keep it cooler.

    I suspect some sort of environmental problem at your place or physical abuse (e.g. moving the DVR around when it's on) or possibly even stray voltage coming in via coax or something attached to your TiVo. I luckily was able to find A bad cable installation destroyed my $2,000 TV and maybe almost killed me that I'd read about (as an example).
     
  9. May 2, 2019 #49 of 106
    Anotherpyr

    Anotherpyr Active Member

    454
    122
    May 6, 2015
    Initially it was in an entertainment center cabinet. What alarmed me was that the plastic case was hot to the touch. These days it’s outside of the cabinet, the cable card door has been removed and I have 2 120mm fans underneath it blowing up on it. The current ODT is 46.

    I don’t remember what the actual ODT was while it was in the cabinet but it was in the 70s.
     
  10. May 2, 2019 #50 of 106
    Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

    27,636
    9,203
    Jul 28, 2005
    Thanks, that's helpful to know. My Bolt, fortunately, has been running fine and has always been in the upper 50s/lower 60s (not in a cabinet); my removing the cablecard door has lowered that maybe 3-4 degrees.

    But all the comments here have caused me to revisit the idea of adding an external fan. I just remembered that I have a basic laptop cooling pad with 2 small fans and tried that last night--it got the temp down around 4-5 degrees, albeit the hum can be heard.

    Have always been impressed by the AC Infinity fans often mentioned here, and was looking at them last evening. I had been looking at the single AC Infinity Multifan S4 (140mm x 140mm), but then was looking at the dual fan Multifan S7 (with 2 120mm x 120mm fans)--it has just under double the airflow, and the Bolt could be balanced on the two fans, one at each side. By any chance, is that the model you have, and how has it worked out--does the balancing work, and what's the sound level like/what speed setting have you set it at? Another alternative that recently has been mentioned here positively is the AC Infinity Aircom S7, which looks like a nice unit, a bit more expensive.
     
  11. May 2, 2019 #51 of 106
    DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

    683
    158
    Sep 29, 2013
    A few weeks ago I helped someone with a Bolt. We took the cable card door off and put the S4 fan under that side, so it blows up right on the cable card. We cut a small wood block to hold up the other (left) side. Temps have been running around 45 to 50ºC.

    I don't think a fan on the left side, where the HDD is, would help much. Two things...there are very few air intake slots on that side. And I didn't want a fan blowing up against the Bolt's fan (which blows down). And, keeping the cable card cool, I think, helps a lot with the over all temperature.

    BTW, I added an AC Infinity Aircom T10 to my home theater receiver. I really like the design and it's keeping my receiver at a cool 84º F, measured where the hot air exits the receiver. They make three Aircom T models...one with rear exhaust, one with top exhaust and one with front exhaust.

    Also put an S5 (80 x 80mm) fan on top of our router. Dropped its internal temp from 50ºC to 25ºC.
     
  12. May 2, 2019 #52 of 106
    Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

    27,636
    9,203
    Jul 28, 2005
    Sounds like a nice endorsement, and for AC Infinity. ;) Thanks for all the information.

    Agreed as to the fan on the side opposite the cablecard--it just helps keep matters look balanced in my mind, lol. Wonder if it would benefit matters on that side simply to place the fan there "upside down" so that it works with the Bolt's fan to pull the heat away, rather than blowing air into the fan.

    I like the Aircom units--they seem very nicely done and get great reviews. But was thinking that for the Bolt and keeping the fan always on, a Multifan Sx (whether the single or the double) might be all that's needed, at a price savings.
     
  13. May 2, 2019 #53 of 106
    DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

    683
    158
    Sep 29, 2013
    The fan upside down on the left is interesting...post a note if you try it.

    Agreed...the Aircom units are more expensive and aren't sized right for a Bolt.
     
  14. May 30, 2019 #54 of 106
    El Gabito

    El Gabito Member

    116
    1
    Mar 10, 2004
    Indianapolis...
    My Tivo Bolt+ just died this weekend, while we were watching TV. Four blinking lights. Seems to be HDD - Since I'm on All-in plan they offered to replace it for $49 which was cheaper than a replacement drive would've been. Honestly, since I still have our original Bolt which has the antenna-in, this will probably prompt me to sell the Bolt+ and officially cut-the-cord.
     
  15. May 31, 2019 #55 of 106
    XIBM

    XIBM Member

    192
    18
    Mar 9, 2013
    Anybody getting a Bolt+ should buy the $39 three year extended warranty, I did on my + in 2017 and just did on my under warranty replaced new Bolt+.
     
  16. May 31, 2019 #56 of 106
    cpgny9

    cpgny9 Member

    73
    21
    Feb 28, 2006
    I gave up on my bolt+ when it died a year and a half after I got it (4 lights - dead hard drive). I had always kept a fan blowing from behind the unit, its on an open shelf in a entertainment center and temps were usually between 59-65, but still died. TiVo replaced the dead unit for $50 (no extended warranty), but I ended up going back to my Roamio and swore that I would never use the bolt again. After a couple of months, and a lot of research on this site, decided to give the bolt+ another try with a few upgrades as I was missing the app speed the bolt had. First, I removed the 3tb 2.5 drive, purchased a 6tb WD red 3.5 drive, the appropriate case and cables and went with the external 3.5 hard drive solution. Worked well but temps were still running high (not real hot, but high - 55 to 65 (65 when using apps)). I was amazed that removing the internal hard drive really made no difference in temp.

    Still concerned, I bought the AC Infinity S7 fan, placed it under the bolt and removed the cable card cover.
    https://www.amazon.com/AC-Infinity-...ity+aircom+s7&qid=1559316635&s=gateway&sr=8-1

    With this setup, my temp is running between 37-39 regularly. The fan is set at level 2 and is pretty quiet (can't hear it with the TV on and really have to listen for it to hear it with the TV off). I hide the external drive in a closed cabinet in the entertainment center. Looks super clean (fan looks like it was made for the bolt) and has been running flawlessly for a couple of months now. Even the occasional pixelation I use to get is gone. Fingers crossed this solves my bolt issues. Its a shame that people need to jump through these hoops to ensure that relatively new equipment doesn't die, but if this does it for me, I wont complain (too much) about spending the money to upgrade to 6tb and to keep it cool
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
    UCLABB likes this.
  17. May 31, 2019 #57 of 106
    UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

    5,375
    1,435
    May 29, 2012
    Riverside, CA
    If my Bolt+ HDD dies again, I'll be going your route. It's easy enough to do. I still have the wiring and power supply, etc. that I used when I ran an external drive on an SA8300 cable company supplied DVR years ago.
     
  18. Jun 12, 2019 #58 of 106
    Davelnlr_

    Davelnlr_ N5GGG

    669
    62
    Jan 12, 2011
    North...
    After 3 bolts, I took this route on the 4th. Still using internal drive, but bought the AC Infinity. Temp stays at 50c (fan is between amp and Tivo to cool both). If it fails again, Im going to strip everything out of it, and mount it in an old Tivo HD case with its big case fan. If my Premier had 6 tuners, I would just use that.
     
  19. Jun 12, 2019 #59 of 106
    Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Member

    157
    1
    Feb 12, 2002
    I-L
    Boy, having to buy an after-market cooling solution due to what I presume is a poor design on the Bolt chassis is...not great.

    It's steering me away from the Bolt as I consider replacing my (currently working fine) Premiere.
     
  20. Jun 13, 2019 #60 of 106
    minimeh

    minimeh Vanity Phrase Here

    346
    75
    Jun 20, 2011
    San Francisco
    My 20 month old Bolt+ also had a hard drive failure about 2 weeks ago. Figured, well no big whoop just get another drive for maybe $80 and replace. Yikes! No 2.5" 3TB drives available anywhere except WeakNees and those sell for $300.

    While waiting for my seemingly gold-plated hard drive to arrive, I looked around here for relevant posts. Quite an epidemic of failed hard drives on Bolts. For the first time I started taking cooling of the Bolt seriously. I had been seeing 70-73 C. Once I installed the new drive, I re-confirmed the ODT range then started utilizing tips and tricks mentioned on this forum. Removing the cable card door dropped the ODT to about 65C. Then recognizing the heat source of the AVR in the shelf just below the ventilated shelf for the Bolt, I moved the Bolt to a bottom-most ventilated shelf. That got it down into the high 50s to 60s. Then I opted for placing an Infinity S4 fan under the cable card blowing upwards at the middle speed. I powered it from a powered USB hub already in the cabinet so as not to burden the Bolt in any way. Just before the recent brief heat wave struck, I saw a low of 39C but mostly hovered around 41-43.

    Fingers crossed that 30 degree decrease in operating temperature will help extend the Bolt life. And uncharacteristically for me, I did buy the extended warranty for the disk drive from WeakNees, thus guaranteeing that the motherboard will now fail!

    So I'd say to the OP, yes the Bolts are reliable--reliably failing at about 1.5 to 2 years...
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
    Corran Horn likes this.

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements