Is it possible to use an SSD drive in a TiVo BOLT +?

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by dmw426, Jan 3, 2021.

  1. David Ortiz

    David Ortiz Yankee Fan

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    What happens if I put a 1TB SSD in my HR44-700?

    2+ year old thread talking about using an SSD with a DIRECTV Genie DVR at DBSTalk.com
     
  2. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    Are they actually branded Crucial or Micron? (Yes, I know Crucial is a brand of Micron but when I looked the other day, there were no Crucial-branded SSDs above 2 TB.)
    Not sure what your bolded part means. You do know what What is Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR)? is, right?

    https://documents.westerndigital.co...d-magnetic-recording-helioseal-technology.pdf discusses the 3 algorithms for SMR. Unless the TiVo itself shipped with a shingled drive, it's not likely its write patterns are host aware or host managed... And, if buffering 6 tuners constantly, that really doesn't give much if any idle time for the SMR drive.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2021
  3. dmw426

    dmw426 New Member

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    I've read descriptions of the difference between CMR and SMR. I'm not an engineers so don't know the intimate details regarding algorithms etc.
    I based my statement on my empirical experience trying to find a drive to replace the one that failed in my Tivo Bolt + and reading on this forum.

    The 2TB drive I installed works. a 6TB 3.5" drive I tested also worked. The thread comments I've read indicate that 2.5" drives larger than 2TB that are SMR don't work.
    My empirical experience with SSD drives is that 2TB drives work and 3.8TB drives don't. Once again it seems to be something in the TE4 software that is causing the problem since they do work with TE3.
     
  4. dmw426

    dmw426 New Member

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    All the 3.8TB SSDs have Micron on the label rather than Crucial. The 2TB drive is clearly labeled Crucial.

    IOS Disk Utility also labels them as Micron drives.
     
  5. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    I suggest you understand what shingled magnetic recording (SMR) is, why it is was created, its disadvantages, and understand the descriptions of the algorithms. Then, think about the writing behavior a TiVo has and why that can be a problem if you install an SMR drive, esp. if the TiVO didn't ship with one.

    It's like roof shingles that overlap slightly. When an SMR drive writes, it writes wider than width of the track it is writing to can affect data on adjacent track(s). To quote from the 1st URL I posted:
    To quote from the WD white paper:
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
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  6. dmw426

    dmw426 New Member

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    Another update:
    Today I received a Seagate Barracuda 5TB 2.5" drive. Vendor Item Number ST5000LM000.
    I installed it in the Tivo Bolt + and it loaded TE4 and I configured the Tivo.
    It's currently working as expected. I have programmed a number of programs to record to see what happens.

    The Spec sheet, along with some information I found online from a review of the drive when it was first introduced indicates that Seagate employed proprietary technology to overcome the short comings of SMR compared to CMR. Seagate Introduces BarraCuda 2.5” HDDs with Up to 5 TB Capacity

    Here is a link to the Amazon page from which I ordered the drive. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M0AADIX/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
     
  7. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    If a TiVo is buffering 6 tuners, there may not be sufficient idle time for the drive. From the article you point to:
    DVRs that didn't ship with SMR drives that do so much reading and writing all the time can be problematic for SMR drives. It's probably not a big deal for a laptop that isn't constantly writing (high data rate) multiple video streams to disk at the same time...

    I noticed in the manual at https://www.seagate.com/files/www-c...op-fam/barracuda_25/en-us/docs/100804767j.pdf from BarraCuda 2.5 | Seagate Support US says:
    SMR is relatively new. I remember hearing of it when a person from Seagate came to talk at my former employer sometime before 2010 along with other technologies like HAMR. The Biggest Change To HDD Tech You've Never Heard Of, Yet says the first SMR drives came out in 2015.

    Will be interesting to see how long the drive stays working in a TiVo, esp. once it gets full.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
  8. dmw426

    dmw426 New Member

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    I'm not sure that I've ever seen my Tivo Bolt + buffer all. 6 tuners. The most I've ever seen is 2.
    Secondly, It's unlikely that we will ever get close to the 600 hours plus recording capacity of the drive with saved programs.
    Given the relatively low cost of the 5TB drive it makes sense to install it rather than the 2TB FireCuda option. And either of these options are much better financially than the 3TB option from Weaknees.
    The WD Blue 3TB drive that failed is about 3 years old. LoL
     
  9. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    Throughout this discussion you've been making statements like this that just are not at all accurate and show that you may not really understand how the system works, with a 6-tuner unit ALL 6 tuners will constantly be buffering 30 minutes of video at all times, this is how it works and how it was designed, it will never just buffer 2 tuners.

    Your statements on not being worried about drive wear in SSDs also ignored what has long been known and discussed about one of their only minuses compared to conventional HDDs, you can say you don't care, but that doesn't remove that it's still the same issue, just because an SSD is better in certain instances does not mean the technology is always "better"

    I'll offer up the example of when Halo 3 was available for the Xbox 360 and initially games all ran off the discs and buffered to the HDD, then MS let users install the game to the HDD so that it didn't read off the DVD, and at that point Halo 3's performance went in the gutter until fixes were made, because even though the HDD was faster and had better throughput, the game and console OS had been so optimized for a buffer stream from the disc that difference in how an HDD performs decreased performance. This is the same type of choices that were made as Tivo designed their i/o process, they worked off the fact that they would use low cost 5400 RPM HDDs and optimized for that, it's why a 7200 RPM drive never made a difference.

    While it's great to see people expanding and exploring options, when folks do that by not understanding the system as a whole it can lead to random answers and situations that may not be accurate.
     
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  10. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    Yep. And thus, those 6 tuners buffering results in constant writing of 6 streams to whatever drive is attached which will cause challenges for SMR drives and lots of wear to an SSD.

    Press the info button and scroll thru all the tuners.

    This is in addition to the scheduled recordings it'll have to make (which will takeover 1+ of the tuners) and any suggestions that TiVo will record + any background disk i/o activity (which will at least in terms of bytes will be of much lower volume than the video streams).
    +1
     
  11. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    I use the high power savings mode. So my TiVos only buffer if they are not in standby. Or are recording something. So when in standby with high power savings mode, if two shows are being recorded, that is all that is being buffered.
     
  12. High Technology

    High Technology Member

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    FWIW, I tried a Samsung 850EVO 1TB drive, and it got stuck at the Starting Up screen...

    Not sure if that one was already known as not TE4 compatible, but it' not...
     
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  13. kdmorse

    kdmorse Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    It is, (known incompatible). A large number of people have tried it on the grounds "It's a good, known Samsung, of course it will work". And, nope, no joy.
     
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  14. High Technology

    High Technology Member

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    Thanks, in my case, it was a leftover after being used for ~3 years in a laptop that I recently upgraded (and the new laptop is NVME). I have an extra Bolt so I was testing out the new Toshiba 2TB spinner that I bought to have as a spare (we have 2 running Bolts and 2 Minis that we rely one), so for for the heck of it, I wanted to see what the Samsung did.
     
  15. multiple

    multiple Member

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    Although it is not TE4 compatible, the 7.68TB Micron drive is now available for $555 (-$27 if you use a 5% cash back card, +tax) at Walmart (via MyTechPlex.com which might be a fake site)...
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Micron-5...8?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=101025682

    I still expect this drive will hit mid to upper-mid $400 range in 2021.

    I'm still planning to try using this drive as an external drive, assuming TE4 does not use the same restrictions on the external drive. I'm still waiting on my eSATA+USB to SATA+power cable to test this out. Amazon lost it in delivery and I had to order a new one.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
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  16. dmw426

    dmw426 New Member

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    That is a good price. Considering that 2TB SSDs are routinely about $200.
     
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  17. tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

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    I know of no Tivos running TE4 (Hydra) that will work with an SSD. A FEW Tivos running TE3 (classic) work with some SSDs. But SSD never best choice for a Tivo, IMO. If you want to stick with 2.5" drive use a CMR drive. SOME SMR may work, for awhile, but again never best choice. Here is list of all CMR 2.5" drives 2TB and up. There are NONE over 3TB, any 2.5" drive over 3TB is SMR.

    2.5" 2TB and 3TB CMR drives for Tivo Bolts

    Best solution (IMO) is use a CMR 3.5" drive in external enclosure. Sata to Sata, not Sata to eSata. With a 3.5 fairly easy to find CMR drives of almost any capacity. And 3.5 more reliable as compared to similar capacity 2.5, and cheaper in most cases. Forget about SSD with TE4 for sure.

    Oh, I quoted the wrong post, this is meant for the original poster. But valid for anyone really.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
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