Looking for advice on new home device config

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by Savio, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. Savio

    Savio New Member

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    Oct 11, 2019
    Hello, I currently am living in a 2 bed apt with a Bolt OTA in the living room and 2 Tivo mini Vox in each bedroom. This setup works great. However, I am going to be moving to a 4 bed house in a couple months and will have 2 additional renters. My plan is to supply the 2 new rooms with Tivo, but I have some questions regarding some diff config ideas I have and which will be best:

    Config #1 (Cheapest and easiest):
    Get 2 more Tivo Minis for the new rooms and call it done.
    Questions/Downfalls I see: While 4 people can be using the Tivo at the same time, this means that no one could be recording while everyone is watching at the same time, correct? Also, if all 5 Tvs would be in use, you couldn't use Tivo on the 5th? (or would it just be the antenna you couldn't use, but the streaming you can?).


    Config #2 (Moderate but a big price jump from #1):
    Buy the Edge OTA and one more Tivo Mini. Have the Edge OTA in the Living Room, the Bolt OTA in the Master, and the 3 Tivo Mini Voxs in the other Bedrooms.
    Questions/Downfalls I see: This would allow enough tuners for every room to be unrestricted in TiVo use while also allowing for shows to be recorded as well, correct? If I have an antenna plugged into the Edge OTA, would I need a second antenna plugged into the Bolt OTA?

    Config #3 (Most Expensive):
    Buy the Edge for cable, that way if a new roomie wants to add cable service they can, and it would integrate with Tivo. Also buy one Tivo Mini for the other room. Have the Edge for Cable in the Living Room, the Bolt OTA in the Master, and the 3 Tivo Mini Voxs in the other Bedrooms.
    Questions/Downfalls I see: Can a regular antenna be plugged into the Edge for Cable with and/or without a cable card also in use? This would allow enough tuners for every room to be unrestricted in TiVo use while also allowing for shows to be recorded as well, correct? If I have an antenna plugged into the Edge for cable, would I need a second antenna plugged into the Bolt OTA?


    Thanks for your help and input!
     
  2. snerd

    snerd Well-Known Member

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    Jun 6, 2008
    The Bolt OTA has 4 tuners, and always reserves one for itself. This means only 3 of the 4 Minis can borrow a tuner to either watch live TV or set up a recording. All five devices can stream at the same time. Adding a new Edge would allow all the Minis to have a tuner simultaneously.

    If you get an OTA edge, you can use a splitter to share the antenna between the Bolt and the Edge. This will reduce the signals strength at both boxes, since about half of the received RF power would go to each device. This might work fine or it might require an amplifier for the antenna, it just depends on your location and how good your antenna is. You can use separate antennae for the Bolt and Edge if you get good reception from small/cheap antennae.

    The Edge for Cable is cable only, it cannot tune to OTA signals from the antenna. Cable and OTA don't mix, in the sense that signals from both sources can clash if placed on the same coax. If you are using MoCA, and want MoCA on all of your devices, there are some special games you can play using diplexers so that every Mini can access recording from either the Bot or Edge (and so that the Bolt and Edge can each access recording from the other).
     
  3. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Nov 25, 2003
    Just yikes!

    The main drawback to a bunch of people sharing a DVR is managing recording priorities and live TV conflicts, plus managing recorded content. It’s tough enough to do with a family; I don’t envy doing so with random roommates.

    I’d think your only ~responsibility~ would be to get an OTA or cable signal, or both, to each room, and let the renter decide what they’re willing to pay for ... whether direct OTA connection to a TV, cable provider STB or DVR rental, their own TiVo DVR or a simple streaming stick.

    My TiVo take would be dropping a base Roamio 4-tuner DVR (or modded Roamio OTA) with lifetime service in each rental room, with each DVR on its own TiVo account.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
  4. Savio

    Savio New Member

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    Oct 11, 2019
    Thanks so much for the responses (thus far). I do appreciate your ideas/thoughts!
    Definitely a lot to consider.

    A couple follow up questions - if I were to add another OTA or Cable on the existing network - how does the whole sharing of the tuners work? Would everything still be in the one Hydra menu - even for the minis. If I did cable, would the antenna stations from the Bolt OTA and the Cable stations from the new unit all appear? How would the recordings work?

    I do get what @krkaufman is saying regarding the recording management - but I don't think I would be able to afford 4 new DVRs + lifetime for each - and I would like to minimize the amount of antennas I do have. Plus, my feeling is most would be streaming vs watching antenna stations or, if I go the cable route, use cable stations vs. antenna stations.

    All the rooms have hardwired coaxial and ethernet Cat6, I was planning on using the Cat6 vs MoCa for the internet/connections. I wanted to mount an outdoor antenna and connect that to my existing Bolt OTA for all the local channels.
     
  5. schatham

    schatham Well-Known Member

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    Mar 17, 2007
    Renters, just hook up the antenna to the TV and call it a day. If they like your Tivo tell them how to buy one. They probably don't want one and will just use online stuff.
     
    krkaufman likes this.
  6. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

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    Riverside, CA
    You would have a lot of trouble with four TVs and only four tuners. Don’t forget that you will be using some of the tuners for recording so that reduces the number available for live tv. You would almost certainly have to have a rule about renters not setting up recordings themselves or it would be a complete fiasco.

    As posted already, I think you should just let the three renters hook the ota coax straight to the tv. If they are young, they will probably be fine with ota and a streaming stick. Hell, you could buy them a Firestick or Roku.
     
  7. snerd

    snerd Well-Known Member

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    An OTA Bolt/Edge will only "see" antenna stations. A cable Bolt/Edge will only "see" cable stations. They cannot be mixed on the same TiVo, so neither TiVo will see everything.

    Each Mini is set up to use a specific TiVo as a host, and for live TV it borrows a tuner from the host TiVo. The Mini will behave sort of like the host TiVo, it will see the recordings of the host and the stations of the host. A Mini that uses an OTA TiVo as a host will see only antenna stations, while a Mini that uses a cable TiVo as a host will see only cable stations.

    There is also a way for a Mini to access recordings from other TiVos that are on the same local network, just as one TiVo can access recordings from another TiVo.
     
  8. Savio

    Savio New Member

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    Oct 11, 2019
    gotcha. thanks so much everyone - I do appreciate all the feedback!
     

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