Move to which Tivo...

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by FrankinMichigan, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. Feb 5, 2020 #1 of 37
    FrankinMichigan

    FrankinMichigan New Member

    25
    2
    Feb 5, 2020
    Hello forum,

    With WMC dead, Windows EPG gone and Win7 unsupported as of January it looks like I need to move to a new platform for recording the shows I like. Someone on the GreenButton suggested coming here and asking for assistance on deciding the best Tivo option for me. I did search on a number of key words to see if anyone else had asked this question/been answered regarding my post but didn't find anything so I hope you will be kind to me if I missed it.

    For years I had used Windows Media Center to record my shows using a Ceton cablecard device and 2 Echo remotes on my Charter/Spectrum cable. This setup has worked great, allowing me to watch shows either via the Echos, or on one of the 3 computers connected to my network, or on my laptop (I would copy the .wtv files over, then use VLC to watch them while traveling).

    I have done a quick search for Tivo products and it appears that there are several cablecard-ready options. What is confusing is if any of them (e.g. Roamio Pro, Plus, Series 5?) will allow me to do what I have done in the past. And I have seen posts talking about 2013 units, 2014 units, etc, as if changes were made that may have impacted performance, longevity, compatibility.

    Also what I don't understand is the subscription issue, with some saying lifetime (if you can get the owner to contact Tivo and transfer it - can that be done?), others saying you need to purchase one. Was Tivo at one time offering a special where they bundled it together, and is this subscription just the EPG or some sort of cloud-based storage service?

    Any comments are greatly appreciated, and if I am asking a question that has been answered, a link to what I missed searching would be fine as well.

    Thank you very much.

    Frank in Michigan
     
  2. Feb 5, 2020 #2 of 37
    trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

    3,991
    565
    Apr 2, 2005
    TiVo has a monthly fee. But you can pay extra up front to avoid monthly fees. This is called “All In“ now. It used to be called Lifetime. Either way, this is a requirement. TiVo will not work otherwise.

    you need TiVo Minis to watch Recordings on additional TVs.

    you can transfer recordings to PCs with 3rd party programs but it isn’t setup to let PCs act like a real time set top box.

    some people like the older Roamio plus/pro because they have 3.5” hard drives among other things that escape me off the top of my head.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2020
    FrankinMichigan likes this.
  3. Feb 5, 2020 #3 of 37
    FrankinMichigan

    FrankinMichigan New Member

    25
    2
    Feb 5, 2020
    Thanks for the reply. Can I ask a few more questions based on what you posted?

    So, the Minis are the equivalent of the Ceton Echos. Some for sale on eBay also talk about subscriptions. Even the Minis need a subscription to work despite all they do is allow playback from the 'main' Tivo?

    I read something about the transfer process can only be done using the 'old' Tivo OS, not the new Hydra OS. Is this why some talk about the 2013 and 2014 models? Can a newer Tivo with Hydra OS be downgraded to the original OS?

    Can this copy method (using 3rd party software) be automated so that I could, at say 3AM, copy shows to my server?

    Lastly, how can I tell what version of Roamio it is? Size/color/serial number? And am I correct that both the Plus/Pro are the same in function, only the HD was different (size) but that it is a DIY project to change to a larger/faster (e.g. SSD) harddrive?

    And OK on needs a subscription.

    Thanks again!

    Frank in Michigan
     
  4. Feb 5, 2020 #4 of 37
    chicagobrownblue

    chicagobrownblue Well-Known Member

    3,431
    221
    May 29, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    3.5" drives can be upgraded in a Roamio/Pro/Plus to 3TB by swapping in a 3TB drive. You can go to 8TB (or possibly more) by using a special tool on a PC and then swap in the drive up to 8TB drive. There are tools here and help to move files from a Tivo to a PC and vice versa.

    I'm storing movies and TV shows on my Win7 PC and watching them through my smart tv. Some I've pulled from Tivo, others I've downloaded from the internet.
     
  5. Feb 5, 2020 #5 of 37
    chicagobrownblue

    chicagobrownblue Well-Known Member

    3,431
    221
    May 29, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Roamio Basic has four turners that can be used for cable or antenna -- just not at the same time. Six tuner Roamios are cable only. I believe both the Pro and Plus are six tuners.
     
    FrankinMichigan likes this.
  6. Feb 5, 2020 #6 of 37
    ryanmcv

    ryanmcv New Member

    24
    6
    Nov 13, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    Yes, the Roamio Plus and Pro are identical except for the hard drive capacity (Plus = 1TB; Pro = 3TB).

    If you want to avoid monthly fees and get a TiVo that is easy to upgrade and repair, then a used/refurbished Roamio Plus or Pro with Lifetime service is going to be your best option. WeaKnees.com sells a refurbished Roamio Pro with Lifetime service for $550 and you can probably get an even better deal on eBay.
     
  7. Feb 5, 2020 #7 of 37
  8. Feb 5, 2020 #8 of 37
    FrankinMichigan

    FrankinMichigan New Member

    25
    2
    Feb 5, 2020
    Right now my WMC DVR only has a 1GB HD for video, and I have never come close to filling it (as we usually watch the shows within a week), so going above 3TB (or even 1TB) is not of interest. What is important is getting the right unit that will allow me to record from my Spectrum cablecard, then if necessary move the files off the Tivo and onto other 'players' for viewing.

    It appears that the best option is the Plus - it has a lower cost but still has 6 tuners - more than what I need. Is the Plus an 'older' unit? How can I tell the age? Anything I should watch out for, other than making sure the person I buy it from agrees to work with me and Tivo to 'move' the lifetime subscription over? Has Tivo ever said no? And did I see that with the Plus you can also record from Netflix and Amazon Prime? Or is that only with the newer units (Bolt?). That would be a plus since I never could do that with the Ceton.

    Thanks

    Frank in Michigan
     
  9. Feb 5, 2020 #9 of 37
    Sparky1234

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

    2,275
    336
    May 8, 2006
    I like the Bolt more than my Roamio. Faster and problem free.
     
    FrankinMichigan likes this.
  10. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

    4,913
    1,278
    May 29, 2012
    Riverside, CA
    I know you always chime in with that, but even TiVo has acknowledged problems with the Bolt hard drive. Many posters here have talked about the HDD failures. I have had two myself.
     
  11. chicagobrownblue

    chicagobrownblue Well-Known Member

    3,431
    221
    May 29, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    I thought with WMC you would have 10-20TB or more of stored content. With just 1TB needed, that opens up a whole new ball of wax. Tivo Bolt had some overheating problems which may or may not have been solved. This may have been on Bolts with larger than 1TB hard drives. The newest GUI on the Bolt is TE4 and makes transferring files to and fro problematic. You can install the older TE3 GUI which works well for transfers.

    The new Tivo Edge is allegedly free of the overheating problems but only supports the new TE4 GUI. The Edge is new and $$$. Deals may show up around Labor Day and then again before Black Friday.
     
    mrsean likes this.
  12. FrankinMichigan

    FrankinMichigan New Member

    25
    2
    Feb 5, 2020
    OK on the two versions. And yes, eBay has several sellers a lot less! Been checking prices...

    Thanks.
     
  13. FrankinMichigan

    FrankinMichigan New Member

    25
    2
    Feb 5, 2020
    WMC could record anything within the limit of the hard drives you had, but I never needed more than about 700GB.

    OK on the Bolt and possible issues / need to downgrade. Looks like the Edge is just too much for my pocketbook. Was hoping for something around $200-250 but have to re-evaluate.

    Unless someone chimes in, I will focus on the Roamio Plus w/lifetime, any size. That sounds like my best option at the lowest cost but will keep my eyes open for the Bolt since it is newer (right?). But I guess the Bolt comes in multiple versions so I need to be careful? (need to make sure it takes a cablecard).

    Thanks

    Frank in Michigan
     
  14. cwoody222

    cwoody222 Well-Known Member

    11,846
    409
    Nov 13, 1999
    Buffalo, NY
    No, you cannot RECORD from streaming services on any TiVo unit. They just have built in streaming apps. The apps do not perform well and you’d be wise to use a Roku or FireTV instead.

    Do not worry about transferring service. TiVo does not “say no”. The service is tied to the box, not the owner. You actually don’t NEED the owner to facilitate it but it makes the process a lot smoother if they start the process before sending the unit to you.
     
    FrankinMichigan likes this.
  15. FrankinMichigan

    FrankinMichigan New Member

    25
    2
    Feb 5, 2020
    Can one just replace the HD and plug it in to get it to work again? Or does it take out the power supply and/or require Tivo to 'touch' it?
     
  16. FrankinMichigan

    FrankinMichigan New Member

    25
    2
    Feb 5, 2020
    Bummer - thought this was a plus over what I have. But no problems. We use our SmartTV to connect to both so I really don't need another interface option. But recording stuff on it would be SO COOL... :)

    Thanks

    Frank in Michigan
     
  17. cwoody222

    cwoody222 Well-Known Member

    11,846
    409
    Nov 13, 1999
    Buffalo, NY
    Do you actually have a need to transfer recordings to a PC or do you just want to watch shows on other devices?

    You can watch shows on your PC on TiVo.com and also via their iOS and android apps, on any software version.

    You only need to worry about downgrading from Hydra if you want to copy files, remove copy protection, edit them, move the files around, play with something like Plex or other things. If you want to shows tv on your laptop, you can do that on Hydra.

    as previously stated, if you want to watch on other tv’s you need to buy a Mini. ALL Minis have lifetime service built in, no monthly service option for those, so buy used freely.
     
  18. Sparky1234

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

    2,275
    336
    May 8, 2006
    Electronics are a funny thing, some die right away and some last forever. Mine is following the latter. I have had lots of problems with my Roamio. :rolleyes:
     
  19. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    19,425
    3,511
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    The Plus will be hard to find. Much more popular are the Pro models. The only difference is the HDD size. If it makes you feel better you can remove the 3TB from a Pro and install a 500GB. :) I have several basic Roamio units, no Bolts. When you get time, you should browse the forums, just looking at titles. There's a link in my signature to common abbreviations. You indicate very simple viewing habits. The Roamio would be a good choice. Your network is just as important, and 90% of the problems you will see posted are usually due to a 10 year old router. Good luck.
     
  20. FrankinMichigan

    FrankinMichigan New Member

    25
    2
    Feb 5, 2020
    The plan would be to put the Tivo in the living room which feeds the main TV via HDMI, but also goes into a HDMI splitter box so that the kitchen TV can also see the output (like we have it now - a mini Intel computer running Win7 and a WMC remote control box w/an IR blaster in the kitchen so that it can be controlled in both locations). This takes care of 2 rooms. (NOTE: right now, the shows are recorded on the basement server but this would change with the Tivo as shown above).

    We then have a TV w/computer (Win7) in the master bedroom. Since the current server has the recordings on D: drive, that folder is open-shared and the master bedroom can access that drive directly from within its copy of WMC so playing it there is effortless other than turning on the computer. This is why I am asking about moving stuff from the Tivo to another computer (to the server, which in turn would be able to share it with the master bedroom computer).

    Then there are the two Echos, one in the basement for the exercise room (and also for the semi-guest room) and another Echo in the real guest bedroom. I guess I would need the Tivo minis if I wanted to be able to have shows available there.

    Finally, there is my computer in the computer room where I spend a lot of time on forums (like now) that also is Win7 w/WMC running on the side if I want to watch a program that is not too intensive while I work on the computer (usually recorded news).

    And of course, when we travel, I will copy at least 6 or more shows (e.g. Tonight show, SNL, etc) to my laptop to watch while waiting for the plane in the airport, or on the plane, or in the motel room, or ....

    This is what I am trying to create with a new system.

    I have no iOS devices so that option is out. The only android is our phones but we never use them to watch TV.

    You mentioned Tivo.com to watch my shows. So whatever is on the Tivo unit can be streamed via an internet connection? Does it work OK? Maybe that is how I can watch shows on my master bedroom computer as we don't need live TV there (have OTA on all TVs in the house)?

    And finally, the copy protection thing. With the Ceton, only BBC recorded stuff gave me issues watching on another computer (but worked fine on the Echos). Is everything that Tivo records encoded/copy protected by default? Or only stuff that the transmitting 'station' flags as being copy-protected (like whatever BBC does on the WMC recordings)?

    Thanks! Getting closer to understanding everything I would need to do!
     

Share This Page