Need External Storage for New Tivo Roamio

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by snickers, Nov 23, 2017.

  1. snickers

    snickers New Member

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    Nov 23, 2017

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    Greetings,

    I just bought a brand new 1TB Tivo Roamio OTA, first time customer. I'm trying to figure out what the best external hard drives are to expand the storage.

    I saw some great $70 deals on NewEgg for some 3TB external hard drives (not eSATA).

    Does Tivo only accept eSATA connected external drives, or does it accept USB 2.0 external drives or any kind of converters to the eSATA port?

    Is eSATA faster/better than USB 2.0 for Tivo quality?

    I've seen old 2012 threads about an obsolete WD "DVR Expander" or "My Expander", with prices around $200-$300 (antique technology), being the only compatible external drive that works with Tivo. Any other recommendations for a CHEAP, better-quality external drive in 2017?

    Thanks
    Kind regards
     
  2. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    External drives are not recommended for expanding storage. You can transfer/copy shows to a PComputer/NAS for long term storage. Programs are available to download shows, like KMTTG, and PyTivo which can send back to Tivo. Also, USB drives does not work in Tivo.

    Previously, there is a 500GB and 1TB Tivo expandr drives to use to expand externally, but when something fails, you lose the shows since the external was connected. These drives are not made any more and those being sold are old stock with very high prices.

    Best way to expand storage is to swap out the internal drive for WD Red drives (recommended). A 3 TB Red drive cost less then the 1 TB Tivo expander external.
    However, swapping the internal can void the warranty (hush hush). Warranty is only 3 months parts/1 yr labor.
    I waited just over a year to make sure my Roamio worked out completely before swapping in a WD Red 4TB.
     
  3. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately no, since the WD ones were the only ones that worked with TiVo's. Most people upgrade the internal drive (visit the Upgrade forum) but of course that officially would cause warranty issues although TiVo has tended to look aside at those but no guarantees. I've certainly updated our old S1's and S3's, bought got the Roamio Pro with 3TB with a good upgrade deal.

    Assuming you are using the older gen 3 interface versus Hydra, you can download shows to a PC or server and then upload them later for playback (or use Plex with the older or newer UI for playback).

    Scott
     
  4. snickers

    snickers New Member

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    Nov 23, 2017
    Thanks for the replies and details, I greatly appreciate it.

    What is the maximum disk size limit I can upgrade to? I see a 10TB WD Red drive for sale, would that actually work on Tivo?

    Also, do you know what interface or generation my Tivo has? I just bought this one yesterday, not sure what it is: TiVo Roamio OTA DVR | Antenna DVR and Streaming | 1TB Storage

    You said I can download shows to a "server"? Does this mean I can actually store shows on a remote web server (like GoDaddy or Dreamhost) with a remote IP address? Or is this only for a local home-based PC server setups? Does this work seamlessly and automatically, or do I have to manually move each and every show to a server?

    Thanks
    Kind regards
     
  5. randywalters

    randywalters AVS Old Timer

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    You can swap in up to a 3TB drive and the Tivo software will automatically load onto the drive. This is what i did for my Roamio - i got a new WD Red (WD30EFRX) on Ebay for under a hundred bucks and it's working perfectly ever since.

    I think the Roamio can take up to a 10TB hard drive, but anything 4TB or more has to have the Tivo software installed on it before swapping it into your Tivo.
     
  6. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    A Roamio can use up to 3 TB internal drive just by swapping that original internal drive. However, you can use up to 8 TB but you need to hook up to a PC/Windows and run MSFR program to expand the >3TB space.

    You can download shows using a java based program called KMTTG. PyTivo (or PyTivo Desktop, Tivo Desktop is also available, but no longer supported by Tivo) is a program which also does similar, but it also has server capabilites for the Tivo to copy the shows back.
     
  7. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    Welcome to TiVo ownership, and Welcome to the forum. Lots to learn, but I am sure you will pick it up quick. As others have said, a 3TB drive is the most simple expansion option - just plug and play swap. Just do the reading in the upgrade forum to make sure you only buy a drive that is recommended for TiVo use.

    While we have always had options to easily copy most programs to computers for editing or archiving, I caution you not to get too dependent on that capability at this time - the newest updates for the TiVo software have removed that capability, and TiVo/Bad Rovi is refusing to comment on it in any way - it looks to me like they are intentionally blocking this capability forever, which is VERY unfortunate. For now, you can still do it as long as you refuse to apply the horrible Hydra update, but I'd bet they take it away from the older UI soon (or start forcing the nasty Hydra on the rest of us). Without the computer interface, there really is NO reasonable option today for long-term archiving of TiVo content. You CANNOT remove a drive from a TiVo with programs on it and then re-attach that drive later without losing all content.
     
  8. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    If you just bought it, it will probably by the Gen4 Hydra interface. However, you can downgrade to the older software, but do it in the beginning before you accumulate shows as the downgrade procedure does a reset and you lose your shows.
     
  9. toricred

    toricred Member

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    Actually copying recordings down to a PC still works fine, but you can't copy them back up.
     
  10. Sparky1234

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

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    pytivo copies back - non-hydra.
     
  11. ClearToLand

    ClearToLand Old !*#$% Tinkerer!

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    Anybody who has 'played' with TiVo for at least a few months has an opinion, so here's mine :cool::
    How many 'Saved Recordings' do you feel comfortable losing in one fell swoop? :eek:

    It's the "All your eggs in one basket..." situation. All HDDs eventually fail. After you're comfortable that your 'as delivered' hardware is fine, you can void the warranty and install a WD Red 3TB WD30EFRX in your TiVo Roamio OTA. Store your overflow on a RAID server.

    The 'word on the street' is that newly purchased TiVo units either come with Gen4 / Hydra or have their TSNs already on the 'Update Me!' list and will update soon after they connect to the internet. Try SEARCHing YouTube for Gen3 and Gen4 videos - maybe someone reading this knows of a TiVo.Com video. AFAICT, Gen3 vs Gen4 sounds similar to Windows 7 vs Windows 8 - text vs icons. I use Gen3 and have no plans to switch.

    It can be automated but I prefer manually choosing which shows to store where.

    Read about:
    1. Wiki: kmttg
    2. Wiki: Streambaby
    3. pyTiVo Discussion Forum / Wiki: pyTiVo Windows Install
    4. pyTiVo Desktop / TCF: Easier to Use pyTiVo
    5. Plex Media Server - How It Works
    Personally, I feel that one learns a new topic best by doing one's homework. But it's difficult to know what to Google when you don't even know the right questions yet (thus I've provided a few LINKs to help you out]. Yes, the amount of information is overwhelming at first but, given enough time and effort, the light bulb eventually comes on and you then wonder what the big deal was anyway.

    Good Luck! :cool:
     
  12. ClearToLand

    ClearToLand Old !*#$% Tinkerer!

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    As @toricred added, TiVo-to-PC works in both Gen3 and Gen4, but PC-to-TiVo doesn't (currently) work in Gen4. Whether or not it will is anyone's guess.

    Personally, due to two BIG BUGS in the TiVo-to-PC-to-TiVo process:
    1. TS Sync Errors:
      When using TS 'Fast' Format file transfers, you never really know if the recording can be transferred back to a TiVo unit until you try (possibly weeks / months later when the original is long gone from your TiVo unit).
      .
    2. pyTiVo Space Calculation Errors:
      Randomly, pyTiVo will calculate that a PC-to-TiVo recording needs WAY MORE space than it actually does and DELETE way too much non-KUID material (Keep Until I Delete).
      Thus, for my 'Watch & Delete' overflow, I've replaced pyTiVo PC-to-TiVo transfers with Streambaby. Except for the lack of SkipMode, everything else (i.e. trick play - 30 Second Skip, 8 Second Rewind, FF, FREW) works pretty much the same.

      For the material I plan to 'Watch & Keep', I've begun decrypting to a .MPG and .TXT file. If SkipMode data exists, I'll also save an .EDL file. Then, I can either store the material on my Plex Server 'as is' or use ffmpeg / Handbrake / Plex Optimize to encode to .MP4. The Plex Client on the Roamio, with it's "4Mbps @ 720p" limit is useless to me so I'm currently using an old Windows 7 laptop to play "20Mbps @ 1080i" 'as recorded' material. My 5+ yo Media Streamers also play the .MPGs fine but through DLNA (not as fancy as Plex Client but it works).
     
  13. mikey1273

    mikey1273 Member

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    Where do I find Tivo desktop or another program to transfer shows to back up? I been looking on the tivo site but it didn't seem to be there.

    I'd like to do what I did with my shows from media center, I used a program called mce buddy to remove Comercial breaks and encode it to mp4
     
  14. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    New program for 1 step TTG downloads, decryption, encoding - kmttg

    Another poster included links to other programs (see above).

    Another thing, you need to do, login to your tivo.com account and go to DVR Preferences and make sure transfers/sharing options are enabled. Any changes, press SAVE at the bottom, then make all your Tivo boxes do their Tivo Service connections (settings/Network) to enable transfers. You would also need to use Media Access Key (MAK) to allow the programs to access your Tivo box content. It would be listed on your tivo.com account, as well as on your Tivo boxes.
     
    mikey1273 likes this.
  15. ClearToLand

    ClearToLand Old !*#$% Tinkerer!

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    Did you somehow miss Post #11? :oops: o_O
     
  16. ClearToLand

    ClearToLand Old !*#$% Tinkerer!

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  17. mikey1273

    mikey1273 Member

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    Cool thanks i seen the media access key in my online account. Its all a lot to learn and read here and Im new to tivo. It seems the Tivo suport site still has instructions for their desktop software but the links to get it are dead ends. I wanted to try it the official way but seems they took that away. So i will have to try kmttg. Im not concerned about not being able to copy it back to the tivo I can just play it with plex.
     
  18. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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  19. SandiMacD

    SandiMacD Member

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    I still use TiVo desktop for Mac OS. I set up auto recordings of my sewing series and can watch them on my computer anywhere- but mostly in my sewing room for reference. I also converted lots of classic movies and they are on my local NAS and cloud drive so can be accessed anywhere. Came in handy during an extended hospital/rehab stay. QuickTime converts to a format watchable on my iPad. I brought some recordings over from Hydra before I downgraded and they converted just fine.
    If I want big screen, I use Air Play over Apple TV.

    Lots of options depending on your needs.
     
  20. jerryez

    jerryez Active Member

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    Pensacola,FL...
    How do I change my TiVo back the the old GUI. I just bought my TiVo and it has the hydra on it.
     

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