New TiVo purchase - having difficulty figuring out what I need

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by Ego, May 11, 2017.


    UCLABB Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2012
    Riverside, CA


    I've never heard anyone complain about the Roamio ui being slow. If it's slower than a Bolt it would be measured in nano seconds. My Roamio commands are just about instantaneous.
  2. pfiagra

    pfiagra Well-Known Member

    Oct 13, 2014
    I think where the speed differences are primarily noticed in the loading of the various apps (Netflix, etc.).
  3. Ego

    Ego meep!

    Nov 7, 2001
    So this is actually potentially worth considering for me. Currently we make heavy use of Netflix and Amazon Prime video on Rokus, having that functionality built-in to the TiVos would be pretty sweet and we likely would use them often enough. Is it just how long it takes for the app to load up, or is it also in the apps UI/behavior that its slower on the Roamio? If its only on startup of the app, we can live with that. If the UI is crappy in general even after loading, that might push me towards the Bolt instead.

    Anyone have a comparison of how Netflix behaves on a Roamio as compared to a Roku 3? I've been trying to find youtube videos but haven't found anything that's really telling yet.

    If its comparable to a Roku 3, that's sufficient for us.
  4. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    I can comment on Amazon Prime vs Roku 3. With the Roamio I get DD+ and 24fps. Loading is not as fast, but it's not slow either. I also use the Roamio for some YouTube, just Real Time and Last Week. Both are 1080P60 and Stereo on both devices.

    BTW, there's no charge to view movie trailers with Amazon. No such feature with Netflix.
  5. pfiagra

    pfiagra Well-Known Member

    Oct 13, 2014


    Bolt+ vs Roamio Pro
  6. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    Sorry can't compare against a Roku, but I was getting the following times for loading Netflix and Amazon Prime on my Roamio Pro back in January. The Roamio UI seems plenty fast to us.

  7. lew

    lew Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2002
    You might consider picture quality. DTV is reported to have excellent PQ. Comcast is encoding almost all channels to 720p with a relatively low bitrate.
    Busted! Comcast Down-Converts native 1080i Channels to 720P!!!
    Comcast is rumored to be rolling out at least some new subscribers to IP, probably not tivo compatible.

    I'd consider using Comcast equipment for a month or two first. Make sure you can live with Comcast PQ.

    You want 6 tuners. That suggest Bolt +. Comes with 3Gig hard drive. Doesn't sound like any 2.5" drives larger then 3T work well. You could go with a Roamio. I wouldn't invest in older technology. KMTTG makes it easy to offload shows to a PC.
  8. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    Everybody will have their slightly different suggestions.

    IMO you should get a used Roamio Plus/Pro and stick in a 6TB or 8TB HD. Very simple and economical upgrade. With the bolts they use 2.5" drives and there is only one drive recommended right now, the Toshiba 3TB. With 3.5" drives you'll have plenty of choice on the Roamio.

    You should try to stick with one "recording" unit in the house with the CableCARD because Comcast will try and get an "outlet" fee charge out of you for any additional CableCARDs (outlet fee can be anywhere from 6.95 to 13.95) Your first device with Comcast is included in service price, irrespective of whether you choose STB or CableCARD.

    Also with Comcast some reps will try and get you to pay an HD technology fee to get HD channels. I can't speak for all areas, but in most cases, this is unnecessary with TiVo. The $10 HD Tech fee is supposed to be if you want an HD STB from Comcast. From a service standpoint, if you pay for SD channel you get the HD channel also. So don't pay the HD Tech fee, just get the CableCARD (and you'll get a $2.50 credit for using your own equipment) If they give you trouble on the HD Tech fee, tell them you just want SD and they'll drop the HD tech fee, but you'll still get HD.

    I have GigaBit wired network all over the house with 10Gbps backbone also, but I found the MoCA (ethernet over coax) bridge built into the TiVo Plus/Pro (and Bolts) useful to have a dedicated network just for streaming and copying video between units. I had it set up over the wired network before, but found that the locations I had TVs mapped better to Coax outlets than to CAT6 outlets.

    If you need more than 8TB space, either offload to PC (obviously using whatever storage you prefer) or pick up a Roamio OTA and stick another 8TB drive in it. You can offload whatever shows you haven't got around to in a while onto either.

    The Roamio OTA 1TB can be had for around $300 when on sale at Amazon and in the past, TiVo has had sales for refurb 500GB Roamio OTAs for $199 and $249. You can use them for offloaded storage easily and if you want, you can introduce 4 more OTA tuners into your setup. If you need more tuners for recording, you can get a PCMCIA/CableCard bracket and stick it in the OTA and it'll take CabelCARD giving you 4 more Comcast tuners (but might expose you to additional outlet fee)

    For the other display units in the house pick up some TiVo Mini's. They can connect to your main recording TiVo either via the GigaBit network or over the Coax MoCA network, whichever is more convenient. They have access to LiveTV and recorded programs and they can schedule shows to record. Each Mini occupies a tuner when watching LiveTV, but they should release the tuner when watching recorded shows. I mention this because 6 tuners on the Roamio Plus/Pro may seem like a lot, but if you have many Mini's all watching LiveTV, it eats up tuners, which could affect which shows get recorded when you reach prime time and 4-5 tuners might be needed to record your shows. It should give the Mini users a warning that the tuner is needed to record shows.

    I think for migrating shows to secondary units, you can just go on TiVo website and click on some UI and the shows move over without further intervention. I didn't get to use this feature because I was migrating from S3 units where that functionality is broken so I had to manually migrate shows over to Roamio units.

    As to the speed difference between Bolt and Roamio, it is mainly with the Apps. The DVR functions on the Roamio are quite fast and I've never noticed any slowdown.

    You might just get a Roku for the apps if you care about them, but it might force you to consider the Bolt if you want everything in one unit.

    Also keep in mind, if you still have need for analog connections, The Roamio Plus/Pro are better, they provide component and composite outs. The Roamio OTA provides composite via separately purchase breakout cable. The Bolt only provides HDMI so if you need analog outs, you'll need an HDMI splitter that strips HDCP and an HDMI to analog converter or you'll need a Mini as a workaround for the analog connections. For my usage, I need the analog outs because I connect my TiVos to slingboxes for remote streaming/access, but some people have analog video distribution in their house for out of the way TVs
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
    UCLABB and Mikeguy like this.
  9. Ego

    Ego meep!

    Nov 7, 2001
    Many thanks to everyone who offered such good, thoughtful, and seemingly unbiased opinions and answers to my questions. I did a lot of homework of my own based on a lot of your responses, watched tons of Youtube videos of people demoing units to get a feel for what things mattered to me or not, and finally came to a conclusion.

    It seems the best option for my needs and to keep cost sensible was a Roamio Pro with some mini's for the other rooms. The plan would be to immediately upgrade the disk in the Roamio to fit our needs, and get backups going to the file server as soon as possible (mostly to alleviate my S/O's grief/fear of losing more shows like what happened with our DTV DVR).

    As luck would have it I found a good deal on the TiVoCommunity Sales sub-forum for a pre-upgraded (5tb, not exactly as much storage as we've got with our current DTV setup, but close enough and with offloading capabilities, its plenty), plus a mini and lifetime sub on the Roamio Pro as well. Now all I have to do is hurry up and wait for fedex. :)

    All remotes are currently updated already for all rooms (I have a pretty modular setup and have my own web-based remote system powered by Global Cache iTachs), picked up a multi CableCard yesterday (I already had comcast internet so cable is already there, just need to upgrade the package), so the second the thing is here I'll be up and running. Thanks again for everyone's input/suggestions. I'm sure a year or two from now I'll adopt a Bolt, but for now it seems extraneous and unnecessary for our needs, and cut the overall cost in half by going this route. Makes the S/O less crazy too. :)
    UCLABB likes this.

Share This Page

spam firewall