No way to add a new Bolt VOX without annual commitment?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by ProperModulation123, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. Jan 4, 2020 #1 of 18
    ProperModulation123

    ProperModulation123 New Member

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    Hi,

    I think I put this in the right forum, and I did a few searches before posting but couldn't find any solid answers to my question(s) other than some less-than-clear support articles from Tivo.

    I've had Tivos since about 2004 but haven't had to change hardware for close to 10 years now (I may be off in that math, but it's been a LONG time). My Roamio recently died so I started down the path that I went down last time and bought a new Bolt VOX 500GB from Best Buy with the expectation that I could go through the same process I did last time and just change the TSN online and be good to go. So mistake #1 was not reading through all of Tivos current plans and policies before buying the Bolt. It seems like they might have removed the option of buying this particular hardware outright and paying monthly with no commitment and also no more multi service discounts (this is Tivo #3 in the house). I'm looking at their support article here:

    https://support.tivo.com/articles/Essential_Summary/TiVo-Payment-Plans-and-Policies

    So my questions are as follows:

    1. They have certainly made things more complicated to understand, so have I interpreted all of their tables and model numbers correctly in my conclusions above (min 1 year commit, no multi discount)? It looks like my "best" option for this unit may be an annual plan that puts me at about twice what I currently pay for the dead Romio ($6.95 since it was an MSR unit) per month.

    2. Has anyone been able to get CS to swap out an older DVR for a Bolt on their account? Their support article says to call CS, but then also says it isn't supported. Not sure why they'd want you to call CS if it isn't supported so I thought I'd ask.

    3. More of an observation than a question, but it looks as if Tivo's policies and pricing has turned for the worst over the past handful of years. I'm going to spend tomorrow looking at my DVR options with COX cable as the Tivo isn't obviously the better value or user experience like it used to be when compared to the cable company.

    I am posting here before calling CS because I started my task of activating the Tivo after their CS was already closed for the day, and I figure any expert knowledge I can get from this group may help me on the phone with them tomorrow.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jan 5, 2020 #2 of 18
    jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    What is wrong with the old box? Fixing it may be the better option here.
     
  3. Jan 5, 2020 #3 of 18
    pfiagra

    pfiagra Active Member

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    TiVo “may” let you transfer your $6.95 monthly rate to a new DVR but you would need to buy a one (full price) from them. They certainly won’t do it with one you purchased from Best Buy.
     
  4. Jan 5, 2020 #4 of 18
    mattyro7878

    mattyro7878 Well-Known Member

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    Probably not 6.95 but they will let you do monthly especially if it's monthly or a return of the box. Tell them 9.95 is the most you will pay or bye bye.
     
  5. Jan 5, 2020 #5 of 18
    ProperModulation123

    ProperModulation123 New Member

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    That was my first thought, then I found that a new Hard Drive is about $150 while a new Bolt was $200. Didn't want to sink $150 into an old machine that may or may not have other problems. Fixing it is back on the table though given what I found out about the pricing plans.
     
  6. Jan 5, 2020 #6 of 18
    mattyro7878

    mattyro7878 Well-Known Member

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    Lotsa Tivo's on eBay. The majority of them are reliable.(from my experience) I've had my Roamio for 4 years after spending $60 . Got 2 working Premieres for $40 a while back. Of course that doesn't solve your activation issue.
     
  7. Jan 5, 2020 #7 of 18
    Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    You easily can purchase a new replacement hard drive for the Roamio box for sub-$100 at Amazon.com and the like, at different size/price-points.* You should check out the Roamio hard drive upgrade posts/threads here. And the nice thing with the Roamio (and Bolt) box platforms is, no prep. is needed for 3TB and under replacement drives--you simply plop them in and the box takes care of everything automatically. :) And the hard drive replacement does not affect the Lifetime subscription on your box.

    Apart from that, I would encourage you to telephone TiVo customer support first and to explain the situation, and see what they might offer to do for you, your emphasizing your long-standing nature as a good TiVo customer. TiVo might offer a sweetheart deal for you on a new box, including the transfer of your Lifetime subscription to the new box at low or no cost--this not infrequently has happened in the past. And note that if TiVo at first gives you a high-ball $ offer, you can respond with a request for a lower-priced solution, which not infrequently has been given positive consideration by TiVo in almost a negotiation format (best to read up a bit here on such interactions, to get a feel for the ranges).**

    * Post-research edit: The Western Digital 5400 RPM Red drive, the EFRX model, seems to be a currently-recommended replacement drive (see, e.g., When to replace hard drive in Roamio--but I would do some further reading here), with the price at Amazon.com currently ranging from $62.99 (1TB) to $88.46 (3TB) (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008JJLW4M?th=1).

    ** This might require a game of customer service rep. roulette for you (calling back for a better offer from a different service rep.)--not uncommon when dealing with TiVo support.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2020
  8. Jan 5, 2020 #8 of 18
    jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    Where did you see $150? Wha?!

    Nothing else in a TiVo is a wear item, pretty safe bet to add a drive to keep it going. Only other item that even has issues is the power supply, also super easy to replace.
     
  9. Jan 5, 2020 #9 of 18
    ProperModulation123

    ProperModulation123 New Member

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    Thanks for the replies. The $150 was what I saw for a 1TB turnkey drive from weakknees. I didn't find any places to buy or download just an image to load to a bare drive. I'm leaning back that way I think. I can easily swap out a drive. Need to look at returning the Bolt to Best Buy.

    Thanks again for the advice!
     
  10. unclehonkey

    unclehonkey Well-Known Member

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    With the Roamio you just drop the new drive in (up to 3TB). The image is already in the Roamio
    (older units you have to download an image to the drive)
     
  11. ProperModulation123

    ProperModulation123 New Member

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    Wow, good to know. I will give that a try today with a drive from the local microcenter.
     
    unclehonkey likes this.
  12. unclehonkey

    unclehonkey Well-Known Member

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    Just hook up the new drive and power up the Roamio. It will make you go through the initial setup (guided setup)
     
  13. ProperModulation123

    ProperModulation123 New Member

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    No luck. Installed a 3TB WD red drive and it's in a boot loop going between the green and blue lights. I don't even get the "starting up" screen anymore.

    Going to search around a bit more.
     
  14. ProperModulation123

    ProperModulation123 New Member

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    Jan 4, 2020
    Did a quick forum search that pointed towards the power supply. Makes sense with the bigger drive. I swapped in the adapter from the Bolt and it seems to be starting the guided setup. I am hopeful...
     
    Mikeguy likes this.
  15. ProperModulation123

    ProperModulation123 New Member

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    I was thinking that too. Kinda past the point of no return now though with respect to guided setup. I suppose I could throw my old drive in there to test, but at this point I'll call it good if guided setup works. I'll start clean and be happy that I have a working TiVo and can ditch my external drive for expanded storage.
     
  16. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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  17. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    And so, some good will have come from this. ;)
     
  18. ProperModulation123

    ProperModulation123 New Member

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    Yup! Looks like things are working nicely. I removed my eternal HD and ordered a new supply that I saw in another thread. The one from TiVo store was like $22 after shipping!

    Thanks again to everyone for all of the input. Things sure have changed since the last time I had to deal with TiVo hardware! Now I just have to pack up the Bolt and get it back to Best Buy.
     
    unclehonkey and Mikeguy like this.

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