On to Bolt+ number 5 since April 2017

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by sirfracas, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. sirfracas

    sirfracas Member

    Apr 5, 2006
    Please note that all Tivo Bolt+ units below sit on a hard surface with open ventilation on all sides. (It might be time to get an external fan.) Temp in the room never goes above 74 and it sits behind a UPS. (Yes, it could still get zapped through the Coax or the Ethernet connection but that hasn't happened. Yet.)

    Original Tivo Bolt+ purchased on April 2017 through upgrade program for retiring Tivo HD

    Tivo Bolt+ #1 dies in May, 2018, four flashing lights of death
    Rep tried to charge me $50 for replacement and had to get him to find my warranty.

    (It's at this point that I wisely back up my season passes to the Roamio Pro in case the next Bolt+ dies again. Sure, I lose all my data but at least I won't have to rebuild the season pass list. Tivo really needs to add a feature that allows the database to be backed up so that old episodes mark deleted or already recorded are skipped.)

    Tivo Bolt+ #2 dies in September 2018, unit will not power on except for flash of one red light that fades and a weak beep. They insist on sending me another power brick. That changes nothing.

    Tivo Bolt+ #3 dies in June 2019, unit will not power on except for flash of one red light that fades and a weak beep. (They are not even bothering with the replacement power brick this time.

    Tivo Bolt+ #4 arrives but will not tune any channels. Tried two known good cable cards and known good coax connection. To Tivo's credit, when the rep started to point the finger back at Spectrum after all this trouble shooting, I asked for a Supervisor and he sent me another replacement unit right away without the credit card advanced replacement.

    Tivo Bolt+ #5 arrives today and works.

    For how long do you think?

    That said, I have a Tivo HD (2009) that still works and a Roamio Pro (2014) and Premiere (2011) that still work fine. I still have my first Tivo, the Sony from 2000 in a box and I bet if I plugged it in it would work.

    I dunno if I have just had a run of bad luck and only Tivo really knows if their build quality on Bolt+ units is ****, but my experience says it is.

    Fortunately, after receiving #1 last year and looking at how flimsy it was and noting the small cooling fan I did something I seldom do on most electronics and that was buy the longest warranty that I could. Thank Crom that I did.

    tldr: Keep your Roamio Pro/Premiere as long as you can. If you have a 4k display it probably has the app you need natively so don't sweet not having 4k through the Tivo.
  2. leiff

    leiff Active Member

    Aug 24, 2005
    SF Bay area
    Bolt forum is littered with Cooling threads. In my opinion you're foolish not to do some type of aftermarket Cooling. Long list of options here if you look. My bolt + sits on top of a 140 mm fan blowing air up into TiVo. Medium fan speed speed I can hardly hear it. My other bolts have gone passive cooling so they are totally silent plus they run much less hot. 1, I drilled a bunch of holes on case right above bolt heat sink. My other bolt I simply removed the top all together and nailed it to the wall and disabled the Wimpy fan which was causing the whole TiVo to hum like a Transformer
  3. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

    Sep 29, 2013
    We solved our Bolt's heating problem with the same fan, placed underneath blowing up on the cable card. And we removed the cable card door. The fan from AC Infinity I think was only about $15. (We also put a smaller AC Infinity fan on our Netgate router. It's internal temperature sensor dropped from 50ºC to 25ºC.)

    We never did drill holes...but I wanted to drill about a 3/4-inch hole in the right side of the case top. The fan is on the left side blowing out (down). I figured a good sized hole on the opposite side would stream incoming air right across the logic board and out. Plus, the hole would not be visible from the front...no one would even know it was there.
  4. MisterMidnight

    MisterMidnight New Member

    Jan 3, 2017
    My Bolt, purchased new Sept. 2017, has had this same symptom. It's happened twice now, both times when I had to shut it off (most recently due to a planned power outage in our area) and then attempting to power it back on. In both cases, repeatedly plugging in/unplugging the power supply, it would finally get the green light and boot up. Once booted, everything works perfect. In fact, it has been working fine for the 6 months it's been since the first time I had to shut it down.

    Does anyone know exactly what causes the red light/flash boot failure? Or what's involved in getting it repaired? Or do I need to look into replacing it?
  5. wintermute824

    wintermute824 New Member

    Oct 10, 2016
    I'm in a similar situation. My original Bolt+ worked fine for 22 months, then died (4 flashing lights on front). Tivo support had no help to offer me, but did let me do an RMA (the slow way of shipping it to them first, then sending a replacement). The unit that came back was a VOX 3TB (don't use UE4, or have a Vox remote, so never tested the new stuff), with a service sticker dated Jan 29, 2019 (4 days AFTER i opened my case). Worked fine until Friday (July 12), less than 6 months after "built." This time it wont boot, same as the OP's issue, when plugged it the fan runs and get a blip of a red light, but goes out again, and small beep is heard when unplugged. Tried a 12v/3A power supply from a HDD, same. Tivo fought a bit with the "nothing they can do, it's past 90 days" but I was polite and pushed them to authorize an RMA. They said theyd send a replacement, but the email I got in the morning says "send yours in and then we'll send a replacement."

    Anyone know if this "won't boot" issue is HDD or other specific failure? I'd love to be able to recover the HDD (recordings and one-passes) if the HDD is ok, and it's just a motherboard or something failed.
  6. MisterMidnight

    MisterMidnight New Member

    Jan 3, 2017
    Exactly the same symptom mine had. The first time, 6 months ago, I was able to get it to power on after unplugging it/plugging it back in repeatedly and quickly 30-40 times. I alternated between pulling the power plug from my UPS and unplugging the connector from the back of the Tivo. As noted, a few days ago there was a planned power outage in my neighborhood so had to power it down, and afterwards it did not come back on (red light blip/bleep sound). Tried the unplug/plug 30-40x and no go. So I put the Tivo in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Took it out, tried the plug/unplug routine once again and after 20 tries, alternating between unplugging power supply and unplugging from back of Tivo connection, on came the green light. So far it has been running perfect for 4 days.
    CIR-Engineering likes this.
  7. CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

    Sep 24, 2017
    Chicago USA...
    If I ever see this I’ll try some freeze spray to isolate the problem.


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