1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Please confirm my understanding of what I'm getting into with Tivo

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by rwaxman, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. rwaxman

    rwaxman New Member

    17
    1
    Jul 10, 2018
    I’m ready to dump my Cox boxes and DVR service and go with Tivo Bolt + minis, but I want to make sure I understand correctly what I’m getting into. I’d be grateful if any of you experienced Tivo users could confirm my understanding of how this all works.

    My current situation is that I have cable service with Cox, from whom I rent 3 DVRs, and pay for DVR service on each.

    So now I buy a Tivo Bolt 3TB and two Tivo Mini Voxes, and return the 3 cable boxes to Cox. I cancel the Cox DVR service and instead buy a single Tivo one-year service for $149.99 (no additional service plans necessary for the Minis).

    I rent a CableCARD from Cox for $2/month, and install the card in my new Bolt.

    I attach the Bolt to the TV nearest my router, establishing a MoCA network by connecting the coax cable from the wall to the Bolt, and using an ethernet cable to connect the Bolt to my router.

    For the other two TVs in separate rooms, I connect the Minis to the MoCA network by connecting the cable from the wall to the Mini.

    After activating and setting up the Tivo devices, I can use the DVR service on any of the 3 TVs to schedule, record, play back, etc. shows that I receive via Cox cable. Since the Bolt 3TB has 6 tuners, we can watch a different channel simultaneously on each of the three TVs, and still be able to record up to 3 additional channels at the same time.

    I can continue to use Cox On Demand as described here -- https://support.tivo.com/articles/App_Information/Cox-On-DEMAND-Requirements.

    I can stream or download shows to my tablet or laptop using a wireless connection.


    Costs:

    My current costs (from my Cox bill) are:

    DVR service (qty 3) $38.97
    Advanced TV HD DVR Receiver (qty 2) $17.00
    Contour Receiver $ 8.50

    The Contour receiver is a Cisco 8642HDC, which draws about 26 watts (about the same whether “on” or “standby”), and the other two are Motorola DCH3416, which draw about 32 watts. So we use about 67 KWH a month on the boxes -- (90 watts * 24 hours * 31 days) / 1000 = 67 KWH. Our marginal rate for electricity (delivery and generation combined) is 24 cents per KWH, so we pay about $16 a month to run the boxes -- 67 KWH * .24 = $16.08.

    My new Tivo equipment uses considerably less power than my previous boxes, about 15 watts for the Bolt and about 5 watts each for the two Minis, so my monthly energy costs for DVRs is reduced from about $16 to about $4.50.

    The $25.50 I was spending each month for box rental is replaced by $2/month for the CableCARD.

    The $38.97/month I was paying to Cox for DVR service on each box, is replaced by $12.50 single DVR service to Tivo ($149.99 annual service divided by 12).

    In summary, my overall monthly cost comparison is as follows:

    Before After
    Rental $25.50 $2.00
    Service $38.97 $12.50
    Energy $16.00 $4.50
    ------ ------
    total $80.47 $19.00


    So, I achieve a monthly savings of $61.47.

    My initial outlay for equipment is $500 for the Bolt and $180 each for the two Minis, totaling $927 after sales tax. I may also want to add an extended warranty, since Tivo equipment seems to be pretty unreliable (34% 1-star reviews on Amazon). With my monthly savings, I break even after 15 months, if my new equipment lasts that long.

    Please correct any misunderstanding I may have, or let me know of anything I may be missing or that would be useful to know for a new Tivo user.

    Thanks,
    RW
     
  2. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    13,816
    1,919
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    You will get better responses if you can add a few items:
    Why? Just to save money?
    Are you technically savvy?
    Your location?
    Do you have free time to maintain everything? With Cox help is just a call away. If it breaks, they fix it.

    You have done a lot of research. I wish it was simple as new hardware. I'm sure others will jump in to help. I envy you. A chance to take a journey into the world of TiVo. :)
     
  3. osu1991

    osu1991 Active Member

    895
    179
    Mar 6, 2015
    Oklahoma
    Tuning adapter on the Bolt for any SDV channels.
     
  4. rwaxman

    rwaxman New Member

    17
    1
    Jul 10, 2018
    The main reason is to save money over the long haul. I also hate my Cox box, which gives me problems.
    I guess I'm moderately tech savy -- I've built a few PCs, set up a home network, etc. Why, is it that hard to set up and configure Tivo equipment?
    I'm in Orange County, CA.
    I'm unemployed and likely to remain that way, so yes, I have time to fiddle with things. I assume in asking that you are confirming that the Tivos are unreliable and need a lot of work.
     
  5. rwaxman

    rwaxman New Member

    17
    1
    Jul 10, 2018
    Thanks, it looks like I will need this for Cox. Apparently some of their channels are SDV, although it's hard to find out which ones. Can you buy these, or must you rent from cable provider? I searched on Amazon and the stuff that came up didn't look like what I asked for.
     
  6. osu1991

    osu1991 Active Member

    895
    179
    Mar 6, 2015
    Oklahoma
    Free as part of the cable card kit. The channels vary for each Cox area. On Cox Tulsa are CW HD is SDV along with niche channels like Nat Geo Wild.
     
  7. ctall

    ctall New Member

    13
    0
    Oct 6, 2010
    You could also consider buying lifetime up front if your main goal is to save money over the long haul. It also allows the box to retain decent value a couple of years down the road if you ever decide to sell it.
     
  8. rwaxman

    rwaxman New Member

    17
    1
    Jul 10, 2018
    I thought about that, but it would increase my break-even time to 20 months. That seems like a long time to recoup my investment when things are changing so rapidly with available streaming options, etc. I think an even bigger risk is if the box craps out and I have to get a new one -- I don't suppose the All-In plan transfers to a new box if the old one is no longer under warranty.

    You're right though, I hadn't thought of the fact that if I sold the box, I'd be selling the plan with it.
     
  9. rdrrepair

    rdrrepair Or, Bill Knapp

    1,260
    172
    Nov 24, 2006
    845 New York
    No one wants to tell him?
    In the grand scheme of things, TiVo's are not unreliable.

    Every TiVo I've owned I still have. I've R&R a few hard drives and have changed a few power supplies too. My newest TiVo is a Bolt and that has lifetime on it. I've saved a lot of money going to TiVo and I enjoy tv too much to use a cable company DVR.

    .
     
    Mikeguy likes this.
  10. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    13,816
    1,919
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. Like Bill posted I find TiVo units very reliable. I have a few and the only failure has been the fan. It sounds like you will enjoy a TiVo system. One tip: don't call TiVo for support without checking here first. The more time you spend here the less time you will spend being frustrated. Have fun. :)
     
  11. Anotherpyr

    Anotherpyr Active Member

    290
    50
    May 6, 2015
    I haven’t had any reliability issues with the hardware. I went with TiVo many years ago as they were leaps above the Scientific Atlanta crap that Comcast used. I upgraded to a Roamio when the minis became available and haven’t regretted it.

    In my mind the biggest concern I’d have is lifetime of the technology. I think the math still works in that you’ll recoup your investment and easily come out ahead.
     
  12. fcfc2

    fcfc2 Well-Known Member

    2,052
    293
    Feb 19, 2015
    I believe your plan will include the New GUI or VOX aka HYDRA series which some like and a good number do not love. If you are unfamiliar with the older Tivos, you will have nothing to compare it to. The new HYDRA series can be downgraded, but you will lose your recordings unless you are able to back them up first.
    If your main motivation is to save money, you might want to consider going for a previous series Roamio Pro with lifetime/all in included which can be found for good prices right now. These can be upgraded to the HYDRA software with the purchase of a newer VOX remote if you like.
     
  13. dfreybur

    dfreybur Active Member

    564
    93
    Jan 27, 2006
    I've never seen a Tivo fail in about a decade of use across several generations of hardware.

    In my situation it was the MoCA network that was the problem. It turned out that we have AT&T broadband service that comes into the house over coax and that travels across the house in its own MoCA point to point network. To get my minis to work it would have needed a second MoCA network in my house. Not worth the hassle to me.

    Since we switch broadband providers when they increase the rates after the initial tickler time, next year I may well have a broadband provider that does not use MoCA inside my house.

    Our wireless network is good enough to stream over but it wasn't good enough for Minis. Shrug.
     
  14. rdrrepair

    rdrrepair Or, Bill Knapp

    1,260
    172
    Nov 24, 2006
    845 New York
    My failures were all related to normal wear and tear. The TiVo HD were only replaced to increase my storage space. In regards to reliability I'd place mine at around 99% with one unexpected reboot while recording and several missed shows due to bad guide data. But, that hasn't happened in awhile.

    Come here for advice, don't waste it at TiVo tech support.
     
  15. KDeFlane

    KDeFlane Active Member

    330
    40
    Jan 29, 2014
    Silicon Valley
    Hardware is reliable. Some of us are less confident about the software, and that's mostly because the guide data on which it bases its decisions is (are?) itself unreliable. This might not be a concern at all for you, depending on how much you expect the unit to do for you on its own.
     
  16. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

    11,536
    1,447
    Nov 25, 2003
    Ditto the recommendation to consider used Roamio Plus or Pro units, with or without Lifetime service plan included.

    Example eBay search

    edit: p.s. Note that a Roamio Plus is identical to a Roamio Pro except in the capacity of the included hard drive:

    Plus = 1TB
    Pro = 3TB​

    ... and the drives (3.5” form factor for all pre-BOLT TiVo’s) are easily and cheaply upgradable.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  17. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

    11,536
    1,447
    Nov 25, 2003
    A couple caveats Re: the MoCA setup...
    • Tuning Adapter — The MoCA-enabled BOLT must not be connected via coax through the TA’s pass-through coax port, as MoCA signals are severely attenuated via this path; a splitter should be used to connect both devices directly to the coax plant. A MoCA filter may be needed on the TA’s coax input to protect the TA from MoCA signals, and vice versa.
    • A “PoE” MoCA filter needs to be installed at the Cox signal’s Point-of-Entry (PoE) into your home, ideally on the input of the first split encountered by the signal (often in a junction box on the side of the house). The MoCA filter installed at the PoE both secures and strengthens your MoCA network.
    • Ideally all coax connectors would be MoCA-compatible. You may want to review the components in place connecting your coax runs; and you’ll definitely want to do so if you have issues getting MoCA working.
    • Once the hardware’s all prepped, the BOLT would be setup as a MoCA bridge, the Mini’s as MoCA clients.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  18. rwaxman

    rwaxman New Member

    17
    1
    Jul 10, 2018
    Thanks for the tip. I found instructions from Cox online, and fortunately it looks like their TA kit includes the additional components you mentioned, and full instructions on connecting them.

    Thanks also for the suggestion about used Roamios with lifetime plan. I didn't realize the Pros had 6 tuners, which my wife seems to think we need.
     
  19. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

    11,536
    1,447
    Nov 25, 2003
    Just to be clear, the MoCA filter included in Cox’s TA kit is for installation directly on the TA for its protection and is needed in addition to a MoCA filter at the cable signal Point-of-Entry.
     
  20. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

    2,225
    400
    Aug 13, 2015
    Does the Plus/Pro have OTA tuners in case the OP ever wants to cut the cord? I vaguely recall avoiding those models years ago because of that.
     

Share This Page