Repair TiVo HD vs. installling TiVo Bolt +

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by old school john, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. Feb 7, 2020 #1 of 24
    old school john

    old school john New Member

    24
    2
    Feb 7, 2020
    Hello, as my name implies I'm an old school kind of guy. I'm not very tech savvy and normally don't do social media. However, I have visited this site from time to time and found it interesting and informative. It is because of this that I have joined in order to ask a question regarding my current and potential future TiVo.

    A LITTLE HISTORY - I installed a TiVo HD (w/lifetime) in June of 2008. Over the years until very recently I never had a problem with it. I do consider myself lucky. I didn't do anything fancy with it. I strictly used my Tivo HD to record and play back TV shows. Nothing more. Sometime in 2016 it dawned on me that the TiVo HD might die so as a backup I purchased a brand new TiVo Bolt + (w/lifetime).

    NOW - The TiVo HD has an issue where it keeps rebooting. My first thought was to replace the TiVo HD for the TiVO Bolt +. However, I'm a creature of habit and have grown quite fond of my TiVo HD. In doing some research it appears that I can acquire a new hard drive with the TiVo operating system with more storage. I have a friend who told me that he can swap out the hard drives for me no problem.

    QUESTION - Should I repair the TiVo HD or install the TiVo Bolt +? I do realize that the Bolt + can record 4 channels at the same time along with having a lot more storage. I will admit that this is nice . However, I've been getting along just fine all these years with the 2 channels the TiVo HD can record. All I plan on doing is recording and playing back TV shows. Nothing else. In regards to my specific situation what are the pros and cons to repairing the Tivo HD vs. installing the TiVo Bolt +? In case it matters I use Comcast and the cost of the new hard drive is not a concern.

    I'd be very grateful for any information and insight you can provide me. Sorry, this thread is so long but I wanted to paint as complete a picture as possible. I'll check back periodically to see people's comments.

    Thanks in advance,

    John
     
  2. Feb 7, 2020 #2 of 24
    keithg1964

    keithg1964 Ragonk

    138
    55
    Feb 2, 2006
    Texas
    The Bolt is much faster, and do not pay attention to the TE4 haters, TE4 is fine and the future. After a week using the Bolt, you will never want to go back.
     
    ufo4sale, jrtroo and Wayoverpar1 like this.
  3. Feb 7, 2020 #3 of 24
    old school john

    old school john New Member

    24
    2
    Feb 7, 2020
    Congrats on being a Cowboys fan. I am as well. One question: What is TE4?
     
  4. Feb 7, 2020 #4 of 24
    JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    19,396
    3,503
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    wtherrell likes this.
  5. Feb 7, 2020 #5 of 24
    old school john

    old school john New Member

    24
    2
    Feb 7, 2020
    Thanks Joe, that was informative. I wouldn't like the pre-roll ads along with the absence of the live guide as a channel guide.
     
    JoeKustra likes this.
  6. Feb 7, 2020 #6 of 24
    JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    19,396
    3,503
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    I use both, mostly TE3. I have always used a grid guide.
     
    wtherrell likes this.
  7. Feb 7, 2020 #7 of 24
    dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

    12,677
    1,856
    Jul 6, 2002
    boston'ish
    If you haven't already replaced the capacitors in the Tivo HD's power supply that needs to be done before putting it all back together, I'd suggest even if you have a replacement imaged hard drive that you still replace the capacitors or your issues will probably return.

    And ignore the TE4 zealots, I have no interest in moving to it even though 1 of my 3 machines has it just so I can have the experience, I far prefer the older interface (but not as old as the Tivo HD)
     
    wtherrell, jrtroo and mrsean like this.
  8. Feb 7, 2020 #8 of 24
    old school john

    old school john New Member

    24
    2
    Feb 7, 2020
    Thank you very much for the information Diane. How would I replace the capacitors in the TiVo HD's power supply?
     
  9. Feb 7, 2020 #9 of 24
    mrsean

    mrsean Active Member

    331
    68
    May 15, 2006
    New Jersey
    You would have to replace the entire power supply which is prudent but not a necessity if replacing the hard drive resolves the issue.

    If you are comfortable with the TivoHD, then you should stick with it until Tivo "sunsets" it.
     
  10. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

    12,677
    1,856
    Jul 6, 2002
    boston'ish
    No, no, no,
    That's wishful thinking, but the odds are very much in the majority that the capacitors needs replacement, for all S3-based units they should not be treated as "if the capacitors need replacement" but "When the capacitors need replacement." and at this age the unit should have them replaced. Replacing the HDD with a new replacement imaged HDD may work for a while, but there's a very good chance the dying capacitors will kill it eventually, just like if the drive passes MFR testing reimaging it will have it come back for a while.

    Someone with basic electronics ability can remove the power supply and replace the caps in this thread. Series 3 Tivo HD Capacitor List
    There are other threads on replacing the capacitors here, it's a small amount of time and under $20 in parts.
    Should one consider a replacement power supply it should always be verified that the capacitors are replaced already since if it's new old stock the capacitors will fail over time.
     
    jrtroo likes this.
  11. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    5,090
    317
    Feb 4, 2008
    Chicagoland
    The bolt is SO. MUCH. FASTER. You'll appreciate the speed and find the transition easy. Since it's from 2016, you will have TE3, which is very similar to the old SD interface.

    Cap replacement is not too hard, but it's an additional expense while considering you can be up and running in just a few minutes since you already have a bolt. You can always fix the HD later.
     
  12. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    7,390
    1,060
    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    Since he bought it in 2016, it probably will have TE3. If he's never used it though, not sure if it will upgrade to TE4 automatically or not.

    Scott
     
  13. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

    2,969
    290
    Jun 22, 2008
    You will probably invest more time and effort into the Tivo HD than it is worth. Might as well use the Bolt+.
     
  14. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

    1,598
    502
    May 28, 2005
    New Mexico...
    I have two Bolts and two Series 3s (an HD and an original OLED). I still use the HD box daily and find the user interface FAR superior to the Bolt. And in my opinion, the nasty TE4 software I put on one Bolt for testing is a disgusting nightmare. If you do decide to set up your Bolt and try TE4 on it, just know first that if you decide you do not want it after you see how bad it is, you will loose ALL recordings on that box if you decide to roll it back to the better TE3 interface.

    Although it would be simpler for you to just get rid of the old HD box and set up a new Bolt, I think you would be much better served to update the power supply (an absolute MUST DO) and the hard drive in that HD and keep using it for another 10 years. Here are a couple of things to consider:

    The obvious: The HD has Lifetime and is not costing you anything to use. I see in your first post that you also purchased Lifetime on that Bolt, so the daily cost may be a wash, but you can still recover a lot of that sunken cost on the Bolt by selling it instead of using it.

    Second, the Bolt+ has proven to VERY unreliable. For many disappointed owners, that garbage toy hard drive they put in the Bolt+ dies as early as 18 months. This problem has gotten so bad that Tivo has begun contacting owners on their own and offering free replacements on the failing boxes, even when they are way out of warranty! And it should be a clue that even though TiVo is still stupidly putting toy 2.5" drives in their new models, they have learned to NOT sell any of them with a 3GB 2.5" drive at all. That 4 year old box you have sitting unused on the shelf is a failed experiment.

    Yes, moving up to 4 tuners would be a nice benefit, but is it really worth it when you will loose everything within two years? I'd suggest you should sell that Bolt+ while you still can and just stay with the HD if you are satisfied with its capabilities. You can either fix your old box very cheaply, or just buy a replacement HD with Lifetime on the open market. Many people have been dumping them over the past few years when tivo offered upgrade sales to entice people to move off the old platforms and spend more money.

    Good luck whichever way you decide to go.
     
  15. wtherrell

    wtherrell Active Member

    672
    75
    Dec 23, 2004
    Huntersville...
    We are not haters. Just folks who think TE 4 is functionally retrograde.
     
  16. Worf

    Worf Well-Known Member

    2,417
    129
    Sep 15, 2000
    Unless TiVo has an offer going on, fix the TiVo HD. Your problem is likely the power supply to which it's extremely easy to fix if you have access to basic soldering skills. It's a definite problem with all S3 TiVos. Most of them would have failed years ago, but some lasted far longer tha others (I had mine replaced a couple of years ago, which was nearly double when everyone else did their replacements as my unit was about 10 years old by then).

    Replacement parts are cheap - that's why it's a "replace them all" situation since youre' talking about a total cost of around $10 in parts to do it all. If you do it piecemeal, you're changing parts out that cost 20-50 cents each and will pay a ton more in shipping, having to disassemble the TiVo multiple times and changing one bit out. Far easier to do it all in one go.- pay one shipping fee, disassemble it once, replace it all at once, and put it all together.

    And if you really want to go with the Bolt route, use your HD until TiVo makes another lifetime transfer offer deal where you can get a new Bolt and transfer the lifetime service for $100 more. You'll save several hundred bucks so even if it comes a few months after changing out the caps, it'll be worth it.
     
  17. cherry ghost

    cherry ghost Well-Known Member

    6,327
    332
    Sep 13, 2005
    Chicago
    He already owns the Bolt w/ lifetime
     
    jrtroo likes this.
  18. cherry ghost

    cherry ghost Well-Known Member

    6,327
    332
    Sep 13, 2005
    Chicago
    I recently installed a Bolt I purchased in 2017 and it did not auto upgrade to TE4. Hopefully it will be the same for the OP.
     
    HerronScott likes this.
  19. Rodney

    Rodney TiVo'd since 9/17/01

    115
    12
    Jan 26, 2002
    The...
    Not sure why you are hesitant to use the Bolt over the HD. As others have stated, it is much faster, it has more tuners so less issues of having conflicts, and you already own it, so why don't you take this opportunity to try it out? You can use the TiVo website to easily move all the season passes over from the HD to the Bolt so it can start recording the shows right away. If it doesn't work well for you, then you can always get your HD repaired and go back to that.
     
  20. mattyro7878

    mattyro7878 Well-Known Member

    1,600
    388
    Nov 27, 2014
    Southern CT
    Can an HD be purchased and activated by someone like myself who is a current customer but only a Roamio and Bolt on my account? The TiVo HD has always appealed to me.
     

Share This Page