TE3 vs TE4 - why do you like/dislike one vs the other?

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by barnabas1969, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. barnabas1969

    barnabas1969 Member

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    I've never used Tivo before. I've had Windows 7 Media center as my DVR since 2011. I just decided to go to Tivo and my Bolt Vox (cable card) and Mini Vox's will arrive on Saturday.

    Other than the inability to transfer shows between DVR's, what do people dislike so much about TE4?
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  2. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    A work-in-progress list of TE4/TE3 pros and cons, based on feedback posted and past discussion threads ....

    TE4/Hydra (21.*)
    • - Pre-roll Ads: A new differentiator for many is the introduction of pre-roll ads to the TE4 experience; that is, TiVo inserting an Internet-streamed, skippable ad prior to the recorded content that’s been selected for playback. At present, TiVo has no plans to bring this “feature” to TE3, which has been in “maintenance mode” (bug fixes only) for nearly 2 years. (see this thread for more info, and copious gnashing of teeth)
    • - Live Guide: The absence of the Live Guide as a channel guide viewing option, leaving only the Grid Guide, is considered by many to be a showstopper for TE4 adoption.
    • - Suggestions: The original Thumbs ratings-based Suggestions algorithm has been discarded in TE4, in favor of some alternate algorithm, resulting in less satisfactory results; even the ability to rate programs using the Thumbs buttons has been removed from TE4.
    • - TiVo-to-TiVo transfers (MRV), Part 1: The built-in MRV transfer controls have been removed from the TE4 UI, requiring the use of TiVo Online to initiate any content transfers to a TE4 DVR. An unfortunate drawback of requiring TiVo Online to initiate transfers to a TE4 DVR is that TiVo Online doesn't support MRV-compatible DVR models prior to the Series 4 (Premiere), so users having Series 2 & 3 DVRs on their network are unable to transfer content on these DVRs to their TE4 DVR (absent a Premiere or later DVR running TE3, to act as a middleman).
    • - TiVo-to-TiVo transfers (MRV), Part 2: Aside from the hassles and limitations of having to use TiVo Online to initiate MRV transfers to a TE4 DVR, the transfer process has been problematic, sometimes resulting in unplayable content once received.
    • - PC-to-TiVo transfers: Removal of the built-in transfer (MRV) controls from TE4 eliminated the ability to pull content from a PC to the TiVo hard drive, via a compatible program running on the PC (e.g. TiVo Desktop, PyTivo). Similar to MRV transfers from a Series 2 or 3 DVR, a PC-to-TE4 transfer would require a Premiere or later DVR running TE3, to act as a middleman, to first get the content onto a box compatible with TiVo Online.
    • + VOX Voice Control: The VOX voice features are only available on TE4.
    • + Auto Skip: The Auto Skip feature is only available, at present, on TE4.
    • + Video Window: The Video Window transitions have been improved in TE4, eliminating video and audio drop-outs.
    • + HDMI-CEC integration: Though limited in scope, TiVo's HDMI-CEC integration is currently available only for BOLT and Roamio DVRs running TE4 -- though not any Minis, regardless of their software version. (see Megamind's post, below, for more details)
    • - Premieres and older: TE4 is not available for DVRs prior to the Roamio series, so homes with any Premiere or older DVRs would be faced with mixed UIs were they to adopt TE4 on eligible boxes; this can be more problematic for homes where users are accustomed to flipping Minis between host DVRs, as Minis must be running the software version matching their host DVR.
    • - Evaluation Cost: Given that rollback from TE4 to TE3 requires a factory reset of the DVR, wiping-out all recordings and settings, the cost associated with evaluating TE4 has been too steep for some users. The ability to backup & restore unprotected content and some settings post-rollback can mitigate some of the pain, but this effort, too, can be an unacceptable burden.
    • - Uber-migration: Owing to the MRV transfer limitations cited above, migrating from an older Series 2 or 3 box to a TE4 DVR is problematic, at best, so it is recommended that the TE4 DVR be rolled-back to TE3 after initial setup in order to enable direct content transfers from the older box(es), after which the new DVR can be upgraded to TE4, if desired, leaving MRV with the older boxes behind. Tipping this bullet into the negative/con territory is the fact that some TiVo hardware (see: BOLT OTA, and possibly the upcoming Edge series) is TE4-only, precluding rollback and direct transfer from the older models.

    TE3/Encore (20.*)
    • + Live Guide
    • + Suggestions: TiVo's original Thumbs ratings-based Suggestions algorithm lives-on in TE3, to the joy of those whose first post-Guided Setup action is not disabling Suggestions.
    • + TiVo-to-TiVo transfers (MRV)
    • + PC-to-TiVo transfers
    • + QuickMode speed customization: TE3 allows customization of QuickMode playback speed, from 1.1x to 1.9x, via SPS code entry; there have been no reports of the customization sequence being successfully entered on TE4 and our lone TiVo rep hasn't responded to requests for feedback on TE4 availability. (more info here)
    • ~ WYGIWYG: Arguable whether it's a negative or positive, but development for TE3 has pretty much ended; patches, updates and new features have ground to a halt, with no new update in over a year.

    TBD
    • UHD, HDR functionality ?
    • Voice assistant integration ?
    • DIY drive upgrade issues ?
    • TiVo streaming app compatibility ?
    • Issues w/ Mini VOX running TE3 ?
    • review trip1eX’s post
    • what happened to Smart Extend for TE4 ?
    • Wireless Mini Adapter compatibility ?
    • Standby-related issues ?

    NOTES
    • UI Availability: TE4 is only available to Roamio or later DVRs, with all Roamio and BOLT models (excluding the BOLT OTA) having the option to run either UI version, TE3 or TE4; the BOLT OTA model and all new EDGE DVRs are restricted to TE4, with no option to rollback to TE3, while Premiere and older DVRs are TE3-only. A TiVo Mini's software will be upgraded/downgraded to match the UI version running on its configured host DVR.
    • Roll-back instructions: See this thread for information on downgrading an eligible TE4 DVR to TE3.

    h/t: @Mikeguy @Megamind @JoeKustra @TiVo_Ted
    #TE3vsTE4 #TE4vsTE3 #TECompare
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
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  3. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    When I got my first Series 1, I was mostly taken with how intuitive the interface was and that reading 'the manual' just wasn't necessary.

    When I fuss around with other peoples TE4 machines, I regularly don't intuitively know which button to push. I always figure it out, but TE3 (and before) it sure ain't...

    -KP
     
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  4. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    On TE3, apart from on-box, inter-box transfer capability and PC -> TiVo box transfer capability, Live Guide, and Suggestions (really) that works.
     
  5. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Pros/cons list in post #2 has been updated.
     
  6. KevTech

    KevTech Active Member

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    So would HDR on the Bolt be in the list?
    On TE3 Netflix shows are in Ultra HD 4K.
    On TE4 21.9.2.v4 update there is now an HDR option in video setting and Netflix shows are in HDR.
    Or is it just that they updated the apps?
    I read the bolts could always do HDR but up until the 21.9.2.v4 update all shows on Netflix showed they were in Ultra HD 4K but now it is HDR.
    But my TV apps still beat Tivo as Netflix through TV app show in Dolby Vision.
     
  7. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Some apps require TE4 for HDR, I believe. I didn’t have time to track down the specifics, so dropped it into TBD.
     
  8. Sparky1234

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

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    Great summary. I can't use TiVo without PC to Tivo transfer and TiVo to TiVo transfer so I fully support TE3.
     
  9. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

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    Totally disagree. TE3 was loaded with inconsistencies that were cleaned up in TE4. You are just used to TE3 so you are fighting muscle memory not intuitiveness.
     
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  10. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    A great summary. Might I suggest the one negative for TE3 is the high probability that the software is no longer maintained. Not an official TiVo policy, but the lack of bug fixes in over a year seems to be proof.
     
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  11. barnabas1969

    barnabas1969 Member

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    Wow, thanks for all the detailed info! I found a video on youtube that compares the two guide styles and I really don't mind either one. TBH, I rarely watch live TV anyway.

    I have 4TB of storage in my Media Center PC, so I just record everything that looks interesting. That's why I plan to connect a 4TB 3.5" drive to the Bolt's internal SATA port. I've read about how to do that here on the forum. Amazon delivered the drive, cables, and enclosure today. My Bolt and minis will arrive tomorrow.

    I'm going to keep my HTPC, so I really don't need to transfer files to the Tivo... I can just select my HTPC from the TV's sources menu and watch anything I want. My HTPC has CEC built-in, so it shows up on the sources menu on the TV.
     
  12. compnurd

    compnurd Well-Known Member

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    HDR has been available in Netflix and Vudu for quite some time now
     
  13. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong...

    -KP
     
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  14. elorimer

    elorimer Member

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    you may then be stuck with TE3. Keep the original drive so you can go back.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  15. Megamind

    Megamind I'm Feeling Blue

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    Other than the loss of PC -> TiVo transfers, none of the cons are of any importance to me personally. I never saw the advantage of the Live Guide (although I know others certainly do), turned off Suggestions years ago, and never had any reason to use TiVo -> TiVo transfers.

    As for the interface, I'm with Tony. There were issues early on but most of those have been smoothed out. Mostly it's just different. Again, I don't spend enough time in the interface to think about it much. Everybody uses their DVRs differently, however.

    Perhaps my biggest nits are that the VOX Remote isn't backlit and the back button is too small and awkward to find easily, despite the concave shape. If I didn't use VOX, I'd probably revert to the Slide Remote full time just for the backlighting.

    With the recent fixes to HDMI-CEC in TE4, that has become a significant + for TE4. I also find the voice assistant feature is also quite useful when working around the house with the TV on. Both are + for me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  16. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Is there a thread discussing these fixes, and whether CEC works with TE3?
     
  17. Megamind

    Megamind I'm Feeling Blue

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    I'm not aware of a single thread dedicated to the HDMI-CEC fix that was implemented in 21.9.1.v14, but the biggest change was to make the HDMI-CEC feature ('Wake with TiVo Button') respect the user's Power Saving settings. There was some discussion of the original issue in TV Pwr no longer puts in standby (21.9.1.v6).

    My understanding is that HDMI-CEC works exclusively with TE4 on the Bolt and Roamio but not any of the Minis. It is enabled by going to SETTINGS > REMOTE, CABLECARD & DEVICES > REMOTE CONTROL SETUP > Wake with TiVo button > YES. TiVo Support Article
     
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  18. dnorth12

    dnorth12 Member

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    My just found and newly frustrating change is the inability to delete a to do recording without having to dig deep into the season pass manager to get to it. GRRRR
     
  19. Megamind

    Megamind I'm Feeling Blue

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    For an individual recording, I just press the Clear button while in the ToDo List. For a OnePass, I do the same while in the OnePass Manager.
     
  20. dnorth12

    dnorth12 Member

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    Thank you, that will work. Taking back my GRRRR

    :D
     
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