The shape of Tivo Bolt: an aesthetic gimmick, or functional?

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by pdx8080, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. pdx8080

    pdx8080 New Member

    May 30, 2014
    As the owner of older "flat" models, I am genuinely curious:

    Is there a good reason for the inability to place my 22" TV on top of the latest Tivo, or did they do it just because someone thought it looked cool?

    I'm not sure I will be purchasing a Bolt when my current units die.
  2. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

    Nov 25, 2003
  3. sharkster

    sharkster Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Jul 3, 2004
    I feel that it contributes to precluding over-heating of the unit. But mostly, their plan was probably just that they thought it looked cool.

    I have two of the original Bolts, so they're white. I don't like white and, of course, as soon as I purchased my first one they came out with the black ones. Then, by the time I was buying my second one they had that damnable new UI that I don't like, but that's ok. As long as they work I can get past the white color. :)

    Before my Bolts, I would put water bottle caps under the four corners of my flat Premieres to help keep them cooler.
    aaronwt and wtherrell like this.
  4. tomhorsley

    tomhorsley Well-Known Member

    Jul 22, 2010
    aaronwt likes this.
  5. CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

    Sep 24, 2017
    Chicago USA...
  6. bkc56

    bkc56 Designated Grunt

    Apr 29, 2001
    Santa Rosa,...
    Perhaps Tivo just thought their stuff deserved to be on the top of the stack with nothing on top of it.
  7. Sparky1234

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2006
    Bolt is on top of my stack. I also separate multiple stacked units with cut PVC wrapped in black electrical tape.... Air circulation is life to electronics.
    Mikeguy and sharkster like this.
  8. fcfc2

    fcfc2 Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2015
    The Bolt's shape was a well discussed topic when it first came out. It was not well received. The 2 major ideas for it's shape, were just a "cool" design or more likely an attempt to improve the airflow in the Bolt...which tends to run hotter than the older Tivos. My thinking is that when the Tivo engineers realized the heating problems someone offered a "cheap" fix to go along with the new "white" color.
    Many folks were concerned with the still higher Bolt temperatures and resorted to various simple ways to raise the height of the Bolt, some resorted to using laptop USB coolers to reduce the excess heat reported by the Bolts.
    My impression is that with the Bolt series, Tivo was trying to reduce costs as much as possible, while trying to make it seem like the product was just new and innovative.
    PS. IMO, it is always a bad idea to stack electronic components on on top of another, unless you can insure sufficient air space and circulation between each one.
    Mikeguy likes this.
  9. jlb

    jlb Go Pats!

    Dec 13, 2001
    Let's not forget one of the best things about has spawned all sorts of creativity!!!

    1.jpg 2.jpg
    Mikeguy likes this.
  10. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2005
    I'm a black-electronics sort of person as well, but really have come to appreciate and even like the white color and the bend,* as an exception to the rule. And while I don't know that I would like the exception to become the norm, it's also great for not revealing dust. ;)

    I still use the Sharkster bottle-cap-riser hack for my Bolt, as well as my other TiVo boxes. :)

    * There's something nicely metaphorical about having a "bent" box. :)
    sharkster likes this.
  11. Qnapfan

    Qnapfan Active Member

    Feb 13, 2019
    hmmmmm ... I guess I'm more of the boring sort ... but I find the bend ... verging on disturbing. To qualify that, I'd say that if the Tivo were truly isolated as in a stand alone sculpture sense, then I could fully embrace its shape and aesthetic ... but as an electronics user and believer in modular design ... it goes against the grain for me personally. I started out with the inspiration from server racks and multimedia/multi-device entertainment centers.

    Give me black, brushed metal and textured plastics over 'sculptural' edgy home automation any day. Now if and when the day comes for the Omni-Media stand alone Tesseract ... then I might change my tune.
  12. sharkster

    sharkster Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Jul 3, 2004
    Hey, whatever works right? :) I did end up putting a bottle cap under each of the front corners of my main Bolt, just to give it a little more insurance.

    As long as I can remember, I have been concerned about the heating up of electronics if no circulation is allowed. I really got on board with that the first time I bought a laptop. I did some studying (as I'm prone to do) and found that over-heating is one of the worst things so my laptops have these steel mesh laptop stands. I can have a laptop on all day long and it will not get even the least bit warm.
    Mikeguy likes this.
  13. elorimer

    elorimer Member

    Jan 1, 2012
    I go with the idea that it is the back that should be more elevated.
  14. Kishore

    Kishore New Member

    Feb 20, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    Yeah I placed 4 blocks as a raiser under Bolt and left cable card exposed (underneath). I will need to buy the fan once 'global warming' kicks in from Mar :cool:

    I still feel Roamio/traditional form factor had more room to play with-curious how many returns Tivo had with Bolt compared to Roamio/traditional form factors.
  15. Qnapfan

    Qnapfan Active Member

    Feb 13, 2019
    I'm guessing an increase that would be noticably worrisome ... but when you consider the context - it makes you wonder how well these designs are 'acid tested' ...

    vs the older designs ... considerably less air flow spaces and channels, more insulation potential with greater use of plastics, increased storage/cpu capacity with would generate more heat, (and I am guessing here) tighter control over design/profit margin formula ... = fzzzzzzzzzt (I smell something burning honey) ....
  16. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Complete gimmick. *IF* my Tivos completely died (I had a OLED S3 just die on me), I could maybe see getting one of them.. But except for that, I honestly would not want to choose this stupidly shaped box, and would wait for a normal rectangular box (if there were one to ever come out).
    aaronwt likes this.
  17. Qnapfan

    Qnapfan Active Member

    Feb 13, 2019
    Hahaha ... an official one may never come out ... but if you follow the Mod forums ... Rich has pictures of a Gutted older Tivo that literally has enough interior volume to take the entire Bolt with room to spare. Imagine having what looks like a THD in your system ... but in reality its a decased Bolt+ which is cooler and more capacious in terms of internal HDD ... all nicey wrapped in a tasteful rectilinear case that matches your other AV equipment.
  18. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    btw, I just realized what I said may have been misinterpreted.. I didn't mean my OLED S3 died recently.. but I had a OLED S3 completely die on me (and I never even tried to contact Tivo to try to get a reduced rate new lifetime subscription since I hoped to try to resurrect the hard drive in a transplanted-encryption-chip S3 but never did).
  19. zubinh

    zubinh Active Member

    Jun 7, 2004
    Long Island, NY
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
  20. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    I would not think buying a fan directly from China is a good idea. I have several USB powered fans connected to Roamio, cable modem and my Stream. The 120mm is perfect size to lay on top of a Mini. I use one. Note that the USB power doesn't happen until the yellow LED flickers during power up. The AC Infinity fans are very quiet.
    zubinh likes this.

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