TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer Vs. Roamio

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by Jim1348, May 6, 2016.

  1. May 6, 2016 #1 of 25
    Jim1348

    Jim1348 Well-Known Member

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    Does anybody have any idea what percentage of Bolts are used for OTA exclusively vs. those with cable, etc? I guess what I am sort of getting at is why would someone, who is OTA only, select a Bolt over a Roamio OTA? Is the 4K feature the msot compelling feature of the Bolt over the Roamio or is it something else?
     
  2. May 7, 2016 #2 of 25
    atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    This info has been covered in lots of threads/post but here are the differences between the Bolt and Roamio OTA:

    Pluses For the Bolt:
    1. It has MoCA built in - the Roamio does not and would need an external device
    2. It has "Stream" built in (the ability to stream to Android and iOS devices, plus the ability to stream to computer via web browsers) the Roamio OTA does not and would need an external Stream device.
    3. The Bolt has 4K abilities the Roamio does not
    4. The Bolt's wireless is AC - the Roamio OTA's is N
    5. The Bolt's Ethernet is GB - the Roamio OTA's is 100 MB
    6. The Bolt has a much faster processor and more ram type memory -- very noticeable with apps especially Netflix
    7. The Bolt can work with cable if you want it to - the Roamio OTA can not.

    Roamio OTA's Pluses:
    1. It has a 3.5 inch hard drive versus the Bolts 2.5 inch so the Roamio OTA has more and cheaper hard drive upgrade options
    2. You can buy a breakout cable if you need a connection other than HDMI, the Bolt only has HDMI output.
    3. The Price is allot lower.

    I have a Bolt and a base Roamio use only for OTA they are both very good DVRs. I like the Bolt better. But, in my opinion, the current pricing of the Roamio OTA with lifetime makes it a better value.
     
  3. May 7, 2016 #3 of 25
    JTHOJNICKI

    JTHOJNICKI Member

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    I jumped into the TiVo world due to cost frustration with Dish. I was paying $165/month for the America 200 package, 3 Hoppers and 6 Joeys - we have 2 teenage kids and lots of TVs. Plus another $80/month for Internet. About 1/3 of the Dish cost was for equipment (Dish's price is the same; whether you leased or owned the equipment). I was also getting frustrated with Dish's AutoHop feature - which started out pretty good, but has become severely crippled by Dish's latest content agreements. Dish's biggest issue is that it wants to be both a content and an equipment supplier and make a continuous stream of money on both.

    I started on TiVo in January with the 500GB Bolt after Frys had a $211 PromoCode. With the year of included service, I figured that the Bolt would be a good way to try TiVo. I started with the Bolt connected to an OTA antenna and loved it. My only issue was the speed at which the Bolt chewed through storage with OTA content even after I upgraded it with a 3TB drive.

    I did buy a couple of Minis too.

    Based on my experience with the Bolt, I caught one of the Roamio Pro All-In deals for $599. I connected the Roamio Pro (via a cablecard) into a Comcast bundle with my Internet and now am only paying $10 a month ($30 higher after 2-years) for Comcast's 140 channel service. Through the transition, we only lost one channel we sometimes watched with Dish, but didn't feel the need to upgrade packages for it. I haven't missed Dish at all - even after they offered me a $50/month discount (about $150 short) to make up for their high cost.

    Based on our use (no 4k), I really didn't see any difference between the Bolt and the Roamio Pro performance. In fact, based on our experience with the Roamio Pro, I purchased the new 1TB Roamio OTA. My only concern was the OTA's Ethernet speed - 100Mbps on the OTA vs 1Gbps (1,000Mbps) on the Bolt and the Pro. I haven't seen any actual performance difference.

    The future of my Bolt is dependent on what TiVo decides to charge for All-In after the year of free TiVo service is up. Both my Roamios are All-In.

    I do intend to upgrade the Roamio OTA drive to at a 6TB WD Red - a much more affordable option in a 3.5" drive format.

    So, my advice is only go Bolt if you need 4K; Roamio otherwise, but try to get an All-In deal.
     
  4. May 9, 2016 #4 of 25
    ljiminez

    ljiminez New Member

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    For me Atmuscarella's bullets 5 (most important to me), 2 (next in importance) and finally 6.

    Nez
     
  5. May 9, 2016 #5 of 25
    JTHOJNICKI

    JTHOJNICKI Member

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    Just a few comnents.

    1.) The Bolt Out of House streamer feature still doesn't work.

    2.) The Bolt works fine as an OTA DVR; it just eats drive space fast.

    3.) While running the Bolt and Roamio OTA side by side; there is no perceptible performance difference on an GB Ethernet network.
     
  6. May 9, 2016 #6 of 25
    mrbooze

    mrbooze New Member

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    In the last couple weeks I switched over from a Premiere to a Bolt and had the same dilemma you pose before I pulled the trigger. Here's my feedback after 1+ week with the Bolt.

    • We're OTA now and can move back to cable if needed
    • I use the streaming way more than I thought I would (watch the news on my phone when getting ready in the morning)
    • Bolt is more future-proof for apps and upgrades, both in TiVo and out. I don't have a 4K TV but it's nice knowing that when I do the Bolt is ready.
    • Haven't upgraded the hd yet, but will. 2.5 may cost more than 3.5, but c'mon, compared to what we used to pay for upgrading Premiers, HD, S3 it's still very acceptable. I'd rather have the small footprint, even if it's curved (which I don't mind at all).
     
  7. May 9, 2016 #7 of 25
    JTHOJNICKI

    JTHOJNICKI Member

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    mrbooze, I don't disagree with anything you stated. My mix of one OTA (Bolt transitioning to Roamio OTA) and one cablecard TiVo (Roamio Pro) provides lowest total cost for our viewing habits. I just can't justify paying $600 for Bolt All In. At this point, if they do offer an All-In deal for the Bolt when the free year ends; up it goes on eBay. Otherwise, I'm not sure what to do as I only paid $200 for the Bolt. The Roamio OTA is performing great. Remember, I came from an 18-tuner (due to tuner multiplexing for the major OTA networks) Dish a setup.

    I would like to clarify one thing about the hard drives though. You are correct the relative price of the 2.5" drives is down quite a bit from a few years ago. However the 2.5" 3TB laptop drive for the Bolt cost me about $200. For about the same price, I can buy a 3.5" 6TB NAS drive for the TiVo OTA with a mean-time between failure rate of 1 million hours of use. The reduced failure rate alone makes the argument for me. I don't like losing recordings and don't have the time to do it to the computer regularly.
     
  8. jcthorne

    jcthorne Well-Known Member

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    The Bolt supports full 1080p streaming from a Plex server. Is supposed to support 4k streaming from Plex now as well but I have no way to verify it.

    That and all the reasons mentioned above mean I will not go back to a Roamio as our main home theater presentation. But I also will not buy all in for $600. I will just renew for another year at this point.

    Tivo did this sort of thing when the Series 3 Tivo HD was first released. They did away with lifetime. Eventually they brought it back and credited what you had paid in 3 years of annual subs toward the $400 price.

    I think it likely that when early Bolts start getting turned off at the end of the free one year, there will be some new subscription offers.
     
  9. ljiminez

    ljiminez New Member

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    I often use KMTTG to upload Roamio recordings to a NAS box. These recordings transfer at around 80 mbit/sec. I thought sure I read hear that someone was doing Bolt uploads in the (300 - 600) mbit/sec range. Those transfer rates are the number one reason I want a Bolt. I hope you and I talking about two different kinds of performance ?
     
  10. JTHOJNICKI

    JTHOJNICKI Member

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    Given the overall generational improvements between the Roamio line and the Bolt line (Bolt being the generation newer); I don't dispute with the performance differences being reported with the with KMTTG transfers. However, I consider that to be an extreme-case use. I am just commenting on my day-to-day use performance observations. I see no perceptible differences between any of my 3 TiVos; even with the Roamio OTA being limited by it's 100Mbps Ethernet port. (My daily use includes extensive Mini2 viewing over the network too.) I've also seen no real performance difference with NetFlix and Hulu streaming.

    I equate the situation to the Roamio being a Chevy and the Bolt being a Porsche. On normal, speed limited streets they both get you to your destination at about the same time, but on a Racetrack the Porsche is going to kick the Chevy's ass. It's all what you want or need to pay for. Personally, I'm happy driving my Chevy.

    For full disclosure though, my home network is full duplex, gigabit, and my Internet connection is 90Mbps.
     
  11. JTHOJNICKI

    JTHOJNICKI Member

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    ljminez - What NAS are you using and how do you integrate it with you TiVo? I have a 14TB ReadyNAS Pro 6.
     
  12. ljiminez

    ljiminez New Member

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    I use a Synology DS214 with a network share mapped as drive 'V' on my Windows desktop computer. Then I set KMTTG to output into that mapped drive.
     
  13. suzook

    suzook Member

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    I just picked up a bolt, but I am questioning if I should go for a roamio OTA with lifetime. I currently have an lg oled, and use the built in apps for streaming, I will only be using the tivo for OTA. Does the roamio OTA have the newer Bolt UI? And how quick is the roamio? The bolt is very speedy pulling up guide and settings. Would I notice a difference? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
     
  14. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    For basic DVR functions I don't think there is allot of difference in speed or usability. If you are primarily looking for a DVR I think the Roamio OTA at $400 with lifetime is a better value than the Bolt with current pricing.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2016
  15. JTHOJNICKI

    JTHOJNICKI Member

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    From my short experience with both, I've noticed very little REAL difference between the Bolt and the Roamio OTA for OTA use. In fact, I just picked up a 6TB WD Red for the Roamio OTA at Fry's with an Amazon price match. The ONLY actual difference I've encountered is the slower transfer speed from the Roamio OTA due to the slower Ethernet port (100Mbps vs 1,000Mbps). However, I've only done this exactly twice in the last 6 months to save content to another TiVo before a hard drive upgrade. I can live with it.
     
  16. suzook

    suzook Member

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    Thanks, I guess roamio ota it is. BTW, does it have the new bolt ui? Just curious. Thanks again.
     
  17. jcthorne

    jcthorne Well-Known Member

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    The Bolt and Roamio have the same ui.

    There is a considerable difference between them if using a Plex server for your home video library.
     
  18. suzook

    suzook Member

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    Just a straight up ota tuner. I guess the bolt will go back, and I will pick up a roamio ota with lifetime. Thanks for the input.

    Edit, just picked up a barely used roamio ota with lifetime for $300. I can't tell a difference in speed between the two. Roamio is plenty quick.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  19. holysin

    holysin New Member

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    Bit of a late question and comment:

    Question: Did tivo really not change anything (hardware wise) for the Roamio OTA 1TB vs the older 500GB version? (aside from the hard drive of course) Apparently they didn't even change the ethernet to gigabit if the roamio referred to in the OP comparison is the 1TB model)

    and a comment: the *only* time you'll notice the difference between the 100Mb ethernet and the 1Gb is if you're using a home server like pytivo to transfer files to the tivo. On a 100Mb connection you'll likely see 80Mb which is fine for watching more than a few 4k netflix streams even, on the 1Gb connection you'll see closer to 800Mb (depending on your computer's hardware) it's noticeable for transfers only in other words, but if it's worth the premium is up to you.

    Now 4k, that's the big difference, but if you're not urgently in need of a 4k device, I'd suggest waiting as in 2017 (end of 2016) the US is supposed to start seeing 4k broadcast OTA, which will in theory require a different OTA receiver than is in the Bolt (unless the decoding can be done via a software/firmware update...)

    Mind you, I got my 500Gb Roamio OTA w/lifetime service for $299 so I'm a bit biased towards the roamio OTAs ;) Might have to drop a new drive in there eventually though...
     
  20. JTHOJNICKI

    JTHOJNICKI Member

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    I am also using both the Bolt and Roamio OTA for OTA. The features I use and performance are similar. I currently have no need for 4K. The big advantage of the Roamio OTA is that it included all-in service and the super easy installation of a 6TB, 3.5" NAS drive for an OTA HD recording capacity of close to 1,000 hours.

    Total cost of the Roamio OTA with the 6TB, 3.5" NAS drive was just over $600. The current all-in price for the Bolt is about that much. I paid $211 for the Bolt and $200 for the 3TB, 2.5" HDD for it. That would be a total $1,000 if I add all-in.

    The only advantage I have personally seen with the Bolt is a faster transfer speed with KMTTG, but that is not an issue with the Roamio OTA as I batch up my transfers anyway and walk away.

    I have not yet decided what to do with the Bolt when the year of free service ends. If the price is more than $200 for all-in; I may just abandon it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016

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