TiVo Mini in multi TiVo home - how does it work?

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by Sparky1234, May 18, 2016.

  1. Sparky1234

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2006


    Specifically, I have 3 Premieres (2 XLs and 1 XL4) on cable cards on a home ethernet network and would like to add an OTA Roamio paired with a mini:

    Can a TiVo mini "see" other TiVo recorded content or just the one TiVo it is paired with?

    Can an OTA Roamio that is paired with a mini see AND share other home networked TiVo recordings that are on cable cards/cable TV? (All would be on the same ethernet network.)

    Can 3 minis be used with the OTA Roamio and share content at the same time?

    When the mini is used to share content across the OTA Roamio from the Premiere box does it tie up a channel on the Premiere?

    Any other thoughts would be helpful and appreciated.
  2. snerd

    snerd Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2008
    A Mini can see content on every TiVo that is on the same network and account, as long as the TiVo supports in-home sharing. Premieres can share.

    A Mini can only borrow a tuner, for watching live TV, from the TiVo that is paired to the Mini. When Minis access recorded content from a TiVo, no tuner is involved, the content is streamed from the TiVo to the Mini. Similarly, when a Mini streams content from the internet (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) there is no tuner involved.

    A Mini cannot be paired with a 2-tuner Premiere. I think Mini's can be paired with 4-tuner Premieres, but I'm not sure. Someone will correct me if I'm mistaken.

    A TiVo will always reserve at least one tuner for its own use. So, an OTA Roamio can share at most 3 tuners with Minis. However, other Minis can still access recorded content from that same Roamio. TiVo recommends a limit of 5 Minis per TiVo at any given time, but this is not a hard limit.

    All TiVos can see/share recorded content with each other. However, only Minis can be paired to a TiVo in order to borrow tuners for watching live TV. Sharing needs to be enabled in your online TiVo account for any TiVos that you want to share their recorded content.

    A system can have up to 12 TiVo devices on the same network.

    I don't know what it means to "share content across the OTA Roamio from the Premeire". Sharing of content only involves the TiVo which is storing the content and the Mini. The content is streamed over the network from the TiVo to the Mini. Sharing recorded content does not involve any tuners. Similarly, streaming from Netflex etc. does not involve tuners. When a Mini streams internet content, no other TiVo box is involved, the content is streamed directly to the Mini.
  3. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    A Mini can't have a two-tuner Premiere as a host, but it can access its recorded content.

    The "TiVo recommendation" is more a network issue. Each Mini may need up to 20Mbps. TiVo isn't so good on networking and has a hard time supporting anything network related. There's a lot of old stuff still in the TiVo help and documentation.
  4. Sparky1234

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2006
    Your first statement answered my confusing question.

    Follow up questions on this topic:

    Can a mini be paired with a Premiere XL4 and share content without using a tuner? Or paired with an XL but not use an XL tuner. I would like to share TiVo XL and XL4 recorded content but don't want to use one of the 4 XL4 tuners. Live TV is not needed on the mini.
  5. waterchange

    waterchange Member

    Jun 29, 2010


    A Mini can be paired with the XL4 and view recorded content from the XL4 without using a tuner. It can't be paired with the XL since that box only has 2 tuners. When paired with the XL4, it can watch recorded content from either the XL4 or the XL. As long as you never choose to watch live TV on the Mini, it won't use a tuner from the XL4.
  6. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Well-Known Member

    Mar 21, 2004
    Just to be clear, a Mini only temporarily borrows a tuner while watching live TV on it. The tuner returns to the DVR when you exit live TV, or after 4 hours of inactivity. If the DVR needs the tuner for a recording, it will reclaim it.

    The Mini must be paired to a Tivo with 4 or more tuners, but it can watch recordings on all Tivos you listed.
  7. astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

    Jan 6, 2003
    Just to confirm, the answer is absolutely yes. My wife watches most of her TV on a Mini paired to her 4-tuner Premiere.
  8. Sparky1234

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2006
    Thanks all for the feedback. Now that Cox has gone all digital which SUCKS, I plan to invent in a couple of minis.
  9. Sparky1234

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2006
    Received my first TiVo Mini version 2 TCDA93000 and I am very please with this addition. Purchased on eBay for $116. Will buy a second Mini once the prices come back down to ~$100.

    It took TiVo 24 hours to activate the Mini and after that the Mini saw my compatible Premiere XL4 and paired no problem. I had to call TiVo as the online activation did not recognize the TCN I enterer. TiVo rep named Garrison was friendly, helpful and efficient. You can check the activation status via your TiVo account. In addition to what has already been posted above here is what I have found:

    -Mini can manage functions of the other Premieres on the same network like record, delete, One Pass, etc.
    -The remote has a Live TV button and pressing the TiVo button releases live TV/tuner.
    -Worth repeating that the Mini is lowest priority for TV tuner meaning that if the XL4 either has 4 recordings going or starts the 4th recording the Mini is kicked off the Live TV tuner. At this point you can still watch recordings or subscribed streaming content like Hulu.
    -TiVo Mini goes into sleep mode after 4 hours but wakes easily by pressing any button on remote.
    -Mini works with all subscribed Cox channels including HBO channels and recorded HBO programs that are on the Premiere.
    -No HBO On Demand.
    -Limited set of subscribed streaming providers, less than what you can get on the Premiere Box.
    -TiVo Mini is faster than a Premiere to update, change channels and turn on.

    Definitely worth the price and my breakeven point as compared to the rental of a Cox Mini Box is about 26 months. The Cox Mini limits the number of channels I can access - less than what I subscribe to and will not display HBO, on Demand, or other premium channels.

    Hope this helps other future TiVo Mini buyers.
    Last edited: May 25, 2016

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