Tivo model choices- your thoughts?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by OrangeTurtle, Feb 6, 2020.

  1. Feb 6, 2020 #1 of 33

    OrangeTurtle Member

    Jul 17, 2015


    I'm trying to figure out which Tivo model is the "best." I know this answer likely depends on your needs or desired use.

    I originally owned a roamio basic (which worked for either antenna or cable) and upgraded to a 500gb bolt that does the same. I currently have limited cable (,but have cut the chord at times (OTA signal can be inconsistent where I live)- so I like to have the option of switching between the two (and not having to buy a different box).

    I was excited about the news of the release of the new Tivo Edge- but it doesn't have a model that can do either OTA or Cable (and had some issues at launch).

    Here is my perception- please feel free to correct information in my statements

    Tivo Roamio- considered by many the most solid built tivo (can be upgraded easily)- loved my roamio. (and runs the old interface). Has a stronger OTA tuner than the bolt. Doesn't do 4k streaming and is a little older which means a little slower.

    Tivo Bolt- menu is a bit quicker, can still use the old interface, but has heating issues (has been solid for me so far- but I did put a fan under it to keep it cool).

    Tivo Edge- newest, and perhaps most powerful- which excited me initially- but looks to be a bit of a let down. It has had a number of issues at launch and only can run hydra interface (not downgradable), which means you might get stuck with preroll ads. Not sure of the tuner strength for the tivo edge OTA. (anyone know about this?)

    Also, any chance the edge will release a model that can switch between OTA and cable like the bolt and roamio?

    Ultimately I am considering upgrading my bolt to the edge later this year- but would likely have to commit to cable or antenna and would be stuck with TE4. Maybe I just stay put with the bolt?

    Would love to hear your thoughts based on your experiences.

    GeoPea likes this.
  2. Feb 6, 2020 #2 of 33

    mattyro7878 Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2014
    Southern CT
    I am an old timer. In my humble opinion the Premier was the best TiVo ever. Let's face it, streaming and 4k are not why we buy TiVo. The ability to access OTA and cable simultaneously as well as all types of outputs and having the live guide makes it a winner for me. I haven't used a Premier in a long time. I may be forgetting some negatives. If only the Roamio plus or Pro did OTA...but they don't. I know you are not going to buy an outdated box so this may not be of much help.
    Bigg and shwru980r like this.
  3. Feb 7, 2020 #3 of 33

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    I don't have 4k at this time since everything runs though an older AVR with just HDCP 1.x and the newer models suck. However, I have two basic Roamio units in my rack, TE3 and TE4. I have a Mini VOX. I'm suggesting a basic Roamio with TE4. Use the Mini VOX for 4k. I'm rearranging my rack so I can plug the Mini VOX directly into the TV. I also a have an Roku Ultra. I would be buying a Sony, which usually passes DD 5.1 out its optical, so I would lose Amazon's DD+, but I can live with that.

    The Bolt would be simpler, but you need more cooling. At this time I can't comment on experience.
  4. Feb 7, 2020 #4 of 33

    jlb Go Pats!

    Dec 13, 2001
    Burlington, VT
    I have a Bolt (prior box was a TiVoHD). It's been fine for me. Yes, I have a fan off to the side cooling things but that's fine to me. I used to use the streaming apps but have found I am almost entirely using my Apple TV now. It's easier (for me), can be 4K (haven't upgraded mine yet) and I really like how I can now use the AppleTV app on the Apple TV to collect all my Up Next programs in one place from all my services (Amazon, Hulu, AppleTV+, etc). I know everyone has their preferences for what they use to stream but it's not that expensive (moreso for apple) and it's just better, IMHO. Oh, I too am an old timer and much prefer TE3.
    mschnebly likes this.
  5. Feb 7, 2020 #5 of 33

    compnurd Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2011


    The Premier was horribly underpowered.. Even Tivo knew it Roamio seems to be the best all around hardware they had
    tim1724 and jrtroo like this.
  6. Feb 7, 2020 #6 of 33

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

    Apr 2, 2005
    so basically what do people think of the Edge? There are answers to that in the Edge forum. ;)

    Also the question is why are you even considering upgrading in the first place? I didn't read about any reason for upgrading.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
  7. Feb 7, 2020 #7 of 33

    schatham Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2007
    I would suggest buying the newest model, the Edge.
  8. Feb 7, 2020 #8 of 33

    Wil Unknown Member

    Sep 26, 2002
    For recording Cable, the modified Tivo HD is still the best DVR the world has ever seen.

    I don't use/need it for streaming, there are better solutions than any Tivo. It has a decent OTA tuner but there are better so I use better. I don't use it to store/organize my viewing because there are far better solutions. But as a harvester of anything on Cable I subscribe to that I want to watch later, all cable channels with no restrictions at all, unlimited flexibility, it is without peer.

    To add flexibility to my setup I also use the Tivo HD with an antenna pointing in another direction from my main antenna to pick up a few extra channels.

    If I were allowed to keep only one Tivo, had to give up all the rest, I'd keep the HD.
  9. Feb 7, 2020 #9 of 33

    dmk1974 DA BEARS!!!

    Mar 7, 2002
    Cary, IL
    Roamio + Roku 4K stick is the way to go. I know it's 2 devices, but should cover you solid for TV and streaming.
  10. seaninde

    seaninde Active Member

    Sep 23, 2019
    Overpriced and the picture quality is hampered by the HDR setting, unless you turn it off.
    Multiple issues. Stick with Bolt while they last.
    buildersboy66 and ufo4sale like this.
  11. OrangeTurtle

    OrangeTurtle Member

    Jul 17, 2015
    Thanks for all the feedback. To reply to one poster, there really isn't a need to upgrade, it's more of a luxury if the newer tech works better.

    I do remember debating if I should upgrade from my Roamio basic to the Bolt a year ago. I am happy with that transition as I no longer need to use a tivo stream and things are a little snappier on the menu and loading apps. I am considering an upgrade if the Edge seems to be better built- but that might not be worth the money overall (and I still enjoy TE3).

    Also- I picked up a used Permiere for my in-laws to do OTA, will be getting it next week. Never used one before- hope it's still moving at a decent speed.

    Was also curious to see what people thought to be the "gold" standard of Tivo- which is a big reason why I put the post up. To me the Roamio basic was solid- the two that have come since are both technologically advanced, but seem to have more fragile builds (weird shape, heat issues and smaller hard drives).

    Like many others it seems Tivo had something great (was still rising with the release of the Roamio), but didn't advance with the times in the right way. I still like my device and will continue with Tivo for now, but have a hard time telling others to get into the game.

    Thanks again for the feedback.
    chiguy50 and kpeters59 like this.
  12. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

    Apr 2, 2005
    for recording cable tv I think Roamio Plus/Pro was the pinnacle. sideways moves after that or so it felt like it to me.

    Up until then I felt I was getting some major upgrade for the purposes of recording cabletv with each new Tivo model. more tuners or hard drive space or HD resolution or RF remote etc.

    What does one get with a Bolt over a Roamio Plus? A curved form factor, a 2.5" hd instead of 3.5"... I guess 4k but cable still isn't 4k* so that's a bust. ... I never had a Bolt but I just never saw the reason to upgrade or what it would do for me other than having the newest Tivo model. Edge felt mostly the same as well. And shortly after that I found my major upgrade - YTTV. And now my Roamio Plus system has a new home with loving owners or so I hope.
    dishrich and kpeters59 like this.
  13. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2005
    A couple other benefits with a Bolt box: it's a bit snappier (especially with restarts and getting into apps); and has TiVo Stream-like capabilities built in. If those features are important to one (I got my Bolt box under a Series 2->Bolt box Lifetime transfer upgrade offer, and so it seemed to make sense).
    kpeters59 likes this.
  14. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    I use a premiere with the SD interface and I think the responsiveness good. The HD interface is too slow for me.
  15. Fant

    Fant Member

    Aug 31, 2016
    I would get the edge if the new interfere works for you. Otherwise one of the bolts. Anything older won't have as snappy an interface.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk
  16. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

    Oct 30, 2003
    You seem to know the pluses and minuses of the various boxes pretty well. I have a Roamio OTA and see no reason to upgrade until ATSC 3.0 comes along. I'm not missing any functionality, I don't stream through my TiVo, and it works great for ATSC 1.0. I may upgrade to a Bolt or Edge if/when they get support for an ATSC 3.0 dongle, which the Roamio cannot support due to not being able to decode HEVC.
    tim1724 likes this.
  17. compnurd

    compnurd Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2011
    And that is the exact reason. The Premiere was launched with the plans to go to the HD Interface but the CPU was never good enough
  18. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

    Oct 30, 2003
    The Premiere was awful until they moved to Haxe, and then it was fine.
  19. tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

    Mar 5, 2004
    The Premiere's OTA tuner wasn't as good as the Tivo HD with dealing with multipath. The Bolt's OTA tuner seems a bit better than the Tivo HD.
  20. Wil

    Wil Unknown Member

    Sep 26, 2002
    There's sample-to-sample variation (and also how their strengths/weaknesses line up with a particular channel set) but I'd rate them, best to worst with an arbitrary score: Roamio 100, HD 96, Bolt 95, Premiere 85.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
    Bigg and A2JetGuy like this.

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