Upgrade Tivo Bolt to Tivo Bolt OTA to save money?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by jedimindtrick, Oct 5, 2020.

  1. Oct 5, 2020 #1 of 12
    jedimindtrick

    jedimindtrick New Member

    25
    5
    Oct 17, 2015

    Advertisements

    Hi. I’d appreciate any advice for how to move forward… As I approach the annual renewal for my TiVo Bolt service plan ($149.99+tax), I’ve started to look at other options which might cost less money. I came down to two possibilities.

    1) Replace my existing TiVo Bolt (500GB), Tivo Mini, and Tivo Mini 4K with the Tablo Quad solution - the hardware is $200 for 4 tuners but the annual service plan is only $150 for life (or $50 per year)

    _ OR _

    2) Just replace my TiVo Bolt with a TiVo Bolt OTA and keep using the existing TiVo Minis but pay $80 less per year in annual service ($70 instead of $150).

    I was really shooting for #1 but the video quality on the Tablo just doesn’t work for me – both because of the de-interlacing issues it has plus the on-the-fly encoding of data seems to introduce some artifacts which are especially noticeable on larger TVs. Is that just me? While I love the ability to use Apple TV or Roku to be able to watch TV and the recordings, I just think that solution needs another model revision or two to raise the bar. Is that just me? Am I being too picky?

    On the TiVo front, I was an early adopter of the Tivo Bolt when it was released but I’ve only ever used it for OTA purposes. Switching to the Bolt OTA pays for itself after two years and it gives me a new unit/new harddrive to start over with. It also keeps the high quality video and the better user experience that I am accustomed to.

    For TiVo, I can buy the TiVo Bolt OTA off Amazon for $149.99 + $70/yr service or I can pay $149.99 each year for the next two years for the Bolt I have.

    Is the Bolt OTA still being made? I don’t see it listed by TiVo on their web site but it is still currently available on Amazon. Should I hurry up and grab it? I have no interest in the marginal improvements that the Tivo Edge for Antenna offers. I’m also nervous about buying a “refurb” Tivo Roamio even though that would be less expensive. I don’t want to inherit someone else’s hard drive problems or such. But is the TiVo Bolt OTA at end of life or something?

    Feels like the Bolt OTA is my solution forward but just checking on it. Any other considerations you think I am missing? Would appreciate any advice. Thank you!
     
  2. Oct 5, 2020 #2 of 12
    wizwor

    wizwor Well-Known Member

    980
    251
    Dec 17, 2013
    Consider the Recast or the Sling TV Anywhere alternatives. Both are being promoted at this time. Both distinguish themselves by integrating streaming media into the grid style guide. I think the Sling TV Anywhere DVR looks better than the Recast or the Tablo TV DVR. TabloTv DVR and Sling TV Anywhere DVRs allow out of home streaming.

    Right now the four tuner 1TB Recast is $179.99. You can only stream to two sets concurrently. The four tuner 1TB Sling TV Anywhere streams to four sets. You can buy one for $99 when you prepay for three months of a Sling streaming package ($90), so it's $189 all in. The four tuner 1TB Tablo TV DVR is $240 plus $150 for lifetime service.

    Just remember you have to have a compatible streaming device on the television. For the Recast, that's a Fire TV compatible device or smart tv. For Sling and Tablo TV, just about any streamer or smart TV works. These are not free.
     
  3. Oct 5, 2020 #3 of 12
    mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

    3,602
    1,330
    Aug 13, 2015
    Also consider a Roamio OTA with lifetime. Used ones are running around $200 these days.
     
  4. Oct 5, 2020 #4 of 12
    jedimindtrick

    jedimindtrick New Member

    25
    5
    Oct 17, 2015
    Good thoughts. I'd had gotten excited about the Recast until I learned I had to buy a new set of streaming devices to actually watch the content. I don't have any Fire devices currently but have plenty of other devices I'd love to take advantage of - 1 Roku, 2 Apple TVs, and the TiVo Bolt + Minis. (I'm running out of HDMI ports!)

    I was also hoping for a bit of Recast hardware/functionality bump in the Recast given the Amazon hardware event last week but that announcement never came. So I'm wondering if a new one is around the corner. Not a reason to delay, necessarily, I know. Given the sale price (and lack of service fee), though, maybe it is time to go look at them again. I could likely get the whole package (incl streaming devices) pretty cheaply right now.

    I hadn't considered the Sling TV Anywhere offering. I didn't say it explicitly in my original post but I'm trying to avoid/minimize monthly subscription costs as much as possible. Looks like it is $35 or more per month for a package that includes locals + DVR.

    Thanks for the advice. I'll go look @ Recast again. Good thought.
     
  5. Oct 5, 2020 #5 of 12
    mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

    3,602
    1,330
    Aug 13, 2015

    Advertisements

    I thought you could DVR locals with Sling TV Anywhere without a subscription. At least that's what it says on the webpage:
    Products | AirTV

    The $35 is for cable channel packages.
     
  6. Oct 5, 2020 #6 of 12
    jedimindtrick

    jedimindtrick New Member

    25
    5
    Oct 17, 2015
    Yes! This would be ideal as I like the old user interface, the 4 tuners, and the opportunity to get lifetime service. I looked and only found them as cheap as $250 through WeaKnees, though. That is still a good option except I'm hesitant about the refurb process, in general. I've had mixed luck with refurb items in the past. None of this was TiVo-related but hard to know how people have treated their electronics in their former life.

    Still, I'll go look at the warranty options and see if I can bump the warranty or something. Even paying a bit more for that still puts me under the cost of the Bolt OTA + Lifetime. Thanks.
     
  7. Oct 5, 2020 #7 of 12
    mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

    3,602
    1,330
    Aug 13, 2015
    I sold mine here on TCF a while back for $200-ish. I'll have another for sale in a few months, if you're still interested then.
     
  8. Oct 5, 2020 #8 of 12
    jedimindtrick

    jedimindtrick New Member

    25
    5
    Oct 17, 2015
    Thanks for the link! You are right! I must have misread their other information because this seems quite clear. Time to research another DVR! Thanks for the idea.
     
  9. Oct 5, 2020 #9 of 12
    jedimindtrick

    jedimindtrick New Member

    25
    5
    Oct 17, 2015
    Good to know. I'll keep that in mind.
     
  10. wizwor

    wizwor Well-Known Member

    980
    251
    Dec 17, 2013
    You can DVR locals for free. The DVR, by itself, lists for $200. If you pre-purchase three months of any Sling OTT package, you can get the DVR for $99. Since the Sling TV packages are $30/month, that saves you $10 even if you never use the OTT package. Also, Sling offers free OTT content. AND the Sling TV Anywhere OTA channels integrate into the Fire TV EPG. I really like the Sling offering and I may end up keeping Sling TV Blue -- three streams of about 50 channels that I might actually watch.
     
    jedimindtrick likes this.
  11. wizwor

    wizwor Well-Known Member

    980
    251
    Dec 17, 2013
    No. You prepay for three months ($90) to get to get $100 off the DVR. You can discontinue after three months and have no monthly fees at all.
     
    jedimindtrick likes this.
  12. jedimindtrick

    jedimindtrick New Member

    25
    5
    Oct 17, 2015
    I may be... Who knows... Thanks.
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements