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· Joe
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74 Posts
I've been a TiVo customer since the Series 2, and every TiVo I've owned (Series 2, Premiere, Roamio Plus - all with Lifetime) have all been rock solid. I still have my Roamio, which if it wasn't for its painfully slow streaming apps (Amazon, Netflix) I wouldn't even consider the Bolt. I know I can just buy a Amazon Fire Stick for better performance, but I'd rather be able to do everything with one remote and input. The amount of threads related to the Bolt's high temperature issues have me very concerned about its long-term durability. I don't want to be 2 years into ownership of a Bolt and have the hard drive or main board crap out.

Are my concerns justified? Is there any pattern of several year old Bolts failing?

Thanks.
I've been with TiVo since series 1 and never had an immediate concern about their hardware, or any other electronics product in this cost bracket that I've purchased, until the Bolt.

Sure on the old models the HD would fail after a few years and I've had to refresh capacitors in the PSU. But my S3 is still running fine 10 years later otherwise... and it never runs boiling hot.

As soon as I got my bolt, it was immediately obvious, regardless of what you think of the aesthetics of the case (ugly), that it was not engineered for proper heat dissipation which has a direct negative impact on the lifespan of the device.

I am no engineer or tech wiz, but...
WHY is the only fan in a bolt as far away as possible from any of the main heat generating components?
Why is the clearance for the bottom exhaust is so minimal that simply raising the device a half inch produces a few degree temp drop?
Why aren't there at least a few exhaust holes in the case somewhere besides on the bottom?

This is either incompetence at some stage of design/engineering, or if you believe in more sinister thinking, planned obsolesce to keep us TiVo fans from being able to hold on to the boxes for so many years. Because even a few minor tweaks that would have little to no impact on cost would help.

That said, no one knows if these heat concerns will actually be valid or if we are all just cranky worry warts accustomed to the old machines that were built with real quality in mind.

Hardware aside, I will say I expected some meaningful and positive user experience changes to the OS but the new interface was a huge disappointment, and not just because I was used to the old one, so I reverted back to the old OS immediately.

So the new machines are faster and have online features and a few other things the old ones don't depending on your unit.

If you're old one is running fine, carefully evaluate your reasons for upgrading and the costs in deciding what to do. The apps, specifically Netflix, is an inferior user experience on TiVo than an Amazon fire stick (and I assume other devices, I only have Fire). For example, Netflix is slower, harder to search and the app is just less robust overall, there are no live previews of things when you scroll through etc. The app integration experience isn't on par with what you are getting from other new devices and you'll probably find yourself still using them for most things instead.

So if its running fine, and you aren't getting a cheap upgrade deal, I'd definitely wait it out.... I can't imagine its worth it if you have a Roamio. IMO
 

· Joe
Joined
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74 Posts
I wouldn't count on any meaningful changes being made in production, Tivo is not exactly known for the speed of updating their hardware.

Since you've already got a unit, test it out for a few more days and otherwise you are still in the return window and can swap your lifetime service back to the old unit.

Otherwise people are reporting laptop coolers underneath help, or you could go to the next level and add a fan on top which is what I'm working on.

Another member suggested a Noctua NF-F12 5V fan for this, it is a 5 volt fan and comes with a USB adapter that you could plug into the back of the unit. I haven't tried that yet, but it seems the easiest route if you don't mind cutting a hole in the top of the case but prefer to not mess with the mainboard.

NF-F12 5V
 

· Joe
Joined
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74 Posts
One thing to keep in mind is that fan only has 1mm H2O static pressure which is a little weak.
I just saw this Noctua 120mm 5v fan which comes with a USB adapter, 54cfm, 22.4 dBA, .15A, MTTF > 150000 h, 2.61mm H2O. I might try it instead NF-F12 5V
Yeah I came across that fan also and was considering it until I learned about the Noctua 5V version and the discussion on the static pressure.

That aside, Noctuas are generally among the best fans you can buy if you can get past the ugly brown color. I tested out using a permanent marker on another one I already have and it looks pretty good! I'll report back once mine is up and running.
 

· Joe
Joined
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74 Posts
My Bolt+ crashed a week ago, a little over a year old (thank goodness for extended warranty). Still have a PremiereXL, Roamio and Roamio Pro working just fine. But the most frustrating part (other than losing all my recordings on the Bolt) is the replacement came with the new UI. I hate it. Seems to take many more steps to do anything than the old UI. I called and asked them to switch me to the old UI - and it didn't work. They had to file a ticket on it. I hope to heck they figure it out soon because this new one is driving me crazy.
There are instructions around the forum that will tell you how to downgrade the UI, I've done it myself recently. Probably under one of the long "Hydra" threads.

Do you know or did they give you any explanation as to what went wrong with the unit?
 

· Joe
Joined
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74 Posts
So after spending an excruciating 3 days with the Hydra UI on my Roamio and 6 Mini's (and with nasty family feedback), I posted the request to rollback on the Tivo forum site. I was sent a message to contact Tivo support directly to find out how. Tivo support was very helpful and gave me the following instructions which they OK'd for forum posting. KEEP IN MIND YOU WILL LOSE EVERYTHING!!!

For the Roamio:
1.) Go into Menu- Help- Reset to Defaults- Repeat Guided Setup- Select
2.) Press Thumbs Down 2 times (NOT 3!), now press Rewind 2 times, Now press Select (not Enter)
3.) Roamio will immediately go to that right arrow screen, then screen blank, then you'll get a message letting you know that the rollback process has begun
This exact method works on Bolts too
 
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