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.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?
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