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Initial impressions and details of the TiVo Premiere Elite

185974 Views 1063 Replies 156 Participants Last post by  sbiller
This is a thread for early adopters of the Elite to share observations, problems and Elite-specific questions.

The TiVo Premiere Elite went on sale October 9, 2011.

The TiVo Premiere Elite requires digital cable. It DOES NOT support use of signals from over the air (OTA) antennas or any analog source. If you need OTA with or without cable, use a regular Premiere.

I will update this post with known information, changes, problems and will until the issues with the Elite and the new software levels are known/worked out.

Software Levels
- shipping software is 14.9b-01-7-758 out of the box.
- current software is 14.9.2-01-2-758
- when referencing the non-Elite Premieres, software level is 14.8c
Flash Player Version: 14-9-mr/2011.10.12-0501
HD Menu Software Version: 1-9/2011.10.14-1818

New functions/features
- MoCA support (Ethernet to Coax bridge)
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Caller ID support if phone line supporting is attached (not working)
- Premiere to Premiere streaming (Multi-Room Streaming or MRS). (According to Tivo, this function is not currently supported. There is no official confirmation that it is planned, though since it will be supported from the Q to Preview, it is likely).

I will use the acronym MRS (Multi-Room Streaming) for this new function to contrast it with the MRV (Multi-Room Viewing) copy-based system. MRV will not allow copy protected programs to be viewed on a remote TiVos; MRS will.​

Hardware details
- CPU is the same Broadcom chip as in the base Premiere
- 512MB DDR2 system of RAM (same as base Premiere)
- 16 MB Flash RAM (BIOS/boot)
- Gigabit ethernet
- 2TB Western Digital Hard Drive, WD20EURS. Default recording capacity up up 318 HD hours or 2774 SD.
- Entropic EN2510 Coax Network Controller & RF Transceiver
- THX certified
- Use of phone line via TiVo Phone Adapter is NOT supported

NOTE: The Premiere Q is the cable version of the Premiere Elite. The hardware is the same, except the Q has a 500GB hard drive, rather than the 2TB drive found in the Elite.

For more details and pictures, see the performance thread referenced at the bottom of this post.

General Observations
- Other than some new Elite-specific screens, the UI is the same as the current Premieres. (e.g. the HDUI is still not complete).
- Support for the second core of the CPU has been enabled. Multiple functions are noticeably faster. On an Ethernet network, shows transfer significantly faster than real-time.
- Installing new software level seems to be faster than Premiere.
- Under Settings menu, "Network & Phone" is now "Network" (phone connection via typical RJ11 supported by the Premiere using TiVo Phone adapter is not supported by the Elite).
- Network screens updated to show MoCA info and additional screens added.
- New "Caller ID" on screen display option available under Display menu
- The Elite is not packaged in a typical retail box, but in a plain brown box, with a black TiVo Premiere Elite logo on the sides.
- The Elite can support at least eight concurrent HD streams writing to the hard drive. (Four shows being recorded, one in, one out, a download while watching previously recorded content).
- The Elite draws less power than previous Tivo boxes. Max power draw observed with the eight streams mentioned above was 22.5 watts.

Bugs/errors or missing features

- Initial guided setup may not be completed when tuning adapter is connected. You may see "looping" during channel set up/ID and not get past that portion of setup. Disconnect the USB for the TA, run guided setup, then attach the tuning adapter and reboot the TiVo. The Elite will detect the TA and use it.

- Error when trying to play program from Netflix Instant Queue ("error communicating with Netflix"). This problem is different than the VPL issue above. Tivo fixed this problem on 10/18. If you have previously used Netflix, you will have to deactivate and reactivate the box to activate the fix.
  1. Switch to the SDUI.
  2. Select "Video on Demand".
  3. Select "Netflix"/"Netflix Account Information"
  4. Select "Deactivate this device"
  5. Repeat above steps, this time activating the device by entering the code at netflix.com/activate.

- MRS streaming not working from Elite to Elite and/or Premiere. Copy protected programs on a remote Elite will show up in the remote NPL without the "prohibited" symbol, but there are no options to stream the program, only delete it.
A few users have reported it working, but as of 10/17, the function is NOT currently supported according to sources inside TiVo.

- Recording conflict screen only shows one conflict.

- Network Unavailable shows when trying to access Video on Demand from Tivo Central in SDUI (same as above VPL below). This should no longer be an issue.

- Video on Demand / VPL providers list empty or only shows YouTube. Unable to access YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, Pandora, Hulu Plus, etc. This was some sort of TiVo server side communication / authorization problem, and was fixed as of 10/13. (This problem is/was not unique to the Elite).

Tivo engineering found a problem with the internal authorization groups (i.e. code flags) and fixed the problem on their side. If you have an empty VPL:

  1. Go to tivo.com and find your Elite under "Change DVR preferences" under Manage My Account.
  2. UNCHECK both boxes.
  3. Wait a couple hours for tivo servers to synch (may happen faster)
  4. Force a connection to Tivo from the Elite. Under "System Information" on the Tivo, the "TiVoToGo" line should show "i,i,i"
  5. Repeat steps 1-4, but this time CHECK both boxes. After the connection, the "TiVoToGo" line should show "a,a,a" and you should be able to access the Video On Demand list and see the providers listed.

NOTE: This is not the same as not being able to access the cable provider's specific VOD offerings. At the current time, this function is not available on any retail Premiere boxes and only available on Premieres obtained directly from cable companies.

- Time zone off by an hour for areas not using Daylight Savings Time (e.g. users in Phoenix). The time displayed is one hour later. On the System Information page, the value shows "Daylight Saving Time" when it should say "Inactive". Times displayed in the program guide are also one hour late (recordings start at the correct time; it is just that the time being displayed is 1 hour late).

- Some users have reported problems with Amazon Instant Video and not being able to link their account to the Tivo and/or completing registration. If see this, resynch your Tivos from the amazon.com page.

- Trying to delete a program from a remote Program group by using the CLEAR button results in a "Program Group is empty" error and does not delete the program. The host Tivo does not respond to the arrow keys, requiring use of Tivo button to get out.

- CallerID on screen display does not work with traditional phone line.

- There is a significant delay when using CLEAR to delete programs in a group folder; "Please Wait" shows for a second or so, long enough to prevent the use of multiple CLEARs, as you can do with the regular Premiere.

- ]In SDUI, "My Shows" listing may get corrupted when sorted with Groups ON; the HDUI shows them correctly. (This is not isolated to the Elite; running "Clear program information and To Do List" appears to correct the problem.)
[/COLOR] Not sure if this is an isolated issue.

- A number of users have reported unexplained, spontaneous reboots. Not enough information to see if there are any conditions in common.

- Box will reboot if Thumbs Up to continue is used after purchasing/downloading Amazon on Demand video. Reboot does not occur if you hit TiVo button instead.

Upgrade / Other
- For external expansion, only TiVo-approved eSata drives up to 1TB are supported.
- Internal drive can be copied to a 2TB target drive. The Comer tool reports an expansion failure when trying to expand on a 3TB target drive.
- It is possible that another external drive can be used for external expansion by marrying the drive manually. This is NOT supported in any way. Any discussion of this issue belongs in the appropriate Tivo Underground forum.


Issues with MRV/MRS
If you are having problems with MRV (multi-room viewing), force a Tivo connection on all your Tivo boxes and try again. If you see multiple instances of the Elite on other Tivo's My Shows lists, reboot the boxes.

Reusing a CableCARD from another Tivo
(This is NOT unique to the Premiere Elite)

Except on some FiOS systems, you CANNOT simply take a card out of another working TiVo and just put in the Elite, expecting it will work.

You may find you have a working channel map and get some channels, but until your card is re-paired /re-validated (or has the proper EMMs sent), you may not receive all your channels, especially if some of them are premium channels.

On Motorola systems, you will have to provide the new Host and Data ID values; on SA systems you will need the new Host ID only. After these are updated, the cable rep will need to send additional signals to your box.

If you have a Motorola card, make sure that validation value shows "V" and not "?" on the Conditional Access screen. If you have an SA card, make sure it says "Staged".

If not, they either (a) did not update the Host (and, if Motorola, Data) value(s) correctly OR (b) their back-end inventory was not updated correctly to indicate that the card was no longer in the old host.

Resist any suggestion from the rep that the CableCARD is bad - despite the fact that many installers blame the cards, they rarely go bad, especially if they were just working in another TiVo box!

What is MoCA?
MoCA stands for Multimedia over Coax Alliance and a standard for home entertainment networking. MoCA allows TiVo Premiere Elite to connect through household cable coax wiring to other TiVo Premiere Elite boxes and get up to 175Mbps throughput for video. It is a viable alternative when Ethernet or wireless networking isn't available near your TiVo box or you have multiple MoCA-compatible devices.

In order of performance, here are the best choices for connection:
1) Hard-wired Ethernet
2) MoCA via the coax on the Elite (requires MoCA support on your LAN)
3) TiVo wireless N adapter or connecting Ethernet cable to wireless N bridge
4) TiVo wireless G adapter

If you are going to be a heavy user of MRS, TiVo recommends #1 or #2. (It is possible that #4 will not be supported. Even if it is, you may see performance issues consistently streaming video).

MoCA adapters to connect other devices on your network
- Netgear MoCA Coax-Ethernet Adapter Kit (MCAB1001) - contains two MoCA adapters, each with a single Ethernet port.
- Channel Master CM-6004 - single MoCA adapter, with 4 port Ethernet switch. The CM-6001 is the same device, but with a single Ethernet port.

There are others and some less expensive options are available, but the Netgear kit includes 2 adapters and the Channel Master is the only one I've seen with an integrated switch.

NOTE: Since the Elite has an integrated MoCA adapter, you DO NOT need an external adapter connected to it to enable MoCA. The Elite has a Ethernet to Coax bridge, so if the Elite is connected via the Gigabit port and the coax that cable is coming across is part of an in home coax setup (e.g. you have cable/coax outlets in multiple rooms, usually split from a basement/attic/outside wall feed from the cable drop), the you do not need any other devices to enable MoCA. You would need an additional adapter for each additional device that you want to connect to your home LAN (e.g. a regular Premiere or an Internet-ready TV or Blu-Ray player) using coax cable. However, if these devices can easily be conected via wired Ethernet, that is almost always a better option.

Premiere Elite performance thread
brentil has stated a very interesting thread discussing specifics (and assumptions) regarding the performance of the Elite compared to the Premiere/XL boxes here. The thread also includes pictures of the Elite motherboard, thanks to sbiller1.



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I will be getting one in around 3 hours but don't plan on opening mine up yet. I won't be able to set it up until I get home tonight since I'm at my Girlfriends and she only has OTA. Hopefully my Elite will be as issue free as all my Premieres have been.
Figured since I was up already, I would start a thread for those of us planning to be early adopters of the Elite to share initial observations.

I'll update this post later in the day with mine, but perhaps some of the folks on the East coast can chime in first. :D

(trying to decide if I am going to try and make a backup copy of the virgin drive first or try after I fire it up and get the CableCARD paired. Fortunately, I already have a spare drive and card ...)
I'd be storngly tempted to do both backups, although I realize that involves buying a hard drive for each one.
I read the subject line and was very :).

Then I realized it was just a placeholder and was very :(.

Mine is ready for pickup in 1 1/2 hours when BestBuy opens.

Edit: My CableCard contact @ Comcast only works Mon-Fri so I'll be living without premium channels until I can get with him to pair the card. All the other channels should work until then.
Up now and about to head to Best Buy for Elite goodness.

I confirmed yesterday that they are in stock (2units), and going on sale at opening this morning.

I'm selling two of my lifetime TiVo HDs to cover the cost (pm me an offer if interested before they go on eBay).
....... My CableCard contact @ Comcast only works Mon-Fri so I'll be living without premium channels until I can get with him to pair the card. All the other channels should work until then.
LOL .... yeah if only we all could have a personal CableCARD contact!
Best buy online orders for in store pick up are now working. I just ordered while sitting in the lot in front of the store.
LOL .... yeah if only we all could have a personal CableCARD contact!
Better yet, personal cable cards. They're already paired to your account, stick 'em whatever hardware you want to and they just work.
Better yet, personal cable cards. They're already paired to your account, stick 'em whatever hardware you want to and they just work.
Great idea!
My elite is connecting to TiVo service now. Will post further updates when it's done
FYI I was able to use a 12 percent off coupon at bb with no problems. Price was 440 before tax
Just got mine in hand. Also used the 12% off!!!


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I just picked mine up. I wish I would have had a 12% coupon instead of the 10% I had. At least I got there when they opened. They sold out right away since they only had two. Luckily only one other person was in line waiting for the Elite.
LOL .... yeah if only we all could have a personal CableCARD contact!
What are the chances it will work in our area...contemplating the Elite.
if i wasn't leaving for Hong Kong on wednesday i'd go pick one up right now...as it is i'm gonna wait until i get back and watch the feedback from everyone...
Any of you guys the other person at the Springfield VA store who got one? I was going to ask, but we ended up being led to separate registers.
Picked mine up at Best Buy in South Tampa. Used the 10% off coupon. I ended up purchasing a 4-year service agreement which was $74.99. I have pictures I will post shortly.

I didn't buy, but the friendly clerk helped me shoot a pic after he took this off a top storage shelf nowhere near the Magnolia location which had no signage. ;) Is there more interesting retail packaging within, or is it just this cardboard? Hm.
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Opened box:


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