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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering if some of the problems I’ve experienced over the last month are common to others out there.

I’ve been a Tivo customer for over 10 years. I have 15 Tivos (me, sister, mom, in-laws…) on my account. I have setup and configured all of these devices. I’ve had jobs as a systems engineer and network administrator (current CTO).

Up until a month ago, I would have said Tivo is a great company and has some of the best support out there. After this Holiday season, I say, if you have Tivo stock, sell it, fast. Their new products are inconsistent and their customer service is 10 times worse than my cable company.

For Mother-in-law: added a Tivo mini to her Bolt. Mini would not connect to the tivo service. Another tivo connected consistently over the same network connection. Many reboots and a day of “resting” it seemed to magically work. Then the day I left (after Christmas) it quit working. Has been intermittent since.

For Sister: replaced a Premier with a Bolt ordered from Tivo. Could not pair the cable card. Tivo says you should try at least 7 different cable cards before deciding the Bolt might be bad, really, that’s what they said. After many hours and calls, got super frustrated, went to Best Buy and bought another Bolt. Hooked it up, worked on the first try, with the 1st cable card I tried. Arranged to return the bad Bolt to Tivo. Took 3 calls to get a pre-paid shipping label. Took it to Fed Ex, they said that’s not a Fed Ex bar code and label. 4 more calls to Tivo (3 of which they eventually hung up on me) and they still couldn’t get me a label or arrange for a Fed Ex pickup. I gave up and paid to ship it back myself.

Setup 2 minis with the new Bolt. Both working fine when I left my sister’s. 5 days later, with no changes to the network, one of them can’t find the Bolt anymore.

For Me: Added 2 mini Voxs to my Roamio Plus. Had to re-wire so that the mini Voxs were in the same switch as the Roamio for setup to complete and the Voxs to see the Roamio. My two 2nd gen minis (which went to my sister) had worked fine for years without having to be in the same switch. One of the mini Voxs had to be returned (bad HDMI output)

I made over 10 calls to Tivo support over the last 3 weeks. Only one of those calls resulted in a full resolution. On 4 of them they hung up on me.

When I called Comcast/Xfinity to pair my sister’s new bolt, the rep was telling me that they’ve seen a ton of issues with Tivo this year (esp. over the holidays). He said he’s seen it a few times where he goes to pair the cable card and the Tivo device ID will already be on someone else’s account. Implying that people are returning Tivos with technical issues and Tivo is just re-selling and shipping them – this seemed to be the case with the first one (from Tivo) that I tried at my sister’s.

Really disappointing to not only be treated this way as a customer, but to see what was a great company really go downhill.

Any others out there with similar experiences?
 

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Cranky old novice
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Up until a month ago, I would have said Tivo is a greatcompany and has some of the best support out there.
Apparently you haven't been paying much attention (for example in these forums) over the last year or two!
 

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I have 15 Tivos (me, sister, mom, in-laws…) on my account.
You might want to split your account if you haven't already. There is a 12 unit limit on your account and devices start misbehaving when you go over that limit.

I had to return something to TiVo. Had zero problems getting the label and shipping it back. That was actually one of the things current support can do well. I also had to RMA a Mini where the remote would pair, then lose pairing after 5 minutes. The same remote worked fine on my other devices. Got a label very quick. They were even able to cross ship without needing a credit card. It did take a while to navigate through tech support to get to the point where they would RMA the unit, but the return process itself worked well.

There are some Bolts with bad CableCARD slots and some with bad coax connector solder on the motherboard and more rare, they'll have some subset of tuners bad. Any of these could cause you issues with the CableCARD. I would say the problems are rare, but occasionally there are reports. That being said, since Comcast has provided the online pairing tool, I am very happy and have no qualms about re-pairing cable cards with new units, going back and forth with the old units.
 

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That being said, since Comcast has provided the online pairing tool, I am very happy and have no qualms about re-pairing cable cards with new units, going back and forth with the old units.
This is the first I've heard of a Comcast online pairing tool. Do you have a link to it?

Edit: Is this it? Welcome Page
 

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TiVo Bug Hunter
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It's frustrating because TiVo management seemed to care when they sent many of us surveys and beta test invitations back in July 2016 prior to the Rovi transition. They either didn't act on our feedback or their engineers were overwhelmed with the work needed to implement the fixes.

Bugs I reported in December 2016 during the Kauai beta test still exist today, namely the issue where resuming playback during FFx1 skips ahead several seconds.

If I were to speculate on why this is happening, perhaps TiVo is not profitable enough to attract the engineering talent necessary to clean up their act. It takes someone who is more passionate about TV than their non-competitive salary to successfully develop a product like TiVo. Even lead designer Margret Schmidt must have felt the magic was gone after leaving for presumably better pay and lower stress at Intuit's QuickBooks.
 

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Bill Knapp
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I speak from experience and others have pointed out. No more than 12 units on one account.
 

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Welcome to the "new" Tivo. They clearly outsource their tech and customer service departments and they are deplorable. I too went through a crappy patch of having to make multiple calls, receiving 2 dead-on-arrival replacement tivos back to back, and being out of service for 2 weeks. Its really sad
 

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Well folks, just remember that without these moves, TiVo would have beeen headed for bankruptcy in about 3 or so years. These are things that should have been done years ago. Sure, the Rovi merger changed a lot in a short time, but it was in our best interests in the long run.
 

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There seems to be a component quality issue in the manufacturing of the Tivo. I bought a new unit, got three refurbs trying to get a working unit (each had different problems) before making Tivo send me a fifth new unit that finally mostly works. Whether it's poor soldering as has been suggested or cheap capacitors as I theorize, manufacturing a quality product with a high quality UI and not needing to out source tech support would be a better strategy to avoid bankruptcy.
 

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I've been a Tivo customer for over 10 years. I have 15 Tivos (me, sister, mom, in-laws…) on my account.
I'll echo what everyone else has said, more than 12 devices on an account means there may be odd issues.

Tivo says you should try at least 7 different cable cards before deciding the Bolt might be bad, really, that's what they said.
While yes, trying at least 7 different cable cards seems incredulous, many of the cables cards a tech brings to test are old and handled improperly. I have experience with two installers for cable cards and each had the cards open sitting in the bottom of their work bags. Amazingly, the one that worked was sitting in the bottom of his bag. Point is, they're not handled properly and TiVo knows this, hence their advice.
 

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I'll echo what everyone else has said, more than 12 devices on an account means there may be odd issues.

While yes, trying at least 7 different cable cards seems incredulous, many of the cables cards a tech brings to test are old and handled improperly. I have experience with two installers for cable cards and each had the cards open sitting in the bottom of their work bags. Amazingly, the one that worked was sitting in the bottom of his bag. Point is, they're not handled properly and TiVo knows this, hence their advice.
I've always suspected that the cable companies simply keep the defective cable cards and tuning adapters and put them right back into rotation. They don't care if you have trouble getting your non-rental equipment to work or not. If you give up they win. That's part of the reason it's so difficult to get the cards & TA to work and why TiVo wants you to try so many before assuming it's a problem with the TiVo.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the advice on the 12 devices. I split the account and got it down to 10 and the Mini problem is solved.

Good point on the fact that TiVo was headed for bankruptcy. I'd add that if they don't step up their software development and customer service that may still be the case.

Several people commented on the cable cards. All good comments. My point was TiVo blaming the cable card despite overwhelming evidence (and then proof when I bought a new bolt from best buy) that the cable cards were fine.

Again, thanks for the comments - hopefully my setup will remain stable now.
 

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I've always suspected that the cable companies simply keep the defective cable cards and tuning adapters and put them right back into rotation. They don't care if you have trouble getting your non-rental equipment to work or not. If you give up they win. That's part of the reason it's so difficult to get the cards & TA to work and why TiVo wants you to try so many before assuming it's a problem with the TiVo.
This is precisely why I've kept the same M-cards for years and keep moving them from TiVo to TiVo. Working M-Cards are like gold! :)
 

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tabasco rules
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Well folks, just remember that without these moves, TiVo would have beeen headed for bankruptcy in about 3 or so years. These are things that should have been done years ago. Sure, the Rovi merger changed a lot in a short time, but it was in our best interests in the long run.
i'm not convinced those were the only alternatives to avoiding bankruptcy.
 
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