My Tivo life lesson for the day

rvvaquero

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So, a couple of weeks ago I decided I would prepare for the end of the year when my DISH contract ends and have options with regard to OTA dvr. I did a little research on OTA dvr's and decided that I like the Tivo approach best. After reading up as much as I could on Tivo, I finally decided to buy one to try out and see how I liked it.

After viewing the OTA products available at the Tivo website, I decided that a Bolt OTA was probably what I wanted. However, the $249 price tag was a little more than I wanted to spend for a tryout. Reading on various forums, I discovered that the previous OTA unit was called Roamio and that it hadn't been discontinued all that long. I searched all over the Tivo website to find as much information as I could about the Roamio. There wasn't much. By what service pricing I could find, I found out that current units which are OTA have a service option of $6.99 month, $69.99 year, or $249.99 lifetime. Units which are cable capable are $14.99 month, $149.99 year, or $549.99 lifetime.

Since it's all the same company, I assumed those prices extended to the Roamio units also. You know what they say about assume.

I found a used Roamio and bought it. I plugged it in and set it up and it worked like a charm. I went online to activate it and whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Only one service plan available, $14.99 month. I called Tivo. The activation specialist says, "yes, that's your only option. Roamios have their own pricing plan". So, I asked "is it the same price for a service plan for both the Roamio OTA and the Roamio Cable unit?". "All Roamios are both cable and OTA capable and are priced the same", she answered.

I'm not saying she was incorrect, but I thought that I had read on the Tivo forum that the Roamio OTA was different from the Roamio Cable units, that the OTA unit has the slot for a cable card but that it isn't active.

Bottom line, I've got a pretty black brick sitting on the TV cabinet at my house. No way I'm going to pay $14.99 month for a program guide.

This too shall pass.
 

primestar31

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There is a Roamio that's sold as "OTA only", BUT, it actually is capable of OTA or cable, with the addition of a cablecard adapter bracket.

Anyway, they can't be used without paying for either a monthly sub, or for the so-called "All-In" plan, which is the new name for their old "Lifetime" plan.

Every so often, Tivo has a sale for Roamio OTA units WITH "All-In" for $299.99. That's the cheapest you'll ever get it. I suspect another will be around shortly, since Super Bowl is coming up in a couple weeks.

Be aware that when those sales come around, they usually sell out within 2 hours... So act fast if there is one.
 
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rvvaquero

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There is a Roamio that's sold as "OTA only", BUT, it actually is capable of OTA or cable, with the addition of a cablecard adapter bracket.

Anyway, they can't be used without paying for either a monthly sub, or for the so-called "All-In" plan, which is the new name for their old "Lifetime" plan.

Every so often, Tivo has a sale for Roamio OTA units WITH "All-In" for $299.99. That's the cheapest you'll ever get it. I suspect another will be around shortly, since Super Bowl is coming up in a couple weeks.

Be aware that when those sales come around, they usually sell out within 2 hours... So act fast if there is one.
Thanks. She said there was no "lifetime" or "all in" option for my unit. Her explanation was that the machine warranty was included in the $14.99 price and was written into the firmware of the unit. She may have used another word besides "warranty", but it included repair of the unit in case of malfunction.
 

harshness

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I suspect another will be around shortly, since Super Bowl is coming up in a couple weeks.
The Bolt OTA seems to be the one getting all of the all-in attention these days since the Edge Antenna is the new OTA model.

Remember that the Roamio OTA debuted in 2013 and the Roamio OTA Vox debuted in 2016 so what you can get your hands on now will be either used or refurbished.
 
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osu1991

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Thanks. She said there was no "lifetime" or "all in" option for my unit. Her explanation was that the machine warranty was included in the $14.99 price and was written into the firmware of the unit. She may have used another word besides "warranty", but it included repair of the unit in case of malfunction.
The monthly and yearly sub does include warranty replacement. The lifetime units usually cost anywhere from $50-$150 to transfer the lifetime service to a replacement unit. I had to do it recently on 2 Roamios. 1 was fried by lightning and the other lost hdmi and Ethernet in the same event.

They no longer have Roamios in stock, so they are replaced with Bolts, which is why I now have 2 Bolts to go with my other 3 Roamios.
 
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osu1991

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If it didn’t have an all in option, then it must have been one of the early Roamio OTA units. Those were sold as monthly only boxes, before they started offering the al in pricing on the OTA units. I paid $25 for a couple new in box units from Woot, a couple yrs ago, just to get the remotes, power bricks and fans inside the case.

My last Roamio, was an OTA unit that I got for $199 all in during a Black Friday sale after they started offering them with all in service.
 
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harshness

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Thanks. She said there was no "lifetime" or "all in" option for my unit. Her explanation was that the machine warranty was included in the $14.99 price and was written into the firmware of the unit. She may have used another word besides "warranty", but it included repair of the unit in case of malfunction.
The website details what is available for each model and the CSR was not misinformed.

Here's what's available for the Roamio OTA:
TiVo service plan availability said:
For purchases, through any retail sales channel, of a new or previously activated TiVo Roamio OTA 500GB, you may select:
  • A monthly service plan, at the current rate of $14.99/month (plus any applicable taxes), with no commitment; or
For purchases on tivo.com, or through any other retail sales channel, of a new or previously activated TiVo Roamio OTA 1 TB or TiVo Roamio OTA VOX, an All-in plan3 is included with your box purchase price.
So if you buy a Roamio OTA without lifetime service, the price is $14.99/month for service.

The trick with buying used is making sure that the unit already has lifetime service. The tough part here is that TiVo is allowing subscribers of some plans to transfer service to a new DVR leaving the old one uncovered. It is all there but it isn't easy to grasp.

 
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Derwin0

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The Bolt OTA seems to be the one getting all of the all-in attention these days since the Edge Antenna is the new OTA model.
One thing to be aware of with the Bolt OTA. They completely removed MOCA (along with the cable card socket and contacts). Found this out the hard way when replacing my mother's Bolt with a Bolt OTA (due to a lightening strike). Wound up having to pick up a couple of MOCA adapters, one for the Bolt and one for the Router, in order for the mini's to get a signal.
 

TheForce

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I recently got back into the TIVO family after about 20 years absence. Lot to learn that is new.

I wanted 4K and looked at both the Bolt and Edge. First impression was the shape of the Bolt looked odd. But reports on the TIVO forums about heat and hard drive failures bothered me. So I went with the Edge OTA. plus one mini connected with ethernet as my house is wired for ethernet. So far no real complaints on the equipment. Still learning new things it can do every day. Was happy to be able to write scripts for my single remote control system in the home theater too.
The only minor issue with the TIVO is TIVO's reputation to being slow on updates and added features. But so far what I need to work is flawless, even better than I expected.

Cost was not cheap and at the upper end of my budget. But once purchased, the cash outlay is behind me now and I can just enjoy it how well it works.
 
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osu1991

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My TiVo life lesson for the day.......THE BOLT STILL SUCKS. :mad:

Bolt number 5 died yesterday. 4 flashing lights for hardware failure. It only lasted 2 months. Replacement came today, since we are so close to the shipping center in Ft. Worth. It powered to the Tivo screen and got to the entering zipcode screen and just died. Won't power up at all.

So now another replacement is on the way. Looks to be another refurb Bolt too. At least last time, I got a new one for the other Bolt I have that lost its hdmi output. That one is still working after 8 months, so I took it to my dad. I would be done, if these didn't have lifetime service and tivo replacing them at no charge since they're still under warranty . My 3 remaining Roamios are still chugging along great, I really hate that 2 of them got fried in a storm.
 

lparsons21

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Well in my quest to determine the best way to go OTA/Streaming, I hooked up my Bolt cable/OTA box last night. Did the setup and channel scan.

WOW! What pee-poor OTA tuners these are. Hooking the antenna to the TV I get almost all the locals though it is an either/or for NBC/CBS. On the Tivo? No NBC, no CBS, no PBS!



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
 

osu1991

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Well in my quest to determine the best way to go OTA/Streaming, I hooked up my Bolt cable/OTA box last night. Did the setup and channel scan.

WOW! What pee-poor OTA tuners these are. Hooking the antenna to the TV I get almost all the locals though it is an either/or for NBC/CBS. On the Tivo? No NBC, no CBS, no PBS!



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
Yeah, The first gen Cable/OTA Bolts had a weaker tuner than previous TiVo's. The newer Bolt OTA that came later and removed moca and a few features has a different tuner and works much better as supposedly does the new Edge.
 

lparsons21

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Yeah, The first gen Cable/OTA Bolts had a weaker tuner than previous TiVo's. The newer Bolt OTA that came later and removed moca and a few features has a different tuner and works much better as supposedly does the new Edge.
And that presents a problem for me. No way I’m buying yet another Tivo since I can’t transfer my lifetime to a new one. And that means ABC/Fox and subchannels, which wouldn’t be as big an issue as it is today.

My current cable subscription is $158 all in for tv and internet, if I cancel TV then the internet I need to go streaming is $100/month. So to make a financial case to cut the cord, it can’t cost more than that and still provide the shows I want. Note I said shows as I don’t care about live TV at all. That bill will rise sometime this year to either $178 or $220 depending on just how the bundle deal works out. Unfortunately Mediacom doesn’t do anything in writing, only by phone and I don’t remember all the particulars. If it goes to $178 then I may just stay with them since they have ALL the channels/shows I want, unlike the OTT services which have some but not all on one service. If it goes to $220 then cord cutting will happen for sure.


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