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Moving to Tivo

Sep 12, 2004
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Because of a dog (long story) we have sold our house and are moving this coming week. The new place we bought has Xfinity. For years I have used WMC with a Ceton tuner and WMC extenders. After some research I've decided to go with Tivo, mostly because Tivo can do video on demand with Xfinity, and because I'm a bit tired of dealing with the quirks and occasional issues of using a WMC cablecard system. Plus using Tivo with Xfinity allows for video on demand.

I've ordered a Tivo Bolt along with the lastest Tivo Mini. Anyone else using Tivo with Xfinity? Pros? Cons?

tia
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
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Sep 12, 2004
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Not using Tivo or cable, but will mention:
Ensure you truly understand the cost model- monthly Tivo cost vs CableCo Cost.

There are other partial solutions out there, but a lot depends on usage model/ alternate device selection/ number of viewing locations/ etc..

Roku: https://blog.roku.com/blog/2016/04/20/comcast-to-bring-their-xfinity-tv-partner-app-to-the-roku-platform/


NVidia Shield / HDHomerun Prime (view Live, partial DVR support)
AppleTV/ HDHomerun Prime (View Live)
I'm fully aware of the Tivo subscription requirements. Basic Xfinity is included in our HOA fees so adding 75mbps Internet and the 220+ channel package is only 54.99/mo. Add on the Tivo subscription fee and it's still way less than I am paying Brighthouse now.

I'm not really interested in partial solutions but thanks for the suggestions.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,264
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No problem- I just like people to have the tools for an informed decision.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
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I purchased my TiVo straight from TiVo with a built-in lifetime subscription. It ended up being only $600 for the TiVo Pro (the highest-end pre-Bolt unit). If I wanted to get a Bolt instead, it was $100 extra, but I don't care for the weird shape, color, or 4 tuners instead of 6. There are rumors about a Bolt Pro coming out soon that should be more "normal", but with TiVo being bought out recently, who knows what will happen.

Have you considered adding any TiVo Minis? Also, if you want to use any of the apps on the box, you may want to consider the Slide RF remote as it has a keyboard built in.
 
Sep 12, 2004
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I purchased my TiVo straight from TiVo with a built-in lifetime subscription. It ended up being only $600 for the TiVo Pro (the highest-end pre-Bolt unit). If I wanted to get a Bolt instead, it was $100 extra, but I don't care for the weird shape, color, or 4 tuners instead of 6. There are rumors about a Bolt Pro coming out soon that should be more "normal", but with TiVo being bought out recently, who knows what will happen.

Have you considered adding any TiVo Minis? Also, if you want to use any of the apps on the box, you may want to consider the Slide RF remote as it has a keyboard built in.
I'm not a huge fan of the shape/color either but it's an RF device so I plan on stashing it out of sight. I heard that there are rumors of a Bolt Pro but I can't wait for it to become available. I only paid $149 for the Bolt and I'm not doing the lifetime sub because if the Pro/6-tuner version does come I will probably dive in. Also, I don't like the fact that a lifetime sub is locked to a piece of equipment. If the hardware goes FUBAR you are SOL. I also ordered the latest version of the Tivo mini for the one extra TV that I do have. They are cheap, relatively speaking, and with MoCA built in should be a breeze to set up.

I considered ordering the slide remote as well but I'm waiting to see how programmable the remotes are. iow, will it properly control my TV and AV receiver as well, which are both IR only devices? What's your experience with that?
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
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Also, I don't like the fact that a lifetime sub is locked to a piece of equipment. If the hardware goes FUBAR you are SOL.
Yeah, that was pretty much the reason why I went for TiVo's... I think 3-year protection plan. If I remember correctly, TiVo's default warranty period is only 90 days, which is pathetically short. If you're going for the lifetime subscription, the last thing you want is a hardware failure.

I considered ordering the slide remote as well but I'm waiting to see how programmable the remotes are. iow, will it properly control my TV and AV receiver as well, which are both IR only devices? What's your experience with that?
I use different remotes, so I'm not too sure. I'll eventually swap everything over to the Logitech Harmony that I have sitting around, but I keep waiting to finalize the HT build. (The pesky center-channel speaker needs to go where a stud is... in a load-bearing wall, which means I get to create a header.) If I do that, I'd most likely still use the slide remote for any sort of typing. Although, you may be able to ignore that if you just use your phone to schedule recordings and such, which is all I really use it for.
 

lupi

Lifer
Apr 8, 2001
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Thinking about moving to tivo once they killed the fees on their extenders, but I have to have at least six tuners and they haven't released it yet.
 
Sep 12, 2004
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Yeah, that was pretty much the reason why I went for TiVo's... I think 3-year protection plan. If I remember correctly, TiVo's default warranty period is only 90 days, which is pathetically short. If you're going for the lifetime subscription, the last thing you want is a hardware failure.
The hardware has to last 4 years to even break even for a lifetime sub. I'm not sure that I'll be using a Tivo in 4 years, particularly with the new FCC mandate regarding 3rd-party cable boxes. I have to wonder how well the Bolt supports 4K as well, since it's only HDMI 2.0.

I use different remotes, so I'm not too sure. I'll eventually swap everything over to the Logitech Harmony that I have sitting around, but I keep waiting to finalize the HT build. (The pesky center-channel speaker needs to go where a stud is... in a load-bearing wall, which means I get to create a header.) If I do that, I'd most likely still use the slide remote for any sort of typing. Although, you may be able to ignore that if you just use your phone to schedule recordings and such, which is all I really use it for.
I have my long-lived, beloved Harmony One. If I don't hide the Bolt I can use it. If I hide it I'll have to move to an RF Harmony remote (or an IR extender). I may do that but I will try the Tivo remote first. I've read it does IR and RF at the same time and can control both the TV and A/V receiver so it may work just fine.

Also, I read that the 2nd USB port on the back of the Bolt can support a Bluetooth keyboard, which I already have, so I might see how that works out. I'll know later next week after I get moved into the new place and have a chance to thoroughly test out the options.
 
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Sep 12, 2004
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Thinking about moving to tivo once they killed the fees on their extenders, but I have to have at least six tuners and they haven't released it yet.
If you don't need 4K some of the Roamios have 6-tuner versions. If you do need 4K even the Bolt may not provide complete support so a 6-tuner version might not do it for you.
 
Sep 12, 2004
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OK. I take that back about HDMI 2.0. I was confusing it with HDCP 2.2, which the Tivo does support, so true 4K shouldn't be a problem with the Bolt.
 
Sep 12, 2004
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Moving is a pita. That's a given. After days of sweating, and copious amounts of physical labor, I was looking forward to having my Tivo system setup with a cablecard so I could watch TV and drink an adult beverage. I was told last week by the nice lady at Comcast that I could not do a self-install of a cablecard. A truck roll was mandatory (even though FCC regs say that all cablecos must allow for self-installs of cablecards. OK. Whatever.) so an appointment was made for between 5 and 7 pm today. The Comcast guy shows up...and he doesn't have a cablecard. They threw this job at him at the last minute and he wasn't prepared because they normally don't carry cablecards with them. Seriously?

Next he tells me that he will schedule someone to come out tomorrow with the cablecard and would call me or email me the schedule. I receive nothing from him. Nada. Nicht. Not a word. So I call Comcast and bitch and complain, as is my right at this fucking point.

Now they tell me that Monday is the earliest time that tech can come out, as well as that the nice lady was wrong and I could have done a cablecard self-install, except no Comcast offices within 50 miles are open on Sunday so I can't pick up a cablecard to do that.

wtf? Get your shit together Comcast. There's a reason you have a bad rep.

On the plus side they did give me a $20 credit and Showtime/Starz free for 3 months. I should have pressed for free HBO too.

I miss FIOS.
 
Sep 12, 2004
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So here is the latest update in the saga of trying to get a cablecard from Comcast/Xfinity. I called them this evening because I hadn't received a courtesy call from them about the truck roll on Monday. I find out that instead of a Monday appointment between 1 and 2 pm, like the CSR told me on Saturday night, it had somehow been changed to Wednesday. Thanks for not informing me Comcast. gg

Fortunately they have offices open on Monday fairly close by so I can go pick up a cablecard and install it myself. Lord knows what kind of fuckery that's going to entail on their end but I am going to get this working come hell or high water.

Thanks Comcast. You suck and I will eventually prevail despite your idiocy.

At least the CSR I spoke with tonight was cool. Kudos to him. Must stink to have to work in an environment of incompetence.
 
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Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
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Honestly, you're probably better off installing it yourself. I can't tell you how often I've had techs come out and read off the wrong numbers for the CableCard registration... even after I told them that wasn't the right number. I got my TiVo after switching to WOW!, so most of my Comcast-related experiences were with WMC-related devices; however, I didn't have any issues with the TiVo and WOW!
 
Sep 12, 2004
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And the story continues...

Monday morning I'm ready to set off to the Comcast office that the CSR told me to go to. Knowing how badly things have gone thus far I figured it would be wise to make sure they are open. Well of course, they are closed on Mondays. Not to be deterred I check for the next closest office. It's a bit further but it is open. Of course, you can't actually find the phone number to that specific office to ask them if they have cablecards, but why wouldn't they?

So I trek on over to the office, ask them if they have a cablecard available. Of course they don't. The office that is closed on Mondays was supposed to provide them with some, but haven't. I'll have to wait until Tuesday.

So today, once again I trek to a Comcast office and request a cablecard. The guy digs around and pulls out a ratty looking cablecard then proceeds to ask his coworkers where the new models were. He was told none were available and that was the sole cablecard that they had. I figured, that's alright. It just means that card is well experienced and has been a trooper for a while.

After lunch I get home and start working on the Tivo immediately. The cablecard gets plugged in, the Tivo is powered up and it asks me to select my country. YES! Good, good. Finally some progress. Suddenly the Tivo throws up an error message saying that the cablecard is not working properly and to contact the cable company.

I contact the Comcast cablecard department and go through some troubleshooting with the tech. No Bueno. The card is DOA.

Hayzoos effin aye. Am I cursed or is Comcast the devil incorporated?

So now I have to wait for the truck roll tomorrow and at this point I'm even skeptical about that being successful.
 
Sep 12, 2004
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So today was truck roll day. The tech actually showed up on time and was one of the most knowledgeable techs I've ever met from TWC, Verizon, Brighthouse, or Comcast over the years. He quickly got the cablecard working and everything is up and running except for VOD. VOD keeps throwing up an error code. No big deal. I'll get it ironed out eventually but it's not critical. Everything else is working great and apparently they also gave me 3 months of HBO and Skinemax for free as well along with the Showtime and Starz.

...now catching up on season 6 of Game Of Thrones.

Oh, and LaToya, the snippy bitch who works in the support department for techs, and who doesn't know how to deal with customers, I'm going to contact corporate and bitch and complain endlessly about you because you were a fucking wise and beautiful woman and I've decided to make it my mission to make your life difficult. You need to learn that the customer is always right and get off your fucking high horse, beeatcch.
 
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Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
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He quickly got the cablecard working and everything is up and running except for VOD. VOD keeps throwing up an error code. No big deal. I'll get it ironed out eventually but it's not critical.
How is Comcast's VOD handled through TiVo? Is that all IP-based stuff? I'm assuming that it's not done through the M-Card because TiVo doesn't do two-way communication. I found this article and it talks a bit about QAM and IP-based communication with Comcast.
 
Sep 12, 2004
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Interesting article. I'm not completely sure how Tivo and Comcast work. For one, even though Comcast uses SDV no tuning adapter is required with the Tivo. I assume IP requests are relayed to Comcast in order to tune the QAM channels. Also there are two avenues to VOD. One is tuned through the channel guide and I assume it's a QAM-based method (with requests made through IP). The other method is a Tivo app called Xfinity on Demand that I believe is completely IP-based. I've been using that since the QAM method isn't working for me and it's a bit sketchy. I'm lucky if I can watch an entire show without it suddenly quitting and throwing me back to the main menu. Video quality is decent though.
 
Sep 12, 2004
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It just never ends. I get an email notification today that my bill is ready to view. I was told that I would be paying $64.99/mo for 12 months and that the truck roll was no charge. So I click to view my bill and it's $237 and change, including $50 for each truck roll and all kinds of extraneous charges.

After an hour on the phone with billing I think it was straightened out but I won't know for sure until Thursday at the earliest.

I never had this problem with Verizon FIOS or even Brighthouse. Congrats Comcrap. You are living up to your shitty reputation.
 
Sep 12, 2004
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For the final chapter in this story...

After the billing department did their thing I was still left with a $50 charge for a truck roll. Still not satisfied, since a truck roll should never have been required in the first place, I contacted the office of the Sr VP of Customer service and let them know about the problem. The next day I was contacted and everything was made right. A big thanks to Tom Karinshak's staff.

I'm really loving the switch to Tivo. No more quirkiness, tweaks, or a need to know work-arounds to get a cablecard device to function properly. Things just work. Now I'm tempted to get a 4K TV but I'll wait until more content is available.
 
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Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,579
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So, it looks like TiVo finally introduced a better Bolt unit for those a bit hesitant, and it has been aptly named the Bolt+. It has a 3TB drive instead of 500GB or 1TB and it has 6 tuners instead of 4, but it loses OTA HD recording. It's also black instead of silver, BUT it's still strangely bent. The price is a bit cringe-worthy as the Bolt 1TB is only $299 MSRP (~$267 on Amazon right now), and the Bolt+ 3TB is $499.
 

rsutoratosu

Platinum Member
Feb 18, 2011
2,698
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So i'm looking to the tivo solution as well for FIOS or time warner.. 1 year of dvr fee almost pays for the tivo devices... I'm just worry about tivo going out of business.. any chance they'll shutdown next 2 years ? no right ? bunch of rumors
 

lupi

Lifer
Apr 8, 2001
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They just got bought out by one of the TV listing providers, so they probably have incentive to keep them around.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,264
38
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I don't see them going out of business anytime soon as long as people think that is a bargain... The acquisition does bring into question any future improvements or natively built hardware...
 

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