TiVo Roamio, The DVR Worth Dying For?

A round-up of TiVo Roamio launch coverage… check back for updates!


TiVo’s new DVRs are the company’s best yet

It took more than three years, but TiVo has finally delivered the DVR we hoped for when the Premiere first came out. The Roamio Plus addresses every major gripe we had, except the lack of HDMI-CEC. The speed improvement alone makes this a must-upgrade for any Premiere owner, and finally gives all the Series3 holdouts a reason to open their wallets. Is it perfect? No. Is it the innovative TiVo we used to expect? No, there are other six-tuner DVRs with amble space already on the market. Is it the best DVR ever released that works with ATSC or CableCARD? Absolutely.

The Verge
TiVo Roamio Pro review: this is the ultimate cable box

The TiVo Roamio Pro is very much the ultimate DVR — short of building a media center PC, there isn’t another product on the market that can do as much with as much flexibility as the Roamio. Installing it can be a huge pain, and it’s outrageously expensive — on top of the box, TiVo service costs either $14.99 / month or a ridiculous $499 flat fee per unit — but if you’re spending loads of money on cable service with premium channels, it’s worth it.

TiVo, say it loud: You’re a DVR, and you’re proud!

Even without the upcoming features, and with imposing competition from cheap Internet-only boxes, the Roamio models are a polished and powerful way to watch TV, on the Net and off. TiVo, say it loud: You’re a DVR, and you’re proud.

TiVo Roamio’s new cable-streaming features and improved software for Internet video come close to making it the only set-top box you need

My verdict: The TiVo Roamio’s new cable-streaming features and improved software for Internet video come close to making it the only set-top box you need. But the out-of-home streaming feature doesn’t work for all cable networks and will need a lot of work to make its quality acceptable. Plus, the product is expensive for some budgets.

TiVo Punches Live Cable TV, DVR Content Outside the Home with ‘Roamio’

Trying to reinvigorate declining retail sales, TiVo is adding Slingbox-like features to the latest refresh of its DVR line to stream live TV and recordings to mobile devices — both in and out of the home — and has boosted capacity of top-end models to let TV buffs watch or record up to six shows at once.

TiVo’s New ‘Roamio’ Lineup Targets TV Power Users & Cord-Cutters

Thanks to an integrated transcoding chip from Zenverge, the Plus and Pro Roamio models will inherently support in-home streaming, sideloading (the ability to transfer shows and movies marked as “copy freely” from the DVR to a mobile device), and, starting this fall, out-of-home video streaming of live TV and content stored to the DVR.

USA Today
Aptly-named Roamio digital video recorders let you stream TV throughout the home — and will soon take streaming on the go

TiVo is flexing its interactive TV muscles again. Three new Roamio digital video recorders that go on sale today aim to transform home TV viewing by integrating Net video favorites such as Netflix and Amazon into an improved DVR that can record up to six programs simultaneously. TiVo plans a major advertising push for the new Roamio products and the company has also revamped its website.

TiVo’s new Roamio DVR aims for TV and online video nirvana in one box

With its just-announced line of Roamio DVRs, TiVo is one big step closer to an all-in-one box for live, recorded, and on-demand TV…We’re still in the middle of testing the TiVo Roamio Pro and plan to have a full review up soon. So far it’s a very impressive DVR and certainly the best TiVo to date.

New Series 5 TiVos get HTML5 apps, Chromecast-like controls and an Opera app store

TiVo is updating its lineup of digital video recorders with three new devices that will feature out-of-home streaming as well as the latest apps from Netflix and YouTube, with additional apps from Vimeo and others coming in the near future. And thanks to support for DIAL, users will also be able to control these apps with their mobile devices, much like it’s now possible with Google’s  Chromecast….

The Washington Post
TiVo refreshes lineup with 6-tuner DVRs, more customization of listings, viewing on iPads

TiVo Inc. announced a new line of digital video recorders Tuesday to give television viewers more control over what they watch on traditional channels and over the Internet.

The fifth-generation DVRs from the company that pioneered the devices come as consumers have a growing number of choices for finding and watching TV shows and movies.

TiVo Updates Set-Top Boxes in Bid to Boost Retail Sales

TiVo Inc. (TIVO), looking to stem a decline in retail sales of its digital video recorders, introduced new set-top boxes that offer more storage space and greater ability to stream shows to mobile devices.

The Roamio line, which goes on sale today, replaces TiVo’s Premiere models with features like Wi-fi that were previously sold separately, according to a statement. A faster processor means services like Netflix will take less time to appear on screens, and customers can record as many as six programs at a time, storing as much as 450 hours of HD content.

TiVo Hopes To Make Users Swoon With Roamio

TiVo is overhauling its set-top boxes with a nod to Shakespeare, in the company’s latest effort to maintain and expand its influence over the living room.

The DVR pioneer calls the new products Roamio–a play on the romantic hero that the Silicon Valley company links to love of TV and the idea of roaming, or streaming content from homes to mobile devices in other locations.

VentureBeat Media Guest Post
Three thumbs up for the new TiVo Roamio DVR

The best DVRs just got a whole lot better. When I last reviewed TiVo in January, I put out a list of needed improvements. With Roamio, it’s as if the TiVo team took the review as a to-do list. Many of those improvements have been included in the new software and hardware. If you’re looking for the best TV viewing experience that money can buy, the TiVo Roamio is it.

Tivo’s new Roamio DVRs can record up to six shows at once

Tivo is launching a new generation of digital video recorders today that have revamped user interfaces and can record up to six shows at once. The new machines represent one of the biggest makeovers Tivo has ever done for its lineup of television recorders.

You can expect to hear a lot about the new machines since Tivo will make a lot of noise about the new boxes. It has a seven-figure ad budget.

MIT Technology Review
TiVo’s Latest Iteration Preserves TV’s Status Quo

TiVo’s new service will surely be useful and a good value to some people.  But given the exploding range of options for people to subscribe to and stream content, it’s also a means for incumbent cable companies and content providers to retain their grip on the status quo in a fast-changing TV marketplace.

All Things D
TiVo Unveils Next-Gen Roamio DVRs, Out-of-Home Streaming Coming Soon

“Breaking Bad,” “Duck Dynasty,” “Real Housewives of Orange County” — whatever your TV addiction might be, it can seem like the end of the world when you’re unable to watch your favorite show because you’re traveling or because your family or housemates are hogging all the TVs. That’s a problem TiVo is looking to solve with its new Roamio DVR platform.

TiVo Launches Roamio DVRs With Mobile Streaming

TiVo has had difficulty in recent years generating new subscribers in the U.S. and the company’s launch of Roamio would seem to be a new dedication to be more aggressive here.

Digital Trends
TiVo officially announces Roamio DVR, records six shows at once

Detailed on the official TiVo site, the digital video recorder manufacturer announced the launch of the Roamio line of DVR set-top boxes. Replacing the TiVo Premiere line of DVR boxes, the Roamio lineup starts with a four-tuner set-top box that offers up to 75 hours of high definition recording on a 500GB hard drive. The base model will allow users to record four shows at once and includes built-in Wi-Fi to access a subscriber’s home network. All Roamio devices are compatible with the TiVo Stream, a device that allows users to access recorded shows on an Apple iPad or iPhone.

TiVo Launches New ‘Roamio’ Family Of DVRs, With Up To 6 Tuners, 3 TB Of Storage, & Out-Of-Home Streaming

The new family of products represents TiVo’s first major upgrade to its core lineup of DVRs in two years and represents an ambitious strategy of enabling its users to record a seemingly impossible amount of channels and shows. The new devices push the limits of DVR storage while also staying true to the company’s usual look and feel, with personalization built in to help users easily discover and record the shows they love.

But overall I think you get the point: More tuners, more storage, more expensive, more better.

TiVo Roamio Lightning Review: Your One-Stop Entertainment Box

You’ve got a TV, cable box, Roku or Apple TV, Blu-ray player, stereo system, and who knows what else clogging up your living room, each with its own peculiarities and taking up space. When did watching TV become so much work? TiVo’s new Roamio DVR/Cable receiver helps you do one thing we all desperately need to: simplify.

Ars Technica
TiVo Roamio: more shows, more space, more search, more streaming

TiVo this morning took the wraps off its new fifth-generation DVR boxes, collectively known as the TiVo Roamio family. As the prominent “roam” in the name implies, TiVo’s emphasis with the new line is on mobility. Customers will be able to view their recorded TV shows away from the TiVo boxes doing the recording—and not just in their homes, either.

Fast Company
TiVo Aims to Win Back Your DVR Love with Roamio

With Roamio, a new line of hybrid set-top boxes being unveiled today, the San Jose-based company is hoping to make its star-crossed customers fall in love with the real thing all over again. It’s not a coincidence that Roamio harks back to the tragic hero in Shakespeare’s famous play. “It’s a total double entendre. Roamio as in ‘O Romeo’ and love interest that’s truly there–truly for lovers of TV,” explains CEO Tom Rogers

62 thoughts on “TiVo Roamio, The DVR Worth Dying For?”

  1. Yeah, but can it auto tune to HD?

    Biggest gripe with cable is the alternate numbers for HD channels. This results in the wife and guests watching / recording SD all the time. Problem eliminated with DirecTV.

    I’ll never go back to cable until this issue is resolved. If a channel is available in HD, then for christs sake display it in HD. If I enter the number for CBS, ESPN, ABC, Disney, FOX, Discovery, DIY, MTV, etc…. show it to me in HD!

  2. @cypherstream,

    The challenge for TiVo to implement such a thing is that channel mappings change all the time and it would be extremely tricky for TiVo to do it across the cable operator landscape.

    I just turn off the SD channels in my channel list and never have a problem.

  3. HD Auto Tune – This once bothered me also, but over time I realized there is a value to being able to pick the channel. We archive many shows, a fair amount of them don’t benefit from being HD, and they just take up precious HD space.

  4. “HD Auto Tune – This once bothered me also, but over time I realized there is a value to being able to pick the channel. We archive many shows, a fair amount of them don’t benefit from being HD, and they just take up precious HD space.”

    Agreed. I record things like Charlie Rose in SD, and thus I can keep a big archive on the TiVo without filling the hard drive.

    However, a TiVo that would genuinely auto-tune teevee as an optional feature? That’d be pretty damn cool…

  5. Everytime I see a new TiVo, I want to get excited. And then reality sits in. $599 plus $15 a month. Then for other TVs, $150 plus $6 a month. I could live with some low quality, SD menus. It’d bug me to not have free Prime streaming. But on top of that, something that costs that much more than the cable boxes I already pay too much for, and I still get to pay to rent a card from the cable company.

    I’ve settled on the fact that when I want to watch something not over the air, I switch inputs to Roku. What I wouldn’t give for an Xfinity app on Roku to not have to do that anymore. Or for a Roku with a GoogleTV-esque HDMI pass through so I could have it all on the same input.

    Best I can see, it’d be $599, plus $150 each for three rooms is almost $1100 to get started, and then $33 a month, plus whatever Comcast charges for cable card rental.

    Am I missing something? Hardware is expensive, ok, I get that. I drop $599 on an iPad without batting an eye, so I’m not going to argue that. $150 is a bit much for the Mini, considering it receives streamed video, just like a $99 Roku or AppleTV, except those have a few extra features. But can’t you give me a program guide for … I don’t know… $10 a month? And let me stream to a remote device for the cost of the hardware?

  6. @Scott Lewis>> nevermind all that, does it have a “Peanut Remote” and make those really cool Ba-BOOP, Ba-BOOP noises right before it locks up and crashes?

  7. hfcsyrup, yeah you got us thinking. The new plan is to leave the post as is for a day or so, and then edit it down to just the very best, most comprehensive and meaningful reviews. Our intent is to add value, not overwhelm. :)

  8. @Scott,

    If you look at TiVo as an alternative to the cable operator provided DVR and set-top boxes (Mini) and purchase the service as a one-time payment the actual return on investment is a few years depending on the cable operator being considered. I think the sweet-spot for the new boxes is the $399 Roamio Plus. If you are a current TiVo subscriber, MSD Lifetime is $399. Total investment is $800. $800 over 3 years is $22/mo or about the same amount you were paying for the cable operator DVR. When you factor in multiple TiVo Mini’s versus the STB rental fee (~$10/each) the return gets better. The other factor is once you’ve purchased the lifetime service the box can be resold when you are done with it. In my case I recently sold a Premiere Elite/XL4 with Lifetime for approx $600 — only $200 less than I paid for it a few years ago. Finally, the TiVo experience is far better (even with the Premiere) than the majority (90+%) of the leased DVRs available. The Roamio appears to be an order of magnitude better than the Premiere.

  9. Good point, Tim. I may have underestimated the value of the sound effects. I do remember from years ago, all kidding aside – TiVo always had great remotes. I’m just not about to put TiVo in one room rather than all four, nor spend $33 a month for something like this. The $15 is obnoxious, but at least there’s “something” there. The Mini does nothing to deserve $6 a month. The whole “it connects to TiVo when you do things like Hulu” doesn’t cover it either. It’s a $150 box that needs help from TiVo to stream Hulu? Explain a $50 Roku with no monthly service fee.

    I had TiVo way back in the day, when it had a dialup modem, there was no such thing as High Definition on TVs, and it was I think $10 a month, and worked with over the air boxes and had IR blaster for cable. I had ReplayTV in the day. I had that new fangled Directv box with MSN service that actually worked really well.

    I’m all for streamers, but the price is just outrageous. I’ve owned three generations of Roku, a Boxee Box, a WD TV, something from Patriot that was returned after about 8 hours it was so awful, every generation of AppleTV, a Vizio GoogleTV, I’ve plugged in computers via HDMI cables, I have a Chromecast, and they all have one thing in common. No “charge” to stream Netflix beyond what Netflix charges. I probably had another half a dozen boxes I can’t remember anymore.

    I miss TiVo. For years, I’ve missed it. But they just have to figure out a way to send a programming guide for $8 a month, and sell a Mini for $150 without a service charge, or just charge $6 a month for Mini service… whether you have one or four in the house. You can’t nickle and dime customers on one end and then not subsidize the equipment on the other.

    I HATE HATE HATE the joke of a DVR that Comcast sends. I also hate having to call every six months and threaten to cancel to get the bill reduced back to a “special one time only promotion, since we value your long term business). But TiVo isn’t grabbing $33 a month for me, and getting $1050 in up front hardware charges.

  10. “The DVR Worth Dying For?”

    I was planning on purchasing a S5 in the near-future, (assuming a remote with four programmable buttons is somehow available), but the ‘worth dying for’ gives me pause.

    Are we looking a The Hunger Games scenario in Best Buys across the nation as these come to retail? And how do you even do The Hunger Games via e-commerce?

  11. A three room setup with the “pro” will run you $1700. Up front.

    A Genie will run you NOTHING up front. $6 a month.

    And when it sh*ts the bed, you can call DirecTv and get a new one for once again FREE!

    When your TiVo shits the bed? Sorry, we’ll be happy to sell you a “refurb” for $850!

    In a day when everyone is scaling back and trying to SAVE money on TV, the clowns at TiVo roll out the Edsel!

    Good luck with all that.

  12. OTA in only the low-end box. Hmm… I don’t get it. I would think that if this is a feature that only a few people were interested in, that it would be in the high-end box.

    I admit that over the past few years, Comcast in our area have added most of the local HD channels that used to be available only OTA, but still, it is nice to have options.

    Also — I put up that damn antenna in the attic space above the garage, and ran coax to my living room back during the transition to HD — I want to get more use out of it!

    Other than that, I think I finally see something worth upgrading to from my TiVoHDs!


  13. I think dynamic tuner allocation with my XL4 and two minis will do me until some reality settles into the price on these things…or at least until I learn more about them in the wild.

  14. @Tim TiVo

    You may want to check your prices…not to mention that if you have DirectTV you can’t utilize the Roamio.

    DTV Genie:
    $25 monthly “advanced receiver service”
    $12 monthly for 2 Genie Minis ($6 each)
    $100 one time fee for GenieGo (streaming service)
    = $37 a month for service
    After 3 years your cost is $1432

    TiVo Roamio:
    $399 Roamio Pro
    $499 Lifetime for the Roamio ($399 if you are already a TiVo member)
    $499 Two TiVo Minis with lifetime
    $4.99 Single CableCard fee (most likely lower in cost)
    ~ $1400
    After 3 years your cost is $1580 and you have all of the hardware to keep

  15. No Amazon Prime, No HBO Go, No sale. TiVo appears to be the perfecyt example of what happens to R&D when you don’t have any competitors.

  16. @Bill>> What DirecTV “asks” and what they actually get are two entirely different things.

    You can negotiate when the other party (MSO) is making their money on their core product. Their DVR’s are nothing but gravy.

    I pay $12 a month for 2 Genies. Nothing more.

    Try getting that deal from TiVo and a Comcast Cable Card subscription.

  17. Sam brings up some good points. I will say this, however – I do not pay much for my STBs. Whatever the rental is supposed to be, because I call every 6 months and threaten to cancel, I always have a “permanent” $40/month credit on my account that covers the equipment. Since I doubt one can call TiVo every six months and get fees waived, I would see an increase.

    Truth be told, even if the price is “close” or “cheaper” and the experience is better – it’s a LOT of money. This is why we need market disruption.

    $100 a month for cable is absurd. $12.95 to rent a cable box is absurd. $500 for a DVR is absurd. $15 a month for a program guide is absurd. $6 a month to have access to pay $8.95 a month to NetFlix is absurd. Everything is absurd. The only saving grace is we waste so much money on TV, I no longer bat an eye when I get my cellular bill, which almost seems cheap now.

    I don’t want to make a long term TiVo investment, because I PRAY that in the next 12 to 24 months someone will massively upset the marketplace. All they need to do is keep the content providers happy and cut out the middle man. Because the middle man does a lousy job. I suppose that’s another reason all the cable companies want to own stations – to protect their place as monopolistic companies who can prevent market disruption.

    It will happen. I still remember living in Brooklyn, back in the day, “negotiating” with my landlord for permission to put a 18″ dish on their roof, amending my lease and having my rent go up a few months early for the privilege. I then remember sending lots of letters, getting ONE waiver (Fox channel 5 in NYC), even though in New York, the waiver entitled you to receive national stations (this was before satellite companies carried them all, it was typically just NYC and LA locals). That’s right, CBS, NBC and ABC turned me down, even though I would still be ‘in market’, watching ‘local NY’ channels.

    And yes, I took the Fox letter as a template, scanned it in, replaced a few logos and names, and “got” my waivers filed.

    Now, tenants are protected, and allowed to put dishes on “shared” property, and customers are allowed to receive local channels. It’s scary to think that was accomplished thanks to Congress, which actually did something pro-consumer!

    I look forward to a similar disruption allowing Internet companies to provide TV. Frankly, I think Apple, Google, Roku and four or five startups that don’t even exist now will blow things out of the water.

    I’m happy to pay $100 a month. I just don’t get much for my $100 now.

  18. So, does the base model (w/ ATSC) support streaming over MOCA?

    I’d like to put one of those upstairs, add an 8-bay antenna in the attic, and record 4 shows at once.

    Then be able to stream (instead of copy) to my original Premiere down in the basement.

  19. Wish the Roamio Plus allowed OTA as well; would come in handy in situations like the Time Warner Cable and CBS cluster****.

  20. The speed improvement alone makes this a must-upgrade for any Premiere owner, and finally gives all the Series3 holdouts a reason to open their wallets.

    Really? No way! They finally improved system performance? Any testing of how long it takes to power on, start up, and get to the TiVo Menu?

  21. Bill, no MoCA on the 4-tuner model which bums me out. Guess it was a cost saving measure.

    tivoboy, what did he say about Amazon?

    George, startup has always been slow due to some sort of security check and what not as it boots. And fortunately we don’t reboot very often. I’d be more interested to compare how fast My Shows populate or how long it takes to launch Netflix and if Netflix continue to ignore commands like pause during playback because the system is presumably overtaxed.

  22. Depends on your MSO. DirecTV at least based off my father’s bill is still outrageously expensive. He has the top package and pays $150 a month. He doesn’t even have HD. He then pays $60 a month for internet, 35/35.

    My bill with FiOS is $121 a month which is 75/35, the top TV package, and 4 CableCARDs soon to drop. I easily paid for my first two TiVos with lifetime the first two years I was without DirecTV since I saved $100 a month by switching to FiOS. I also had a $140 bill with DirecTV, distant locals, and 4 DirecTiVos.

    If he dropped to FiOS he would save around $90 after bundling his home phone, internet and TV. In 17 months he would have broken even. Every month after that would just be savings.

  23. Tim, time will tell if the market can bear their prices. $35 Chromecasts and $50 Rokus and $99 Apple TVs skew perception, even though the solutions and capabilities are slightly different. Also the complexity of CableCARD remains, along with new industry uncertainty. We’ll see what TiVo’s 7 figure marketing budget can do to educate folks. But I expect Roamio prices will come down over time in a graduated fashion, in addition to promos as needed, and this is just the opening salvo to take advantage of the early adopters as TiVo builds inventory and finalizes the software. We shall see…

  24. Dave have you heard any more on possible upgrade offers or bundles? I believe it was you that mentioned they might be coming.

    Also any news on if we can or might be able to use the built in stream functionality to transfer recordings to the PC? I would love to have TiVo do them on the fly before they transfer to my PC.

  25. Brennok, I heard from a source who heard from a source… that some promos might be on the horizon. We shall see? Regarding Stream, I’ve heard rumors of an updated TiVo Desktop along with that cloud stuff – so it could be a reasonable endpoint. As you know, with TiVo, we shouldn’t bank on anything until it arrives.

  26. “Can anyone give me a compelling reason to switch MSO’s and lay out $1700 for this DVR?”

    How much, per/yr, do you send to your wireline provider?

    What is the additional marginal value of getting the very best out of that yearly sunk cost?

  27. “Can anyone give me a compelling reason to switch MSO’s and lay out $1700 for this DVR?”

    No, so stop trolling.
    And how did it go from “$1100 and No Multiroom. Epic Fail” to $1700??

  28. I’m guessing since it didn’t launch with any Promos that they probably won’t offer any for a couple of months? Otherwise they would need to give all the people that have already ordered a Roamio some kind of discount too. Or they could just return it within the 30 day return period and order another one with the promo discount.

    I’m hoping BestBuy gets them soon since I have some giftcards and Reward Zone Dollars to use. I just wish BestBuy still released discount coupons on a regular basis. It was nice getting 10% off of both of my Elites. So a $600 pricetag for the Pro is kind of a shock. But still less than my S3 boxes from 2006 and less than my DirecTV HDTiVos from 2004.

  29. I think the biggest surprise from TiVo is the HTML5 engine that currently runs on the latest Roamio hardware. I was wondering how TiVo was going to move away from obsolete Adobe Flash and they’ve not only shown how but done it. Only thing that remains is will the HTML5 engine be able to run on older Series 4 hardware?

    “TiVo finally caught up the competition by making its platform fully HTML5-compatible, which immediately leads to better-looking apps from Netflix and YouTube.“

    And maybe Amazon Video.

  30. Ordered the base model w/ the free Stream online from Tivo.

    But then I saw one person on tivocommunity.com had success getting $99 lifetime on a monthly TivoHD when they phoned in their order.

    So if you’re in that situation, you might want to call instead of placing an online order.

  31. But Brennok, your Dad might be better off with DirectTV’s Genie product as opposed to TiVo as each household is different. Romio, Genie, Hopper are comparable products, each with its own set of costs, advantages both in design and technical (TiVo still the only one with several menus NOT in HD) capability, but still very similar.

    I for one would be interested in the base OTA unit as I use TiVo’s exclusively for OTA (a lot of good OTA where I live that really can use those 4 tuners to max) and webcasts downloaed to the HDD for far superior DVR experience as opposed to mess of live streaming. However, I would only upgrade after selling my S4’s, thank you very much, and glad to NEVER see them again, to raise the cash. I will keep my S3’s in my other rooms as there is NO LIMTS on OTA transfers, and won’t be pretty much ever since the broadcasters decided long ago not to challenge a court’s ruling on the FCC and broadcast flags. I have Ethernet, so a trasfer while watching is very much like the streaming between S4′ and S5’s.

    TiVo went “cheap” or “base” model with OTA and offering ONLY ONE model with OTA is despite the skew observed on forums or sites like this, it is still a TINY fragment who are true cord cutters who would have a use or be interested in a DVR such as TiVo, AND ADD the fact that cord cutters are, for the most part, CHEAPSKATES (I LOVE them) who find TiVo’s up front cost and monthly fees and nuclear war head priced Lifetimes utterly OPPOSITE the whole point of cord cutting in the first place: CUT COSTS, people who can live without ESPN, USA, Lifetime, and HBO, and who think TiVo buyers are suckers. In other words, the OTA cord cutters are not spenders of all that much money for TV. TiVO most likely can’t see the economics of making the OTA units “premium” ones.

    But glad to see TiVo getting up to speed with its new chip, etc. The Premiere line is like the 3rd season of Star Trek or that additional one run of the old BattleStar Galactica: they were inferior, so much so, let’s pretend they never existed. It would be funny if TiVoPeida completely erased all trace of the Premiers. :).

    Now, I have to tell my aunt, who moved in with a fellow who has NEVER had cable/sat pay TV, how much a GOOD TiVo is going to cost here. She aint going to like it at all.

  32. I ended up ordering the base model (with lifetime) with the free Stream as well. I’m still bummed that it can’t do both OTA and cable at the same time.

  33. Hassen, TiVo supports eSATA drives. However, they artificially lock it down to business partners – meaning you may not get the capacity or price you want.

    Dave, no internal drive upgrade info yet. Weaknees tells me they’re working on it.

  34. Now I’m a little worried – does the smaller form factor of the base Roamio mean it uses a 2.5″ drive instead of 3.5″?

    (IIRC the largest 2.5″ drive is 1.5TB)

    Some non-Tivo standalone ATSC DVRs use 2.5″ drives.

  35. Once again, no support for satellite customers.

    Hard to understand why Tivo has been ignoring half of the market since the Series 2.

  36. @Bud: DirecTv and Dish both offer their DVR’s for free. Nobody is going to pay over $1500 for something they will deliver, install and replace (if need be) for FREE!

  37. So is it safe to assume that current or recent WD DVR Expanders that worked with Series 3 and Premiere would work with these Roamios?

  38. But the problem is that if the expander takes a dump you lose all your recordings (still!), and it’s not been the most reliable piece of kit around.

  39. Any HDD is subject to failure, be it internal or external. While having an external may increase your chances, it at least distributes the risk over two drives, if that makes any sense.

  40. But with a TiVo, the external hard drive is married to the internal drive. So if either one dies, you lose everything on both drives.

  41. Tim TiVo, your point on Satellite cost vs TiVo is true, but even further, both DirecTV and Dish offer far superior DVR’s to any of the MSO’s. If those poor folks on cable want something like a Genie or Hopper, than TiVo is IT, the only thing that is comparable with a nice interface as cable, FiOS and Uverse just don’t have a competing product to Genie, Hopper, or Roamio at this time.

    While the vast majority would scoff or simply can’t justify or just plain can’t afford TiVo’s with the current pricing models, there are several affluent and rich folk who GLADLY invest in TiVo because the MSO DVR’s are really that bad, and they may not want to switch to satellite or CAN’T switch due to Line of Sight issues. If one wants the latest and greatest with Cable or FiOS, then it’s Roamio all the way, no doubt. It’s this core group of subscribers who have kept TiVo’s retail business alive, so there are probably still enough to pay the piper (TiVo) BIG TIME. I, for one, am pleased to see TiVo join the Hopper-Genie club, and by that I also mean a TiVo that, finally, appears to respond to commands just as fast as the two Satellite whole home solutions.

    While it isn’t likely, there still is a chance that the much more capable Roamios with their higher tuner counts and fast speed may be perceived by those considering TiVo as a better value than previous TiVo generations for all that up front cash and monthly fees or even Lifetime.

    While TiVo retail products can never match the give-aways of the MVPD’s there is something TiVo can do to make the base OTA Roamio more attractive and possibly sang more subscriptions form cord cutters: offer a permanent OTA only rate as they did a few years ago as part of a limited time offer. I think a lot of cord cutters may see the $9.99 per month as right to the limit of what they would pay for a subscription. That would be an incredible value for a FOUR tuner DVR that is a real TiVo for people who are done with cable but put off by TiVo’s current subscription rates. After enjoying the benefits of a Roamio for a while, such households may feel comfortable shelling out for a Mini or a stream down the line.

    OK, I said it. Bring back the OTA only rate, TiVo, please.

  42. Harry, maybe it’s worth mentioning that Comcast, TWC, and Verizon will be using Motorola/Arris boxes to bring placeshifting. Although I doubt they’ll allow it beyond the home, that’s what the TV Everywhere apps are for. Here’s some details on the upcoming FiOS implementation (which requires a second box, versus the transcoding that’s also offered via a home gateway):


    I do agree that lower monthly pricing, especially if targeting cord cutters, could drive sales.

  43. @Dave Yes, that is largely true (except for a few months back when a bad update caused by PXL4 to reboot every hour or so in the middle of recording – lots of missed shows). But for apps, that would be nice if they finally work on a swift HTML5 rendering engine – but for me I’ve just gotten used to switching the HDMI source away from TiVo to either my PS3 or AppleTV for Netflix, Hulu, etc.

  44. @TimTivo

    Free DVR’s from DirecTV? News to me. I’ve been a subscriber for quite a while. Their web site says $199 (http://www.directv.com/technology/hd_dvr_receiver).

    So, what I said is correct – TIvo has given up on the satellite customers – half of the market… I hope that their patent lawsuit suit business hold up well – that’s all they will have left!

  45. @Sam et al – the pricing arguments make sense on paper – the price evens out after 3 or 4 years.

    But Tivo’s been making that argument for the past 13 years without a whole lot of buy in.

    And you’re missing a bigger point: if the TiVo breaks, it’s MY problem. If the MVPD’s set top box breaks, it’s THEIR problem. And that is the deal breaker for most consumers. Well, that, plus the fact that people would rather not pay that upfront cost regardless of whether it evens out over the next 48 months.

  46. So, do we know if TiVo S3 & S4 remotes will work with Roamio?

    I sorta need the programmable buttons, which is what is keeping me from upgrading so far.

    In a best case scenario, I’m hoping the old Glo’s will work with Roamio DVR functions at a minimum, though I expect they may not work with the OTT services, since there seems to be an essential ‘back’ button in the new remotes.

    Is this generally known info? Or do I need to start mucking around TiVoCommunity to find out?

  47. Many of the OTA channels in my area offer unique programming. I’m not a “cut the cord” type I just want high end quality and versatility, including OTA. Was all jazzed about the new lineup until I found out no Antenna program support. Still waiting for the perfect unit !! …..

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