WeaKnees Has The TiVo Roamio Antidote

Dave Zatz —  August 21, 2013

TiVo Roamio On The Operating Table

After a mere 24 hours on the market, WeaKnees has delivered TiVo Roamio hard drive expansion. It may not come cheap, but the additional recording capacity certainly enhances the value of a new TiVo. And, perhaps amusingly, the TiVo Roamio Plus with 3TB of storage now clocks in at less than the stock TiVo Roamio Pro (also at 3TB). Weaknees offered up a little color, informing me that both Roamio hardware enclosures utilize 3.5″ hard disks but replacing drives in the smaller form factor base Roamio is a bit trickier and requires different tools (T8). Self-install kits will be made available once these guys catch their breath and it sounds like the team is hopeful of ultimately offering 4TB drive expansion options.

  • TiVo Roamio 500GB (stock), $200
  • TiVo Roamio 2TB $350
  • TiVo Roamio 3TB, $450
  • TiVo Roamio Plus 1TB (stock), $400
  • TiVo Roamio Plus 2TB, $500
  • TiVo Roamio Plus 3TB, $570

(Coupon codes from their recent email blast should work, $10 off Roamio with ROAMIO and $25 off Roamio Plus with ROAMIOPLUS.)

Update: Turns out hard drive upgrades may be supported by Roamio out of the box! Of course, you’ll need a Torx drive set and a a suitable drive, along with a willingness to tinker and potentially void you warranty. (Thanks Brennok!)

19 responses to WeaKnees Has The TiVo Roamio Antidote

  1. Disappointing in some sense, since TCF was getting me optimistic that the OS might be built in on an internal flash drive and you would be able to plug and play drives off the shelf like with PS3s and Moxi.

  2. Nice to see Weeknees offering a 2TB version that may be the sweet spot for a lot of people who want more than 1TB, but not at $600 for the stock 3TB Roamio. Frankly, it seems that for Roamio, Weeknees looks to be a better place to buy a TiVo than anyone else.

  3. Hoping TiVo and/or weaKnees start selling the new remote – wonder if they’d include a little USB RF dongle for folks on the Premiere or S3 platform. Also makes me wonder if the Mini might see a refresh in a few months featuring the “Roamio” hardware design language and the new remote.

  4. Michael Burstin August 22, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like the Roamio Plus with 3TB drive is only a $30 savings over the Roamio Pro with 3TB drive. People seemed to be saying that Tivo was having a massive upcharge to go from 1TB -> 3TB but this seems like very little difference. I imagine that once Best Biuy gets in the Pro that they will be cheaper there when they put out their next 10% off coupon.

    Any tradeoffs for buying upgraded from Weaknees vs. Tivo other than $30 (on what ultimately would be a $1000 purchase if you add lifetime)? I know Tivo actually is pretty reasonable for purchasing an extended warranty.

  5. Don’t forget, WeaKnees is also offering that $25 off code for the Plus and I think $40 for the Pro. Not sure who charges what for shipping or tax. I’ve never bought a Best Buy or TiVo warranty for my units, so I can’t speak to that. The only unit that ever died on me might have been a S1, probably due to my negligence, and TiVo quickly replaced it.

  6. Once you add in the price of a 3 year extended warranty, the 3TB Plus from Weaknees is $5 more expensive than the Roamio Pro.(When using the Weaknees coupon code for the Plus and the Pro). Since if you get the 3TB Plus from Weaknees you have to get their extended warranty. You can’t get the TiVo one. While if you get the Pro, which is unmodified. You can get the 3 yr. extended warranty from TiVo, which is less than the one from Weakness. So the bottom line price is $5 less for the R pro. At least while the coupon codes are still good at Weaknees.

  7. Thanks for confirming the base Roamio uses a 3.5″ drive instead of 2.5″ drive.

    IIRC, Seagate offers a 4TB “AV” drive, but Western Digital’s “AV-GP” drives top out at 3TB for around $150 retail.

  8. And it’s nice to know we’ll never have to worry about replacing a bad _internal_ power supply on the base model – have they released specs for power consumption yet?

  9. “People seemed to be saying that Tivo was having a massive upcharge to go from 1TB -> 3TB but this seems like very little difference.”

    Incorrect, the original statement is still true. Remember, you are paying someone for their time and expertise to do this. If you think that Weaknees adds no value, then yes, you are correct. The bottom line is that TiVo has to add a drive anyway and they could drop a 3TB in just as easily as a 1 for no price difference other than the cost of the drive itself.

  10. Michael Burstin August 22, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    @Trynyty, so why does the Weaknees upgraded Tivo have a $100 difference to go from 2TB -> 3TB on the Roamio? Its at least only $70 for the same upgrade on the Roamio Plus.

    The bottom line is that Weaknees has to change a drive anyway and they could drop a 3TB in just as easily as a 2 for no price difference other than the cost of the drive itself.

  11. For whatever it’s worth, I’m sure they harvest the stock 1TB drive on the Plus models for use in other DVRs… Not sure how or if that impacts Michael’s pricing observation. They did mention it’s more difficult to replace the Roamio drives, so there could be a time element involved. But perhaps it’s simply a matter of Weaknees getting better margins selling a upgraded Plus over a stock Pro. No one’s in it for free…

  12. William C Bonner August 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I’d looked at the TiVo Romio and it appeared to me that only the base model could record OTA broadcast.

    My first TiVo I paid for lifetime service, and my current TiVo HD has lifetime service. If I buy another TiVo, I’d price it with lifetime service. I’d probably also want to install the largest drive possible.

  13. Looks like at least the Roamio is plug and play with hard drive upgrades.


  14. Amazing – drop in a 2TB drive and the Roamio formats it for use automatically.

    Hopefully someone will get the $200 Seagate 4TB Pipeline (their AV model) working with the Roamio – that would result in around 600 hours of capacity.

  15. As Dan mentioned on TCF it makes sense from a support standpoint for MSOs. They can now easily repair TiVos without needing to buy new units, and they can also upgrade as they need/want to offer more storage to their customers.

    The real question though is there any negative to doing this? I don’t know if TiVo could lock it down so somehow only MSOs are able to upgrade and then also update.

  16. I’ll be shocked if Tivo doesn’t quickly lower the price on the Pro down to $499 or so once word of this gets out – I’m sure there are high-end folks out there that won’t care about the ripoff price of the Pro but this will certainly cannabalize sales of it for a lot of savvy people willing to google for drive upgrades.

  17. Michael Burstin August 23, 2013 at 8:18 am

    @Dave – I wasn’t at all knocking Weaknees for their pricing – I was just using Trynyty’s statement which was critical of Tivo’s rate differences. I do imagine that Weaknees will re-purpose the drives. I can’t imagine them not doing so.

    Still, hopefully @slowbiscuit’s comment will be true and they knock down the price on the Pro.

    I do wonder whether the upgraded drives will continue to work with future software upgrades. It would be a stupid move for Tivo to try to cripple user-upgraded drives (and probably kill a company relying on tech-savy customers) so lets hope there are no future issues.

  18. Michael Burstin August 23, 2013 at 8:37 am

    I do wonder, though, if the 4TB drive limitation that Weaknees hit was a hardware limitation (BIOS-ish issue) or whether the Tivo software that formats the drive just doesn’t know what to do with a 4TB drive.

  19. Others have noted that the WD 2TB drive, even though it is “green”, has a power consumption nearly 80% greater then the original Seagate 500GB drive.

    With such tight confines inside the (Roamio) Basic, I think I’ll hold off on a drive upgrade until others confirm it can handle the extra heat dissipated by a 2TB or 3TB drive.

    Shouldn’t be a problem on the larger form factor Plus, though.