TiVo Roamio, One Month Later


After launching about a month ago to overwhelmingly positive reviews and to what we’re hearing are impressive sales, given limited (and bizarre) advertising to this point, TiVo Roamio out-of-home streaming is on track for an October launch — which is when TiVo intends to light up significant marketing, ideally timed for the critically important holiday shopping season, as we had assumed. Of course, TiVo will face some challenges given only 2 of the 3 Roamio DVRs actually “roam” (on their own) and Android support is now slated for early 2014.

As is to be expected from a significant new platform, there have been some technical glitches — the most notable being related to CableCARD tuning and network issues in relation to “green” routers. But TiVo has rapidly been squashing bugs: a Netflix crasher was resolved last week, Xfinity on Demand V301 communication issues were corrected last night, with better CableCARD and router support are expected in maybe two weeks.

For folks dissatisfied with stock DVR recording capacities (or looking to save a few bucks via an upgraded Plus versus MSRP Pro), it’s come to light that hard drives up to 3TB can simply be dropped into the set-top with Roamio handling all the drive prep for you. And for those that desire an absolutely massive 4TB internal drive, good for 630hrs of HD recording, Weaknees can help.


As to what’s next, the Opera app platform for TV is expect to hit early next year along with an updated TiVo SDK… and hopefully usher in a broader catalog of content partners. However, TiVo’s new HTML5 capabilities are already being leveraged via new Netflix and YouTube apps and two community software programs have been updated to beam webpages and H.264 video through Roamio. On the hardware front, companion TiVo Mini units are out of stock – but we’re not yet prepared to read much into that. More interesting is imagery depicting an updated TiVo Slide remote with QWERTY keyboard for the Roamio generation of DVRs.

25 thoughts on “TiVo Roamio, One Month Later”

  1. This is essentially a two-parter… percolating on my ‘TiVo Premiere Upgrade Conundrum’ and expect to write it up next week. But don’t hold me to that. :)

  2. Dave, can you do a video with a Roamio and mini interaction? I’d like to see how fast the interaction is with channel surfing and what not. thanks.

  3. If I had a Roamio I might… :) I’ve been on the fence in regards to an upgrade (the source of the upcoming post I was talking about). On my Mini connected to a Premiere Elite/XL4, channel surfing is somewhat sluggish BUT whereas we noticed at first, we don’t notice it at all now. I’m more annoyed with how the Mini drops out of Live TV to the menu after X hours of inactivity (and prompts with Are you still there? if you happen to be watching).

  4. Should I keep waiting for the FiOS media server or just jump over to Roamio? Really wanting more tuners with all the new shows coming on.

  5. I’ve been holding out for Android streaming support. Starting to get tired of waiting. Wonder if it’ll ever come…

  6. Dave, One man hired by TiVo or their marketing firm, you mean… ;)

    John, Haven’t heard anything lately on when the FiOS TV VMS might hit or how much it and its extenders may run. TiVo, with Netflix, is a fine solution and available today. Just requires more money upfront and perhaps some install challenges (but hopefully not). Your decision may also depend on how important On Demand content is to you. But until we know more about VMS, including availability, it’s hard to recommend…

  7. I’ve been holding out for Android streaming support.

    You’d think by now Android users would realize that Apple iOS tends to be supported first for many reasons not the least of that Apple owns the tablet market and there’s only ONE manufacturer to support. Tivo has already said Android support is coming and even I, an iPhone/iPad user, knows the supports is coming 1Q2014. So complaining does absolutely nothing. Tivo explained they wanted to get the Roamio hardware out the door as soon as possible to get the channel ready in time for Christmas. Smart.

    The downside was that the software for certain things was not ready such as streaming out-of-the-house and Android support but that it’s coming. Software development is time consuming and writing bug free software is VERY time consuming. It amuses me how Tivo users expect everything NOW and then when it’s delivered complain about minor bugs as if it’s the end of the world. Tivo can’t win. Even Apple has been pushing their deadlines realizing you just can’t rush software unless you want really annoying bugs (and there have been a bunch). At best you release smaller pieces at a time.

    Waiting until Android support or streaming is ready to buy a Roamio makes little sense when you KNOW IT’S COMING. Why not buy a new Roamio and start enjoying all new hardware features today and get 4-6 more months out of the hardware had you waited?

    Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.

  8. Channel changing on the Mini is the same whether it’s linked to a Roamio or a Premiere XL4. Channel changing on the Roamio is noticeable faster than on the Mini.

  9. My assumption is that they’re on similar trajectories and I have reason to believe a TiVo Stream beta is in progress…

  10. Have to say Mini was complete and utter install failure at start. Finally got going after 2 days post support call. Channel changing and response is painfully slow.

  11. I am not cutting my nose off to spite my face as stated in an earlier comment, but I too will wait for out of house streaming and android support. Otherwise, I’ve just got a slightly less sluggish Premiere. And no I don’t know it’s coming, it’s been two freaking years. On a slightly nicer note, TiVo let me upgrade one of my two non lifetime Premiere’s to lifetime for $99, and will let me upgrade the final Premiere I have to lifetime if I buy a Roamio. That might be enough to get me to grab a Roamio.

  12. Ken, you almost convinced me to call TiVo to see if they’d reactivate my 2-tuner Premiere with Lifetime for $99. But then I was thinking the (new) $5/mo FiOS CableCARD rental fee is only a buck less than the TiVo Mini service fee, after that same $99. Doesn’t add up for me. Then again, maybe I put Lifetime on the Premiere so that I can sell it (and use the proceeds for a second Mini)? It’s been unplugged for 6 or 9 months at this point. Hm.

  13. Dave…any hints on LifeTime pricing for Mini’s coming down? Got a Roamio Plus installed on FiOS this weekend, upgraded to 3TB. Going to sell the LT THD it replaced, and thinking of doing the same for my second HD, replacing with a Mini. I even have an upgraded S2 W/LT in a bedroom that I’m thinking of replacing with a Mini as well.

    I thought I’d be ok just adding the Roamio to the mix, but now I’m sold on one box to rule them all…

  14. for those saying Android support is coming – all well and good but until I get Android support – the main feature for me on Roamio is moot. I only have android devices.

    TiVo needs to keep hearing this so they realize that Android support is indeed worth investing resources in and make sure they jump over nay hurdles left

  15. i was never a tivo guy but was intrigued by all the positive reviews and couldn’t stand the crappy product and rental fees from my existing fios cable boxes… after a couple of months with the Roamio and minis my review is AWESOME. I went all in with the roamio plus and 3 minis — all with lifetime subscriptions – expensive but no more $45 bucks to fios and what a way better product – on a side note i was wirelessly streaming a Fios HD box to my small kitchen tv, which was sort of cool (cause no set-top box needed) but sometimes had connection issues) – with the mini it’s all good – a real good thing about the minis is that you can pause live tv, also hit the record button as well – you can’t do that with a fios all-home dvr – can only hit record from the main dvr. the tivo iphone and ipad app are awesome. no complaints from me – can’t wait for the out of home streaming to hit soon.

  16. Steve… you mentioned you purchased the Roamio Plus and added a 3TB HD. I was thinking of doing the same. Can you confirm that it is as simple as physically removing the original HD and installing the 3HD (in other words – no software configuration install/configuration required). And does it make a difference if a 5400rpm or 7200rpm HD is used?

  17. Keith, it really is that simple, just insert the new drive, and you’re all set, it’ll rebuild itself. If you have a cablecard in an existing TiVo, just move that card to the Roamio as well. For my house, I didn’t even have to call Cox to notify, it just worked.

    More details here:

  18. Can anyone confirm that the standard Roamio (non-Plus/Pro) can easily be upgraded with a larger hard drive as described for the Plus/Pro? A little disappointed that the Plus/Pro are not compatible with HD Antenna source.

  19. I was about to buy the Roamio today until I realized that it didn; to support Android streaming. I chatted with support to find out if it was coming and they had no info. I know it may be easier to code for the IOS but to be a leader you need to grab all your potential consumers. Android is surpassing IOS (in both phone and tablet: http://techland.time.com/2013/04/16/ios-vs-android/) and for a “Leader in DVR” to not be able to figure out how to support all their customers is bad business, All TIVO needs to do is support Jellybean and up. The newest phones and tablets that would be able to stream would be on those OS anyway. Yes, there are more devices to QA.

  20. I just swapped a seagate 2TB hdd that I had laying around in a $199 basic Roamio as i took it out of the box. It booted, built itself, downloaded upgrades and activated. Under Tivo central settings I could view that I now have 318 or so HD hours now, not the 75 it came with. Roamio is wife approved since it can search and launch netflix, hulu and amazon all on same box… no more switching sources!

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