How To Upgrade To TiVo Hydra

Dave Zatz —  October 29, 2017 — 78 Comments

The switch has been flipped and Hydra is now available to TiVo Bolt, Roamio, and Mini owners who want it. However, you probably want to review these considerations before proceeding. Further, the downgrade app, should you later choose to throw in the towel, does not yet appear to be available and TiVo Minis have had some trouble with the upgrade process.

Should that not be enough to dissuade, here’s how to get in early on the optional upgrade: Hit this link, log into TiVo.com, and select the boxes you’d like to update. The TiVo Service Numbers are being swept in every two hours so, should the 24-48 hour wait be too long, you’d go into your network settings to force a connection to receive the update and then reboot to apply it.

Keep in mind any Minis you have will ultimately need to match the host DVR interface. So excluding them or trying to prioritize them within the request form won’t ultimately mean anything. With that in mind, I’d suggest updating everything or nothing.

I haven’t had enough time with Hydra to pass judgement, other than to say I appreciate the menu customization and find the animations, transitions, etc very smooth … although there’s going to be significant retraining in regards to deprecation of the left directional button and rethinking of the now playing show info banner, plus who knows what else. Also, at a meta analytical level, the new interface has me wondering what makes TiVo a TiVo. Hm.

78 responses to How To Upgrade To TiVo Hydra

  1. Nope, not gonna be a beta tester for this one. I’ll let others work the bugs out.

  2. “and wait a while”

    I’ve always appreciated your highly precise technical explanations.

    Currently doing the wait a while phase on my one Mini. I actually really like Hydra so far.

  3. My bolt and Mini are updated now as well. If you have a Bolt, the upgrade to the new UI i surprisingly fast. I am use to update taking forever with Tivos, but it was done in no time. Did not take too much more longer for the mini either.

    Here are my findings at first glance..

    For people who like the play all in folder feature you will be sorely disappointed. That feature is missing.

    Also if you want to sort your shows by date. Viewing by All Recordings defaults to seasons and when you sort by date, it still sorts by season first and throws other episodes in an “Extra” heading. A workaround until they fix this is use All Shows for the listing. There, you can sort by date and it does this.

    Also in the All Recordings view, if you change to sort by date, exit out and go back it reverts back to seasons.

    All shows, if you want to make date as default, one your change it for a show, and go back it will remember your last sort option.

    The new UI is a shock if your use to the old UI. But being a TiVo customer for over 15 years, with the little I have played with it. I like it, and think it will only get better as TiVo does more updates to it.

    I say before you think you hate it, from initial view, give it some time. I was not thrilled with some things but the more I play with it, I can see why Tivo did what they did..

    As for the left selector, I can see why they did this. Right is tuners, up I believe is Predictions strip and down is whats currently on channel and coming up, and pressing channel up and down you can scroll whats on other channels and left is channel favorites you select.

    But not everyone will be interested in favorites and I hope that Tivo will give you the option not have left selector as favorites or back to appease people.

    My big problem with the back button to use now, its too close to the input button and when I try to go back I am finding myself changing the input on my TV :-)

    the HD UI was a pretty big update but not too huge of a change from the SD to me. It was still basically a TiVo UI.. This UI is not your parents Buick… Its totally new and think its time TiVo made a big change like this.

    I like the colors of the UI, it allows the content to shine and stand out.

    So hats off to TiVo for a great job, I am finding a few little quirks that I think TiVo will hopefully fix soon but if you love change, go for it, If change scares you. Go to a Best Buy or some store that hopefully has it on display to play with to see what you think.

  4. I always upgrade to the new OS ASAP, but if I can’t transfer my programs from the tivo, I’m holding off as long as possible.

  5. You can download recordings off the TiVo. What you can’t do is upload from computer-to-TiVo. You can also transfer recordings between TiVos, but requires TiVo.com vs initiating on box.

  6. So far so good, just finished updating TiVo Roamio Plus (took less than 5 min, but generic message stated it could take 1 hour, NICE I like 5 min better). Just spent 10 min with Hydra and so far I like it. Need to check my 1st gen and 2nd gen TiVo Mini Units to see how those units handled the upgrade. One thing that may be a concern is NO BACK button it 1st gen TiVo Mini, I may have to use TiVo button a lot on that remote, heck I know I will.

    Will report with more later on.

  7. You can still transfer your recordings from the TiVo. As long as it’s not restricted by your cable provider. I just transferred a couple of shows to my PC. One with KMTTG and one with pyTiVo Desktop.

    The problem is you can’t transfer from a PC back to the TiVo.

  8. Ok so GREAT news for TiVo Mini 1st gen, while remote does not have BACK button it does have Zoom button in the same location and it does work as ‘Back’ function, ‘Zoom’ feature has been replaced by ‘Back’. Few bugs on Mini so far 1st channel you select when going from 1st or 2nd gen is choppy as if picture jumps every 3-4s gram by frame something wrong, but second channel you select works fine, so need a fix for that TiVo. Also Live Tv button gives error that connection needs refresh/fix which is another bug since I can connect as mentione in previous comment.

  9. Luckily my Gen 1 Mini upgraded without any issues.

  10. My 4TB Bolt also just finished upgrading to Hydra. So far it seems fine.

  11. Jakub Kudlacz: Are you sure that the Zoom buttons acts like Back? On my Bolt, using the Zoom button (on an older remote) acts as the new Exit button.

  12. Regarding the current inability to upload shows from PC to TiVo, I think they’d be better off removing that functionality and replacing it with the ability to use a PC as a streaming host.

  13. James: Yes just tested again and going to My Shows then hitting Zoom button takes me back to Home, same for Apps, What To Watch, Menu.

    When using Netflix, Amazon or Hulu Zoom acts like Exit. So apps behavior is different, there you have to use the Back Arrow, so not that bad because on my Newer Remote with RF Back button and Back arrow act as same button action during navigation of Movie/Show.

  14. Jakub Kudlacz: Huh, weird. I wonder if TiVo made the Hydra UI interpret the Zoom button differently on the Bolt than on the Mini?

  15. Thanks for the Zoom button feedback. Will need to update yesterday’s ‘heads up’ post when we know more. Although I was just cleaning up vomit and bathing the responsible toddler. Not sure how much energy I have left for perusing the forums tonight.

    FYI TiVo tells me they believe they’ve identified and resolved the two Mini problems I (and others) had previously experienced — cycles between home and a black window without updating and without being able to do much of anything and that crazy Opera URL error.

    However, my family room Mini stopped pulling live TV and my wife wants to know why I’m testing beta software for TiVo. She was surprised to learn it’s public and, at least initially, doesn’t find it very attractive or modern (the grid guide in particular). A DVR reboot, a Mini reboot, a Mini phone home, and another Mini reboot brought live TV back. Will see how long it lasts.

  16. Bought myself a TiVo Vox Mini today, and tried paring it to my BOLT+ Gen3 UI. It updated software twice, and now it boots into Hydra for about 5 seconds (I can browse and all), then, a black screen with a giant gray arrow to the right appears, it stays on the screen for about a second, and then the screen goes black. The LED flashes when I hit the directional pad, but the screen stays black. Hitting the TiVo button causes a bong sound, but nothing happens, it just stays on a black screen. Called TiVo support and opened a ticket, they said to just let it rest and see what it does (it’s been two hours, it’s still on a black screen, and they’re closed). I imagine the giant gray arrow is the background for the “go back to Gen3 or upgrade to Hydra on the BOLT+), and that I’m hitting a bug on that screen. It seems like the general consensus is to just lay low on Gen3 for a bit (if you’re happy with it), so that’s what I’d *like* to do (I’m afraid Hydra will fix this Mini, and break my RF Mini). I’m just not sure I’m going to have a choice. After all, how do you update software on a TiVo that sits on a black screen? Someone on TiVoCommunity had the same issue, so they just caved and upgraded the BOLT to Hydra and that fixed it.

    Bummer!

  17. Justin, the arrow is part of the UI and I’m guessing it replaces the spinner. Mini must match host DVR and the new hardware wants to use Hydra meaning you’re probably going to have to upgrade your Bolt. Not sure if the downgrade app is even available yet. It wasn’t earlier.

  18. Ugh! Ted said on the forum it’d work! Link

    Support thought it would downgrade, but the arrow and subsequent black screen threw them for a loop. I trust your judgement on this one if you think it’s time to let go of Gen3, haha.

  19. A good deal of my intel has come from Ted, so I mostly defer to him. Although I prodded him on my Mini supposed CableCARD issue and the Opera link seemed to surprise. How many other v1/v2 Minis do you have and are they in critical viewing locations. You might just turn off the Vox for a week or so and then upgrade everything…?

  20. This Mini was to dump a 2 Tuner Premiere I have, so I can drop the $8.50 monthly Comcast CableCARD fee on it. So, I can sit on it. My main thought to upgrading is that if the thing kicks to a black screen after 6 seconds (my 5 seconds in Hydra, and the one second giant gray arrow), how am I going to push the update to it that fixes the downgrade even if they do fix it?

    So yeah, I think you may be right. Mothball the Vox Mini until hopefully TiVo pushes an update this week for the Mini’s, and then upgrade everything once the Mini’s stabilize a bit. I just know TiVo is normally painfully slow to issue OS updates (heck, it took 14 days to update our guide data when Comcast did a total lineup change, making the TiVos literally worthless for two weeks), so I’m afraid this is on a months-long timeline, rather than a bi-weekly release schedule. For what it’s worth, I believe someone hit the same CableCARD error you saw on the mini as well, but from the way they talked about it in the thread, I thought they had a Vox Mini. More Links

  21. So… Even ignoring the insane bugginess, this seems far worse than I’d thought. And I thought it looked pretty damn bad before today.

  22. I used my Gen 1 Mini for around an hour today with Hydra. Using a Bolt as host DVR with hydra. It worked great the entire time I used it.

    Overall I am really enjoying Hydra. And am glad I upgraded all my TiVos to it today.

  23. Same here Roamio Plus, 1st gen Mini and 2nd gen Mini running great on Hydra, very happy.

  24. My Minis still had live TV today, which is something! Muscle memory is going to be the biggest challenge for me – specifically the remapped directional buttons. Will percolate a few days or more and then hopefully post the Hydra Hits & Misses. Also still contemplating what makes TiVo a TiVo. With a whole new interface and inferior Rovi guide data, I wonder.

  25. I upgraded my Roamio OTA and two Gen1 Minis last night. The Roamio and one Gen1 went as expected. The second Mini gave an error stating that the upgrade failed and to try again. It also said to check my internet connection. The internet connection was fine, so I tried again and it again failed. So, I pulled the plug, rebooted it and it immediately went into installing the update. Once completed, it booted up and worked as expected.

    I use Harmony remotes, so I had to map a button for the ‘Back’ button. However, the Harmony database didn’t list a ‘Back’ button but I found it is called ‘Return’ on their list. I mapped it to the ‘Previous’ button and will have to train my fingers to use that instead of the ‘Left’ button to return to the previous screen.

    Dave, thanks for the Hydra coverage and real world experience.

  26. Okay, so one day later, with the Mini Vox sitting on the black screen the whole time, I got the downgrade prompt. I did the downgrade, and all appears to be well.

  27. I’m enjoying it so far.

    I think that it’s visually superior — it looks very polished and far more ‘classy.’

    I was hoping that the update would fix the Dolby dropout issue… but no such luck.

  28. Dave, with the “what makes TiVo a TiVo” comment, does the new interface feel more generic, even though it’s supposedly making better use of the screen real estate? Did they lose the TiVo sounds or other things that are key TiVo? My concern with Hydra, beyond the big, ugly bar of programming icons (which I read can be disabled) is the possibility that it no longer feels like a TiVo. I didn’t feel that way with the Premiere when I got that with the updated interface (even though it was slooooow), but the look of Hydra has me both intrigued and frightened for not only the future of the software that I use, but the future of TiVo. I’m sure they will tweak it to improve, but it comes back to what makes it a TiVo? As long as we have our One Pass, My Shows list with everything we are used to, and the Live Guide (oops, minus one), I will be better equipped to “survive” such a change,

  29. I am not sure why everyone is freaking out about Hydra. Yes there are changes but this should be expected of new software. I know that in the past TiVo would mostly innovate on features not UI, maybe that is why so many people are worried Hydra won’t work for them. I think Hydra is a big step forward, all the menus are in HD, there is a great use of realestate new icons are easy to read and make guide actually better if you ask me I am 100% happy with it and looking forward to new features.

  30. I though what makes TiVo is OnePass, 8s rewind, 30s fast forward, commercial skip, etc. and all that is there in much nicer packaging suitable for 21st century not 1990’s.

  31. “Dave, with the “what makes TiVo a TiVo” comment…”

    I initially puzzled over that formulation too.

    I’ve come to believe it’s an exceedingly polite way of saying the TiVo mascot has suddenly become a character in the film “Idiocracy”.

  32. FYI If you have Minis in the mix, I wouldn’t upgrade to Hydra at this point. Many of us are still losing connectivity throughout the day to host DVR with V66 error. Requires Mini reboot. My wife is not happy. Also couldn’t figure out how to get to her recordings this AM and called me at work, but that will come with time.

    I got my 4K Mini Vox hooked up, but haven’t tried voice yet. Didn’t want to risk waking my sick daughter last night. Several apps are missing at this point, including Amazon. TiVo’s going through the certification process with them, but keeps updating the software build which kinda resets thing. Hopefully they get that sorted in the next few weeks.

  33. Jakub, certainly all of those features are key to making TiVo what it is, but I have all of those things in an HD interface that is easy to navigate, and fully functional. All menus on the gen3 UI are updated now, and I’m surprised to hear it referred to as “1990s”-esque.

    I’d like to see something that would make me want to move to Hydra beyond just a mixed-review (so far) UI change that loses the Live Guide (which I use a lot). I know TiVo wants search to be the primary way you find programming, and I use that frequently, too, but sometimes I just scroll through the Live Guide and its hit-and-miss data to see what is out there, and cross my fingers that it’s accurate.

    That said, to each his/her own, and I don’t begrudge TiVo for making this change, since the made it optional. I will likely update at some point in the future when the issues are worked out, but hoping they bring back Live Guide before I do. If so, I can get used to an inteface change, and may even grow to like it.

  34. Just for reference if you upgrade now and decide you don’t like it, there is currently no rollback method released publicly. It’s coming but no idea when.

  35. Bricketh,

    I find Hydra to be a far more streamlined and user-friendly interface. It’s also, IMO, far prettier.

  36. What makes a Tivo a Tivo ? A DVR that does OTA and Cable you can own, that can be easily be hooked directly to a TV, and doesn’t force you into streaming devices to view recordings.
    When the smoke clears most of Tivo’s OTA only competition won’t be around. I actually use OTA but acknowledge cable isn’t going away. Rovi knows this too.

  37. So TiVo = last man standing? Were Moxi, Replay TV, and Microsoft also TiVos? Hm.

  38. “What makes a Tivo a Tivo ? A DVR that does OTA and Cable you can own, that can be easily be hooked directly to a TV, and doesn’t force you into streaming devices to view recordings.”

    Well, I’ve been a TiVo devotee for about a decade, and that’s never how I’ve seen the “What makes a TiVo a TiVo” question.

    For one, I got into TiVo before streaming was a thing. I love OnePass, but I’d still be a TiVo user if it had never come about.

    For two, while I appreciate the “I own it” part, that’s only because I live in a metro area with 3 competing MSO’s, and I’ve been able to easily bargain them down in price using my TiVo as leverage. (And that’s partially because I’ve been genuinely willing to switch my MSO due to not having to change DVR’s.)

    But really, for me at least, what “What makes a TiVo a TiVo” is purely about a superior UX to the CableCo competition.

    I came late to the party. For years, I had a wonderful CableCo Scientific Atlanta DVR that I loved. It had a UX that was quite similar to the pre-Encore TiVo, minus the superior remote. I read about TiVo, and while it seemed like it had a slightly better UX than the SA box, it didn’t seem significant to me.

    Then my CableCo contacted me and told me they were going to force us to switch out the Scientific Atlanta box for one from a different manufacturer. I got the model number, did a day of internet research on this box’s UX, and I was horrified. Within a few days, I had done enough research to greenlight a TiVo, and that was that.

    (As it turned out, the TiVo UX was significantly better than the Scientific Atlanta UX in many subtle ways that I wasn’t aware of.)

    But for a decade, that’s “what makes a TiVo a TiVo” has meant to me simply: A better UX than the CableCo box. End of story.

    Windows wasn’t a TiVo. Dunno about Moxi, but I’ve got doubts.

    And frankly, pretty much 90% of what I’m hearing about Hydra is telling me it may well not be “a TiVo”. I suspect I’ll try Hydra out at some point, but even little stuff like making Peanut use less mental-friction-free is what gives me Halloween frights.

    And if Hydra is as screwed up for non-voice usage as I’m currently perceiving, then MJR’s note about integrated streaming will become what makes a TiVo a TiVo, in the absence of better reasons not to go with the CableCo DVR, (though TiVo’s inability to attract the wide range of OTT services puts a really serious crimp in that.) The sad thing is that TiVo doesn’t seem to grasp that adding voice is no reason to degrade the non-voice UX. Voice interfaces are currently oversold for many tasks.

  39. When your cable company still supplies a guide still looks like the mess found at http://www.spectrum.net/support/tv/interactive-programming-guidemenu-scientific-atlanta/ like it does for me picking a TiVo over the CableCo DVR is a no brainer.

  40. But what if Comcast is your cableco and they give you X1 or DISH with Hopper? That’s the other end of the spectrum and real nice solutions for many. But, yes, I agree that SARA is awful: https://zatznotfunny.com/2009-09/sara-the-steampunk-dvr-os/

  41. “But, yes, I agree that SARA is awful:”

    See, I don’t have a problem with the current SARA screenshot that Daniel H. posted. Ugly? Yup. But I don’t give a good goddamn about font choices and retro graphics. I’m a usability customer in terms of UX. (That’s why I’ve always made fun of Dave’s semi-obsession about bringing the HDUI to TiVo settings menus. To me, why care?)

    Back in the mid-late-’90’s when no one was writing software for the Mac, I stuck with it over Windows not because it was prettier, (though it was), but because it was significantly easier to use and accomplish both simple and complex tasks. A tool that creates less mental-friction in usage is what matters to me.

    And as to what Dave wrote about SARA in that linked post, after (validly) complaining about the visual clunkiness of the design choices, he then gets to the part that is important to me:

    “Having said that, the 8300HD (actually, it’s an 82*0) does what it should. It’s not as polished as most other DVR experiences, but the retro visuals belie some fairly sophisticated recording options.”

    And that spirit tracks with my experience with SARA boxes in the 2007 and earlier era. The damn things worked intuitively, and didn’t get in my way very often. In other words, good UX. Who cares about eye candy? When I couldn’t keep the SARA box, was offered something worse, and thus forced towards TiVo, I found that TiVo HD usability was miles ahead of the already good SARA box in a multitude of rather subtle ways. That’s what UX is to me.

    I’ve noted a lot of folks praising Hydra seem into the eye candy, and while I’m happy for them, personally, I just don’t care.

    (All that said, I think Encore is far superior to any CableCo DVR UX I’ve read about or played with. I just have serious doubts that the same can be said right now for Hydra.)

  42. Huh. After reading the comments in the 2009 thread, I now understand SARA was the OS running on the SA hardware, and I may thus have had a different OS on my earlier SA DVR.

    Whatever it was, my memory is still that is was ugly, but highly functional. And it was well regarded against the CableCo competition in forums I read at time.

  43. While Comcast has some nice feature to offer they are NOT FREE. I would have to pay for them on monthly basis. My TIVO already paid for itself and whatever value it holds now can be used to sell on eBay and upgrade to newer model (if I choose to do so) which won’t happen anytime soon since we don’t have 4K TVs.

  44. Chucky, I agree functionality is the priority. But pleasant looks are OK too. It’s been a hundred years, but I remember SARA as being sluggish, laggy. Who knows.

    Jakub, Chucky is not on Lifetime… so his TiVo features are not free either.

    Most of us in this thread have obviously chosen TiVo over the competition, so we probably don’t need to debate that point so intently. With Rovi’s lesser guide data and what at least initially feels like a less intuitive, less efficient interface, what makes TiVo a TiVo. Obviously this is a TiVo product and TiVo has some unique elements, including aforementioned retail availability, but wondering if DVR is mostly a commodity at this point.

    Another interesting point – before CableCARD, a TiVo set-top used IR blasters to control a cable set-top… how crazy was that?

  45. Who here has horror stories about trying to get IR blasters working with a cable box.

  46. Hydra is crap. The UI is convoluted and all over the place. Could live with the grid most probably, missing the left button is terrible as well. Soon as we are caught up on our recordings we must watch. Will do the factory reset if that does not work wait for the revert app.

    I sense this is truly the beginning of the end for Tivo. So disappointed.

  47. Jeff little harsh review. I like it, took me less than 5 min to get used to it. Hmm maybe adding Vox Remote will make it even better or manageable for you.

  48. new interface is ok, but I hate several things
    1) single shows are now in a “group” requiring extra clicks
    2) PC to Tivo transfers are dead, as are box initiated tivo to tivo transfers. this is just awful and a major step back
    3) if you are watching a live recording show you must hit pause before exiting or else it goes back to beginning of show when you resume
    4) if you are in any menu while watching a recorded show it will not stay at current point in show when you exit the menu, it jumps back to when you started to hit menu

  49. “Hmm maybe adding Vox Remote will make it even better or manageable for you.”

    No “Hmm” necessary. That’s been my working theory for a month now, since this news, that Hydra was intended, and only makes sense as a voice-first UI.

    Personally, I think that’s insane on TiVo’s part. There’s no reason that they couldn’t have added voice to either Encore, or an Encore successor that works as well without voice. But YMMV, obviously.

    (From what I’ve seen of Hydra, if I wanted a voice-first UI, it seems like it’d be pretty damn dandy. But I want a Peanut-first, voice-second UI. So that’s where I’m coming from.)

  50. WOW we’re lucky to even have the a grid guide. It was apparently was included by operator request not subscribers.

    There’s even a little chuckle for those that still need it. We should’ve realized Hydra was going to be a disaster back when Dave posted this in Feb.

  51. Well my attempt to embed a Youtube link didn’t work out so well. Anyway if you’re interested click on the text above to see the reference where Margret is demoing Hydra live guide.

  52. Jeff was not harsh, im disapointed too. Cant even do a reset all settings. Just goes to the common big right arrow then after a couple seconds goes to live tv…

    What to watch now is one area that needs improvement. As most of the shows are future shows. Unless you drill down to its sub menus.

    Im a techy so i can adapt to it but my wife and kid are having quite the time with it.

    Looking forward to getting more solid updates.

  53. Harsh is a matter of opinion. I’m fine letting folks express themselves and certainly wouldn’t force my opinion on others (even if they’re wrong wrong wrong;). Anyhow, my wife is not happy with the new interface and there’s a good chance we’ll be rolling back too. Losing recordings will be a kick in the crotch though. I suggested she give it at least a week and also trying the voice remote. But she’s drafting a post and this is what she had to say about my voice remote suggestion:

    “While I appreciate this option and it’s definitely a cool feature, I shouldn’t have to. If there is technology so advanced that allows me to verbally give directions to a remote control, then we should be able to do so in the same simplistic manner manually as well. While I get that the current trend is to talk to our devices, basic functionality should not be compromised or replaced.”

    Sorta following onto what Chucky said, I guess her point is we shouldn’t need voice to overcome interface shortcomings? I assume they didn’t want to invest the cycles integrating into the prior UI. Will be interesting to see what happens here – will people really roll back, will others not upgrade, what will MSOs think, how fast will fixes come, will HDUI end up getting voice? A good start would be getting rid of these V66 errors on my Minis…

  54. Dave you should test out Remote Drive. Not sure if this was tested yet, or mentioned but what if your recordings are on Remote Drive. When you rollback can you access them with Encore? Probably not lol, but worth a try.

  55. I certainly won’t roll back. Hydra is a huge improvement over the HDUI. I couldn’t imagine going back to using the HDUI now. I only wish they would have updated to Hydra years ago. It has been working great on my Bolts, Roamio, and Mini.

  56. Tivo is all about analytics/mining before UX/UI experience anyway. Of course they needed to update the UI but the Release Candidate we all have now, yes go check your version. Needs some work.

  57. “But (my wife is) drafting a post”

    Tell her that I’ve been really looking forward to reading her thoughts on this ever since you briefly mentioned it on teh twits.

    “While I get that the current trend is to talk to our devices, basic functionality should not be compromised or replaced.”

    You married up, Dave. You married up. She’s a smart cookie.

    “there’s a good chance we’ll be rolling back too. Losing recordings will be a kick in the crotch though”

    It’s been a while since I upgraded my TiVo, but my hazy recollection is that it wasn’t as painful as a kick in the crotch. Initiating the KMTTG xfer is quick, and it then runs without user intervention. I don’t recall if getting stuff back on en masse was a hassle or not. I keep some a fair bit of HBO stuff, and that was the only real pain, in my hazy recollection.

    “Will be interesting to see what happens here – will people really roll back, will others not upgrade, what will MSOs think, how fast will fixes come, will HDUI end up getting voice?”

    Don’t get my hopes up. Now I’m imagining the upbeat ending of a formulaic Hollywood movie, with crowds wildly cheering as the bad guys are defeated against all odds…

  58. I tested the rollback from Hydra to the gen3 UI last night and couldn’t be happier.

  59. I keep trying to roll back but “Clear and Delete Everything” does nothing. Blinks the screen then goes back to the main menu on several roamios I have. The wife and I have been using TabloTV for a week now to not have to use Hydra and Tablo has been great. I think I’ll just pack all this old Tivo equipment away and look at selling it/ giving it away

  60. Michael, supposedly there is a rollback app somewhere. I haven’t checked yet, been a crazy busy week of little sleep (thanks kid). During one of her naps this weekend, I’ll look for it and ask the wife what she wants to do. As bad as the recent HDUI font update was and losing recordings will be, she may prefer it to Hydra UI and constant TiVo Mini disconnects. And Chucky is right, I should be able to offload and re-populate everything – maybe I’ll start now just in case that’s the move.

  61. 1.) Go into Menu- Help- Reset to Defaults- Repeat Guided Setup- Select
    2.) Press Thumbs Down 2 times (NOT 3!), now press Rewind 2 times, Now press Select (not Enter)
    3.) The TiVo will immediately go to that right arrow screen, then screen blank, then you’ll get a message letting you know that the rollback process has begun

    You will lose all recordings and settings, etc.

  62. I’m currently in the process of downgrading the box with a whole lot of KMTTG and TiVoPlayList offloading. My Roamio Pro pretty much refuses to work on the network now under Hydra, and going to My Shows with a network connection or pushing down on the main screen crashes the interface. 20 reboots since 9pm last night. I have no patience to wait for an update right now and I’ll try it again in February.

  63. “I’ll … ask the wife what she wants to do. As bad as the recent HDUI font update was and losing recordings will be, she may prefer it to Hydra UI and constant TiVo Mini disconnects.”

    I fully understand that Hydra is currently buggy to the point of being unusable.

    But I do still hope your wife posts her thoughts on what she doesn’t like about Hydra aside from the bugginess. (I have many ideas of what’s wrong with it, but I’m not about to upgrade simply to get myself a first hand look.)

  64. I did the UI reset recommended in the forums. Thumbs down, thumbs up, play, play. Got rid of the V66 on both my mini’s. For now, at least.

  65. Chucky, her main issues are the interface is not intuitive, seems like it requires more clicks to find recordings, the grid guide is old school (her words), lack of contrast in grid guide and thin fonts are visually challenging. I’ve got some complaints too – they could have used a similar paradigm here without neutering the peanut when in video. Right select to pull up a list of tuners is worthless – how about using it to bring up info banner or the new favorite channels list, freeing up the left select to do what it’s always done.

    I”m hearing there’s a V66 patch in testing now. But we may end up rolling back before it hits. kmttg wasn’t cooperating this weekend, so we may just go inbox zero here… wife decides, we’ll see.

  66. I thought Hydra was very intuitive. I just need to unlearn the way I used the old interface for so long. I’m just about there now.

    In my setups, KMTTG has been working great. It’s been transferring all my shows daily, like normal, from my Bolts and Roamio on Hydra. Although I run KMTTG as a service, on a PC dedicated to my TiVos recordings.

  67. My only complaint recently was that I got Blue circles on a day or two last week. But that also affected boxes running the old OS as well(from what I read at TiVo community). Which really isn’t a complaint with Hydra, but with the TiVo service itself.

    I am really loving Hydra on my TiVos. It has been so much better to me than the old UI.

  68. Not intuitive is definitely a good way to describe it.

    To echo Dave and Chucky’s thoughts on the voice first UI, it seems they didn’t learn the lessons Microsoft is supposedly learning with the Xbox. They designed the UI of the Xbox One originally apparently around having the Kinect and voice something they now no longer make. Recent updates are supposed to have address the earlier navigation issues.

    For me some of what makes a TiVo is being able to offload and upload recordings. With Hydra we have now lost both functions. Accurate recordings with Rovi isn’t the experience it once was. While I haven’t downgraded, I have moved Hydra into the spare bedroom and moved my Bolt which I didn’t upgrade to the main living room.

  69. I’ve also downgraded my Roamio (base being used as OTA), so that I can watch all off both on the old UI. I am keeping Hydra on 6 tuner cable so I can monitor the tweaking. That back button placement makes it so difficult to navigate, as I mostly watch recorded shows and like to switch between the two Now Playing lists (My Shows).

  70. I have no issues offloading my recordings from my Hydra PCs. Using KMTTG or pyTiVo Desktop still works great for TiVo to PC transfers. The issue is that with Hydra you no longer have PC to Tivo transfers.

  71. Whoops!! I meant Hydra TiVos…. doH!!!

  72. So far, not so good for me. My guide consistently displays all channels, even though I have edited it and it still shows as edited. That’s really annoying. It frequently looses guide data and transitioning is very slow with that spinning circle appearing all the time. I really wanted a voice remote, but I’m considering going back to the old UI. Really disappointing.

  73. Is there a “How to navigate Hydra with legacy Tivo remote” tutorial out there? Hopefully Tivo would produce one. I found the Zoom as Back inconsistent in different places. (Last seems a better Back replacement).

  74. Thought I’d throw out my cautionary tale but my guess is that people won’t see this until after the fact. My kid broke the Tivo remote on our Roamio Pro so I decided to get the new voice remote for a little more as I thought it might be cool to have voice. So I paired the remote and then tried to use voice when it told me to update to the new interface. So I ran the Update and rebooted right before we left for dinner. When we came in after dinner, I was quite surprised at the interface change as I knew nothing of “Hydra” previously and I must say my wife and I‘s first impression wasn’t very flattering. I recently tried PlayStation Vue “cable” and the tiles reminded me of that and again, not impressed. And then we saw the guide and it reminded me of PlayStation Vue and again, I wasn’t impressed.

    Again, this is just a quick review and I will share my thoughts further in the days and weeks ahead but I really have to say I’m pretty upset at the situation for a gimmicky feature such as voice(initial thinking when I ordered the remote). No offense but when voice would come in most handy is when I don’t have the remote in my hand, which is how we use Alexa. And to think that the only way to go back requires us to lose all of our recordings and I honestly have to start questioning my investment in Tivo though the Roamio Pro and several Minis are on lifetime. Then again, after my initial reaction to the new interface, I have to wonder if the Tivo Lifetime systems will continue to retain their value.

  75. I should add that I’m in technology and use Windows 10 and am generally in favor of trying new systems and interfaces. Even though I’m not a developer, I have done some development in the past and the interface was always important to me whether that were with the mouse or keyboard (apps with the tab fields out of order always drove me crazy). Although my previous post seemed focused on the look, which will take some getting used to, I can’t believe Tivo changed the 4-way navigation so drastically. No longer being able to go back feels like Microsoft removing the Ctrl-C shortcut from Windows. Just seems drastic and jarring for some reason and I hope I intuit why they made that change as I use the interface. But right now I’m just shaking my head at the various negative surprises I keep running into with what so far seems like such little gain.

  76. How do I cycle through the different tuners on the new interface?

  77. Right Arrow when watching live TV. Should give you list of different tuners and what they are on. I think on BOLT it will actually play video of each tuner.

  78. No video. It just shows the channel and picture/icon of the show that is on the other tuner.

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