TiVo’s Best Deal Ever

I’ve been tracking TiVo a hundred years now… and I’m fairly certain this is their best DVR deal ever.

In typical TiVo marketing fashion, the “Presidents Day Sale Event” kicked off a few days after the scheduled holiday. But there’s no denying the savings are on point: $280 for a refurbished 4-tuner, 500GB TiVo Bolt including lifetime service. What makes it especially compelling is this model Bolt handles cable or over-the-air antenna television — so, for someone like myself who is considering dropping cable, the Bolt is something of a futureproof solution. Until ATSC 3.0 bites us in the keister, anyway. But, realistically speaking, widespread adoption of the new broadcast standard is years out.

As with all recent TiVo hardware, beyond handling traditional television duties, this Bolt includes a number of tentpole apps, like Netflix and YouTube – some in 4K. Further, both live and recorded shows can be streamed to iOS and Android devices. Downloads too, if you need to occupy a toddler on the plane as I do.

44 thoughts on “TiVo’s Best Deal Ever”

  1. Since this hardware predates Hydra, if Hydra is not installed, I would *guess* you could downgrade. Can’t guarantee it, tho. Another big Hydra improvement update is expected this Spring. I’ll probably upgrade (again) then.

  2. Torn…I’ve got a Bolt+ that’s on monthly and the best TiVo will do is offer $450 for lifetime service. At the end of the day, the large hard drive and 2 extra tuners aren’t doing much for me, especially for $10 a month.

  3. I just bought in to this deal……just for the Lifetime service. Its too good of a deal to pass up….and I already own a Bolt!

  4. Yeah I grabbed this 309 with tax and shipping. I love my Roamio but will be getting a 4K tv soon. I don’t think I’ll miss the two tuners and I’ll upgrade the hd

  5. I wouldn’t mind updating my Tivo Roamio Basic model to the Bolt OTA, but I HATE that they went with that crazy “bent” design, that it’s white, AND the 2.5 inch drive format. There was no reason to miniaturize it at all.

  6. My cable provider broadcast half their channels in digital and half in analog. So, Tivo hasn’t been an option for me for the last four or five generations. It drives me nuts because the operating system/user interface is still way better on my 15 year old tivo then it is on my year old Cisco DVR.

  7. Ok I have a base Roamio which is fine except the streaming apps are slow to open. Plus I have one mini.

    If I got a Bolt and added to the house do I need another cable card? If I switch one to be the OTA unit I could still leverage the recordings from the other, right? I do have a third tv I could attach to. . .

  8. Howdy Dave, first thank you for posting this great deal, I still love TIVO but it’s getting harder to justify the monthly payments. I’m interested in replacing both of my Tivo Premieres (w/1 Tb drive) iIm interested in the refurb Bolt OTA w/500Gb drive and i”ve added 2 to my cart but in looking over the Tivo website, I cant find anything supporting your statement ” this model Bolt handles cable or over-the-air antenna” it doesn’t appear to have a cablecard slot. It also looks like it doesn’t include the remote. I need to call them before I place my order.

  9. But will Netflix still work on it. I have to Premier TiVo and Netflix completely stopped working. TiVo blames Netflix. Netflix hasn’t replied to me, TiVo says it’s working on a “fix” but has no idea when it will be fixed.

  10. Yes, I’m sure this model does cable *or* OTA. TiVo isn’t entirely clear on the promo page, so you can verify yourselves on this Amazon product page:


    Replaces your cable box and works with your existing subscription (requires CableCARD); or plugs into any HD antenna to record over-the-air channels easily (over -the-air reception varies by location and is impacted by multiple factors).

    Every 4-tuner Bolt model does OTA. The 6-tuner Bolt is cable-only. The Roamio OTA on the same promo page is a prior generation product – slower processor and doesn’t stream outbound to smartphones and tablets, amongst other things. (You can actually turn it into a cable Roamio, but things are confused enough here, so we’ll leave that alone. Besides, with the Bolt price so close, there’s no point.)

    Of course the Bolt will come with a remote unless there’s some serious f-up in the warehouse. And TiVo would make it right at that point. But I can’t tell you if you’ll be getting a black one, a white one, or maybe luck out with a voice control one.

  11. Interesting from the fine print:

    “Offer is non-transferable, may not be resold and may not be combined with other offers. If you violate any of these terms, the offer will be invalid. TiVo reserves the right to terminate this promotion at any time, for any reason, without notice.”

    I guess if you resell it they won’t honor the lifetime service? Probably not going to stop me from doing it, but I was a little surprised by that.

  12. I have a Romaio with a cable card and lifetime. I have been toying with dumping cable too but a 500gb drive is kind of wimpy when my Romiao came with 1TB and lifetime for $349. Would be great to have 4k Apps since I have a 4k Set but the added cost of bumping up the drive isn’t inspiring me to leap for it. My basic Comcast is still half he and half SD so the gain isn’t enough yet.

  13. I currently have a Roamio Pro (6 tuners), Cable Card and All In Service. I use 4K FireTV Stick for streaming app. I wondering/hoping Tivo will offer an upgrade path to 6 Tuner Bolt at some point.

  14. Re:
    “Ok I have a base Roamio which is fine except the streaming apps are slow to open. Plus I have one mini.

    If I got a Bolt and added to the house do I need another cable card? If I switch one to be the OTA unit I could still leverage the recordings from the other, right? I do have a third tv I could attach to. . .”

    I have the same question.

  15. I’m having the same indecisiveness – it’s a great price, but not quite the Roamio Plus replacement that I’m looking for. Wondering if it would be fine as a replacement for a Mini to help divide the load while keeping the main Roamio for the higher storage and extra tuners (have 3 Mini’s already). Waiting for the Roamio to shoot craps, but the Bolt doesn’t have convincing reliability either.

  16. I’m in the same boat, the 6 tuner Roamio is doing fine, the apps are slow but I have an Apple TV for those. I would have jumped at a deal like this years ago but Hydra killed my enthusiasm, everything about Tivo is becoming gray and generic. I miss the old Tivo logo, the animation, the old interface, etc. – I’m feeling like an old fart!

  17. Why on Earth did TiVo release anything white. Have they ever looked at a home theater setup? The curve I could sort of live with if it blended into the background. I wonder if they was designed so you couldn’t stack components. Maybe I’ll look for a broken black Bolt & swap the innards.

  18. Unless it includes transfer of a current lifetime service plan, it’s most definitely not the best deal ever.

  19. I have 2 TiVo HD units thag I would really like to upgrade. While financially this is one of the best deals I’ve ever seen… I’m concerned about being stuck with the new New Hydra UI. I upgraded my Roamio last year and needless to say, it was a terrible experience. Within a week I was Googling how to roll it back. I think that’s how I found this site…. so that’s about the only silver lining. If I have to use Hydra, I won’t bother upgrading. I’d rather keep the TiVo HDs another 10 years over getting a half-baked UI that needs a LOT of polishing. And sorry, but TiVo is not known for putting out software fixes in a timely manner.

  20. I have an old Series 3 HD Tivo with an added eSata “dvr expander” and need to upgrade to a Bolt for 4k capabillities, BUT I DON’T WANT TO LOSE ALL THE OPERAS I HAVE STORED. Tivo had no suggestions, saying that I would indeed lose all of my stored material. But now they confirm that my idea of keeping the old Series 3 + dvr expander as a play-only device plugged into a seperate HDMI from the Boltwill work just fine. Why didn’t Tivo think of that in the first place?! Seems customer service has taken a nosedive.

  21. Stephanie, disagree. You could end up with two lifetimed TiVos in this scenario – keep or resell the old one.

    To the others, yes this can coexist as an OTA DVR if you already have a cable DVR on the network and share recordings amongst everything. I had been contemplating grabbing one to replace my recently deceased Mini, but will instead go with the newer Mini.

    As was mentioned, the deal is now dead – sold out. Snooze you lose!

  22. I grabbed one of the Bolts minutes after I got the email. I bought a refurb 500gb Roamio during a sale in September 2015. It was $300 with lifetime. As soon as the Bolt arrives the Roamio will go up on eBay where I can probably get around $200 after fees. So my net cost for this upgrade will be something like $80. Pretty much a no-brainer.

  23. David,

    Advice please. I have a Roamio Basic, works fine, just lags when loading apps. I bought a Bolt during this amazing deal. I like the idea of upgrading technology by 3 years, but am concerned that there seems to be so many users having issues. Am I making a mistake by selling my reliable Roamio and “upgrading” to this Bolt?

    Would Greatly appreciate any feedback.

  24. Yes, it is. I already bought one. Wondering if it would be best to return it- concerned about reliability and being happy in the long run.

  25. I’m not sure which issues you’re referring to…? Depends what you’ve seen, if it’s widespread, and something that would impact you.

    App loading will be much more sprightly on the Bolt platform. And, for me, the ability to natively stream to mobile phone or tablet (and hopefully Fire Tv, Roku, and Apple TV later this year) would make it worthwhile to me.

    Since it’s already ordered, give it a try and return if you’re not satisfied?

  26. Dave,

    Thanks. I’ve read through many forums on the Tivo community. Seems many have issues with the Fan noise, excessive heat on the device and/or needing to restart the device every so often because it freezes up. Others had mentioned having to return them- worried about durability. While I am sure things like this can happen with any model, seems much more common with the bolt than the Roamio. Could be wrong.

    Yes, it is ordered- arriving tomorrow. I will give it a try and already have a 1TB hard drive to upgrade it with if I like it. I also like the idea of not needing to use my stream by having it built into the bolt. Will see what I think after a few days and go from there.

    Based on your comments above, there doesn’t appear to be anything that alarms you, so that does help!

    Thanks Dave.

  27. Matthew T, be aware that the built-in Stream of the Bolt has limitations compared to the original Stand Alone TiVo stream device such as the Bolt only providing far fewer concurrent streams of video and a few other limitations I can’t recall. However please go to the TiVo Community Forum and look it up before you get rid of your stand-alone TiVo Stream.

  28. Since Bolt remotes are not line of sight you don’t need to have the unit where you can see it. Don’t like the bend hide it, problem solved.

  29. Fantastic deal. But still going strong with my TiVo Premiere, lifetimed with 2 TB hard drive. I only record over the air these days. I find all TiVos way too pokey when it comes to using apps even the newer bolts.

    I don’t have 4K yet but can’t imagine getting a new TiVo before ATSC 3.0 rolls out. As a cord cutter, compatibility with ATSC 3.0 will be a top priority for next round of upgrades.

    Also would love it if TiVo had at least a supplementary chipset to run apps faster. A Roku is dirt cheap but runs rings around a TiVo when it comes to streaming. And gosh, an App Store would be fab too.

    As it stands my Premiere and AppleTV have buddied up using a Harmony Remote, which has Wife Adoption Points. TiVo is by far the best cable or OTA device but still a sad second runner when it comes to streaming. Needs a lot of work to be the One Box.

  30. I’m really beginning to wonder if ATSC 3.0 will ever move beyond a few test stations, especially given the ongoing repack.

  31. It took 50 years to transition from ATSC 1 to ATSC 2.0, and I can see station owners being reticent to go through ANOTHER massive upgrade so soon.

  32. The 3TB drive versions have now been removed from the website (used to say out of stock). With these very good deals… new hardware coming (or getting out of the hardware biz?)

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