TiVo Mini Wireless Adapter Arrives

The TiVo Mini Wireless Adapter has arrived, having just popped up on Amazon for $59.99 with delivery available as soon as 11/26.

The wireless adapter was originally announced at CES in January and, as I said back then, “Unlike my most recent 802.11n bridge suggestion, the upcoming TiVo USB dongle implements the more current, capable 802.11ac (which we’re now calling WiFi 5).” The Digital Media Zone had also reported that beyond merely hopping onto your existing 5Ghz WiFi network, supposedly newer Bolt (and Edge?) DVR hardware communicates directly to the adapter and Mini it’s attached to. However, given the product listing below, I wonder if that feature made it to production. Further, based on TiVo employee forum input, only the Mini Vox will be supported at launch but the company is hopeful of expanding support to the the second gen TiVo Mini (the one with the RF remote).

From the Amazon product page:

  • Simply plug the TiVo USB Wi-Fi 5 adapter into your TiVo MINI VOX using the included USB extension cable, connect to your wireless network, and you’re ready to go!
  • TiVo’s Wi-Fi 5 adapter is compatible with TiVo Roamio, TiVo BOLT and TiVo EDGE DVRs running TiVo’s New Experience. [That’d be Hydra. -DZ]
  • TiVo’s Wi-Fi 5 adapter requires an existing 5 GHz wireless network. Many wireless networking equipment supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks, so you’ll need to make sure you connect your MINI VOX to the higher speed 5 GHz network.

Having recently moved, I found myself in something of a conundrum. Our bedroom TiVo Mini isn’t collocated anywhere near coax (for MoCA communication) and we’re not wired for Ethernet. I temporarily solved the problem with an Eero Pro on our dresser, but the access point Ethernet jack is needed in the upstairs office next door and we’re generally clutter adverse. TiVo, Inc to the rescue with beta access!

In our limited usage over the last few months, the streaming experience from Roamio Pro/Plus has been surprisingly solid – I can only recall one disruption, but can’t point to a specific cause. I guess what impresses me the most is that TiVo clearly still cares. (At least the portions of TiVo that aren’t pushing pre-roll and guide advertising.) I mean this is likely a corner case accessory … for another TiVo accessory in the Mini – the decision to go down this path had to have been made with customer goodwill in mind, because they’re not going to move a ton nor generate meaningful revenue from this sku. Assuming the streaming set-top box clients are still in play and given the upcoming Android TV streaming stick, in light of the TiVo Mini Wireless Adapter, the broader story here is that TiVo is willing to meet us where we are.

30 thoughts on “TiVo Mini Wireless Adapter Arrives”

  1. This is absolutely bonkers. $59 just to add wireless to a frontend that already costs $179? I just don’t understand with Tivo is doing, and I’m glad I sold my Bolt while it still has value.

  2. Fred, the wireless adapter is a USB stick. However, if you plug it straight into the Mini Vox, you’ll likely to block the HDMI port. So they provide a USB extension cord.

    Jake, if you think of it solely as a $59 accessory, it’s extreme. Heck, more than many Roku and Fire TV models. But I assume TiVo is thinking of it as $179+59 for a total solution, which over X years will come in less than renting an additional cable box or paying the cableco to wire an additional coaxial outlet. Options are good. Related, I sure hope those streaming clients are still in development and that the pre-roll ad team wasn’t pulled off that more favorable (for us) project…

  3. Nah, this is typical. Products get preloaded into Amazon all the time. I assume the Amazon copy will improve, plus a price, and the TiVo product page will launch in the near future.

  4. It’s a shame that TiVo couldn’t effectively market their OTA/cord cutting solutions. My networked roamio + TiVo mini are absolutely flawless. They could have built and offered their own streaming bundle ala sling tv and piped into the native interface along side ota channels. A familiar, yet better interface that 99% of people who had cable in the last 10 years are fully accustomed to using.

    The user experience of any OTT platforms, apps, etc. are so convoluted they remind me of this old Onion video about Apple revolutionizing the keyboard – https://www.theonion.com/apple-introduces-revolutionary-new-laptop-with-no-keybo-1819594761

    Nothing beats having a native dvr for controlling and playing content. Totally worth it even with its only purpose to manage and watch ota network channel content.

  5. As Mikeguy mentions, since my original posting the Amazon listing has been updated with additional details and the price is confirmed as $59.99. Not seeing anything on tivo.com yet, but I expect something to hit eventually.

    Mike, they’ve announced they’re working on a $50 Android TV stick. Presumably this would include an extender app of some point. Unlike the Mini, content would likely be transcoded to MPEG4 and stereo-only, with a less sprightly response to channel changes and the like. But it’d be immensely convenient and economical. Hopefully it comes to fruition, in the time frame and dollar amount they indicated. But TiVo doesn’t have a great track record with those things and they’re in the midst of carving up the company for a split and potential sales, so who knows where they land.

  6. Yes, at $179 for the Mini Vox plus $59 for the wireless adapter it’s an expensive solution. But I’m thrilled it’s available. There are a number of friends I’ve set up with TiVo that simply didn’t have a reasonable way to get Ethernet or Moca to a location. At least now there’s an option for them. Perhaps we will see a better price for bundling a Mini Vox and the WiFi adapter together or better yet, a new Mini Vox with WiFi built in!

  7. I’m going to try your solution from 2013 with the latest version of the TP Link AC750 and see how that works. Right now I have a 50+ foot long ethernet cable running around the room from the my modem to TiVo Mini Vox and this might do the trick!

  8. Yeah, I’ve been using power line adapters for years for the upstairs Minis. They lose it from time to time, but generally work. Whatever happened to the Roku app? That would solve the problem.

  9. I took a gamble and pre-ordered yesterday from Amazon without knowing the delivery date. Today the product page shows “Arrives 11/27 – 12/3”, but my order details still show “we’re working on a better date”. This was pricey but will be worth it to me so I can remove my Orbi satellite from my kitchen counter – that was what I had connected my Mini Vox to on the kitchen TV, as there was no other way for me to get cable/LAN to it. This will clean up my setup nicely…

  10. I got my pre-order placed on Amazon last night as well. It shows in stock there now but my Pre-Order from last night is still showing waiting for a ship date. I have a rigged up config with a different USB powered Ethernet to WiFi bridge now that works ‘most’ of the time. Hopefully this will clean things up dramatically and improve the reliability of things.

  11. For those who did the Amazon pre-order: the earlier Amazon pre-order was for stock from Amazon, which, when I checked earlier today, was not yet in; the currently-available stock is as sold by WeaKnees. And so if you want the adapter now and had placed a pre-order, it might pay to cancel the pre-order and to place the order again, from WeaKnees as seller.

  12. Apple TV app? How about the Roku app?! I think that was first revealed back in January?

    But I did get some good news from Amazon/weakKnees: my wireless adapter arrives Monday 11/25 “by 8 PM”!

  13. What kind of warranty comes with the Mini Wireless adapter? Amazon says to make a request to customer service to find out the warranty details.

  14. I’ve used TiVo Minis with Powerline adapters, I believe they are the older AV500 models. It generally worked, with a few glitches here and there and slightly slower response, but not to the point it was annoying. Throughput and reliability can vary a LOT depending on your home’s wiring, and I had a few weird issues like the TiVo Mini not working when the dishwasher was running (due to electrical interference from the motor).

  15. TiVo has never been a cheap eco-system. The best argument in it’s favor has been the relative cost of a cable card .vs. renting a DVR from a provider; something that only plays to your favor after many years of ownership.

    This is a welcome solution which should be easier to adopt for less tech-savvy customers, CI’s, and others who care more about convenience, support, and reliability than cost.

    I mean it’s not like TiVo actually has any direct competition in the cable DVR market – meaning a product that can do everything the TiVo can do, but more, better, and for less.

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