|Item Weight||1 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||6.1 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches|
|Item model number||TCDA92000|
|Batteries||2 AA batteries required.|
TiVo Mini with IR Remote (Old Version)
- Watch live TV and recorded shows from your 4- or 6-tuner TiVo DVR
- Share the complete TiVo experience on additional TVs in your home, no additional service fee required
- Access TV and streaming content from Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, VUDU and more without switching inputs
- Streams music from Pandora®, Spotify®, iHeartRadio and more
- Schedule recordings, WishList searches and Season Pass recordings
- XFINITY On Demand available to Comcast subscribers
- Supports Ethernet and MoCA - does not support Wi-Fi
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From the manufacturer
The TiVo Mini is the powerful, all-purpose companion to your four or six-tuner TiVo DVR. Mini makes it easy to share the TiVo experience on another TV in your home. Add one or more Minis and access your live TV, recorded shows and streaming apps - all with TiVo's distinctively easy-to-use interface. Start a show in the living room and finish it in the bedroom. Or schedule a recording from the kids' room. It's big entertainment with a very small footprint.
TiVo Mini requires the use of a dedicated tuner on your DVR to stream live TV. Mini does not work with TiVo Premiere or Premiere XL.
* Broadband internet connection required and additional fees may apply for receipt of third-party services. Netflix unlimited membership required. See Netflix.com for details.
† Designed for use only with digital cable systems. It does not receive analog programming, including over-the-air, and will not work with an over-the-air antenna.
2014 TiVo Inc. All rights reserved. TiVo, the TiVo logo, the Thumbs Up logo, and the Thumbs Down logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of TiVo Inc. or its subsidiaries worldwide. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
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|Shipping||—||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||—||weaKnees DVR Superstore||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Opulent Opps||PRIME Weekly Deals|
|Connectivity Technology||Ethernet and MoCA||Ethernet and MoCA||No||Built-in Wi-Fi||Built-in Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi|
|Item Dimensions||6.09 x 6.09 x 1.3 in||6.12 x 6.12 x 1.25 in||1.1 x 5.7 x 5.5 in||11.4 x 7.3 x 1.8 in||2.7 x 8 x 4.3 in||7.43 x 4.25 x 2.06 in|
|Item Weight||—||0.78 lb||0.78 lb||1.9 lbs||0.7 lb||4.8 ounces|
|Internet Applications||Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Vudu||Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Vudu||Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Vudu||Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu, YouTube||Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Pandora, Vudu, YouTube||YouTube, Hulu Plus, Pandora|
|Total HDMI Ports||1||1||1||1||1||0|
|Total Usb Ports||1||1||—||—||2||0|
The TiVo Mini is a convenient, all-purpose companion to your 4-tuner (TiVo Premiere 4 or XL4) DVR. Connecting a TiVo Mini to another TV in the house makes it easy to watch live TV or recorded shows, and access web entertainment from your DVR.
Top customer reviews
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I have replaced my TiVo XL4 Premiere box with a new Roamio Box and this "solves" the issue of having to dedicate a single tuner to Mini use. It has been indicated that an update will offer this same capability for the XL4/Elite boxes later this year.
The Mini also recently got an update that included Netflix. Netflix is fast and works quite well on the Mini. These two improvements on TiVos part (even though one hasn't been delivered for Elite/XL4 owners just yet) is enough to get me to grudgingly bump the review up to 4 stars.
What would it take to eek 5 stars out of me?
1. Reduce the price of the Mini + Lifetime service to $199... at least with purchase/activation of a Main TiVo (in a bundle it should really be offered for $149 for the Minis).
2. Offer some kind of management system so that Minis in other rooms of the house have permissions or profiles to control what content/channels they can consume and what they have permission to delete.
3. Increase the # of video apps to get more competitive with cheap devices like Roku.
Original view follows//
I had been following news of the TiVo Mini since the rumors first started leaking out last year. I have an old S3 TiVo in our master bedroom (which almost never gets used) and I've always wanted a TiVo for my workout room (I had been using a Slingbox for that room which was pretty miserable). A TiVo "mini" would let me retire some of these older devices and give me unified access to the great big (expensive) 2TB TiVo in my family room.
When I discovered that the Mini was finally available to ship, I purchased two of them, one from TiVo directly and one from my local Best Buy. One very important limitation of the Mini that is very important for anyone to be aware of is that the Mini is only supported with 4-tuner Premiere units at this time, and TiVo have indicated that they won't be supporting the 2 tuner boxes at any time in the near future.
Since my XL4 TiVo already has a wired ethernet connection, I enabled the MoCA on the XL4 and opted to set the Minis up with MoCA using coaxial drops in each room. The Mini has an integrated MoCA adapter in it which makes this a snap. I should point out that there is a lot of misinformation about MoCA with these devices. All 4 tuner TiVos have a built in MoCA adapter, so as long as your 4 tuner TiVo has a network connection (via ethernet or wi-fi) then all you need to do is enable MoCA (choose "both" from the setup) on your XL4/Elite and the Minis will work. You do NOT need to buy a MoCA adapter for each Mini, and you do not need one on your network at all unless your Elite/XL4 does not have network connectivity via ethernet or wi-fi.
Another little network related thing to point out is that the Mini does NOT have Wi-Fi and TiVo indicates that using the devices with a wireless bridge, etc, is not supported. This is pretty understandable since it is dealing with HD video delivery, where wi-fi can fall flat on its face.
I wish I could say that setup of the Mini was painless, but it really wasn't.
Network connectivity with the Minis (using MoCA) worked fine, but for some inexplicable reason I could not get the Mini to connect to my XL4 TiVo, I kept getting a "V70" error. It turns out that the Mini and 4-tuner TiVo both must know about each other via the activation process before they can communicate over the network. This means that after activation you might have to wait as long as 30 minutes and then manually force the 4 tuner TiVo to connect to the TiVo "mothership" by way of going into the settings-> network menu and then choosing to force a connection. Even then I was having trouble, so a TiVo technician recommended re-naming the XL4 and then rebooting everything, making new forced calls, and after that it was up and working. Wayyy more trouble then it should have been. Honestly in this day and age there's little excuse to even need to make a phone call or activate with a web page.... just have the TiVo phone home and ask you for that info during the setup process.. At a minimum, the setup should remind you that you need to activate the device before continuing. Not everyone reads the little setup cards that come with their electronics.
As to the Mini itself, it is a very slick little piece of hardware. It is very compact, and the infrared on it is very sensitive so it can easily be hidden nearly behind a TV. There are some wall mounting holes on it, and I believe TiVo will be offering some kind of bracket in the future to allow it to be mounted directly behind a TV. It has HDMI output for all modern televisions, and it has mini breakout jacks (you will have to order the cables from TiVo separately) for component video and stereo audio. Since most people will connect the TiVo directly to a TV in a secondary room of the home this arrangement will work well. Note that the Mini does not have any other connections, no optical/coaxial digital audio, no "RF" connection for ancient TVs.... the Mini is clearly designed to work with "newer" (15 years or newer) televisions. The Mini includes a TiVo peanut remote but sadly does not include the wonderful "glo" remote that comes with the higher end XL4/Elite TiVos.
The Mini only uses about 3-5 watts, whether viewing video or when the unit is in standby.... that compares very well to the S3 that it replaced, which consumed a hefty 30-35 watts. Many cable company provided boxes similarly use tons of juice.
Mini sets up with guided setup like a regular TiVo box, but does not ask you any questions about your cable service.... the reason for this is that the Mini does not have a tuner in it (no cable card)... it gets all guide data, programming, and live TV from the 4-tuner TiVo in the home. One nice perk here is that if you are paying a cable company "outlet" charge for rental of a cable box or cable card, you won't have to do this with the Mini. For all intents and purposes the cable company does not even know you have it.
Once Mini is set up, it is just like an extension of your main TiVo. You have access to all of your recorded programs, and can easily schedule new recordings (these recordings happen on the 4 tuner TiVo, not the Mini). It's worth noting that you need to dedicate full time 1 or 2 tuners to support Minis from your XL4/Elite TiVo and those tuners will not be available for doing recordings. This is needed in order for the Mini to watch live TV or certain other services (Comcast On Demand for example). TiVo claims this will be fixed with "dynamic allocation" of tuners in a spring update. We'll see. Assuming that you have dedicated a tuner to the Minis, it does take an extra 2-3 seconds for it to "tune in" to a channel... so if you're a frequent channel flipper you might find the tuner delay a bit annoying. It is not nearly as annoying if you "guide surf" channels.
Another honorable mention is that the menu speeds of the Mini are truly impressive. It apparently has a newer cpu/gpu than the current TiVo premiere models and boy does it show. The Mini blazes through the HD menus with very little delay of any kind. Pressing the "zoom" button to zoom in from the guide or "my shows" screens to your currently playing program is pretty much instantaneous. It will be nice when TiVo gets around to updating their "Premiere" boxes with similar hardware.
So, why the three star rating? Well, there's a few things that I am still not fully satisfied about and I will summarize them below;
* TiVo Mini can not create or modify season passes. Hopefully this gets addressed in a future software update.
* TiVo Mini does not have Netflix or certain other internet services. This is very disappointing considering the high cost of the unit with a lifetime subscription.
* TiVo Mini ties up a tuner full time. While TiVo says this will be addressed in a future update... you might want to wait until they deliver if this is a deal breaker for you... TiVo does not have a great track record of delivering on promises.... the Premiere is over 3 years old now and still does not have HD menus throughout.
* One of my TiVo Minis has locked up. The box had not been used in a few days and when I went to watch it, it was locked up. The IR LED on the front was responding but nothing on the TV. I had to power cycle and reboot it. Very disappointing.
* TiVo Mini has no access rights or permissions. What if I want to put a Mini in a kid's room and limit what channels are available (or set a ratings limit)? What if I want to put one in a guest room and prevent guests from deleting my programs? Sadly, none of this is possible today and no way of knowing if it ever will be.
* Cost. The Mini itself is $99 which is reasonable, but the service is $5.99 per month, or (for those who can do math) $149 for lifetime for a total purchase price of $249 (you will break even on Lifetime in just over 2 years, and Lifetime has resale value, so it's foolish not to do the lifetime option). While the Mini might eliminate some cost for the owner (eliminate rental of other HD cable boxes or cable cards for example)... since all it is doing is piggybacking onto another TiVo (and robbing one of its tuners) it is a sketchy proposition as to whether it is "really" worth $249. I personally think that a total purchase price for the Mini, including lifetime service, should be between $149-$199... especially considering the limitations mentioned above. As it is, I could justify the price as I was able to sell some old hardware which covered 100% of the cost of two Minis. I probably won't buy a 3rd Mini until the price drops (if it ever does) or until TiVo improves the value proposition by way of dynamic tuner allocation, added Netflix support, improved stability, etc.
All in all the Mini is a good value proposition IF you know what you are getting and can stomach the price. If TiVo improves some things I will update my review to 4 stars and add more info accordingly.
//Update 1 03/24/2013
I was watching a program on the Mini and scheduled it to record so I could go to sleep. Tried to watch the recording a couple of days later from the same Mini and it throws a V401 error and refuses to play the recording. Not good.
//Update 2 05/19/2013
A few more little problems with my two TiVo Minis that further reinforce my 3 star rating. One of my Minis refused to play back anything from the host DVR until I rebooted it. When I attempted playback I would see the spinning "activity" circle and then it would return to the "shows" screen without initiating playback. Reboot cleared it. My 2nd Mini is hooked up directly to a Panasonic 42" Plasma (it's maybe 5 yrs old)... several times now this Mini has needed to be unplugged and re-plugged into the HDMI of the TV to restore the picture as initially I would get a black screen like the handshake failed. I replaced the HDMI cable and that is not the problem.
In any event, I'm looking forward to what I hope is a soon to be delivered FW update that will address some of these problems. If, after the FW update I continue to have them I will be opening up tickets with TiVo support, as, for the very high price paid for service for this box I have higher expectations than what TiVo is able to deliver currently.
//Update 3 06/14/2013
It's been almost 90 days since release of the Mini and yet TiVo still has not released any updates for it. I continue to experience the following issues (I have two Minis);
1. Periodically the Mini on a Panasonic Plasma TV will have no video connection to the TV. The HDMI connection must be pulled and restored to get it to work, or the Mini must be rebooted. I have had many devices over the years connected to this TV and none of them have had this problem. Appears to be an HDMI handshake problem.
2. Sometimes when attempting playback on the Mini I get an "no authorized TiVo found on the network" error. I must reboot the Mini to clear this up. I know the network itself is fine because I can see the XL4 TiVo and all of the recordings. This problem would be less annoying if the Mini didn't take 5 minutes to boot up. I feel for the people who have run into this issue and have the Mini in a less than accessible place.
3. Comcast on Demand seems to lose authentication with the Mini at times. You try to play back something on the Mini with On Demand and it fails saying the TiVo is not authorized. You must go down to the main TiVo, start something up from on Demand so that it's re-authenticated and then the Mini will start to work again.
4. And of course, still no dynamic tuner allocation, still no management controls, still no Netflix or other "premium" services available on $49 Roku boxes. Considering the $249 (with lifetime service price) it's somewhat inexcusable that they are not getting an update out to address some of these shortcomings more quickly.
It could be improved though! There are times when you go deep within the settings and all of a sudden, you're using the old TiVo interface. Why not keep it consistent? Also, I had a hiccup during installation that required a reboot since it was constantly searching for my Roamio despite being on the same network, subnet, etc.
I'm still annoyed with the subscription fee for TiVo devices. For all that I've paid for my TiVo lifetimes subscriptions, I've had ONE update to the software. And why does the Mini need a subscription anyway? It's a streaming box that leverages the info on the main TiVo. Totally unnecessary given what they claim it pays for (e.g. up to date programming guides, recommendations). The subscription is a joke.
Also have had minor issue with hang while watching Live TV once - rebooting Roamio or just waiting for a while cleared the problem.
Other than the above - experience has been very positive. Good performance. My network is hardwired ethernet - not using Moca at all. Unit is very responsive and picture quality of live tv is indistinguishable from that experienced with previous full Tivo units.
I have all of the functions and features that I would expect using the mini - it really acts like an extension of the Roamio that it is paired with. My Shows = shows on Roamio - and with Roamio's having 6 tuners - I never have run into a situation where a tuner was not available. And we record a lot in our household!
Only reason I did not give it 5 stars is due to the 2 problems I noted at the beginning of the review. I think the activation/setup process needs some work as it appears from viewing other's comments on the Tivo forums that others have run into the setup issue. Fortunately it is not a huge issue (at least it wasn't for me) to work around and was a one time thing.