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TiVo Roamio Series5 HD DVR for Cable - The WeaKnees FAQ

With the launch of the TiVo Roamio (“Series 5”) line of TiVo DVRs, is the Premiere (“Series 4”) line obsolete and dead?

No, and in fact there are reasons to prefer the Premiere over the Roamio line. The Roamio DVRs offer distinct advantages over the Premiere: More tuners (four or six vs two or four, depending on the Roamio or Premiere model), built-in Wifi, built-in TiVo Stream (Roamio Plus and Roamio Pro), RF Remote.

However, if you want to use TiVo with an off-air antenna, or if you want to use a combination of off-air and digital cable, then the two-tuner Premiere (TCD746320, TCD746500) is still a fantastic, low-cost choice. At a far lower price point, either base-model TiVo Premiere (TCD746320 or TCD746500) offers the ability to record from both cable and digital antenna. By comparison, only the base model Roamio will record off-air antenna signals, but with the Roamio, if you record from an antenna, you cannot record from cable. It’s one or the other with Roamio, and there’s no digital antenna option if you want the six-tuner Roamio Plus or Roamio Pro. Further, if your recording source is a digital antenna, two tuners are typically enough, unless you’re looking to record CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox simultaneously.

In addition, many of the four-tuner Roamio advantages can be overcome by adding some additional hardware to the Premiere. You won’t be able to get four tuners out of a Premiere that records off-air, but you can get RF capability from a Premiere remote using our RF Remote Extender. You can get Wifi using a TiVo-branded Wifi adapter. You can stream with the TiVo Stream. Unlike the Roamio, the two-tuner Premiere is not compatible with the TiVo Mini, but the two-tuner Premiere is about the same price as the Mini anyway (although TiVo service is more expensive on the Premiere than the Mini).

In short, TiVo added a multitude of features and recording capacity into the various Roamio DVRs, but if you are looking for a unit to record from an off-air antenna at a low price point, the TiVo Premiere should not be ignored.

Which TiVo units now support recording from an off-air antenna?

If you are looking for a TiVo that records from an off-air digital antenna, there are a number of TiVo units available that continue to do so. Below is a chart showing some options.

Name/Model Tuners Recording Options Where to Buy
Original Series3
2 Off-air and/or Cable, FiOS weaKnees often has untis available with prepaid lifetime TiVo service. Or contact us and we can check our inventory of open box/used units.
2 Off-air and/or Cable, FiOS weaKnees often has untis available with prepaid lifetime TiVo service. Or contact us and we can check our inventory of open box/used units.
2 Off-air and/or Cable, FiOS weaKnees often has untis available with prepaid lifetime TiVo service. Or contact us and we can check our inventory of open box/used units.
TiVo Premiere
(TCD746320 and TCD746500)
2 Off-air and/or Cable, FiOS New units in stock

TiVo Premiere XL

2 Off-air and/or Cable, FiOS Discontinued. See TiVo Premiere, above, for comparable units.
TiVo Roamio 4 Off-air OR Digital Cable/FiOS New units in stock

What are the differences among the three TiVo Roamio DVRs--the Roamio, Roamio Plus and Roamio Pro?

Please see our TiVo Roamio Comparison chart for a summary of differences, but the primary differences are:

Number of tuners: Four for Roamio; Six for Plus and Pro
Factory recording capacity: 500gb for Roamio; 1TB for Roamio Plus; 3TB for Roamio Pro
Input sources: Off-air OR digital cable/FiOS for Roamio; digital cable/FiOS only for Roamio Plus and Roamio Pro
Streaming: TiVo Stream required for Roamio; streaming built-in for Roamio Plus and Roamio Pro
Wifi: Wifi built-in for Roamio, Roamio Plus and Roamio Pro
Remote Finder: Press a button on the front panel of your Roamio Plus or Roamio Pro and the remote will emit a signal. Not available on Roamio.

What are the differences between the Roamio Plus and Roamio Pro?

Factory capacity is the only difference. The Plus comes with a 1TB drive (up to 150HD hours); the Pro comes with a 3TB drive (up to 450HD hours). With a weaKnees capacity upgrade, you'll be able to get Pro capabilities for a lower price.

Are capacity upgrades available for the Roamios? What is the maximum capacity?

Yes, we are offering upgraded Roamio, Roamio Plus and Roamio Pro DVRs. The maximum capacity currently offered is 20 TB. We offer both upgraded complete units and upgraded kits for each model.

Is the Roamio RF remote compatible with prior TiVo models?

The RF remote capabilities of the Roamio remote are not compatible with prior TiVo models. If you have an older TiVo and want the ability to use your remote without a line of sight, we recommend the RF Remote Extender, which adds RF capability to the prior versions of the TiVo remote.

Can I stream recorded shows from my Roamio to a device located outside of my home?

The Roamio Plus and Roamio Pro have built-in streaming capabilities, which allow you to move recorded shows from these TiVo DVRs to an iOS device. In addition, while on the same home network as your TiVo, you can stream shows to an iOS device. The same is true with a Roamio equipped with an optional TiVo Stream.

If you have an iOS device, you can use the TiVo Stream or the Plus/Pro built-in streaming to move content to an iOS device and then take them with you.

TiVo says that 'out of home streaming' is 'Coming Soon' to stream-equipped TiVos. With a software update, you'll be able to stream content from your TiVo to iOS devices outside your home, over wifi, without actually moving the recorded file to the device.

Can I stream shows to and from a Premiere with a Roamio?

Yes. Roamio and Premiere lines are fully compatible with each other in terms of streaming shows to each other. Streaming TiVo-to-TiVo doesn't require a TiVo Stream.

Can the Roamio, Roamio Plus or Roamio Pro be used with DIRECTV, DISH network or AT&T U-Verse?

No. As with all other HD TiVos, the Roamio line requires a CableCARD to decrypt the channels that you order from your cable company. Federal law does not require DIRECTV, DISH or U-Verse to provide CableCARDs, so they don't. As a result, no HD TiVo works with these systems.

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