TiVo's New Roamio, Roamio Plus, and Roamio Pro DVRs Promise Premium Performance - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 43 Old 08-21-2013, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
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TiVo's new DVR, the Roamio, comes in three flavors—$200 for the standard version, $400 for the plus, and $600 for the pro model. That's a relatively high up-front cost for a DVR/cable box replacement. So, what do you get if you splurge on one of these new top-of-the-line TiVos?


TiVo's Roamio Pro—six tuners, 450 hours of storage

The reward for buying a Roamio instead of renting a DVR from a Comcast, Time Warner, etc. is a superior TV-watching experience, versus what is offered by major cable TV operators. In the long term, TiVo's lower monthly fee can offset the initial cost of a Roamio, especially the $200 standard version.
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"If you’re a TV power user who demands quality software on your DVR along with the ability to record six channels at once without worrying about running out of space, the TiVo Roamio Plus and Roamio Pro are worth the premium price. But it’s not just the ability to record hundreds of hours of content or the six tuners. It’s TiVo’s third-party app library and UI that make it a worthy successor to whatever you have under your TV right now." - Wired
When it comes to capability, the Roamio Plus and Pro models outclass cable-box DVRs in several categories, including storage capacity. With the Roamio Pro, that includes enough space for 450 hours of content, whereas the "Plus" model provides 150 hours of storage. The extra 300 hours of DVR capability accounts for the price difference between the two units. By contrast, Comcast's DVR offers 75 hours of recording space, the same as the base model Roamio.


A comparison of the three Roamios

Filling up the extra space the Roamio Plus and Pro models provide might not be so hard, because both new TiVo units sport six cable tuners each, while the standard model makes do with four tuners. The Roamios add Netflix and Amazon Prime streaming to the mix—including Wi-Fi connectivity—creating a compelling all-in-one solution for watching HD content. The only device that truly competes in terms of specs is the Dish Hopper, but that product is exclusive to Dish users, while the Roamio is aimed at cable subscribers, regardless of provider. And compared to Comcast and Time Warner's DVR offerings, the new TiVo Roamio is in a different league in terms of capability—the superiority of the interface is well documented in numerous reviews. Another factor to consider—the monthly fee for the TiVo is lower than what the two largest U.S. cable providers each charge for a DVR with only two tuners.


Chart courtesy of Wired Gadget Lab

Is TiVo's latest offering appealing enough to justify the initial investment, or is it too late to compete with less expensive streaming-only options such as Roku, Apple TV and Chromecast? Also, is the extra storage in the plus and pro models worth the price premium?

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post #2 of 43 Old 08-21-2013, 07:09 PM
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Hm, I have a series 4, and I've been thinking of upgrading to a few more tuners which this might be the ticket...I love every thing about my Tivo for the exception of the two show recording at a time nonsenses.

Didn't see Moxi on that chart, what ever happen to those guys.
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post #3 of 43 Old 08-21-2013, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Djoel View Post

Hm, I have a series 4, and I've been thinking of upgrading to a few more tuners which this might be the ticket...I love every thing about my Tivo for the exception of the two show recording at a time nonsenses.

Didn't see Moxi on that chart, what ever happen to those guys.
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Moxi was folded into Arris, the same company that picked up Motorola's set top box business.
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post #4 of 43 Old 08-21-2013, 09:37 PM
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I use several of the Premier boxes and they work great. Why is a new box required to stream recorded content to a iPad? Makes no sense. And why would I want to do that Wirelessly? I would prefer to have a hard wired Gigabit connection for streaming and I would think that a software upgrade on the Premier box should accommodate that....Any thoughts?
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post #5 of 43 Old 08-21-2013, 09:41 PM
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The whole point of buying a box is not to have pay a monthly fee. Why would I buy a TiVo? So I can pay $15 / month to TiVo instead of the cable company? This whole situation is similar to renting phones from the phone company back in the day. This is what the cable card was supposed to solve, but it is clearly failing. Even renting a cable card is a separate fee of a few bucks after you waste time convincing the cable company you want one. They are legally obligated to provide one, but these customers end up costing them money.

If my DVR is $20 from the cable company it's going to take 40 months to break even. My cable box is closer to $17.50. That's 80 months just to break even. No thanks.
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post #6 of 43 Old 08-22-2013, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by jsny44 View Post

I use several of the Premier boxes and they work great. Why is a new box required to stream recorded content to a iPad? Makes no sense. And why would I want to do that Wirelessly? I would prefer to have a hard wired Gigabit connection for streaming and I would think that a software upgrade on the Premier box should accommodate that....Any thoughts?
The TiVo stream already is available for the premier that gives you this functionality no need for the roamio unless the added speed and tuners interest you.
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post #7 of 43 Old 08-22-2013, 05:36 AM
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I've never owned a TiVo, I'm assuming I still need a Comcast set top box also?
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post #8 of 43 Old 08-22-2013, 05:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

I've never owned a TiVo, I'm assuming I still need a Comcast set top box also?

Instead of a box, you request a cablecard from Comcast—turning the TiVo into a cable box. The company charges $1.50/month, here's a link: http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/purchasing-a-cablecard/

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post #9 of 43 Old 08-22-2013, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Tank_PD View Post

The whole point of buying a box is not to have pay a monthly fee. Why would I buy a TiVo? So I can pay $15 / month to TiVo instead of the cable company? This whole situation is similar to renting phones from the phone company back in the day. This is what the cable card was supposed to solve, but it is clearly failing. Even renting a cable card is a separate fee of a few bucks after you waste time convincing the cable company you want one. They are legally obligated to provide one, but these customers end up costing them money.

If my DVR is $20 from the cable company it's going to take 40 months to break even. My cable box is closer to $17.50. That's 80 months just to break even. No thanks.

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post #10 of 43 Old 08-22-2013, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Tank_PD View Post

The whole point of buying a box is not to have pay a monthly fee. Why would I buy a TiVo? So I can pay $15 / month to TiVo instead of the cable company? This whole situation is similar to renting phones from the phone company back in the day. This is what the cable card was supposed to solve, but it is clearly failing. Even renting a cable card is a separate fee of a few bucks after you waste time convincing the cable company you want one. They are legally obligated to provide one, but these customers end up costing them money.

If my DVR is $20 from the cable company it's going to take 40 months to break even. My cable box is closer to $17.50. That's 80 months just to break even. No thanks.

You're paying a premium for a superior product. I went from a Tivo Series 3 to DirecTV Genie and the Tivo was so much better (minus the fact I now have 5 turners compared to 2)

Also the first Cable Card or Box is free through the cable company (every card after that should be $1.50)
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post #11 of 43 Old 08-22-2013, 06:37 AM
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hmmm... looks like the Roamio is compatible with OTA (link). I've been wanting to ditch Comcast for sometime now and this may be a great option for me.

This may work: installing an attic mount OTA antenna + TiVo Roamio + Internet (have currently) + Netflix Streaming and HULU, and getting rid of Comcast HD-DVR service. Looks like I'd end up saving some money over the course of 12 months.

Thanks for posting the review! Gives me some homework to do...

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post #12 of 43 Old 08-22-2013, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Tank_PD View Post

The whole point of buying a box is not to have pay a monthly fee. Why would I buy a TiVo? So I can pay $15 / month to TiVo instead of the cable company? This whole situation is similar to renting phones from the phone company back in the day. This is what the cable card was supposed to solve, but it is clearly failing. Even renting a cable card is a separate fee of a few bucks after you waste time convincing the cable company you want one. They are legally obligated to provide one, but these customers end up costing them money.

If my DVR is $20 from the cable company it's going to take 40 months to break even. My cable box is closer to $17.50. That's 80 months just to break even. No thanks.

There are several reasons for buying a Tivo compared to renting a cable box. The best deal is to get the lifetime subscription when you buy a Tivo. It is expensive, $500 or $400 each after the first box in addition to the Tivo price. But with the 4-tuner model, after 40 months if you're only paying the $2.50 cable card fee instead of a $20 dvr fee you'll be saving money. At $17.50 it will take 47 months to break even with a $2.50 cable card fee. I have a Tivo Series 2 that was activated in 2003 and a Premiere that was activated in 2010, and they're both going strong, so keeping a Tivo for that length of time wouldn't be a problem. Also the interface is far better than anything the cabelcos are offering. And with the 4 and 6 tuner models, you can use a Tivo Mini ($250 w/lifetime subscription). So now you have 2 or more tv's connected with only one cable card fee. Look how much an extra box is going for with a cableco WHDVR system. You can also send recordings to your pc for long-term storage, try doing that with your cabelco dvr. And finally, you can take your Tivo and your recordings with you if you switch cable providers.

Sure there is a high upfront cost with Tivo. But in the long term, it is cheaper than renting a cableco box. That's the problem in this country, people would rather pay $10 - $20 per tv forever rather than paying upfront and actually saving money in the long run. The crap that Americans have put up with from Motorola and Cisco/SA is embarrassing.
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post #13 of 43 Old 08-22-2013, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post

Instead of a box, you request a cablecard from Comcast—turning the TiVo into a cable box. The company charges $1.50/month, here's a link: http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/purchasing-a-cablecard/



Ok gotcha, thanks.
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post #14 of 43 Old 08-22-2013, 06:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok gotcha, thanks.

and I overlooked a key point—as someone else pointed out, the first one is actually free.
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post #15 of 43 Old 08-22-2013, 08:38 AM
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hmmm... looks like the Roamio is compatible with OTA (link). I've been wanting to ditch Comcast for sometime now and this may be a great option for me.

The more I learn about Roamio, the more dissapointed I feel. The base Roamio has only 75 HD hrs of storage (~500GB); and the Plus & Pro don't have OTA tuners. And why does the base model only have 10/100 Ethernet? The Plus/Pro have Gigabit. And here's an *important* caveat regarding the base Roamio: (gleamed from CNET discussion)

Important note here, if you are planning to use your Roamio with an antenna, only the base Roamio as an antenna input, and if you are using the antenna input, you CANNOT use a CableCARD on that unit. tivo no longer supports both OTA and simultaneous use of a cable card .
(the resale value of lifetime Series3/TiVo HD DVRs just went up $100)

That's a big deal-breaker for me. I've been cord-cut for three years and intend to stay cord-cut. But I've been in living situations where my co-habitants *had* to have cable, and I'd prefer to have the ability to record using BOTH antenna & cable card if that happens again. (Any Series 3/ TiVo HD user can attest how much vastly better the OTA recordings are versus compressed cable card recordings)

If the base Roamio had more storage (2TB / 150 HD hrs) ; and allowed simultaneous OTA & Cable Card use; I'd buy one + lifetime subscription three days ago.
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post #16 of 43 Old 08-22-2013, 08:51 AM
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I had Tivo when I had cable and many people dont realize that having a Tivo box, in my opinion, is like having a smart phone versus a phone that comes free with your cell phone plan. The user interface and everything is just that much better. I loved being able to go into netflix without changing inputs or anything at all.

However, now I have DirecTV and I honestly will not go back to cable again. The new Tivo box through DirecTV is also something I have no interest in as it is so limited.

I think it is also worth noting though that with things like the xbox one and the smart TVs you are starting to see everything get smarter so the relevance of a good set top box is starting to come into question for me.

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post #17 of 43 Old 08-22-2013, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimeran View Post

I had Tivo when I had cable and many people dont realize that having a Tivo box, in my opinion, is like having a smart phone versus a phone that comes free with your cell phone plan. The user interface and everything is just that much better. I loved being able to go into netflix without changing inputs or anything at all.

However, now I have DirecTV and I honestly will not go back to cable again. The new Tivo box through DirecTV is also something I have no interest in as it is so limited.

I think it is also worth noting though that with things like the xbox one and the smart TVs you are starting to see everything get smarter so the relevance of a good set top box is starting to come into question for me.



Is there any difference in picture quality?
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post #18 of 43 Old 08-22-2013, 09:25 AM
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Is there any difference in picture quality?

Not that I recall.

The best part of having a Tivo was the "Recommendations" where the box would automatically record shows based on the ratings that you gave others. There were many many times where this was very handy when there was nothing on TV and I had nothing recorded.

It was also nice to be able to search for shows based on actor across not only live television shows but also netflix and other apps that are activated on the box.

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post #19 of 43 Old 08-22-2013, 09:40 AM
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Not that I recall.

The best part of having a Tivo was the "Recommendations" where the box would automatically record shows based on the ratings that you gave others. There were many many times where this was very handy when there was nothing on TV and I had nothing recorded.

It was also nice to be able to search for shows based on actor across not only live television shows but also netflix and other apps that are activated on the box.



Thanks for the info.
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post #20 of 43 Old 08-22-2013, 10:06 AM
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I was all gung ho to get a TiVo but they took so long getting the mini out that I decided to cut the cord altogether and don't miss a thing.
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post #21 of 43 Old 08-23-2013, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mhufnagel View Post

There are several reasons for buying a Tivo compared to renting a cable box. The best deal is to get the lifetime subscription when you buy a Tivo. It is expensive, $500 or $400 each after the first box in addition to the Tivo price. But with the 4-tuner model, after 40 months if you're only paying the $2.50 cable card fee instead of a $20 dvr fee you'll be saving money. At $17.50 it will take 47 months to break even with a $2.50 cable card fee. I have a Tivo Series 2 that was activated in 2003 and a Premiere that was activated in 2010, and they're both going strong, so keeping a Tivo for that length of time wouldn't be a problem. Also the interface is far better than anything the cabelcos are offering. And with the 4 and 6 tuner models, you can use a Tivo Mini ($250 w/lifetime subscription). So now you have 2 or more tv's connected with only one cable card fee. Look how much an extra box is going for with a cableco WHDVR system. You can also send recordings to your pc for long-term storage, try doing that with your cabelco dvr. And finally, you can take your Tivo and your recordings with you if you switch cable providers.

Sure there is a high upfront cost with Tivo. But in the long term, it is cheaper than renting a cableco box. That's the problem in this country, people would rather pay $10 - $20 per tv forever rather than paying upfront and actually saving money in the long run. The crap that Americans have put up with from Motorola and Cisco/SA is embarrassing.

That it is quite a long time to break even. I am trying out the Flare Watch Beta now. Uses your Internet connection to stream live TV and has server side DVR. I'm not sure about all the social features, but even the cable boxes are adding them. The device is $50 one time. $40 / mo. for the TV service. Software is Beta, but still quite impressive. Far nicer than the best Cox DVR.
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post #22 of 43 Old 08-23-2013, 01:40 AM
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Does this box allow you to access Comcast OnDemand?

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post #23 of 43 Old 08-23-2013, 08:44 AM
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That it is quite a long time to break even. I am trying out the Flare Watch Beta now. Uses your Internet connection to stream live TV and has server side DVR. I'm not sure about all the social features, but even the cable boxes are adding them. The device is $50 one time. $40 / mo. for the TV service. Software is Beta, but still quite impressive. Far nicer than the best Cox DVR.

After reading this, it looks very interesting.

One thing I would really like to see in the future is an internet based television company where you can subscribe to individual channels at any time. Then you only pay per channel you get.

So for instance I mainly watch: AMC, Food Network, Investigation Discovery, Discovery, Travel Channel, TBS, and a couple more. I would only pay for those specific channels as I would have a subscription to them. Plus I would be paying for my premium channels as well.

I think this would be better for everyone as it would increase competition in the media market and make the television providers work to get our money more so than they do now.

Edit: Just saw that that is only in Orange County right now.

Trying to enjoy the simple things in life.

 

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post #24 of 43 Old 08-23-2013, 09:06 AM
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Yes, Tivo does work with OnDemand for Comcast Xffinity .. I'm guessing YMMV depending on the market.
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post #25 of 43 Old 08-23-2013, 11:20 AM
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After reading this, it looks very interesting.

One thing I would really like to see in the future is an internet based television company where you can subscribe to individual channels at any time. Then you only pay per channel you get.

So for instance I mainly watch: AMC, Food Network, Investigation Discovery, Discovery, Travel Channel, TBS, and a couple more. I would only pay for those specific channels as I would have a subscription to them. Plus I would be paying for my premium channels as well.

I think this would be better for everyone as it would increase competition in the media market and make the television providers work to get our money more so than they do now.

Edit: Just saw that that is only in Orange County right now.

Yeah, it is in Beta only. There are parts of the UI they have built out, so you can see what they want to do, but they don't have access to the content. When you go to some shows you will see all seasons, but usually on the latest is available for on demand, and a sliding window of episodes --so pretty much identical to cable box there.

It is another bundled channel deal --I'm not sure they will ever do individual --The popular channels pay for the not popular channels. You get most of the channels you get with cable, but only the HD version. There are definitely some missing, but not really anything I would miss. One of the most interesting things is the channel numbers don't matter. You can present the channel in different orders / cycle favorites only.
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post #26 of 43 Old 08-23-2013, 01:41 PM
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tivo no longer supports both OTA and simultaneous use of a cable card .


Tivo still supports a cable card and OTA on the 2 tuner premiere units. I have 3 of them going. Another plus is that when you upgrade to the next new model you can usually get $400 bucks for the old equipment if it has lifetime on it.
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post #27 of 43 Old 08-24-2013, 09:19 AM
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I'd forgotten about the Series4 Premiere units. But the base Premiere isn't compatible with TiVo Mini- while Roamio is. I have a cheap 23" desktop LCD monitor with a second Roku in the master bedroom. Using a Mini here makes more sense.

I'm still astonished with the resale value of Lifetime TiVo DVRs. Even my Series 3 TiVo HD still goes for $300, and it's six years old. (I actually may upgrade the HDD again)

Weaknees is already selling the base Roamios with expanded storage. (up to 3TB) And there's a thread over in TiVo Community Forum that claims expanding the HDD is a simple drop-in procedure without needing a program like JMFS!
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post #28 of 43 Old 08-24-2013, 02:36 PM
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TiVOs prices for extra HDD space are near-criminal. You can buy a Western Digital Black 750GB 7200RPM drive- an elite disk- for $75 each including taxes and shipping, and this is without even buying in quantity.
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post #29 of 43 Old 08-24-2013, 07:10 PM
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Still using my Premiere. Was excited about the new model until I read the specs. I bought a TiVo for OTA recording. I had hoped they would come out with an OTA model with more tuners. The base Roamio is an improvement only in the number of tuners. The downsides are: External Power Supply, or so I heard, no combined coax/ant support, no gigabit connection, no built in stream and no HDMI-CEC on any new model. May upgrade for extra tuners, but that is a big maybe. It would have been a sure thing if the Roamio had the features listed above.
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post #30 of 43 Old 08-25-2013, 01:03 AM
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:pNot to mention removing the component output on the OTA model. That certainly lost me, considering that is what I use.
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