Originally Posted by 650hpAMG
But, for now, It appears we would need a Roamio, and then 4 minis, correct?
Do w need to get a box from TWC? Or just a cablecard would work?
Thanks up ahead,
Just be careful on your Roamio selection - if you go with the base, 4-tuner Roamio, then you won't be able to watch live TV in all 5 locations at the same time. (When watching live TV each device reportedly uses it own tuner, even if multiple devices are watching the same channel. I haven't played with that many Minis to know for certain.) If you're planning for 4 Minis, I'd highly recommend a 6-tuner Plus or Pro model. Those models also have built-in MoCA networking, which can use the cable signal to distribute data to the Minis as well; otherwise, you need a wired Ethernet network. (Or really good wireless, but TiVo doesn't officially support that.)
I have TWC in Anaheim, CA, so I can tell you that you will probably need a box called a Tuning Adapter (TA) in addition to the CableCARD. The CableCARD deals with channel encryption, but in many (if not all) TWC markets they use a technique called Switched Digital Video (SDV) to maximize bandwidth usage. The TA connects to the TiVo via a USB port and must also be connected to the cable signal. I've only seen the Motorola TA, which provides a pass-through port that you can connect to the TiVo, but the ports are unique and it won't work if you connect them backwards. When SDV is used by the operator, all channels are no longer present on the feed at all times as with traditional cable systems. Instead, when a box wants to watch a specific channel it will send a signal out requesting the channel, and the cable company's system then sends a response with where to tune for the channel.
On the bright side there is no additional cost for the TA; it's included with the CableCARD rental in the two different TWC markets I've lived in. The crap side is that it takes a bit of patience to get your TiVo set up the first time. After my latest move I went through 3 different CableCARDs and 3 different TAs before I found a combination that they could successfully activate. It's definitely an exercise in patience, but after you find that magical working combination it's trivial to move that equipment to a new TiVo box - however, you do have to call the cable company and provide them some numbers from the TiVo's menus.