How to Use the TiVo BOLT

By Chris Pichereau, Abshier House

The TiVo BOLT is an all-in-one solution that supports live, recorded, and streaming content, without disruptive breaks or lagging delays. This device makes cable DVRs obsolete. TiVo has shifted its product line to making unified entertainment centers, the first of those being the TiVo BOLT.

The BOLT replaces the TiVo Roamio. It has four tuners that allow recording of up to four shows at one time. The TiVo Mini Extender expands use to three additional tuners. This lets you view live and recorded programming on additional TVs in your home.

The TiVo BOLT provides OTT (over-the-top) streaming content through apps for Amazon Prime, YouTube, Netflix, and others. The BOLT also provides 4K support. In addition, this sixth generation TiVO has added station graphics on the program guide.

The cost for the TiVo BOLT is approximately $300 for 75 hours of HD content, and about $400 for 150 hours. Be prepared to pay $15/month or $150/year for a service fee after the first year.

The TiVo BOLT is the first of TiVo’s unified entertainment centers. [Credit: ©iStock/PIK

Credit: ©iStock/PIKSEL
The TiVo BOLT is the first of TiVo’s unified entertainment centers.

Using the new features on the TiVo Bolt

The re-designed TiVo BOLT is equipped with 4K UHD capabilities, one-touch commercial skip, and 30 percent faster watching. The new device also sports one-button features on the remote such as OnePass, OneSearch, and Collections.

With the SkipMode feature, fast-forwarding is a thing of the past. Entire commercial breaks are skipped in an instant with the press of a single button.

The QuickMode feature also allows for a faster viewing experience without any audio distortion.

Setting up the TiVo BOLT CableCARD (M-Card)

In order to operate your TiVo BOLT, you must first install and configure the BOLT’s CableCARD or M-Card. You receive this card from your cable provider. It provides access to cable channels and plugs into the bottom of the BOLT. Here’s how you install the card.

  1. Order a CableCARD (M-Card) from your cable provider.

  2. Connect the cables and set-up your TiVo.

  3. Insert the card in the bottom CableCARD slot with the label facing up.

  4. Call the cable company to activate and pair the CableCARD with your TiVo BOLT.

  5. Test the channels and complete the Guided Setup by selecting “Test Channels.”

If you have any issues with this process, contact your cable provider.

Using the TiVo BOLT’s remote control

Once the CableCARD is operational, TiVo Central is accessed by pressing the silver TiVo button at the top of the remote control. Here are some of the functions you can access from your remote control.

  • The TiVo Search capability allow for searching and finding shows on TV or the web.

  • The Guide features displays a 14-day programming guide. This feature is accessed by pressing Guide on the remote, or through the use of the TiVo App.

  • The What to Watch Now feature lets you view what is currently showing on cable.

  • The Discover Bar displays at the top of the TiVo Central’s screen and makes recommendations for shows based on your viewing history.

Recording on the TiVo BOLT

There are several ways to record on the TiVo BOLT. The one-time recording option records a single show or episode with the simple click of the “Record” button.

The OnePass feature tracks down every available episode from the web and TV and places these in a folder for later viewing. Simply select “Create a OnePass” while viewing the programming guide.

Not sure when a show is on? Simply create a WishList search by actor, director, category, or keyword. Each time a show airs that matches your criteria, it’s recorded.

Download the TiVo app for mobile devices to schedule records from anywhere.

To access video on demand, go to TiVo Central and choose Find TV, Movies, & Videos.