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about to buy lifetime service, is Tivo in good shape?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by VajraTLR, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. Dec 5, 2013 #1 of 23

    VajraTLR New Member

    Nov 30, 2013
    I'm finding conflicting reports online. The first one says more than 3 million subscribers, the 2nd link says subscriptions dropped below 1 million. Although these two articles are 3 months apart, i can't imagine Tivo would pick up over 2 million subscribers in 2 months.

    It would suck to buy lifetime and Tivo goes under. I'm probably thinking too much.


  2. Dec 5, 2013 #2 of 23

    sbourgeo Hepcat Daddio

    Nov 10, 2000
    New England
    Retail subs are are part of their total subscriber base (basically retail customers buy their own hardware and subscribe directly with TiVo). Other subs are through partnerships with satellite or cable tv providers (like DirecTV).

    FWIW, people have been wondering if TiVo would go out of business for more than a decade. That obviously hasn't happened so far, but one never knows what the future will bring. If nothing else, if the worst happened I would imagine that whoever ended up with TiVo's assets would likely continue to provide the guide data like what happened with ReplayTV when it changed hands back in the day. I've bought 6 TiVos with lifetime since 2000 (including a Romaio this week) and have never regretted that decision.
  3. Dec 5, 2013 #3 of 23

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

    May 30, 2008
    +1 to that. I have two Series 1s, four Series 2s, a Premiere XL and a Roamio Pro (all on lifetime). In 13 years they haven't let me down yet despite dire predictions to the contrary.

    The assests they got from the Dish lawsuit alone should keep them flying for several years.
  4. Dec 5, 2013 #4 of 23

    ort Member

    Jan 5, 2004
    I'm not so much worried about them going out of business as I am that someone else will come out with something way better then recording and timeshifting cable TV.

    I'm weary about spending the cash on a lifetime service and a year from now something comes out and blows the whole system apart by just being that much better.

    It's going to happen eventually, but I think we at least have a few years.
  5. Dec 5, 2013 #5 of 23

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    There are no competitors to TiVo on the horizon. The few that existed in the past failed. The standalone DVR market is just not very big, the whole CableCARD system is a b*tch to deal with and TiVo has enough patents to protect them from competition for at least a few more years.

    Payback on lifetime is 34 months at $500, or 27 months if you use the PLSR code and get it for $400. It's unlikely TiVo will go out of business or a major competitor will come along in that time frame.
  6. Dec 5, 2013 #6 of 23

    palover New Member

    Jan 16, 2013
    You forgot broadcast networks and internet access. I can't see way better until everything is available via the internet and wireless.
  7. Dec 5, 2013 #7 of 23

    christheman New Member

    Feb 20, 2013
    I have noticed that Tivo often just uses the description from zap2it.com, that is if it is short enough to fit into a short little sentence or two. At least for some movies, there are times though when the zap2it description is a larger paragraph which exceeds the small one or two sentence space which Tivo allocates. In that case, the description comes from somewhere else.
  8. Dec 5, 2013 #8 of 23

    sbourgeo Hepcat Daddio

    Nov 10, 2000
    New England
    That makes sense since TiVo licenses their guide data from Tribune Media Services, which owns Zap2it.
  9. Dec 5, 2013 #9 of 23

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    You think it's going to happen eventually?

    It hasn't *so far*. *IMHO* the closest, and I have never actually used one in person, is the Dish Hopper.

    But, with the Dish Hopper, (1) you don't own the equipment. Personally that is ALMOST a requirement. *IF* they owned the equipment, but that ALSO meant I didn't lose my shows when the device died [which happens with your Tivo or the cable box, etc... heck, some of the other devices seem to lose your shows *randomly*, and/or when they upgrade software.. While there probably have been rare exceptions, actual hardware failure is how one ends up losing shows on a tivo].. (2) Related, you can't download shows off of the device with other recorders (consumer products). For non-protected shows, which, for SOME of us, is everything except e.g. HBO/Showtime level channels, we can download to another drive for backup/expansion purposes.

    Basically, I would *LOVE* for there to be viable competition.. Heck, even though I admit I use the DVD recorder on my standalone recorder rarely (I still use the hard drive portion, often to dub stuff from my Tivo and then watch faster than realtime), I think I'm one of the very small market that would be interested in a combined Tivo/Bluray recorder (but it would have to work FAR more advanced than the old Tivo/dvd recorders did).

    OK, this is long and rambling -- but basically, I don't foresee competition within a year, since somehow it hasn't happened so far..
  10. bogart

    bogart New Member

    Sep 24, 2002
    I'd be more worried about the next leap in content delivery. The more content on demand there is, the less I need a DVR.
  11. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    But if it has commercials, which On Demand does now?
    (Though as I've said, I actually use On Demand and put up with the limited commercials sometimes..)
  12. replaytv

    replaytv gun talk ignore list

    Feb 20, 2011
    Denver ish...
    I don't know how TiVo stays in business by loosing money most years, but I am glad they do. They should do more suing, as that is the only way they make money in any year.

    I love TiVo. It has made my life so much easier than VCRs and such. I actually watch less TV but better stuff due to time shifting mostly. And I only have antenna TV!

    I only buy used lifetime TiVos, so don't have a lot invested. I won't be buying anything newer as the newer TiVos only record in HD for antenna and that fills up my hard drive too fast. So I am thinking of digging all my old Series 2 TiVos out of the closet and use them again. As I only have SD TVs
  13. Kickboy

    Kickboy New Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Just keep in mind that they don't want you to buy lifetime and do what they can to discourage it. If you have a hardware issue after the warranty period, they will charge you $XXX for the replacement and $100 to transfer the license to the replacement unit.

    I am honestly so disillusioned with them at this point that I can't even recommend that you purchase one at all.

    It just seems like they have become so clumsy in the home market... Remember the Insignia "TiVo" TVs? Those could have been killer if they had the TiVo Mini functionality built in. What did you get? Tivo's stellar Netflix interface and a on screen guide which was so usefull to anyone needing a cable box.

    And lets look at the mini... At $99 it's a good deal compared to Google/Apple TV but not so much to Roku. But at $99 I would have bought them for every TV in the house, even if they could only access "Now Playing". But it's not $99 it's $249 after you get "lifetime" or $5.99 a month. My cable company doesn't charge that much for a cable box.

    And the Stream... exactly the product I have been waiting for except.... well I don't have any iOS devices. Plenty of PCs and android devices though.

    Anyway will TiVo go away? Probably not anytime soon... so long Apple or Google (who bought SageTV) have no interest in making a DVR, Tivo is probably pretty safe from competition. Now cablecards on the other hand....
  14. wml1950

    wml1950 Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    I have several lifetime models. Mainly series 2 with dvd burners but also a series 3. Lifetime is the best way. They have resale value if you decide to upgrade. You also do not need to worry if monthly service is increased. There may also be a promotion to buy lifetime currently.

    Good luck in your decision.
  15. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    I think TiVo is in good shape. I didn't expect the new series 5 Tivos to be made available as soon as they were.
    On the other hand, I think it shows TiVo wanted to do something to negate the flop (IMO) that was the series 4 Premiere.

    TiVo had the money to design the Series 5 line and bring it to fruition (3 models!), all the while still selling Premieres. From the evidence here, the Roamios seem to be selling well so the ROI should be pretty good.

    Add in the deals TiVo has made with a few of the smaller cable companies, and the cushion they have from their recent lawsuit settlements.
    I think they can last another 10 years (people have been saying '10 years' ever since TiVo began), provided the video delivery technology remains status quo.

    Worst case, TiVo goes under. I'm sure 1 of 2 things will happen.
    Either some company comes in and buys the rights to take over the service, or TiVo pushes one last software update that will essentially 'unlock' the DVR so that it can record manually, and make them so that they can be provided guide data from 3rd parties.
    Essentially digitally enhanced "VCR-like" devices. :)
  16. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    This is really the big question mark. With that waiver the FCC gave Charter CableCARDs could be on their way out in a few years. That would negate any resale value older TiVos may have. Although the payback compared to monthly in less then 3 years so I'm betting you'd still walk away ahead.
  17. PalmTrees

    PalmTrees New Member

    Dec 10, 2013

    FYI - last week a Seeking Alpha article made a fairly strong case that TiVo stock is undervalued (and, linked to that, that the corporation is standing strong for the future).

    In his view, TiVo keeps cutting deals with overseas cable & satellite providers, and he thinks that business will continue apace.

    Also, he thinks TiVo will make a boatload of money from MSOs beginning to incorporate Roamio technology.

    ...Also, all the patent settlement money...

    Money quote: "Back in June, TiVo settled on patent litigation with Motorola, .... agreed to pay $490 million to TiVo. During the press release, TiVo announced the deal brought their patent litigation guaranteed money up to $1.6 billion .... That's right, in five years, TiVo will recognize over $800 million for its patents on DVR devices. TiVo has already received much of this litigation revenue, but it will not hit earnings until future years."

    Good read.
  18. PalmTrees

    PalmTrees New Member

    Dec 10, 2013
    If you look at the Morningstar historical financial data on TiVo, you'll see that as long as the company keeps its gross margin above ~55%, it's making money for its shareholders. Given the current trends, the new deals with MSOs overseas, and the new litigation settlement money, they should stay on track to do it a lot more. In fact, analysts now rate the stock as a buy/hold.

    Also, R&D costs will go down, now that Roamio is done and just needs tweaking. That should further help out gross margin.
  19. Philmatic

    Philmatic Member

    Sep 17, 2003
  20. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    Plus don't forget the Dish Hopper only has three tuners. It uses the one Tuner to record the locals. So it can't compare to a six tuner Roamio. I know most of my recordings are not from the local channels so a Dish Hopper would screw me since I have six tuners recording concurrently several times a week with programs not on local channels.

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