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Can someone help walk me through this stuff ? Potential new buyer questions

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by DubVBenz, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. Jul 5, 2012 #1 of 24
    DubVBenz

    DubVBenz New Member

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    Jul 5, 2012
    I'm doing my best to justify the initial hardware costs of a Tivo instead of paying money to the Comcast Mafia, with subscription costs, they'll likely cost about the same for two (12.99 x2 for tivo or (16.95+9.95 for comcast)), so the question comes down to is the hardware worth it for me, so maybe someone can help answer these questions:

    1) I cannot find a huge difference between the Premiere and XL aside from HDD size and THX certification. I'm buying a really nice Panasonic 60" plasma, so I'm wondering if the THX thing is a deal breaker. Any other major differences to know?

    2) Are hard drives still user replaceable and upgradable?

    3) Are the lifetime subscriptions only good for the life of that box? Aka, if it dies a year into it, am I screwed? What about transferability with upgrades?

    4)I'm assuming the only things that really breaks on these are the hard drives, is that the case?

    5)What's the deal with the networking, how can this thing be sold without wifi built in in 2012. Any other possibilities on wifi adapters for better prices?

    6) Trying to justify the pricing, I'm thinking of a refurb regular premier for my bedroom and a Premier XL for the living room, once I add in wifi adapters, that's still $350-375 up front, and then the subscription charges. I've never used a tivo, I've had great luck with the fios DVR service, but I'm being forced into comcast with an upcoming move.

    Please, someone talk me into this. If this is the wrong landing spot for this post, please move or ask me to move. Thanks!
     
  2. Jul 5, 2012 #2 of 24
    ltxi

    ltxi New Member

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    Feb 14, 2010
    Colorado
    1...THX cert is a throw away imo. Personal opinion is to get the largest HDD available....aka Elite.

    2....Yes....good alternative to buying into Elite....2TB going at about $200 street from someone who knows what they're about. Best to swap out drive before activation.

    3....Yes, yes (if the mother board goes), mixed and dependent on point in time.

    4....Usually. Occasionally power supply or fan

    5....Got nothing for this one other than agree "WiFi sold separately" is stupid in today's world.

    6....For HDD recorders TiVo has been my/our life since December 2000. Consider upfront hardware/capital cost somewhat irrelevant, but YMMV. On Comcast in Colorado.....works fine
     
  3. Jul 5, 2012 #3 of 24
    lillevig

    lillevig Hot in West Texas

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    Dec 6, 2010
    San Angelo, TX
    1. That's pretty much it except I think you get the fancy remote with the XL.

    2. Yes they are, but you can't save an image, only copy from the original drive to the new one directly.

    3. Yes. lifetime of the box. If you buy new from Tivo you can get up to a 3-year extended warranty. Tivo has generally let folks swap a broken lifetime box for another one, with the sub transferred, for $149. Has to be the same model box (can't upgrade for that price).

    4. Depends on the box but mostly the drives. Older boxes are seeing bulging capacitors in the power supply but those can be replaced if you are handy with a soldering iron. Some other things do go out. S1 boxes often lose the modem and S3HD boxes seem to have a problem with the HDMI port going bad.

    5. The older G model adaptors aren't that expensive if you can find one used. Are you planning on doing a lot of streaming? You might also consider using a wireless bridge (that's what I do). Wireless G is plenty good enough for my needs but I know that the Zyxel WAP3205 is a wireless N that can be configured as a bridge. I've used it successfully with a Tivo.

    6. Personally, I think the only reason to buy Premieres is if you really want the roving capability. If that isn't big on your list take a look at used lifetime S3HD boxes. I've got a pair of those, with upgraded drives. Typical price on eBay for a stock unit with lifetime is around $300. The most recent one I got was less than that with free shipping.
     
  4. Jul 5, 2012 #4 of 24
    ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

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    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    For the subscription, it is not 12.99 x2 for 2 Premieres, it is 14.99 for the first, and 12.99 for subsequent Tivos. Lifetime is 499.99 for the first, 399.99 secondary, and it is for the lifetime of the Tivo box, not the owner, and it is not transferable, unless there is something wrong in the first few months and calling Tivo to replace them, then there may be a reduced cost for transfer.

    If you get earlier models, such as the Tivo HD, subscriptions is 12.95/9.95 monthly, lifetime is the same.
     
  5. Jul 6, 2012 #5 of 24
    jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

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    Apr 20, 2009
    The Comcast cost equation is not correct - at least in many parts of the country - when you take into consideration the "additional digital outlet" fee that Comcast charges. The second TiVo box will cost you $7.45 for the Comcast ADO fee ($9.95 minus a $2.50 customer-owned equipment credit) PLUS the TiVo montly subscription fee.
     
  6. Jul 6, 2012 #6 of 24
    jrtroo

    jrtroo User

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    Feb 4, 2008
    With tivo, you are buying a thing, and not just a service. With lifetime, there is residual value as noted above with the series 3, which is a great option but has not been produced for years. Selling a monthly tivo does not really retain much value.

    I would buy a smaller unit and upgrade on my own. Put the original drive on the shelf, just in case.
     
  7. Jul 6, 2012 #7 of 24
    DubVBenz

    DubVBenz New Member

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    Jul 5, 2012
    Can you explain the "roving capability" portion?
     
  8. Jul 6, 2012 #8 of 24
    DubVBenz

    DubVBenz New Member

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    Jul 5, 2012
    Hmm.. on chat they told me that the cable card would be free at no additional cost, are you saying that for each cable card, I have to pay a monthly fee? I really, really dislike comcast, and it's hard to get a straight answer out of their reps. As I said, at least with Fios, I felt I was getting a service worth that much a month.
     
  9. Jul 6, 2012 #9 of 24
    DubVBenz

    DubVBenz New Member

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    Jul 5, 2012
    Just chatted with Tivo, I guess the multi service discount is only good for the second tivo using the lifetime deal, and then they don't allow you to use any coupon codes. I don't think I can find a way to justify a $1200 initial expenditure even if I'll recoup my costs in 3 years.
     
  10. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    19,163
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    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    In the long run it's cheaper than paying for the cable company DVRs. Since you own the TiVos and they have a high resale value with lifetime service, you spend much, much more for the cable company DVRs.
     
  11. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

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    Feb 4, 2008
    I agree with aaronwt.

    OP, what I'm saying is that you actually recoup is much sooner than 3 years. It is not worth zero in 36 months, a tivo is still worth hundreds of dollars. Many people do this math incorrectly, forgetting about resale value. If you go with a series 3/HD unit, you could be up and running for half of your estimate and STILL have resale value.

    You may also want to consider the other elements, such as a larger hard disk, netflix, pytivo, MRS/MRV. If you buy an older series 3, these are all still available (except MRS).

    Also, with Comcast your first card will be free (it is in lieu of a box) and the second will have an outlet fee (that includes the card).
     
  12. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

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    Apr 20, 2009
    In Comcast land the first CableCARD in a device (set-top box or CableCARD capable TV) is indeed free. However, Comcast will charge you an "additional digital outlet" fee for the second, third, and so on device you use. If you're using a Comcast box the fee is $9.95 as you noted (they include an SD or HD box for free). If you're using a CableCARD-capable device - like your TiVo - the fee is also $9.95, but Comcast will give you a $2.50 per month customer-equipment credit. If you're using an older TiVo that only supports single-stream CableCARDs you would need TWO CableCARDs for that TiVo; the second one will cost you about $1.50 per month.

    There is a LONG "discussion" about these additional outlet fees, and they have in the past been applied somewhat arbitratily, but it appears Comcast is trying very hard to adopt a uniform policy where you get charged by the "outlet" and NOT the CableCARD.
     
  13. JoeTaxpayer

    JoeTaxpayer Member

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    Dec 23, 2008
    A refurb premiere is $50 right now. $500 for LT service. So more than the $350-375 but no monthly for first box from either Comcast or TiVo.

    The second box would cost you $450 with LT plus $7.45/mo from Comcast.

    You mentioned 3 if I'm reading this right, the Elite will cost more up front but get you 4 tuners and just the single outlet fee.

    If it's just the 2 boxes, under $1000. With a breakeven of 31 months, the lifetime service is a no-brainer.

    As others have mentioned, Comcast not too easy to deal with on these.
     
  14. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN New Member

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    Jun 20, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    Consider used TiVos with Lifetime.

    I just sold a TiVo HD with Lifetime for $314 on eBay. It had only the original 160GB hard drive. I currently have a Series 3 w/lifetime listed on eBay which has a 1TB upgraded drive. I'm hoping that it'll go for more than the HD. It's currently at about $159 with a bit over four-days remaining.

    Get a used TiVo w/Lifetime on your account then you can add new Premieres and take advantage of the multi-service discount. You can always resell the older TiVo later for about what you paid for it. As long as the lifetime service is intact they aren't going to lose too much more of their value.

    I haven't looked at what Premiere's w/lifetime are going for on eBay.
     
  15. sar840t2

    sar840t2 Member

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    Mar 1, 2003
    Edmonds,...
    I did the math earlier this year, and don't regret switching from DirecTV (with two old SD DirecTiVo boxes) to Comcast with a Premier and a Premier Elite, both with lifetime. Amortized over two years I calculated I break even when compared to upgrading my DirecTV boxes with their HD boxes. That excludes any residual value in the hardware (due to the lifetime subscription) as I usually use electronics gear until it dies.

    As near as I can tell, Comcast in the Seattle suburbs (South or East King County, I forget which) charges me for both cable cards, but at $1.10 rather than $7.xx or $9.xx. They might be crediting me the $1.10 for the first card, it's really hard to figure out what's what on their bill ;-)

    Mike
     
  16. DubVBenz

    DubVBenz New Member

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    Jul 5, 2012
    Thanks for the input everyone. I need to determine exactly what Comcast intends to charge me. I'm moving into an expensive new condo, buying all new furniture, a new TV and everything, so even though it's only 1-1200 dollars, it's just an additional expense on top of a whole lot of others right now. I typically purchase my smart phones unsubsidized and I appreciate that model, I'm just trying to scrimp and scrape every last cent over the next couple of months..

    As for the additional services, I have so many other damn devices to handle streaming (google tv x2, smart TV, ps3, xbox 360) that that is not really a selling point. I actually don't even mind the interfaces of cable company provided DVRs, I just would rather not give them my money because I hate them.

    If the fee from comcast is minuscule , I may just bite the bullet and pay the 1200 up front... we'll see, I'll try and keep everyone updated though!
     
  17. DonaldBurns65144

    DonaldBurns65144 New Member

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    Jan 10, 2011
    USA
    If you are going with one Elite and one Premiere then I would consider going with a MOCA adapter pair. One necessary at your router and one necessary for the Premiere. The Elite has a built-in MOCA adapter. That way no WIFI dropouts, no cat5 or 6 wiring and you might only need some high-frequency co-ax spliters plus the adapters.
     
  18. lillevig

    lillevig Hot in West Texas

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    Dec 6, 2010
    San Angelo, TX
    That's the ability, with multiple Premeires, to be able to start watching a recording in one room and then continue watching it in another room. Sometimes called "streaming". The older Tivos require that you actually transfer the recording to another box in order to watch it on that box.
     
  19. rblum

    rblum New Member

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    Sep 11, 2009
    Just to expand a little, if Comcast is like most cable companies, you can't xfer shows from sources other than the 4 main networks. If you have to record a USA show in the bedroom because of tuner availability and you want to watch it in the LR, you can't with an HD. With a Premiere, you can stream it, no problem.
     
  20. DubVBenz

    DubVBenz New Member

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    Jul 5, 2012
    That's interesting, I can stream anything from my HD DVR to my standard HD box with Fios, but I can only do that with content from the 4 major networks with Comcast?
     

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