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How can they justify a monthly fee on this device?

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by DVReveler, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. DVReveler

    DVReveler New Member

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    May 8, 2004
    Minneapolis
    I was just looking at the Mini as a way to potentially get rid of one of my Tivos to save on the monthly fee. I was a little bit shocked to find that the Mini has it's own monthly fee. I scratch my head wondering why I pay a monthly fee for a full TiVo box but this? This is silly.
     
  2. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    In the ATL
    Because they can.

    In all seriousness, just consider the cost of the Mini to be $250 w/lifetime, monthly is a sucker's bet used by same folks that buy everything with a payment. Tivo works on the cellphone model where hardware is subsidized by the service fees.
     
  3. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    It's a $250 box (box + lifetime) that you have the option of paying under $100 for up front, but then have to pay a monthly fee.

    (TiVo does have monthly costs associated with its devices, but they are quite small compared to the monthly fees. The monthly fees are much more a financing method for the large number of folks who can't or won't pay the full up-front costs of the hardware plus lifetime.)
     
  4. DVReveler

    DVReveler New Member

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    Minneapolis
    If you look at it that way every TiVo product is disturbingly overpriced. I guess I looked at the monthly fees as an agreement with TiVo that they would continue to update and add new features to the boxes I payed good money for. I'm starting to realize how misguided I was. The Premiere and HD I own are boxes of broken promises and the Roamio feels like a big "screw you" to me.
    Probably time to cut the abusive cords to both TiVo and Comcast and get a Roku with Netflix.
     
  5. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

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    By definition it's not really overpriced if you were willing to pay it,
     
  6. lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    CT
    The only way something can be overpriced is if you can get the same or better item for much less money, a co. that overprices its products will be out of business quickly, my wife feels that Whole Foods is over priced so she shops at Stop & Shop, but the Whole Foods near our home does a great business so I guess a lot people don't share my wife's option. We have great country where people can make and have the chose of how they spend their money. (Look up pet rocks)
     
  7. swerver

    swerver Member

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    May 18, 2012
    Would you pay a monthly fee to rent a box from the cable co? There you go. They do it because they are competing with other products that are also paid for on a monthly basis. They also give you the option to avoid that with lifetime. What's the problem?

    Why do people insist on comparing the mini to a roku? When you can get cable tv on a roku, then maybe it's a worthwhile comparison. As it stands, they serve different purposes. I have a roku. The "channels" they provide are for the most part worthless and are no comparison to cable tv. The big names like netflix are about all it's good for. If you are ok with that level of content, then by all means forget the mini and get a roku. The mini costs more because it provides greater access to better content.
     
  8. DVReveler

    DVReveler New Member

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    May 8, 2004
    Minneapolis
    Not if they also charged me $100 and didn't upgrade it when the technology changed.

    The Mini is a streamer, a roku is a streamer. Sure, the mini streams from a Tivo. But you paid for that TiVo and you pay for service on that TiVo. Trying to bilk people for a monthly fee on a device that simply piggy backs on something you're already paying for is gross.
     
  9. swerver

    swerver Member

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    May 18, 2012
    Well that's not an option, if you want a box from the cable co. you have to pay monthly for it. If you like tivo and aren't going to switch away then lifetime is the way to go anyway. The mini is also better than a cable box, thus the $100 up front. It integrates the most valuable parts of a roku too. So for a comparable experience, you have to buy a roku at around $50, and rent a cable box. Now you are in the same ball park as a mini, except you are still paying the cable co. indefinitely, and have to deal with 2 devices, with one of them being most likely quite crappy. You did save $50 though up front... if that $50 is making or breaking the decision then yeah I guess you gotta do what you gotta do. Also a lifetime'd device will carry a good resale value. Money to the cable co. is never coming back.

    Calling them both streamers is technically true, but the content available to one of these streamers is of a much higher quality and quantity, so in actual use they aren't that similar.
     
  10. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    We've had this discussion before. Roku and TiVo have very different business models. Roku makes money via fee sharing deals it has with all the service providers who have apps on their boxes. TiVo makes money by selling their service. TiVo only considers Roku a secondary competitor. Their primary competitors are MSO DVRs like the Hopper, Genie, etc... In those cases the MSO charges a monthly fee for each box so TiVo fits right in.

    You also have to consider their subscriber numbers. TiVo does not separate Mini subscriptions from real TiVo subscriptions. This allows them to bolster their subscriber numbers and appease share holders. I don't know the actual numbers but it seems like a lot of people owned multiple TiVos for viewing in different rooms. If the Mini did not have a service fee and those people all switched from multiple TiVos to a single TiVo with Mini(s) then TiVos subscriber numbers could take a serious hit which could insight a stock sell off that would kill the company. By charging a service fee, even a smaller one, they can keep their subscriber numbers up and prevent that from happening.
     
  11. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Active Member

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    The Mini's limitation to only 4+ tuner boxes currently limits it to a potential audience in the "tens of thousands" max. That's not enough to impress anyone or cause a stock selloff. Its impact is easily lost in the tens of thousands of retail subs they lose per quarter anyway, and the tens of thousands more per quarter gained riding Virgin's coattails.

    A Tivo executive said they're charging a fee "because others are doing it" too. On the back of that iron-clad reasoning, the fee has no good reason to exist. It's effectively Tivo's version of an additional outlet fee.
     
  12. moedaman

    moedaman New Member

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    Aug 21, 2012
    The mini should probably be the same price as a Ceton Echo without any other fees attached. They are basically the same thing. Neither box works without a main box and neither has a guide available without being tied to the main box.

    I always find it quite funny when people use the argument that since Company A (in this case the cablecos) are screwing you, it's OK for Company B (in this case Tivo) to screw you. The only people who should find this scenario acceptable are people who work for Tivo.
     
  13. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I'm referring to people switching from having 2-3 TiVos to having a single 4-6 tuner unit and replacing the others with Minis. In a scenario like that a single person would go from being 3 subscriptions to 1 if the Mini did not have a service fee. Even if only a small percentage of users did that it could be a large drop in subscribers in a single quarter and could rattle confidence in the company.
     
  14. swerver

    swerver Member

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    This is a tivo board right? If you feel they are screwing you then what else is there to discuss? Buy something else or buy nothing if that's what you prefer. The fact is tivo offers a solution that no one else does. Some think it's worth it, some don't. Life goes on! If you can offer something better to save the people from being screwed, please let us know.
     
  15. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Active Member

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    Very few people have 2-3 Tivos, and relatively few have a 4+ tuner box to accommodate the Mini in the first place. The difference still gets easily lost in the predictable sub results.
     
  16. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    North...
    Nonsense. How is TiVo screwing you? TiVo as a company does not make a profit, and has basically never made a profit (except for patent litigation). The income from services is not enough to pay for the hardware subsidies, the R&D, the customer support, the guide costs, and all the other overhead of any company.

    The market does not allow TiVo to charge enough money for its machines and services. You seem to feel that Tivo's prices are too high for you - that's a fine, legitimate opinion. But to say they are screwing their customers when they are not even making money off of them overall is ridiculous.
     
  17. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    How do you know? AFAIK TiVo doesn't release those sorts of numbers. I bet if you took a poll on this forum the majority of people have 2+ TiVos. And the few people I personally know who own TiVos all have more then one. I'm betting a good percentage of TiVos subscriptions are from second units in a household that already owns a TiVo.

    Also I wasn't talking about people who already have a 4+ tuner box. I was talking about people replacing multiple 2 tuner boxes with a 4+ tuner box and Mini(s).
     
  18. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Active Member

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    The math of the national average says IF a household has a DVR, chances are it's only 1. We all know a TCF poll would be skewed. :)

    I'm just saying Tivo's retail subs would continue to shrink anyway. We've been able to set our watches to them losing roughly 20K a quarter. I know it was posited here that the fee is intended to pad their sub count, but my point is padding the sub count is only a minor perk, if it will be tangible at all. We have an executive basically admitting it's a simple profit motive. So that is the primary motive I'm going with. :)
     
  19. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    May 10, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    It's fairly well known that the average cable TV consume averages 2.5 TVs. Tom Rutledge of Charter acknowledged this number in a recent BAML Media Conference. Before the TiVo Mini, the cost of multiple TiVo's made it extremely expensive for the average TiVo user to have 2.5 TiVo's. With the Mini, I believe the economics have changed. I suspect that we will see the average TiVo user trending towards one Roamio and two Mini's. I also suspect that we will see a turnaround in TiVo subs due to this trend and we will actually see retail subscriber growth in TiVo's Q4 (Jan 31, 2014). We will start to see this trend in TiVo's Q3 which ends Oct 31, 2013.
     
  20. TC25D

    TC25D New Member

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    Aug 21, 2013
    Nothing gets the attention of a company like losing sales. If you don't like the price, don't buy it. Whining and debating the merits of TiVo's sales model here accomplishes nothing and is the electronic equivalent of a four year old throwing a tantrum in the middle of a grocery store aisle when mummy wont buy them gummie bears.
     

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