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The Tivo Mini lives....

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by dave13077, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. Jan 9, 2013 #581 of 1620
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Roku, xbox, wii u, googletv, bluray players, smart tv's -- put it on them all and watch the 4 tuner DVR's sell like hot cakes. Even charge me for the app on the wii U, googletv, and xbox (not sure if Roku or smart tv's have app stores but if they do feel free to charge a reasonable one time fee there too..)
     
  2. Jan 9, 2013 #582 of 1620
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    of what year? J/K
     
  3. Jan 9, 2013 #583 of 1620
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I'm betting it's closer to $300 with lifetime. Pure speculation on my part but my guess is it will be $99 for the box and $4.99/mo or $199 for lifetime. You'll probably be able to get the box at Amazon for $80 after a few months, but other then that I wouldn't expect it to go much lower until they have refurbs to offer.

    You have to compare it to the alternative. $300 for a Mini, with no CableCARD or outlet fee, or $550 for a full blown TiVo. ($150 + $400 lifetime)

    I agree that requiring a 4 tuner TiVo and having it permanently hijack the tuner for live TV is a crappy requirement, but as others have pointed out these will most likely be marketed to new users looking for a whole house solution.

    Dan
     
  4. Jan 9, 2013 #584 of 1620
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Those devices are all limited to H.264 playback, which means for them to work with a TiVo you'd need a Stream. So that's $129 right there, in addition to the cost of the Roku, Wii U, etc...

    Dan
     
  5. Jan 9, 2013 #585 of 1620
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    You can often find $50 2 tuner units these days, so it's more like $450 with lifetime, so if Mini + lifetime is >= $300 the savings is not so compelling and you get a streaming client without the 4 tuner host BS requirement and additional tuners without stealing any.

    If we could just reverse engineer MRS we could roll our own clients for PCs and forget about the Mini completely.
     
  6. Jan 9, 2013 #586 of 1620
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    That's still a $150 difference. Honestly if the Mini is less then $250 with lifetime I'll be shocked. I'll be happy to see it, but I'll be shocked none the less.

    Dan
     
  7. Jan 9, 2013 #587 of 1620
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    you dont have to make money on any one product so long as you make money as a whole. Tivo might "make money" on their current boxes (including upfront plus service) if you just are adding the cost of the hardware up (and MAYBE a little R&D) but they loss money as a company. Ask walmart if they "make money" on every item in their ads or ask exxon if their convenience stores make money on all the items they stock- yet walmart and exxon make piles of money.

    Tivo's current business plan doesn't make them money, why continue? Why not try to do something different that might actually change things to make it so you can make money? Currently they only thing keeping them close to break even is patents- their patents expire in a few short years- they're trying to make themselves ubiquitous in the mean time. Using the mini to make the devices more ubiquitous and better than everyone else isn't necessarily a dumb business plan - even if they lose a few bucks on each device.

    Anyway- the bottom line is generally what many have said- what is that total cost going to be? For many it doesn't matter what they call the 2 different fees as long as the total is "OK". BUT I think Tivo has learned over the years that there is a certain amount of confusion from the general public with the buy a box and then pay a fee model they use.

    My own groan from the pricing thing is that I personally feel the total price is bound to be higher if they are going to have 2 different part of their fees and risk alienating people with a "confusing" pricing model. If the total box was going to be $49 why would you spend the time to charge $25 and $25. (not that I ever expected the box to be $49 but exaggerating to explain my point.).

    I think Dave Zatz's perception that much of the pricing issue is related to makign it "high enough" to appease MSO's makes a lot of sense.
     
  8. Jan 9, 2013 #588 of 1620
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Yes but you get a fully functional extra TiVo + 2 tuners for $150 more. I would go for that instead of a Mini for that price difference.
     
  9. Jan 9, 2013 #589 of 1620
    BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Active Member

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    I could also buy neither and just keep using the $6/mo STB that's already in use, thus not wait 4 years for it to start paying for itself.

    Being that these are targetted at secondary and tertiary TVs, it's a fine line they're walking. I get that $300 is just a guess, but man that'd be DOA. :)
     
  10. Jan 9, 2013 #590 of 1620
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    is it possible that they are concerned about trying to run too many streams through the drive (or some IO bottleneck)? Jus a WAG- that's why i ask.

    A 4 tuner is already recording 4 and playing back 1, perhaps receiving another so it could be at 6 streams. Toss in 2 mini's and you are at 8. Maybe they had a concern that 9 would be pushing I/O? Perhaps the particular architecture of the years old series 4 has bottlenecks that newer whole home dvr's dont?
     
  11. Jan 9, 2013 #591 of 1620
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Plus a minimum $2.50/mo fee for CableCARD and possibly more if your cable co charges an "outlet fee".

    Dan
     
  12. Jan 9, 2013 #592 of 1620
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    $2/month for me and no other charges (TA is free and no "additional outlet" charges here).
     
  13. Jan 9, 2013 #593 of 1620
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    A single TiVo is capable of streaming up to 3 shows at a time. (if you have multiple TiVos and/or a TiVo Stream that is the hard limit)

    I think their main concern with the Minis is limiting the host TiVo to less then 2 tuners for recording. I think their scheduling logic has evolved over the years to assume a minimum of 2 tuners. If they allowed 3 Minis to be connected to a single host TiVo, and they were all setup for live TV viewing, then that would limit the host TiVo to just one tuner for recording which might cause problem. I bet that once the dynamic tuner allocation gets figured out that restriction will go away.

    Dan
     
  14. Jan 9, 2013 #594 of 1620
    lgerbarg

    lgerbarg New Member

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    A 8 core Intel CPU will happily transcode 4 streams to H.264 at faster than realtime, at least if you limit it to the same quality as what an embedded solution can do. You just need to limit the motion search, turn off B-frames and maybe use CAVLC instead of CABAC. Hell, it is completely legal to have an H.264 stream with with only uncompressed I-frames, which you can encode on any modern processor as fast as you can stream the source out of memory, the implementation is actually only ~50 lines long.

    More to the point, the IP blocks necessary to do h.264 encoding are relatively small and cheap, nothing on the order of modern high end ARM core or mobile GPU.
     
  15. Jan 9, 2013 #595 of 1620
    crxssi

    crxssi Veteran TiVo User

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    Good point
     
  16. Jan 9, 2013 #596 of 1620
    crxssi

    crxssi Veteran TiVo User

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    Yeah, but for that $150, you are getting another whole "real" TiVo that can record, can be used stand-alone, can replace your main one if it fails, etc.
     
  17. Jan 9, 2013 #597 of 1620
    crxssi

    crxssi Veteran TiVo User

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    And watch only "live" TV? I would rather never watch anything again..... really.
     
  18. Jan 9, 2013 #598 of 1620
    crxssi

    crxssi Veteran TiVo User

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    No, because you are assuming there is already a cable box/connection there. Some people use that other TV with OTA only. Or with a Roku. Or just a Wii or gaming box. Or, like me, with an analog connection to my main TiVo and an IR extender (which sucks, but does work).
     
  19. Jan 9, 2013 #599 of 1620
    moedaman

    moedaman New Member

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    Like I've mentioned before. There is no need to install a cable card in that 2nd unit, especially if you already have a 4-tuner model. Connect an antenna to it and stream between the two Tivo's. Then connect a PC with Tivo Desktop installed to a third set and there's your WHDVR using 6 tuners instead of 4. The pc doesn't even have to a permanently attached to the set, just connect a laptop when you get the urge. And down the road, I'm sure it will be a lot easier to sell 2-tuner Tivo w/lifetime than it would be a Mini w/lifetime.

    See there are two ways to look at this. The glass half-full approach or the glass half-empty approach. If Tivo is worried about losing income from dvr's due to people dumping them because they're buying Mini's, than they're looking at this as "half-empty". As far as I know it's pretty tough to grow if you approach your business and new products in a negative manner.
     
  20. Jan 10, 2013 #600 of 1620
    innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Active Member

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    IIRC the stream can do four one hour shows much faster than real time. I want to say it was around 20 minutes for all four.

    I thought someone had done a time trial and posted the results, but I can't find it now.

    What 8 core Intel processor can you get for $129.99?
     

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