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TiVo Mini Review Roundup

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by Peter Redmer, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. Mar 19, 2013 #81 of 319
    jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    The flip side is that while they never own the box they also never have to worry about out-of warranty repairs or flipping an outdated piece of gear.
     
  2. Mar 19, 2013 #82 of 319
    wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    And that some "packages" also include at least one DVR for free for the life of the contract (like FiOS does for many customers). I have one VZ DVR that does not cost me a penny - ever. I've had it since 2007. It doesn't have much capacity (20 hrs HD) and isn't great (moto box) but it's free, and it's been "whole house" for years, where low cost STBs see it.

    The whole cost proposition is very fluid. It's not as easy as many would believe themselves, where the Tivo with lifetime always comes out on top. All it takes is one or two device failures outside of the warranty period (or sometimes within) when you have to pay for the hardware replacement and you end up with a tougher issue. Plus, you do lose on-demand (if you want it). BTW, not sure where the "$30-40" cost is coming from. If I wanted another DVR from VZ, it's $19.95 with no incentives. So, it takes years for the VZ DVR to become more expensive than the Tivo with our without lifetime - and that assumes that you then keep or resell the Tivo, and that you also then don't have a failure where the device requires yet more investment.

    Clearly I value the "premium" capability of the Tivo, but the up front cost, along with the hard facts hardly present an overwhelming cost advantage for Tivo. Add to this diminishing capability (ie, premiums required for mini, streaming, etc) and I think it's possible that the resale equation may also be getting more challenging. I will shortly have a capacity upgraded HD with lifetime for sale. It will nowhere near recoup that much cost to overcome some of these factors.
     
  3. Mar 19, 2013 #83 of 319
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Not always. In some Comcast areas they have access to VOD. And according to the press releases from SeaChange several other MSOs are in the process of adding similar abilities. Hopefully in a couple of years that will no longer be a limitation of choosing TiVo.
     
  4. Mar 19, 2013 #84 of 319
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    $30 or $40 or more comes from having multiple boxes. Ive had FiOS for 5.5 years now I I would have paid much more during that time period if I had been using the FiOS DVRs instead of TiVos.

    Sent from my HTC ReZound using Forum Runner
     
  5. Mar 19, 2013 #85 of 319
    wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    So you mean a TOTAL of $30-40. Not per DVR, right? I've had FiOS for just as long as you, and though I did not get lifetime, I've done the math.

    When adding up my purchase prices for the Tivos, the monthly charges, the cablecard charges, the Tivos have clearly been more expensive. Had I bought lifetime service, I would right now be breaking even. Assuming I could sell any of my units, I would certainly be ahead. However, that is also considering that I'm still using my free FiOS DVR. If I add in the cost of replacing that unit, the the Tivo solution is still more expensive.

    The math will always differ based on the users experience. If any of my Tivo units had failed after the warranty period, then the math would change yet again. I was "fortunate" that all of the failures I've had were while each of the units were still under warranty.

    On top of that, the Tivo path causes people to have to pay up front to get the maximum benefit. Many people will not be willing to invest such a very large amount (such as an XL4 with lifetime) when they can opt in at such a little cost with a cable DVR.

    There are pros and cons each way.
     
  6. Mar 19, 2013 #86 of 319
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    A lot of the math I see in these forums figure in that units with lifetime retain good value and can be sold on Ebay, Craigslist, etc. I don't feel comfortable selling anything via such avenues personally but I do hate monthly fees so I still get lifetime anyway. If you hold onto unit long enough (3+ years) you save money vs cable company, but saving money is not my primary motivation for going with TiVo, so I don't recommend TiVo to anyone looking to cut costs.
     
  7. Mar 19, 2013 #87 of 319
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    I've sold a bunch of my units and upgraded to the Premieres and then the Elites. Each time selling my old lifetime boxes which covered 80% to 100% of the cost of the new boxes with lifetime service. In my use I would have spent alot more with FiOS.

    Plus the cost is only part of it. The usability of the box is another issue. The interface of the TiVo has been so much better over the years than the FiOS dVR. Plus the TiVo has been more reliable. Several of my Neighbors have complained for years about missed recordings from their FiOS and Comcast DVRs. They typically miss more recordings in a few months than I have missed in over eleven years of using TiVos.
     
  8. Mar 19, 2013 #88 of 319
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I'm with you. Resale value is a bonus, but not a requirement for me. Most of the time I end up giving my old equipment away to family rather then selling it. However for people looking to upgrade who are cost conscience it's a nice bonus to get nearly 100% of the lifetime service fee back if you do decide to sell.
     
  9. Mar 19, 2013 #89 of 319
  10. Mar 19, 2013 #90 of 319
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    There they go talking about a MoCA adapter again. Which is not needed. If you already have a four tuner Premiere connected to Ethernet, you only need to turn on MoCA on the P4 and connect the coax cable to the Mini and set it up for MoCA. The writer mentioned how he was on FiOS and didn't need an adapter because of that. They don't seem to understand that a MoCA adapter is not needed for the use of a Mini. Since you need a P4 to use the Mini and the P4 and Mini both have MoCA.
     
  11. Mar 20, 2013 #91 of 319
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Depends on how everything is connected though. He maid it sound like he may have previously been using wifi for his TiVo, so he may not have had Ethernet run to the 4 tuner box. Although since that leg of the network is only used for the internet connection he probably could have just used the wifi adapter anyway. Although there was no need since the FIOS routers have MoCa built in.

    Explaining this kind of networking to a layman is difficult. Unless they want to understand how it works, which most don't, they'll hook it up however they're told until it does work and then just assume that's the best/only way.
     
  12. Mar 20, 2013 #92 of 319
    magnus

    magnus Tivo User

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  13. Mar 20, 2013 #93 of 319
    sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    Ed Baig's half-page review in today's USA Today, Page 2B.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Mar 20, 2013 #94 of 319
    Loach

    Loach New Member

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    The MoCA adapter may be needed if you don't have your P4 near an Ethernet jack and you're not using FiOS. I think that is probably the case for most cable subscribers. One MoCA adapter was needed in my setup.

    And this writer says "you'll likely have to purchase a MoCA adapter" and doesn't state that you'll need 2 of them like some other articles.
     
  15. Mar 21, 2013 #95 of 319
    wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    Actually, you need to insert "likely based on historical data" in that sentence. There are two variables that can totally change that equation.

    1) If the unit fails and requires repair/replacement.

    2) If current trends reduce the resale value proposition of existing Tivos. For example, if the mini is truly a gamechanger for Tivo, then HD values just went down because it makes them less attractive. You can't stream from them, can't use a mini with them, etc. I'm not saying this is definite, or even likely. I'm also not saying it's impossible, or unlikely. Rental property in my area used to be hot until back in the '80s when depreciation rules were changed. Nothing is promised just because it has been that way for a while.

    And the other thing which is a big deal for so many people is the capital investment up front. Whether we want to admit it or not, shelling out possibly $1300 up front for two boxes with lifetime, plus monthly cablecard costs, is a big deal to most families when they can get them both (1 free, one for $19.95, no cablecard fees) and no worries about box maintenance, etc.

    Two other things. Just now, VZ has a new upgraded DVR enroute to me to replace my 2007 vintage moto VZ box - at not a penny of cost to me. That's to make me compatible with changes to their network. Tivo will never do that.

    And I also agree that cost is NOT the reason to use Tivo. I certainly use it for some of the features and capabilities, IN SPITE of the cost. Not because of the cost. There is nothing wrong with that.
     
  16. Mar 21, 2013 #96 of 319
    wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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  17. Mar 21, 2013 #97 of 319
    DaveDFW

    DaveDFW Member

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    I agreed with this reviewer's opinions, especially the last line: "TiVo better, as they say, stop nickel and diming its remaining subscribers before they jump off the overpriced TiVo bandwagon."

    I'll be interested to see what happens with Mini sales over time. There's a core group of hardcore Tivo fans who will happily pay whatever price Tivo asks for their hardware and, as we have seen at TCF, are chomping at the bit to purchase on the first day of availability.

    But what will happen once those fans have completed their purchases? I expect to see an sales initial spike followed by a flat line hovering near zero.
     
  18. Mar 21, 2013 #98 of 319
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    And you can see an underlying theme in the reviews - no one thinks the fee is justified but are willing to concede that the lifetime $250 price is competitive in the marketplace. Problem is, there are a lot of people that won't buy Tivo because of fees and the Mini makes them look even worse regardless of whether the total price is fair. Just look at the comments in the Cnet review.
     
  19. Mar 21, 2013 #99 of 319
    HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

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    Paradise...
    I just confirmed without doubt that the minis get their guide data from the host TiVo, not on their own. I found out because my P4 was missing guide data for all channels between 1008 and 1600 (Mostly HD digital package type channels). I called my cable co. many times in the last few days thinking the cards weren't paired right because when I went to the cablecard settings screen and tried to preview channels it said I couldn't because I had no digital channels available, even though I could tune and watch them normally. The kicker was that if I went to the tuning adapter menu instead, I could preview the channels there.

    After installing the minis, I noticed they exhibited the same behavior, no guide info for the same channels. Well yesterday I remembered when I initially setup the P4 that I skipped the cablecard activation portion (it said you could) when doing the GS and activated the card later on. So I decided to do GS again and this time when it asked my provider I said "I wasn't sure" so it asked me about a certain channel number which I confirmed and off it went calling in and downloading info, etc.

    Once it was done I checked the guide and voila', there was the guide data for all my channels, but the point being and confirming is that I never once did a thing on any of the minis but when I went back to them, they each played the little TiVo cartoon again like they were just setup or something and now their guide data is correct as well.

    These TiVo minis are just parasites sucking life out of and living off of their host! :eek: So remind me, what's that extra $5.99/ month or $149 lifetime for again??? :confused:

    ....but I actually do like them, a lot :/ (just not the added costs)
    Dave

    P.S. - Maybe everyone knew this already, but I was under the assumption that the way they justified their monthly fee was because it was autonomous in that regard.
     
  20. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

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    The mini gets the program guide from the host TiVo, because that is the box it uses to tune live TV. Whatever that box has for a channel list is what you will see on the Mini. The Mini has no need for its own guide data, because it can't record anything on its own.

    What's next? A monthly fee for the TiVo remote control?
     

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