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TiVo Mini Review Roundup

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

  1. compnurd

    compnurd New Member

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    Oct 6, 2011
    And the Genie Client and the Joey Lower the amount of Tuners of there respective products also.

    And for the 2007 Fios thing.. Even at 10 bucks a month you have paid 600 dollars for that DVR So yeh be happy they are upgrading you
     
  2. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Active Member

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    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    Did you bother to read my post? Where did I say anything about resale? What did I say in my last paragraph?

    I have only seen what TWC is offering hands on and I can tell you your statement is 100% wrong about TWC's offering.

    My prospective is the only people who have done the math and posted the numbers say TiVo's whole home solution is price competitive. You say it is not and offer no supporting data. Remember while value is 100% opinion, cost competitiveness is actually based on real data, facts, and math.

    No disagreement on all of the above (just for the record TWC whole home DVR only has 2 tuners so the tuner thing is irrelevant in my cable area). But other than the tuner issue, they are value decisions and are also services that a third party hardware provider can not provide. So if those things are of high value to someone then they only have one option and that is to rent whatever their pay TV provider offers. Which is what I said in my post.

    At no cost? Really? You have either been paying a monthly fee directly for that service or had the fee built into your pay TV service costs. So what was your Fee? I can tell you what I paid for a TiVo HD over about the same 5 years $500 for the unit with lifetime + less than $100 for a 2TB hard drive upgrade, and if I had been with TWC 60 months of cable card would have cost $90 for a Total of $690 or less than $12/mo. for 60 months.

    I have no objective in participating in this forum other than to post my opinion or provide people with help and/or facts if I have them. My opinion is that TiVo stand alone DVRs are a niche product and that the most likely way for TiVo to become successful is through cableco partnerships, which will hopefully allow them to continue to provide stand alone DVRs for their niche market.
     
  3. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    Tampa, FL
    The price of entry for a Premiere 4 + Mini is $400. I suspect TiVo will soon offer bundling deals that lowers this cost to below $350. That's less than $30/mo for a year to light-up two televisions. With that said, the cost of entry for the majority of cable operators is zero up-front so I agree that its something that's difficult for TiVo to overcome. Its the prime reason that TiVo has teamed up with a large number of Tier 2/3 operators to offer the TiVo solution as their primary whole-home offering. TiVo receives a very low fee (~$1.50/mo average) in exchange for direct access to their customers, minimal technical support, etc.) For this use-case, TiVo's growth is accelerating. I posted a spreadsheet in this thread -- Comparing Whole-Home DVR Pricing. Its pretty clear from the numbers and Josh Goldman's pricing comparison on Cnet that the TiVo solution is competitive with the cable and satellite operators.

    I completely disagree with this assessment. Have you experienced the whole home solution being provided currently on most of the cable systems? First of all, the primary DVR/gateway on Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House networks has only 2-tuners and a small drive. You are not able to pause or rewind live television on the satellite box. What most of these operators have provided is a method to essentially stream (MRS) recorded programs to a satellite box which TiVo has had for many years. The experience, in general, is inferior to TiVo's solution with the Premiere+Preview or Premiere 4/XL4+Mini.

    With that said, the latest generation of boxes from DIRECTV and Dish offer competitive alternatives and in some-way superior solutions to the current TiVo software. I've used the last generation DIRECTV solution (prior to Genie) and my comments regarding the other cable operators solution apply to that inferior solution as well. Once TiVo implements DTA and releases faster gateway boxes, their solution will be on par or superior to everything on the market.


    Once again, I'll refer you back to my comparison spreadsheet and/or the Cnet pricing comparison. I've personally used the 2-tuner Verizon FiOS whole-home solution and TiVo is superior. A lifetime Premiere 4+Mini is $30.66 over three years versus $31.99 for Verizon. The cost to equip 4 televisions is $44.43 for TiVo versus $51.99/mo for Verizon. I could add in extended warranties and it would have minimal impact on this analysis. The Mini has zero moving parts so a failure after the initial period is unlikely but its clearly a consideration.

    The bottom-line is that TiVo is a premium solution that takes a conscious effort from a consumer who wants a superior television viewing experience. In my view, TiVo is like Apple in this regard. There is an up-front and continuing cost to a TiVo choice but in-return the experience is superior to the crappy offerings of most cable operators.
     
  4. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    May 10, 2002
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    I'm really very surprised that there is this opinion. Have you'll really used the crappy offerings of most cable operators? Verizon is probably the 3rd best whole-home solution on the market today and its inferior to TiVo in so many ways - 2-tuners, small disc drive, crappy remote, inability to pause or rewind live TV, ... TiVo is releasing a higher-end media gateway sometime later this year that will have more tuners, etc. so I will need to re-evaluate this statement after that solution is available. FiOS charges $20/mo for their DVR and $10 - $12/mo for their HD boxes.
     
  5. compnurd

    compnurd New Member

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    Oct 6, 2011
    He wont be happy until it is called the TiVo Mini Roku
     
  6. magnus

    magnus Tivo User

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    Nov 12, 2004
    Texas
    And you won't be happy until everyone drinks the Tivo Kool-Aid! :D
     
  7. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    Jan 20, 2004
    Sam,

    What resonates with people is that the MSO offerings are "good enough" for most consumers who see any upfront cost for equipment to be a negative. Even when TiVo was at their peak from a competitiveness standpoint it was a "premium" upgrade for DirecTV and the overwhelming majority of consumers would not bite.

    It's worth pointing out also that repair/support/upgrades are included for no additional fee or a "nominal fee" with MSO equipment. Something your spreadsheet fails to account for but which is a big deal to consumers.

    The other big problem that TiVo has is the reliance on cable operators setting up their solution with cable cards. Which based on threads here, remarkably still happens over five years since cable cards were introduced.

    As long as MSOs view TiVo integration as competition and "a burden" it will be hard for TiVo to get traction.
     
  8. magnus

    magnus Tivo User

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    Texas
    Crappy or not, the perception is that you're getting a box for free or very little and it usually works with their system... because it is their system. Like it or not... Tivo has a lot of ground to make up on the MSO front before it will be seen as a viable option.
     
  9. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    Tampa, FL
    Jason,

    I agree with one exception. I would say that upgrades of equipment are hit or miss with many of the providers. For example, in order to upgrade on DIRECTV a consumer might have to pay a significant up-front leased equipment cost plus extend his/her contract term and/or threaten to quit the service. With Verizon FiOS an upgrade is dependent on equipment availability at a local office and/or a shipping cost might have to be paid.

    TiVo has managed to add on average 25,000 to 35,000 boxes per quarter while legacy Series 2/3 boxes drop off at a faster rate. The churn rate on Premiere boxes is lower than the add rate resulting in net additions of Series 4 subscribers. I think its possible that we may start to see a slight improvement in these numbers as word spreads of TiVo's solution via word-of-mouth and mainstream press (e.g., USA Today, NY Times, ...). We also know that TiVo adds in Comcast areas that support Xfinity is higher than in other areas. Support from the various cable operators is not consistent across the country but Comcast is pretty good and offers free in-home installation of a TiVo solution.

    I will concede however that TiVo will have a difficult time adding a significant number of users to its retail base with the current market environment and the current solution. I do think there is the possibility of slow growth in the US retail market which nicely augments the significant growth they are experiencing with their domestic and international partners.
     
  10. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    May 10, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Hmm... I've witnessed more and more of my friends starting to look at their cable bill and realizing their paying $40/mo or more on equipment rental charges...
     
  11. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    They put up with it because of the low upfront cost. But in the long run the TiVo is cheaper. When I brought it up to one of my neighbors who pays for two DVRs from FiOS(over $30 a month), they had never thought about how much they had spent. They were surprised at all the money they spent over the years. But in the end they still didn't get a TiVo. Even though it would be less expensive in the long run.
     
  12. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    Comcast does not install TiVo gear for free, at least in my market. You have to pay for a "truck roll" so that a surly tech can struggle to get your cc activated, all the while griping and moaning about what a PITA TiVo boxes are to them.
     
  13. magnus

    magnus Tivo User

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    Nov 12, 2004
    Texas
    Yep, I know a lot of folks like that. They don't want to change even if it would save them money. For some reason, they don't want to hassle with it.
     
  14. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    Jan 20, 2004
    TiVo is only cheaper if you don't have equipment failures outside of warranty. With MSO offerings you are also often able to "upgrade" to newer equipment at a lower cost than with TiVo.
     
  15. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    May 10, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    It looks like the free truck-roll might be related to a user who switches to Comcast. I know TiVo has mentioned the agreement with Comcast for free installation a number of times and Comcast's TiVo page also says,

     
  16. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    Jan 20, 2004
    If you buy the TiVo from Comcast I do not doubt they install it for free. I bought my last one at Best Buy and Comcast did not offer to install it free.
     
  17. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    Tampa, FL
    Jason,

    Comcast doesn't sell TiVo boxes.

    You can buy from tivo.com or any retailer and if you are a "new customer" switching to Comcast, they will come out to your house and install for free. The key is a "new residential customer". This is one area where TiVo could work with Best Buy to gain new customers. Almost every time I'm in Best Buy, I have a DIRECTV representative trying to get me to switch. TiVo could do the same if they had knowledgeable TiVo representatives at key Best Buys within the Xfinity footprint.
     
  18. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    How often do they actually fail? From my experience with TiVos, it is very rare. But from the people I know that have been using Comcast and FiOS DVRs during the last five or six years, they seem to have a high failure/problem rate. Most people I know with those boxes have had one or two boxes exchanged for one reason or another. And in the process lost any recordings they had. It certainly pissed them off, but it still wasn't enough to get them to get a TiVo.
     
  19. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    May 10, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    I think TiVo could further differentiate their offering by offering a Cloud backup of a subscribers programs and/or offering a high-end unit with some redundancy on disc drives. Essentially Carbonite for the DVR.
     
  20. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    Jan 20, 2004
    I doubt that TiVo has the marketing budget to do that but it's a good idea for them especially in Xfinity markets where it is an easier sell. Comcast might even be willing to split the costs since it would help them against Dish and directv.
     

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