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What exactly are the Tivo service fees for?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by barrett14, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    5,740
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    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    I have lots of money sitting a zero interest bank account and some in accounts under .05% so no the TVM does not matter.

    It is not a minor detail that you post incorrect information to try support an opinion as fact.

    Yes it is. You have no way of proving your statement (and I have no way of disproving it). It is your opinion and I do not agree with you.

    The factual information I have is my own experience which is:
    1. Series 2 TiVo lifetime service cost now under $3.15/mo
    2. TiVo HD lifetime service cost now under $4.70/mo plus unit is worth about $300 more because of lifetime
    3. Series 3 lifetime service costs now under $4.30/mo and unit is worth about $300 because of lifetime service
    4. Premiere lifetime service cost now under $5.90/mo and unit is worth about $350 more because of lifetime service
    Like I said go ahead and pay more if you want too.
     
  2. waterchange

    waterchange Member

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    Jun 29, 2010
    Tivo lifetime = smart buyer. But it's a huge expense that if you can't afford, you go monthly. If you really think paying monthly is the better decision, go for it.

    Regarding an HTPC, I could build one. My wife wouldn't be able to do that but she can buy, setup, and operate a Tivo. My in-laws certainly wouldn't have a clue how to build/procure an HTPC (let alone know what a "reboot" is) but they can use a Tivo. I could set one up for these folks and friends but I wouldn't want to. Nor would I want the support headaches, minor or not, that these folks would encounter. It takes skill/expertise/knowledge to build these things. Once you have something working stably, I'm sure a non-techie can operate an HTPC. It's getting to that point is why they will always be a niche market.
     
  3. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    No argument about the HTPC. It's definitely not for everyone and not something you'd necessarily want to give to your in-laws. Tivos are ideal for the non-technically inclined, but then so is the cableco's DVR. Tivo owners tend to fall somewhere in between. They like the convenience and features and don't mind paying a bit extra for them.

    My wife is about as inept as they come when dealing with technology. If the TV's on the wrong input she goes ballistic because she can't figure out how to get it working. When I gave up using a Tivo in my home theater I put it in the family room for her to use. When I finally pulled the plug and cancelled the Tivo service I replaced the Tivo with a small form factor HTPC. So far she's been using it with no problems going on almost two years now. Believe me when I tell you, if my wife can use a WMC PC, then anyone can.

    OTOH, it's still a PC and issues may crop up on occasion. I've found that as long as you don't use it for surfing the web or for other day-to-day PC functions it keeps humming along without a hitch. A lot of people cringe at the thought of using a PC dedicated for watching TV and movies or listening to music. They think it's either overkill, too expensive, or too complicated when it's actually none of the above. When you consider how many separate components it can replace, it's actually quite inexpensive.

    There is a huge misconception about the level of skill required to build a HTPC. If you can replace a hard drive then you can easily build a HTPC. It's no different than putting together a standard desktop PC except that you may add a tuner card or some additional software. Media Center is built into every version of Windows 7, except Home Basic, and is available as an add-on for Windows 8 for about $10. Now, if you really want to add some advanced features, like upconverting standard DVDs for the best picture quality or setting up an alternative media center front end, then things start getting a bit more complex. Sticking with Windows Media Center will keep it simple and easy to set up and use. The great thing about it is that you have lots of choices and can experiment to your heart's content as well as maximize your skillset.

    I won't get into the area of sharing TV and movies with other rooms because that's a topic that can create a whole new discussion and is outside the realm of this thread.

    In case anyone's interested, Assassin has just made his blog free to the public whereas it used to cost $25 to join. It's got the most detailed tutorials and guides available for building and configuring a HTPC for anything from using it as a DVR to an audiophile quality PC. Here's the link:

    http://assassinhtpcblog.com/

    For those of you that may be a bit more adventurous, he also has a website dedicated to building media servers. Here's that link:

    http://www.assassinserver.com
     
  4. lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    CT
    If you can sell on E-Bay or such you are dead wrong!! (Except for people that would have to pay a credit card interest of over 20%), I have a Series 2 connected to a cable box (that come with my cable service package) for over 8 years now, no fees. (used in one of my guest bedrooms) The new S5 TiVos should last for the next 10 years or more for DVRing cable TV, there will not be any more advances in the TiVo line of products that will make the S5 obsolete for DVR use. 4K is 10 to 20 years away, if ever, for the retail customer and not needed for the average size HDTV most people are getting. With the S5 dropping in a new hard drive will be less complicated than changing a computer hard drive.
    And we are only talking about $400 per TiVo, ($500 for the first TiVo on a new account) not much of a gamble in todays world.
     
  5. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    It definitely is a debate since you're the one debating it. Just saying it's factual doesn't make it so. I'm pretty sure the average Tivo user on this forum most certainly keeps their Tivos long enough to benefit from the cost of purchasing lifetime service.

    Fact: Tivos with lifetime are worth more than Tivos without lifetime. Resale value of non-lifetime Tivos is almost nil unless the Tivo has been upgraded.

    Fact: Most Tivo users that purchase lifetime are more likely to keep their Tivos in service long enough to recoup their cost of lifetime service. If they do not keep them then they can easily recover the difference by selling a lifetime unit on ebay.

    Fact: Vendors like Weaknees couldn't stay in business if there weren't enough Tivo owners interested in keeping their Tivos alive long enough to benefit from a lifetime plan. That doesn't even take into account the number of Tivo owners that upgrade drives themselves.

    Fact: If you keep a Tivo on a month-to-month plan for the life of the Tivo, chances are you'll end up spending more than if you purchased the lifetime service. The only caveat is if it's a 2nd Tivo with MSD, in which case it would take a bit longer to make up the difference (although I believe lifetime is less expensive for the 2nd or 3rd Tivo, etc.).
     
  6. Kolenka

    Kolenka New Member

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    Jan 2, 2013
    That's a pretty bold statement to make (emphasis mine). Usually tech that far out isn't purchasable yet. Yet I can go buy a 4K TV if I was really wanting one today. Stuff that upscales or passes through 4K over HDMI is on the market already. What is missing is the content, which is not terribly far behind, maybe a couple years before we start seeing mainstream access to movies. They've already got a mechanism for simulcasting 1080p and 4K that can be used for OTA and Terrestrial broadcast fleshed out.

    Now, will it be a TV seller? Ha, no. But over the next 5 years or so, the tech will get cheap enough that you'll probably see 1080p/4K sets for cheap/midrange models like we've seen 720p/1080p for the last few years as 1080p displays have pushed out the older tech from the cheap models.

    Personally, I'm not expecting much benefit from 4K in the home except for those doing projectors and the larger 70-80" behemoths. But I am waiting for OLED to come down in price right now, and I wouldn't be surprised that when it enters my price range, they might be 4K as well.
     
  7. lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    CT
    Will 4K be available, yes, will some people get 4K in the next 5 years, yes, but will it become main stream, IMHO no, just as DVD audio is available, but I don't know anybody that is using it, but everybody I know has a DVR, Cable co or TiVo, everybody I know has a HDTV, and has a DVD player, 50% have a BD player. Will there be a big market for a 4K DVR in the next 10 years, again I don't think so. I have a 80" HDTV and a normal DVD looks very good, yes BD is better but not enough better that I will order BDs from Netflix, just DVDs (much easier to copy if I need to). I have a surround sound digital THX preamp from Meridian that I got in 1997, still does a great job, Tower PC are dropping as the computer of choice by most people, but my tower PC with the I7 extreme that is now almost 4 years old still has a rank in the top 5% as tested by PC PitStop , the only upgrade I have done is a SSD drive, I think I will be able to keep using this computer for at least the next 5 years or more, in the past I could never say that about a PC. Most technology reaches a top when improvements become less and less needed for most people or get replaced by something better, like the VCR to the DVR, as vinyl records to CD and now for some people back to vinyl records, that why I think the Roamio will be the last DVR for most people, as I can't see any improvements TiVo could make to the DVR function that would cause me to upgrade again (yes they could make one that could hold say 1000 hours of HD but 300 hours of HD is all I need now and Roamio could go to 450 hours if needed). The first TV standard lasted 60 years, this one should last at least 30 more years.
     
  8. WO312

    WO312 Active Member

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    Jan 24, 2003
    Finger...
    Thanks for the link. Looks interesting. I'd like to upgrade my basic HTPC with different (better) software.
     
  9. mattack

    mattack Active Member

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    Apr 9, 2001
    sunnyvale
    That's revisionist history.

    ReplayTV was committing(/accomodating) blatant copyright infringement -- allowing people to send recordings to each other -- and being sued to death. They were also being sued for the automatic commercial skipping, which they removed in a later version.

    I too wish there were other viable competitors to Tivo, and I say that as a huge Tivo fan. (Viable == as reliable as -- and I've had Tivos die.)
     
  10. JoeTaxpayer

    JoeTaxpayer Member

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    I can easily set my computer to pull a copy of a show to stream to others. But you are right, I recall the feature was built into the Replay.

    While lower prices would always be nice, I'm curious what OP thinks the fair price is for a lifetime service machine.
     
  11. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    That's a pretty substantial exaggeration. Lifetime cost me $199 in June of 2000 and it's $499 now so that would be 2.5 times what it was originally. I paid $249 for lifetime on my second in May 2002 which would only be 2 times.

    Scott
     
  12. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    2,789
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    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    I agree with atsmuscarella. You don't have enough information to back this up as a fact. My 2 Series 3 OLEDs are now 6 years and 9 months old so lifetime was well worth it to me as I still have no incentive to upgrade to newer hardware (and certainly worth even more to me since both were $199 lifetime transfers from my 2 Series 1's of which the oldest was 6 years and 6 months old before we retired it for the S3's).

    Scott
     
  13. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,507
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    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    Tivo has no retail competitors, and that's the root of all the half-assedness we've seen ever since the Premiere came out. Hopefully the Roamios will change that.
     
  14. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,507
    19
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    If you totally ignore the resale value of a lifetime Tivo, sure. But smart people don't.
     
  15. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

    4,359
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    Feb 2, 2006
    Ellicott...
    Retail or not, the competition exists. It's just a matter of recognizing this to be true. Tivo pretty much has a solid grip on the retail market since all other competitors have fallen by the wayside, leaving Tivo pretty much all by themselves. You could make a point for HTPCs being part of the retail market, but most HTPCs are more likely to by DIY configurations rather than turnkey devices.

    However, retail sales is not the No. 1 source for DVRs. Most people that sign up for cable or satellite will likely go with what the cableco offers unless they have prior knowledge of DVRs and Tivos. I don't know the numbers, but I'd hazard a guess that there are more Motorola and various other boxes from providers being used than Tivos.
     
  16. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    I paid $99 for lifetime on my first Tivo. It is now $499, which is actually slighly more than five times as much than I originally paid.

    I added automatic commercial skipping to my HTPC and nobody's getting sued over it. :D

    I won't rekindle the debate about HTPC reliability except to say that mine's been rock solid and every bit as reliable as any Tivo I've owned over the past 14 years. Obviously, YMMV.
     
  17. takeshi

    takeshi New Member

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    Jul 22, 2010
    It's a subjective matter just as worth is on any topic. If it was universally worth it then everyone would have a Tivo and none of the alternatives. If it was universally not worth it then no one would own a Tivo. Reality indicates that it's somewhere in between the two extremes.
     
  18. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    What I wish is that there was a "rent to own" option for lifetime where after enough time paying by the month it converted over to PLS.
     
  19. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Feb 2, 2006
    Ellicott...
    Why not just put the lifetime fee on your credit card and pay a little off each month? Aside from the interest rates it pretty much amounts to the same thing. It sounds like you simply want to buy lifetime on an installment plan.

    FYI - if you've ever done business with one of the rent-to-own companies you'd know that they end up charging you way more than the retail cost of the unit.
     
  20. mattack

    mattack Active Member

    20,750
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    Apr 9, 2001
    sunnyvale
    Was that the original price or not? Now I don't remember for sure.. I do remember that the warning about lifetime price *going up* is what pushed me to start seriously looking into getting a Tivo.. and I ended up missing the deadline (I also was looking for hardware deals at the time), and IIRC paid $199 for lifetime.
     

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