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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. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    I should have said a retroactive rent to own PLS option.
     
  2. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    So was lifetime this low when TiVo was first released in 1999 (or early 2000 before I bought mine)??

    Scott
     
  3. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    I think it may have been $199 originally, but they offered it for $99 on numerous occasions as a special deal.
     
  4. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Lifetime fees have been all over the place, I have paid the following:
    1. $299 on a Series 2 - 9/2005
    2. $299 (MSD) on a TiVo HD - 5/2008
    3. $199 (special promotion) on a Premiere - 11/2010
    4. $99 (retention offer) on a Series 3 - 10/2011
    5. $399 (MSD) on a Roamio - as soon as the unit shows up
     
  5. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    I always preferred ReplayTV DVRs because the lifetime service was factored into the cost of the DVR. I think they changed to a subscription-based service with the later models, which may have been part of the reason for their demise along with their legal issues.
     
  6. mntvjunkie

    mntvjunkie New Member

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    You can't say this is factual, as it depends on the individual owner as to whether PLS will be cheaper. For me, the best example I can give goes back to Series 2. I purchased my Series 2 in 2004, and deactivated it in 2009, paying $10 per month for it. At the time, PLS was $299, and I ended up paying over $600 for service on this box (my last NON-Lifetime box). I purchased the Tivo HD in May of 2009, and will retire it when my Roamio arrives next month, for a total of 54 months of service. Current service for ONE box is $15 per month, so assuming I never plug in the Tivo again, service would have cost me $810, but instead I got PLS for $299. This also assumes that I don't sell it, and I have two people interested in buying it for $250.

    If you upgrade your Tivo every time there is a new model, each Tivo would be in service for 2 years, but most people aren't going to do that, especially if they purchase Product Lifetime. But, even considering people will do that, you can still sell your Tivo (depending on model and other upgrades) for usually somewhere in the ballpark of between $200 and $500. So, assuming the lowest price after two years of service, and also assuming you are NOT getting an MSD, you would have paid $300 for PLS if you sold it for the absolute least you could, or $360 if you paid monthly.

    I fail to see how this is "fact" as you state, especially today. I cannot see Tivo releasing a major upgrade before at least 36 months has passed (seeing has how the Series 4 was released 3/2010) and I really can't see a personal need for more than 6 tuners or 3TB of space, so any upgrade will have to be processor/performance based, or a major UI enhancement. But, I guess I'm "Old School" because even then the Tivo will still do what it does today, which is more than enough to keep me happy.

    The only reason I upgraded from the HD to the S5 is because I wanted to get in early on this release cycle, and to finally be able to take advantage of the features introduced with the S4 line, like Xfinity on demand and mostly HD menus.
     
  7. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    That need varies from person to person. It all depends on how you record your programs. I pad every recording and sometimes have six or more shows being recorded simultaneously due to overlap. I also record about 40-50% of my programs via OTA antenna and the rest from FIOS, requiring a mix of tuners. The number of tuners I have would be overkill for most people, but I have them for very specific reasons. Here's what I have and how they're used:

    Two Ceton InfiniTV4 cablecard tuners located in my primary HTPC. These are dedicated to a single PC for recording FIOS programming and not shared. Four tuners was not enough and the 6-tuner InfiniTV6 was not available when I bought the 2nd InfiniTV4. Six cablecard tuners would be adequate for my needs. I hought about getting a 2nd HDHomeRun Prime, but I figured if I was going to pay for another cablecard I might as well get the max number of tuners for my money. I may eventually swap both InfiniTV4's for a single InfiniTV6.

    Two Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 dual ATSC/QAM tuners. Also dedicated to my primary HTPC for OTA recording.

    One 3-tuner SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime cablecard tuner. These are shared between three HTPCs, including the primary HTPC. They aren't really used by the main HTPC, but they get configured automatically during Media Center setup.

    One SiliconDust HDHomeRun Dual ATSC tuner. Available to the three HTPCs, but also not used by the primary HTPC unless there's a rare occurrence that I need an extra OTA tuner. This tuner rarely gets used by any PC and could be eliminated from the mix with no impact. I have it so I figure, why not use it? It's more of a backup in case my FIOS ever goes out (which it hasn't in the 5 or 6 years I've had it except during a power outage, in which case I won't be watching TV anyway).

    All in all, the main HTPC has access to 17 tuners, even though only a handful of them are in use at any given time. The other PCs share a mix of 5 tuners, mainly for live TV viewing, but there are enough tuners available for recording on any of the remote HTPCs if someone wishes to do so.

    Six Tivo tuners simply would not work for me. Judging by some of the signatures I see containing long lists of Tivos I'd say six tuners wouldn't work for a lot of others as well.

    As for storage, my primary HTPC has a single 1.5TB WD AV drive for recording as well as storage for miscellaneous files. I probably record an average of 50 hours of programs per week during the main TV seasons and the drive rarely ever gets more than half full, and that's with 20 minutes of additional padding for every show recorded (10 minutes before and after).

    Using your DVR for long term storage isn't a smart thing to do as evidenced by the number of sob stories you hear about people losing hundreds of hours of recordings due to a drive failure. I have a server with parity protection for storing things I want to keep. Anything on my server can be accessed from any PC as well.
     
  8. WO312

    WO312 Active Member

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    Finger...
    I bought my first Tivo in Nov 2000 and they had a promotion for $99 lifetime, regular price $199. I liked it so much I bought a second Tivo a week or 2 later and also got the $99 lifetime. One of those is still in active service at my son's house, so I think I've gotten my moneys worth on lifetime. :D
     
  9. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    Yep, that's way overkill. Given that cable reruns almost every new show, all most people really need is enough to record new network shows (i.e. ABC, CBS etc.) with padding and 6 tuners is plenty for that. Everything else on cable can be picked up by one of the many reruns later that evening or next day. That's also why you order SPs with network shows at top, cable afterwards.
     
  10. mntvjunkie

    mntvjunkie New Member

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    I guess I was using the number of tuners more as an argument towards lifetime. The argument could be made that while the S4 came out in 2010, there was an upgrade to 4 tuners in 2012 which would cause one to need to upgrade BEFORE they were fully vested in the current lifetime box they owned. As far as "mid life" upgrades, I just don't see anything that Tivo could do that would make me want to get another box in less than three years. 6 tuners is enough for me, so adding two more tuners wouldn't be anything that would interest me. And 3TB is actually more than enough, I doubt I'll ever exceed 2TB, and if I do, I should be pulling the shows off and archiving them somewhere else.

    They could add a new processor, but DVR processors are not improving THAT fast, so in order to notice a difference, I'd think 3 years is the "sweet spot". Plus, if this box runs speedy like people are saying it does, I very much doubt it will slow down over the years, as that hasn't been my previous experience with Tivo hardware.
     
  11. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    While I believe buying lifetime service will end up costing less than paying monthly for most people, there certainly are situations where monthly makes more sense, especially when you factor in a persons individual situation. I have paid monthly and because I was locked in at $6.95 it was about the same as having bought lifetime, but for all the units I have purchased lifetime on I am way ahead of having paid monthly.

    That is why each person needs to evaluate it for themselves and not blindly go one way or the other. But for someone buying any of the new Roamio DVRs now I have a hard time believing they will not benefit from lifetime service.
     
  12. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    The only problem with that philosophy is that anything aired after the initial air date is technically a rerun and may not be picked up if you have the series recordings set to New only. I prefer to record shows the first time they air as I try to watch them within 48 hours after being recorded. Otherwise I get backlogged and it throws my whole schedule off.

    Network shows are recorded via ATSC tuners whereas cable shows are recorded via the cablecard tuners so conflicts aren't an issue with my setup. I can record as many shows as I want from either source with no worries. Your Tivo is limited to whatever tuners you have and may not even be able to record OTA channels. That's one area where Tivo really screwed the pooch, IMHO.

    While it is an extremely rare occurrence, sometimes there may be a glitch that prevents a show from recording properly. Missed recordings are usually the result of a signal glitch or loss at the source, which I have absolutely no control over. If I set it up to record a later showing and it glitches, I may not get another chance at it. Many cable shows only air a show on the initial date with a repeat scheduled just prior to the new episode the following week. They don't air them a dozen times a week like they used to.

    Truth is, I rarely, if ever, miss a recording and I never have to worry about a recording conflict. That's more than ample justification enough in my book. Overkill or not, many people can't make the same claim with just a dual or quad tuner Tivo. I just set up a season pass and forget about it. I never have to worry about the networks rescheduling shows without my knowledge, resulting in a potential conflict with other shows. They just get recorded. :D
     
  13. Jonathan_S

    Jonathan_S Active Member

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    Northern...
    TiVo doesn't pay any antention to the 'new' flag; so assuming the guide data is good it'll happly grab a later airing up through 28 days after the original air date. (But not if it's already recorded or you manually canceled the scheduled recording)

    Back when I only had 2 tuners I'd see that happen a few times a week. The only problem I had with it was for shows on SciFi, their guide data didn't correctly indicate that the late night airing was always 5 minutes later than listed. So I had to add padding to all SciFi season passes were potentially bumpable.
     
  14. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    It matters, but it is not the only important aspect of the issue. No one said paying up front does not have any potential drawbacks.

    Depending on the situation, it may be closer to 18 months.

    I do.

    Exactly where do you obtain this so-called "fact"? In order to calculate the advantage, one must factor in the amount paid for PLS (which has been quite variable), the average length of time the average user keeps the TiVo under service, and the average amount a user gets for selling a lifetimed TiVo versus selling a TiVo without PLS. Unless you can provide some hard statistics on all three variables, your "fact" is nothing but a WAG.

    Here is one absolute fact for you: With two qualifying MSDs, my three active Tivos would have cost much, much more had I not gotten PLS since 09/2006, 06/2007, and 12/2007, and my now dead S1 TiVo from 12/2000 to 09/2007. This is especially true since I could still sell the three S3 class TiVos for between $200 and $300 on ebay. As always, the user's mileage will no doubt vary, and I have no real data on how my track record compares to the average, but as long as the TiVo does not turn belly up in 18 months, it is not at all difficult to windup in the black by purchasing PLS.
     
  15. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    That's simply not true. The resale value alone benefits users. At $15/mo it takes ~34 months to break even on full price lifetime. ($500) If at the end of 34 months you were to sell both TiVos the one with lifetime would typically be worth $300 more then the one without. Which means you're essentially saving $9/mo off the monthly fee. If you think you can put $500 in an account and earn $9/mo in interest then I'd love to know where you bank.
     
  16. consumedsoul

    consumedsoul Member

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    Out of curiosity, how frequently do new TiVo lines come out? Every year? Every couple years?

    I'd upgrade every time a new line came out (yeah I'm a gadget junkie) so wondering if paying lifetime would be worth it for me (so I'd pay $200 for TiVo and $399 for lifetime for this unit?)...
     
  17. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    No idea when the next update will be but my guess is several years (3-4 maybe more). There really isn't much to upgrade especially with the 6 tuner units.

    The reality is there is no way to know for sure which way will be better until time passes. The one thing many of us around here can tell you is that lifetime service has consistently ended up being much cheaper for us and I expect that to be true with the new Roamio DVRs. But again only after time passes will you know for sure.
     
  18. consumedsoul

    consumedsoul Member

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    Good to know - thanks. Knowing that about 2 yrs is about when I'd break even, I think I'll do the lifetime for my Roamio basic.
     
  19. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Historically about every 3-4 years. Although they sometimes do a small refresh in the middle. (S3 -> TiVo HD or Premiere -> Elite/XL4)
     
  20. consumedsoul

    consumedsoul Member

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    Got it - thanks for the info, sounds like it's worth the investment if I'm planning on keeping it for at least a couple years minimum.
     

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