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  2. Breaking News - The sale is back... "Our “once in a lifetime” PLS promotion was such a hit, that we’ve decided to launch it again! The PLS Transfer Sale will be available again for the last 3 days of the month. This will include the BOLT+ 3TB, and 4 refurb units (BOLT 500GB, BOLT 1T, Roamio Pro and the TiVo Mini)." https://www.tivo.com/secondchancelifetimesale#/secondchancelifetimesale

What exactly are the Tivo service fees for?

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

  1. mntvjunkie

    mntvjunkie Member

    May 12, 2009
    Well, and even if you do plan to upgrade in 2 years, your Roamio Basic with Lifetime service would probably get you AT LEAST $200. Service over two years would cost $360, and as others stated, would break even at 31 months, assuming no resale.

    I can't see, other than a minor refresh, a new box coming out in less than 3 years. And the past refreshes have been to add bigger drives, more tuners, etc. which doesn't seem like a good reason to upgrade (especially since you are going with a Basic).

    But yes, each person has to make that evaluation for themselves to determine if it is worth it or not. My issue is when someone comes on here saying that it's never worth it for anyone, because that's not true. The fact is, I DID pay more, almost twice as much, paying monthly on my Series 1 and Series 2, than I would have paid for lifetime service. And on my Tivo HD, had I been paying monthly I would have paid $810 JUST for the service, whereas I paid $500 for the Box AND service, saving nearly $300. Granted, I skipped the S4, and I will probably skip the S6 when it comes out in 3 years.
  2. bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

    Oct 31, 2007
    I think the days of larger drives as an upgrade incentive are over. 3TB is more then enough space for usage by the general population... Add to that the eventual move to Mpeg4 by the cable companies - and the file size gets even smaller.

    It has always been easy to see where TiVo needed to go with their next units - but I am not sure what the S6 units would look like.

    I suppose the only thing that comes to mind is the move from cable cards to some future state authentication method.
  3. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    Feb 28, 2001
    Roughly 40% of all currently active lifetime subs are more than 5 years old. That's a whole lot of people getting many more years than break-even requires. Granted, the 40% doesn't count all those folks who throw a $300 unit in the trash rather than make productive use out of it, but it also doesn't count all those new lifetime users who haven't had a chance to reach break-even yet. I would have to believe that well over half of all lifetime subs are still active at a 3 year break-even point.

    Here's the data from the 2013 annual report for the 40% figure:
    1,029,000 total tivo subscriptions
    53% of tivo subs pay monthly (rest lifetime presumably)
    194,000 lifetime subscriptions are currently active (called in within past 6 months), and have exceeded the amortization period of 5 years. (TiVo changed their amortization period recently, I remember figures of 174,000 active subs have exceeded 5 1/2 years)
  4. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    I agree.

    6 tuners is the max for CableCARDs unless the FCC steps in and changes the rules again, so there is no where to go with tuners. And 3TB is plenty of storage for most people. And if it's not there is always the eSATA port. Add in the built in transcoding of the Stream and I can't see what hardware improvements they could make. The only improvements I can see are all software. (user profiles being at the top of my list)

    Although I wouldn't mind seeing a TiVo with a built in BD drive. I always loved our Pioneer S2 and it's ability to play DVDs using the TiVo remote. If they made one with a BD drive built in that would be awesome, and would truly make it the "one box" for me. :)
  5. bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

    Oct 31, 2007
    And just because you decide to upgrade, keeping the older model on 2nd and 3rd TV's can extend their lives significantly. I purchase the S3 in late 2004, the HD in 2008, and the Premiere in 2010 all active and all heavily used by my family. I also had a S2 in service for years before that.

    So, what have I saved with lifetime vs. monthly fees in all those years? A lot!

    And I can still get up to $900 resale on these units. If they didn't have lifetime service - maybe $60 for the three of them.

    Is it a fact that the average user doesn't benefit from lifetime? Far, far from it. I think the average user is likely to hold on to their TiVo rather then to upgrade as soon as a new model hits the market - (like the members on this forum)
  6. bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

    Oct 31, 2007
    Seems similar to the 2005 TiVo pricing model - even a little higher:

    I know they started shipping in late '99, so maybe the early model was different - but not apparently successful.
  7. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    In the beginning ReplayTV only had one price with lifetime service included. A similar TiVo was cheaper up front, but slightly more expensive once you added lifetime service. I don't think ReplayTV added the monthly option until after they were sold the first time.

    The reason for their demise was litigation. They were sued over two key features. One allowed the box to automatically skip commercials. Not 30 second skip, but some sort of commercial detection that just skipped the entire commercial block in one press of the button. The other was a sharing feature that allowed boxes to share shows via the internet. It was suppose to be limited to friends & family, but an aggregation service quickly popped up where you could find another ReplayTV that had the show you wanted and quickly link to it and grab the show. And this was before any DRM existed so people were using it to watch shows on premium channels that they themselves did not subscribe to.
  8. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    This is correct. ReplayTV went through several different models before going with a subscriber-based setup. I owned both the 3000 series ReplayTV and Panasonic Showstopper models, neither of which had any of the features that eventually resulted in litigation against the company. The network sharing and commercial skipping functions didn't appear until later models. The link previously posted to wikipedia can provide more detail than I can offer if anyone's interested in the history so I won't elaborate further.
  9. StevesWeb

    StevesWeb Grumpy Old Geek

    Dec 26, 2008
    Geek Hill,...
    We had one of the newer models that did skip commercials, it worked very well.

    When we switched to a TiVo I thought it would be a downgrade but quickly realized the TiVo is far better as a DVR.
  10. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I don't think TiVo can come up with anything that would be a must have in any Series 6 unless cable cards went out as an option, then your old TiVos would have no value and lifetime would not be the correct option, I don't think that the FCC would let Cable Cards go away, not within the next 10 years or more, my guess is that a Series 6 may be less expensive to purchase, smaller, or other cosmetic changes that a new customer would like but people who already own a Series 4 or especially a Series 5 would be less likely to upgrade.
    Someone should take a poll about their TiVo use, for me and my family we only record & watch TV shows, the only other option we ever use on the TiVo is OD that we are lucky to have. I would not upgrade for a built in BD player or coffee maker for that matter.
  11. CharlesH

    CharlesH Member TCF Club

    Aug 29, 2002
    How does power consumption fit in with an HTPC? A Premier pulls about 25W. No sarcasm intended, just wondering.
  12. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    That depends entirely on the architecture of the PC itself. You could use something like an Intel NUC with a HDHomeRun (Dual or Prime) and an external drive for storage, or you could go with a full desktop setup. Compared to a similarly outfitted Tivo, the Tivo would probably use less power.

    Power consumption isn't really something that most people consider when going with a HTPC. It's more about what features you can incorporate into it. PC hardware manufacturers are always looking for new ways to get top performance while using less power so chances are pretty good you can build a HTPC that's also an energy saver.
  13. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    My Intel i5-3570K HTPC with an Asrock Z77Pro mobo, Antec Earthwatts 430 PS, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD + 1TB HD, and nVidia GTX650 video card idles around 40 watts. I also use it for gaming and it's great for either task, maxes out at less than 70 watts I think.

    Power consumption for a dedicated HTPC on a NUC or Shuttle would be way less, like 20 watts or so (Anandtech says the NUC is between 10-20 with last year's i3). It's not an issue on modern PCs anymore, and quite comparable to a Roamio even with 6 tuners especially when you factor in that a PC can sleep for much of the time.

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