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Old 03-18-2013, 12:54 PM   #61
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Actually it is a very competitive market. The problem is that the crap-tastic boxes that the MSOs provide are winning.

Not enough consumers see the value in owning their own video recorders to pay the prices TiVo is asking. If not enough consumers are willing to pay then TiVo potentially goes out of business. However, it does not appear that this scenario will play out soon. Soon being relative of course.

At the end of the day, most customers (and most Americans for that matter) have horrible math skills. I know plenty of people paying $50-$75 a month for equipment rental from an MSO so that they can watch HD cable in 4-5 rooms of their home and record programming in a couple of rooms. Over the course of just a couple of years it would probably save them money to to go TiVo (ESPECIALLY now that the Mini is available), but most don't care enough or look at the up-front TiVo costs and balk.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:37 PM   #62
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At the end of the day, most customers (and most Americans for that matter) have horrible math skills.
It maybe worse than just not having math skills.

Back in the early 80's we had a good hired man (family dairy farm he was the only non-family labor). I thought he was smart enough but when it came to money management he was hopeless. He wanted a stereo but claimed he couldn't save the money to buy one. Back then we had a small local retailer that would extend credit to buy TVs, stereos, appliances etc. and collected the money weekly with a hefty interest charge. Our hired man decided to get the stereo and pay weekly we told him he was way over paying and that he should save the money and pay cash, he said no way he could save up that much money, we told him to just put what he was going to pay weekly away until he had the money again he said he couldn't save the money but was sure he could make the payment. Bottom line he could not leave money in a bank account, he spent his paycheck every week no matter what, but he could make payments on stuff he bought. He had the same spending disease that many people have which is why so many people have to make payments on what ever they buy. Oh and he did buy the stereo and made the weekly payments without issue.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:29 PM   #63
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Actually it is a very competitive market. The problem is that the crap-tastic boxes that the MSOs provide are winning.

Not enough consumers see the value in owning their own video recorders to pay the prices TiVo is asking. If not enough consumers are willing to pay then TiVo potentially goes out of business. However, it does not appear that this scenario will play out soon. Soon being relative of course.

At the end of the day, most customers (and most Americans for that matter) have horrible math skills. I know plenty of people paying $50-$75 a month for equipment rental from an MSO so that they can watch HD cable in 4-5 rooms of their home and record programming in a couple of rooms. Over the course of just a couple of years it would probably save them money to to go TiVo (ESPECIALLY now that the Mini is available), but most don't care enough or look at the up-front TiVo costs and balk.
I would venture to say that most of the people in my market that are paying for whole-home DVR solutions from Cox don't even know that Tivo exists. They think their only alternatives are Dish and DirecTV (because they market the hell out of Hopper and Genie). Quite frankly, 4 months ago I didn't know whether Tivo still existed. My parents-in-law and my brother-in-law had each just gotten Cox's whole home DVR product. I decided I'd like to do that too, but didn't like what I saw for the monthly charges so I started looking for alternatives. Somebody on a message board about Cox's whole home product mentioned Tivo as an alternative and I vaguely remembered them from 10+ years ago. So I found them - their marketing never reached me.

I just went to lunch with my parents yesterday and they mentioned they were switching to DirecTV. When I told them I've switched to Tivo equipment, I pretty much got blank stares. Now, granted they are in their upper 60s, not very tech savvy, and probably would never implement something like Tivo unless I helped them with it, but I also got a similar blank stare from my brother-in-law, who is younger than me and is a much bigger gadget junkie than me. He buys the newest iPhones and iPads and pre-wired his house himself with Cat 5e when he built it back in the early 2000s. Yet he wasn't really familiar with Tivo and never considered it as an alternative to Cox Whole Home DVR.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:56 PM   #64
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Actually it is a very competitive market. The problem is that the crap-tastic boxes that the MSOs provide are winning.
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I would venture to say that most of the people in my market that are paying for whole-home DVR solutions from Cox don't even know that Tivo exists.
Plain and simple: TiVo has to step up advertising big time!
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:28 PM   #65
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To be honest if you don't frequent this forum I seriously doubt you will know very little about Tivo's DVR's and nothing about the Stream or Mini. They do not advertise. Even in Best Buy there is nothing to distinguish them.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:38 PM   #66
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To be honest if you don't frequent this forum I seriously doubt you will know very little about Tivo's DVR's and nothing about the Stream or Mini. They do not advertise. Even in Best Buy there is nothing to distinguish them.
They just completed a National Advertising campaign with Tm Tebow. I watch a lot of CNBC live and saw the Tebow TiVo commercials quite a few times. They also run live cut-in ads on Morning Joe. Now that they have the Mini, I'm hoping they'll try a commercial that explains the whole-home offering and perhaps differentiates the cost in certain markets. In my market (Tampa), TiVo could advertise comparing costs and features against Bright House and Verizon FiOS. The challenge for them is they have a fairly limited budget for retail Sales and Marketing. With the new CFO in-place at the company, perhaps they'll figure out a way to tap their huge cash reserves ($600 million), to spur retail adoption. There is, of course, the challenge and friction associated with CableCARD but now its limited to one box.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:50 PM   #67
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CNBC and Morning Joe are not exactly prime time shows/Networks. Also Tim Tebow is not exactly the spokesperson best suited for DVR's. They need a much bigger ad spread then that if they want to get the attention of most consumers. Most people I talk to about Tivo have no idea who or what they are. That is a common theme in many posts on this forum. Advertising gets more customers which generates more income for Tivo. I do not think I saw one Tebow commercial. It takes money to make money. I have been with Tivo since 2000 and just installed the Mini and have a Stream on order. But, my knowledge of these two boxes did not come from any advertisements other then what Tivo downloaded on to my DVR's. Those ads are the only reason I know about Tebow even existing. If you do not already own Tivo you did not get those ads. It is nice to DL to existing customers but a lot more is needed for new ones.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:59 PM   #68
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They just completed a National Advertising campaign with Tm Tebow. I watch a lot of CNBC live and saw the Tebow TiVo commercials quite a few times. They also run live cut-in ads on Morning Joe. Now that they have the Mini, I'm hoping they'll try a commercial that explains the whole-home offering and perhaps differentiates the cost in certain markets. In my market (Tampa), TiVo could advertise comparing costs and features against Bright House and Verizon FiOS. The challenge for them is they have a fairly limited budget for retail Sales and Marketing. With the new CFO in-place at the company, perhaps they'll figure out a way to tap their huge cash reserves ($600 million), to spur retail adoption. There is, of course, the challenge and friction associated with CableCARD but now its limited to one box.
I watch a lot of live football in the fall and I vaguely recall seeing the Tebow ads a handful of times - but I think I was more aware of them because of seeing Tebow on the Tivo website after I started my research and the ads were not very memorable. I understand Tivo maybe can't spend what DirecTV, Dish or Cox spend, but it seems like I see an ad for one of them during every commercial break during live sports viewing.

Out of curiosity, do you know the approximate dates that the Tebow campaign ran?
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:27 PM   #69
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The problem TiVo has is it takes more than a 30 sec add to tell people why they should consider a TiVo DVR instead of their cable providers DVR. Plus lets be honest for the first 2 years of the Premiere's life the product wasn't that good unless you where using the SDUI and they still have issues with over selling the Premieres IP/Internet streaming abilities. Honestly maybe they should hold off an major add campaign until they get some undated DVR hardware out the door with a full suite of IP/Streaming services that work well. Plus they really need to get the Mini a little more finished up and have the Stream support more than ios devices.

But even if they do that I live in a Time Warner area and will not recommend a TiVo. Between the cable card, tuner adapter and Time Warner in general most people are going to have some issues getting things to work and I am not going to become free support for people. Even with OTA I am not certain someone isn't better off with a Used Series 3 unit instead of a Premiere.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:30 PM   #70
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Marketing companies get paid millions of dollars to find clever ways to inform people of a products advantages in a 30 second TV ad spot or a single page print ad.

It's TiVos fault if their marketing has fallen flat. Alternatively people see the benefit of TiVo but don't consider it cost effective, which, in some ways is also failed marketing. It's not hard to show someone how much they spend renting MSO gear vs buying a TiVo.

Part of the problem is that TiVo wants people to do monthly sub instead of lifetime, but the best value proposition for a TiVo is doing lifetime.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:46 PM   #71
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Marketing companies get paid millions of dollars to find clever ways to inform people of a products advantages in a 30 second TV ad spot or a single page print ad.

It's TiVos fault if their marketing has fallen flat. Alternatively people see the benefit of TiVo but don't consider it cost effective, which, in some ways is also failed marketing. It's not hard to show someone how much they spend renting MSO gear vs buying a TiVo.

Part of the problem is that TiVo wants people to do monthly sub instead of lifetime, but the best value proposition for a TiVo is doing lifetime.
While I don't disagree with anything you have said, I think you have underestimated the negative impact of what I call the TiVo hassle factor. Joe six pack wants what the cable company is offering in that the cable company takes care of the DVR, makes sure everything works and in many cases even installs it for the customer. TiVo used to have install simplicity back in the days of analog cable - plug the cable in and go through a simple setup and you were good to go. If the FCC grew a pair and mandated a software solution it could almost be that simple again. Until then the hassle factor alone is likely to keep Tivo a niche product.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:01 PM   #72
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To be honest if you don't frequent this forum I seriously doubt you will know very little about Tivo's DVR's and nothing about the Stream or Mini. They do not advertise. Even in Best Buy there is nothing to distinguish them.
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I watch a lot of CNBC live and saw the Tebow TiVo commercials quite a few times. They also run live cut-in ads on Morning Joe. ... There is, of course, the challenge and friction associated with CableCARD but now its limited to one box.
You are right. There is not enough exposure out there regarding TiVo. My point is just that: TiVo has to step up advertising big time!. They could be in the main stream if more people knew they still existed and how much better their products are. I hate the fact that I am bombarded by ads from DirecTV, Dish, AT&T Uverse, Time Warner, etc about their "great" DVRs and whole home solutions, and comparatively, rarely see TiVo ads. Yes, the Tim Tebow ads are out there and are not bad, but there are not nearly enough of them. Because of that, selling TiVo products is difficult, believe me I know. Best Buy's could have a simple TiVo display, placed in the right place (not by the digital TV adapters), which would easily draw attention to their products.

The advertising has to done on mainstream networks, (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, WB, major cable networks, etc.) not on cable news channels.

CableCARDS have friction because the cable companies don't want to offer them. They would rather push their DVRs and other products, because they know if someone requests a cableCARD, chances are the customer will not want other products.

It is an uphill battle. Can you tell I'm frustrated? I believe in TiVo products with a passion, think they are great, and love to sell and install them, but they make it sooooo hard.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:41 PM   #73
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It's not hard to show someone how much they spend renting MSO gear vs buying a TiVo.
Tivo is in kind of a sticky position. The MSOs are both their competitors and their customers. I suspect if Tivo came out with a huge marketing campain telling people how terrible the MSO DVR options are they would piss off the MSOs. They need to MSOs to buy Tivo products and to continue to allow Tivos on their network (with help from the FCC).

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Old 03-18-2013, 09:54 PM   #74
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Run the ads on cable systems where TiVo is not an MSO-provided option.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:00 PM   #75
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They might be trying to get those very MSOs as customers.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:02 AM   #76
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Marketing companies get paid millions of dollars to find clever ways to inform people of a products advantages in a 30 second TV ad spot or a single page print ad.

It's TiVos fault if their marketing has fallen flat. Alternatively people see the benefit of TiVo but don't consider it cost effective, which, in some ways is also failed marketing. It's not hard to show someone how much they spend renting MSO gear vs buying a TiVo.

Part of the problem is that TiVo wants people to do monthly sub instead of lifetime, but the best value proposition for a TiVo is doing lifetime.
If they truly wanted people to do a monthly sub they would get rid of lifetime. Just like they did back in 2006. But then the lifetime option returned sometime later.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:13 AM   #77
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While I don't disagree with anything you have said, I think you have underestimated the negative impact of what I call the TiVo hassle factor. Joe six pack wants what the cable company is offering in that the cable company takes care of the DVR, makes sure everything works and in many cases even installs it for the customer. TiVo used to have install simplicity back in the days of analog cable - plug the cable in and go through a simple setup and you were good to go. If the FCC grew a pair and mandated a software solution it could almost be that simple again. Until then the hassle factor alone is likely to keep Tivo a niche product.
Well that and the fact that people don't want to pay a service fee for Tivos.

I know you're on AVS too and we see these folks all the time over there, saying they'll never get Tivos because they won't pay a fee. You can try and reason with them saying to look at the total cost vs. renting, think of it like a cellphone deal, resale value, etc. but they just won't listen - the service fee pisses them off. Having a dubious fee for something like the Mini just adds more fuel to the fire.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:32 AM   #78
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Well that and the fact that people don't want to pay a service fee for Tivos.

I know you're on AVS too and we see these folks all the time over there, saying they'll never get Tivos because they won't pay a fee. You can try and reason with them saying to look at the total cost vs. renting, think of it like a cellphone deal, resale value, etc. but they just won't listen - the service fee pisses them off. Having a dubious fee for something like the Mini just adds more fuel to the fire.
You are correct some people have a major issue with "service fees", what I cannot determine is if the issue is really with having "fees" or if they just don't like the price.

Based on watching what people have said over time I think some people just think TiVo DVRs cost to much. I attribute that to the satellite companies having used DVRs as loss leaders so much that people think they are a low cost item. There seems to be a group who want a $99 DVR/device and another that falls in at about $250. Not sure it is worth worrying about people who feel that way, TiVo certainly can not make a profitable DVR at those price points.

As I said in another post I think the Mini at $250 is over priced for me but I certainly understand why TiVo would price it there and why other people would find that price ok.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:07 AM   #79
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The Mini packs a lot into a small box. The small form in and of itself is a big selling point.

Until now for two of my smaller flat screen TV's I had limited options to take advantage of the hundreds of available channels including most importantly HD.
I have been using the Verizon provided DCT700's which provide the small form I need but lack HD. I know there are work arounds to get HD, but I don't want a work around.

The MINI is a step forward in the whole home solution I have been wanting. I not only get HD, but I get recorded content. If Verizon gets moving with their Media Server they may provide a competitive option. Until then, TIVO should push their advertising to grab a share of the market while they can.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:12 AM   #80
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You are correct some people have a major issue with "service fees", what I cannot determine is if the issue is really with having "fees" or if they just don't like the price.

..........
Unfortunately many of those same people have no problem paying $30, $40, or more per month to their cable company indefinitely. And when you look at what they have spent on their DVRs, over just three or four years, it boggles the mind. Especially since you keep paying the fee and never even own the box. That is why I don't mind paying for the TiVos. Since with Lifetime service I can sell the TiVo when I'm finished with it and recoup most of the initial cost. And the end cost is much, much less than me leasing the boxes from the cable company. And all this is before even touching on the better performing TiVos and a the TiVo UI.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:49 AM   #81
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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.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:52 PM   #82
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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.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:14 PM   #83
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Plus, you do lose on-demand (if you want it).
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.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:34 PM   #84
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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.
$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.

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Old 03-19-2013, 06:43 PM   #85
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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.

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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.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:06 PM   #86
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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.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:10 PM   #87
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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.
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.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:19 PM   #88
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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.
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.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:08 PM   #89
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USA Today: Mini TiVo may make you fall back in love with TiVo

http://usat.ly/15Yo3Bi
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:50 PM   #90
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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.
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