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Old 08-27-2013, 10:37 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
Unfortunately, neither of the above has driven Tivo's costs down for the consumer. If anything, the lifetime fee is 4 or 5 times what it was originally and the monthly fees have gone up considerably. The hardware may be subsidized, but you're just paying for it in longer installments.
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.

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Old 08-27-2013, 10:49 PM   #32
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edit: just to be clear, this is not a debate. It is absolutely factual that the average buyer WILL NOT benefit from a lifetime on a TiVo box. Even the average buyer who is active on this forum will not.
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).

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Old 08-28-2013, 06:24 AM   #33
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Tivo has lots of competitors.
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.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:26 AM   #34
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We've had this conversation in about a million threads, but it just isn't. You have to keep the same box with no desire to upgrade for almost 3 years to make your money back and after that your profit is tiny, because it's a discounted 12.99 a month (how much is a payment of 12.99 worth 3 years from now?). No one in finance would advise you to take that bet. Which is why TiVo sets the price where they do.
If you totally ignore the resale value of a lifetime Tivo, sure. But smart people don't.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:54 AM   #35
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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.
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.

Last edited by mr.unnatural : 08-28-2013 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:57 AM   #36
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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
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.

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

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.
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:07 AM   #37
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Lifetime is worth it. Just do it.
We've had this conversation in about a million threads, but it just isn't.
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.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:43 AM   #38
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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.
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:10 PM   #39
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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.
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.
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:24 PM   #40
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I paid $99 for lifetime on my first Tivo.
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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Old 08-28-2013, 09:34 PM   #41
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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.
I should have said a retroactive rent to own PLS option.
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:28 AM   #42
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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.
So was lifetime this low when TiVo was first released in 1999 (or early 2000 before I bought mine)??

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Old 08-29-2013, 06:48 AM   #43
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So was lifetime this low when TiVo was first released in 1999 (or early 2000 before I bought mine)??

Scott
I think it may have been $199 originally, but they offered it for $99 on numerous occasions as a special deal.
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:35 AM   #44
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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

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Old 08-29-2013, 08:03 AM   #45
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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.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:21 AM   #46
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In that case, give me 10G right now and I'll give it back to you in 3 years. Since TVM doesn't matter, right?

31 months is over 2.5 years and I said "almost 3 years." Don't be a pedant. No one likes a pedant.

edit: just to be clear, this is not a debate. It is absolutely factual that the average buyer WILL NOT benefit from a lifetime on a TiVo box. Even the average buyer who is active on this forum will not.
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.
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:41 AM   #47
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... I really can't see a personal need for more than 6 tuners ...
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.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:41 AM   #48
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So was lifetime this low when TiVo was first released in 1999 (or early 2000 before I bought mine)??

Scott
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Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
I think it may have been $199 originally, but they offered it for $99 on numerous occasions as a special deal.
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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
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.
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:09 PM   #49
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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:
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.
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:52 PM   #50
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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.
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:29 PM   #51
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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.
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:48 PM   #52
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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.
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.
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:57 PM   #53
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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.
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.
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:40 PM   #54
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In that case, give me 10G right now and I'll give it back to you in 3 years. Since TVM doesn't matter, right?
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.

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31 months is over 2.5 years and I said "almost 3 years."
Depending on the situation, it may be closer to 18 months.

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Don't be a pedant. No one likes a pedant.
I do.

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edit: just to be clear, this is not a debate. It is absolutely factual that the average buyer WILL NOT benefit from a lifetime on a TiVo box.
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.

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Even the average buyer who is active on this forum will not.
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.
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:22 PM   #55
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edit: just to be clear, this is not a debate. It is absolutely factual that the average buyer WILL NOT benefit from a lifetime on a TiVo box. Even the average buyer who is active on this forum will not.
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.
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:29 PM   #56
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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.
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?)...
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:42 PM   #57
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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?)...
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.
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:50 PM   #58
consumedsoul
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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 that I expect that to be true with the new Roamio DVRs. But again only after time passes will you know for sure.
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.
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:55 AM   #59
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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?)...
Historically about every 3-4 years. Although they sometimes do a small refresh in the middle. (S3 -> TiVo HD or Premiere -> Elite/XL4)
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:57 AM   #60
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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)
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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