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Old 09-04-2013, 08:07 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by kherr View Post
So what's the big deal ??? Nobody is putting a gun to the guy's head to buy anything. If he doesn't like the terms ...... vote with the wallet and don't buy .... really simple ...
Absolutely. But we'd like the OP (original poster) to understand what TiVo is doing, so he can make his decision based on the facts.

The fact is that the Mini is a $250 list price device that TiVo has, quite artificially, split into a $100 hardware price and a $150 lifetime price. The buyer can substitute a monthly payment for the $150 lifetime price, if the buyer so chooses (an extra option for the buyer, almost always good.)

It sounds like the OP objects to the particular split and would be happier if, say, he had to pay $150 up front for hardware and only $100 in lifetime. That would make the lifetime not "far too expensive". Some people would prefer that and some people wouldn't. That doesn't really seem to be a good reason for being upset, which is why people have responded, IMO.

It sounds like the OP has an additional complaint of not really realizing the full $250 price of the Mini. That's a much more legitimate complaint, despite the fact that TiVo is pretty careful about always including the monthly service fee in its advertising. But I don't view it as a scam, any more than I view any cell phone advertisement or car lease commercial as scams - they're all the same as long as it is disclosed up front. However, I can understand the OP being upset about that, and I agree that it's up to him whether it's worth it or not.
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:22 PM   #32
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Personally I think this is the best TiVo deal since I paid $200 for lifetime for my Series 1 14 years ago, which just got transferred over to my Roamio Plus.
How did you do this? If I can do that, I'll get a RP and transfer my Tivo Premiere lifetime to a Plus (-$399 total), sell my PXL + lifetime (+$375ish), sell my Premiere (now w/out lifetime, +$60) and buy a Mini w/lifetime (-$250).

That would put me at about -$215 but would save me $120 a year in second outlet charges, and net me two extra tuners.

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Old 09-04-2013, 06:18 PM   #33
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How did you do this? If I can do that, I'll get a RP and transfer my Tivo Premiere lifetime to a Plus (-$399 total), sell my PXL + lifetime (+$375ish), sell my Premiere (now w/out lifetime, +$60) and buy a Mini w/lifetime (-$250).

That would put me at about -$215 but would save me $120 a year in second outlet charges, and net me two extra tuners.
You can't do it, because it doesn't exist for your Premiere.

There was a grand-fathered one time transfer of Lifetime for owners of Series 1 TiVos which allows them to move the Lifetime service to another TiVo, one time, then it is "used" and they have to pay for future lifetime service on any other TiVos they acquire.

TiVo service is expensive. The cost of my Roamio Plus as well as two Minis, all with Lifetime membership is MSRP $1300.... even if I paid $40 monthly for DVR rentals from my cable company it would take over two years to break even on the cost (not to mention risk of a TiVo unit breaking outside of warranty, etc).

But here's the thing.... TiVo is WORTH IT to me. It's like driving a German car when a Chevy gets you there too.

For me, even though I don't watch a ton of TV, I get a helluva lot more satisfaction out of watching TV on a TiVo compared to some crappy Scientific Atlanta DVR.

It sounds like many here feel the same way, but seem to balk at the price... kind of like people who felt insulted that Apple had the nerve to sell the original iPhone at $599 without a contract. They were paying the same price more or less for other phones at the time, but something about that lump sump up front payment was "offensive".

It is not like this in all cultures. In Europe it is very common to pay cash for things, and most phones are purchased un-subsidized. Probably results in Europeans, on average, taking better care of their crap than Americans.

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Old 09-04-2013, 08:28 PM   #34
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TiVo service is expensive. The cost of my Roamio Plus as well as two Minis, all with Lifetime membership is MSRP $1300.... even if I paid $40 monthly for DVR rentals from my cable company it would take over two years to break even on the cost (not to mention risk of a TiVo unit breaking outside of warranty, etc).
You have to remember that TiVo's also retain value. If you pay your cable company $40/mo for 33 months and then walk away you will have paid $1320 and have nothing to show for it. If you do the same with a TiVo it will likely be worth $500+ at the end of those 33 months, probably more. So if you sell it then it really only cost you $25/mo. And even if you paid monthly and threw the hardware in the trash at 33 months it's still comparable to the cable company prices and you get a better product. ($45/mo vs $40/mo)

Once you get over the initial outlay TiVo is not that expensive. Definitely not BMW vs Chevy expensive.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:01 PM   #35
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No argument Dan, but I guess you could say my point is there is quite the mental hurdle for people to overcome with the Lifetime option, which long term, makes the most sense.

I at one point had two TiVos and wanted a 3rd for a workout room, but could not justify the $500+ outlay (plus cablecard fees) for a box that I would use 2-3 hours every week (I use my Boxee in the workout room more than a TiVo).... even though I could afford it.

The Mini, by just being an extension of another TiVo makes the multi room approach much more palatable to me, even with the higher price.
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:12 AM   #36
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I've paid monthly on a ton of TiVos over the years. Always seemed practical at the time, but when I look back I regret it. For my last 3 TiVos I bought lifetime without hesitation. It may hurt now, but long term it's a much better deal.
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Old 09-05-2013, 04:20 AM   #37
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The point here is that the fee seems outrageous, even to someone who has 3 TivoHDs and a Premiere with Lifetime. I clearly decided it was still worthwhile, but it is still a lot of money.

I like the simplicity of not having an entire other unit that could go bad, but it is costly to get that, especially since I effectively have 0 cost now, ignoring possible repair costs down the line.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:09 AM   #38
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The point here is that the fee seems outrageous, even to someone who has 3 TivoHDs and a Premiere with Lifetime. I clearly decided it was still worthwhile, but it is still a lot of money.
I don't get it. Tivo HDs with lifetime make about $250 on eBay, so these are a free swap for the Minis. With what you can make selling the Premiere, you are looking at a total cost of maybe $500 to upgrade your system. And you will save on three sets of cablecard fees so it will pay for itself in a couple years. Sounds like a bargain to me.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:28 AM   #39
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I don't get it. Tivo HDs with lifetime make about $250 on eBay, so these are a free swap for the Minis. With what you can make selling the Premiere, you are looking at a total cost of maybe $500 to upgrade your system. And you will save on three sets of cablecard fees so it will pay for itself in a couple years. Sounds like a bargain to me.
You are right, it is a bargain for all the new capabilities, better speed, reduced long-term charges for cable-cards, etc.....but he seems to have a hard time with that up front outlay. Everyone's finances are different. For me personally, if I can't pay for things cash via "petty cash" then they are harder to justify. Fortunately I had enough petty cash lying around to finance my Roamio upgrade.
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:54 AM   #40
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You are right, it is a bargain for all the new capabilities, better speed, reduced long-term charges for cable-cards, etc.....but he seems to have a hard time with that up front outlay. Everyone's finances are different. For me personally, if I can't pay for things cash via "petty cash" then they are harder to justify. Fortunately I had enough petty cash lying around to finance my Roamio upgrade.

I was mentally expecting the upgrade to the Roamio to be close to break even, but that got wiped out with my unaccounted cost for the whole Mini package.

It seems like paying a lifetime fee for a remote controller rather than a DVR to me though. It isn't, but that is what it feels like.

I think the upgrade cost me almost 2K overall. I will probably recoup about $1K of that. Though I have to decide if I go the Ebay or Craig's List route. I really don't want whoever coming into the house to view the system, but that is a reasonable request if they are giving me cash for it.

I am not happy that the Mini displays worse on my old Emerson pre-HDTV TV as well. I have some cables from Amazon coming in tomorrow or Saturday that may help, but the early results with cables I had collected over the years were not good. I may have to buy a new HDTV for that room as well.

I will note again that Tivo didn't hide the cost, it just didn't seem as obvious and had no MRD.
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:25 PM   #41
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Since the Mini can only be used with another TiVo, it's "multi-room" from the start, no? My thought is that the MRD is already included.
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Old 09-05-2013, 02:12 PM   #42
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The point here is that the fee seems outrageous
I think people like yourself are hung up the fact that it has a "service fee". I'm betting if the cost was simply $250 out of the gate you'd just accept that as the price and move on. But because they separate it out as a "service fee" you start to wonder what "service" this fee is for. The answer is that it's really not for a "service". It's an accounting trick. It's a way for TiVo to sell an extender while simultaneously bolstering their subscriber numbers. It also allows a lower cost of entry for those wanting to pay monthly. It's not really a "service fee" at all.
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Old 09-05-2013, 02:46 PM   #43
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Some people buy vehicles.

Some people lease, but whether they want to acknowledge it or not, they are ultimately paying more than those who buy.
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Old 09-05-2013, 03:29 PM   #44
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I think people like yourself are hung up the fact that it has a "service fee". I'm betting if the cost was simply $250 out of the gate you'd just accept that as the price and move on. But because they separate it out as a "service fee" you start to wonder what "service" this fee is for. The answer is that it's really not for a "service". It's an accounting trick. It's a way for TiVo to sell an extender while simultaneously bolstering their subscriber numbers. It also allows a lower cost of entry for those wanting to pay monthly. It's not really a "service fee" at all.
Perhaps. Though it also possible I would have said "looks nice" and kept running with the setup I had since it did work. The only strongly motivating factor was that the unit we have in our bedroom, which rarely gets used, can have quite loud hard drive activity in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. It is normally fairly quiet, but I do like the idea of removing the hard drive completely from there.

I also liked the idea of downsizing 4 cable cards to 1, but that was not enough savings by itself.

I think it is still too pricey at $250 and I would bet they do too, which is why they split it out to make it "seem better," at least at first. People will be more hesitant to return something they have, even if they find the cost a bit too high when they sign it up for service.
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:14 PM   #45
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I'm glad the majority of people live by the Serenity Prayer, even if they are not aware of it. Otherwise, discussion forums would need to be renamed.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:02 PM   #46
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Perhaps. Though it also possible I would have said "looks nice" and kept running with the setup I had since it did work. The only strongly motivating factor was that the unit we have in our bedroom, which rarely gets used, can have quite loud hard drive activity in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. It is normally fairly quiet, but I do like the idea of removing the hard drive completely from there.

I also liked the idea of downsizing 4 cable cards to 1, but that was not enough savings by itself.

I think it is still too pricey at $250 and I would bet they do too, which is why they split it out to make it "seem better," at least at first. People will be more hesitant to return something they have, even if they find the cost a bit too high when they sign it up for service.
You have thirty days to return the hardware or get a refund on the lifetime service.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:46 PM   #47
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You have thirty days to return the hardware or get a refund on the lifetime service.
True, but that still involves work on my part. I was fairly invested when the 3 Tivo Mini's arrived from Amazon via UPS and the Roamio through Walmart was on its way. I could have sent things back, but it did not seem worth it at that point.

I think this is the same reason places like Home Depot have such a generous return policy. People probably keep a good portion of the items they don't need, which they only bought because they knew they could return them.

Allowing easy returns can help sales from what I have read, in many product areas.
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:30 AM   #48
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So you didn't know ahead of time that they required service? That does kind of suck, but sort of your fault for not doing your research.
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:15 AM   #49
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When I was talking to the sales rep at TiVo yesterday and mentioned the price of the lifetime, she said it was "already discounted." "Discounted from what?" I asked. She didn't have an answer to that. Having said that, lookig at the price of the Mini holistically, I agree with other posters that the device costs $240. This basically gets me a fully functioning TiVo with HD in any room in my house. Far cheaper than yeseterday's alternatives, where I had to buy a whole new TiVo, plus lifetime ($700 total, at least), PLUS (and this is the truly galling part), an additional $9.95 each month to Comcast. So, looked at in that perspective, it's not a bad deal.

True, if you have an old setup like I do (S2, S3 and S4) then I'd have to buy a Roamio Plus and get the Mini's to replace the other TiVo's, then it is a substantial investment. However, the older TiVo's, all with lifetime service, have a residual value on Ebay of about $800, making my net investment about $900 to effectively put a HD TiVo in 4 rooms in my house, and that's about $225 per room. That is a bargain. AND, I save $31 a month by not paying Comcast a bunch of "additional outlet" fees each month, or $360 per year. And there is the added bonus of being able to move or stream shows to my iPad when I travel. All around, a good deal. The savings in Comcast fees pays for the entire TiVo setup in 26-30 months. And THAT is a really good deal.
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:03 AM   #50
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I think it is still too pricey at $250
Here's how I look at it.

$2500 would have been around the minimum cost for your old setup (Premiere XL + three TiVo HDs), had you gotten Lifetime Service with each of them.

$1750 should be around what your setup (Roamio Pro + three Minis) with Lifetime Service cost you.

At the end of the day, your new setup --

- costs 30% less for the hardware + Lifetime Service
- saves you money monthly on cable card/multiple outlet fees
- saves you money monthly on electrical use
- removes a tuning adapter + associated wires/power from extra rooms
- gives you the ability to stream/download programs to mobile devices
- includes MoCa capability

With your new setup, you're probably paying about 2x more for your Roamio Pro than you paid for your Premiere XL. But the new setup still comes in 30% cheaper that your old setup... because of how inexpensive the Minis are (at $250 for hardware + Lifetime Service).

More power to your thought that they're still too pricey. Laying the numbers out, I'm personally just not seeing that.
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:25 AM   #51
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spoke with my wife about the possible sale / purchase scenario. Upfront a Roamio Plus and a Mini (both with lifetime) is $1050. I'd recoup maybe $750-800 from selling my two current lifetimed boxes, if that. So still out $250. However we'd pick up two tuners total, and we'd not be paying $120 a year for the extra cable outlet. After two years it'd cover the cost. Still, baby on the way in Dec and not looking to spend any money we don't have to, so for now it's on hold.
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:43 PM   #52
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spoke with my wife about the possible sale / purchase scenario. Upfront a Roamio Plus and a Mini (both with lifetime) is $1050. I'd recoup maybe $750-800 from selling my two current lifetimed boxes, if that. So still out $250. However we'd pick up two tuners total, and we'd not be paying $120 a year for the extra cable outlet. After two years it'd cover the cost. Still, baby on the way in Dec and not looking to spend any money we don't have to, so for now it's on hold.
And that would be a main point. I didn't consult my wife closely for this (I generally handle electronics) and I believe the cost is ultimately worthwhile, but it is still too expensive.

It is likely the business model of Tivo that is ultimately the problem and their organizational structure. Most modern thing either drastically drop in price or add significant numbers of new features, though many do both. Tivo has very minimal competition, so they can get away with a slight monopoly position.

I also see that even their "one box" offering is missing a great deal of things that are on something like Roku and that could be their biggest long term problem.

Different thread issue however, though it does impact my assertion that they are overpriced. They are because you don't have an alternative. Kind of like complaining about Dish or DirectTV equipment if you use them as your provider, not many options work well. (I have had Dish in the past.)

Monopolies generally lose out to more nimble competitors, but it can take a tech shift to bring that about.
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:04 PM   #53
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You are arguing that TiVo should be in a "race to the bottom" like a TV or BD player and that the price should plummet as a result.

TiVo is in the service business. They design the box themselves to optimize the customer experience, similar to what Apple does.

Even if the hardware was a cheap commodity they would still try for these service prices. Clearly customers are willing to pay for TiVo over a provider DVR because it is perceived to be better.

A Chevy will get me to the office as well as my BMW but the BMW is worth the price premium because, for me, driving it is much more enjoyable.
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:33 PM   #54
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Most modern thing either drastically drop in price or add significant numbers of new features, though many do both.
TiVo's dropped the price of getting TiVo in additional rooms from ~$600 to $250 (not including the costs you save from not having to rent cable cards and multi-outlet fees).

That's a 58% price drop.

At what price point (device + Lifetime) would you consider TiVo in another room to not be expensive?
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:38 PM   #55
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TiVo's dropped the price of getting TiVo in additional rooms from ~$600 to $250 (not including the costs you save from not having to rent cable cards and multi-outlet fees).

That's a 58% price drop.

At what price point (device + Lifetime) would you consider TiVo in another room to not be expensive?
He has already implied that it should be priced competitively with boxes like Roku. In other words, boxes that offer apps but don't offer the ability to watch live or recorded TV.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:45 PM   #56
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no, I didn't read that as him saying it should be priced the same as Roku (one time cost of around $100). He's saying it should do what Roku does the same or better than Roku, because of the high cost.

Tivo uses already available guide data and tailors it to their system. Otherwise, most of Tivo that you see is the box and the apps and functions built into the physical box.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:55 PM   #57
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And that would be a main point. I didn't consult my wife closely for this (I generally handle electronics) and I believe the cost is ultimately worthwhile, but it is still too expensive.
This is why me and my wife keep our money separate. I buy whatever I want and she can't complain about it. She buys whatever she wants and I don't complain about it. (except when she buys godawful crap she actually wants to display in our house) Makes buying stuff like this a lot easier.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:56 PM   #58
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I didn't look at is as $100 for hardware and $150 for lifetime service. I looked at it as a $250 box that saved me from having to buy a second TiVo, and from having to pay Comcast for a second outlet all while letting me watch the same pool of shows in another room while managing only one set of "season passes" and "now playings."

Personally I think this is the best TiVo deal since I paid $200 for lifetime for my Series 1 14 years ago, which just got transferred over to my Roamio Plus.

Several weeks ago, after having some issues with some shows on Netflix with my S3, I purchased a Roku3 for $100 which is indeed really cool, but quite frankly, the Mini is worth a whole lot more than 2 1/2 times the value of the Roku. The Roku will still fill some holes that TiVo doesn't, but no it's where as valuable to me as it was a week ago.
How did you get lifetime transferred?


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Old 09-06-2013, 04:10 PM   #59
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How did you get lifetime transferred?
IIRC, that's a deal that applies only to Series 1s.


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Again, you can buy any of the Roamio models from Weaknees, Best Buy, Amazon or any other reseller, often with better deals on price, taxes or shipping and TiVo will honor the grandfather deal on Series 1s purchased before the January 20, 2000 (?). I know, as I just did this. My Roamio Plus is now lifetimed based on this.

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Old 09-06-2013, 04:17 PM   #60
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This is why me and my wife keep our money separate. I buy whatever I want and she can't complain about it. She buys whatever she wants and I don't complain about it. (except when she buys godawful crap she actually wants to display in our house) Makes buying stuff like this a lot easier.
yeah we've done that for 8 years, but with a house and now a car, and the fact that I make over 50% more than her, we're going to start pooling here soon with the baby coming.
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