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Old 10-29-2013, 08:27 PM   #1
hudmacom
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Is Tivo + Mini's Cheaper than Cable

I currently have Verizon Fios with DVR and 4 additional cable boxes. (5 Total) It seems as if I purchase a Tivo DVR, 4 Mini's and get a cable card I would save in the long run. Am I doing the math wrong?
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:35 PM   #2
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You haven't listed any numbers, so who knows. I have a Charter install on Friday and I have a single TiVo Roamio 4 tuner + one Mini and monthly it's cheaper than Charter's DVR. Factor in the purchase price and it's harder (or takes longer) to justify, but, I justified that by how much I'm saving by switching from DirecTV to a bundle.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:55 PM   #3
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Over the long term most likely, if by long term you mean a few years. But I never recommend TiVo to anyone as a way to save money, I recommend TiVo for the experience, which is something you can't really put a price on.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:56 PM   #4
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Well you are going to have to tell us what you are paying for your DVR / cable boxes, but it is easy to tell you what a replacement system would cost you.

The Roamio Plus is $400 + service ($500 lifetime or $15 a month)
The Mini is $100 + service ($150 lifetime or $6 a month)

Considering that I only recommend lifetime service and direct replacement of what you get today.

1 DVR @ $900
4 Mini @ $1,000

So you can replace your entire system for $1,900 total investment and no additional service fees. (1 cable card from FIOS is required.)

You own the TiVo's and with lifetime service they maintain a significant value that you can sell and transfer.

That is a lot of money but it is a premium experience compared to the FIOS system... Only you can say if it is with the price.
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:41 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by bradleys View Post
Well you are going to have to tell us what you are paying for your DVR / cable boxes, but it is easy to tell you what a replacement system would cost you.

The Roamio Plus is $400 + service ($500 lifetime or $15 a month)
The Mini is $100 + service ($150 lifetime or $6 a month)

Considering that I only recommend lifetime service and direct replacement of what you get today.

1 DVR @ $900
4 Mini @ $1,000

So you can replace your entire system for $1,900 total investment and no additional service fees. (1 cable card from FIOS is required.)

You own the TiVo's and with lifetime service they maintain a significant value that you can sell and transfer.

That is a lot of money but it is a premium experience compared to the FIOS system... Only you can say if it is with the price.
No clue what the FiOS rates are, and honestly don't even know what my local cable company (Charter) DVR + box rental rates are, but if you took DirecTV rates (and yes, I know you can't use TiVo on DirecTV) it would take 41 months to 'break even' on that investment if you were replacing a Genie, and that is assuming zero resale value, plus you can't even have 4 remote clients on a Genie.
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:27 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by bradleys View Post
Well you are going to have to tell us what you are paying for your DVR / cable boxes, but it is easy to tell you what a replacement system would cost you.

The Roamio Plus is $400 + service ($500 lifetime or $15 a month)
The Mini is $100 + service ($150 lifetime or $6 a month)

Considering that I only recommend lifetime service and direct replacement of what you get today.

1 DVR @ $900
4 Mini @ $1,000

So you can replace your entire system for $1,900 total investment and no additional service fees. (1 cable card from FIOS is required.)

You own the TiVo's and with lifetime service they maintain a significant value that you can sell and transfer.

That is a lot of money but it is a premium experience compared to the FIOS system... Only you can say if it is with the price.
And these numbers are worst case scenario list prices. The reality is you can get lifetime service on the Roamio for $400 using code PLSR. You can also get the Minis from Amazon for $236 (assuming lifetime) and get the Plus a little cheaper than list from Weaknees or other sources.
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:53 PM   #7
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Don't forget you don't have to get lifetime. It's a better value long term but the initial layout can be intimidating. TiVo has a deal right now where if you call you can get a Roamio Plus for $350 + tax. Monthly service on that is $14.95/mo. You can get Minis from Amazon for $86 and monthly service on them is $4.95/mo. So you could get a setup for about $725 and then pay $34.75/mo instead. The payback on that is about 29 months. After that you're paying more then lifetime. And resale value for non-lifetime units is typically quite low. But if you can't afford to lay out $1825 right now it's a viable alternative.
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:58 PM   #8
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Don't forget you don't have to get lifetime. It's a better value long term but the initial layout can be intimidating. TiVo has a deal right now where if you call you can get a Roamio Plus for $350 + tax. Monthly service on that is $14.95/mo. You can get Minis from Amazon for $86 and monthly service on them is $4.95/mo. So you could get a setup for about $725 and then pay $34.75/mo instead. The payback on that is about 29 months. After that you're paying more then lifetime. And resale value for non-lifetime units is typically quite low. But if you can't afford to lay out $1825 right now it's a viable alternative.
That's not a bad deal, though if you're like me and upgrade often. It's kind of a gamble if you think you'll upgrade the box in those two years or not. But, given that DirecTV and Dish charge you up front "lease fees" that are equivalent to purchasing, and cable rental fees can be really, really high, you're at the very least probably going to come out flat with a retail TiVo.
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:09 PM   #9
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Lifetime TiVos will be cheaper than almost any cable company. The typical payback in 25 to 48 months, depending on the device and the rates the cable company charges. A system will average 30-40 months in most cases. If you keep the boxes an average of 5 years, you'll be saving quite a bit, and getting a far better DVR experience in the process.
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:54 PM   #10
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And these numbers are worst case scenario list prices. The reality is you can get lifetime service on the Roamio for $400 using code PLSR. You can also get the Minis from Amazon for $236 (assuming lifetime) and get the Plus a little cheaper than list from Weaknees or other sources.
PLSR wasn't working the other day.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:17 AM   #11
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PLSR wasn't working the other day.
It won't work if you buy directly from Tivo. It only works if you buy from another supplier because the proper coupon code field doesn't appear when you buy a pre-activated unit from Tivo.
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by hudmacom View Post
I currently have Verizon Fios with DVR and 4 additional cable boxes. (5 Total) It seems as if I purchase a Tivo DVR, 4 Mini's and get a cable card I would save in the long run. Am I doing the math wrong?
I'm on FiOS too. In my area i did a calculation comparing the $1000 Pro($600 + $400 Lifetime Service) plus two Minis at $250 each. So $1500 total for the Tivos plus the cable card cost. The break even point was around 33 to 34 months when compared with what FiOS charges in my area. But with the lower costs of the Roamios now, and getting a Plus instead of a Pro and upgrading the drive yourself, the break even point is much lower. And of course after the break even point you still own the TiVo Hardware which could be sold to further reduce the cost.
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:12 PM   #13
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I'm with Comcast and replaced a Comcast DVR, a Cable Card and two cable boxes with a Roamio and three Minis. Monthly it's about the same.
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:47 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dan203 View Post
Don't forget you don't have to get lifetime. It's a better value long term but the initial layout can be intimidating. TiVo has a deal right now where if you call you can get a Roamio Plus for $350 + tax. Monthly service on that is $14.95/mo. You can get Minis from Amazon for $86 and monthly service on them is $4.95/mo. So you could get a setup for about $725 and then pay $34.75/mo instead. The payback on that is about 29 months. After that you're paying more then lifetime. And resale value for non-lifetime units is typically quite low. But if you can't afford to lay out $1825 right now it's a viable alternative.
I would just pay for the lifetime units with a credit card and make the minimum payments before I paid a monthly subscription. Many credit cards have a $30-$40 per month minimum payment anyway.
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Old 11-09-2013, 01:28 PM   #15
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Compounded interest can add up quickly. I'm not sure that would really be a better deal.
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Old 11-09-2013, 01:57 PM   #16
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Compounded interest can add up quickly. I'm not sure that would really be a better deal.
True, unless you get in on a 36 months same as cash deal like I did.
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Old 11-10-2013, 01:39 PM   #17
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I would just pay for the lifetime units with a credit card and make the minimum payments before I paid a monthly subscription. Many credit cards have a $30-$40 per month minimum payment anyway.
How about not buying or subscribing to things you can't afford?
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Old 11-10-2013, 02:44 PM   #18
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How about not buying or subscribing to things you can't afford?
What a blasphemous, un-American, communist thing to say!!! Someone call the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, the KGB........
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:20 PM   #19
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What a blasphemous, un-American, communist thing to say!!! Someone call the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, the KGB........

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Old 11-12-2013, 11:09 PM   #20
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What a blasphemous, un-American, communist thing to say!!! Someone call the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, the KGB........
No need to call the NSA, they already know...
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:19 PM   #21
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Compounded interest can add up quickly. I'm not sure that would really be a better deal.
$1825 would take 7 years to pay off at 15% with a $35 monthly payment. You're right, I think you would need a lower interest rate or a higher monthly payment for this to make sense.
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