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Old 07-12-2010, 07:48 AM   #1
carmelresortinn
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What TiVo subscription should I get?

I am strongly considering getting TiVo (particularly an HD-DVR), and I cannot decide which subscription to purchase, so I was hoping that maybe someone with experience or knowledge on the situation could help me weigh my options...

I have almost removed the monthly plan from my options (unless someone makes a good argument for it), as it forfeits any opportunity for a discount basically just for not choosing to pay a lump sum (i.e. I could pay a monthly bill for a year, or I could pay a full 10 months subscription up front and get two months free)

So that leaves the year (12 months for the price of 10), three year (3 years for the price of 2), and lifetime subscriptions (the lifetime of the hardware bought with the subscription)...and what the question really boils down to is: "How long will my TiVo realistically last?"

I believe the Lifetime Subscription becomes advantageous once the product is used for longer than four years...but is that a feasible lifecycle for this product?

I do not want to make that type of commitment if:
1.) There is a new trend expected to pick up that will make TiVo obsolete
2.) TiVo hardware is similar to computer hardware in the sense that within 2 years it will be weak, pathetic, and a pain to deal with, and undoubtedly require a new, replacement box

...or anything of that sort.

Another secondary set of questions I have... I have Comcast super-basic cable (doesnt even require a cable box), but if I were to upgrade to Comcast Digital Cable or Verizon FiOS in the future, would I have two television boxes (TiVo + cable box)? or is it possible to integrate the two (without having to forfeit my lifetime subscription and get a whole new box)? Does the TiVo box have the ability to do that work for the cable company? I obviously don't know how that works

And How easy is it to install the box? is it as simple as plugging my cable into the TiVo box and then plugging the TiVo box into my TV via HDMI?
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Old 07-12-2010, 01:41 PM   #2
filmont
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-Hardware
Tivo is very tight-lipped about product updates. They have just released their Premiere line of Tivos, so I doubt that they will be releasing a new product any time soon. So if you picked the lifetime service agreement with a brand new box, you will make out in the end. Even if there was a new product release, you would still have the old box to do with what you want. You can do hard drive upgrades if you find that yours is too small, but I believe that is the only hardware upgrade you can do. Everything else is proprietary.

-Cable Integration
I do not any experience with Comcast or FiOS (read a lot on FiOS's site so I know a little) but I have dealt with Time Warner and their systems.

The choice to go with your providers STB (Set Top Box) is up to you. If you don't use it, you will not have access to the On-demand or Pay-Per-View services and possibly some of the lineup. That is the only "bad" thing I can see about it. With TWC, you can get Cable Cards installed into the HD Tivos. These allow you to access any subscription only channels, i.e. some HD content, HBO, etc. Also, they will give/rent a Switched Digital Video (SDV), search for more info on SDV...too much to explain for now, box that connects inline with the cable in the wall and the tivo. There is also a USB cable that plugs into the Tivo so it knows how to integrate with it. After the Cable Cards and the SDV box are installed, it's all plug-and-pray.


I hope that this helps you somewhat. Please feel free to ask more questions. I'm usually a lurker, but I will respond from time-to-time.
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:49 PM   #3
WhiskeyTango
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carmelresortinn View Post
So that leaves the year (12 months for the price of 10), three year (3 years for the price of 2), and lifetime subscriptions (the lifetime of the hardware bought with the subscription)...and what the question really boils down to is: "How long will my TiVo realistically last?"
My oldest Tivo is about 5 years old and still going strong. There are others on this board that have units that have lasted longer than that. The main issue of failure is the hard drive which you can easily replace.

Quote:
I believe the Lifetime Subscription becomes advantageous once the product is used for longer than four years...but is that a feasible lifecycle for this product?
See above. All three of my Tivos have Lifetime. The oldest has basically been running for free for 2 years now, the second will reach that point this fall, and the third next fall. Each additional Tivo you buy entitles you to a Multi Service Discount which knocks $100 of the price of Lifetime for the additional units. So the cost benefit goes from about 4 years to about 3 years.

Quote:
I do not want to make that type of commitment if:
1.) There is a new trend expected to pick up that will make TiVo obsolete
2.) TiVo hardware is similar to computer hardware in the sense that within 2 years it will be weak, pathetic, and a pain to deal with, and undoubtedly require a new, replacement box

...or anything of that sort.
The Tivo HD's as they are now work just fine and the Premiere has the same features but with added horsepower. MY HD is almost 2 years old and works just fine for me.

Quote:
Another secondary set of questions I have... I have Comcast super-basic cable (doesnt even require a cable box), but if I were to upgrade to Comcast Digital Cable or Verizon FiOS in the future, would I have two television boxes (TiVo + cable box)? or is it possible to integrate the two (without having to forfeit my lifetime subscription and get a whole new box)? Does the TiVo box have the ability to do that work for the cable company? I obviously don't know how that works
The Tivo replaces your cable box. If you upgrade your cable you will need to have a cable card installed from Comcast or Fios. The only feature you lose in On Demand. Tivo has Amazon On Demand which can fill that void. You CAN still get PPV, you just have to call to order instead of ordering from your remote control. Any channels in the lineup that you can receive with a cable box, you can receive with a cable card.

Quote:
And How easy is it to install the box? is it as simple as plugging my cable into the TiVo box and then plugging the TiVo box into my TV via HDMI?
Yes. You do have to go through an initial on screen setup that identifies your local cable lineup so the Tivo can give you the correct guide info.
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:58 PM   #4
aaronwt
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Also, even if you don't keep the lifetime TiVo for 3 or 4 years, the Lifetime service greatly enhances the resale value since the Lifetime service is tied to the box and not the owner.
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