This thread is for Oceanic Time Warner Cable customers in Honolulu, Hawaii considering getting a TiVo Premiere.
Oceanic Time Warner Cable has a maze of billing options. Many of the "packages" are not posted on the internet so it is a matter of calling customer service and guessing. I recently navigated through the mess and I hope this post will prevent others from the headache.
I had the Oceanic DVR (Scientific Atlantic 8300HDC), Road Runner internet service (10 Mbps), and the High Definition HD package. My bill was as follows:
Before Getting TiVo:
$102.95 Surf Pak Xtra (Standard TV, Digital Variety Pak, Road Runner and Box) (Savings: $23.12)
$ 10.95 Digital Video Recorder
$ 6.95 HD Entertainment Pak
$ 4.09 Cable Franchise Fee
$ 6.17 State General Excise Tax
After I got TiVo and changed my services:
$55.95 Digital Cable Pak Special (Standard TV, Digital Variety Pak, and Digital Cable Card) (Savings: $20.34)
$35.95 RR Residential (Savings: $14.00)
$ 6.95 HD Entertainment Pak
$ 2.96 Cable Franchise Fee
$ 4.80 State General Excise Tax
My saving is $24.02 per month. All the language above is exactly as it appears on my bill.
I'm not sure if changing my package is compliant with FCC rule. According to FCC Rule 76.1205(b)(5), a cable company must provide a customer a discount on any package that includes the price of a set-top box if the customer chooses to use his or her own CableCARD-enabled device. http://www.fcc.gov/guides/cablecard-know-your-rights
. Oceanic told me that I could not purchase the "Surf Pak Xtra" if I did not accept the cable box. This seems to be violation of the FCC rule on its face, but since the total price of the "Digital Cable Pak Special" and "RR Residential" are less than the "Surf Pak Xtra", I think Oceanic would probably be found in compliance with the rule because I am effectively receiving a discount.
Two days after requesting the equipment from an Oceanic customer service representative, I received a multi-stream cable card (m-card), the Cisco STA1520 tuning adapter, an instruction sheet, and various wires in the mail through USPS (it was mailed from Mililani). I installed everything myself without any major problems. The only small problem I had was that the instructions told me to call a certain number to activate the cable card, but when I called, that office was closed; so I just called the main customer service number and the representative knew exactly what to do.
People should be aware that cable cards do not have all the features of a digital cable box. A cable card cannot access Pay-Per-View, the interactive program guide (TiVo has its own guide), NBA league pass, and other interactive services. http://www.oceanic.com/products/television/cablecard
The Cisco STA1520 tuning adapter (which must be left on all the time) uses about 9 watts of electricity (as measured by a Kill-A-Watt). At 32 cents per kilowatt hour (yes, Hawaii has expensive electricity) it will cost about $25 per year in extra electricity costs. The TiVo Premiere and the Scientific Atlantic 8300HDC use about the same amount of electricity, about 24 watts, so there is no increased cost in that respect.
The Cisco STA1520 tuning adapter also came with the latest firmware (1501) so I have not experienced any of the rebooting problems experienced in previous versions.
Aside from the small loss of features, I think TiVo is an excellent alternative to the cable company DVR. From an investment standpoint, a TiVo that lasts the following number of years will provide the following rate of return:
3 years: 10.57%
4 years: 22.69%
5 years: 29.44%
6 years: 33.41%
7 years: 35.86%
8 years: 37.42%
9 years: 38.44%
10 years: 39.12%
Assumptions: the user would have purchased a cable company DVR at the prices I listed above, Tivo Premiere cost is $150, lifetime subscription cost is $500, Oceanic fees do not go up (hahahahaaha, if fees do increase, the rate of return will increase), electricity costs remain the same, and the final value of the TiVo box is zero. Note that these returns are GUARANTEED, subject to the above assumptions.