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Old 02-07-2013, 05:30 AM   #31
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Except $550 to $800 is nowhere near what that hardware costs. I understand the model TiVo is using. It is (IMHO) overly complicated, and in my case (not saying I'm a stand-in for everyone) it's preventing them from selling me new hardware as quickly as they otherwise could have. I'm not saying this is the worst thing ever - but I agree with the original poster that TiVo's model is more focused on new customers & purchases, versus the potential for additional hardware revenue from current customers.
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My hardware has a high value only to those customers who understand this 'straightforward' model, which is not Joe Average.

Their model is not straightforward. Subsidizing hardware is pretty much the opposite of straightforward.

Straightforward would be selling the hardware for what the hardware costs, the service for what the service costs, and lifetime (if they offered it) for whatever the average cost of a lifetime subscription was (all with their profit markup, of course).
Sorry but we have no idea what it costs TiVo to develop and manufacture their DVRs. What we do know from their financial reports is they have virtually never made any profit selling Stand Alone DVRs. If it were not for the deals with pay TV providers and law suite settlements TiVo would already be gone. Saying TiVo's pricing isn't straight forward seems like you are over thinking things. They have 2 options either pay everything upfront or pay part upfront and part monthly why isn't that straight forward? Ok I guess 2 options is more complicated than only 1 option but really does having a choice really complicate it that much? Yes if someone tries to figure out how the pricing structure is derived that certainly would be complicated but why would a consumer need to worry about it? Either the price is acceptable (low enough) for them or it isn't.

The reason TiVo has tried so many different pricing options is because they have not been able to find a price point where they can become profitable. With the Premiere they have tried pricing in just about every way possible and there still isn't enough demand to maintain subscribers.

After all of the above the bottom line is still that you want Tivo DVRs and service to cost less. Well most of us want everything (except our own labor ) to cost less so I guess you are in good company.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:05 AM   #32
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"Joe Average" is using eBay, because I have no problem selling TiVo HD boxes with lifetime for $350+ there, always within a day.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:04 AM   #33
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I'm a geek. I have a fair amount of disposable income, so I'm willing to consider upgrading two Premiere boxes just to go from 2 to 4 tuners. I'm managing fine with my two current Premieres, but their model (for Lifetime, at least) encourages you to keep your current hardware versus upgrading, which seems like poor implementation on their part.
True. It would be interesting if they offered a option to make upgrading more attractive. As it is, it requires selling to get the residual value from the box. Customers with lifetime have little incentive to upgrade since they are heavily invested with existing box.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:32 AM   #34
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True. It would be interesting if they offered a option to make upgrading more attractive. As it is, it requires selling to get the residual value from the box. Customers with lifetime have little incentive to upgrade since they are heavily invested with existing box.
The incentive is getting a newer box. I've never had a problem selling any of my TiVos. I've sold around twenty of them over the years both lifetime and non lifetime. My fist choice is to sell here and then eBay.

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Old 02-07-2013, 10:36 AM   #35
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Saying TiVo's pricing isn't straight forward seems like you are over thinking things. They have 2 options either pay everything upfront or pay part upfront and part monthly why isn't that straight forward?
But Tivo's pricing isn't that simple. The two options you listed are available at four different prices depending on whether you qualify for MSD.

What about specially-discounted hardware that requires higher-than-normal monthly rate for a period of time? And what about all the secret deals offered to some customers? $99 lifetime if you've paid a sufficient number of monthly payments on an existing box. Or $99 to transfer lifetime from an older generation of DVR?

Tivo's pricing structure has been a confusing mess with inconsistent application, leading to customers playing CSR roulette in an effort to receive the same secret pricing someone else received.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:14 PM   #36
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"Joe Average" is using eBay, because I have no problem selling TiVo HD boxes with lifetime for $350+ there, always within a day.
That you can sell them quickly on eBay doesn't change the fact that you're selling to a much smaller pool of potential buyers, since they have to already know (or you have to educate them) on the benefit of the lifetime.

I prefer to meet people face to face and so much prefer local sales via craigslist where I can shake someone's hand, so the added complication cuts down on the number of potential buyers.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:17 PM   #37
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But Tivo's pricing isn't that simple. The two options you listed are available at four different prices depending on whether you qualify for MSD.
Ok if you find that complicated, difficult to understand or whatever then you do. I don't and if anyone logs into their account the web site will tell you exactly what pricing you qualify for as will a CS Rep if you call.

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What about specially-discounted hardware that requires higher-than-normal monthly rate for a period of time? And what about all the secret deals offered to some customers? $99 lifetime if you've paid a sufficient number of monthly payments on an existing box. Or $99 to transfer lifetime from an older generation of DVR?


Tivo's pricing structure has been a confusing mess with inconsistent application, leading to customers playing CSR roulette in an effort to receive the same secret pricing someone else received.
It's called marketing and capitalism. Prices of products change all the time, deals, coupons, specials, sales, rebates, ect. come and go all the time. Just watch the price of a few things on Amazon they change with demand. When I worked at an Radio shack for Christmas one year (many years ago) the manager had an additional discount he could give someone to help us close a sale if needed. My local 7-11 changes the price of Gas several times per week, coupons are everywhere. I just bought a shirt today form Penny's it had 4 price tags on it, $60, $35, $24, & $10 and the reason I stopped was because they sent me a $10 coupon so I paid $0 for the shirt, I am sure there were others who bought at all 4 price points. That is how capitalism works.

Trying to get the best price for something is certainly a good idea but at some point you have to say enough time spent and buy what you want to buy and then enjoy it.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:25 PM   #38
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Except $550 to $800 is nowhere near what that hardware costs.
And that's what you have to get out of your head. TiVo subsidizes the cost of the hardware with the subscription.
Who knows what the hardware really costs?
I guess you can find out by calling TiVo:




But the idea is to think of it like any other piece of high end equipment.
Think audio. Why pay more for a Marantz or Pioneer receiver when some off brand would work just as well?

Also, think what it would cost you to build your own DVR (HTPC).

Case + motherboard + power supply + video card + hard drive(s) + cooling fans, etc.
All that stuff adds up and I'd be surprised if you could get all of it for under $500.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:57 PM   #39
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Wait until you try to cancel a box after your year is over, then you will truly know the meaning of "Tivo making it so hard"
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:01 PM   #40
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Except $550 to $800 is nowhere near what that hardware costs. I understand the model TiVo is using. It is (IMHO) overly complicated, and in my case (not saying I'm a stand-in for everyone) it's preventing them from selling me new hardware as quickly as they otherwise could have.
Are you factoring in development costs or just manufacturing costs? TiVo has to amortize over the expected life of each product all costs of designing the hardware and writing or modifying the software, plus I suppose marketing costs and other overhead. I do agree that they have sometimes used some strange and overly complicated pricing schemes.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:37 AM   #41
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Is is fair to say what people are looking for is for Tivo to provide a trade-up? One that lets them trade in their current hardware for new hardware without an increase in their monthly subscription or at a significantly reduced Lifetime cost, say $200?

The disadvantages of such a program for Tivo, ignoring the cost of staffing such a program are:
1/ No increase in active subscriber numbers. When you sell your Lifetime Tivo to recoup the cost, Tivo maintains an active box, the more active boxes Tivo has the better things look, it is not always important for these boxes to be paying every month. Think of the Apps that Tivo has put on the boxes, and the advertisements.
2/ Disposal of old boxes: Tivo would be responsible for a huge pile of e-junk, which no one is interested in buying.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:01 AM   #42
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Is is fair to say what people are looking for is for Tivo to provide a trade-up? One that lets them trade in their current hardware for new hardware without an increase in their monthly subscription or at a significantly reduced Lifetime cost, say $200?

The disadvantages of such a program for Tivo, ignoring the cost of staffing such a program are:
1/ No increase in active subscriber numbers. When you sell your Lifetime Tivo to recoup the cost, Tivo maintains an active box, the more active boxes Tivo has the better things look, it is not always important for these boxes to be paying every month. Think of the Apps that Tivo has put on the boxes, and the advertisements.
2/ Disposal of old boxes: Tivo would be responsible for a huge pile of e-junk, which no one is interested in buying.
They did that when the premiere was first released. All my launch Premieres only cost $200 for lifetime service. For each S3 I owned they offered a special deal to upgrade to the Premiere. They offered lifetime for $200 or if you had a monthly rate on the S3 they transferred that rate to the new Premiere and gave you a year of service on the S3. That is why my one remaining launch Premiere has a $6.95 monthly rate. I've sold all my lifetime launch premieres that had the $200 lifetime rate.(Although the initial cost of the Premiere was much higher than it is now)

These incentives were offered when the Premiere first came out to get people to upgrade. The Premiere is almost three years old now. There is no reason to be offering deals like that now. If the op wanted a deal they should have jumped on it when the Premiere was first released.

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Old 02-08-2013, 10:37 AM   #43
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They did that when the premiere was first released. All my launch Premieres only cost $200 for lifetime service. For each S3 I owned they offered a special deal to upgrade to the Premiere. They offered lifetime for $200 or if you had a monthly rate on the S3 they transferred that rate to the new Premiere and gave you a year of service on the S3. That is why my one remaining launch Premiere has a $6.95 monthly rate. I've sold all my lifetime launch premieres that had the $200 lifetime rate.(Although the initial cost of the Premiere was much higher than it is now)

These incentives were offered when the Premiere first came out to get people to upgrade. The Premiere is almost three years old now. There is no reason to be offering deals like that now. If the op wanted a deal they should have jumped on it when the Premiere was first released.

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so short sighted.. 2 tuner premiere.. now they have 4 tuner.. I should have jumped on a train that didnt exist yet?
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:01 PM   #44
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I was glad I jumped on it. I had eight or nine S3 boxes and sold all but two to cover most of the cost of the seven lifetime, 2 tuner, Premieres I got at launch. I sold four lifetime Premieres to cover the cost of my lifetime Elite/XL4 boxes. And the rest were sold because my GF did not want to replace her S3 boxes with the Premieres at the time. So I broke even on those boxes. I am very glad I jump on the deals when they were available. Otherwise i would have paid more money for my TiVos(and service) if I had waited around.

As long as the lifetime TiVos retain a high resale value and I can sell them to cover most of the cost of upgrading to new TiVos, I will be happy.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:36 AM   #45
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I started with a series 1 Sony in 1999 with lifetime and have upgraded to the next series each time just after launch. Each time I have sold the old box with lifetime for more than the cost of the new lifetime sub. IE each upgrad has cost less than the cost of the hardward alone and I still have a lifetime sub. 3 now actually.

The current business model works fine for the consumer and works better for tivo because if the move the lifetime, the old box goes away. With the current model they gain a subscriber. The cost to the consumer is roughly the same as it works out.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:22 PM   #46
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I started with a series 1 Sony in 1999 with lifetime and have upgraded to the next series each time just after launch. Each time I have sold the old box with lifetime for more than the cost of the new lifetime sub. IE each upgrad has cost less than the cost of the hardward alone and I still have a lifetime sub. 3 now actually.

The current business model works fine for the consumer and works better for tivo because if the move the lifetime, the old box goes away. With the current model they gain a subscriber. The cost to the consumer is roughly the same as it works out.
When you move a Lifetime TiVo how does that help TiVo, I don't know how many people would have purchase a TiVo with monthly or Lifetime that instead purchased a Lifetime unit from E-Bay or somewhere else. TiVo makes no extra money from that type of sale, except they keep the expense of providing guide data and get some extra ad money..maybe.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:58 PM   #47
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When you move a Lifetime TiVo how does that help TiVo, I don't know how many people would have purchase a TiVo with monthly or Lifetime that instead purchased a Lifetime unit from E-Bay or somewhere else. TiVo makes no extra money from that type of sale, except they keep the expense of providing guide data and get some extra ad money..maybe.
Depends on what would have happen if the person hadn't sold the older Tivo with lifetime. In any event if you sell a Tivo with lifetime and replace it with a new one TiVo has increased their sub numbers, so in that case Tivo does benifit.

But my guess is if people couldn't sell TiVos with lifetime they wouldn't upgrade as much or decide Tivos cost to much and not buy them at all and some people who buy used Tivos would not buy Tivos at all again because of the cost. So I am guessing the policy has resulted in more sales over time. Plus how could they really sell lifetime service for the box and not the person and then not let the service stay with the box? Frankly if I had not been able to by lifetime under the current terms I would never have bought any HD Tivos and switched to a HTPC and I suspect I am not the only one.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:16 AM   #48
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Depends on what would have happen if the person hadn't sold the older Tivo with lifetime. In any event if you sell a Tivo with lifetime and replace it with a new one TiVo has increased their sub numbers, so in that case Tivo does benifit.

But my guess is if people couldn't sell TiVos with lifetime they wouldn't upgrade as much or decide Tivos cost to much and not buy them at all and some people who buy used Tivos would not buy Tivos at all again because of the cost. So I am guessing the policy has resulted in more sales over time. Plus how could they really sell lifetime service for the box and not the person and then not let the service stay with the box? Frankly if I had not been able to by lifetime under the current terms I would never have bought any HD Tivos and switched to a HTPC and I suspect I am not the only one.
I feel exactly as you do, good deal for their customers, BUT TiVo has not made any real money, Apple went from $20 to $700, TiVo started at about $57 and went to $5 than back to $13 or something over the last 12 years, just compare Apple to TiVo from the year 2000. Don't get me wrong I love the TiVo product, but not their P&L.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:00 AM   #49
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I feel exactly as you do, good deal for their customers, BUT TiVo has not made any real money, Apple went from $20 to $700, TiVo started at about $57 and went to $5 than back to $13 or something over the last 12 years, just compare Apple to TiVo from the year 2000. Don't get me wrong I love the TiVo product, but not their P&L.
The question of why hasn't TiVo (or anyone) been successful selling Stand Alone DVRs is very interesting. I think that most of us that regularly post on this forum are so big fans of good DVRs that we can not understand why the market for them isn't huge. But the market reality seems to be that most people don't want to deal with a Stand Alone DVR, at least not with the hassles and restrictions that the FCC has allowed.

Most people who have a DVR seem to want a DVR that their pay TV Provider deals with for them and preferably hides some or all of the cost in their Pay TV subscription costs. At least that is what I have to assume as DVRs are used as loss leaders to obtain new customers by Pay TV providers on a regular basics and the vast majority of DVRs come from Pay TV providers directly.

Now if the FCC had forced a software only solution that work with 100% of the Pay TV providers services and forced all Pay TV providers to use it along with forcing them to break the actually cost of DVRs out of the Pay TV subscription, things might be different. Stand Alone DVRs could have moved the tuners out of the box to make them portable between OTA, Cable, Dish, Direct, & AT&T, by just buying different tuners and Stand Alone units would look allot more price competitive. But who knows maybe most people just don't care.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:26 AM   #50
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When you move a Lifetime TiVo how does that help TiVo, I don't know how many people would have purchase a TiVo with monthly or Lifetime that instead purchased a Lifetime unit from E-Bay or somewhere else. TiVo makes no extra money from that type of sale, except they keep the expense of providing guide data and get some extra ad money..maybe.
Tivo subsidizes the cost of each box. Dropping subscription from one box to place it on another leaves a box un subscribed. A new user buying a box on ebay with lifetime sub is cheaper for tivo than them buying a new box with sub and you not buying a sub. Either way they have sold one new lifetime sub. Just with the current model, it has cost them one less subsidy.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:35 PM   #51
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Tivo subsidizes the cost of each box. Dropping subscription from one box to place it on another leaves a box un subscribed. A new user buying a box on ebay with lifetime sub is cheaper for tivo than them buying a new box with sub and you not buying a sub. Either way they have sold one new lifetime sub. Just with the current model, it has cost them one less subsidy.
Your assuming that the seller would not purchase a new TiVo if he could not recover some of the cost using E-Bay or other was of selling their TiVo. How many people that want to upgrade their TiVo also know about setting up an E-Bay account with PayPal, it is hard to tell what would have served TiVo best from their P&L standpoint, but TiVo is not making much money on the stand alone TiVo as things are now.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:11 AM   #52
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Seriously? Plenty of people I know that probably don't meet your low bar buy and sell on fleabay all the time. Give people some credit.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:25 AM   #53
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Seriously? Plenty of people I know that probably don't meet your low bar buy and sell on fleabay all the time. Give people some credit.
I was not giving an insult to anyone who does not sell on E-Bay, just saying some people just get the cable co DVR and have no hassle with service or operation, or for upgrades at no extra charge. E-Bay success is not from the people I know, now and then I help someone to sell on E-Bay, most of the people I know buy things on E-Bay all the time. Selling can be a pain to some because of the packing and shipping.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:49 AM   #54
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It's silly not to factor in resale value for lifetime units. I don't care how they are resold (fleabay, craigslist, or otherwise) - to discount that value makes for a false comparison of actual cost of buying Tivos vs. renting crappy cable DVRs.

Yes, there are plenty of people that want the cableCo to take care of everything for them, that's why Tivo struggles. We don't care what those folks do.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:12 PM   #55
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It's silly not to factor in resale value for lifetime units. I don't care how they are resold (fleabay, craigslist, or otherwise) - to discount that value makes for a false comparison of actual cost of buying Tivos vs. renting crappy cable DVRs.

Yes, there are plenty of people that want the cableCo to take care of everything for them, that's why Tivo struggles. We don't care what those folks do.
Most people do facture in the resale of say a car, and should with a TiVo and Lifetime, that one good reason I upgrade when my older Lifetime TiVo still has good value, today a Series 2 with Lifetime does not have much value, but a Series 3 with Lifetime does.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:29 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by lessd View Post
Most people do facture in the resale of say a car, and should with a TiVo and Lifetime, that one good reason I upgrade when my older Lifetime TiVo still has good value, today a Series 2 with Lifetime does not have much value, but a Series 3 with Lifetime does.
Problem is my original Series 3 HD and TiVo HD both get better reception than my Premiere (OTA only) kind of counter productive to sell them for another Premiere. Hopefully the next hardware update will change that but I am not holding my breath.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:50 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by atmuscarella View Post
Problem is my original Series 3 HD and TiVo HD both get better reception than my Premiere (OTA only) kind of counter productive to sell them for another Premiere. Hopefully the next hardware update will change that but I am not holding my breath.
I don't use OTA but my guess is that the TP 2 tuner will be the last of the OTA TiVo models.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:48 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by lessd View Post
I don't use OTA but my guess is that the TP 2 tuner will be the last of the OTA TiVo models.
Not according to the latest FCC waiver request.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:11 AM   #59
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I don't use OTA but my guess is that the TP 2 tuner will be the last of the OTA TiVo models.
Not unless TiVo has "drunk the Kool-Aid" being offered to them by the cable companies.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:21 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by L David Matheny View Post
Not unless TiVo has "drunk the Kool-Aid" being offered to them by the cable companies.
This was only a guess on my part, I hope I am wrong.
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