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Old 10-25-2013, 10:45 PM   #1
d.susie798
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Why does Mini require a Service Plan?

This seems a massive rip off. The main Tivo is the only one receiving the guides and scheduling things. So I don't understand how Tivo gets away with charging so much just to connect a Mini.

Is this a legit thing or simply what it appears like: a massive rip-off?

I've been getting more an more upset with Tivo lately. I pay a huge amount of money to buy the device and to pay for service plan and yet I still have to put up with advertisements within the Tivo itself. I wouldn't mind if there was an "advertisement section" of Tivo where you navigate to and watch the advertisements at your choosing. But popping those things up when I Pause etc infuriates me.

Is the Mini just another way to rip-off the customer? For the first time I'm starting to look at dropping Tivo because of things like this.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:02 PM   #2
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They get away with what the market will bare. If you don't want to pay monthly get lifetime. If TiVo only offered the mini at full price people would be complaining about that. They can't win. Don't want to pay monthly? Get lifetime. Don't want to pay full price? Buy one of TiVo's competitors like Replay or Moxi.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:06 PM   #3
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My view remains that the real list price of the TiVo Mini is $250. TiVo offers an option of $100 down and perpetual monthly fee if that fits your need better.

TiVo always has, and continues to, lose money on their hardware production (though they are getting much better.) The service fees pay for the rest of the hardware, R&D, advertising, company overhead, and on-going expenses. Except for patent litigation money and two marginal quarters, TiVo has never made a profit, and will not make a profit in the near future. Folks are just not willing pay as much money up front as TiVo needs to support the company - thus hiked service fees and advertising to try and break even now, and establish another revenue source for the future, respectively.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:17 PM   #4
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I was apprised some time ago of the executive compensation of Tivo. It is outrageous. I think most of this money is going to overcompensate executives and not towards R&D or bettering the product.

I can buy at retail a 3TB drive for around $120. The cost of the scheduling guide? I just find it hard to believe all this costs that much.

Okay, Tivo is only for people well off enough to afford it. But when you start throwing the ads on the screen when you push pause and charging $150 service plan for a device that uses the service plan of the $600 device it is going too far.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:18 PM   #5
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So then buy a replay or moxi.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:22 PM   #6
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Don't think of it as a service fee - think of it as an additional node with most of the same functionality.

The base Roamio is $200 + $500 service fee for $700
The mini is $100 + $150 service fee for $250

So the mini is 1/3 the price of the cheapest Roamio (1/4 of the plus and 1/5 of the pro). It is a lot cheaper for you to add additional connections to each TV in your home with a mini and TiVo still earns a reasonable revenue for each unit sold.

Now you know the reason, agree or don't agree - that is the price model TiVo chose. Before the mini, those of us who needed / wanted the TiVo experience on multiple TiVo's had to purchase a full TiVo for each TV.

Trust me, this new model is a bargain!



I hate this executive pay argument btw - TiVo doesn't owe you a damn thing. They are in business to bring share holder value... They do that by providing a product that people will purchase and ultimately generate a profit.

If they don't generate a profit over the long term, they go out of business.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by d.susie798 View Post
This seems a massive rip off. The main Tivo is the only one receiving the guides and scheduling things. So I don't understand how Tivo gets away with charging so much just to connect a Mini.

Is this a legit thing or simply what it appears like: a massive rip-off?

I've been getting more an more upset with Tivo lately. I pay a huge amount of money to buy the device and to pay for service plan and yet I still have to put up with advertisements within the Tivo itself. I wouldn't mind if there was an "advertisement section" of Tivo where you navigate to and watch the advertisements at your choosing. But popping those things up when I Pause etc infuriates me.

Is the Mini just another way to rip-off the customer? For the first time I'm starting to look at dropping Tivo because of things like this.
Think of it this way, the Mini cost $250, too much money for what you get don't purchase one, if the Mini saves you $9/month on a cable and A/O expense all the better, OH! you do have the option of monthly payments, dropping the Mini cost to less than $100.
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:40 AM   #8
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Guys, my gripe is that it is too expensive to purhase. I've been using Tivo for over 10 years now. And for the first time, I can't justify the expense. I wanted to buy a unit for my mom too so that she can enjoy the cable TV she pays for. But she can't afford it and I can't afford to buy her a setup either.

My solution? Roku for both of us.

My gripe? I don't see Tivo surviving at these prices. Maybe I'm wrong and enough rich people can keep Tivo afloat. I don't know. But I'm sick of seeing ads on a device I pay a thousand bucks for (hardware plus service). Paying $600 for the flagship hardware is really high and yet I still don't get features like IR Inputs for RF remote control use from base stations. It's just not worth the money IMHO. I love the Mini hardware and what it allows and think this is a great new feature of TiVo. Too bad I can't make use of it.

Maybe some of the blame deserves to be laid on the entertainment industry that DRMs everything and demands exorbitant payoffs from TiVo. I don't know if this is happening or not. But regardless, TiVo executives are overcompensated and it isn't helping TiVo's future. Although I'm not claiming this is the sole reason for the high cost.
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:01 AM   #9
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I was apprised some time ago of the executive compensation of Tivo. It is outrageous. I think most of this money is going to overcompensate executives and not towards R&D or bettering the product.
I'm not seeing that.

If you look at their SEC filings for last year:

$238,179,000 = revenue earned

$110,367,000 = money spent on R&D
$001,780,000 = money spent on executive salaries

Looks like TiVo spent 46% of their money on R&D and 1% on executive salaries.

TiVo had 2.3M active subscribers last year. If you divide that by the executive salaries, it works out to 77˘ per subscriber. I'm guessing that if TiVo's execs worked for free, and all of their salary was passed along, you wouldn't even notice an offset the cost of the TiVo Service or hardware.

Out of curiosity (since you have such a strong opinion on the matter), have you looked at their 2012 Annual Report that they filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission?

Under the section "Risk Factors", they list this as the #1 risk towards their business:

Quote:
We have incurred significant net losses and may never achieve sustained profitability.

During the fiscal years ended January 31, 2012, 2011, and 2010, our net income (losses) were $102.2 million, $(84.5) million, and $(23.0) million, respectively. As of January 31, 2012, we had an accumulated deficit of $(677.1) million. The size of future net losses will be impacted by a number of factors, including the timing of the development or deployment of solutions under our television service provider arrangements, the growth or decline in the number of TiVo-Owned subscriptions, the price at which we sell TiVo-Owned set-top boxes, the amount of research and development expenses we incur to fund new product development and expand our engineering services capacity, the amount and timing of litigation expenses we incur in connection with protecting our intellectual property and the outcomes of our intellectual property litigations. In particular, we expect to incur significant net losses in our fiscal year ending January 31, 2013. Unless and until we generate significant additional revenues or substantially reduce our expenses, including revenues and expenses resulting from our ongoing legal proceedings, we will likely continue to incur losses in our current and future fiscal years and we may never achieve sustained profitability. Over time, continued net losses and negative cash flow could drain our existing cash balance.
To me, that's precisely the reason behind how the TiVo mini was priced.
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:46 AM   #10
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And as I said, it has nothing to do with a "service" per say, it goes to total cost of ownership. And when you look at the ratios of cost vs functionality it works. (1/3 the cost of the base Roamio)

With the mini, TiVo gave up on multi TiVo homes for a hub and spoke (whole home) design.

Also, when you compare to MSO offerings the pricing is very competitive.

Everyone wants to compare TiVo to Apple TV and Roku, and unfortunately it isn't a fair comparison. TiVo is never going to move the number of units it would take to get that kind of scalability.

And frankly TiVo adds more value - at least for me... I have an Apple TV at the house and I never use it anymore. I do use the mini in the bedroom almost everyday.
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:02 PM   #11
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And to add...

I am probably going to purchase another $250 mini to replace my 2 tuner Premiere. Now that FIOS is charging $6 for a cable card it doesn't make sense to sit on the value of that lifetime box any longer.

I only mention this, because it shows both the value and usability of the box in that I would be willing to eliminate two tuners from my network.

(Sale of 2TB lifetime Premiere will bring at least $300)
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:21 PM   #12
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I'm not seeing that.

If you look at their SEC filings for last year:

$238,179,000 = revenue earned

$110,367,000 = money spent on R&D
$001,780,000 = money spent on executive salaries

Looks like TiVo spent 46% of their money on R&D and 1% on executive salaries.
TiVo CEO Pay Rises 72 Percent: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...ises-72-569286

Shareholders urged to challenge CEO pay: http://www.deadline.com/2013/07/tivo...-compensation/

Something is wrong with the way this company is being run. The CEO pay is just a part of it.
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:48 PM   #13
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I just can't stand that populist garbage. Blame successful people because you don't get a bunch of free stuff.

Work hard, bring value in the job you do and you will earn a good living as well.

CEO's are the Michael Jordan's and Brett Favre's of their fields. You need to pay well to get a top player or the other team will offer him a better deal.

Don't deliver and you will get cut!

Ben and Jerry's tried to have a CEO cap while the co-founder was still at the helm, when he retired they had to recruit a new leader - the cap was abandoned.

Only so many people have the "skills" for that job, and those people get rewarded for being the top "player" on the field.

You are not a CEO for the same reason you aren't a professional athlete - you don't have the talent.
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Old 10-26-2013, 01:27 PM   #14
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TiVo CEO Pay Rises 72 Percent: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...ises-72-569286

Shareholders urged to challenge CEO pay: http://www.deadline.com/2013/07/tivo...-compensation/
Have you actually researched his compensation to see where this "72% increase" actually came from?

Two hints: it wasn't from his salary, and it wasn't from a bonus.

Quote:
Guys, my gripe is that it is too expensive to purhase. I've been using Tivo for over 10 years now. And for the first time, I can't justify the expense.
Have you found another DVR that after four years costs you less than what buying a TiVo + Lifetime costs?

Where I live, "leasing" a cable company 6-tuner DVR + three boxes for the bedrooms would cost $60/month. After four years, it would have cost me $2,880.

Buying a TiVo Roamio Pro + 3 Minis (all with Lifetime) cost me $1,750.

The TiVo solution saves me $1,000. Plus, I own all of the TiVo boxes, so if I want to upgrade, I sell, and the next cycle costs significantly less.
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Old 10-26-2013, 01:43 PM   #15
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Guys, my gripe is that it is too expensive to purhase.
Then, simply, do not buy it.

You could purchase a lifetime premiere to stream to and skip the cablecard. But, that would be more than the $250 for the mini. Thus, its price point, for now, is probably good enough for their sales projections and cost structure. We are still in the early adopter tax period, so time may be on your side instead of cash.
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Old 10-26-2013, 01:55 PM   #16
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I wonder if the OP goes on BMW forums complaining that they should cost the same as their Chevy Cruze.
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:13 PM   #17
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Then, simply, do not buy it.
Agree. The OP is a troll.
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:50 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by d.susie798 View Post
Guys, my gripe is that it is too expensive to purhase. I've been using Tivo for over 10 years now. And for the first time, I can't justify the expense. I wanted to buy a unit for my mom too so that she can enjoy the cable TV she pays for. But she can't afford it and I can't afford to buy her a setup either.

My solution? Roku for both of us.

My gripe? I don't see Tivo surviving at these prices. Maybe I'm wrong and enough rich people can keep Tivo afloat. I don't know. But I'm sick of seeing ads on a device I pay a thousand bucks for (hardware plus service). Paying $600 for the flagship hardware is really high and yet I still don't get features like IR Inputs for RF remote control use from base stations. It's just not worth the money IMHO. I love the Mini hardware and what it allows and think this is a great new feature of TiVo. Too bad I can't make use of it.

Maybe some of the blame deserves to be laid on the entertainment industry that DRMs everything and demands exorbitant payoffs from TiVo. I don't know if this is happening or not. But regardless, TiVo executives are overcompensated and it isn't helping TiVo's future. Although I'm not claiming this is the sole reason for the high cost.
Rich people?? The rich people are the ones paying all that money to the cable companies. Continuously paying them a monthly fee for their DVRs. That cost is much, much higher than what TiVo charges. If I had been using cable company DVRs during the last 6+ years that I've had FiOS it would have easily cost me four figures more. Plus it would have been a crappy experience.
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:36 PM   #19
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Agree. The OP is a troll.

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Old 10-27-2013, 10:34 PM   #20
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Under the section "Risk Factors", they list this as the #1 risk towards their business:
Why would a company operate at all, if all they can do each year is operate at a loss, that gets bigger and bigger? Seems rather fruitless. I know if my business was putting me millions in the hole every year, Id file bankruptcy and be done with it.
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:12 PM   #21
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Why would a company operate at all, if all they can do each year is operate at a loss, that gets bigger and bigger? Seems rather fruitless. I know if my business was putting me millions in the hole every year, Id file bankruptcy and be done with it.
If their future business was manufacturing stand-alone DVRs, then perhaps. But TiVo has always offered hopes of great profit in the future, once they get big enough for targeted advertising, audience measurement, and software licensing to kick in. (TiVo is a software company, forced to sell hardware to push their software.)

TiVo managed things so that even though they lost money every year, they accumulated no significant debt ever (except for a couple of years around 2001 or so as they switched over to making their own hardware in order to survive). They accomplished this miracle by having a great dog-and-pony show, convincing investors that once TiVo achieved critical mass, large payoffs were possible. TiVo was able to continuously raise money by issuing new stock and having investors pay to keep the company going. Of course, now-a-days the patent litigation has relieved all money worries for several years.

People complain about the executive salaries of TiVo, but those executives worked wonders convincing investors to buy into TiVo's dreams. And with the strong growth of cable company TiVos, both in the US and internationally, TiVo may get its critical mass.
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:37 PM   #22
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This seems a massive rip off. The main Tivo is the only one receiving the guides and scheduling things. So I don't understand how Tivo gets away with charging so much just to connect a Mini.

Is this a legit thing or simply what it appears like: a massive rip-off?

I've been getting more an more upset with Tivo lately. I pay a huge amount of money to buy the device and to pay for service plan and yet I still have to put up with advertisements within the Tivo itself. I wouldn't mind if there was an "advertisement section" of Tivo where you navigate to and watch the advertisements at your choosing. But popping those things up when I Pause etc infuriates me.

Is the Mini just another way to rip-off the customer? For the first time I'm starting to look at dropping Tivo because of things like this.

It requires a service plan for the same reason TiVos themselves do--what TiVo really is is a specialized software company, and the monthly or lifetime sub pays for a license to use that software.

I don't have a Mini, so I don't pay for a sub for one, because I'm not using the specialized software they wrote for it to allow it and a TiVo to work together, so I don't need a license to use that software which I'm not using.

If I owned and used a Mini, I'd be using that software and would need to pay them for the license to do so.

TiVo makes its money from the software and patents--the hardware is a loss leader.
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Old 10-28-2013, 12:14 AM   #23
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The real answer though is.... because they can. TiVo's only real competition is DVRs offered by MSOs. In all cases where an MSO offers a DVR with an extender they charge an extra monthly fee for the extender. TiVo is just following suite. People like to think that they are competing with AppleTV and Roku, but those are secondary competitors at best. TiVo's only real competition is MSO DVRs and when you compare the two their prices are inline.
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Old 10-28-2013, 04:06 AM   #24
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The real answer though is.... because they can.
100% true. And the OP can go back to her MSO solution and whine about what they charge. Or do without.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:57 PM   #25
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This seems a massive rip off. The main Tivo is the only one receiving the guides and scheduling things. So I don't understand how Tivo gets away with charging so much just to connect a Mini.
Same reason you pay a fee for your TiVo unit, ongoing support and maintenance of the underlying software. They should call it a maintenance fee instead of subscription. Just look at the improvements added since the Mini was first released, they need to pay for the talent that continues on the development of the underlying application and features.

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Old 10-28-2013, 02:24 PM   #26
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Agree. The OP is a troll.
That wasn't very nice. It seems this person has real feelings and sticker shock. Why not just assist in relieving those fears with facts in a nice, productive way?

You gotta admit, it's quite shocking when the fees are first explained to a prospective TiVo client. Every time I tell people about the new roamios they simply love it and are very interested......until I get to the cost part, then about 99.9% of them bail out, regardless of whatever tivo-liscious formulas I throw at them!
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:30 PM   #27
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I think the individual was treated fairly well in the first several responses.

Then she started down the entitlement route and how those greedy fats cats are sitting on their mountain of gold laughing at the huddled masses having to pay a kings ransom for something she thinks should be provided as a right of humanity - or something like that.
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:31 PM   #28
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You gotta admit there's some truth in that too!
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Old 10-29-2013, 01:24 PM   #29
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You gotta admit, it's quite shocking when the fees are first explained to a prospective TiVo client. Every time I tell people about the new roamios they simply love it and are very interested......until I get to the cost part, then about 99.9% of them bail out, regardless of whatever tivo-liscious formulas I throw at them!
To me, it's all in how it's positioned.

It's been my experience that what's truly shocking to people is when you sit down with them and help them figure out how much they're currently paying in cable company fees to rent the various DVRs and set-top boxes throughout their houses.

Positioned against the fee that they're currently paying, it's been my experience that it's pretty unusual to find a situation where a TiVo solution (with its hardware and service fees) doesn't end up saving the prospective client money.
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Old 10-29-2013, 01:50 PM   #30
HarperVision
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Originally Posted by aristoBrat View Post
To me, it's all in how it's positioned.

It's been my experience that what's truly shocking to people is when you sit down with them and help them figure out how much they're currently paying in cable company fees to rent the various DVRs and set-top boxes throughout their houses.

Positioned against the fee that they're currently paying, it's been my experience that it's pretty unusual to find a situation where a TiVo solution (with its hardware and service fees) doesn't end up saving the prospective client money.
I agree with everything you're saying and have passed that on numerous times. It seems most people just can't see past the tip of their noses though! It's the wide eyed "I gotta shell out HOW MUCH right now to just record Dance Moms on Sunday night"?!?!?! That gets 'em every time!
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