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Old 05-26-2014, 04:10 PM   #1
dbyerman
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Product Cycle: Now the Time to Buy?

Loooooooooooong time TiVo user here. Been using a DirecTiVo for the last few years but we are finally cutting the cord with DirecTV and going OTA.

I noticed that the Roamio line came out last summer, and I'm wondering if this would be the wrong time to buy a Roamio. Does anyone know if there is a new generation due to come out soon? Would I be better off waiting for a few more months? Has TiVo signaled whether their future products will support OTA?
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:41 PM   #2
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Loooooooooooong time TiVo user here. Been using a DirecTiVo for the last few years but we are finally cutting the cord with DirecTV and going OTA.

I noticed that the Roamio line came out last summer, and I'm wondering if this would be the wrong time to buy a Roamio. Does anyone know if there is a new generation due to come out soon? Would I be better off waiting for a few more months? Has TiVo signaled whether their future products will support OTA?
Anybody that knew that answer to your questions would not be posting, because they might end up looking for a new job. People can give you their options, but it would no different if they were giving you an option on some stock, buy now or wait.
I purchased my first TiVo in 2001, I could have waited until now and gotten the new Roamio without going through many older TiVos that I did, but I would have had 12 years without any TiVo.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:27 PM   #3
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The Roamio came out less than a year ago. So based on past history it's unlikely a new box is coming out anytime soon. But of course past history is not indicative of future results.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:51 PM   #4
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One thing I was surprised with using the roamio basic, you can only use either-or. Either OTA or cable card, not both at the same time as with the older premier units.
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:23 PM   #5
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One thing I was surprised with using the roamio basic, you can only use either-or. Either OTA or cable card, not both at the same time as with the older premier units.
There is probably such a small percentage of people who would actually want this capability, that TiVo figured the added expense of such a feature would not be worth the cost. And if you really have to have that capability, they still sell Premieres on the TiVo website.
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Old 05-26-2014, 08:28 PM   #6
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Loooooooooooong time TiVo user here. Been using a DirecTiVo for the last few years but we are finally cutting the cord with DirecTV and going OTA.

I noticed that the Roamio line came out last summer, and I'm wondering if this would be the wrong time to buy a Roamio. Does anyone know if there is a new generation due to come out soon? Would I be better off waiting for a few more months? Has TiVo signaled whether their future products will support OTA?
There's been nothing to suggest a new product is coming anytime soon. Normally you see surveys about product naming and FCC activity (equipment authorization filings, waiver requests, etc). The only suggestion is that TiVo has until next June for their box to comply with the IP output rule. I'm not sure if that has any bearing on their retail hardware though. Most of what I've read seems to suggest that TiVo looks to use their Roamio platform with software update for forward compatibly. However, if your looking at OTA, its not really applicable. IMHO - it'll likely be 3-4 years (or more) before a new platform comes out and most likely it will be driven by the technology used to replace CableCards.

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Old 05-29-2014, 02:45 AM   #7
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TiVo also recenty layed off their hardware staff leaving 2 (or there abouts) as staff. TiVo CEO has made it clear they want out of the hardware biz and see their future being their software. iMHO: All the signs are that the Roamio is quite likely their last RETAIL box. Any new hardware is likely for MSO's, but TiVo really envisions just licensing their software to MSO's: that is the stated plan. The Roamio is truly the pinnacle with a far greater jump in tech with a sufficiently powerful chip to do all things it does. Unlike past generations, Roamio comes with a lot of tuners and is truly state of art with features with some future proofing and sufficiently powered. I don't think we're going to see another RETAIL box. I'd say safe to buy without much worry of a new REATIL anytime soon or far.
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Old 05-29-2014, 10:43 AM   #8
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TiVo also recenty layed off their hardware staff leaving 2 (or there abouts) as staff. TiVo CEO has made it clear they want out of the hardware biz and see their future being their software. iMHO: All the signs are that the Roamio is quite likely their last RETAIL box. Any new hardware is likely for MSO's, but TiVo really envisions just licensing their software to MSO's: that is the stated plan. The Roamio is truly the pinnacle with a far greater jump in tech with a sufficiently powerful chip to do all things it does. Unlike past generations, Roamio comes with a lot of tuners and is truly state of art with features with some future proofing and sufficiently powered. I don't think we're going to see another RETAIL box. I'd say safe to buy without much worry of a new REATIL anytime soon or far.
I agree with you, TiVo may put out a 4Tb Roamio in the near future, but that is no big deal as our Forum teem is working hard on that upgrade and I am sure they will be successful. (I don't think 4Tb or 600 hours of HD has a big demand point anyways, and you can now get that and more from WK)
MSOs will be the next big step for TiVo, to replace Moto DVRs where they can. The cable card replacement option may require new retail TiVo hardware if and when cable cards stop being supported by the MSOs. The Roamios have a good 5 or more years of life left in them.
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Old 05-29-2014, 04:44 PM   #9
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Thank you all for the responses. Great info. Guess we'll make the leap and buy the hardware now.

P.S. Only after posting my original message did I see the note at left that my first post was in the year 2000! Wow, 14 years, that is a long time!
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Old 05-31-2014, 05:31 AM   #10
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Of course, after reading Tom Rogers quote about a TiVo "exit strategy," now I KNOW TiVo aint EVER gonna produce another RETAIL box again. Whoever acquires TiVo in the few years to come is not likely to produce anything for retail. I just hope that come 2018, the new owners keep the US servers for guide data, etc., but I doubt it because that costs money. At the very least we will get no more fixes. I think the buyer is likely to be a foreign entity who sees possibilities in Europe and Australia. Perhaps Sir Richard Branson, as TiVo for Virgin seems to be doing pretty well.
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Old 05-31-2014, 06:13 AM   #11
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Of course, after reading Tom Rogers quote about a TiVo "exit strategy," now I KNOW TiVo aint EVER gonna produce another RETAIL box again.
Reference or cite please.
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:18 AM   #12
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Reference or cite please.
http://www.zatznotfunny.com/2014-05/...gers-tivo-ceo/
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:58 PM   #13
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TiVo isn't exiting the retail business anytime soon

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Of course, after reading Tom Rogers quote about a TiVo "exit strategy," now I KNOW TiVo aint EVER gonna produce another RETAIL box again. Whoever acquires TiVo in the few years to come is not likely to produce anything for retail.
The sky's not falling. Any strategic player would keep TiVo retail as retail pays for continued MSO expansion. It's profitable and companies like profits!

``However, there are two key reasons why TiVo is also continuing to sell its Roamio DVR directly to consumers.

"Number one, it is the foundation for our innovation," Chopra said. "(Roamio) really is the thing our MSO customers aspire to be able to deliver. That product is typically a year or so ahead of what we have in our mass distribution channel. … And we're able to leverage all of the R&D that we invest in developing those products into driving revenue growth in the MSO channel."

Second, Chopra said, its retail business is continuing to generate revenue--a little less than $100 million in 2013, "with pretty attractive gross margins." That revenue, he said, is key to funding continuing research and development. "Because of the shared nature of the R&D expense, if you were to exit that business you would not get much of a reduction in your operating costs. Therefore that revenue is effectively the thing that helps fund the R&D you need for the growth business, which is the MSO piece."``


Read more: TiVo isn't exiting the retail business anytime soon, Chopra says - FierceOnlineVideo http://www.fierceonlinevideo.com/sto...#ixzz33hyd6Zgo
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:55 PM   #14
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The sky's not falling. Any strategic player would keep TiVo retail as retail pays for continued MSO expansion. It's profitable and companies like profits!

``However, there are two key reasons why TiVo is also continuing to sell its Roamio DVR directly to consumers.

"Number one, it is the foundation for our innovation," Chopra said. "(Roamio) really is the thing our MSO customers aspire to be able to deliver. That product is typically a year or so ahead of what we have in our mass distribution channel. … And we're able to leverage all of the R&D that we invest in developing those products into driving revenue growth in the MSO channel."

Second, Chopra said, its retail business is continuing to generate revenue--a little less than $100 million in 2013, "with pretty attractive gross margins." That revenue, he said, is key to funding continuing research and development. "Because of the shared nature of the R&D expense, if you were to exit that business you would not get much of a reduction in your operating costs. Therefore that revenue is effectively the thing that helps fund the R&D you need for the growth business, which is the MSO piece."``


Read more: TiVo isn't exiting the retail business anytime soon, Chopra says - FierceOnlineVideo http://www.fierceonlinevideo.com/sto...#ixzz33hyd6Zgo
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The retail is not enough and too expensive, include the marketing and paying to be on the shelves, as well. Further, TiVO is a premium item, with a premium cost. The future growth for retail if devices such as Channel Master DVR+ (that thing, in its earlier versions, has a hardcore following) because the growth is with those who are NOT affluent who just out of principal refuse to pay a monthly fee. Sorry, but excecs say lots of rosy things to keep the stock price up and still say whatever positive spin it takes right up to the moment they sell or shut down. It is bad business to talk down parts of your company if you are looking for buyers with the best possible price.

No, the sky is not falling, but things and the market are changing. We're all good for at least the next 4 - 5 years, but the worst case scenario for those of us on the retail is if TiVo is purchased because the buyers wont' be interested on the even worse retail biz by 2018, but only for its brand, or most likely, leaving the US for greener pastures in Europe and Australia. But continuing the costs of the US with TiVo's meager--by comparison to other STB makers--return, is just not someplace a new owner will want to go, and so seeing our TiVo's go the way of SezMi is a rational possibility for the retail boxes and even the MSO units, but one I truly hope doesn't come true. One never knows what plans buyers truly have once they acquire a company. Unfortunately, a negative outcome as it affects us is, to be fair, just as likely as a positive one (but, personally, I really think the negative is more likely just because things are creeping in that direction). The world is changing and TiVO may be the first, but not only company/service to go as time marches on. 2018 will be an interesting year. Does Nostradamus have anything to add about that year? .
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:39 AM   #15
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It could be just like Moxi. TiVo gets bought and the retail piece vaporizes. That's the reality. If you look at acquisitions by companies like Symantec, the R&D disappears anyway right after the acquisition. Its very rare to see companies continue to innovate products after their acquisition.
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:48 AM   #16
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The problem is the TiVo doesnt have a premium cost. It's the cable companies dvrs that have a premium cost since they cost so much more than TiVo . At least that is the case with Comcast and FiOS in my area.
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:45 AM   #17
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The quote certainly supports that Tivo is not opposed to completing due diligence to offers to purchase. However, the context is missing- is this in a statement to the public or answering a question from an investing agency? It matters.

Small to mid-sized (and ever large) companies get and make offers to purchase, partner, or merge all the time. It is not public knowledge, but it is what happens. If this is being recognized out of the blue from Tivo in a statement the indicators are different then responding to a query.
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:39 AM   #18
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I think Tivo is using their crystal ball. Four years from now TV will be a different animal than it is today. Streaming, a la carte, and Aereo type services (with cloud hosted DVR) will be the growing wave.
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:45 AM   #19
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I think Tivo is using their crystal ball. Four years from now TV will be a different animal than it is today. Streaming, a la carte, and Aereo type services (with cloud hosted DVR) will be the growing wave.
I hope not if cloud service is anything like VOD or streaming is now, even with Netflix FF is a pain and with streaming you would not be able to skip ads, that would be a real bummer for me.
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Old 06-06-2014, 01:16 PM   #20
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The retail is not enough and too expensive, include the marketing and paying to be on the shelves, as well. Further, TiVO is a premium item, with a premium cost. The future growth for retail if devices such as Channel Master DVR+ (that thing, in its earlier versions, has a hardcore following) because the growth is with those who are NOT affluent who just out of principal refuse to pay a monthly fee. Sorry, but excecs say lots of rosy things to keep the stock price up and still say whatever positive spin it takes right up to the moment they sell or shut down. It is bad business to talk down parts of your company if you are looking for buyers with the best possible price.
So you won't believe the logical conclusions that R&D is a shared cost between retail and MSO? That retail is profitable with high margins as shown in quarterly statements (~$97 million 2013)? That stopping retail would not only save very little money (what marketing?) but actually kill a high margin, profitable sales area? TiVo is too expensive for the USA? The country where everyone drives large expensive SUVs? Where most children have a cellphone? Where there are ~100 million households paying a cable bill?

Channel Master is burning through cash like every other DVR & streaming startup challenger. I wish them success, as competition is good, but 3 out of 4 startups fail unfortunately.
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Old 06-06-2014, 06:35 PM   #21
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I'm hesitant to commit to a lifetime service contract right now, if there's any doubt to the future of the hardware side of things. If TiVo (as we know it) went away I could see those contracts just evaporating.

That being said though, I never bothered to get a lifetime service for my TiVoHD that crapped out last week, and we had that for 7 years. Imagine what I would have saved! SO maybe lifetime is a better bet even for 4-5 more years of product life...

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Old 06-06-2014, 08:20 PM   #22
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I'm hesitant to commit to a lifetime service contract right now, if there's any doubt to the future of the hardware side of things. If TiVo (as we know it) went away I could see those contracts just evaporating.

That being said though, I never bothered to get a lifetime service for my TiVoHD that crapped out last week, and we had that for 11 years. Imagine what I would have saved! SO maybe lifetime is a better bet even for 4-5 more years of product life...
I've had TiVos since 2001. All lifetimed. These discussions raged then and TiVo was a lot shakier then than now. Yeah, buying lifetime is betting on TiVo or its successors honoring the contract. But it has for 13 years so far.

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Old 06-06-2014, 09:25 PM   #23
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Tivo has a pretty complete and recent lineup right now. The only niches I see that they're skipping is something like the Channel Master, (cheaper hardware, OTA only, no cable card, cheaper service).

And something like cloud storage, like the boxee did.

A company that is strategizing on acquisition would prioritize on subscriber growth over profitability.

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That retail is profitable with high margins as shown in quarterly statements (~$97 million 2013)? That stopping retail would not only save very little money (what marketing?) but actually kill a high margin, profitable sales area?
It could be high-margin, high profit, even the majority revenue...if it has no growth, or has negative growth, it would not be a direction to keep investing.
( Assuming you have other products which are expected to have positive growth into the future )

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Old 06-06-2014, 10:46 PM   #24
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I'm hesitant to commit to a lifetime service contract right now, if there's any doubt to the future of the hardware side of things. If TiVo (as we know it) went away I could see those contracts just evaporating.

That being said though, I never bothered to get a lifetime service for my TiVoHD that crapped out last week, and we had that for 11 years. Imagine what I would have saved! SO maybe lifetime is a better bet even for 4-5 more years of product life...
4 or 5 years? Let's do a little math.

Scenario 1:

Say you are buying a Roamio Plus. You can use one of the ebay coupons and buy a Plus with lifetime for $600 and let's assume you pay $50 for the coupon. You can buy a Roamio Plus on Amazon now for $372 and pay $15/month for service.

600+50-372=$278 premium you are paying for lifetime service

278/15=18.5 months

Conclusion: If you think it's likely you'll keep your TiVo for more than a year and a half, you should do lifetime in this scenario.

Scenario 2:

You don't want to buy an ebay code for whatever reason, so you buy the Plus from Amazon and get lifetime service for $400 using the PLSR code.

400/15=26.6 months

Conclusion: Lifetime is better than paying monthly in a little over 2 years.

Even if you want to get really fancy with the math and factor in the time value of money or include the cost of product extended warranty insurance, it would only add 3 or 4 more months to the break even point. Honestly, lifetime over monthly is almost a no-brainer.

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Old 06-07-2014, 10:39 AM   #25
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I'm hesitant to commit to a lifetime service contract right now, if there's any doubt to the future of the hardware side of things. If TiVo (as we know it) went away I could see those contracts just evaporating.

That being said though, I never bothered to get a lifetime service for my TiVoHD that crapped out last week, and we had that for 11 years. Imagine what I would have saved! SO maybe lifetime is a better bet even for 4-5 more years of product life...
The TiVoHD came out in the Summer of 2007. I got a launch one to go with my three OLED S3 boxes I got in 2006. So the TivoHD has only been out close to seven years so far. Not eleven.
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Old 06-07-2014, 02:14 PM   #26
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The TiVoHD came out in the Summer of 2007. I got a launch one to go with my three OLED S3 boxes I got in 2006. So the TivoHD has only been out close to seven years so far. Not eleven.
Thanks for the note on this. I couldn't remember when that model came out and I was going by the date on my service contract (2003) but I realize that Tivo was listing the start date of my entire service with them, back when I had a Series 2.

(Original post edited to reflect the correct date)
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Old 06-07-2014, 02:22 PM   #27
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Scenario 2:

You don't want to buy an ebay code for whatever reason, so you buy the Plus from Amazon and get lifetime service for $400 using the PLSR code.

400/15=26.6 months

Conclusion: Lifetime is better than paying monthly in a little over 2 years.

Even if you want to get really fancy with the math and factor in the time value of money or include the cost of product extended warranty insurance, it would only add 3 or 4 more months to the break even point. Honestly, lifetime over monthly is almost a no-brainer.
It's a no-brainer UNLESS you can't afford the massive upfront cost of buying the lifetime with the unit. In my case I only had about $400+ to spend on it so the additional cost was out of the question. I'll probably revisit it in a few months and lock it in, but it's just a lot of money to spend all at once for gear.

[EDIT: I originally said coupon cost was pricier, was not.]

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Old 06-07-2014, 02:38 PM   #28
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And FYI I did look into using a coupon, and after doing the math I STILL saved almost $50 buying it from Amazon (with Prime shipping) vs. buying a coupon and paying full retail from TiVo.
Then you are doing something wrong. If you use one of the ebay codes, these are the prices you will pay:

http://sellmoretivo.com/
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Old 06-07-2014, 03:05 PM   #29
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Then you are doing something wrong. If you use one of the ebay codes, these are the prices you will pay:

http://sellmoretivo.com/
Correction: just re-checked my bill and realized the warranty was not included in the Amazon price. Conclusion: it's almost a wash.

Cost with Coupon:
$299.99 for Roamio Plus
$9.99 for first month
$29.99 extended warranty
$45 estimated sales tax
$49.99 for ebay coupon

= $434.96

Cost from Amazon:
$372 for Roamio Plus
$12.99 for first month
$17.68 extended warranty
$33.48 sales tax

= $436.15

Coupon savings: $1.19. Did I calculate correctly? Hardly seems worth it, at least for a monthly plan.
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Old 06-07-2014, 03:14 PM   #30
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Correction: just re-checked my bill and realized the warranty was not included in the Amazon price. Conclusion: it's almost a wash.

Cost with Coupon:
$299.99 for Roamio Plus
$9.99 for first month
$29.99 extended warranty
$45 estimated sales tax
$49.99 for ebay coupon

= $434.96

Cost from Amazon:
$372 for Roamio Plus
$12.99 for first month
$17.68 extended warranty
$33.48 sales tax

= $436.15

Coupon savings: $1.19. Did I calculate correctly? Hardly seems worth it, at least for a monthly plan.
Certainly the ebay codes are less of a deal if you aren't getting lifetime or throwing in a Mini or 2. BUT you are only taking into account the first month of service, and so you are still better off using the code to get the lower monthly service fee going forward. Also, I'm not sure why your estimated sales tax for using the code is higher than the sales tax from buying through Amazon, when the unit price used to calculate sales tax is actually higher under Amazon.
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