Coming back to tivo, suggestions needed

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by cheezus, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. cheezus

    cheezus New Member

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    Jan 29, 2002
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    Hi everyone! Long time, no see (August 2004, wow!).

    I wasn't an very early adopter, but I did jump on the tivo bandwagon before anyone else I knew, buying a 14hr philips refurb at a good price (read: a price I could afford) off the web. I loved that tivo, but we have since parted ways. I had expanded it with an additional 80gig drive and was loving it, but that drive died after about a year. I had done the upgrade the easy way (ie, format and plug in), leaving tivo unusable. Some kind souls here hooked me up with an image and software and I was able to get her going again. We were watching a lot less tv at this point, and I don't really have a problem with basic quality for most shows, so I didn't bother upgrading again. Then we moved, and having cell phones only (no landline), making the daily call became a pain. I took it over to a friend's to make the call every few weeks for a couple months, but that soon got to be a pain in the butt. I had also been paying monthly (kicking myself for not just going for lifetime, but I was too poor at the time) so I just decided to drop service all together and use it as a digital vcr (which worked fairly well on the series 1). Since our tv-watching was down to just a few hours a week this was no big deal. Then when we moved recently across country, I sold the unit to a friend for like, twenty bucks, and now have neither a tv nor a tivo. We've subscribed to blockbuster online and watch movies on the computer, but honestly, i'd rather have tv back. Well, the reason we moved was for graduate school and now we're starving college students again.

    So... I'm looking for advice on what to get. Picture quality isn't that big of a deal for us -- we sold our old television before moving and I plan to buy a similar one secondhand here. Cost is the primary factor. We'll buy the awesome 5 tuner superHDTV series 7 tivo once all this schooling pays off. The question is: what DVR?

    I've heard that one can't just subscribe month-to-month without signing on to a long cellphoneesque contract. Is that true? I've also looked for tivos with lifetime on ebay, but they seem to border on just outside what I'm willing to spend. I'm considering just going with the good old series 1 unsubed as a digital vcr, but I would enjoy the service -- I do remember being pissed off at paying 13 bucks a month, but at the same time thinking it was worth it. I'm also considering building a mythtv or other homebrew pvr, but then again, expense. I've looked into elegato eyetv as we're mac users, but the problem is that both our machines are laptops -- not ideal for a "home theatre" (in our case, a second hand tv on a milk crate) setup. I don't really need any of the awesome sharing features of the new dvrs... The series 1 was always good enough for me.

    So guys, what should I do? Does anyone have a series 1 with lifetime that they'd let go cheap? ;)

    Thanks
     
  2. dgh

    dgh New Member

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    I would go with any lifetimed TiVo. Most people have gotten pretty close to 100% of what they paid for lifetime when they sell, so it works out to only a little over time.
     
  3. cheezus

    cheezus New Member

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    Jan 29, 2002
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    Well, I'd like to. However, in our financial situation $300 up front is a lot harder to manage and $13 at a time. This was the same situation with the original series one. A friend suggested just putting it on the credit card and paying $13 (or 20 or whatever) a month, but I don't like to carry a balance.

    Any finance wizards want to calculate my final cost of $300 at 13% paying $13 month?
     
  4. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    At 13% interest and paying $13 a month it would take you about 27 months to pay it off and you'd end up paying about $47 in interest. Which means if you sold it after the 27 month mark, and recouped the $300 for the lifetime subscription, you'd only have payed out $47 for a little over 2 years of service or about $1.75 per month. Even if you didn't sell it after 27 months your lack of monthly payment from that point forward would make your overall average monthly payment drop slowly.

    So really if you plan to keep it for more then 27 months or plan to sell it when you no longer need it then you'll end up ahead by going with lifetime, even with the added credit card interest.

    Dan
     
  5. cheezus

    cheezus New Member

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    Jan 29, 2002
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    thanks, dan - i guess that's not so bad and it's what i should have done with my first tivo.

    so, can someone point me to a good deal on the tivo box itself? I saw the series 2 for $50 on tivo.com but that's with 12 months ($150) prepaid service. Does that deal apply if you go lifetime?

    I'm also shopping on ebay for tivos with lifetime. Looking at completed auctions, most seem to go for $250-$300 and some have even sold sub $200. What do you guys think about ebay? I don't want to get a unit with a crashing hard drive that in fact doesn't have lifetime... i don't know what recourse i'd have.
     
  6. dgh

    dgh New Member

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    ebay is only slightly involved with your transaction. Look at the feedback of the seller. Since ebay feedback suffers from "grade inflation", you want very near 100% positive over a long period of time. Each seller can also set their own return policies (if any) so check on each auction.
     
  7. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    25,527
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    Jan 2, 2004
    you can hit the TiVo website and get the 50$ TiVo and 1 year service deal - then at activation you can go lifetime instead and they use the 155.40 and charge the card the 299 -155.40 difference.

    so you can get a new TiVo with lifetime for 350$ outlay from TiVo in that way.
     
  8. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    You can also upgrade to an new 80 hr. unit for $30 more at Buy.com or to a refurbished 80 hr. unit at eCost.com for about the same price as the 40 hr. unit.

    Good Luck,

    atmuscarella
     
  9. cheezus

    cheezus New Member

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    Jan 29, 2002
    E of MT, W...
    stupid followup question. do the newer tivos still support the s-p-s-3-0-s 30 second skip? that would be a deal breaker for me.
     
  10. samo

    samo New Member

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    Do you have a satellite as an option? If you do, then DirecTV has very nice deal going on right now. Basically you can get free install and free DVR with 2 year commitment. If you definitely want TiVo you would have to buy it at B&M store for $100 and get a refund from DTV, if you don't care what DVR to get - then you can sign-up online and get instant rebate (just keep in mind that you may get R-15 instead of TiVo for DVR).
    To get "free install and DVR" you will have to commit to Total Choice at $42 a month plus $5 a month for DVR service. You may also want to consider Dish lease at $32 a month that includes free DVR (not TiVo of course). If satellite is not in cards, then consider buying TiVo from B&M vendor. It is too much of the gamble to buy it from e-bay and even from TiVo.com. I recently switched to direct and I had to go back to the store 3 times to get 2 working units (that is 3 out of 5 DirecTiVos were defective). It may not be typical experience (not even with me, my original series 1 I bought in 1999 is still working), but when money is tight, you don't want to take chances.
     
  11. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    If I were in the market for a new TiVo, I'd get the going TiVo.com offer. Yes ,SPS30S works on them. The only one that doesn't work on is the Toshiba SDH-400.
     

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