Diehard Tivo user - effect of HD price

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Ariel817, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. Ariel817

    Ariel817 New Member

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    Mar 10, 2003
    Arlington, TX

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    I thought I'd post this, not because I'm griping -- because Tivo has every right to charge what they think the market will bear..... but because I want to give my feedback on the S3 price.

    First off -- we got our first Tivo in summer 2000, and jumped on the switch lifetime sub to Series2 when it came out, even though our Series 1 was still working fine. We paid for Home Media when it was a new, extra-price feature. We bought a 2nd Series 2 for the kids, and put lifetime on it, as well. Been a diehard Tivo family, and my husband even stuck the Tivo sticker on our front glass door, so anyone who comes to our house gets Tivo in their face. :)

    So........ the whole Series 3 thing threw us into a quandry. First off, the price of $800 + 200 transfer fee -- that's steep enough, but then factor in we didn't even have an HD tv set yet.... but not that we wouldn't like HD, and hey, it was the one-shot to transfer lifetime... so we spent considerable time, research, discussions, thinking, and agonizing over our choices...

    Here's how it worked out --

    1) We camped out on Black Friday and got a 42" HD plasma TV (way cool, by the way).

    2) We upgraded our cablebox (Timewarner) to their HD box with DVR. It's $13/month, but two cablecards for a S3 Tivo would have cost us $6/mth, so it's only $7/month more than our other option.

    You know, Timewarner's DVR is not Tivo............... but it's not awful, either. Never would have tried it without Tivo pushing us into the HD market earlier than we were ready to go. So the funny thing is, because Tivo held our feet to the fire on making a decision, we got an HD TV and Time Warner's DVR -- but not a 3rd Tivo out of the deal.

    Because -- one, we didn't already have HD - so the decision wasn't just the $1,000 for Tivo and transfer -- it's double that because of the cost of the television as well. And two, multi-room viewing doesn't work, and is an unknown how long it would be before (if) it does work. I think if MRV worked, we'd still get the HD Tivo -- but without that feature, there's nothing really that compelling to get us to spend another $1,000 at Christmas time when we've already spent that and more on the TV and cables.

    Again -- I'm not angry, I'm not ranting and raving at Tivo or anything -- I'm just saying I think the market calculation was off.... at least for this Tivo family. I wonder how many others went through the same process and came up with the same kind of answer.
     
  2. rlc1

    rlc1 Frakking idiot

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    Sep 15, 2003
    Plaistow, NH
    When I got my first HDTV this summer, I knew that Tivo S-3 was coming, but didn’t yet know the price. I figured that while I waited for it to come out, I’d try the Comcast DVR box. I already have two Tivo S2s. Now, with the price being $800, I’m sticking with the Comcast DVR box and keeping my two S2s too. The Comcast box can be very aggravating – has all kinds of quirks, and I’ve already had to have it replaced once. But I just can’t bring myself to spend $800 for an S3. It’s as simple as that.
     
  3. GoHokies!

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

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    I was in your exact situation and went the exact opposite way. I bought my TV in mid-late August, right when the S3 rumors were starting to heat up, but nothing definately was out yet. I couldn't wait until the announcement came to get rid of the POS that was the comcast DVR, (Motorola box, no clue what software, don't care - it wasn't my Tivo).

    Bought the S3 the day after it was announced, haven't looked back since.

    Ariel, I'm not sure that I completely agree with some of your logic - you could have always gotten the S3 and the lifetime transfer out of the way now, and then gotten a good price on the TV during the post-christmas/superbowl sales and run it into your SD TV in the meantime.

    I'm glad that you've found a box that will work for you, like I said above, it just wasn't an option for me. The other variable is that I sold my house that had been sitting empty for the past year in early August, so the rollout of the S3 fell into a very narrow window where I had a good bit of disposable income to go out and play with :D - the $800 would have been a lot harder to bear otherwise...
     
  4. Ariel817

    Ariel817 New Member

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    Arlington, TX
    Well, I can see your question, and it's a valid one.... but that's assuming we'd turn around and be able to buy HD TV in January and the second slew of sales.... which, unfortunately, ignores the realities of Xmas spending (and two children with January birthdays to boot..)

    So.... we'd be shelling out $1000 for HD Tivo S3, but not really able to get an HD set realistically to next May or June or so... at least budget wise... and if that's the case, we wouldn't even know if the Tivo had a physical problem for months (could happen, I'm sure..) And have spent a lot of HD money, and still not had HD... See how that logic works? Again, I think the miscalculation is how many Tivo owners didn't have HD yet..... that's what made the buy-in considerably more steep...

    The other option is to double the cost and do both -- and I might have considered that, but the S3 isn't even a full feature set... we do a LOT of multi-room viewing.. and there's no real noise about when that will be enabled, or even if they'll be able to get it certified.

    I just find it ironic that Tivo got us into the HD market really before we were considering it seriously, and didn't get any of the $$'s out of it....
     
  5. ChuckyBox

    ChuckyBox New Member

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    I'm not sure how you reach the conculsion that because you can't afford it, TiVo's market calculation was off. Do you suppose that Toyota Corolla drivers think because they can't afford a Lexus LS that Toyota's market calculation was off?
     
  6. Ariel817

    Ariel817 New Member

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    Mar 10, 2003
    Arlington, TX
    Actually, we could afford it... if it was important enough to us.... and since we've been fairly early adopters of Tivo all along, I think we are generally part of their target market.

    We've never been part of a Lexus market (or a Toyota market for that matter), so our reactions to their new offerings are irrelevant. We have been part of Pontiac's minivan market, so our reaction to their latest minivans does reflect on how well they are marketing to their base.

    So I don't think my conclusion (which, if you note, says for this family ) was completely off-base... I have a feeling my family is not alone in not taking the S3 plunge as quickly as we did on the S1 and S2. Obviously, plenty of others have, as evidenced by the multitude of posts here. I just thought I'd post the viewpoint from previous Tivo early adopters that are more hesitant this time......... and even more to the point, opened the door to a competing DVR, whereas if you'd said a week ago I'd have anything but a Tivo in my house, I would have laughed at you.

    I just think this is a result that Tivo should hear -- because I don't think it's what they were aiming for by dangling the lifetime transfer offer at me... I wish there was some way they could state definitively about MRV, but I know that's out of their hands and tied up with CableLabs. In any case, it just wasn't an attractive enough offer for this household to take the plunge, esp with the limited feature set.... isn't that worthwhile feedback? Again -- not to rant & rave or be mad..... just to explain our thought process and why the offer wasn't attractive enough to reel us in.

    Funny, though -- The hd digital cable box with dvr has an external SATA port -- how come they don't have a CableLabs issue?
     
  7. stellablue19

    stellablue19 New Member

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    Dec 25, 2002
    I agree, the $800 price tag is really steep. But... (and I know you can't discuss prices here) do some research online and you can easily find a S3 TiVo for $100 - $150 less than MSRP before shelling out full price!
     
  8. jakerock

    jakerock Hey ho howdy!

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    I too have resisted the urge to get an S3. I have the best Motorola box Comcast offers and it can be annoying. Locks up a little too often, has only 15 or so hours of HD recording capability, and generally gets really goofy when you are using the remote to try to do things quickly (like hit 30 second skip multiple times). I can save a few bucks on my monthly bill from Comcast but that will be made up for the increase in monthly bill on my Tivo account. Especially now that they have changed the rates. If I transfer one of two lifetimed S2s, I can't even qualify for a $6.95 monthly rate anymore. (Unless I am missing some sort of grandfathering clause or am willing to prepare three years - correct?)

    I assume the S3 is better than the Moto box, but I am not $900 annoyed at the Moto box. I also expect that a year from now I will have the option of something better.

    I might have thought differently if they had been able to deliver the MRV etc. before the lifetime transfer option expired (assuming they won't at this point). At least then I could imagine a multi room solution that buys me something for the extra monthly fee (forgetting the $900 initial cost of the unit and subscription transfer).

    I don't have a problem with how Tivo handled any of these things. People are buying them and are happy. I can afford one but even with the extreme satisfaction I have with my S2s, they haven't been successful in marketing it to me. I'd rather keep the lifetime on my S2 and rent a workable solution from Comcast.
     
  9. Ariel817

    Ariel817 New Member

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    Mar 10, 2003
    Arlington, TX

    Sounds like our thinking is similar...... I also think the MRV option would put us over the top on going ahead and buying one....

    Too bad the lifetime transfer offer will be gone, when that's resolved. I just don't feel happy plunking down that much, not having MRV, and possibly having a SVD problem now or in the future.

    Haha, thanks for expressing my points better than I did. :)


    However, I think you would be grandfathered on the 6.95 rate after the free year is up, if you transferred the lifetime sub over. At least, I think that's the gist of what I've read....
     
  10. jakerock

    jakerock Hey ho howdy!

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    That's news. I thought Tivo was simply trying to make my decision easier. :)
     
  11. ChuckyBox

    ChuckyBox New Member

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    This is the fundamental flaw in your argument. You assume that early adopters of S1 and S2 and S3 TiVos are all the same.

    You are aware that Toyota and Lexus cars are made by the same company? Okay, change the cars in my previous analogy to "Pontiac minivan" and "Cadillac Escalade." Can you see how General Motors wouldn't give a whit about what you, a Pontiac minivan buyer, thought about the price of the Cadillac Escalade? In fact, if you thought the price was reasonable and were considering buying one, they'd have priced it too low.

    Again, you are making assumptions about why TiVo made that offer. I promise you that they neither expected nor wanted everyone to take them up on it.

    Are you talking about the DVR that your cable company gave you? Those boxes aren't subject to CableLabs control or approval. CableLabs exists only to certify third-party set-top boxes for use on cable systems under an FCC requirement that cable operators open their systems to such hardware. A Time-Warner supplied box on a Time-Warner cable system can do anything Time-Warner wants it to.
     
  12. Fraser+Dief

    Fraser+Dief New Member

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    Nov 18, 2005
    Otttawa, Canada
    Huh? Ariel has the logic problem? :rolleyes:

    Her approach saved $1000 bucks, and got her HD and a PVR that day. Your approach costs more, and leaves you with basically an unfunctional S3 box sitting on the shelf for several months.

    And then after those few months have gone by, you've still paid $1000 more.

    That's the cold hard math that tivo is missing here. Very few are going to think the S3 is $1000 better than the other choices.
     
  13. Shawn95GT

    Shawn95GT Tivo, in HD!

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    Oct 7, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    FWIW, you don't have to have an HDTV to put a S3 to use. The improvement in SD Picture is amazing on the S3 vs my S2s. Yes, it's THAT much better.

    As a matter of fact, one of mine will be connected to a 27" SD TV.

    Welcome to HDTV :). Make sure your Cable box is actually set to output an HD resolution. It's amazing how many cable installers don't bother to switch it from 480i. Also see if you can make the cable box upconvert the 480i stuff to 480p. It helps.

    I bought an HDTV before I ever owned a Tivo. First I put an antenna up and was amazed by HD off-air. Salavating for more I worked up the nerve to order Voom. For a short while I enjoyed 50+ HD channels at my disposal. Voom went under and I went with Cable and a cable co DVR. I later got rid of cable and went back to off-air. Cable cost me more than Voom did and at the time offered about 1/4 the HD content.

    The short time we had with the cable DVR got us hooked and I bought my first Tivo.

    Here I am, almost 18 months since with 4 Tivos active on my account and a couple more S3s on their way. As the 1/yr prepay wears off I'll go down to just the 3 S3s but I don't think it's a bad way to go ;).
     
  14. Forcelite

    Forcelite New Member

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    Mar 18, 2006
    I will not be getting a tivo 3. I have two s2's with lifetime and love tivo. The question becomes how much would the average tivo person spend for a lifetime s3. Right now its $1000, what if it was $1200, what about $1500? I can defiantly afford a s3, but the real problem is that its just not worth $1000. The same type of people would pay $2000 for a playstaion 3 before 2007 if they were into video games. Its just plain and simply not worth over one grand.
     
  15. ChuckyBox

    ChuckyBox New Member

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    I think you must have accidentally hit the submit button before you finished that sentence with "to me."
     
  16. Forcelite

    Forcelite New Member

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    Mar 18, 2006
    A grilled cheese sandwich with the virgil mary on it is not worth $1000, to me. There will always be the few that will pay anything for something, thats not the point.
     
  17. GoHokies!

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

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    That has nothing to do with my logic and everything to do with your factually incorrect view of the S3. The S3 will function fine as a dual tuner DVR being fed into an SD TV.

    I think that you're mistaken on that one, given the number of people that have one. Just because you're not a part of the target market doesn't mean that isn't a good product for its intended market.

    Try coming back when you have a clue. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Ariel817

    Ariel817 New Member

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    Yes, you are right.. I would assume that I am part of the target market. I have the disposable income, the desire to spend on entertainment products, the past history of being a diehard Tivo family -- how am I not part of the desired market? If they can't market to me, how much harder would it be to market to the non-Tivo user at all? I, at least, get the fact that generally Tivo is worth the premium, and haven't hesitated in the past to pay it.

    I know the limit on features isn't Tivo's fault, but Cablelab's. I also wonder if the understanding of how many households weren't yet HDTV equipped came into play when setting the pricing -- because that does create a steeper entry point. Obviously, we were willing to drop a couple grand at our entertainment this Christmas season - but it became a question of HDTV & Tivo or HDTV alone. It wasn't an S3 or not S3 decision.


    I meant to say "ANY Toyota, not A Toyota" -- does that help? :) But again, I don't think your Pontiac minivan and Cadillac Escalade comparison is completely legit.... I think if they came out with a Pontiac Montana (the two minivans I've purchased so far have been Montana's) that's priced at $50k and doesn't even have removable seats -- then I think they missed their target market. Maybe their market could stomach the price increase -- not all, but let's say most... but not if they lost the ability to configure the interior to be most convenient for their family per trip. Also, not if purchasing a new Montana means they have to change out their garage door, say, because a new feature of the Montana works better with some new kind of garage door. Well, the analogy really falls down there and has probably been pushed too far -- but you see what I am driving at (forgive the pun, of course). This upgrade costs more (okay, I'm an early adopter, I'm willing to pay for new), does less (no MRV), and requires additional, related purchases. All I wondered is if all of that was factored in while considering what price to enter the S3 into the market. Maybe it was -- maybe your premise is right -- they don't mind cutting out some of their prior market -- but I suspect that some level of losing the prior market was unintentional.


    Sure, I've had friends and family who never got the idea of Tivo and sneer at the need for it in their lives (despite our fervent and almost fanatical exposition of the wonders of Tivo over the years..) Not everyone has the disposable income or desire to spend it that way. I think the pricing of the lifetime transfer is a way to discourage more transfers -- I'm sure they'd love to ditch the most lifetime subs ultimately that they can. Notice the offer went from free (S1 to S2) to $199. Notice lifetime subs can't even be bought anymore. So I agree that a certain amount of, "if these people don't transfer their lifetimes, we're quite okay with that" exists, but I don't think they also necessarily wanted the, "if these people try their cable alternatives and end up thinking those, in combination with their current lifetime units, are good enough," then that I don't think they would be as okay with.


    Ahh, didn't know that. Yes, I was referring to the box TW provided. Why the double standard? Heck, why the standard at all. I find the whole issue annoying and intrusive. I don't want to rip dvds and hand them out on the street corner -- I want to switch between recording in the living room, and laying down in my bed at night and watching it back there. If I did want to rip and sell dvds, I'm sure I'd find a way, Cablelabs or not. It's been an ongoing issue since vcr and cassette tapes -- and fair use has gone by the wayside, it seems. Anyway, I can obviously hook up to the TW (or other cable company box) and pull stuff off, so I don't see how getting in Tivo's way accomplishes anything.
     
  19. lordrichter

    lordrichter Registered User

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    TiVo's target market for the initial S3 rollout appears to be anyone who will lay down money to purchase the TiVo logo on the latest box.

    Fair enough, since this is the only chance that TiVo will get to sell the box with a decent profit margin, and yes, if TiVo sells too many of them then it is obvious that they did not set the price high enough.

    But, Ariel still has a point and TiVo is well aware of it. For every TiVo S3 sale to an existing customer that they lose, there is the risk that the customer will completely leave the TiVo target market and be lost to TiVo forever.

    I see the car analogy as being all backwards. I am a Cadillac owner and I am looking at the newest offering. It has the shiny Cadillac insignia that I know and love and comes with leather seats, but take away the leather seats and it is actually a stripped down Pontiac at a Cadillac price. Yeah, maybe it has a bigger gas tank, but it doesn't have the automatic sliding doors and power mirrors.

    One can't blame someone for looking at a car manufactured by Toyota given the offering from Cadillac.
     
  20. Globular

    Globular No time to hack

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    Jun 9, 2004
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    I'm with Ariel. I've waited for TiVo to come out with an HD solution before even thinking about HD, and this one is just too much money, and not enough functionality (no MRV, TTG, TTCB, etc) for me.

    Perhaps, in time, the price will come down, and the functionality will be enabled, but until then it ain't happenin'.

    We'll likely go with a cable DVR (from Charter, ugh!) until then.

    -Matt
     

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