Everytime I consider TIVO the Monthly sub Fee stops me.

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by davefred99, May 7, 2012.

  1. May 7, 2012 #1 of 87

    davefred99 Member

    Oct 31, 2004


    Several years ago I had a TIVO on Direct TV and liked it much better than the DTV DVR Boxes at the time. I am not longer on DTV as have move onto Verizon Fios. I have used Sage TV with extenders but it has never been fully trouble free so I also have a Fios Motorola DVR to keep my wife happy. I still use Sage for my personal use though.
    Recently I have been re-evaluating all my options and have considered moving to either MediaCenter & Xbox360 extenders or Possibly TIVO. The problem I have with TIVO is I hate paying monthly Sub of Rental fees for a guide and or the DVR. I am very interested in the new XL4 Tuner TIVO and the rumored New IP TV extender Boxes. But I would be totally against paying another Sub Fee for the extenders I would be willing to pay up to $150.00 apiece for the Boxes if they were fee free.
    On the other hand I can completely build a Media Center Box for about 1/2 of the cost of a new xl4 tuner TIVO & and the Lifetime Sub. So once again I get stuck on the Tivo Sub fees ??

    Edited: I already own a Silicon Dust HDHR(2 tuner clear Qam) & HDHR-Prime(3 tuner cable card) thus the cost difference between TIVO & MCE build.
  2. May 7, 2012 #2 of 87

    MichaelK Active Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    i think you answered your own question. If you want trouble free operation then you will pay for tivo. If you want to keep your wife happy then pay the extra money and get the tivo. If you can "get away" with it then spend less and be ready for the unhappy wife.
  3. May 7, 2012 #3 of 87

    daveak Series 3 Novice

    Mar 23, 2009
    Lifetime = no fee.

    If you can build a cheaper box that does what you want then you should. As mentioned above, TiVo (IMHO), fulfills the WAF better than any other box I could build or buy.
  4. May 7, 2012 #4 of 87

    davefred99 Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Lifetime = Upfront Fee ( about 3yrs payback) = Sucks
    If the payback was more like 12-18 mos + the current cost of the box I would be all over it. In 3 years there will likely be something better or more desirable. In the tech world that is a lifetime.
  5. May 7, 2012 #5 of 87

    bradleys It'll be fine....

    Oct 31, 2007


    The resale of a last gen TiVo with lifetime sells for just about the cost of lifetime service... So your your next gen product is covered when you are ready to upgrade!

    People keep saying they would upgrade if they could transfer their lifetime service - funny thing is - you can!

    Sell that lifetimed S3 model for ~ $400 on eBay and you are done!
  6. May 7, 2012 #6 of 87

    MichaelK Active Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    ignore what they call the fee. There is no service fee. There is no guide fee.
    Like every other product in america that the government doesn't regulate they price it at what the market will bear (sadly in tivo's case that isn't enough to really make money).

    Anyway- it's just an installment plan. THe box costs 800 (or whatever the number is now a days) and that is what it is. You can pay ~$400 + ~400 or ~400 plus never ending interest payments of ~20 a month forever. Or any one of another installment plans they have.

    Pull up your shorts- ignore the words involved and decide if you want to pay the premium that tivo costs (whatever they call it). It's really that simple. Words are words. Money is money.
  7. May 7, 2012 #7 of 87
    Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Well-Known Member

    Apr 27, 2002
    You are just wrong, period. My lifetime TiVoHDs although over 3 years old are still worth around $300 each and still pretty good. TiVo plus lifetime service is the way to go and the premium compared to other DVRs is easily justified. I have been using TiVo since Oct. 2000 and never paid a penny of monthly TiVo service, just purchased 3 lifetime subscriptions in total.

    I do see whining about the monthly service and lifetime fee often but it makes no sense to me, no other company offers a comparable product for less money, so TiVo sure isn't over priced.
  8. May 7, 2012 #8 of 87

    rboutin2 New Member

    Oct 26, 2011
    i feel ya in a way. i didnt want to pay the monthly fee either when i considered tivo.I bit the bullet, got a regular premiere, and have fallen in love. I am so happy with my tivo, that i went out and got a second one so i could multi room stream, and watch it in both my bedroom and living room. My mother in law got a cable box from the cable co, and i gotta admit, it is a piece of junk compared to my tivos. I say go for it, pay the fees, or get lifetime if u dont want. Then try going back to a cable dvr, and ull miss ur tivo.
  9. May 7, 2012 #9 of 87

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    Especially since the OP is on FiOS they should get the TiVos. I have two Elites on FiOS and they are working great. And with my lifetime boxes, when a new model comes out, I will just sell my existing boxes to cover 80% to 100% of the cost of a new box with Lifetime. When you factor in the resale price, the break even point is much, much, much lower.

    over the last 4.5+ years on FiOS I've used S3 boxes, TiVo HD boxes, two tuner Premiere boxes and now Elite boxes. Each time selling my older lifetime boxes to cover 805 to 100% of the cost of teh new boxes with lifetime. Lifetime is really the best way to go.

    Although I do have one Premiere on monthly, but that has a low monthly fee of only $6.95. I'll keep using it until they try to raise the fee or an S5 box is released.
  10. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    I was introduced to TiVo by my BIL in 2005. He gave me an S2 for Christmas. I was hooked with the 7 day free trial. I was just getting out of paying off credit cards and was sick of paying monthly payments on anything (other than car payments and rent), and I opted for the lifetime subscription.
    At the time, the cost of lifetime subscription was comparable to the cost of DVD recorders with a hard drive, and as I was looking to upgrade from VCR recording of TV shows, TiVo was the perfect solution.
    Every Tivo I have purchased since included the lifetime subscription.
    Sure, the possibility existed where you could build your own DVR via an HTPC, but I considered HTPC's "high end", and it would have cost me as much (if not more) to build my own DVR.
    To me, it is a no brainer. Cost of building a DVR via HTPC vs. the cost of a Tivo with lifetime sub is comparable. Cost of maintaining that HTPC vs. the Tivo? That is for you to decide.
  11. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    I'm with Chris on this. As long as you are buying the TiVo for what it does today and do not have to have the latest greatest eature then I would expect it to last far longer than 3 years. We've had our original S3's with lifetime now for 5 1/2 years and I don't see any reason at the moment to replace them with a newer model. Before that we had our S1's for 7 1/2 years and HD was what prompted us to move to the S3's.

  12. takeshi

    takeshi Member

    Jul 22, 2010
    IIRC Tivo first came out in 1999. That's 13 years ago or "4+ lifetimes" for something better or more desirable. If you're against paying the monthly service fee or lifetime then why are you even considering it? Prioritize your needs/wants and determine what's most important to you and you'll have your answer.
  13. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    Statements like this are nothing more than saying that TiVo costs too much. Given that deciding something costs too much is a very personal decision I never really understand why people want to post that info unless they don't actually believe it and are looking to be talked into the purchase.

    So my advise is to go ahead and buy it with lifetime its really a great deal ;)!! I have had 5 TiVos over time, 4 with lifetime and have been very happy with my purchases.
  14. jcthorne

    jcthorne Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    The payback is much faster than 12 months. The residual value of the lifetime sub is better than 75% of cost. Near 100% if bought through a multi service discount. Used tivos with lifetime service are easy to sell.
  15. dirtypacman

    dirtypacman Coming and going

    Feb 3, 2004
    As some others have already pointed out - the resale value of a Tivo with lifetime sub is still good. That may be your best option - 2 of the units I have are on lifetime. I pay for others monthly but can drop those if I ever decide the value is not there.
  16. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Well-Known Member

    Apr 27, 2002
    That is the way I look at it as well. With a TiVo Premiere, the basic DVR functions should work at least as well as the best competition three years from now and will likely beat the best competition. I would think a TiVo Premiere with lifetime could be sold at a price that meant the lifetime paid for itself or better anytime after the first few months. In 3 years, lifetime owners are going to be about $200 better off than those selecting month to month. Time value of money changes that a little but unless someone can get a great return on alternative investments, lifetime is the best option by far.
  17. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    Define "trouble-free." I've had as many issues with Tivos over the years as I've had with my HTPC. I have yet to find a consumer electronics device that is 100% trouble-free and any claims that a Tivo is bullet-proof is pure BS.

    Windows 7 Media Center is extremely stable and just plain works as long as you don't try and tinker with it once you've got a stable setup, which is actually quite easy to achieve these days. The OP already has the components necessary to build himself a Tivo Killer so I say go for it. I finally pulled the plug on my last Tivo a couple of weeks ago and never regretted it for an instant. My wife, who has zero patience for anything that doesn't work perfectly, uses a SFF HTPC for watching TV in the family room on a daily basis and doesn't see any difference between the PC and the Tivo from a user's standpoint. If my wife can accept it then anyone can.

    That being said, if you decide to get a Tivo then go for the lifetime sub. It will pay for itself in the long run.
  18. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    Aug 31, 2003
    IOW, you are unhappy because TiVo wil not sell you the box for less than it cost them to make it.

    Boo Hoo.

    TiVo offers you the option of spreading out the cost of the unit over time or of paying up front. Few, if any, other companies offer that flexibility. Moxi sold their unit for a bit more than the cost of a TiVo + PLS, and look where it got them. As it is TiVo is bringing in less revenue than they are spending on making and distributing the boxes. Exactly why do you think they should sell it for even less? The fact the cost is split up into two separate chunks - hardware and service - is in the context of this discussion irrelevent.
  19. rhettf

    rhettf R3T1CAL

    Apr 5, 2012
    Oakland, CA
    How much have DVR's changed in the past decade? Not by much compared to the rest of the tech industry.

    The TV industry is notorious for moving like a snail on technology because they make more money in there current model and right now TiVo is the only thing that truly bridges the cap between the old way of Linear TV and the new way IP/onDemand.

    What more are you expecting from your TiVo in 3 years? In the past decade the industry really just went from SD to HD and while we will be going to Ultra HD in the future its still 3-4 years out. From the peoples experiences in the post above you will pay less money by having a TiVo with Lifetime for 3-4 years then selling it used for a new 4K TiVo Box. Which is probably when I will get a new box myself since the current ones do HD just fine.
  20. GoEagles

    GoEagles Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    The only way I would consider buying/buidling a HTPC is if it were under $600 dollars:

    $49 - $99 Tivo Premiere
    $100 - 2TB Green WD Drive
    $399 Lifetime Subscription

    The dual tuners are at least $99. A 500GB hard drive might go for $50 - $75. A good slim HTPC case is $100 or so. Not including memory, motherboard & CPU. I happened to like WMC, and you have to add that cost in as well.

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