Explain Why Lifetime Service isn't a hugely bad idea

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by bengalfreak, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. Mar 8, 2014 #21 of 196

    Hot4Bo Finally an Avatar! TCF Club

    Apr 3, 2003
    South Florida


    I have 2 S2s that are active since 2002 and 2005. They are still working perfectly so the lifetimes of those machines have exceeded expectations.
  2. Mar 8, 2014 #22 of 196

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    If you buy a new Roamio with a monthly subscription, then you still have a 12 month commitment at $14.99 per month. So you still have to pay $179.88 for service. It's easy to get a promotion code to get lifetime service for $400. So lifetime service really only costs $220.12 extra and you won't have a monthly bill for Tivo anymore. It doesn't make sense to pay for monthly Tivo service on a Roamio.
  3. Mar 8, 2014 #23 of 196

    kdmorse Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Jan 29, 2001
    Germantown, MD
    Right here's the #1 reason. Sure, it takes a while to reach the 'break even' point. But once you cross that point, you're throwing money away, and feel like an idiot every month. ;)

    You have to balance the "will I use it that long?" against "how much money will I throw away if I do use it longer than that?" Once you realize that if you like it, it could cost you 3x as much to keep it if you don't do lifetime, the choice becomes easier to swallow.
  4. Mar 9, 2014 #24 of 196

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    What I don't get is the people who balk at the cost of lifetime service.
    If TiVo sold the DVR fully functional (like any other piece of electronics such as a Blu-ray player), how much do you think they would charge?

    I'd bet it would be in the $600 range, so either way, you're going to be paying that much whether you pay for it all at once or through monthly payments.
  5. Mar 9, 2014 #25 of 196

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY


    I have consistently held that when ever someone complains about having to pay for service they are really just complaining that TiVo's cost to much.

    The reality is the market for stand alone DVRs is too small for economics of scale to have worked to reduce prices and/or increase the feature set. If the market for stand alone DVRs was 10s of millions per year and there were several companies making them then we would be seeing more innovative DVRs and/or lower price points, but with the market this small and only one real player it isn't going to happen. In my opinion the only way the market can really grow is if the FCC grows a pare and replaces cable card with a software based decryption solution and requires all pay TV providers (Satellite, Cable, IP, etc.) to work with it.
  6. Mar 9, 2014 #26 of 196

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    No, it doesn't - you are completely ignoring the resale value of a lifetimed Tivo, which essentially covers the cost of service (assuming you get it for $400).
  7. Mar 9, 2014 #27 of 196

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    We haven't upgraded to a Premiere or a Roamio yet, but the lifetime service easily paid for itself on the original 2 S1's that we purchased (7 years and still working when we upgraded) and now 7 years and still going on the 2 S3 OLED's that were the replacements.

    However, if you would prefer to stick with monthly, I won't argue since that will probably mean more money for TiVo in the long run. :)

  8. Mar 9, 2014 #28 of 196
    Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Well-Known Member

    Apr 27, 2002
    I purchased my first TiVo in 2000 and now in 2014, I have three TiVos running, all with lifetime and I have purchased four total lifetime service contracts. I have never paid a penny of monthly TiVo fees, I can't tell you how far ahead I am and that is without considering all three still have resale value and none of the three would have any value without lifetime. Two of the four lifetime purchases were with used TiVos.

    Monthly fees for anybody that wants to connect a TiVo and use it for years would be very foolish, like walking outside once a month and throwing $10 up into the air and watching it blow away.
  9. Mar 9, 2014 #29 of 196

    brianric Well-Known Member

    Aug 29, 2002
    Pennsville, NJ
    I bought a Roamio Pro 8-25-13, got extended warranty. Had to replace unit last month, got extended warranty on replacement unit, good until 2-2-17
  10. Mar 9, 2014 #30 of 196

    todd_j_derr Member

    Jun 6, 2000
    I've purchased 5 Tivos (plus 4 Minis) and bought lifetime on all of them. There is some risk of getting "burned" on a premature failure - but to flip that around, if you don't get lifetime then you're getting "burned" if it doesn't fail. My S1 (which I used for ~10 years then sold for $100) would have been vastly more expensive without lifetime.

    As others have said, the HD is the most likely part to fail (and it did fail on my S1), but you can replace it yourself without too much trouble.
  11. Mar 10, 2014 #31 of 196

    sakaike Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    As someone who has owned 7-8 Tivos since the original S1, and almost all of them with lifetime, let me turn the question around: Is there any scenario in which NOT purchasing lifetime makes sense? The only one I can think of is cash flow. If you don't have the $400 in hand at the time of purchase, maybe you go with monthly while you save up the money and then pull the trigger.

    Other than that, it's not clear to me why anyone would NOT get lifetime. Anyone care to share any scenarios in which going monthly (even with MSD) makes sense?
  12. Mar 10, 2014 #32 of 196

    kbmb Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Good to know!

  13. Mar 10, 2014 #33 of 196

    BiloxiGeek DeleteAccount

    Nov 18, 2001
    I've had multiple TiVo's since the series 1 in 2001 or 2002. Bought lifetime on each and every one. Pretty sure every one of them has paid for lifetime before it conked out or got sold/gifted.
  14. Mar 10, 2014 #34 of 196

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Only one I can think of, I mentioned in post #3:

    And even that is questionable, since no one knows when/if TiVo is going to introduce the next new DVR.
  15. Mar 10, 2014 #35 of 196

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2014
    Raleigh, NC
    Thread conclusion: Even if it may seem expensive or "scary" to get product lifetime service, it makes the most financial sense under almost any scenario. Pretty much the only reason to not get lifetime service is if you know for sure that your TiVo will break down within 2 years.
  16. Mar 10, 2014 #36 of 196

    Joe01880 I love my TiVo

    Feb 8, 2009
    Its not a 1 year warranty if you buy the three year plan.

    With out Lifetime service on your Roamio its not worth what you paid for it. Why would anyone buy your used TiVo at the price you paid for it when they can get a new one for the same price or cheaper.
    With Lifetime service on it your TiVo now has resale value, you might not get back all you have into it but you may get back enough to knock a chunk out of the next new thing.
    As for repairs, all of my TiVo's have been very reliable and short of mother board failure and with the help of kind people from this site I can fix it myself if need be, and have!
    Using your numbers after 33 months the PLS has paid for itself and now your ahead of the games each day forward.
    My TiVo HD with PLS looks and works like new, PLS has paid for itself, my Premiere with PLS will pay for itself soon and I'm content with $99 yearly on my Roamio, for now, always looking for a deal.....
  17. Mar 10, 2014 #37 of 196

    Grakthis New Member

    Oct 4, 2006
    There are a lot of scenarios. I only had my premiere for 2 years. Would have been awful if I had lifetime'd it. My S3 I used for like 8 years I think, and I didn't lifetime it, but for most of those years it was 6.99 a month due to the old MSD price.

    I only lifetime'd my Roamio because I was getting a steep discount on the box + service due to the Advisers Panel code.

    There are lots of reasons not to lifetime.

    In general, technologies flip every 2-3 years. TiVo is smart. They aren't putting the lifetime price such that it's an obvious "do it" or "never do it." They are putting it right in that range where, on average, they come out the same selling you a lifetime or selling you monthly. People get paid a lot of money to do that math.

    Most of you who have lifetime'd a bunch of TiVo's and bought each generation are not making your money back... because without the lifetime, you would have retired old TiVos. Those of you who lifetime a few of them and keep them for a really long time (frequently skipping generations), probably are.

    edit: When I ran the numbers for myself and my lifestyle and the value of the up-front payment (i.e. what else could I do with that cash? What is my future uncertainty, etc), I came out with a lifetime requiring a break even of about 24-28 months. Anything more than that, and it's not worth it. Anything less, and it's an automatic slam dunk. Anything in between 24-28 comes down to just personal preference at the time.
  18. Mar 10, 2014 #38 of 196

    Grakthis New Member

    Oct 4, 2006
    This is such a silly thing to say. It's true regardless of if you bought a lifetime. Both boxes lose value... if you buy a lifetime, you lose value on the hardware AND the lifetime. If you just buy hardware, you only lose money on the hardware.
  19. Mar 10, 2014 #39 of 196

    tatergator1 Well-Known Member

    Mar 27, 2008
    Columbus, Ohio
    That ignores re-sale value. If you have no desire to sell stuff on eBay, then sure, Monthly was a good choice for you on the Premiere.

    Assuming a 2-tuner Premiere, worst case, it would have had a re-sale value of at least $300. You would have paid $99-$149 for it with $399 MSD. After 2 years of $12.99 MSD a month, you paid $311.76 in service. Ignoring the cost of the box since it is paid whether you get Monthly or MSD, the Lifetime box had a net cost of service of ~$88 after selling it.

    As for the S3, after 8 years, you paid $671 in service. Lifetime would have cost $299 back then.
  20. Mar 10, 2014 #40 of 196

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    Feb 4, 2008
    Use case: Tivo premiere with lifetime is around 300-350. Tivo premiere without is around 25. Driving the cost to zero in an analysis is not being fair to the residual value of the remaining asset life. So, the 400 dollar spend using plsr nets 275-325 compared with a monthly plan. I would think a roamio, being vastly superior, would hold value greater over time than a premiere.

    But, people lease cars for long periods, purchase undercoating, and even buy insurance on every electronic gadget. To each their own.

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