Goodbye TiVo

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by skiajl6297, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. Jan 5, 2012 #121 of 172
    TheFeaz

    TheFeaz New Member

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    I'm not going to get into a whole discussion on Tivo hacking, out of respect for the moderators, but I have to say, that while I'm sure that somehwere out there, anything is probably going on, the bulk of what I've seen on hacking Tivo really has more to do with cool features (like FTP and web interface), and just understanding the Tivo architecture. I don't ever recall seeing anything about stealing the service. Of course, I also wasn't looking for any of that.. I was personally perfectly happy to pay Tivo for a service I want.

    As far as a comment back there somewhere about open-source being taboo for the CableLabs license, that's too bad. Of course, it's probably a pretty good indication that CableLabs encryption algorithm must be pretty weak, because open-source software isn't inherently insecure at all.
     
  2. Jan 5, 2012 #122 of 172
    TheFeaz

    TheFeaz New Member

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    Sorry... I hate alphabet soup... I assme TCF is the Tivo Community Forums... Who is DDB?
     
  3. Jan 5, 2012 #123 of 172
    sathead

    sathead Member

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    It's that "other" TiVo website...
    Just do a Google search for "TiVo hacking" and it will be listed in the top five results.
     
  4. Jan 5, 2012 #124 of 172
    TheFeaz

    TheFeaz New Member

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    Oh... I've been there before. :) Thanks. They seem pretty much on th elevel, from what I had seen, but any way, we won't discuss. :) Thanks for clearing up the alphabet soup though. :)
     
  5. Jan 5, 2012 #125 of 172
    wmhjr

    wmhjr Guest

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    I know this is an old post, but just stumbed into it.

    You're paying more than $200 a year for something you don't own. Tivo service.

    The argument was much stronger before Tivo raised rates for Premiere series boxes. Let's do the math, shall we?

    Tivo service for a single Tivo Premiere is $19.95/month. Now let's add in the cablecard rental. That's $3.95/month with Fios for example. So, that's
    $268.80 per year. Now, let's add in the purchase price and potential replacement of the Tivo hardware.

    OTOH, Comcast here charges $15.95/month - period. That's $191.40/year. IOW, it is $95.40 LESS per year not including the up front cost of the Tivo or the potential repair/replacement cost.

    If you're a new customer with FiOS, you get a FREE DVR and a Free connected HD set top box for as long as you're at the same address. Additional DVRs are $19.95/month at the very most. No purchase price, no cablecard rental.

    If you don't have a Premiere, then the increased Tivo cost is not as dramatic, however I can't come up with a single scenario where once you include the Tivo service fees and the cablecard rental along with at least SOME amount noted for buying and replacing the Tivo, you don't always always always pay more to subscribe to Tivo.

    I'm not bashing Tivo either, but let's be clear. People complaining about the "rental cost" of a provider DVR but ignoring the monthly Tivo service fees are not being honest. Right now, DVR service is becoming far more of a commodity. The value add that Tivo provides is less and less distinctive than it once was, the providers continue to drop their DVR costs, and Tivo continues to increase their costs. Anybody with any economics or business experience can see that this can lead to short term revenues at the expense of long term canibalization. I fear it's not a pretty picture for Tivo over the long term. Take it a step further. Tivo is not bidirectional for provider content (no Cablecard 2.0 in the forseeable future at least) so there is some functionality that we'll never get that is free for the cable dvr users. I'm thoroughly unimpressed with Tivo implementation of Netflix (who has already been their own enemy to begin with) and Amazon (Tivo Premiere pixelation and poor quality that does not exist with S3/HD typically). IPTV is becoming more and more mainstream. See the trend?
     
  6. Jan 5, 2012 #126 of 172
    bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

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    Frankly i think you are a fool with your money if you are paying $19.95/month to TiVo.

    Lifetime service... I wouldn't ever consider owning a TiVo without it.

    If you pay service fees for TiVo then don't expect your TiVo to have any residual value and don't expect to find any savings... (my S3 is still worth ~ $300)

    Also, don't complain that your TiVo is expensive - you are the one that selected a plan that by definition quickly costs you more money.

    If my lifetime service was $400 and my TiVo has a residual value of $300 with lifetime - I pay for the service within the first year. If I decide to upgrade I can either sell my TiVo to offset the cost or move it to another TV. I now have a house full of TiVo's without a service fee.

    Personally i can't think of a compelling reason for anything but a lifetime service. You can return the unit in 30 days for a refund and if you don't think you will use it for at least a year - you probably shouldn't purchase the unit anyway.

    (a non-lifetime S3 is a door stop and is probably worth less then $25)
     
  7. Jan 5, 2012 #127 of 172
    innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Well-Known Member

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    Nope I bought lifetime and have on every TiVo I have owned other than my original Series 1 and 2. I have also already covered every dollar I have spent on TiVo so at this point it is just savings for me.
     
  8. Jan 5, 2012 #128 of 172
    TheFeaz

    TheFeaz New Member

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    Your numbers are right, of course, but your conclusion is based on the assumption that one pays month-to-month for Tivo for its full useful life. People who do THAT are not (or certainly should not be) the ones ranting about not wanting to perpetually "rent" stuff, because that's essentially what you're doing. Lifetime service is really the only way to go, in my opinion, since you're already making a commitment to a piece of hardware that's useless without the service. With product lifetime service, you get three benefits, the way I see it:

    1) Reduced monthly cost, perpetually reduced depending on how long you actually keep the product and use it;

    2) Product and service / content that you do, for all intents and purposes, "own" (e.g., no monthly bil); and

    3) retained value. When you buy a Tivo, you have a physical product-- an asset, a depreciating asset, like anything else, but an asset nonetheless. When you buy a month of service for $19.95 (or $1.95, for that matter), that purchase only has value for the month that it's effective. After that, it no longer has any value. Your lifetime service purchase however not only has value when you use it, but has an inherent value of its own so, for example, if you go to sell your four-year-old Tivo on eBay, it's worth considerably more with lifetime service, perhaps nearly the amount your paid for lifetime service to begin with. That means you would net a service cost of $0 for four years, having "spent" only the cost of the Tivo unit which, granted you didn't get anything for in this scenario, but then what would you really expect to get out of a 4-year-old Tivo anyway? And how much did you spend at $19.95 a month for those four years?

    I too think this was a dumb and short sigted move on their part.

    This is why I'm concerned that Tivo is fast on its way to becoming irrelevant. They won't be the first pioneer to end up dying at the hands of their competitors (or their own suicide, such as the case may be.) I see a company (Tivo) who has learned that it can live for quite a while on the "fat" of its residuals. Those will keep coming in for quite a few more years, and they certainly haven't lost their following... yet.

    Take a look around though in the next 2-1/2 - 4 years, as the current wave of subscription contracts and lifetime service lifespans are running out. If you don't see Tivo making some serious headway into the market with newer technologies or finding a niche that the CATV and sat companies can't beat them at, then I'll show you a company who will go the way of the Divx by 2020.
     
  9. Jan 5, 2012 #129 of 172
    TheFeaz

    TheFeaz New Member

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    Got my new Dish system in yesterday... Loving it so far. Tivo and Dish have some (bad) history, as I understand it, but I think they'd do well to learn from each other, and make better friends than enemies. As anyone who's followed me knows, I had / have no issues w/ Tivo, but it became irrelevant when my CATV operator put restrictive blocks on every channel and I can't move anything off the Tivo HDD to longer-term storage, so I dumped the CATV company and, unfortunately, the Tivo along with it, since it won't work with Charlie. FYI, here are some things about Dish that I'm loving (always loved Dish when I had the Dish 500 years ago...)

    1) MRV and it actually works;

    2) Ability to watch programs on my PC, both in the house and over the Internet;

    3) Nice integration w/ Blockbuster instant videos (similar to what Tivo has for Netflix as far as I can tell). The Blockbuster app on Tivo is worthless as the rental rates are ripoff;

    4) Nice integratoin with Internet TV

    5) Good guide / search features (Sorry Charlies, still not as nice as my Tivo though); INFINITELY better than cable;

    6) Learning remote - This would really be a cool feature in the next-gen Tivo- My sat box will download all the programming codes I've set on my remote, and my remote will download all of my preferences (i.e., fav channel list, timers, etc.) from my STB. If one or the other ever dies, I can restore a lot of my settings.

    7) The ability to hook up an external HDD. I haven't done this yet, but all you do is plug it into the USB. I doube the file formats are useful on another media device, but who cares? As long as I can watch them from my Dish box, and swap out the EHD wheenver I want, I have unlimited storage, which is all I am asking for.
     
  10. Jan 6, 2012 #130 of 172
    wmhjr

    wmhjr Guest

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    Actually, I totally disagree with you. For those that got into the lifetime service early and were able to transfer it to different units, fine. However, since Lifetime is now only "lifetime of that unit" to me it's worthless. It only BARELY pays for itself now in about 2 years. That is without considering the cost of cash. Meaning, you've paid up front so based now on the cost of cash, it's really closer to 2.5 years at a minimum.

    While in the past this may also have made at least a little sense, to me it also makes zero sense because I see a change in how we consume content coming. Far more IPTV, streaming, etc where Tivo is could be irrelevant. Keep in mind that I'm not talking about the people on this forum (many of which would never in their entire lives say a single bad word about Tivo for fear of being struck by lightening from the Tivo icon). I'm talking about the market, because Tivo can't survive on just forum members. Sorry, but true. Totally true. And Johnny in the suburbs ain't gonna spend $400 for lifetime on a box that he just spent $100 minimum along with monthly rental fees for a cablecard when Verizon is handing him a box for free.

    Honestly, unless you're still running Series 2 units, I would put up the numbers comparing your costs to a new Verizon customer running a totally free DVR and set top box any day.

    I don't expect agreement here, as more people here will find any reason to support Tivo than not. I also like Tivo. But I have to say, the value add for me diminishes every single month as providers catch up. I think that in the mid term Tivo had better REALLY hook up some MSO deals on a much larger scale or they're in trouble. As for the long term, well, I just don't see a valid revenue stream there. Too much change, and the content delivery is changing completely. Who would have thought there would even BE a Hulu or Amazon streaming 15 yrs ago (not that downloading Amazon HD content actually works with a premiere right now....). Tivo was the king of conventional TV DVRs but conventional TV is going away fast.
     
  11. Jan 6, 2012 #131 of 172
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    In their last statemnet TiVo was predicting they will exceed 4 million subscribers worldwide by the end of 2014. This will be due mainly from their cable company contracts they are implementing like RCN, Virgin , Charter, etc.
     
  12. Jan 6, 2012 #132 of 172
    innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Well-Known Member

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    Current FiOS subscriber so no option to get a HD DVR for free for life.

    As for as costs, I have already covered and recouped my cost for my hardware and at this point it is all just savings.
     
  13. Jan 6, 2012 #133 of 172
    TheFeaz

    TheFeaz New Member

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    I agree with most of what you've said here, but I also must point out that some of it represents a sad reality in the way in which the modern consumer has been "taught" to... Well, how to be "good consumers", which is NOT synonomous with being a "responsible" consumer.

    I don't like these fallacious comparisons with consumer products (as opposed to business assets) because it represents an apples to oranges comparison. There are financial reasons in a business to lease a car, for example, over buying it, because leasing leaves capital available to invest in another asset, one that will (presumably) perform, rather than depreciate, as the car will, leased or not. Consumer economics, what I'll call "home economics" is somewhat different. Yes, a portion of our income we (should) invest in performing assets, but most of it is simply "spent". The money I "save" by spending $19.95 a month for service over the money I "spend" for LTS is not money saved at all-- It is simply money I spend for one thing instead of another. That is of course unless I'm charging the LTS on a 19% interest credit card and paying over time, but that's a whole other discussion.

    LTS is no more or less of an asset than a $19.95 month worth of service. The difference is that the value of the former doesn't instantly evaporate (although you could argue that it is worth "something less" a month later, since it's tied to the lifetime a product with a finite lifespan, although the true lifespan of that product is somewhat subjective). LTS does however retain a value over time. If you want to talk about the cost (or value) of money, then consider a $200 Tivo purchased two years ago w/ LTS (I think another $200?) The physical asset is nearly worthless (I wouldn't give you much for it), but the LTS attached to it has value. I would prob. buy it from you for $200. This means you would recover 100% of your expenditure for LTS after having enjoyed it and benefited from it over the useful life of your Tivo unit (useful to YOU), plus be able to buy new equipment (and another LTS agreement) at a discounted rate. I, in turn would enjoy the benefit of your used Tivo, perhaps for years to come, but even if only for a year, I would still only be out the $200, the approximate cost of service I would have had to subscribe to anyway, had I purchased a new unit of my own (which would have likely cost me more than the $200 I paid you for your used one, including LTS). Now, as a Tivo owner, albeit a used Tivo owner, I, too am eligible for the service discounts and upgrade that you were eligible for, so now I can buy a new Tivo and another LTS agreement for it at a discounted rate. Both you and I got value from the LTS that far exceeded the "cost" of the service, when compared to what we would pay by buying it monthly over the total term and real lifespan of the original Tivo unit (3 years, in this example, and many of us have units that have lived usefully for much longer.)

    This little scenario is one of very few win-win-win scenarios that I really like to see, but don't see very often, where EVERYBODY comes out ahead-- You do, because you basically got 2 years of services for free; I did, because I benefited from a substantial discount without having to front the cost of the purchase of new equipment, and Tivo did, because they got to sell brand new products to both of us, and even the used, pre-paid product that generated no direct revenue to Tivo (through your sale to me), ended up generating a new sale and a new service agreement for them. If that sounds far fetched, bear in mind that is VERY much how I ended up getting hooked up with Tivo in the first place. I can promise you that had it not been for the availability of LTS, I would never have bought a Tivo, let alone four of them as I now have, all with LTS. In fact, I used to bash the whole notion of Tivo before I knew that option was even available.

    Tivo becoming irrelevant is a big concern I have for them long-term, as well. This was one place I agreed with you 100%.

    Well, take it easy there.. But seriously I do know what you're talking about. Tivo really has adopted quite a following, and that sometimes tends to blind people to what the market really demands. Tivo is likely to join the ranks of the Pontiac Aztek, another product that was loved by its owners and followers, but failed in the market nonetheless.

    Well, if all your "Johnny" wants is a DVR, probably not, but if Tivo can make the idea of a total, integrated streaming home media package take hold, then Johnny might be VERY interested. The trouble is that right now, that's anyone's game. You've got the CATV companies (at a SEVERE disadvantage, IMHO, because they're working with old equipment that they're trying to squeeze every bit of useful life out of an obsolete asset.), Google TV, the sat companies, and other TIvo knock-offs who, although late entering the game, should not be discounted too quickly because at least they, unlike Tivo, are not (yet) set in their ways and may be poised to jump on trends that will define the market of the future. I haven't totally written Tivo off in this area yet, but as I said in another posting, you'll be able to pretty much set their lifespan by what happens in the next 2-1/2 years.

    I don't think that people here will "find any reason to support Tivo". Although some may, I think this is more about people here being enthusiasts who believe in a product that we like. Believing in it doesn't mean we'll stand behind every dumb move Tivo makes, but it does mean we believe in the POTENTIAL for the product and the company. Whether Tivo lives up to that potential or not is up to Tivo. We shall see. In the meantime, I still believe in their potential.
     
  14. Jan 6, 2012 #134 of 172
    chelman

    chelman Member

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    I understand you and many times I've felt the frustration of being stuck with a product that could be better.
     
  15. Jan 6, 2012 #135 of 172
    bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

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    @WMHJR

    And you completely disreguard the residual value of the lifetime service. I have three boxes... An early S3, and upgraded HD and a Premier all with lifetime... I could go on ebay and get about 1k for the lot.

    Cost of cash? realy??? In home electronics? I purchased one unit at a time and now have three TV's with active lifetime TiVo boxes on them... You are going to tell me paying $60 a month to TiVo I would be in any way saving money?

    Yes I do pay verizon for my cable cards... This is one reason I am considering selling my S3 unit - did I mention for $300 - and upgrading it to a single card Premier. For what $150 total? But hey - I have that option

    I think you might want to go take home economics again.
     
  16. Jan 6, 2012 #136 of 172
    zalusky

    zalusky Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I just bought a Premiere Elite $499
    Subtract 10% for mobile discount = $450
    Subtract $90 for reward zone points = $360
    Bought lifetime at $399 = $759
    Sold Tivo S3 with lifetime for $379 = $380
    Saved paying for one cable card $1.10 per month
    I also get a credit for customer owned equipment $2.50

    So I think the payback is less than two years.
     
  17. Jan 6, 2012 #137 of 172
    wmhjr

    wmhjr Guest

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    Rather than quote ad nauseum, let me answer a few of the comments made above. I understand that many (most) here will not agree - that's the spice of life.

    1) Cost of cash in terms of SERVICE FEES and not consumer electronics. IMHO, for newer subs, all the lifetime service does is spread out expected lifespan of service fees over a couple years. THAT is when you begin to see savings. Because it is restricted to the unit it's tied to, it means lifetime with that particular product, which over time becomes more or less obsolete and beyond its service life from a component perspective. Perhaps for some people, that has value. For others - including a massive amount of this market, it has zero. Zero appetite, and zero value. It is subjective as opposed to objective. I don't have confidence that my Tivo HDs or my Elite will last much longer than 2-3 yrs, so why in the world should I pay those fees up front? Neither do I have any confidence whatsoever that the residual value will continue to be held. I'd bet if you asked somebody with a condo in San Francisco 5 yrs ago whether they thought their property values would decline 40% they'd call you crazy. What about today? Not so nuts, huh?

    2) The market is rapidly changing. And I mean rapidly. 10 yrs ago you could watch NOTHING streaming on IP. Today you can watch "almost" everything. More and more content is IP based. Now there are even IP delivered only series and programs. More integration of cloud based content into the TV as a "selling point" (even though even new TVs do the same thing). You don't see these changes? Exactly what advantage does Tivo bring to this space? They don't have the content. They don't control the access. They don't control the UI. They don't control the delivery.

    Look at todays kids and the 20something generation. No landline phones. It's all cell. More and more they have no cable period. It's all IP based. Folks, we're not going to be here forever. The market is changing.

    Also, a couple of the MSOs are actually best prepared to deal with this. Verizon is the top of that short list, but even they can't lay claim to the new market.
     
  18. Jan 6, 2012 #138 of 172
    Torgo

    Torgo Member

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    I pay $0 for my cablecard on Comcast, and I get a $2.95/mo credit for bringing my own device. I paid $60 for my premiere (right before they went to the $19.99/mo pricing.
    If I'm not breaking even ($99/year for service), I'm pretty damn close, and don't have to put up with the Comcast shitbox DVR.

    winning
     
  19. Jan 6, 2012 #139 of 172
    unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Dude, it ain't being "too hot".

    It ain't volume.

    It ain't amplitude.

    It ain't level.

    IT'S COMPRESSION

    It's what top 40 AM radio stations did back in the '60s to stand out as the loudest thing as you tuned across the dial. You don't overmodulate, that just sounds bad and makes the FCC think about taking you off of the air.

    You squash the dynamic range.

    It doesn't actually make it louder. The peaks aren't any higher than they were. But the rest is a lot closer to the peaks.

    So it seems louder, but you can point to the meter and say "See, it never goes into the red".

    And it's the reason for "listener fatigue".

    Think of it as the audio equivalent of typing all uppercase.

    None of the letters are bigger than uppercase letters in that font and size are.

    But none of them are smaller, either.
     
  20. Jan 6, 2012 #140 of 172
    bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

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    http://www.ebay.com/itm/TiVo-Series...713?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item256b1109e9

    This TiVo S3 is sitting at about $278 in actual bids as of this post with similar specs to mine. I am going to list it in a couple of days for my next upgrade!

    Like I said, I think I can get near $300 for that "valueless" service I paid for.

    S3 with upgraded 1 TB Drive (origional drive included)
    Wifi dongle
    Actual Shipping

    I can get a new Premier for $499 ($99 box, $399 service) so $200 out of pocket!

    I purchased the TiVo in December 2006 for Christmas - that is 6 years of use. I am trying to remember, but I think $300 was what I paid for lifetime in 2006. So that is a pretty good return on your dollar in my opinion.

    Oh, non-lifetime boxes are selling for ~$30
     

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