How much money do you save with Tivo?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Hilltopper06, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. Hilltopper06

    Hilltopper06 New Member

    Nov 16, 2010


    It's now been a year since I dropped cable and went OTA with Tivo and I love the savings! But, the new Tivo Premiere Elite has piqued my interest. Unfortunately it is only available to digital cable subscribers.

    If I buy an Elite with a Lifetime subscription and subscribe to Time Warner Digital Cable how much can I save by not using their box?

    I remember with DirecTV they used to charge me for HD service: $10/mos, DVR service $5/mos, and I paid to lease each DVR $5 each.

    If I own my own box (Tivo Elite) would I not have to pay Time Warner's set top box charge and DVR & HD service?

    I believe I'd have to pay $3/mos for a cable card. Would I need a tuning adapter and what is the monthly charge on that?
  2. aadam101

    aadam101 Tell me a joke

    Jul 14, 2002
    These questions should be answered by your cable co. The need for a tuning adapter and the cost of cable cards, etc varies by region.
  3. takeshi

    takeshi Member

    Jul 22, 2010
    It's not even a matter of saving money for me. I can't stand my cable co's DVR's. I'd certainly give them another shot if things change in the future.
  4. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Correct. The TiVo with the CableCARD IS the set top box.

    The first card on your account should be free. Whether you need a TA depends on your cable system. They should be no charge. Also, note that the cable company has to provide you a "bring your own box" credit to offset the cost of the set top box they are not providing you in the package.
  5. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH


    I've yet to see a report of anyone saving money on a Timer Warner digital cable subscription by not using a STB or their DVR. I and others here have applied for the new "bring your own box" credit but the typical answer is "the bundle you're on doesn't normally include a STB" so you aren't eligible.

    The FCC sits in Washington pretending to help us but rarely actually does.
  6. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    Your first CableCARD should be free ??? Not on my Time Warner!
  7. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    Having a Tivo doesn't necessarily save you money. Consider that you have to buy the hardware and some sort of service plan from Tivo and then rent a cablecard to use it. Cablecard costs range from being free to $10/month or more, depending on your provider. Deduct the cost of the cablecard from the monthly cost of renting a HD set top box or DVR. Now take the difference and divide it into the amount you paid for the Tivo and whatever service plan you're using to see how long it will take you just to break even. If you're on a monthly service plan with Tivo you're probably losing money.
  8. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    To do the math, you have to know what it would cost to rent your cable company's DVR and what it would cost you to rent a cable card.

    To hazard a guess, I'd say it would take you about 5 years to break even.
  9. JimboG

    JimboG Member

    May 27, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    This ignores the salvage value of a Tivo with product lifetime service (PLS).

    You can sell a used series 3 or series 4 TiVo with PLS for $300-350. Use that salvage value to back out the break even point.

    As an example, if the cable DVR costs $17 per month and the cable card costs $2 per month, then you save $15 per month. Assume a $300 salvage value on an HD TiVo and that would move your break even point up by 20 months.

    You can sell a used TiVo, you can't (legally) sell the cable company DVR that you rent every month.
  10. tiassa

    tiassa Me --Avatar

    Jul 2, 2008
    Again this varies from cableco to cableco, but here with RCN New England the HD Cable box (not the DVR, just the plain old HD cable box) costs $9/mo and the cablecard is $1.50. Since RCN's policy is "if you get it in SD you get it in HD as well" then that's $7.50/mo that I'm saving without having a DVR. Yes, you have to cover the cost of the Tivo and PLS but that's what I like to call a "Service improvement".
  11. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

    Mar 14, 2010
    CableCards and TA's should be sold by CableCo's for a one-time reasonable price. Heck even selling CableCards at $10 a piece still works out much better than the current system of monthly charges that add up big time over months.
  12. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    Don't the cable cards cost several hundred dollars? Or is the cost much lower now for them?
  13. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    On Comcast the payback for a Tivo w/MSD lifetime is less than 3 years, so it's well worth it. And that's not even counting the resale value.
  14. innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2001
    Verizon's data sheet says it is $100 if you lose the CableCARD so I can't imagine it costing much more than that. Also I remember someone posting that their cable company sold them for $100 or $150.
  15. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    That's probably the list price for the card. You can bet Verizon only pays a fraction of that by purchasing bulk quantities.
  16. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Well-Known Member

    Apr 27, 2002
    TiVo sure hasn't saved me any money, it is an expense but I consider the cost money well spent. It is always less expensive to do without a DVR and usually less expensive to use a different DVR than TiVo but after 11 years, I can't live without a DVR whether I have cable, satellite or now OTA. I have used DirecTV and Comcast non-TiVo DVRs and like them well enough but I just like TiVo better and now living with OTA/Google TV, I am getting along great without any pay TV service.
  17. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

    Jul 6, 2002
    I don't ever think I've thought of my Tivo addiction as something that "saves me money" I've thought of it as "how much more bang for my buck" I get, I get to offload programs, manage and schedule online, transfer between Tivos, have an awesome GUI, upgrade and replace hard drives as "I" see fit.

    Saves me money? no, gives me a 1000% better DVR experience, heck yes!
  18. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    Aug 31, 2003
    Negative. He says he is with Time Warner. They charge $2 for each and every CableCard.

    He will.

    While not generally true, at this time TWC indeed does not charge for a TA.

    This is only true if a regular subscriber to the package is offered a free STB. If an STB is extra for all subs of the package, then no credit is issued.
  19. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    TW must charge the same for all customers who use a CableCARD, whether they rent or own equipment. If the STB is not included in the service package, then obviously there would be no BYOB credit for a Tivo owner.

    I don't know anyone who pays for a TA and I'm sure the FCC would like to hear from anyone who does. :)
  20. Joe01880

    Joe01880 I love my TiVo

    Feb 8, 2009
    Honestly i do not think i save a nickle over a FiOS DVR. Especially given i have had a DVR expander die and had to replace a hard drive. Eating repair costs puts a dent in any savings one might have over a cable company DVR. Also with FiOS the cable card rental fee is normally $3.99 a month, also adding to overhead of using a TiVo over a cable company DVR and i use 2 TiVo's. I also use a FiOS DVR i do not/would not pay for. I also do not pay for the cable cards. FiOS DVR's and guide data SUCK compared to a TiVo.

    Guessing a FiOS DVR might cost 15.99 a month, my 2 TiVo's cost me 19.00 a month for service on the 2. I prepay yearly, 129 for the first and 99 for the second which breaks down to 10.75 a month for the first and 8.25 for the second. Add to that 7.98 i would have to pay for the 2 cable cards. Thats brings me to 26.98 a month. Thats is a base savings of $5 a month or $60 a year. Calculating the cost of 2 FiOS DVR's in that per month, so i guess i do save a little. That of course does not take into account if one or both of my TiVo's break down i eat the repair cost and if my free FiOS DVR breaks down i call and they come right over with another free replacement..they break down a lot. FiOS DVR's are pretty much junk. However the newest models are better than earlier models. IMO

    And NO, i would not be saving by using a Premiere Elite. The FiOS DVR (i do not pay for) is in my living room, so is my Premiere. My TiVo HD is in my bedroom so either way i need 2 TiVo's.

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