How much money do you save with Tivo?

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

  1. innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Well-Known Member

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    Hmm let's see 14 tuners would be 7 DVRs from FiOS at a minimum of $15.99 a month per box.

    This would cost me about $1350 per year on top of my current cable bill not including the 7 external drives I woul have to buy to get the same amount of space.

    I have been with FiOS about 3 years for a total of $4050. I have definitely spent less than that on my setup by at least half
     
  2. compnurd

    compnurd Well-Known Member

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    I balance out. The cost of Tivo monthly balances out how much i paid for MRV with the cable company. i couldnt stand the software from them though so it is wayy worth it
     
  3. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    My HTPC has twelve tuners (eight for digital cable and four for OTA ATSC) and it costs me $0 per month for service and $8 for two cablecards. I also have a single HD STB that costs me $10 a month and a lifetime S3 Tivo with two S-cards @ $3 apiece (they're grandfathered in under the original FIOS rate). Total cost for my HTPC and tuners is probably about $1600 ($900 for the tuners and about $700 or less for the PC components and case). My HTPC case was actually the most expensive single item (besides the original Ceton tuner @ $399) as I wanted something that looks like an A/V component instead of a PC. The same setup with a more modest case and the current Ceton tuners would cost you considerably less.

    I'll wager that my Ceton InfiniTV4 tuners will get me a higher return on investment (percentage-wise) than an unsubscribed Tivo ever will, even with a hard drive upgrade. Used Ceton tuners are going for almost as much as a new one on ebay. If you're lucky, a used Tivo with lifetime might net you about 40-60% of your original investment.
     
  4. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    I've definitely saved money over the last 4+ years using TiVos than it would have cost me using FiOS DVRs. Plus the TiVos have many more features than even the current FiOS DVrs have. The only thing missing on the TiVos is VOD.
     
  5. innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Well-Known Member

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    My TiVos don't cost me anything per month except in electricity and CableCARDs. Also I don't have to deal with the headaches of my HTPC which is why I picked up the Elite and let my roommate use the HTPC. It is nice on the Elite not having to go in and delete multiple recordings of the same show which happens daily on my HTPC. For some reason Media Center thinks new only means to record the new episode every time it airs on many of my series recordings. I also don't have to deal with the pop-up that there is no signal because Media Center took longer to tune a channel than it thought it should. This happens every time it goes to record so in one night I will clear it over 20 times. This is also not counting the times when my recordings fail because the card goes missing and I have to reboot.

    You also have crappy remote tools like remote potato though most of that falls on Microsoft since he is merely working with what limited tools he can. Still it comes nowhere near what I do daily with KMTTG and the iPad app on my TiVo which is another reason I abandoned Media Center.

    As far as your 40-60% number you pulled out of your ass like always, it just isn't true as much as you want it to be.

    Paid $698 for my Premiere XLs with lifetime at launch, someone recently sold some for $565, $630 and $640 on ebay in the last week. Definitely not 40-60%

    Paid $350 for TiVo HD with lifetime and upgraded to 1TB. They have sold recently for $400 on ebay. Definitely not 40-60%.

    Hmm Ceton InfiniTV 4 originally priced for $399. Not a single one sold above $250 recently with most below $230. Definitely 40-60% since you bought before the price drop.
     
  6. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    Since they don't "sell" the cards, there is no list price as such.

    It is likely their cost to replace it, which includes administrative costs in attempted recovery of the lost hardware, not just the bulk purchase price of the hardware.
     
  7. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but you still had to pay for lifetime service. Your Tivos cost you to use the service regardless of whether you pay by the month or a huge lump sum. You're only deluding yourself if you believe otherwise.

    What headaches? My HTPC is rock solid and is as stable as any Tivo I've ever owned. If you're having problems like the ones you indicated then you should consider going back to the drawing board and set it up again from scratch (i.e., a clean install). There are also a few simple guidelines that need to be followed that can cause you some serious headaches if you don't do them right, such as setting up the proper audio configuration in Windows. It's something that's easily overlooked and often not considered, but it can be a pain to deal with the problems that result from improper setup.

    I don't get multiple recordings of the same show if I've specified new recordings only. Multiple recordings are usually a problem associated with incorrect guide data. Tivos have been known to have the same issue on occasion. I used to have issues with missing USB tuners until I realized it was due to a faulty external USB hub. I've never had an internal tuner go missing from media center. If you're having tuner problems, uninstall the tuners in Windows and reinstall the drivers from scratch. Rerun TV setup in Media Center and I'll bet your problem goes away. Any type of instability like the ones you described can generally be attributed to bad drivers or improper installation.

    The numbers are based on actual sales figures I pulled off of ebay for S3 Tivos. I haven't checked the numbers for the Premiere. The bottom line is that you're basically selling the lifetime service and giving the Tivo away for free.

    I sincerely doubt that you paid that much for a new TivoHD with lifetime. I can see that for a used one. If you bought a used Tivo and then sold it as used then you should get close to a 100% return on your investment. Buying a used Tivo with lifetime can actually be a better deal than buying a new one, especially if you can replace the hard drive yourself. If you end up with a mainboard issue then you still haven't lost as much had you invested in a new unit with lifetime that's out of warranty.

    The current InfiniTV4 retails for $299. New ones are going for about $250 on ebay. Used ones sold in the past 30 days have sold for over $200. I bought one of the original InfiniTV4's at the $399 price (they were selling for much more than that on ebay at the time due to lack of availability) but I bought a 2nd one new for about $280 when they initially lowered the price.
     
  8. replaytv

    replaytv gun talk ignore list

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    I have lifetime (or 'evaluation') on all my Tivos and only get programing over the air or via the internet or library borrowing, so my 'overhead' is very low. I have to have broadband internet for business needs, so that doesn't cost me any more. I really like looking at the web using my Tivo.
     
  9. innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Well-Known Member

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    All of my quoted prices included lifetime. Just like you can't use Media Center without paying for Windows 7.

    All of the problems mentioned are common threads over on theGreenbutton.

     
  10. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    Windows 7 comes pre-installed on most PCs these days, just like the Tivo OS comes with your Tivos. Media Center is part of every version of Win 7 except Home Basic.

    And of course we all know that threads posted in public forums rarely discuss problems people are having.;) The Green Button is pretty much a huge collection of complaints by beginners that get in over their heads. It's like watching the evening news and expecting to see something uplifting instead of worldwide tragedies.

    And how would you know what I record? Are you psychic or something?

    And I'll bet you installed it the exact same way on all machines each time. Can anyone see a pattern here?:rolleyes: If you're having the same problems with each PC then it's clearly obvious you're doing something wrong. Win 7 Media Center is a fantastic app, but there is some setup required. If it's done incorrectly then it's pretty obvious you're going to have issues. Chances are there's a very simple solution to your problem.

    Now, getting back on topic, I don't expect to get top dollar for any consumer electronic device when I'm an early adopter. It just happened that the S3 Tivo was the only option available to me when I signed up for FIOS other than their crappy Motorola DVR. I paid $600 for my first S3 (new) and about $350 for my 2nd one (used on ebay). I sold the 2nd S3 when my commitment ran out and I acquired my first Ceton tuner. With no lifetime and only two hard drive upgrades (500GB internal and 1TB external) I think I only got about $110 for the unit. No doubt the 1st S3 with lifetime will fetch much more, but far less than I invested in it, which is expected. Tivos will only sell for about 50% or less of what the current model is going for new (except the Elite). Lifetime does provide a much better return on investment, but like I said, you'll basically be selling the lifetime service and giving the Tivo away for free.
     
  11. tootal2

    tootal2 Active Member

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    my tivoes are lifetime tivoes so i save a lot. i just pay 6.00 a month for 4 cable cards. a dvr from the charter is 19.95 a month. a hd cable box is 10.00 a month. so im saving about 40.00 a month on with both tivo hds.
     
  12. innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Well-Known Member

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    And just like a PC I can buy a lifetime TiVo without any future fees.

    So then you pay for the PC so it isn't free and costs more than just the tuner. See I can pretend you don't mention something just like you like to do.


    Well when the same issue pops up repeatedly and the response is always the same. It is obviously an issue. One of which apparently Microsoft won't fix since the issue has been around since the launch of Windows 7 beta. An issue that Ceton says they can't do anything about because it is hardcoded by Microsoft. Not to mention the other issues like the conflict manager causing Media Center to crash if you have more than 6 show conflicts and try to address them or you have a long show or football game that overlaps multiple timeslots. .


    Nope not at all, but if you aren't seeing the issue then you aren't recording the same shows. Since it happens weekly on several shows.

    Yup I followed Ceton's instructions. I guess I should blame them then.
     
  13. tootal2

    tootal2 Active Member

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    On thing i dont like about using wmc as a dvr is the power use. my computer uses 85 watts doing nothing. But i do have wmc running and recording shows from a tv antenna. When its not recording it hibernates to save power.

    also wmc has no live buffers . But if the Ceton cable adaptor gets to 200.00 i might buy one.

     
  14. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    There lots of PCs that use far less power. Where did you get the idea that WMC has no live TV buffers? It buffers live TV just like a Tivo does. In fact, here's a hack that allows you to increase it to whatever you want:

    http://www.hack7mc.com/2009/07/incr...-buffer-length-in-windows-7-media-center.html

    Yes indeed you can, but multiple Tivos with lifetime start getting damn pricey after the first one. With a PC you have an initial investment (which can be tasked for other things should you decide to retire it as a Media Center PC, unlike a Tivo, which becomes an expensive doorstop). Additional tuners can cost much less than a Tivo without service.

    I assume you're smart enough to understand the obvious. Then again, I could be wrong.

    Or it could be a case of many people making the same mistakes while setting up Media Center (yes Virginia, it does happen). I'm not saying there aren't issue with Media Center as it's certainly not perfect. I'm just saying that most of them don't surface unless the planets are in perfect alignment. I've had 6 or more shows being recorded simultaneously with no problems. In fact, I've recorded 12 shows at once while playing back a 13th without so much as a single glitch.

    If it's occurring all the time with the same recordings, wouldn't that lead you to believe that the issue could be with the broadcast stream and not the PC? Oops, sorry for mentioning the obvious once again. I'm assuming from your statement that it does not occur with the rest of your recordings, correct?

    I was referring to a Windows install, not just the Ceton tuner. Did you run the Digital Cable Advisor prior to installing the tuners and before running Media Center TV setup? If it didn't work then you've got other issues with your PCs that are causing a conflict. I've never had any problems installing a Ceton tuner.

    For HTPC use, I highly recommend going with only a barebones setup. Don't install any hardware or software over and above what you need to use Media Center. Avoid the vast majority of anti-virus programs as they tend to wreak havoc with WMC, especially Kaspersky. Download the free Microsoft Security Essentials and use that instead. AV programs are notorious for hosing up WMC.
     
  15. Sadara

    Sadara huh?

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    +1

    I am not saving money. Don't care either. Dislike the cable co DVRs.
     
  16. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    And that's what having a Tivo is all about.:D
     
  17. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Saving money is icing on the cake. Having five or six DVRs from FiOS the last 4+ years would have cost me an arm and a leg.
     
  18. Charles R

    Charles R Well-Known Member

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    Actually, TiVo retains a great deal of its value on eBay. Especially, if you drop in a 2TB drive (you get back much more than the $70 you paid for it) you'll typically recoup most of your investment (on a few occasions I have made a few bucks).
     
  19. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    Perhaps this is true with the current models. It has not always been the case. Anytime a newer model is introduced at a lower cost than it's predecessor, the resale value of any older models bottoms out. If you check completed auctions on ebay, you'll see that prices for non-lifetime Tivos are usually well below $100 on average.

    Selling prices for lifetime Tivos tend to be all over the place. I see prices range from as low as $199 up to $565, depending on the model and recording capacity. The average price for a lifetime model, either series 3 or 4, seems to be at or below $400. Considering an S3 originally listed for $799 (and later dropped to $600) and lifetime service was $299, that's quite a hit for early adopters. Tivo HDs sold for about $200-250 or about $500-$550 with lifetime, although I believe lifetime jumped to $399 near the end of the HD's run, IIRC. Most seem to be going for about $350-$400.

    I suppose if you take into account the amount of use you got out of the Tivo then it probably evens out in the long run. Of course, the earlier models ended up costing you more per month, but then it was probably in service for many more years, lowering the average monthly cost over it's time of use.

    FYI - You can only use a 2TB drive in certain models, like the HD XL. I don't recall which others can be upgraded to this capacity with a single drive. Older models could still be upgraded to 2TB using both an internal and external drive, although it's obviously going to cost you a bit more going this route.
     
  20. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    You must not record The Daily Show.

    (OK, that's just the common example, and it actually successfully removed today's reruns after calling in yesterday... and Monday reruns are actually the most common duplicates.. but I still do have to do a lot of housecleaning for the to do list for things like this. I say this as someone who has never SEEN a HTPC, btw.)
     

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