I did the math, and Tivo makes no sense

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by AbMagFab, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. Oct 18, 2010 #21 of 157
    magnus

    magnus Tivo User

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    I have 2 Lifetime Premiers, 1 Roku, and 3 PS3s. I find OTA and Netflix to be more than enough for me.

    Most people only watch 5 channels beyond the basic OTA stations (if even that) and so paying all that money for cable/satellite just does not make sense.
     
  2. Oct 18, 2010 #22 of 157
    smbaker

    smbaker Well-Known Member

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    That's why I'll never buy another non-lifetime Tivo again. Better to look at it with PLS as a one-time purchase and compare it to the other devices that were one-time purchases. I'll cede the point here that Tivo is expensive compared to a Roku, but it's also doing more than a Roku does. Apples != Oranges.

    "Refuses" implies insight into Tivo's decision-making that we don't have. They might simply be too inept to implement it. They are demonstrating a great deal of ineptitude with the still-unfinished HDUI on the Premiere. If they can't get that job done, then what makes anyone think they have the ability to implement streaming?

    The DVR model is fine as long as cable television exists. If cable television ceases to exist (which I predict it will), then the DVR becomes irrelevant. It doesn't mean the DVR is bad -- the DVR serves the purpose that it is intended to for as long as that purpose exists. If you no longer have that purpose, then you no longer need the DVR.

    I agree with you that to buy a Tivo for streaming would be wasteful. If all you want to do is stream, but a streaming device and save a lot of money.
     
  3. Oct 18, 2010 #23 of 157
    AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Well, my cable bill wouldn't go down all that much (just CC rental fees), but I'd lose the ability to easily watch shows in multiple rooms (Home Theater, Family, Master bedroom, Guest room, etc.). So I'd have to supplement with something else.

    If I'm going to switch to something like AppleTV/iTunes or Roku/Amazon, then I need/want to eliminate something else. Cable is the first thing that really needs to go, as my math seems to indicate.

    I will probably keep Tivos (at least 3) running for OTA HD only for a while, both to ease my wife into it, and to figure out any "gotchas" on the iTunes model. Or switch to Amazon/Roku if that makes more sense.

    So yes, your point about reducing Tivos makes sense, but that alone doesn't do much to reduce the bulk of the costs, and it makes watching TV way too inconvenient. And more importantly, Tivo is a horrible box for anything but time-shifting DVR recordings. It's awful for Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, etc., so I really want another box for those services, and then there's really no need for Tivo anymore (or in a while).
     
  4. Oct 18, 2010 #24 of 157
    AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Yes, you're right. It's either refusal to implement streaming, or inability to do so. In either case, it's a Tivo failure though.

    And I guess my point is that streaming is all that really makes sense anymore. Recording a show on your own, when it's out there to stream whenever you want, is just silly. And paying the premium for cable, plus the premium for Tivo (lifetime or otherwise) pays for 1.5-2x all the content you watch if you stream it. Go ahead and pay for the 7 variants of "Housewives of *" and every other show you want, and you're still saving hundreds of dollars.

    You're saving money, and radically simplifying your infrastructure.

    It should be noted that a key factor allowing this is the high reliability of internet bandwidth. Otherwise this wouldn't be practical. I live in a FiOS area, so my internet has been rock-solid for years with only one outage ever.
     
  5. Oct 18, 2010 #25 of 157
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I can't see how this is going to work. At least not yet. How are you going to figure out what to watch when new shows start up in the fall? With TiVo I can record the first 2-3 episodes of all the new series and if one of them sucks I cancel SP and move on. But if I had to pay $3/episode for them then I'd probably be more hesitant and I might miss out on something I would otherwise enjoy.

    I can't really see this being a viable option until every show is available, they are all available via a single easy to use interface, and there is some sort of flat rate subscription model so I can try out all the new shows like I do now.

    Personally, if I were in your position, I'd look at the channels I'm recording from first. If you can get 80% of what you record OTA, or from a basic cable plan that only costs $20, then maybe the PPV model wont be so attractive after all. You can still use PPV to fill in the gaps, but I bet it's cheaper if instead of eliminating cable you drop to the lowest level of service available that encompasses the biggest majority of channels you actually record.

    Dan
     
  6. Oct 18, 2010 #26 of 157
    innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Well-Known Member

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    Since most of my shows aren't on itunes that isn't possible. Even if they were I don't have to do the math on paper to see I would be more than my current cost. All you have to do is analyze how much per month your cost would be per show and if it is more than you are paying now it isn't worth it.

    I pay $150 per month which covers all 3 of my lifetime TiVos, my internet, FiOS TV, and my phone. My internet and phone bundle would be around $100 a month so say $60 for cable just to have some overlap.

    At $60 a month I have to watch less than 60 episodes or less than 15 shows a month to come out a head. I have way more than 15 season passes at any given time. My TiVos are lifetime and I already recouped my cost on those.

    Now if I hadn't and had picked up 3 TiVo HDs at $400 each with lifetime, over 3 years this runs you another $34 a month or gives you another 7-8 shows. This brings your total to 23 shows a month. Now even at a discount for a season pass I don't see it being more than 50% of a discount so say it gives you a total of 40 shows a month. You are still less than your season passes.

    Of course after those three years you are now spending more than if you had cable.
     
  7. Oct 18, 2010 #27 of 157
    Chew

    Chew New Member

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    This is my one sticking point too.
     
  8. Oct 18, 2010 #28 of 157
    Mars Rocket

    Mars Rocket Loosely wound

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    Hmmm. No Closed Captions is a big reason for me to not go with downloads or streaming, and then there's the need for high-speed Internet, which costs ~$40/month. My Cable bill is about $80/month, and a quick glance at iTunes shows most of the shows I want to be either $1 or $2 (like Mythbusters). At that rate I could only get 2-3 shows per day before Cable starts coming out cheaper, and I'm still stuck with the stupid 24-hour rental period so if I can't finish something in 1 day I have to pay for it again.

    I have two TivoHDs with lifetime. Far more flexible than streaming.
     
  9. Oct 18, 2010 #29 of 157
    lew

    lew Well-Known Member

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    I'd miss a lot of baseball games. NBA and NHL fans would also miss a lot of games. College basketball fans would miss a lot of games.

    Some of us can't get OTA.

    Internet charges are likely to go up if you drop video. Extensive use of ITunes might result in charges for going over your cap.

    Do I-Tunes or Netflix show closed captioning?

    What resolution? What bitrate? Probably a second class picture.

    FiOS has an impressive VoD offering. Might reduce the number of DVRs some household require.
     
  10. Oct 18, 2010 #30 of 157
    ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    this and my 45$ cable bill makes this model a non starter for me
     
  11. Oct 18, 2010 #31 of 157
    AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Not sure where you get cable, but $50/month + cable cards is crazy inexpensive. And $100 for phone+Internet is crazy expensive. Perhaps you have this backwards?

    My cable bill is ~$130-150 per month for video + cable cards (hard to separate all the taxes). My internet and phone are around $60/month for 30/30.

    My 6 Tivos are around $50-60/month (no lifetime, but its a wash as I tend to replace them, historically, every 2-3 years anyway).

    So total, just for video (cable+Tivo), is $180-210 per month. This is a standard FIOS Extreme HD triple play plus 6 (or 10, can't recall how many single stream cards I still have) cable cards plus HBO/Cinemax. Nothing crazy.

    Anyway, you get the point. Sure, if you live in an area where, uncharacteristically, your phone/internet is more than your cable, then keep cable as you have a great deal. For most people, that isn't the case.

    (There's another side-goal, which is the smidgen of friction involved in clicking a season pass when I see the cost right there, versus buried in a monthly fee, might make we watch less garbage TV. Maybe read more? A good thing either way.)
     
  12. Oct 18, 2010 #32 of 157
    ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    1 Tivo lifetimed + 17 netflix, free OTA, 33 dsl = my recipe.
     
  13. Oct 18, 2010 #33 of 157
    AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Actually, iTunes (for example) makes that really easy. They have a much more robust interface for seeing what's new overall, by genre, based on shows I already watch/like, etc. Much more effective than having to watch commercials for new shows, that's for sure!

    I'm sort of going that way anyway, most likely. I'll drop cable completely, but keep my OTA antenna, and a couple of Tivos (I'll drop the rest - keep the 2 or 3 that have the forever $6.95/month fee). That will give me much of the monthly savings, and yet I can still DVR all network shows. Then use iTunes for all cable shows.

    That way, I can really try out the iTunes/AppleTV or Amazon/Roku for a while, see how well it works, see how easy it really is to find new shows I might like, etc. And still be able to record endless network shows for the cost of keeping 3 Tivos running (still $250/year, but much less than I'm paying now overall).

    Then in 6-12 months, I expect that 99 cent HD rentals will be the norm, and I can dump everything but iTunes/Amazon streaming.
     
  14. Oct 18, 2010 #34 of 157
    AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    I'm also (pleasantly) surprised no one has said something like "just watching Live TV is critical!" or "I need to have CNN on in the background". I keep trying to explain to my family that live news is for the iPad/Internet, not TV, and that watching linear news shows on a TV is almost dead anyway.

    And channel-scanning is a weird side effect of our current cable model. But on-demand is what everything is moving towards, and you don't really like channel-scanning, you're just used to it.
     
  15. Oct 18, 2010 #35 of 157
    ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    Ok, I see your problem now, and yes I would want to fix that :D
     
  16. Oct 18, 2010 #36 of 157
    vurbano

    vurbano Member

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    I watch more than just what is on my season passes.
     
  17. Oct 18, 2010 #37 of 157
    Adam1115

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member

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    :eek: I pay around $80/mo for directv with as many DVRs as I want.

    When I had cable, I think I paid $119 for cable phone and Internet. TiVo was about $20/mo for two DVRs.

    I think you're doing something wrong.... Maybe you should switch to satellite? Missing all sports, having to wait 24 hours then having to download everything sounds like a huge hassle to me...
     
  18. Oct 18, 2010 #38 of 157
    NiteCourt

    NiteCourt Member

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    I wouldn't mind trying a streaming model but the only broadband option in my area is Time Warner and most evenings it slows down so much it's hard enough to watch a flash ad in web site let alone stream video.
     
  19. Oct 18, 2010 #39 of 157
    ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Cable internet can get bogged down by users in your neighborhood within a certain radius. So, a 20 mb cable internet connect can get to perhaps 2 mbs because your neighbors are surfing the net or with something. heavy usage.

    Unlike Cable, DSL is your private internet connection which is not shared with anyone else.
     
  20. Oct 18, 2010 #40 of 157
    innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Well-Known Member

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    I have FiOS also. Triple Play was $119.99, now $124.99 which includes the 25/25, freedom essentials, and Extreme HD. I have 3 CableCARDs at $3.99 each which brings me to around $140-150 a month after taxes and fees. FiOS Double Play is 79.99 for 25/25 and Freedom essentials which comes out to around $95 after taxes, making it $55 for my cable and CableCARDs if I were to drop cable. https://www22.verizon.com/residential/bundles/overview#fios

    I am also on my 3rd time of Free HBO/Cinemax in a row since they keep offering it for free online 3 months at a time.

    It sounds like you are on an old plan or no longer under contract since 30/30 isn't offered anymore. 20/5 went to 25/15 and then to 25/25 and the various 30 options went to 35/35 and became available as part of the Ultimate bundle since you couldn't bundle it previously. The Ultimate bundle runs $139.99, includes 35/35, Epix(varies per market since some also get or used to get Showtime), Red Zone, and Ultimate HD. It sounds like you need to review your Verizon bill compared to what they currently offer.

    I replace mine also, but I am so far ahead since I have always made money selling my lifetime units to upgrade. The only time I didn't was when I foolishly paid monthly which I am still kicking myself over.
     

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