Lease vs Own HD Tivo

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by bigcb37, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. Mar 3, 2006 #1 of 33

    bigcb37 Willing Member

    Jun 14, 2002


    Can someone explain why leasing a new HD Tivo is terrible? Is it just because you dont get to keep it if you quit directv?

    For me even though in theory leasing sounds bad, I am not going anywhere as long as Directv has the NFL. The current contract goes to 2010.
  2. Mar 3, 2006 #2 of 33

    mgoblue02 New Member

    Feb 22, 2006
    I am pro-leasing. I called the first day and was offered a good deal...$179 out of pocket after credits and whatnot. I think the upfront costs will only get better after the new DVR comes out. But, I just got my 50" plasma--so I'm not waiting that long.
  3. Mar 3, 2006 #3 of 33

    jcricket New Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Leasing is only bad as DirecTV has it designed because you pay $500 up-front cost, nearly 50-75% of the "purchase" price, and you still pay a leasing fee. If there were low or no up-front costs (like cable), leasing would be attractive, even if DirecTV upped the monthly "lease fee" to $10 or $15.

    If the up-front costs are reduced for the HR20 to $100 or below, then leasing it for $5 or $10/month is fine.
  4. Mar 3, 2006 #4 of 33

    hiker S.o.N.Y.D.a.C.

    Nov 29, 2001
    SF Bay Area...
    Keep in mind that there is no monthly lease fee for the first receiver/DVR on the account. But I agree that there should be more lease options for paying a monthly fee and getting a lower upfront cost. But then again most people could finance the $499 initial cost couldn't they? I guess D* doesn't want the problem of people coming in with little or no investment and canceling out before the 2 years.
  5. Mar 3, 2006 #5 of 33

    drew2k Drew != Drawn

    Jun 9, 2003
    Long Island, NY


    My beef with the leasing model is the fine print, about how DirecTV will only lease 1 HD DVR per account per year and 2 SD DVRs per year. I have two HD DVRs and two SD DVRs. What happens to me when I need to replace these receivers with MPEG4 receivers? Will I only get three and I have to pay full price for a 2nd HD DVR?

    The other issue is about resale value ... If my commitment is up and I take a walk from DirecTV, I can sell my receivers and get some of my money back. With the lease model, I pay essentially the same as if I bought the receivers, but when my time is up, I meekly just hand back the equipment.

    What would be more "honest" to me is to give the customer the $599 HD DVR, tack on the two year commitment, and charge the customer a $30 a month equipment fee. ($5 leasing fee + $25 receiver [$600/24]) This way the customer is paying for the box over time with no "up front" costs, and to me, it's easier to let go and give it back at the end of two years, because I really would have felt like I rented it.
  6. Apr 2, 2006 #6 of 33

    grafals New Member

    Apr 28, 2004
    N. California
    I agree that the DTV "leasing model" is no model at all. Think about it . . . a few weeks ago, you paid ~$500 to BUY an HD DVR if you agreed to keep the service for at least 2 years. Then, on TOP of that, you still had to pay a fee to use the darn thing. But, we could excuse that, because buying the equipment and accessing the service were 2 different things. Fast forward a few weeks. NOW, you pay ~$500 to LEASE an HD DVR if you agree to keep the service at least 2 years. Then, on TOP of that, you pay a MONTHLY lease fee. Then, if you fulfill your obligation and move on, you give it back?

    No matter how you slice it or what you call it, I've paid for the unit. A few weeks ago, everyone would have agreed with that statement. Today for some reason, I have to buy them the unit so they can lease it to me. In the business world, we call that a capitalized lease.

    Their model is that there is NO downside to them, and I buy equipment for them. It's just stupid. Top it off with the fact that I only get a few lousey HD channels anyway, but I enjoy the privilege of being able to install an antenna to get HD locals! I'm surprised they don't charge extra for that!

    The fact is that we've all thought D* was better than cable, because we didn't have to rely on them or deal with them. I could buy and install my own stuff. I didn't have to meet the service tech between 10 and 4 on Wednesday, week after next. But, instead of following the model that got them to this point, they are trying to compete with cable on the same playing field.

    Add to this stupidity, the decision to dump Tivo and go with their own malfunctioning technology and you have a recipe for a lot of lost customers.

    If DTV wants to be like cable, then I'll buy based on price. I don't like Comcast any more than anybody else. But, DTV hasn't proven to be any better as far as I'm concerned. What did they do to communicate this BS to their customers? I only found out about it last week when I went to buy a new second HD DVR.

    Count me out. Sometime after 10 to 4 pm on Wednesday, week after next, DTV will have one less subscriber and there will be some equipment for SALE on Ebay.

    I'll be dumping my shares as well to buy into Comcast. I have a feeling Comcast is going to be getting a lot of new business.

    My new Pioneer Elite Plasma takes cable cards. And the Sony HD DVR/DVD-R is looking mighty attractive to me.
  7. Apr 2, 2006 #7 of 33

    jtb New Member

    Nov 19, 2002
  8. Apr 2, 2006 #8 of 33

    newsposter Poster of News

    Aug 18, 2002
    SE PA
    Paying 500 for something then not being able to recover at least a 'used price' on ebay etc if you decide in a week you hate directv, is a very legit reason to hate leasing if you are a new customer. If they prorated the 500, that would at least relieve some of that stress.

    And even if you aren't new, what if in a year i want to get away from directv or downgrade to just 1 receiver for whatever reason? Again, i can't sell to recover some of my cost. So it's lose/lose as far as i'm concerned.
  9. Apr 2, 2006 #9 of 33

    ssandhoops New Member

    Feb 23, 2002
    Shiloh, Il
    I certainly understand the issue with the upfront lease cost but I do not understand why people are so upset over the monthly lease fee, especially since it just replaces the mirroring fee we equipment owners are still paying. To me, the biggest issue about leasing is you really can't or at least shouldn't hack your leased DVR but what you do with your owned DVR is your business. The upside to the lease model should be free replacement for defective equiment regardless of how long you've had it. I've got two HR-10-250's, both owned and both out of warranty. If they die, I'm pretty much out of luck.
  10. grafals

    grafals New Member

    Apr 28, 2004
    N. California
    I'm not upset about the monthly fee at all. Comcast charges a basic monthly rate, plus an additional rate for the programming pkg, plus a monthly lease fee for the equipment, and a monthly fee for the HD pkg. Because they are getting all that "business" and can't do so without providing me with the equipment, it only makes sense that they provide me with the equipment and maintain it. In turn, I'll pay for the depreciation on the box. THAT, my friends is what a lease is.

    If DTV was saying, "use our equipment for a monthly fee to cover depreciation and we'll maintain it and upgrade it" (like cable), that would be fine. But they aren't. THey are saying, PURCHASE a box from us/for us, for us to use to charge you, and we'll upgrade it (when we get around to it). (In case you all have forgotten, their response was abismal when the 1st gen HD DVR came out and had problems! They denied the problems to most people for 6 mos before ever fixing or replacing one!) That is not a lease, that is a way to dupe your customers into purchasing the capital you use to make money. It is a capitalized lease. In a consumer sense, it is a scam and a ripoff. (Being a resident of the golden state, I'd love to see our activist legislature outlaw such scams on consumers.)

    So, DTV wants me to buy the box for them for ~$500, AND commit to a 2 year contract AND pay a monthly lease charge AND give the box back if I leave, so they can do what? Re-"LEASE"/"SELL" it to some other sucker?

    So, LEASING HD at DTV with a DVR for 2 years costs the purchase price of the box (only now you buy it for DTV), plus the monthly HD fee, plus the monthly DVR fee plus the package price of your programming. Thats about $599+$120+120+programming. For that, I get 2 premium channels, and a few other non-locals in HD. Meanwhile, Comcast PROVIDES the equipment with no up front cost. Then, I pay $5/mo for the box and $5 per month for HD programming, which includes everything that DTV is promising later, only I can get it now. That's about $120+120+programming (which incidentally is about $30/mo cheaper for the full pkg than DTV and includes on-demand).

    Folks, you don't have to be an economist to realize that DTV is screwing its subscribers. They have always sold their junk claiming that it is cheaper and better than cable. Well, for the uninitiated, digital is digital. And $240 is less than $840.

    If I'm gonna have to install an antenna anyway, I can buy a Sony HDD250 for less than $600 or an HDD500 for less than $700 including delivery. Then, if I want to sell it, I'm free to do so.

    I've stuck with those bastards for years, even though my neighbors have been getting twice as many HD channels on cable as me for as long as I've had my HD10-250. I kept saying that DTV was gonna come through for its subscribers and we'd have all that HD programming. Well here it is, we finally get an opportunity to have as much as cable has been offering for over a year now, and we get the privilege of bending over and shelling out an extra $599 to get it. And, we lose TIVO in the process.

    I agree. I'm not sure why all the debate. I would expect ANYONE considering DTV or who would want new equipment would very quickly figure out it is a loser. With the advent of HD digital, cable PQ is as good as sat. And now, DTV service and customer loyalty is just as bad as cable.

    Nope. No debate from me. It looks pretty clear from where I sit.
  11. qposner

    qposner New Member

    Sep 28, 2003
    Vancouver, WA
    Couldn't have said it better myself, grafals.
  12. generalpatton71

    generalpatton71 Open,Flash and clear

    Oct 30, 2002
    I'm just waiting for the Series 3 to call my cable company. My local cable has al the HD channels DTV does except TNT, but they also offer Starz,TMC, INHD1 &2.
  13. SlyDog10

    SlyDog10 Chicago Cheese Head

    Jan 28, 2003
    I'm sticking with it for now, but the gap is very narrow between DTV and local cable. I'm stuck since I'm a displaced Packer fan, so I need NFLST. However, the NFL has been floating the idea of putting games on the net, just like CBS did for the NCAA tourney, that could convince me to switch. I know that option doesn't provide me with HD. We get quite a few Packer games here anyway, but still the things that used to make DTV great are long gone. Really, too bad.

    Other than leaving them for someone else, I wish there were a way to convince them this option is bad (for customers). Too bad we weren't grandfathered in.

    They could've really been the leader had they delivered on a home media center, kept Tivo (or had something truly equal), supported Tivo2Go, and added TNTHD and ESPN2HD sooner.

    I don't know what it would've cost them to put all that together, but it seems they would've earned (and kept) more subscribers by being innovative, than going the other way and making themselves just like cable.
  14. GTakacs

    GTakacs New Member

    Oct 14, 2003
    Fort Worth, TX
    I feel cheated by DTV, no question about it. I movd to a new house at the beginning of March and I figured while I move anyway I might as well get HD DTV. Well I did. I ended up paying $499 for a lease and now my bill includes the lease fee on top of paying $500 up front. I also realized that DTV's Local HD offering is non-existent for HD DVR and I felt screwed. I wanted to cancel and get my money back but apparently after the isntall is done the $500 is non-refundable. It is gone and I am stuck in a 24 month contract.

    I got a consolation prize of $10 off for a year from my monthly bill and 6 months free showtime and 3 months free HD. It is not the best, but at least something. I am actually considering dropping the HD package from my subscription, I get HD locals OTA, HD HBO is part of the HBO package, HD Showtime is part of the Showtime package, I don't care for sports at all so I am paying $10 a month for Discovery HD essentially.

    All in all, I am not at all happy with the way DTV has treated me and screwed me. We will see what happens in the next 2 years (I'm stuck with DTV until then) and I might go with Dish at that point. I can't get cable where I live, I'm too far out so it's only either Dish or DTV.
  15. inaka

    inaka Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2001
    I don't get the pricing. I don't know much about this new leasing structure at DTV, but how can they charge you $500 upfront, charge a lease fee by month and then ALSO have the ability to charge an early termination fee for the price of the receiver? The pricing seems totally out of whack. I'm assuming it's similar to a cell phone contract where usually the cost of the phone is greatly reduced at the time of purchase because of the monthly fee. But paying $500 up front is more than what most people recently paid for the HD Tivo to begin with, so where's the plus side?
  16. grafals

    grafals New Member

    Apr 28, 2004
    N. California
    Update: Just for grins, I called Dish Network to see what they had to offer. I couldn't believe what I found out. First, the guy started going through his lame script asking whether I watch sports, movies, listen to music, etc. etc. Finally, I interrupted him and told him I already knew what I wanted and that I was switching from DTV because of their new lame pricing and because I needed a second HD DVR but was unwilling to pay $599 for the privilege of leasing from them. He told me that they had a better deal. He said I only had to pay them $299 for the privilege of leasing a HD DVR from them. But here is the funny part. He said that they would not allow me to have two HD DVR's no matter how much I begged, pleaded or was willing to pay! Can you imagine a company that won't provide its customers with the products they are requesting at any price? How stupid is that? For a minute, I thought I was back in grade school, asking my dad for a pack of matches! "You can't have that son, you might hurt yourself!" OH MY GAWSH!

    When did idiots assume complete control of the world? Did I sleep through the great moron wars and the morons won? Is this an episode of the twilight zone? It must be, because my local cable company seems to provide the best customer service in town! WOW, I NEVER thought I'd say that!

    Comcast is coming on Wednesday to install 2 dual tuner HD DVRs and a regular DVR. Although they are dual tuners, they only need one connection, unlike the DTV box that needs two. The DVR's are supposed to have HDMI but the hard drive is 1/2 the size of the DTV HR10-250. I guess that means fewer season passes (I record a lot of crap I don't watch now anyway). ALL locals are in HD plus about a dozen other channels and both tuners record HD at the same time. There are fewer premium channels, but I can only watch a few Showtimes at once anyway! The biggest plus might be the inclusion of On Demand. I suppose I can record that on the DVR (?) I also found out they offer cable cards to feed HD to my new Pioneer Elite 43" Plasma! Yippeee! Real PIP! All of this will cost me $120/mo for their top tier programming pkg, about $10 less than I pay for DTV now, with one less DVR. The sets in the guest rooms and kids rooms will get basic plus cable with no need for set top boxes, which in itself is kind of nice.

    The strangest thing about the cable company was that they said they could be at my house any day this week and would have it all installed in less than an hour! And, they are willing to lease me anything I want! And, installation is free with no upfront charges and no contract! But, perhaps the strangest thing of all was that the service rep was available on Sunday, was helpful and well informed. (Why did I switch to DTV again?)

    Whew! I think I just saw the ghost of Rod Serling! "You are traveling to another dimension . . . ."

    (P.S. I don't know if there is any validity to it, but the web is littered with rumors about Comcast partnering with Tivo for their next gen HD DVR. Anyone have any facts about that?)
  17. inaka

    inaka Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2001
  18. nuke

    nuke Member

    Sep 8, 2003
    Satellite is dead. They've now crossed the line into the same BS that made me leave cable.

    I want to buy my stuff. I want to toss it in the trash when I'm not happy with it anymore, dispose of it on ebay or whatever. I want to buy new stuff when the urge strikes me, cause I like the remote, or the color of the faceplate matches my stack or just because I'm feeling happy that day.

    I hate being trapped. I make too much money to be treated like some kind of welfare recipient strung along month to month.
  19. newsposter

    newsposter Poster of News

    Aug 18, 2002
    SE PA
    so besides the 500 you lost is it 5.99 a month lease fee and that's it? or are there more charges?

    basically i'm trying to find out, if i shell out the 500 for a new HDtivo, and i have the top programming package, besides the additional box fee, what this would cost.
  20. Avenger

    Avenger Also Banned

    Mar 26, 2002
    I feel the same way.

    When I first dumped cable and got DirecTV seven years ago, I was really pumped about the technology and the business model. The service costs were reasonable, the PQ was awesome, ande you owned your own equipment. I always felt that this was preferable to a situation in which you paid lots of money for something you had to give back at the end of some specified period of time.

    Then, my DirecTivo came along, and I was in hog heaven! It worked so well for me that I converted at least five other households, friends and family members, and they all ended up with DirecTV service and DirecTivos in their homes.

    I presently have two receivers -- a standard-def DirecTivo, and the HD10-250. I own both units. But I no longer recommend DirecTV to friends and family. The fact is that it has become as big a racket as cable. And cable, for its part, has responded favorably to the competitive pressure of satellite, and has started to offer some pretty darned nice goodies at a price that is now competitive with DirecTV -- not because cable has gotten any cheaper, but because you pretty much can't get into DirecTV anymore for less than about $60 a month. (By comparison, when I subscribed seven years ago, I was paying about $28.)

    This equipment-leasing business is the straw that broke the camel's back. I would sooner eat stewed crap with curry than to pay $500 to lease the same piece of equipment that I could purchase outright for $500 just 45 days ago. What's worse, they've dumped Tivo and gone with their own crappy "wannabe" DVR. I've tried it. It sucks big time! The fact is that my DirecTivos have the highest wife acceptance factor of any single piece of electronic equipment I've ever dragged home from Best Buy on impulse. Neither she nor I are interested in learning how to operate a DVR all over again, and we're not interested in buggy hardware that fails to record when it is supposed to. If I wanted that, I would have signed up for the Dish Network.

    I have a lot invested in DirecTV right now, and as long as my existing hardware keeps working, I'll stay. But when it finally gives up the ghost, or becomes too obsolete to use anymore, my DirecTV subscription will give up the ghost with it.

    Grafals hit it in his/her post above. The Great Moron Wars have taken place -- inside DirecTV -- and the greedy morons won. But I really do think it may prove to be a Phyrric victory for them in the end.

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