New Tivo Price Plans - No More Lifetime + Responses to Summary

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by lajohn27, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. Mar 10, 2006 #661 of 1393
    plowsterbabe

    plowsterbabe Indentured Servant

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    This thread has just exploded, and I apologize if this was pointed out since I don't have time to review every post (it's coffee break time!)

    I have a Series 2 box that has a Lifetime subscription on it, and I've had the box for 18 months. I truly enjoy the TiVo experience and it's made it worthwhile for me to continue having cable, which I was on the verge of canceling before I got my TiVo.

    One thing that I've always wondered, though...if Lifetime subscribers are a financial "burden" on TiVo, why isn't a system made that's somewhat analogous to how computer operating systems are upgraded? Consider Lifetime to ensure that you will keep the basic scheduling and features that are on the system when you purchase it. You will receive bug fixes for that generation of software. If new software is created that provides awesome new functionality, make that an option to purchase for a reasonable upgrade price. This would be mutually beneficial--provide an incentive for TiVo to create and develop new features that I find compelling enough to upgrade for as well as provide for additional revenue off of Lifetime subscribers.

    To me, this type of model makes sense. I have a Mac that happily runs 10.3. I can pay the upgrade to 10.4 if I want to, but on that particular machine, there's no pressing need.
     
  2. Mar 10, 2006 #662 of 1393
    classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    Don't surf that way. At least use the guide. At most, surf the NPL for something to watch.

    If you have antenna yes. If you have cable perhaps.

    The "changeover" obligated by the FCC only applies to OTA transmissions, not cable, not hardware (apart from anything that tunes analog TV requiring a digital tuner), anthough digital cable may be affected.

    The Series 3 will directly tune digital cable, eliminating both concerns.
     
  3. Mar 10, 2006 #663 of 1393
    classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    Apparently not enough though to makeit worth it for them to keep Lifetime on.
     
  4. Mar 10, 2006 #664 of 1393
    mtmra70

    mtmra70 Hire Me TiVoPony

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    I'm sorry, but your logic is not accepted here. Please try to sell this common sense elsewhere.


    ;)
     
  5. Mar 10, 2006 #665 of 1393
    tally

    tally 2 old 2 be a techie

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    Or go to CompUSA and pick up the 80hr for $29.99 after rebates and lifetime it.
     
  6. Mar 10, 2006 #666 of 1393
    timckelley

    timckelley run of the mill TCFer

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    Brushy...
    BTW, I just talked to customer service on the phone a few minutes ago, asking them a question, and towards the end of the call, I let her know that what prompted my call was that I heard a "rumor" that lifetime was being discontinued. She kind of hemhawed and seemed to not want to officially admit this to be true, but then she did admit there was a press release recently that divulged this.
     
  7. Mar 10, 2006 #667 of 1393
    timckelley

    timckelley run of the mill TCFer

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    Brushy...
    Really? It can be done that cheaply?
     
  8. Mar 10, 2006 #668 of 1393
    classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    Not as a net gain (revenue from those would subsidise providing the other online services), and certainly not as a substitute for revenue not earned from a lifetime sub.
    And if they get too brash about it, they will turn off current and future subscribers.
    True, but still the ad and online service reveune on a Lifetime box will not make up for the sub fee revenue they are not earning on it.
     
  9. Mar 10, 2006 #669 of 1393
    DrStrange

    DrStrange New Member

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    This has in fact been suggested numerous times before. The reason is that Tivo does not have the resources to provide support for every version of their software that any customer may have stopped at. It's hard enough getting CSRs up to speed on one version of the Tivo software per hardware platform. Presenting them with the scripts required to handle questions about any software version will just induce seizures. Retrofitting critical bug fixes from new software onto every possible version of older software would require massive development and testing resources. This "common sense" as mtmra70 calls it doesn't sell here because it only works if you don't think it through.
     
  10. Mar 10, 2006 #670 of 1393
    TiVoPony

    TiVoPony New Member

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    This thought has come up on the forum in the past.

    There are some issues that aren't obvious on first blush....someone has to put the infrastructure & policies in place to make this offer available. Time & resources. A system would have to be put in place to provision upgrades on demand. Time & resources. Customer support would have to support multiple service releases ad infinitum. Time & resources. The number of new releases we'd need to generate and qual doubles - one for new features & any bug fixes, another just for bug fixes for non-upgraded customers. Time & resources. That's off the top of my head.

    But we could charge non-upgrade people for support, and use that money to fund the whole thing. Time, resources, and risk.

    There's a long list of things we're spending our time & resources on. Creating opportunities for customers to hang out on old code isn't one of them.

    A creative idea, but one that diverts our attention off of much more important issues.

    Cheers,
    Pony
     
  11. Mar 10, 2006 #671 of 1393
    lajohn27

    lajohn27 Fanboi.. So what?

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    Ridiculous. Pure silliness. For all accounting purposes, they are finished adding revenue to the books from subscription standpoint after 4 years.

    Once again, your 2$ figure doesn't include so many things that it's pointless to hang your argument on that.

    J
     
  12. Mar 10, 2006 #672 of 1393
    mtmra70

    mtmra70 Hire Me TiVoPony

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    They dont need to continue to provide support for old versions. Microsoft eventually stops patching old versions of windows, TiVo would just stop support versions quicker. And by versions, I mean 4.x, not revisions such as X.3 or X.4.
     
  13. Mar 10, 2006 #673 of 1393
    HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    I agree with you on the above portion of your answer.

    One issue I have with the new model is for a new customer, I can't recommend the current S2 is going to be what they want more than 2 years out from today. The cheapest 2 year deal averages $15.37/mo IF you pay all up front. So the decision is one based on value to the person over $15.37/mo. Then they have to add the risk of hardware failure, or pay insurance to TiVo for what, at least $3/mo?
     
  14. Mar 10, 2006 #674 of 1393
    classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    I'd redefine Lifetime to be a Series 1/DirecTV DVR level service, being just guide data and software updates, disabling HMO and things unless a montly fee is paid, this all after two years have passed of Lifetime service, plus have a Lifetime account trasnfer fee.
     
  15. Mar 10, 2006 #675 of 1393
    HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    You are buying TiVo, Inc.'s story lock, stock and barrell.
     
  16. Mar 10, 2006 #676 of 1393
    TiVoPony

    TiVoPony New Member

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    Nope, no delay. Comcast is on track for the second half of 2006. Same as we've been saying all along.

    And someone earlier asked about a Comcast demo at CES. Yes, there was one, but not for the general public. TiVo and Comcast hosted an invite-only analyst meeting during the show. That's why we closed the booth a bit early one night. ;)

    Pony
     
  17. Mar 10, 2006 #677 of 1393
    HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    Once again, it does include everything appropriate. I have given the numbers and the details of the math behind it in my earlier posts. Please have the courtesy to do the kind of detailed work and give the kind of detailed explanations that I have already done rather than saying nothing more than 'No it isn't, your numbers are wrong.'


    I would also direct you to TiVo's financials from Q1 and Q2 of FY06 for examples of how they were already capable of being at or near break-even, in addition to how I showed that it takes only 1.7M SA subs (vs 1.5M today) to be break-even on a full fiscal year basis AND support growth and patent litigation.
     
  18. Mar 10, 2006 #678 of 1393
    lajohn27

    lajohn27 Fanboi.. So what?

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    HD:

    If you want me to concede that you can construe numbers to match your argument. Congratulations, I concede.

    If you want me to believe that the TOTAL cost of servicing a TIVO per month is just over 2$ - I don't.

    Especially when you fact in customer support costs, servers, bandwidth, the TIVOs that are still calling in using the UUNet dial in network, people to maintain all of the above, marketing, etc. Don't buy it. And you've explicitly excluded the SAC.

    You can't exclude the portions of the company that don't fit your argument. You carefully say it includes everything appropriate. That's cute. Since subscription revenue is by far the main source of revenue for TIVO, the cost of servicing a TIVO monthly has to include everything - end of sentence.

    You're very confident that you know how to better manage this company than the guys doing it - I can't say that I agree with their methods right now either - but your view is just too simplistic to be realized.
     
  19. Mar 10, 2006 #679 of 1393
    classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    It's not about expense, it is about revenue. Past the break even point, they have no subscription revenue to show for the expense of servicing Lifetime boxes.

    TiVo isn't getting greedy, they are just eliminating a losing proposition.
     
  20. Mar 10, 2006 #680 of 1393
    HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    1. I have tried in the past to use the assumption that other costs, ie. R&D and SG&A contained Service expenses. I can't find any evidence of that. I am more than willing to assume there is some. If I give $.25/mo to that its over $3.5M for FY06. Not chump change in terms of granting the assumption, by any means.

    All that will do is shift my breakeven assumption up a modest amount; like 50K more subs.

    2. I don't exclude the portions that don't fit my arguement. I say exactly how many more SA subs it is going to take to get to breakeven, including costs for further growth(SAC) and patent litigation.

    3. I don't know that I could actually personally run the company better myself. I have some ideas, and the folks there haven't distinguished themselves over the years.
     

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