PC magazine bad mouths TiVo

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by phixel, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. TiVo Troll

    TiVo Troll Registered Troll

    Mar 22, 2006


    You can post links after 5 posts here. Nothing personal.
  2. wdave

    wdave New Member

    Jul 16, 2000
    Stevenson, MD
    Respectfully, you are incorrect. ALL Tivos ever made have always been able to record one program while watching another.

    The key thing you're missing for single tuner Tivos is that that "another" program needs to be from your Now Playing list. Perhaps what you meant to say was that you can't record and watch another LIVE program. But you didn't say that.

    It's an important point, because a user who changes their viewing habits to primarily watch their shows time-shifted (as any Tivo owner should, except perhaps the avid sports viewer), will be watching shows from Now Playing, ignoring the recording schedule. In that mode of viewing, the user is frequently recording one show while watching another.
  3. TiVo Troll

    TiVo Troll Registered Troll

    Mar 22, 2006
    The "real" monthly cost of TiVo under TiVo's cheapest plan is 12.95, which requires a 3 year commitment, UNLESS a user already has ANOTHER TiVo for which s/he is paying at least that. If so, it's a 3 year obligation at $6.95.

    TiVo from the beginning defined its product as a service, not a timeshifting recorder. The cost of TiVo has always consisted of the price of the recorder plus TiVo's service. In many cases TiVo has offered recorder boxes at deep discounts as an incentive to subscribe to TiVo's service. Some cable DVR's are available completely free of charge with no hardware price and no service commitment whatsoever. But, like TiVo, cable co's. do charge for DVR service, however usually at a lower price than TiVo's and often with no commitment whatsoever.

    The benefits of cable DVR's compared to TiVo are completely subjective, depending on what a viewer wants from a DVR. Cable DVR's can even be better than TiVo, specifically with regard to recording buffer length, picture quality, and the capability to present VOD, much of which is free. Digital hi-def DVR's generally offer few differences in picture quality, but range greatly in price from $0 from cable (FREE!!*) to as much as $800 for a Series 3.

    So choose what you want/need and pay what you choose! :rolleyes:

    * (Ego-tripping!!)
  4. TiVo Troll

    TiVo Troll Registered Troll

    Mar 22, 2006
    Probably what he meant. That'll teach him!

    Why "should" a TiVo owner have a particular way to watch TV? There are many ways of using TiVo. As long as a TV watcher knows that no DVR is perfect and all require making compromises of one kind or another most DVR's can do most things; what basically changes is the attention which must be paid to details involved in performing a given task.

    TiVo is best at what it is designed to do, but does many other things reliably. Perhaps you're arguing that unless a viewer watches TV in the way that TiVo is optimized for, it's a potential waste of money. Perhaps you're right.

    And that's the crux of the article; what do most viewers want/need and do they need TiVo to do it?
  5. snickerrrrs

    snickerrrrs Tech-no Guide

    Mar 30, 2006


    The DVR the cable co "gives you" costs them money to purchase, they in turn charge you a monthly service charge for it (or include it in your monthly bill). If they didn't charge you for it, they would lose money and go out of business. "Why is it so difficult to understand for some people?" :D

    Tivo isn't charging $600 to $800 for the S3 because they are a mean greedy company. Their accountants crunched the numbers and came up with a price point for the S3 to: 1. make a profit 2. sell as many as possible and increase their monthly revenue. 3. make a profit.

    Come on people go to school, use your heads! Your cell phone is $99 because they are making up for the $99 price (that costs them $299) by increasing your monthly service charge. :rolleyes:
  6. TiVo Troll

    TiVo Troll Registered Troll

    Mar 22, 2006
    If the charge isn't broken out on the bill every cable sub. pays it but only the cable DVR user gets the benefit.

    The crunching never stops.

    Let's see what the price of a Series 3 eventually falls to. Same for DT Series 2.

    But then there'll be new models. With new features! (Hopefully.) And different prices.
  7. mscott@pyewacket

    mscott@pyewacket New Member

    Apr 20, 2007
    You get what you pay for. I had a Scientific Atlanta DVR from WOW cable for several years until I happened across the Series 3 HD. It was like TiVo read my mind.
    I found it online for about $620 and it is truely AWESOME!! The only reason for the SA box was to record premium channels in HD and with a couple of CableCARDs TiVo is able to do that and SO MUCH MORE!!

    I find it hard to believe that anyone who has spent a day or two using a TiVo could EVER say a cable-provided DVR is better. Unless they are going based on buy vs rent of the hardware.

    Other than the initial investment, the service from TiVo is about $8.20/month with a 3-year prepaid plan. WOW was charging me $12.50 plus a few bucks for the DVR service for their "free" box.

    I got the CableCARDS installed yesterday after a few run-arounds with the cable company. They really HATE CableCARDs and make them as difficult to get set up as possible. I think it's because you can't do the OnDemand and PPV stuff so they lose money, but the FCC forces them to provide them, so they do.
  8. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    How does $499 strike you?
  9. rdrrepair

    rdrrepair Bill Knapp

    Nov 24, 2006
    845 New York
    I respect him because he stopped by. Thank you for allowing us to address you. I hope you stop back and chime in some more.
  10. MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Or unless they prepay for 3 years, in which case it's $8.xx dollars/month if you average it out (no matter if you have another TiVo or not).

    There is no doubt in my mind that TiVo is too expensive for a lot of people, compared to the cable DVRs. But when you look at the real costs, it doesn't necessarily cost that much more, depending on who your cable provider is, and what programming options you choose. The whole pricing scheme for cable is a frustrating mess though, so I suppose it's a chore to even try and do any meaningful, real-cost comparison, unless it's a specific, real-world example.

    pcmagsascha, there's a lot to agree with in your article, but the comparison aspect of it should either have been more detailed, or at least more specific to your case. Sure, you write "my old TiVo", but it comes across as if this is true for all TiVos, and same when you describe the SA8300HD.

    I agree with all the stuff you quoted in the post here though.
  11. tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

    Mar 5, 2004
  12. TiVo Troll

    TiVo Troll Registered Troll

    Mar 22, 2006
    The whole pricing scheme for TiVo is a frustrating mess too, so it's a chore any way you slice it. But, in general, cable DVR's are simpler and less sophisticated than TiVo and almost always cost less, sometimes a lot less.

    Many TV viewers record only occasionally and casually and don't need TiVo's sophistication. Even the least sophisticated DVR is far more than a digital VCR. A DVD recorder is closer to a digital VCR and DVD recorders are available now for sometimes under $100.
  13. TiVo Troll

    TiVo Troll Registered Troll

    Mar 22, 2006
    Agreed! It was an interesting article and TiVo is still struggling to make a consistent profit after all these years.

    Maybe these really are just the good old days. (Hard as that is to believe with all the ongoing horror shows in the news.)
  14. gwsat

    gwsat Member

    Sep 14, 2006
    Oklahoma City
    I sympathize with the author’s point of view but have to suggest a few clarifications.

    First, Passport software for the 8300HD is apparently a lot better than SARA software, which is primitive and extremely limited – trust me on this. If Cox OKC had been using Passport instead of SARA, I might never have bought my S3 but the SARA software was so awful that In January I held my nose and got an S3.

    Second, the choice between an S3 and an 8300HD is not a zero sum game. For those who are interested in getting the very best from their expensive digital cable subscriptions, the S3 is a sound, albeit expensive, solution.

    Third, the cost of an 8300HD is not “$0,” at least not from Cox OKC. When I gave up on of my 8300HD for the two CableCARDs installed in my S3 my cable bill went down $10 a month. This means that I will recoup the $750 I spent on my S3 and the right to transfer my lifetime subscription to it in a mere six years and three months. :)

    I agree that in practical terms TiVo’s management have, indeed “priced themselves out of the market." For every S3 buyer like we enthusiasts here, there are 99, or maybe 999 other digital cable subscribers who will stick with the weak but cheap 8300HD. TiVo’s last best hope probably lies with marketing their software to cable companies, as they have agreed to do for Comcast and Cox. I hope it works.
  15. wierdo

    wierdo New Member

    Apr 7, 2002
    Arkansas, US
    Passport for the Motorola is usable, but TiVo is still light years ahead. Among other things, it records the same episodes of shows over and over again even when the guide data has episode information. Also the hard drive space is just too small.

    That last bit might be better on an 8300 in a market where eSATA works.
  16. More_Memory

    More_Memory New Member

    Apr 22, 2007
    Sad, but true,
    A local friend and I are perfect examples. Both avid Tivo devotees. He just pulled the trigger upgrading to the HD Sat with "that DVR" and Sony SXBR. He confirms both the terrible user interface *and* the two most common complaints (bad fast forward/reverse to some desired location which is IP, and no dual buffering.) I owe everything I learned to the Tivo forums, and share the pain.
    But... he also confirmed the "basically free" on the DVR at a special under $200.

    I'd do a new Tivo in an HD-minute if only given the chance, but I won't go to cable to get it for $90/mo and $600 and the Tivo monthly. Too many Ands. :(

    Like the rest, I'll wait with my fingers crossed for a 3rd solution withWITH a Tivo logo.
  17. Jonathan_S

    Jonathan_S Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2001
    Technically (subject to a long list of caveats) it single tuner S2 boxes can (sometimes) be used to watch "watch one thing while recording another".

    Cue list of caveats:
    - The "one thing" would have to be a show carried on a non-scrambled analog channel.
    - The cable signal was split so it was sents TiVo's coax input (as well as a cable box)
    - The TiVo was placed into standby.
    - Your TV was cable ready.
    - You are happy watching live without any DVR functionality

    Standby causes the TiVo to pass the original analog cable signal through to your TV where you could use the cable ready tuner to watch anything on the analog cable channels.
    I wouldn't really want to do that; but it's just enough that technically* someone could claim that it is possible to watch one thing while recording another.

    *<ob Futurama ref: "You are technically correct; the best kind of correct.">

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