Should Tivo allow past subscribers to stream on their existing Tivo without a subscription?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by warrenn, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. warrenn

    warrenn Active Member

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    Many people are moving away from linear TV and going with more streaming options. Often when this happens, they cancel their Tivo subscription since they don't use as much of the Tivo services. Even though it's nice to have the Tivo features with streaming, they aren't necessarily worth the price if someone is just doing streaming. But then when they cancel their service, they can't really use their Tivo anymore and they end up moving to some other hardware platform. They leave the Tivo ecosphere and there's a chance they might never come back.

    I was wondering in cases like those, would it be a good business decision to allow previously-subscribed Tivo's to continue to work as streaming-only platforms? Maybe even have OTA support, but without guide data or recording capability. Guide data could just be whatever is sent along with the OTA transmission. So it would be like a dumb OTA viewing like in TVs. I'm sure there'd be some cost with continuing to have these unsubscribed devices in use, but keeping those people in the Tivo ecosphere may mean they would be more likely to give Tivo new business in the future. It may reduce the cost of customer acquisition if they have an easier time of converting these previous Tivo customers into using new Tivo services. The old devices could also be funded through ads, like Roku does.
     
  2. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    I doubt someone looking to abandon Tivo for streaming would be satisfied with the limited options available on a Tivo box (probably a driving factor). Stand-alone streamers, presumably even the one to be sold by Tivo, are cheap and would have much more content. Tivo would have to raise its price to support (stream only or your stream plus OTA viewing), or socialize the costs to everyone else. What new services would Tivo have for those folks? I'm sure Tivo has thought this option through, and, to me, it's DOA.
     
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  3. TostitoBandito

    TostitoBandito Active Member

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    Yeah, pretty much that. Any Tivo outside of the Edge is not great as a streaming device and is outclassed easily by a sub-$50 stick. You could even argue that the Edge is inferior to something like a fire stick or Roku 4K, mainly due to app support. Also, anything older than a Roamio has basically non-existent streaming support at this point. Those devices very likely aren't capable of running the current versions of apps like Netflix or Amazon regardless of how hard someone tries.
     
  4. ajwees41

    ajwees41 Well-Known Member

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    and it seems apps aren't being updated for tivo except for the youtube app
     
  5. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Amazon Prime and Netflix have received some updates on my Roamio Pro with TE3 (Amazon Prime app got X-Ray support at some point for example).

    Scott
     
  6. warrenn

    warrenn Active Member

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    I agree that a previous Tivo user can get other streaming platforms that are more robust, but then why not allow the Tivo to continue to be a streamer? If the Tivo user wants to keep using Tivo instead of buying hardware from some other vendor, it seems like it would be advantageous to keep that customer. And if support cost is an issue, it seems like that cost could be pretty much eliminated. If unsubscribed boxes didn't get any updates or support, then Tivo shouldn't have any cost associated with it. There would be some coding effort to allow the unsubscribed boxes to start the streaming apps, but there shouldn't be any ongoing costs.

    The OnePass integration would not necessarily need to be enabled on an unsubscribed box. An unsubscribed Tivo could act like a dumb streaming platform where all it does is start the app. Any sort of search would need to be done within the app rather than at the Tivo level.
     
  7. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    Costs to support would still exist. It would be impossible to "stop" support and expect that you would never have one of these customers call, complain, seek warranty support, etc. If a new stream provider became available or an old one turned off, TiVo would need to support that with active connectivity. That is a lot of work for absolutely no benefit.

    An ex-user already knows what a TiVo does and chose to go another route. The selling of the box would generally pay for the streaming replacement. Plus, TiVos are not inexpensive, and most users could presumably easily pay for a better supported streamer. I think the upcoming TiVo streamer does a much better job of keeping a customer in the TiVo universe than allowing a box to continue.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  8. blackngold75

    blackngold75 Active Member

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    I don't see how TiVo would see it as advantageous to "keep" a customer who is not producing revenue and has not purchased lifetime service, especially when the retail customer base is not really their focus. As others have said, if someone wants to move to streaming as their primary entertainment, there are much better platforms (in terms of app quality, quantity, and performance) than a TiVo DVR for that. If someone makes the switch to streaming, they're probably not coming back to the DVR, anyway.
     
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  9. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    I'm with several others, there is zero incentive for Tivo to do that.
    Right now the only incentive to pay monthly or lifetime is subscription.
     
  10. fyodor

    fyodor Active Member

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    Why would these people just not spend thirty bucks on a Roku stick and have a non-terrible streaming platform?
     
  11. warrenn

    warrenn Active Member

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    Well, Tivo has streaming apps today. There's nothing stopping current Tivo subscribers from buying a Roku stick if they don't like Tivo's implementation. While I agree that other streaming platforms are more robust, clearly there are some people using Tivo's streaming apps. Whoever those customers are, I would assume some of them would continue to use Tivo as their streaming platform even after they cancelled their subscription.
     
  12. fyodor

    fyodor Active Member

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    I think that most of the people who care about Tivo's apps do so because they find it convenient to not have to switch inputs from the DVR. If you're deactivating your Tivo, it makes very little sense to keep a Tivo running for its bad app implementation rather than just getting a cheap standalone streaming device.
     
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  13. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    I think an OTA capable Tivo without service already has OTA support without guide data or the ability to record. I suppose someone who had an old TV that needed converter box anyway to receive the digital signals might use an unsubscribed Tivo for that purpose and would appreciate the ability to stream Youtube or other free services on the box. That's assuming they had access to broadband internet. But if they were paying for broadband internet, they would have the means to purchase an inexpensive smart TV and have a much better experience than using an unsubscribed Tivo.
     
  14. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    Or even a new TiVo Stream 4K! ;)
     
  15. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    Too bad the Tivo streaming apps are poor in quality and quantity compared what I can get on my TV and via Apple TV, I have zero interest in using the apps on my Tivo when I have better options.
     
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  16. warrenn

    warrenn Active Member

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    That does seem to be the consensus. Even for free, it seems like the Tivo isn't a viable standalone streaming platform.
     
  17. fyodor

    fyodor Active Member

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    Don't do this to me dude. If people buy the TS4K and it turns out to be bad and people are surprised and come on here to express their surprise and anger that it is bad after all of their experiences with Tivo, I don't know if I'll be able to deal.
     
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  18. fyodor

    fyodor Active Member

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    There is zero reason to buy your standalone streaming device from Tivo instead of going with some company that has a long history of making good streaming products.
     
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  19. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

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    There seems to be some belief out there that TiVo is a benevolent charity. It is not. The only reason for TiVo to allow streaming on unsubscribed devices would be if they wanted to discourage people from buying more TiVos. This thread is a new low in absurdity, even for TCF.
     
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  20. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    I understand what you're saying, but it seems to me that TiVo's real success or not is in whether it can make a UI and organization system superior to what is out there now, e.g. by being a "master conglomerator" of what content is available.* TiVo thinks it can do that.

    * At least, that's partly what I understand of how TiVo has described the Stream 4K and why we should all go out and buy one as soon as possible.
     

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