Tell me why I bought a Bolt again?

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by beyondthetech, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. dmurphy

    dmurphy Home Again

    Jan 16, 2002


    It makes the $299 refurb lifetime 'base' Roamios I picked up this summer seem like a screaming deal!

    And indeed, they are. For both me *and* TiVo. And smart marketing too. I've since added a Roamio Plus. With lifetime. And 4 Mini's.

    I've also been on a campaign to convert friends and family - at least 6 other households that I know of have converted since they've seen my setup.

    It's a marketing machine - a quick 3 minute demo sells the thing every time!
  2. mjh

    mjh Re: Member

    Dec 19, 2002
    If your only goal is to break even then yeah that $600 all-in deal is going to make that hard to do. But if your goal is to reduce your total cost of ownership, then I think lifetime / all-in is still a pretty good deal compared to monthly.

    Let me give you an example from a recent experience I had. I recently sold two premieres each of which had lifetime attached to them. Here's the numbers:
    • $400 tivo premiere device purchase ($200 x 2 devices)
    • $800 lifetime subscription ($400 x 2 devices)
    • $1200 total investment
    • $500 resale value ($250 x 2 devices)
    • $700 Total cost of ownership for 2 tivos with lifetime subscription
    Now compare that to a monthly subscription had I gone that route.
    • $400 tivo premiere device purchase ($200 x 2 devices)
    • $960 monthly subscription ($10 / mo * 4 years * 2 devices)
    • $1360 total investment
    • $100 resale value (estimated $50/tivo based on average ebay sales)
    • $1260 Total cost of ownership for the same 2 tivos w/out lifetime subscription
    The reason that lifetime is such a great deal is that you pay for it then you own it. And you can resell it. The value of that lifetime decreases some, but not to zero. A monthly subscription is not resellable and it's value goes immediately to zero.

    And the bolt subscription rates do make this calculation a little bit closer, but the same principal still holds. Running similar numbers for Bolt all-in vs monthly, using similar depreciation assumptions, I get the 4 year TCO for each to be (for 1 bolt)
    • $525 all-in subscription
    • $675 yearly ($150/year)
    • $765 monthly subscription - 1 yr commitment ($15/mo)
    • $945 monthly subscription - no commitment ($20/mo)
    Basically lifetime / all-in reduces the total cost of ownership of the same device by a non-trivial amount. IMHO it's still a great deal.

    1. In 4 years you could resell a bolt w/lifetime for $375 (42% of initial value - based on my sale of a $600 premiere w/lifetime for $250)
    2. In 4 years you could resell a bolt w/o lifetime for $75 (20% of initial value - based on ebay sales of $200 premieres for about $50)

    UPDATE: I recalculated bolt numbers. Forgot that it included 1 year subscription.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  3. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    Let's go with your assumptions...

    A 500GB Bolt with All-in is $800. So after 4 years you'd be able to sell it for $336. (42%)

    A 500GB Bolt with a year included is $200. You'd have to pay 3 more years at $150/year to get to 4 years. So $650 total. You could sell that for $40. (20%)

    That means your net profit on the lifetime service is $146 which isn't great, but OK. However if you did the exact same thing at 3 years instead, then the math doesn't come out as favorable. You'd have to sell the lifetime Bolt for $340 just to break even and you'd need to sell it for $486 (61%) to get the same profit you'd get from the 4 year mark.

    If you're sure you'll keep the Bolt for at least 4 year then it should work out. Although given the current situation with a potential CableCARD replacement and TiVo's patents expiring next year, I wouldn't be so sure that Bolt would be worth anything at all in 4 years.
  4. bonscott87

    bonscott87 Done.

    Oct 3, 2000
    That's where I am at with the Lifetime vs. yearly debate. There is *so* much that will be changing in the next 5 years from multiple fronts I feel pretty confident it'll be a paperweight in 5 years and I'll be on to something else. Sure, it may not happen but confidence is pretty high on this one.

    Reselling only works out if there is still a market for it and someone is willing to buy it. Otherwise you'll just be donating it to the Good Will.
  5. mjh

    mjh Re: Member

    Dec 19, 2002


    Sorry for the late response. But I was on a cruise for the last week. If knowing I was on a cruise last week makes you feel bad, trust me, it makes me feel worse knowing I'm not on it this week. :)

    Umm. Isn't a 500GB bolt w/all-in $900 ($300 base price + $600 all-in)?

    Same question. Shouldn't that be $750 for 4 years ($300 base + $450 sub)?

    If the price for the box is actually $300 rather than $200, that price then changes your numbers.

    Add $100 to your $146 profit after 4 years. That's $246 that you don't ever have to pay out! Even if it's only $146, it's still $146 that you don't have to pay.

    Or if you're talking about 3 years, now you only have to sell the box for $240 to break even. After 3 years, I suspect you're going to get more than 42% of your cost. Especially if tivo doesn't have a newer competitor out by then.

    That's true. And it's also compounded by the (IMHO slim) possibility that ATSC 1.0 could be deprecated in favor of ATSC 3.0. Those are the only two things that make all-in/lifetime a bad deal. I guess I'm pretty skeptical that either of those two things will actually get done in the next 4 years.
  6. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    Right now if a person is buying a new Bolt there is a deal to purchase all in/lifetime for $400. So total cost is $700 or less. You can read about it in earlier post in this thread or in this thread:
  7. TeamPace

    TeamPace Active Member

    Oct 22, 2013
    I wouldn't make the decision on a BOLT solely on the OTA tuning concerns. But personally I have set up two different BOLTs for OTA in three different geographic locations and had some significant issues with tuning. I was able to eventually get the tuning to an acceptable level in two of those locations but it was a challenge. There was a definite difference in the number of channels the BOLT would tune vs. my Roamio or compared to several different TV tuners. However there are numerous others reporting good results with their OTA tuning, so experiences vary. I would recommend to anyone considering a BOLT to try it out. If you don't get satisfactory reception just return it within the 30 day window. I'm truly hoping for the BOLT to be hugely successful for TiVo. Hopefully this layoff doesn't reflect otherwise.
  8. jonw747

    jonw747 Active Member

    Aug 2, 2015
    Personally, I thought the price/features of the Roamio Plus were far more important than only having to press skip once on certain shows; but since that didn't sway you to the Roamio, and the Bolt still does everything now that it did 30-days ago and the price for lifetime has gone down, I don't see why you wouldn't stay with what you've got.

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