TiVo Alternatives?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Saturn, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. Oct 8, 2019 #201 of 922
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    Correct, and exactly why I said it is in no way a 'simple' DVR solution for the majority. I loved it, but I was a Linux dev and sysadmin.
     
  2. Oct 8, 2019 #202 of 922
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Except Roku is the MAJOR exception to that rule. They're not content-owners. They make their money on advertising, plus subscription commissions. Maybe pursuing that kind of profit strategy in the living room would have been unusual for Microsoft. I'm just saying that the opportunity was there for them if they had chosen to pursue it. They had the tech, they had the size, they had the relationships with the app developers. <shrug> Anyhow, it's just one of those historical "what-ifs".

    And I'd be curious to know what the profit margin is on the Apple TV 4K. I tend to think it's significantly below other Apple hardware. It's essentially an iPad Pro without the touchscreen but with a fancy touchpad remote. When the 2nd gen iPad Pro and the Apple TV 4K were both introduced in 2017 (with the same A10X chip), the former started at $799 and the latter at only $179. Hard to think that the build cost of the iPad Pro was $620 more.
     
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  3. Oct 8, 2019 #203 of 922
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Proportionally it's probably similar or even better, as there is no battery or screen in the ATV.
     
  4. Oct 8, 2019 #204 of 922
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Decided to do a bit of Googling to see if I could find any firm numbers. All I found were figures for the iPad 3rd Gen (2012) and the Apple TV 2nd Gen (2010). The cheapest iteration of the former had a BOM of $236.95 and a retail price of $399, meaning that only 59.4% of the retail price was consumed by the cost of materials. The latter had a BOM of $61.98 and a retail price of $99, therefore a slightly higher 62.6% share of the retail price was consumed by the BOM. So at least between those two models, the iPad was more profitable for Apple, although not by much.

    I would point out too that when the Apple TV hit the 4th Gen (adding in access to a full App Store, a re-designed rechargeable remote with glass track pad, and more powerful Apple-designed chips), its internals became much more similar to that of an iPad. So I think, if anything, the iPad has probably increased its profitability margin over the Apple TV. But the profit margins on the Apple TV 4K are probably still higher than I had originally thought.
     
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  5. Oct 8, 2019 #205 of 922
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    The ATV must have decent margins. Look at the cost of the ATV compared to the Roku or other similar devices.
     
  6. Oct 8, 2019 #206 of 922
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Well, the low cost of Roku and Fire TV devices are what force Apple to not charge any more than they do for the ATV and (I believe) accept at least somewhat lower margins on the product than they do for iPhones and iPads. But I don't think we can conclude all that much about the ATV's margins by looking at the prices for Rokus and Fire TVs, which follow completely different business models. Those devices are mainly about advertising and related businesses (subscriptions, Prime memberships, Amazon sales, etc.). I wonder whether Roku and Amazon make any profit at all on sales of their ~$40 4K HDR devices. They don't really need to. Those guys were always mainly concerned about scaling up their user bases, crowding out competitors, and making money on those buyers in other ways, outside of the hardware sale.
     
  7. Oct 8, 2019 #207 of 922
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    That's a fair point, but when Roku and Amazon are selling devices for $40, even if they are taking a bit of a loss, you know Apple is making a healthy profit when theirs starts at $179.
     
  8. Oct 9, 2019 #208 of 922
    tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

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    The fairer comparison would be to a Roku Ultra, which has wired ethernet. Entry model streamers are wireless only, wi-fi is a no fly for people in apartments sometimes.
     
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  9. Oct 9, 2019 #209 of 922
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Fair enough, but that's still $100 to $180.
     
  10. Oct 9, 2019 #210 of 922
    Lurker1

    Lurker1 Well-Known Member

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  11. Oct 9, 2019 #211 of 922
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'd still say that the cost of components in an Apple TV 4K are more expensive than a Roku Ultra. Just compare Apple's Siri rechargeable remote with touchpad and accelerometer+gyro for gaming. (That remote by itself retails for $59, which is $40 more than the old-style Apple TV remote.) And consider the beefier processor the box has, plus support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

    Do those hardware improvements equal another $80 in cost? No, probably not. But again, Roku is making money from putting ads in their menu UI and ads in the content in The Roku Channel.
     
  12. Oct 9, 2019 #212 of 922
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    All true. I'd be shocked if Apple didn't have a health percentage margin on the ATV though, even if the raw dollars pale in comparison to iPhones and iPads.
     
  13. Oct 9, 2019 #213 of 922
    trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    Apple has about a ~20% profit margin. So on a $180 ATV they make somewhere in the neighborhood of ~$36.
     
  14. Oct 9, 2019 #214 of 922
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    OK. But the (completely beside the point of this thread) back-and-forth that Bigg and I were having is whether the ATV 4K has a lower-than-typical profit margin versus other Apple hardware.

    Anyhoo, price-wise, there are two major classes of streamers: Roku and Fire TV at the less expensive end ($30-100) and Apple TV and Nvidia Shield Android TV at the more expensive end ($150-200). Most folks won't find that the added cost of the latter pair justify the additional expense over the former pair.

    Love my ATV4K but I'm still at least interested in Android TV. Rumor is that Google is *finally* going to release a new hero device for the platform in 2020. A Pixel Player, perhaps? If they don't booger up the home screen with ads (which has apparently begun happening on some Android TV retail devices), I might be interested in eventually switching over to it. We'll see...
     
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  15. Oct 9, 2019 #215 of 922
    trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    I never thought as the Nvida Shield and ATV being in the same class. Price-wise they are. But Shield strikes me as more of a hobbyist device. Apple is more like a luxury version of a Roku or Fire TV sorta speak.

    And Apple's 20% profit margin is a good ballpark figure for what they likely make on an ATV.
     
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  16. Oct 9, 2019 #216 of 922
    trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    On the other hand the last 9.7" low end iPad is $329 and has a regular A10 in it and came out in March 2018.

    I could see something like an ATV when it was released having a lower profit margin. I think that's true of all their hardware. For something like the ATV, where Apple isn't going to release a new one annually, they could start out with a lower profit margin than usual knowing it's going to be on the market for ~3-5 years and towards the end of its life would become a higher profit margin product than usual.
     
  17. Oct 9, 2019 #217 of 922
    Charles R

    Charles R Active Member

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    Having used both over the years they are (far more) similar than different. The biggest being the OS and its native support. For my use set they overlap roughly 95% of the time. With the Shield supporting (local) HD audio bitstreaming being an important advantage (in my case). However overall it's the support of or lack of support for "fringe" streaming apps that would probably be the deciding factor.
     
  18. Oct 9, 2019 #218 of 922
    JLV03

    JLV03 Active Member

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    Not sure if it has been brought up in this thread, but I've been experimenting with FitzyTV on a Firestick when I travel.

    I haven't splurged for the DVR capabilities yet, but it works great to have access to a nice chunk of the TVE channels I receive as part of my cable package.

    Cloud DVR & Streaming TV Platform | FitzyTV
     
  19. Oct 9, 2019 #219 of 922
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    The Shield is a niche device, but the ATV has a pretty wide appeal among people who are bought into the Apple ecosystem with the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Airpods, etc.
     
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  20. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    @mschnebly re your post in the pre-roll ads thread:

    Which Synology NAS and which drive(s) do you use for Channels now? Nice to know the little My Cloud drive is also good enough, but I've gotten ambitious here.
     

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