TiVo Loses 163,000 Subscribers In October ‘08 Quarter

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by TampaDon, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. Nov 26, 2008 #21 of 131
    Joey Bagadonuts

    Joey Bagadonuts New Member

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    These are the two exact reasons (more the latter than the former) that keeps us from dumping our TWC DVR for an HD TiVo . We own three S2's but do most of our TV watching in the living room via a 50" Panasonic Plasma HD TV. After reading all of the horror stories about cable card installs and Time Warner, we decided to just go with a TWC DVR. Also, the fact that TiVo is gearing all or at least most of their updates toward their HD boxes doesn't sit well with me.
     
  2. Nov 26, 2008 #22 of 131
    Malcontent

    Malcontent Ancient Astronaut Theorist

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    Tivo should get their boxes on Walmart shelves. In the brick and mortar stores. More eyes on their product. Couldn't hurt. I for one in this economy stopped walking into high end stores like Best Buy (high end to me). Not even to window shop because I know I can't afford anything I want there. Why torture myself. :(
     
  3. Nov 26, 2008 #23 of 131
    MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

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    I'm a big tivo fan- and genrally never got worried about their finances- but it's starting to make me ponder....

    assuming it's more per box- I also assume it's an extra fee add on- just like comcast. So although tivo might now get $2 a box, how many more subs will they get when the user has to pay $5 more to get it? Certainly it wont be the same amount as in the day's when they were the only directv choice. Assuming that it's twice the rate per box tivo would have to get more then 50% of the directv subs to upgrade to the pay more for tivo.

    Maybe I'm wrong and tivo will be a free option?
    Even then and assuming almost everyone takes it- is $2/box/month really enough to keep them in business? Would tivo have been vastly better off in the years when they were the only Directv box and they had millions of subs - if they got 2 bucks instead of 1? (not rhetorical questions- curious what the answer is since i dont pay attention much to their finances)


    so what? Those are the people that Tivo needs to deal with. And the scary thing is Comcast might even be the best of the big cable companies to deal with. Have fun with the dolan's and cablevision. See what time warner does. it aint pretty.

    But again it goes down to how many more people are going to "upgrade" their dvr's if it costs? I dont think it's huge. If it was a big percentage then Tivo would be all bragging about how the take rate in Boston (or wherever the test markets are) is so big. (and comcast would be all proud too as it would increase their ARPU which is their business model as DBS continues to steal subs)


    Agreed- they have 200 to slowly bleed through. That's why I dont think anything bad will happen soon. But they never make money really so over time unless they keep winning big lawsuits that money is going to dwindle. They just can't seem to make a profit on their operations. And I'm not sure what the long term prospects are for us if they become just some intellectual property owner.

    likely to never happen- apparently if you read more recent FCC stuff the cable people are even against letting a tivo "series 4" ocap/true2way box access those 3rd party providers. So there's zero chance they allow it on boxes they deploy.

    And even if it did- what would it matter? Would that many more people pay extra each month for tivo becuase they could get netflix streaming on it? And then would the pennies that amazon or netflix give tivo really add up to anything?

    Totally agreed- I think they usually discuss in the conference call how many lifetimes are being written off the books- so maybe we can figure the real numbers? But still their churn has been going up over the years. They certainly aren't experiencing exponential growth where every year they sell 25% more then the year before or anything. So things aren't really changing- at best it's status quo, at worse they are going backwards.

    Unfortunately they seem to be in a business model that they need to have a huge installed base and make pennies a month in profit off each. But they just dont have that huge base and doesn't seem at this point like they can get their anytime at all.

    Things can change and I hope they do, but really I'm beginning to get concerned that it can't last forever.
     
  4. Nov 26, 2008 #24 of 131
    MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

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    they used to be in walmarts and the like- didn't make much difference.
     
  5. Nov 26, 2008 #25 of 131
    quarkman97

    quarkman97 All mobbed up!

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    Count me in as one of the lost subscribers. I switched to DirecTV in September and canceled both my Tivo subs and sold my hardware.

    My Milwaukee Time Warner went SDV and with them dragging their feet with the tuning adapter and who know well it will work, I jumped ship.

    Is DirecTV's DVR and UI far inferior to Tivo? Yep!

    Will I get the new DirecTivo when it comes out next summer? You bet!

    With that being said, it's hard to recommend Tivo HD to friends instead of the cable company or DirecTV's DVR.

    I had to explain to a co-worker that she has to drop $200+ on the box and pay a monthly subscription to Tivo. Then have the cable company come out and install cable cards. And finally, wait for the tuning adapter to be released in your area.

    Or just bring home a cable company DVR and plug it in. Yeah it's not as good, but the setup hassle vs. benefit of the Tivo HD for non-tech geeks like us is the deal breaker for the average consumer. Tivo already has the problem that most people still don't know how much better it is vs. the generic HD DVR. And now, with a more complicated setup process, I fear they they are driving more people away from the brand.

    I love Tivo, but they/we will always have to jump through the cable company's hoops to get what we want. And with so much competition, I see people taking the easy route and getting/switching to a simpler DVR setup instead of the many steps to setup a Tivo HD.
     
  6. Nov 26, 2008 #26 of 131
    Kablemodem

    Kablemodem Get the ketchup.

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    Sherman...
    You either want TiVo or you don't. If you want it you have to pay for the cost of the service. If TiVo's features are not important to you, then there is no reason to have it. I have a TWC DVR because it is included in the package I subscribe to. I hate it. The only time I use the TWC DVR is when I am updating the software on my TiVo and can't use it for 30 minutes.
     
  7. Nov 26, 2008 #27 of 131
    Bierboy

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

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  8. Nov 26, 2008 #28 of 131
    ShoutingMan

    ShoutingMan Member

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    From Tivo and BestBuy. You got a source for cheaper Tivos?

    Obviously. The thread is about why Tivo has lost 163,000 subscriptions. It seems people are moving to the "...or you don't" side of your tautology. And one reason, in my estimation, is because of the high cost of switching to HD. If we switch to HD next year, I'm not sure which way I'll go. Tivo's great; 33% price premium is not.
     
  9. Nov 26, 2008 #29 of 131
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    http://www.amazon.com/TiVo-TCD652160-Digital-Video-Recorder/dp/B000RZDBM2

    http://www.amazon.com/TiVo-TCD658000-HD-XL-DVR/dp/B001EWEIOW

    If you buy the regular TiVo HD for $245 you can add an additional 500GB of space by buying one of these for $125...

    http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-WDG1S5000VN-500GB-Expander/dp/B0018O77Q2

    and get a TiVo with 660GB, or about 100 hours of HD capacity, for $370. And if you're really adverse to paying for a subscription you can always get lifetime for $399. (it pays for itself in ~30 months, and holds a nearly 1:1 resale value on eBay)

    Dan
     
  10. Nov 26, 2008 #30 of 131
    nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

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    That's a TiVo HD XL with 150 hours of HD capacity compared to a typical cable company DVR with 20 hours or less. We're talking apples and bowling balls here.
     
  11. Nov 26, 2008 #31 of 131
    Hew

    Hew New Member

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    The CEO of TiVo said that he would rely more on the MSO's for marketing their boxes. With Comcast already launching a TiVo commercial, along with DirecTV's TV ads, there could be a big increase of all around marketing for TiVo software with TiVo not spending a cent on it. Since 3 of the top 5 Cable and Sat companies currently have deals for TiVo(Dish being the possible 4th out of 5) there could be competition as to who offers the most tivo features. This could hopefully make 100% of Tivo's software to be integrated into MSO's hardware.

    Once Directv/TiVo relaunches, Sales will quickly surge since alot of ex DirecTivo users would want to go back to tivo.
     
  12. Nov 26, 2008 #32 of 131
    magnus

    magnus Tivo User

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    Actually, you might think the opposite would be true, if others would think about how much content is really costing them.

    I would think that it would be cheaper to go with a stand alone Tivo and OTA HD and then supplement with Netflix, Amazon, and Jaman.... then it would be to stay with Directv , Dish, Comcast or any other provider.

     
  13. Nov 26, 2008 #33 of 131
    mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    So then get lifetime service.
     
  14. Nov 26, 2008 #34 of 131
    nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

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    I think TiVo sees that as a future market - kill your cable company and use OTA and broadband content. It's just not mature enough to be a big driver yet. They do mention that they see some hope that the economy will drive video rentals as people choose to stay home for their entertainment.
     
  15. Nov 27, 2008 #35 of 131
    lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

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    The real DVD from Netflex has the full THX digital sound, (if the movie was made with THX sound) the streaming to TiVo is just stereo for now, for people with good 5.1 or 7.1 audio systems the real DVD is much better + you get the extras that are part of some DVDs, some people get excited with the THX TiVo, when I don't know where or when any TiVo might get THX sound source as the cable co may compress the full Digital sound from any HBO movie, and I know on no cable channel including the networks that even mentions that they broadcast THX sound with their programing. All Series 3 models (3 of them so far) of TiVo record the audio in digital format and using the optical output you will get out what was put in without any denigration
     
  16. Nov 27, 2008 #36 of 131
    reh523

    reh523 New Member

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    :up:
     
  17. Nov 27, 2008 #37 of 131
    Hew

    Hew New Member

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    Does anyone know how much money Tivo gets from broadband movie downloads? Or, how many movies got downloaded in the past quarter?
     
  18. Nov 27, 2008 #38 of 131
    ShoutingMan

    ShoutingMan Member

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    :confused: I'm still paying for the subscription, just all up front.

    That's a good point, but there's no exact comparison possible. I checked and TWC's DVR is supposed to hold 35 hrs of HD programming. Tivo's base model only holds 20 hrs, which is too little. I consider 40 the right amount. The TWC DVR is close enough, but with Tivo I'd have to go with the XL.

    The XL is $515 from Amazon, not $599. Not exactly a boorbuster savings. My cost premium decreases from $23/mo to $20.50/mo. Stlll nearly a 30% premium.

    Yes, I could buy from one place, and then get a hard drive from another, and then read the FAQs and make it work myself, and then get the lifetime sub. Then call the cable company, get them to put in the two cable cards (assuming it works flawlessly), and then sell the Tivo on eBay in 3 years and make it all a financial wash.

    Or I can pay $10/mo to TWC for a DVR.

    Again, this goes to the heart of why Tivo is struggling to keep customers. An HD Tivo is very expensive and/or rather complex. I may stick with the HD Tivo next year, regardless of price, but it's easy to see why people won't pay such a premium.
     
  19. Nov 27, 2008 #39 of 131
    magnus

    magnus Tivo User

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    Or you could ditch cable/satellite all together.

    Then get a Tivo HD w/ lifetime (maybe even think about a used one). If you spent $500 total on this then it would pay for itself within a half year.

    $80 per month for Directv * 12 months = $960 per year

    Then after a bit of time you could buy a new drive 1TB and upgrade the Tivo HD using instantcake.... it's very easy (but downside is this method would not save recordings).

    You would be surprised about how little you actually miss the content, especially with the changes that Tivo has made to get Amazon, Jaman and Netflix on board.

     
  20. Nov 27, 2008 #40 of 131
    MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

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    "hopefully"????

    If you mean that there wont be stand alone boxes we can buy ourselves then i think that's the worng word for sure.

    that would be the worst possible thing- the MSO and DBS all censor what tivo offers- leaving out many of the features that differentiate the boxes from the generic swill.
     

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