Tivo Pricing vs. Comcast DVR

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by techieunite, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. techieunite

    techieunite New Member

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    Oct 18, 2005

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    Where I live(Chicagoland) Comcast has changed their pricing on what they offer on digital packages.

    They don't charge for the actual cable boxes, but charge a $5.99 "digital access outlet" fee.

    This is regardless of what you have plugged into the outlet, unless you plug your TV directly in. In that case you get channels 2-100 in analog only. No clear QAM.

    For example, if I have a digital package, you would get a standard, non-hd digital box to use. One outlet is included in my package.

    However, if you have a Comcast DVR, they take this concession away, and charge you an hd/dvr access fee of $13.99.

    What doesn't make sense is that they take the concession away. I can get "free cable cards" to use in an HD tivo, but they want to charge me $5.99 a month for the digital access.

    An HD box(non-dvr) also looses you the concession of a free box under digital cable packages. It goes to $6.99 for each one of these outlets.

    Each additional non hd box is $5.99, $6.99 for a HD digital box, and $13.99 for a HD dual DVR box.

    Cable cards are not charged a fee, but you are charge the $5.99 digital access fee.

    I got a great deal about 2 years ago when I wanted to cancel my tivo service. TIVO gave me $6.95 for each box. That means that I spend $13.90 a month on TIVO service alone.

    But to record digital channels above 100, I have to pay Comcast $5.99. So that's $6.95+$5.99=$12.94 to record only non-hd digital cable channels one at a time.

    At this pricing, it doesn't make sense to keep Tivo service any longer.For about a dollar more, I can get another HD DUAL DVR and not pay upfront for hardware costs.

    I have a Comcast HD dual DVR in the living room and just picked up another for the bedroom.

    I used to have two tivo's, one in each of the bedrooms, but I hardly used them. I had recently returned my digital boxes, because I didn't see a reason to pay extra for something I rarely used.

    Is anybody else seeing the same thing from Comcast? If this is the case, even if Tivo continues, you are going to have to pay TIVO, plus the cable company monthly to use your Tivo HD or standard tivo box. Comcast knows this and is pricing their equipment to compete with Tivo.

    It used to be $18.99 a month to add an additional HD DUAL DVR. I had checked about 6 months ago.

    Please post your comments.

    Thanks
     
  2. jakerock

    jakerock Hey ho howdy!

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    Lee, NH
    It would be about the same price for me to use a Comcast box instead of a TiVo if I paid $6.95 a month for the TiVo. This is before considering the cost of the TiVo hardware.

    I had a Comcast box for a year or so before the TiVo HD came out. I bought the TiVo HD and paid $6.95 a month plus the Comcast fees. I then paid for lifetime and bought another TiVo HD for my other HD TV. I did not consider going back the Comcast box which was one of their better boxes (you can get a wide range of cable company DVRs at the time the Motorola box I had was considered the best). The TiVo is better. It has some issues. It is all around better. No question for me. I didn't go with TiVo to save money, I went because paying to have something that I enjoy is OK by me.

    Otherwise I wouldn't have the nice HD TV or the surround sound system or the other toys that you need in order to be worried about how much it costs to buy entertainment.

    My $0.02. :)
     
  3. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    This is what happens when regulators try to micro-manage pricing issues for suppliers. Suppliers aren't going to sell something at below-market value; that's for not-for-profits and government agencies to do.
     
  4. jonasy

    jonasy New Member

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    To lightly chime in on this pricing discussion I noticed that with the contract structure a new 1 year annual contract costs $8.25 a month now with the mutli-service discount. This comes out to $297 for the three years. Doing the math if I apply for lifetime service the cost would be $299.
    So based on this it looks like the comcast option is the clear favorite.
     
  5. jkalnin

    jkalnin Baad Spellor

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    Warrington, PA

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    Yes, but Comcast blows.
     
  6. jonasy

    jonasy New Member

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    Nov 29, 2003
    Whilst this may be true, so does the economy. What's a poor man to do when it time to pinch. I like my TIVO and have had one since about 2000, but I am starting to run out of KY Jelly.
     
  7. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    No need to apply for lifetime service. Anyone with the money can get it.
     
  8. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango New Member

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    Comcast DVR's where I live are $13.95/month and that doesn't include any additional equipment fees. It only has enough space for 10 hours of HD recordings and only 15 minutes of an HD buffer.

    The Tivo 3 year or Lifetime subs of $299 + ~$200 for the Tivo itself would average out to $13.87/month over a 3 year span. 30 hours of upgradable HD recordings and a 30 minute buffer. I think Tivo is the better deal.
     
  9. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

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    You can't compare the cost of TiVo to a Comcast DVR because Comcast will win in the cost area. The main reason is the never ending on site warranty you get with the Comcast DVR, Comcast will give a newer model anytime you ask for one. If you want the features of TiVo (like MRV and easy hard drive expansion etc) than TiVo is your only good choice. For some people (most people unfortunately) it so much easier (if you are technically challenge) to just let the Comcast people come out and install your DVR (no cable card problems etc), that's one reason TiVo penetration is so low. To my friends I am a great TiVo sales person as most on this form probably are to their friends as I got more than 50 TiVos installed over the last 7 years in my friends homes that would have never happened if it was not for me. I am sure many other on this form have the same experience.
     
  10. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    Does this mean you have tried and have checked that there's no clear QAM? I thought that if they provide analog versions of the OTA stations, they HAVE to provide clear QAM of the digital versions.

    (I am even less sure whether they have to provide clear QAM versions if they do not provide analog versions at all.)
     
  11. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango New Member

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    New Jersey
    It may be true that Comcast will win the price comparison but I have Comcast and in 10 months, I have gone through 4 cable boxes on 2 tv's because of random failures. It is really a PITA to sit around waiting for the tech to show up to simply hook up a new box becasue the old one went bonkers for no good reason. My oldest Tivo is almost 4 years old and I've not had to call Tivo for support once. Like I mentioned in my last post, keeping the service for 3+ years, the cost benefit would go to Tivo as well as the services provided. I agree with you about the ease of the cable co. dvr vs. Tivo though. I think my previous post showed that over the long run, Tivo can be more cost effective, at least where I live. Cable co's will likely not be releasing new DVR's as often as Tivo based solely on the fact that Tivo offers much more with each new release. As you mentioned, many people find the cable co. dvr easier. They just don't have the upgrades included with each Tivo dvr realease.
     
  12. jkalnin

    jkalnin Baad Spellor

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    Warrington, PA
    When you done and turn in the box, for Comcast you get back 0$ and zero cents.
    When you upgrade a Tivo you can sell the old one on Ebay. If it has lifetime you can get a pretty penny back on your investment.

    Don't forget to add that into the equation.

    Example on Ebay right now:
    Tivo Series 2, 40 hour DVR with LIFETIME SUBSCRIPTION!!
    15 bids $152.50 (current price) $22.99 (shipping)

    That is an outdated S2, non-upgraded HD, with a lifetime still getting over $150!
     
  13. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

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    Very true, but you did not pay anything for the Comcast box, up to the series 3 I have gotten back most of the money I spent on my series 1 and series 2s (all Lifetime TiVos) by selling them on E-Bay ( When the Series 4 comes out I will find out what my true cost of the series 3 was). The point i was trying to make is that with the Comcast DVR you have no upfront money, just the difference in monthly cost between an M cable card and the Comcast DVR cable box. From this form I know that people pay from $1.5/month to $7.5/month for the M card. People near me pay from $3/month to $5/month for the M card. My Comcast $99 triple play comes with a non HD non DVR cable box, I don't know what the extra cost is if i turn in that box and get the DVR box.
     
  14. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Rochester NY
    Comparing all DVRs based on price alone makes about as much sense as comparing all Cars/SUVs/Trucks on price alone.

    Different DVRs have different features and abilities and they all have +s and -s. I would suggest it makes more sense to purchase a product that provides the best overall experience for the individual purchasing it and that cost should only be one of many items evaluated.

    When it comes to DVRs if you are so financially strapped that cost becomes your only consideration I would recommend you do not get one at all and work on getting your financial house in order first.

    Thanks,
     
  15. mtchamp

    mtchamp New Member

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    I live in Comcast TiVo land and I tried their DVR with TiVo. Not bad but the thing added $17.00 to my bill every month, forever. It did not work perfectly. I had the 8888 loop early on at launch and returned the box. I just tried it again because they fixed that problem, but they had server problems and before I gave them a chance to load TiVo onto their DVR with a third visit scheduled, I had enough and returned it again.

    TiVo HD's are less than $250. Lifetime service is $399 but $299 for me with Lifetime TiVos already. I bought another TiVo HD and now I have 3. I couldn't be happier and my Comcast bill will be a little easier to stomach every month. Once you have and use a real TiVo and have Lifetime and no monthly fees, you can't stand a high priced rental with TiVo lite that does less than a real TiVo.
     
  16. fallingwater

    fallingwater New Member

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    For me the worst thing about Comcast's Moto boxes, in both DVR and STB flavors is that when they output a 16x9 hi-def program in standard-def and the signal is supplied to a DVD recorder it requires full 'zoom' to eliminate bars on all four sides. TiVo's S3/HD automatically format 16x9 standard-def signals with full vertical resolution only requiring anamorphic stretching, same as pre-recorded DVDs!

    Moto's hi-def STB costs $6.50 monthly while the Moto hi-def dual tuner DVR runs 13.95. Because of the above shortcoming I won't rent Moto's DVR. Too bad really, because Moto's price for no-commitment DVR service and its DVR's functionality otherwise would work for me!

    ---

    Comcast has an interesting corporate mentality as evidenced by this somewhat OT incident:

    I just returned a Moto digital standard-def STB to Comcast for the hi-def STB. When I connected the seemingly new hi-def box it was dead in the water. Nothing! I verified that the box was plugged into a hot outlet by testing for voltage on its rear unswitched outlet which was hot.

    I called Comcast's 800 # and went through available options with a service tech. He offered to set up an in-home service call or I could bring the box back to the Comcast store for an exchange. I preferred to exchange it and arranged for that.

    Because I'd already wasted over an hour hooking up and troubleshooting the box and would have to drive to the Comcast store to exchange the faulty box I requested a free month of STB service from the service tech. He said I was being greedy as I'd only had the box for one day.

    I replied that a month of hi-def STB service cost $6.50 and that an in-home service call would cost far more than that not to mention the value of my time and gas to rectify Comcast's failure to check that their box worked before releasing it to a customer.

    Surprisingly, after a minute or two, the tech offered to compromise on two weeks of free service, although he still seemed to think he was being exceedingly generous. I figured, quit while I'm ahead, and said yes!

    When I exchanged the box at the Comcast store I mentioned to the CSR there about the two weeks of free service. She said that I was very lucky to get it and that she would never have authorized such an arrangement.

    I'll be curious to see how Comcast actually bills the transaction and if necessary complain if they don't do as they promised. From my point of view Comcast has a corporate culture that goes to the max to alienate customers when they could instead get a customer's goodwill so cheaply!
     
  17. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    I think Comcast's corporate culture is pretty standard for the United States. As with most consumer-facing businesses, that culture mirrors how customers continually seek to greedily abuse any generosity any company ever offers. Walt Disney World is a good example. They used to have a policy called "Guest Recovery". It lasted for years, but as soon as the Internet took off, word of the policy spread. Very quickly, guests sought to complain about the things that they had heard others getting benefits from. This forced Disney to scuttle the policy soon thereafter. There are literally dozens of examples, just within Walt Disney World, of generous things that companies have done in the past, which they had to curtail or eliminate because of the transgressive nature of so many consumers.
     
  18. MikeAndrews

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

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    Northern...
    Comcast has clear QAM on the cable. I have an extra RF cable split directly to my HDTVs tuner. You get digital and analog channels up to 132.1.
     

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