What do you think of the monthly fees?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by mikesown, Aug 7, 2007.

What do you think of the service fees?

  1. They're a great deal, and I'm happy with them!

    13 vote(s)
    7.2%
  2. The fees are fine, I don't think they're extremely great or bad.

    85 vote(s)
    47.2%
  3. The fees are way too high!

    82 vote(s)
    45.6%
  1. jmpage2

    jmpage2 Active Member

    1,977
    4
    Jan 20, 2004
    So do you think that someone with a lifetime subscription that isn't available to 99% of potential Tivo consumers should be offering insight into the fairness of Tivo's current service prices?
     
  2. GoHokies!

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

    2,657
    1
    Sep 21, 2005
    KFME
    Comcast is raising their fee to $13/month for a DVR. That swings the math even more in favor of Tivo in my book, for sure. I'd much rather pay the same amount for a better product.

    You can't count the cost of the box in your comparisons, as when you buy the box, you're actually buying something that has value (see: eBay). You don't get that with a cable company DVR.

    (Also, this should be in the Coffee House - it isn't S3 specific).
     
  3. Toeside

    Toeside Circa Dec 2005

    3,386
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    Feb 14, 2002
    St Louis, MO
    But that's no longer an option. You need to realize that there are an influx of new TiVo owners/Subscribers due to the new TiVo HD box. They may not know Lifetime ever existed, and by posting that you don't pay monthly fees may be confusing to them.

    Lifetime was a great option while it lasted, but as we know, that option is gone. We are left with service fees--either monthly or prepaid.

    Personally, I'm "OK" with the fees, but I understand where the OP is coming from. We had DirecTV for 5 years paying $6/month for DVR service on the account. Going from a flat $6 to $13 for the first and $7 for each additional is quite a jump. I just have to factor in the fee on top of our cable bill (or for a while, we were OTA only, so no content bill) and decide if it's worth it. For us, it is.
     
  4. Bierboy

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

    12,667
    119
    Jun 12, 2004
    Fishers, IN
    I pay $12.95/month. That's the equivalent of two lunches. I enjoy my TiVo MUCH more than any lunch and for MUCH more time than it takes to eat two lunches. Case closed.
     
  5. Chris Fox

    Chris Fox New Member

    11
    1
    Oct 11, 2002
    Alpharetta, GA
    Why don't you agree to personally pay for any of Tivo's losses if they lower the rates to your "reasonable" level? Yeah, that's what I thought...

    It is definitely NOT free for Tivo to distribute those. As a MythTV user, I'm finiding out that is quite expensive for a company to use that data.

    R&D is done? Boy that's a funny one. So when the cable companies implement SDV, you don't think Tivo should make changes so their boxes can work with it?

    Do you think getting CableLabs approval is free? I've had to qualify systems through Telcordia (the phone comany equivalent of CableLabs); for a relatively small company like Tivo, this can be quite expensive and time consuming.

    And then there is this new thing called the "Internet" or something like that. I hear there might be some useful things out there that Tivo might leverage (think Netflix lists or Amazon unbox)...

    You expect them to give away a box for free and charge less than the cable company does for a HD DVR? Here's a scoop: the cable company LEASES their box to you; you DO NOT OWN it. And their not just getting $5/month from you; their getting much more than that for your TV susbscription.

    You're certainly free to not buy a Tivo. In fact, I don't own one myself since leaving DirecTV. But when it came time to use the cable company's DVR, I quickly gave up on it. Clunky interface, small storage, and advertisements galore led me to the old addage "you get what you pay for"...

    Rather than whine about the high cost of owning a Tivo (it was $800 for an S3 at the time), I actually did something about it. I built my own (MythTV setup)! Here's what I've learned from that experience:

    1. Building a HD capable PC with dual tuners is not cheap. At the very least, you're looking to spend $400-$500. It is easy to spend much more.
    2. Configuration and maintenance takes time (i.e. it is not free). Most commercial DVRs to a great job of hiding this from the user.
    3. Guide data is only free for non-commercial use (and that will likely be going away at the end of this month).

    So bottom line: a TivoHD at $300 plus $300 for 3 year pre-paid service is pretty reasonable IMHO. For about $17/month over 3 years (plus cablecard costs), you OWN the box. For a HD DVR from Comcast, it costs $10 or 15 per month to LEASE the box. For me, it is a no brainer to pass on the cable DVR.

    If you can really get multiple dual-tuner HD DVRs at $5 a pop, then you have a tougher choice. But my guess is that you are in the minority...

    Chris
     
  6. btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,335
    5
    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    I'm not commenting, I just want to vote in the poll, I was excluded.
     
  7. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    17,877
    0
    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    Some opinions:

    The TiVo fee for DirecTV DVRs is set by DirecTV, and the DVRs are serviced by DirecTV. TiVo expends little resources on their part of servicing DirecTV TiVos, at least that they don't get compensated for.
    Like cable, DirecTV is in the business of selling TV, which is where their primary revenue comes from. They could be selling the DVR service as a loss-leader.

    TiVos primary revenue is selling the DVR service, secondarily hardware, which they sell at a loss in some cases, and that loss is recovered from general revenue, rather than on a per customer basis.

    The DVR service does cover more than the guide data (which they do in fact have to pay for), it also covers the costs of their servers, internet connections, and yes, R&D for software development.

    In perspective, for a middle class household that pays at least $50 monthly for a pay TV service, and/or a couple grand or more on a TV set, TiVos Standalone DVR rate sheet isn't so bad.
     
  8. gschoen

    gschoen Member

    109
    0
    Jan 27, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    So don't.

    You can sit out this one poll, can't you?
     
  9. btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,335
    5
    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    No.
     
  10. gschoen

    gschoen Member

    109
    0
    Jan 27, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    I wouldn't mind leasing the Tivo if it meant lower fees or up front costs. Electronic depreciation quickly lowers the value of the device and the box isn't any good without service anway.

    Saying "but you own it" isn't a plus in my book. The 1-3 year committment is really harsh and doesn't take into account a user's future circumstances (moving to a condo building w/o cable, SDV rollouts, tech/other issues with cable co, etc. etc.etc.)
     
  11. jmpage2

    jmpage2 Active Member

    1,977
    4
    Jan 20, 2004
    That's true. What will these boxes be worth in 3 years? Will they be worth anything if a new "SDV capable" Tivo is needed down the road to watch SDV channels and PPV?
     
  12. btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,335
    5
    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    I decided I will comment, when I was looking at getting the S3 I was paying something like $5 to D*. I could probably live with a monthly fee like that. The monthly fees I was looking at were something like $12 I thought that was a bit high, so I jumped on the lifetime transfer when it was available.

    So my option in this poll would be "I think they're a little high". There's no option for that either. You're either fine with the fees (strongly or moderatly), or strongly against them. There's no moderatly against them option. (as well as having no "Other" option.)

    So I have a legitimate opinion for this thread, and I was excluded.
     
  13. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    22,648
    885
    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    You also have to pay $5 for each receiver(except the first one) on a DirectV account. That needs to be factored in as well. Comcast doesn't charge me a fee like that. I'm getting charged for the HD cable box and the digital cable. I have three Series 3 boxes and the TiVoHD box that is also covered under one outlet price, Since technically I take the one outlet and split it myself so they aren't charging me any more than the one outlet for four TiVos. They also aren't charging me anything for my 6 cable cards.
     
  14. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    3,070
    0
    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    Your area is very unusual. Each digital device beyond the first one should have an additional digital outlet charge, which is ~$7 in my area, whether it's a Comcast box or your TiVo's first CableCard. It's not based on the number of physical wall outlets.
     
  15. jmpage2

    jmpage2 Active Member

    1,977
    4
    Jan 20, 2004
    You've previously acknowledged that your billing setup is "not normal" and that you won't do anything to monkey with it for fear of having them start to bill you additional charges.

    Most people in the country will pay at least $7 per Tivo from Comcast as a "2nd outlet" or "HD upcharge" fee for using the service with another digital box.
     
  16. jjberger2134

    jjberger2134 Member

    1,767
    12
    Nov 19, 2002
    The original poster should compare apples to apples. Consider, a TiVo does much more than any cable co. DVR. The basic function of any DVR, TiVo or non-TiVo is the ability to record TV.

    However, there are specific TiVo only features, services that are non-existent on cable co. DVR's. These features include Amazon Downloads, MRV, TTG, Universal Swivel Search, the ability to view photos and listen to music from your PC, order movie tickets online, Yahoo weather and traffic, etc. etc. All of these "extras" need to cost something to the user.

    Also consider, there are some features that are included in your TiVo service that customers pay to their cable company as part of the monthly digital non-dvr service. For example, cable companies offer multiple music stations. TiVo includes this feature as part of their service - live365, but cable companies bundle it into the monthly service fee.

    So overall I think the original poster should consider the entire feature set when comparing TiVo to a cable company DVR. Overall, in my opinion the 1 year commitment is a bit steep, especially if you buy a box at full retail. As others have pointed out, the 3 year commitment has a negligible cost increase over a cable co. DVR.
     
  17. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    3,070
    0
    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    To those of you who voted "The fees are way too high!", why are you participating in this forum? If there is a better, more cost efficient product, why not use that product instead?
     
  18. jmpage2

    jmpage2 Active Member

    1,977
    4
    Jan 20, 2004
    What does thinking the fees are too high have anything to do with giving up on Tivo? I think $40,000 is too much for an Audi A4 sedan, but bought one anyway.

    Seriously, some of you guys can't stand to see Tivo get any criticism of any kind without feeling personally attacked?
    Your average consumer is not going to spend $299 for a 3 year service contract and will be paying $16.99 a month for a single Tivo box.

    If Tivo really wants some form of mass acceptance of their product through their own boxes they are going to have to address this.
     
  19. b3ar

    b3ar New Member

    67
    0
    Dec 1, 2005
    Not really. Granted Houston is new to being "Comcastic!", but the first cable card here is free, then you have to bring your friends. ;)

    I have one CableCard in my TivoHD, and I will enjoy paying $9/mo (vs. $15 - $17+ once Comcast makes our artificially low DVR fees more Comcastic) until I get Tivo finally releases a unit that does bidirectional communication. At that point, I'll ditch my upgraded TivoHD for the new unit, and quit paying any fees to Tivo (I have an unused Lifetime card being held in reserve for this).

    Bill
     
  20. CharlesH

    CharlesH Member

    1,093
    6
    Aug 29, 2002
    Sacramento...
    I wonder why I haven't heard of any TiVo leasing companies. Would it be a viable business plan for a company to buy a bunch of TiVo boxes with super-long-term service plans (perhaps specially negotiated with TiVo), and lease them to customers for some term, and then take them back and sell them or lease them again? The cable companies sure must see $$ in their set-top rental business, given how obstructionist they are toward third-party set-top boxes.
     

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