Why was TiVo HD not the first Series 3?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by MickeS, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

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    So there's one thing I can not understand:

    The TiVo HD is for all intents and purposes the same as the Series 3, when it comes to functionality. The things that are missing are the front display, the front control buttons, the THX certification and the backlit remote. It also has a 1/3 smaller HD.

    Except for the HD, these are things that NOBODY would have missed if this had been the original Series 3. Do you think any TiVo fan here would have said "nah... I won't buy it, it doesn't have the front display"? No, of course not.

    So why did they build the original Series 3 with those things? Why was the TiVo HD not the first Series 3? Let's assume that they couldn't have cut the cost by as much as $500 as they did now, but maybe $300. That would have met the $499.99 price point that seemed to be popular here when there was speculation about the pricing of the first Series 3.

    Can someone enlighten me? It makes no sense.
     
  2. LostCluster

    LostCluster Member

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    Simple business... they wanted to soak the money out of those people who were willing to pay the higher price to get it first, now that they're gone they're cutting the price. You must be new here. They've done this before.
     
  3. pkscout

    pkscout Well-Known Member

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    The only thing I can think is that they needed to recoup development costs, so they put in some "extras" (OLED, remote, THX certification) and then charged a huge premium for it. They always said there would be no subsidies for the S3. I wonder if that's true for the TiVo HD.

    That said, I agree. They should have come out with this box a year ago and charged $500 for it.
     
  4. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    Because TiVo don't listen to me until its too rather late. ;)

    Actually this TiVo HD may be much more than the cheaper S3 that should have been built last year. They may actually have something more here now.
     
  5. pkscout

    pkscout Well-Known Member

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    At 5900 posts I suspect MickeS has been around the block a few times.
     
  6. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Most of the parts in the TivoHD weren't available when Tivo designed the Series3.

    Subtract about $50 for THX certification, OLED, and the remote. The remaining cost savings is due to the new design, cheaper components, and reduced software R&D (since the Tivo Series3 was allotted much of that expense).
     
  7. dbenrosen

    dbenrosen New Member

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    I think it was because they were looking at HD as a high-end technology, but were a year too late in that thinking. By the holiday season 2006, HD was more along the mid-range of home electronics instead of the high-end. If the S3 had come out in 2005, they would have been positioned correctly.
     
  8. MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

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    Of course I understand that. What I'm asking is why they were doing it by adding a bunch of features that nobody asked for.
     
  9. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    I'd trade to never knowing for the new CMO getting the folks responsible fired.
     
  10. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Actually it looks like TiVo along with many TV manufactures guessed wrong on how fast HD TVs would become mainstream and how fast their price would drop. The Series 3 was designed to compliment $2000-3000 HD TVs - I don't think to many people were expecting the blood bath in HD TV price drops last Xmas. I am sure they had plans for a lower cost HD unit in the future its just that the future got here faster than expected.

    Thanks,
     
  11. tobszanski

    tobszanski New Member

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    I'm very happy that the future is here, I bought my 42" LCD a few months ago and was trying to justify the Series 3, now I won't have to. I bought my first Series 2 for my birthday three years ago, and will now get the new Tivo HD for my birthday this year.

     
  12. nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

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    If it were simply that they wouldn't have created a whole new box. They'd have stripped down the S3 and cut the price.

    Keep in mind that during the time the S3 was developed HD was still expensive and Cable Card was not well known or understood. I would guess that because of the time and effort getting the bugs out of the cable card implementation the development time for the S3 was longer than TiVo would have liked. As a result the S3 design is probably older than it's time on the market would suggest.
     
  13. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I think that TiVo made a conscious choice. Two years ago when they started development of the S3 they knew that there was no way, using the parts they had available at the time, to release a box with a price point as low as they wanted. So they decided to add a few high end extras, paint the case shiny black and try to appeal to the enthusiast market instead. All the while knowing that a year or so down the road parts would be available which were cheap enough to make their original price point plausible.

    I don't hold it against them though. The best they could have done back then was come out with some mid-priced box which would have still been too expensive for the low end and too cheap looking for the high end. That probably would have resulted in even worse sales, and possibly the loss of development dollars need to produce this new cheaper unit.

    Dan
     
  14. nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

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    Exactly. If they had waited until they could hit a more reasonable price they would have been just starting to tackle all of the cable card issues now. Now is too late to start another shopping season with an unproven cable card implementation hanging over their head. Instead they've got a reasonably proven implementation now available at a very attractive price.
     
  15. davecramer74

    davecramer74 New Member

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    parts are cheaper now. Look at all electronics. The more manufacturing of the parts, the more there are available, the better the cost gets for the people who need them. Look at HD DVD and BLU-RAY. they've dropped like 75% in price the last yaer. When tivo s3 came out, its parts were more expensive. now there are companies who have made cheaper parts that do the same trick, thus easier for tivo to build a cheaper unit.
     
  16. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    to get to the other side;)


    seriously this is like asking why did the chicken cross the road. TiVo needed to put an cable card HD model out ASAP. they knew they could not hit the lower price point they wanted to. So they went high end and priced it that way and clearly stated this was a premium product. Why? because everyone was bitching about wanting an HD Tivo and going off to cable or sat DVRs in droves. It was either put out an S3 NOW or pack up and go home.

    so they did a parallel track of the S3 and the Tivo HD. Anyone who bought the S3 was fully informed they were paying a premium price.
     
  17. 20TIL6

    20TIL6 BaDoop BaDoop BaDoop

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    I'm an S3 owner, and I love my bigger HD, my OLED display, and my GLO remote. You new TiVo HD owners cannot come to my frankfurter parties.

    - One Snooty Star-Bellied S3 Sneetch, the best on the DVR beach!
     
  18. MickeS

    MickeS Active Member

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    I would argue that they could have done exactly this with a model exactly like the TiVo HD, as long as the hard drive was bigger than what the cable company DVRs had.

    Most "high-end" customers don't give a rat's ass about what it looks like - it ends up in a cabinet somewhere, never to be seen again (with the original remote sitting next to it).
     
  19. bdraw

    bdraw Member

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    No doubt it was to recoup costs, but lets face it there's alot of margin in the Series3, which is evident, based on the fact that they can be found for under $600 online. It's reasonable to assume that BB pays ~$500 for it, which means there is more margin than the MSRP of the TiVo HD.

    But in the end I think many here are correct, it was a marketing decision. The biggest question I have now is, why is the MSRP of the Series3 still $799? It seems it should be closer to $599. personally I would still choose the Series3 over the TiVo HD if it was $300 vs $500. I think the difference is worth $200, but most certainly not $500.

    I also don't think it's fair to say they are features no one wants. I personally love the remote, as well as the piano black finish.
     
  20. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I agree that I personally like the "extras" like the OLED and Glo-Remote. However it's becoming evident that this new TiVo HD is not just a repackaged version of the S3 with cheaper parts. TiVo has added chips which appear to be positioned to add additional features which the original S3 can't achieve. The most notable is the addition of a dedicated transcoder chip capable of converting HD video to SD in realtime. This opens up the possibility of allowing full MRV support among mixed S2 and S3 environments. It also opens up the possibility of a DVD recorder unit capable of down sampling HD to standard DVDs. It also contains a newer generation processor and, according to bkdtv, twice as much RAM. With those additions, even if they do nothing now, I would find it hard to buy an older S3 just for fear that some new cool feature might come along that my more expensive S3 unit didn't support.

    Dan
     

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