The problem with the $19.99 monthly subscription is the huge hit on the monthly TV budget on an already expensive cable bill. Or, perhaps worse, cord cutters don't like the idea of paying $20 per month (or about $35 per month for a 2nd Premiere) for "FREE" TV. We have had quite a few post on this huge fee to watch "FREE" TV, and I agree.
The irony is that as much as TiVo wants everyone to upgrade to a Premiere, the old Series 3 platform seems to be the most economical and even reasonable monthly rates available. The S3 platform is extremely stable now and without the Premiere sluggishness, even AFTER the latest firmware update. Using my S3's is such a fast and snappy experience and they work well and do the job well. It is the Premiere that always tries my patience and I would NOT pay $20 a month for it (I have the special OTA only rate of $9.99 per month). While the new UI enhancements are really good, IMHO, it is NOT worth the sluggishness and now annoying Discovery Bar I have come to HATE after initially thinking it interesting along with some lingering issues with Premiere to be worth $20 per month.
IMHO, my advice to cord cutters or anyone interesting in TiVo at all is to get an S3 platform in good condition on Ebay, for example, and either pay the lower monthly rate (some are paying the $6.50 per month rate) or even a box with Lifetime and get a much more enjoyable experience with a DVR that has all the same important TiVo features (sorry, but for OTT, Roku, Boxee Box, etc. for Netflix, Hulu Plus, Blockbuster, Amazon, etc. much better than the TiVo experience with its many reported frustrations and limitations like NO Amazon Premiere account streaming) with a faster UI experience on a tried and true platform.
I don't think it worth the extra $$ per month to have the TV channel picture in the Discovery Bar, have transfers between 2 Premieres (almost $40.00 per month for the privilege) proceed at faster speeds, or have the content stream from one Premiere to the another Premiere (still with the Premiere cost of about $36 per month), nor the HD UI which is still a HUGE disappointment for the rest of the menus other than the TiVo Central with Discovery Bar. Perhaps worth it to others, but not for most, I would think.
Back to main point of ideas for TiVo, specifically PRICING: TiVo knew that BOTH the upfront purchase price of the box AND the monthly fee were both things that turned people away from TiVo as opposed to people getting a DVR for no up-front cost from the cable company. They most likely could address either one of the other, but not both. I believe their research indicated that people found the very high upfront retail purchase price to be the biggest obstacle to getting a TiVo, but the monthly fee, while not desirable, was affordable and tolerable to most potential subscribers. So, TiVo went the route of heavily subsidizing the retail price of the Premiere to a sweet spot price point of $99 retail, but with a higher monthly fee to recoup their costs. It's hard to blame TiVo, but they have no other streams of revenue from the consumer like the cable cos do to recoup FREEBIE DVR's. It is just sad that if someone wants to cut the cord and use a TiVo Premiere, it will cost them a minimum of $20 per month to record "FREE" TV. That just jolts a lot of people.
Long live the S3, HD, and HDXL!