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I will say this, regardless of how many people have seen it so far, the moment I see an ad before a show I recorded plays is the moment I immediately stop using and recommending Tivo. The service has already gone downhill enough, and at the point they put ads in the beginning, that's the tipping point for me to switch to X1.
 

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I too dislike the concept and perhaps reality of the "pre-roll" ads. But I have to say I'm more amused by the bizarre behavior here of so many with all the anger of the world showing up. Cripes, TiVo saves you 20 minutes an hour of viewing time with the ability to skip or even auto-skip commercials. Commercials pay for a good part of your "free" entertainment. TiVo also still allows you to watch TV on your time/terms. I agree, I don't want that 20 second ad, but if it helps support the company that allows me to watch TV on my time/terms I'll bite. I am not about to blow my own gasket over this. I'll protest, I'll email, but I won't start screaming that I'm dumping TiVo for an alternative, when in reality, no better alternative has shown up over 20 years.

Don't you people understand how much TV production costs? Someone has to pay for those show to be produced, and you're the ones watching them. Someone has to pay for hardware and software to be developed to allow TiVo or other DVRs to function, and you're the ones using them.

I'll just sit here and watch the heads of some of you folks explode.
Here's the thing. Tivo doesn't pay for the production, and nowhere does it say that Tivo will send this money to the networks, who DO pay for the production.

We have been told that our $15 per month or $600 for lifetime fee is what pays for the Tivo "service". Bandwidth costs to deliver the data have gone down (substantially) and they now own the company providing the guide data, so they should be getting a good "deal" on that now too. As for the cost of software, they haven't updated it THAT much in a year-over-year basis, but I agree, that costs money. Again, that's what I am paying for.

If my cable company can cover the cost of the hardware AND software for $10 a month, why can't Tivo at least cover the cost of software for $15?
 

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And we all know how well TiVo has done in its past calculations. ;)

edit: I should add (and so not to be seen as too snarky), I'm not opposed to TiVo experimenting with revenue-generation methods, even something like here--it's just, to do so smartly and to not alienate the customer base as to why we use a TiVo box.
Exactly. Ads will generate some money for Tivo, but Tivo was already a tough sell as they haven't really added that much over the past few years. (I'm not saying I expect them to, but it has given other DVR options a chance to surpass the options available to Tivo, eg the Channels app).

How many ads will Tivo have to sell to make up for the $1200 in lost revenue from me (was planning on an Edge and new Mini later this year when they come out, and will no longer do that). How many ads will Tivo need to sell to make up for the millions of people who have read the negative press already and will no longer consider a Tivo? How many ads will Tivo need to sell to make up for the fact that hundreds of thousands of Tivo customers will no longer recommend Tivo as an option, or rave about how awesome it is?

Furthermore, looking at what they have announced so far (Tivo Streaming Stick) they appear to be AT LEAST 10 years behind in technology (that thing looks like a generation 1 Roku Stick at best). As a Tivo fan, all of that combined with the ads is heartbreaking (and probably one reason why a few high profile Tivo executives have stepped down like TivoMargret). Tivo used to be THE leader in DVR technology, which made the fact that they were an awful patent troll easy to overlook, but in the past few years they haven't really advanced the industry, and like I said others have caught up. Combined with learning recently that Xfinity had to remove features because Tivo sued them (and Tivo seeing this as a valid strategy going forward) and it just makes it really hard to want to continue to support them, let alone recommend them to my friends and family.

I'll probably keep my lifetime Roamio, for now. It's paid for. I'll give it time to iron itself out, but I am also definitely looking at my alternatives. If the box dies, I'm out. If I get annoyed with the ads, I'm out. If the HD Home Run 6 tuner gets good reviews, I am out. For the first time in 20 years, there is no scenario where I will be upgrading my Tivo. Depending on what I decide to do, Tivo may get a few more pennies from me in ad revenue, but they have lost my trust, and my future hardware/service revenue.

And for those who say I should cut them some slack, I don't think you really understand what this means. Tivo already has less than 1 million retail subs, and this will speed up that exit. Once it is no longer profitable to operate, the platform will die. So, defend them if you want, go down with the ship if you want, but just be aware that the loss of customers will likely be the downfall of Retail Tivo, and perhaps ALL of Tivo as a whole. I know people have said this for 20 years, I have been a customer for 20 years. But I truly feel that we are closer to that day than ever before, especially since Tivo can no longer live on "patent settlement" money (since they don't own that business anymore).
 

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I use Lifetime 4 tuner Roamios exclusively with 4 minis, waiting for TiVo to offer free dvr service with Ads on my 2 Bolts sitting in the closet and better not see the ads on my lifetimes.
This would be the smart play, so Tivo won't do it.

Tivo lacks customers. If you discount or remove the service fee, or give the hardware away for free, it removes a barrier of entry for people. If Tivo were going to offer two tiers of service ($5 per month with ads, $15 per month without) then this wouldn't be a problem. Not only is this not their plan, they also plan to look at other places to insert ads (including ad replacement during the show).
 

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Yes, our customer support organization does have the ability to opt a customer out of this functionality. I believe there are a number of criteria that go into determining whether a customer is eligible for this (tenure, service plan, etc.). I don't think it's as easy as just calling us up and asking to be opted out.

TE3 was put into maintenance mode almost 2 years ago.

Yes, we are working to improve the performance of the pre-roll ads so they are hardly noticeable.

I will share my personal experience here. For the past 20+ years that I've been a TiVo customer myself, the first thing I do after hitting Play on a show is either FF over the lead-in advertising or SKIP over it on skip-enabled programs. These new pre-roll ads are really no different than that. Press Play, press SKIP. I thought it was going to be more disruptive, but have found it to be a non-issue.
In my 20 years of usage, this is not my experience. Furthermore, anytime Tivo "inserts" itself via a server checkin, it ads a few seconds (in my experience) that I cannot watch my show. For a service that I paid over $1000 for one box, this is simply unacceptable.

But let me ask you a serious question (that you likely will not be able to answer). I was planning to buy an Edge, a new Mini, and Lifetime service for both on day of release. Assuming that would have cost me $1200, how many ads will Tivo need to run for others to make up the lost revenue (because I obviously will no longer consider that purchase if this goes through, even if I do continue to use my Lifetime Tivo until it dies).
 

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Well, at the risk of continuing to go off-topic, let me explain further. TiVo's consumer business model has not evolved much in the 20+ years we've been selling DVR's. I can go into more detail in another thread, but mechanisms like targeted advertising, content delivery and premium services are all going to be needed in order for us to help bring down the out-of-pocket costs for consumers over time.
See, and all of that is COMPLETELY fine with me. I have always had a hard time selling Tivo because of the cost, but if you offered an experience that had ads, at say $10/month, it would be easier to sell to the average consumer.

Where I have a problem is, as someone who paid full price for Tivo, and someone who still would WITHOUT ads (so in this scenario I would expect to pay more) I am being treated the same, and subject to the same ads as someone who benefited from lower up front costs. If I got in my car, but before I could put it in gear I had to listen to a 30 second ad or hit another button, that car would be sold immediately. I currently pay for Netflix, if they started putting ads for Ford or Chevy, or whatever, in front of each episode that I couldn't opt out of by paying a higher fee, I would cancel my subscription and never return.

This whole thing just leaves a sour taste in my mouth about Tivo. Since it's not coming to TE3, I'll likely just roll back to that until this Tivo finally dies rather than buying a new Tivo. I guess the sad part for me is, I was really excited to do that before this announcement, but I guess now comes the excitement of finding a replacement.

At the very least, existing customers should be grandfathered in at the "premium" tier (the one we have now) and new customers can decide to pay less for the ad tier, or upgrade to the "premium" tier.
 

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Doesn't matter. Won't actually be me, but will be someone else. Just wait.
Careful. It is a Terms of Service Violation to either file a class action OR participate in one, so if Tivo has a way to find out if you participated, they''ll likely terminate your service (which yes, they can do if you violate the TOS EVEN IF YOU PAID FOR LIFETIME).
 

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When TiVO splits into two companies in 2020 the Patents Inc side will no longer contribute to TiVO Inc. bottom line. Something has to replace this revenue stream! TiVO is adding a profitable recurring revenue stream so lowering prices would just offset this. That obviously makes zero business sense.

TiVO is just copying the current business model of Roku a company that was written off only a few years ago. Roku when faced with competition from Amazon, Apple, and Google changed its business model from hardware sales to ads+Video rental platform. TiVo's competition is just as daunting in Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon.

You don't have to like it but at least understand the reasoning.
Flawed logic. Roku charges less than $100 for the hardware and zero subscription fees. And Roku doesn't insert ads before every Netflix stream, only on the content they give you FOR FREE.

If even 10% of the customer base leaves, this concept will lose TiVo money in the long term. I bet at least 10% leave or forgo new purchases over this move.
 

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And via their UI.
Right, something TiVo has actually done since day 1 to varying degrees (and it will come back, they have already stated as such). Pre-roll ads are another thing entirely.

One is looking at a billboard at a stop light, the other is being forced to watch an ad to get the light to turn green.
 

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Going with your made up numbers we have 10% of ~300,000 customer is 30,000 retail customers forgoing a new purchase they may never have made anyway. That is small compared to the 7+ million OEM cable company subscribers who pay monthly and will watch the pre-rolls happy that auto-Skip removed the other 16 minutes of ads.

Honestly the only reason TiVO didn't start serving up ads sooner is because of the Patent $$$ coming in. That's gone and something needs to replace that recurring revenue stream. Feel free to suggest one.
First, you are overestimating how much money TiVo makes from cable companies. The most recent number, which is probably a bit low, was around $2 per box to MSO's. IF TiVo rolls out ads to MSO's, they would easily get80% or more of that revenue, as they would owe some of it back to the programmers. Assuming per-box revenue for MSO has increased to $5, they would still make more on retail, if the volume was the same.

Now, ads go for an average of $3 per 1000 impressions. Average sub would likely see about 2500 in a year, so $7.50 a year per box. Let's assume, again very low numbers, that the average TiVo consumer spends $750 on their TiVo over 6 years (this assumes half of the customers don't get new boxes, assumes at least some pay monthly, and some have minis or multiple boxes). Simple math says that for each lost sub it would take 100 years to make up the ad revenue. Even if you think my estimations suck and you half that, it's 50 years. Think I'm WAAAY off? 1/4 would still be 25 years.

Some will leave, some will forgo planned purchases. It's hard to come up with any number that doesn't lose them money over no ads, which is why they'll turn them off if you complain.
 

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That is good news, I guess it was just a rumor. Since I can roll back to TE3 anytime I will continue my "test" of TE4 on my Bolt, thanks :) Oh, you do say "to your knowledge", if that changes please post BEFORE they would do it.
Not saying TiVo would ever do this, but they COULD force TE 4 on you, even if you roll back (per the terms and conditions). They could also choose to outright discontinue the S3 and S4 regardless of lifetime status.

Again, not saying they would, but I also never thought they would do this, so.....
 

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I'm going to say something that is probably unpopular here.

If it helps to keep TiVo selling retail boxes, the commercials really aren't a huge issue for me. I would rather have the commercials with TiVo than no commercials and no TiVo. Of course, zero pre-roll ads would be great, but it's only a quick button press to skip them; then the rest of the program is commercial free with Auto Commercial Skip. So, basically, it's a single button press more and you're done.

There may be some other options for TiVo to make additional money. What if they added one or two dollars extra to the TiVo monthly service fee? What if you had the option to choose?

It seems to me, that for most of you it's a "principle thing," and I get that. TiVo could have done this differently (raising the monthly price) and there wouldn't have been as much of a backlash. Hopefully they will reconsider or come up with something a little more palatable for most users.
Here's the thing, I am a HUGE Tivo Fan. In the past 20 years, I have had Tivo in my life for all but 6 months of them. I have sold Tivo to others, and I have even gifted Tivo. I did so because it was a premium experience, and it charged a premium price.

Adding ads, to me, makes this no longer a premium service, and I previously put up with just about ANYTHING to keep my Tivo. If that's the path they want to go down, then they need to stop charging premium pricing for it, and instead UNDERCUT the offering from the cable company. I fully realize that they are too small to afford this.

My concern is that ads will add very little to the bottom line, because they don't have the volume of people needed to really monetize that (ad money is a volume game after all). And they WILL lose the premium end of the market in this (how much is that, who knows?) Even if that is a small number of retail, this move WILL backfire and make them less money in the long term, but probably make stockholders happy short term. If Tivo loses money long term, they won't be around for long, because they have very little runway.

So yes, I TOO want to do whatever I can to help Tivo to stay around, my argument is that THIS IS NOT IT at least how it's currently implemented. If they offered an ad supported "version" for less money, now we are talking. This is a "hail mary" desperation pass that fells like it will fail, and lead to the end of retail Tivo.

My opinion, and my two cents, based on how people I speak with are reacting to the news.
 

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Wow! I opened up a can of whatever for sure. I know the Amazon pre ads are not ads but in a way they still are for their own product. No biggie. I know we spend a lot of cash, some more than others on the Tivo product. We also spend a lot on the total Amazon products. If you think the cash you give Amazon is only for shipping that is a sad misconception. Just about every store is giving free or almost free shipping to compete without a membership fee. But still its tough to beat one or two day shipping. Although my last order took 6 days! What? yep.
And no one should have to beg to have ads removed. I won't go that course if my OTA roamio gets the ads. I will treat it like the Amazon ads. Besides,I havent seen a commercial since I started using Tivo so nothing will change in this household. Even before the skip button, I would just ff through them. And the strangest thing is....I still buy Coke or Pepsi without seeing any ads. :)
I think trying to compare the Amazon Pre-Roll ads with the Tivo ones is really not an apples-to-apples comparison. I view the ads on Amazon no different than seeing a preview for another show (HBO does something similar). They are doing it on a service that costs $10 a month or less, and includes free shipping, as well as programming through Prime Video.

A better comparison is BUYING a show on Prime Video (yes, you can do this). When I BUY a show on Amazon, I don't get pre-roll ads. I BOUGHT a Tivo, I paid for service, yet still get pre-roll ads. I don't even think I would have a problem with this on NEW boxes, as long as I know what I am getting myself into, but they don't really even spell this out on their website. Furthermore, I am concerned as a FAN of Tivo because this is getting a LOT of bad press. Listening to Leo Laporte today, he was talking about replacing his Tivo because he doesn't trust the new owners of Tivo to handle the brand properly. And he's not the only one, I was listening to a podcast called "Cordkillers" where they basically said this felt very much like a "milk the brand for what you can before it dies, because it's going to die". I understand the business model needs to evolve, but this isn't the way to do that.

And as a fan, this has gotten me to take a serious look at what is available to me. Know what I found? X1 is actually REALLY good. I wouldn't even have done that if not for this change.
 

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I don't understand how the folks at Tivo can think users won't leave if they start adding commercials on top of selling the most expensive DVRs on the market with the most expensive fees already.

All I would have to do is turn off the service and get a dvr from my cable provider. Save money in the process.

I've been on a slow burn ever since I heard it was coming. Soon as it shows up they get a call to turn off service from my house.
The theory I have heard making the rounds in the tech community is that Tivo already KNOWS they are going to lose retail subs, they are now just trying to milk us for every last penny on our way out.
<SARCASM>
Once my local movie theatre started offering (around) an additional 30 minutes of pre-roll ads, adding on to the 20 minutes of (pre-roll) trailers, I never again went to the movie theatre.
</SARCASM>

Do I like the idea (I have not yet seen them) of pre-roll ads? No. Would I cancel service over it, as long as I can ignore them, just like I ignore the (pre-roll) ads in the movie theatre? No.
Better comparison - theater across the street has slightly less comfortable seats and a smaller screen but shows no ads before the movie. Which theater do you choose?
 

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Reliability, well, they've all suffered a rash of Bolt hard disk failures. Now, they've never experienced a rash of Comcast DVR hard disk failures so they don't actually know that Comcast DVR's are usually worse, but they all have Bolt HD failures (which are no different than Unit Failures) fresh in their minds.

And further, the mention of reliability also unleashed a string of complaints of missed recordings (All guide data related), which spiked dramatically post Rovi conversion - complete with recent (and valid) complaints. All cases where their friends "Regular DVR"s had no problems recording their shows, but the fancy expensive Tivo blew it.

It's really, really has become a harder argument than it used to be.
And the hard drive failure issue really isn't a problem on X1 anymore, because they already "back up" the most recent 20 hours of programming to their managed cloud (of which you would have a really hard time differentiating from a local recording, as it is on their managed network). So now, if the hard drive fails, for most people, they won't lose anything. For people that would lose older recordings, on demand is usually "good enough" in a failure like this (and the bonus is that you get the new box at no additional cost, since you are leasing everything vs owning it).

The reliable guide thing really is an issue. It hasn't affected me much, but when it has, it stings (happened with South Park last week, and the worst part was, I checked in the morning and it was set to record, it only updated to bad data at the last minute!).

Only thing keeping me on my 6 year old Roamio at this point, post-ad era, is the fact that I can opt out, and the fact that it's "free" now so I might as well just ride it out. Once it dies, I'm gone (because I have no guarantee that a $1000 Edge will be able to opt out, and X1 now gives me a slightly superior experience with a few exceptions).
 

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Yes, although small correction: Comcast's cloud DVR backs up/mirrors the most recent 60 hours of recordings from your local X1 DVR(s).
Oh, nice! They have upgraded it since the last time I looked! So they can provide the hardware, 60 hours of cloud storage, accurate guide data, AND on-demand access for $5 less per month than Tivo AND have no pre-roll ads. I realize that Comcast doesn't need to make as much money on their DVR service, but still, tell me again how Tivo provides me less for more and still needs to get a few dollars more per year out of ads that make the Tivo experience worse?
 

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Have you used one of them recently? The UI and overall UX is terrible. I wouldn't use one of those for my living room TV setup if you paid me a monthly fee to do so.

I do like the cloud backup feature, though. I'll give them props for that.
I have. It's different, to be sure, but in many ways I actually like it better than TE 4. Tradeoffs to be sure, but the way it integrates On-Demand is good, the online experience is better, and remote play just "works". Lately, I can't say the same of Tivo. My Mini works for a few days, then the box needs to be rebooted. Then streaming works for a few weeks, then the box needs to be rebooted. Much may have been solved here with Edge, but with pre-roll ads, it's just not a gamble I want to take, especially with Comcast moving to IPTV.
 

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Just FYI, the new pricing scheme that Comcast has rolled out in parts of their footprint (and will almost certainly spread everywhere) is this: DVR service (whether 60 hrs cloud-only or local+cloud) costs $10/mo for the account. And then whatever model X1 boxes you rent are $5/mo each. You can go 100% IPTV and just get simple wireless X1 boxes with no tuners or hard drive and exclusively rely on cloud DVR. (Or, if you go 100% IPTV, you're not forced to rent any boxes at all; you can just use the Stream app on your Roku or smart TV at no additional charge, at least for now while it's still officially in beta.) Or you can (for now, at least) still get physical X1 DVRs, which use a hybrid QAM/IPTV system. Either way, you pay $5 for the box and $10 for the DVR service itself.

Also, they now have three core channel packages: Basic, Extra and Preferred. Extra and Preferred come with 20 hours of free cloud DVR at no extra cost. You only pay the $10 DVR service fee if you upgrade to 60 hours of cloud DVR (or take a physical DVR box, which necessarily also includes 60 hours of cloud storage).

TiVo lovers like to hate on X1 and I'm sure they have valid points in terms of its day-to-day use. But in the bit of time that I played around with it, after setting up a friend's box, I thought that the UI looked really slick and integrated on-demand very nicely. And the voice input worked really fast and accurately. Still though, you're not going to be able to store nearly as much as with a TiVo, or have the kind of power-user features that many TiVo users enjoy. Trade-offs...
I live in an association that provides cable + internet for a bulk rate (it's super cheap). With that, I get 3 free boxes, and a free cable modem. So at least for me, the DVR service won't change. That said, even if the DVR service is identical in price to Tivo, I don't have the up-front cost of buying the box, and when the equipment gets older, I can just swap it out (since it's a lease).

I have had both the "old" motorola boxes in the past, as well as the X1 box (no DVR). IMO, each solution has trade-offs. The power user features are really nice with Tivo, the ability to move shows to PC is really awesome, and the ability to upgrade Hard Drives is great too (have done this twice, even when it was harder). Overall, I did PREFER the Tivo, but it was only slightly, over the X1 boxes. For me, ads tip the scales just enough. I will keep my Tivo, I will opt out of ads, but I will NOT give Tivo another dime until the practice stops. If they reverse course, great. If not, when this Tivo dies, I'll get an X1 box and see if I can tolerate it. If not, I may try Channels. At this point, both are slightly cheaper overall (and Channels would give me an excuse to get a NAS, just have to see if TV Everywhere works enough for me during the trial first).

To me personally, TE4 and X1 are pretty similar UI's. I have a harder time seeing, so the X1 wins out slightly (although I get around this by using the app when I need to see the guide) in that regard. As I stated above, remote play, watching on PC's, tablets, etc. and playing on secondary boxes is more stable on X1, but the Tivo UI is slightly faster (until the ads start, I don't need yet another chance to see a BSC). Voice on X1 is a killer feature (but I am sure it's great with VOX too).
 

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With people like "you" it's just a matter of time before TiVo comes crumbling down. How is TiVo staying afloat any way?
"People like me" aren't the reason Tivo isn't staying afloat. I'm a long time Tivo user, having bought my original Phillips S1 in 2001, and have owned several Tivo's and sold several Tivo's. Tivo is killing Tivo by suing instead of innovating, and introducing "features" to it's platform that go against what the company sold for the past 20 years. The Tivo of today isn't even the Tivo of 5 years ago, let alone 20. And while Tivo is becoming LESS consumer friendly and innovative, Comcast is becoming MORE innovative and consumer friendly, offering cloud DVR, seamless on-demand integration, the ability to watch TROUBLE FREE from iPad, iPhone, Android, PC, and Mac from ANYWHERE regardless of home internet speed, status, etc. all for LESS than what Tivo costs.

Tivo WAS the premium, seamless, smooth, and best option, but NONE of those have even been maintained in the past 5 years. My Tivo Mini has become so unreliable that I have simply unplugged it, Tivo online is a joke, and the last time I tried to watch Tivo in my iPhone or IOS device, it didn't work at all, despite having a premium home router and enough tech skills to be successful in IT. And before people blame me for the technical failure, realize that to the average consumer THAT ALONE is the problem. This crap should just work, and when Comcast provides that ecosystem already while Tivo removes features, THAT is what is killing Tivo.
 
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