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The Decline And Fall Of Tivo And Media Center

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    The decline and fall of TiVo and Media Center | ZDNet

    F
    rom the article:

    "Given the current inflated market in patents, I wouldn't be surprised to see Google or Microsoft pay a hefty premium to acquire TiVo-if only for its solid gold brand name and its market-tested patent portfolio".
     
  2. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    If the Google Motorola Mobility acquisition goes through, I don't see Google purchasing TiVo. It is very clear that TiVo can't operate profitably in its current form, there is no market of significance willing to pay the necessary price. I have been using TiVo since 2000 and think its products are great but other than patent infringement lawsuits, it has done consistently poor every year in terms of profit and loss. TiVo with Google TV would be a great product but would have to be priced too high.
     
  3. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    I doubt that Google is even interested in TiVo since they already have Sage TV and is trying to acquire Motorola Mobility. That's not to say TiVo needs Google to buy them out to survive, but they should consider exploring a relationship with Google to stay relevant. Instead of relying on themselves to keep the platform pertinent they should allow third-party development through an app store. However, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, they should just buckle down and partner with Google to come up with a GoogleTiVo hybrid. Provided of course, if Google ever decides to make the Android Market available to Google TV.

    Here's an article that I read not too long ago, which I believe still remains good suggestions for the company.

     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  4. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    Although David Zatz already scooped the Premiere Elite back in August, as he often does. I just saw the new product listed on their site for $499 but only sign ups for information is available at this time.

    Personally, I think it is quite a bit over priced considering the main difference between the XL and the Elite is the additional tuners and hard drive size and the exclusion of analog tuner.
     
  5. bidger

    bidger Member

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    If I did have $500 to throw down on a DVR (I don't), I would opt for the 6 tuner networked Cable Card tuner from Silicon Dust since I wouldn't have to pay for a sub after the initial investment, something you have to factor in with the TiVo.

    I've done DVRs (TiVo, DirecTV HR2x series, WMC) since late 2000 and I really can't do live TV unless it's Sports, so I'm not quite as willing to declare the death of DVR as the authors linked in this thread. I will concede that they do a good job of backing up their claims with actual data. If you factor in the provider (Comcast, TWC, DirecTV and DISH) DVRs then it might not be as skewed. Yeah, there's been a surge for Netflix, but why don't we see how that new pricing structure plays out and how they'll handle renegotiating their contracts with content providers before we say they've won. The CableCard-integration for HTPC is huge to me. For the average consumer probably not, but they're far more likely to do a DVR from their sat/cable co. than a TiVo.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  6. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't afford the SiliconDust 3x2 Homerun Prime, since that would require me to also put together a low-power PC and rent two cable cards. Well, maybe over the long run it would pay for itself but doing so would invalidate my recent Google TV purchases. The up front pricing is defiantly something makes one take a step back.

    Ten years of procrastination caused me great regret once I calculated the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of purchasing a TiVo vs renting the cable company's DVR. As you can see from the table below, paying for the DVR rental and service costs me $227.76 per year. At this rate, I could have purchased a Tivo Premiere three years ago and cost difference would have only been $5.71, or have bought a Premiere XL and would saved $8.94 in four years . In fact, the longer I postpone the purchase the more my wallet bleeds.


    Hardware
    Monthly DVR Service
    Monthly Converter Rental
    12 Month Sub-total
    TCO-12
    Monthly DVR ServiceMonthly Converter Rental12 Month Sub-TotalTCO-24TCO-36TCO-48
    TCO-60
    Time Warner Cable DVR0.0010.997.99227.76227.7610.997.99227.76455.52683.28911.041,138.80
    Tivo Premiere
    Subsidized99.0019.992.50269.88368.8814.992.50209.88578.76788.64998.521,208.40
    Non-commitment299.9919.992.50269.88569.8719.992.50269.88839.751,109.631,379.511,649.39
    Lifetime99.00*499.992.50529.99628.990.002.5030.00658.99688.99718.99748.99
    Tivo Premiere XL
    Subsidized299.9919.992.50269.88569.8714.992.50209.88779.75989.631,199.511,409.39
    Non-commitment499.9919.992.50269.88769.8719.992.50269.881,039.751,309.631,579.511,849.39
    Lifetime299.99*499.992.50529.99829.980.002.5030.00859.98889.98919.98949.98

    *Lifetime fee is actually a one time charge not a monthly fee.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  7. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't buy TiVo to use with cable and would live with the cable DVR but trying to avoid the montly cable bill, TiVo with OTA is the best option I could find. As an existing customer, I could have purchased a TiVo Premiere with lifetime subscription for $475, now it is $500. A TiVo Premiere for $99 can be used with OTA only for $10/month, Solid Signal and others have that deal.
     
  8. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    Is $10 per month, a discount that you get for having multiple TiVo subscriptions? It seems to me the subsidized cost for a new owner is $19.99 month for the first year, then $14.99 per month thereafter which is what I included with my calculations in the table above.
     
  9. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    No, check Solid Signal for the $10 month terms, it is an OTA only deal.
     
  10. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    Here are the described terms from Solid Signal.

     
  11. bidger

    bidger Member

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    That would have been a neat trick since it didn't debut until early 2010.

    How is that different from the TiVo Elite, especially since you have to add in whichever subscription offer you choose? $500 for Lifetime if you're a new TiVo customer and $400 if you aren't. The 6 tuner option isn't the only one you have. I'm thinking about a two tuner Hauppauge unit that I've seen for ~ $130, not networked, but that's OK by me. As far as the Google experience, I use Boxee on my PC more than I use my Google Blu-ray player. A Boxee app when Honeycomb is available might change that.
     
  12. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    To me, a PC is so clunky, ugly and big compared to TiVo and the PC software isn't to my liking. TiVo with lifetime was an easy choice to me and adding a Logitech Revue for web browsing and streaming makes leaving cable and satellite behind much more tolerable. I still don't like the combination of OTA with TiVo and internet streaming as well as DirecTV but the price makes it my preferred choice. Three years ago, he would have to have chosen TiVoHD since the Premiere hadn't been released.

     
  13. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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  14. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the heads up. I didn't know that the plan existed. Unfortunately, I'm not quite prepared to "cut the cord" quite yet to consider OTA channels, since I only receive about 15 of them and more tan half of are Spanish channel and "mi no habla". Later, I'll connect the cable directly to my TV to see what clear QAM channels are available but I'm leaning more towards using a CableCard.

    Hehe, true. I am using today's pricing and products as an example. I believe they had similar pricing and plans for their older models back ten years ago. Either way, I'm only trying to demonstrate that buying a Lifetime TiVo is more cost effective than to renting a DVR from the local cable company in the long run.

    By the way, the $18.98 (10.99 + 7.99) monthly fees in the table is just for the Time Warner DVR itself, that doesn't include the actual $33.33 subscription for the cable channels.

    It's not really any different. However, building a power efficient Media Center PC would devalue the purchase of my Logitech Revue or Sony Internet TV. Besides, I'm not intending to purchase the TiVo Elite. There is barely enough simultaneous broadcasted content for my tastes to require more than two recordings at any given time.

    There are some small efficient Nettop PCs these days. Also, Windows Media Center (or XBMC and MythTV) isn't so bad, plus there's less worries about being "blocked" like with Google TV. After I ran the numbers, I'll keep it under consideration.

    339.99 Acer AspireRevo (AR3700-U3002)
    249.99 SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME (1x3)
    -------
    589.98
     
  15. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I understand some people will be happy with a PC rather than a DVR, I am just not one of them. I believe TiVo offers the preferrable OTA rates for two reasons, first the customer service cost is much less without questions about cable cards and tuning adapters and cable set up and second the market for OTA is not willing to pay nearly as much which is why they have chosen OTA. TiVo is unlikely to ever operate at a profit with the current business plan of selling hardware at a loss and trying to recoup the loss and show a profit from the subscription. If Google TV devices or cable DVRs or PCs ever see fully functional, properly working TiVo software, those applications will do much better than the current business. The upcoming DirecTV DVR with TiVo looks inferior to the DirecTV DVRs without TiVo and if that is true, means TiVo won't do well with that product either. The original DirecTV DVR With TiVo was the best DVR of its time back in 2000 when it was released and I am sure accounted for a big percentage of the TiVo customer base and was very profitable.
     
  16. bidger

    bidger Member

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    From the "Features" description for that bundle: "Minimum 1-year service plan required at $19.99 per month" I think Solid Signal is the only one offering that price for OTA-only service.
     
  17. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    Enough people have used the antenna only code with Premieres purchased elsewhere that I believe it will work but again only if used with an antenna only, no cable, it is easy to tell what source is being used while it is very difficult to know where the TiVo was purchased. That fine print regarding required plan is typical for all TiVo Premieres purchased and predates the special offer for OTA only which in terms of contract law is an addendum or revision to the the original terms as stated. One member at TiVo Community has used the code with the Best Buy antenna offer and it was accepted although there is no guarantee it will not be revoked before the first month is up so it is worth following to know more. Other reports have Premiere users calling TiVo to get the OTA only rate and being successful, so a small percentage of users on the plan have actually purchased the TiVo from Solid Signal is how I see it at this point. It would be rather stupid that a $99 TiVo purchased from Solid Signal gets this deal and a $99 TiVo purchased from TiVo or Best Buy does not.

    If the free offer from Best Buy required paying $10 more per month for service, it wouldn't be free would it? It wouldn't even be a good deal.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
  18. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    Actually, it is still a pretty decent deal considering purchasing either items separately from BestBuy would cost $99.99 and without the deal they would cost $199.98 together. Either way you look at it, you get a free $99 item. Incidentally, the same Direct C2 ClearStream2 Outdoor Digital HD TV Antenna is for sale on Solid Signal for $79.99. I suppose one could offset the purchase even further by auctioning off one of the items through eBay or selling through Craig's list.

    In addition to the 50% saving from the standard TiVo subscription, the antenna promotion only requires a one year commitment of $9.99 (12x9.99=119.88), so you would still save $81.11 (299.99-99.99-119.88) on the "unsubsidized price" from the TiVo store.

    But, bidger is correct as the Best Buy Combo Deal does point out:

    Although, I believe that's because TiVo requires 1-year service in order to function as a DVR. Otherwise without a subscription the Tivo becomes an OTA/Clear QAM tuner. So, ultimately, if you can at least keep the service for one year then you will make out like a bandit buying the combo deal from BestBuy and using the "Antenna" activation promotion code. Although, if you plan on using it more than 50 months (four years and two months) then you'd be better off purchasing the $499.99 Lifetime subscription. ((51*9.99)-499.99)=$9.50
     
  19. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    Eferz, my point was that all of the $99 TiVo purchase offers did include the $19.99 per month one-year contract. The OTA only exclusion was a subsequent offer that amends most, I believe all contract requirements, to $9.99 per month if used with an antenna for OTA only. TiVo can't know if the TiVo purchased at Best Buy was with antenna or not when beginning service and even if TiVo could know, it isn't likely to change the terms of the promotion trying to get OTA users signed up. Also if buying the Best Buy deal precludes taking advantage of the OTA only promotion, the savings will be negated by the additional monthly fee. That antenna isn't worth anywhere near $100 if purchased separately.

    Even if the TiVo/Antenna Best Buy special was going to be used with both OTA and cable requiring the $19.99 plan, it still might be worth consideration. As always if the purchaser has the funds to buy lifetime, that is likely the best deal because the used TiVo with lifetime is worth a lot while the used TiVo without service is worth very little when it is time to sell it. Spend a few hundred dollars paying monthly service a couple of years and you have nothing to show for it, purchase lifetime and a big percentage of the lifetime cost will be recovered when sold. The net benefit almost always outweighs the additonal cost for lifetime by a couple of hundred dollars.
     
  20. HeatherA

    HeatherA New Member

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    I have just recently taken advantage of this option. The fine print at Best Buy states you must pay $19.99 a month for a year when doing this option, yet I have both spoken with, and chatted online with, reps from TiVo that state the $9.99 OTA option overrides this as long as no cable card is used. I am taking their word for it... and saved the transcripts so that if I do get billed the higher amount I can fight it. This is my 4th active household TiVo and there was no need for a cable feed to it as I wanted only to be able to transfer recordings to the bedroom and use it for over-flow season passes for network conflicts.

    I am also preparing the household for the eventuality of cutting the cord with cable down the line... so OTA boxes will be important then as will good antennas... the new Premiere Elite does NOT include an OTA tuner so I can't see the need to upgrade to that box unless they offered it at rock bottom prices as it's useless without cable.

    I love TiVo... after 11 years of using it and 6-7 years of using MCE PCs I can tell you that I prefer TiVo. It does the DVRing perfectly and only fails at all the extras it tries to include. I hope it's around in some form for years to come, life without a TiVo would be hideous. However, I acknowledge that TiVo the company has got to step up its game... but I've said that for years and have yet to see them do it. :(

    -HeatherA
    New to Google TV and loving it!

    Owner of:
    Logitech Revue | 46" Sony Google TV | 24" Sony Google TV
    TiVo S2 DT | TiVo HD | TiVo Premiere | TiVo Premiere XL
     

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