TALK STORY

Anyone have Tivo?

POSTED BY: NOVAGRASS
UPDATED: Monday, February 3, 2003 20:37
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Saturday, June 15, 2002 10:42 AM

NOVAGRASS


I've been considering getting Tivo for a while now... and I was just wondering if anyone out there can recommend it or advise against it? It would be a *great* thing to have if it works like it claims to... but I'm not one to trust a lot of claims...

So... anyone have positive or negative experiences with Tivo they'd like to share?

--Dylan Palmer, aka NoVaGrAsS--

... I guess it's a Joss thing...

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Saturday, June 15, 2002 12:05 PM

SHAMUS


Yup! There is life before Tivo and then there is the Good Life.

Nothings exceeds like excess.

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Saturday, June 15, 2002 12:30 PM

ZICSOFT


Tivo is really great if you're the sort of person who relies on a VCR, but you're always missing shows because you forgot to put in a tape, or you made a mistake programing, or the shows you like move around a lot, etc. The other stuff is convenience things that are nice, but not something I would spend a lot of money for -- having shows you like recorded without the Tivo being told to, being able to watch and record at the same time, etc., etc.

But. Big but. The damn things have a significant failure rate. Which I guess is not suprising when you try to make a digital video recorder at consumer prices. The statistic are a deep dark secret. I'd guess at least 95% of them are OK. So if you luck out and can spare the cash, you'll live happily ever after in video nirvana. But you'd better be ready to be in that minority that got a bad one -- like I did.

If I had to do it over again, here's what I'd do different. Don't buy used or refurbished, especially from a private party -- you'll get screwed if it fails, and you can't be sure the subscription is still valid. Don't buy mail order -- if it breaks, you'll have to deal with Tivo and/or the manufacturer, and that means unresponsive support people, long delays while you ship the broken unit back, etc.

Do buy an extended warrantee from the retailer. I usually sneer at these, cause they charage a lot for repair services they'll probably never have to provide. But they're nice with Tivos because of the failure rate, and because getting it fixed (or, more likely, replaced) 10 months after you bought it is much less of a hassle.

Subscriptions: this is so weird. You can pay a monthly fee, or you can buy a lifetime subscription, which costs the same as 20 monthly payments. Unless you intend to discard the damn thing in a year, this would seem to be a no-brainer. But people still argue about which is best. As far as I can see, the only reason they sell the subscription separately is to make it look like it's cheaper than ReplayTV. In fact, they cost about the same.



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Saturday, June 15, 2002 12:34 PM

HAKEN

Likes to mess with stuffs.


So a subscription is required to use the Tivo?


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Saturday, June 15, 2002 1:43 PM

ZICSOFT


Quote:

Originally posted by Haken:
So a subscription is required to use the Tivo?



Basically, yeah. There are ways around it, but there are legal and technical problems most people are just not going to want to deal with.


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Sunday, September 22, 2002 10:23 PM

JASONZZZ



Everything is going subscription based. They want to have that long drawn out guaranteed cash flow.

Quote:

Originally posted by Haken:
So a subscription is required to use the Tivo?



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Monday, September 23, 2002 6:13 AM

ZICSOFT


Quote:

Originally posted by Jasonzzz:

Everything is going subscription based. They want to have that long drawn out guaranteed cash flow.

Well, that's true in general. I know my own company is always looking for distribution models that generate ongoing royalties and fees, instead of a one-time purchase.

And Tivo management talks like that's their business model. Except they also offer a "lifetime subscription", which goes for slightly less than two years of a monthly subscription. So unless you assume your Tivo is going to melt down in about a year, the monthly subscription just doesn't make sense. Though I guess a lot of people use it anyway.

I look on the Tivo subscription as a way of making the Tivo look cheaper than it is. If they didn't charge separately for the subscription, they'd have to raise the price of their units about $200. Which would make them a lot harder to sell. Which is what ReplayTV, Tivo's only real competitor, discovered. They started out including the cost of the data service in the retail price of the unit. But that made Tivo units look much cheaper than ReplayTV units, when they actually cost about the same. So now you can get a monthly subscription for ReplayTV too.

JOSH, WHERE'S MY CHECK???!!!

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Monday, September 23, 2002 9:20 AM

JORGASNAROVA


I received a 30-hour Sony SVR-2000 with a lifetime membership as a Christmas present two years ago. Except for an occasional glitch, the unit has worked fine and I love it. The convenience of not having to depend upon videocassettes and the always-where-did-I-put-that-copy-of-TV Guide? cannot be overestimated.

One simply looks in TiVo's on-screen listing of weekly programming, updated regularly through the telephone line via your subscription, and you use the remote to highlight programs you'd like to record. Very simple.

Also, there are multiple sites on the Web where one can obtain detailed instructions on how to retrofit your TiVo with additional hard drives to increase the recording capacity by 600% or more, and sites that provide servicing on upgraded TiVos. Warning: while legal, this procedure is not authorized by TiVo customer service and will void the warranty on your unit. Don't come crying to them if something related to your hack breaks.

My only complaint about TiVo is that I do think the retail cost is a bit pricey, as is the subscription, for what the unit offers. I mean, upgrading a standard 30 or 60 hour TiVo to 180 hours or more is so absurdly easy one has to wonder why standard TiVo's offer such low recording time in the first place.

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Monday, September 23, 2002 1:51 PM

JORGASNAROVA


The answer, of course, to almost any question beginning with the phrase, "Why don't they" is usually money.

Take a TiVo membership good for the life of your Tivo, a $249.00 value. Add $299 for the cost of a factory reconditioned 30-hr TiVo; that's $548 to start with. If you're a hacker wanting to modify your TiVo for more recording time, add $150 to $200 depending upon the sizes of the supplementary drives you want to install. At this point, we're in the $750.00 range. It adds up.

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Monday, February 3, 2003 8:37 PM

GKRO


I can tell you without hesitation that if you watch ANY amount of TV, buying a TIVO will change your life. You will no longer rush to get home or worry about missing a favorite. For instance, if someone somewhere ever shows the 3 unseen episodes of Firefly - I have TIVO set to record it for me regardless of what else is on.

How great is that?

I could go on and on and on. Suffice it to say that you buy a TIVO (do it now, lifetime subscription goes up 3/3/03) YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY.




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