Print 14 comment(s) - last by greenmrt.. on Mar 1 at 8:18 AM

TiVo may give away set-top boxes for free to draw in more customers

In an effort to gain more marketshare, analysts are claiming that TiVo could possibly make its set-top boxes free on certain plans. The free boxes would be attached to higher priced plans or plans that hold customers to a longer contract. I'm sure that many customers would go for the slightly higher priced plans if they could avoid the steep cost of entry assocated with the set-top boxes. Even so, TiVo still faces some stiff competition:

TiVo also faces competition from far bigger cable and satellite TV providers and consumer electronics makers, all of whom are offering rival digital video recorders to consumers. Many of the devices are more powerful than TiVo's and are offered at lower prices -- sometimes for free.

In an interview earlier this month, TiVo's CEO, Tom Rogers, explained his vision for the future of digital recording: "The estimates are today that roughly about 8 to 9 million homes have TiVo or other forms of DVR in them today. My view is that is going to grow to be a much, much, larger number. The estimates range anywhere from 40 to 70 percent of households in the next five or six years will have TiVo and other forms of DVR."

Whether this new "free" offer that company plans to offer helps them achieve record growth remains to be seen, but it is at least a step in the right direction.  The CEO also stressed in the interview that existing Comcast hardware might be upgradeable to TiVo capabilities via software updates. 

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Just how much are these prices going to be?
By Staples on 2/28/2006 2:25:25 PM , Rating: 2
HD DVRs cost $1000. If TIVO wants you to subscribe for two years, the monthly plan is going to be something like $50. No thanks. I'd rather buy the hardware.

RE: Just how much are these prices going to be?
By jilchev on 2/28/2006 6:24:41 PM , Rating: 2
It looks like 16.95 not 50$ acording to this:

By nowayout99 on 2/28/2006 7:54:52 PM , Rating: 2
That's a standard def system.

Ill still go with...
By Cygni on 2/28/2006 4:31:41 PM , Rating: 2
Ill still go with a $75 ATI 550 Pro based TV tuner + pirate copy of MCE. :) Thanks anyway.

RE: Ill still go with...
By RandomFool on 2/28/2006 4:50:15 PM , Rating: 2
~knock knock~ hmmm it appears no one is home...

RE: Ill still go with...
By Cygni on 2/28/2006 5:44:18 PM , Rating: 2
What? Too truthful for some? :D

Directv and tivo
By joey2264 on 2/28/2006 8:20:29 PM , Rating: 2
the directv change had nothing to do with tivo. Directv made a change to boxes that are made by a subsidiary of News Corp., of which Directv is also a subsidiary. Basically, it was a cost decision. They are probably getting their new boxes basically at cost. I doubt tivo could compete with that.

Tivo will be dead in three years if they don't start selling their software for pcs for around $100 with no subscription fee. Simple as that.

RE: Directv and tivo
By johnsonx on 3/1/2006 1:09:30 AM , Rating: 2
ah, I see, thanks for that. I just hope DirecTV doesn't turn off the TiVo support any time soon... though I guess if I want another TiVo I better get it sooner than later.

RE: Directv and tivo
By greenmrt on 3/1/2006 8:18:55 AM , Rating: 2
As a DirecTV customer, I love the Tivo functionality of the two boxes I have and the fee - @$4.00 a month for both boxes is fine for the service. I rushed out to get my second box when I realized how much the functionality was compromised on DirecTV's DVRs. I haven't watched live TV in weeks. In my opinion, the Tivo "Season Pass" option is a must for any DVR to compete.

They are so backwards on this
By Alkaline5 on 2/28/2006 1:30:43 PM , Rating: 2
I don't have a problem buying the hardware, the reason I dislike Tivo is the monthly fee. I'd be all over a next-gen HDTivo almost regardless of the price if there was no monthly fee, and I bet a lot of other people would too. The show info is already being piped in over the cable hookup in my house, just let me buy a CableCard-ready DVR for a one time fee and be done with it.

RE: They are so backwards on this
By abhaxus on 2/28/2006 1:51:07 PM , Rating: 2
I agree completely. the reason many people balk at buying a TV is because first they have to pay for the DVR, THEN pay for the monthly fee.

If I'm going to pay a monthly fee I might as well keep my comcast DVR which records in HD and has a simple GUI which doesn't spoon feed me like the Tivo does.

That said, if they offered a lifetime programming package for $499 with a free Tivo along with it, I would probably buy it.

It Helps
By nowayout99 on 2/28/2006 8:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
Some of ya's aren't looking at the bigger picture. As mentioned, the idea is to get over the psychological hurdle of paying for the box AND the subscription on top.

Tom Rogers has said that people responded 2-3x as much for a slightly higher priced subscription with a free box.

You can always get the lifetime subscription option if you want too.

RE: It Helps
By joey2264 on 2/28/2006 8:21:20 PM , Rating: 2
The lifetime subscription is an absolute joke, as it can only be used on one box.

By johnsonx on 2/28/2006 5:47:21 PM , Rating: 2
What I'd like to know is what happened to cause DirecTV to produce it's own DVR's? I always figured that DirecTV was a major part of TiVo's customer base, but I had no idea it was over 60%. TiVo should have done ANYTHING to keep their relationship with DirecTV on good standing. I can't imagine DirecTV decided to go in another direction on just a whim... TiVo must have refused to do something DirecTV felt they absolutely needed.
While we're on that subject, they'll pry my hacked Series 2 DirecTiVo from my cold dead hands before I'll get one of them new-fangled DirecTV DVR's. (unless of course another 'they' figure out how to hack them new ones too).

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