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TiVo CEO agrees that the Series 3 DVR is overpriced

Those who want a TiVo Series 3 HD digital recorder but are unwilling to pay close to $800 for it may be pleased to learn that they are not alone. TiVo CEO Tom Rogers said in a conference call that the company must drop the price of its high-definition recorders in an effort to boost its current slumping sales.

“We will be highly focused this year on moving forward with a lower-priced, mass appeal High-Def unit, which will allow us to much better participate in the HD television trend,” said Rogers to analysts in a recent earnings report.

Rogers states that the growth of HDTV sales is a wave that the company has thus far been unable to ride due to the high price of the high-def TiVo DVR.

“The other clear learning at retail is that High-Definition television sets are the most important new consumer electronics item,” Rogers said. “Given the price of our HD unit, we were not able to meaningfully participate in that trend. This also clearly contributed to lower sales volume compared to a year ago, when this trend was nowhere near as significant.”


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Tivos are yesterday's answer
By Comdrpopnfresh on 3/14/2007 9:12:39 PM , Rating: 2
Its so easy to just make a small form factor computer w/ two tv tuners- hd even, and have the hdcp hdmi output with a graphics card. Throw in a raid 0 array of 750gb drives, a dvd drive, an internet connection, and a cheap cpu that energy efficient and can handle HD, and if you take into account monthly fees, its mor economical- and you can add as much capacity as you want!




RE: Tivos are yesterday's answer
By sxr7171 on 3/15/2007 12:53:53 AM , Rating: 2
Question: Where's the cable card support?


RE: Tivos are yesterday's answer
By zsouthboy on 3/15/2007 8:52:20 AM , Rating: 2
CableCard has been intentionally fucked over by the industry, so he specifically CAN'T do that.

Grr.

I hate cable companies.
I hate phone companies too.
I hate basically anyone providing essentially a "data service" and pretending otherwise. (and getting away with it)


RE: Tivos are yesterday's answer
By rklaver on 3/15/2007 2:18:48 PM , Rating: 2
I hate cable companies.
I hate phone companies too.
I hate basically anyone providing essentially a "data service" and pretending otherwise. (and getting away with it)


YES!!


By retrospooty on 3/15/2007 2:44:44 PM , Rating: 3
I agree with you for myself and those of use capable of building and operating this on a PC, but Tivo is easy for the other 90% of the population that cant build a PC or even figure out how to use DVR on one.

Also, the price isnt much different. Lets see the price of a a SFF computer, with an hdcp hdmi output video card, and all the cards you need to go along with it to make it all work. Likely around the $800 mark. If Tivo drops thier price it is still an attractive offer for most people.


Unfortunately, he's not correct
By Bierboy on 3/14/2007 8:49:42 PM , Rating: 2
The first poster is NOT correct. To record HD programming you MUST subscribe to expanded basic cable, the digital tier, and the HD tier. Adding all those monthly costs makes the TiVo much more attractive.




RE: Unfortunately, he's not correct
By ninjit on 3/14/2007 9:16:28 PM , Rating: 3
To record HD conent on the Tivo you'd need to subscribe to those packages as well - i.e. you need HD content in the first place to record?

Cable companies will want you to use their service over someone elses any day, so regardless of what TiVo do they will try to undercut by offering a cheaper alternative.

This was why TiVo sued the company supplying most of the generic cable boxes, because they were losing share big time to the cable companies in something that they essentially invented the market for (and have the patents for).

I don't recall how that litigation turned out.


By Comdrpopnfresh on 3/14/2007 9:18:24 PM , Rating: 2
but if you need to pay more for higher subscriptions of cable to receive HD content, then he is correct in saying that the additional cost of Tivo, and the montly subscription to their epg services in the end is a lot higher than a cable-provided PVR


By Delegator on 3/14/2007 8:42:15 PM , Rating: 3
The previous poster is, unfortunately, correct. The cost model for TiVo simply doesn't hold up against the DVRs available from cable companies.

There is no doubt that TiVo is the superior product. Its interface and functionality are so, So, SO MUCH BETTER than the crappy Scientific Atlanta box I have from Comcast. I'd be willing to pay a premium for a real TiVo over the lousy unit I have.

But, let's compare price:

Cable HD DVR: $0 purchase + $7.95/month for DVR service

TiVo HD DVR: $800 purchase + $12.95/month for program guide, + possible charges for cable cards

It didn't help that TiVo's offer to let me pay $200 to transfer the lifetime service I have on my series 1 box (which I've upgraded with an extra 120GB hard drive) was so insulting. Let's see: I paid $149 for lifetime service when I bought it. Now, for the privilege of moving that lifetime service, you will charge me 18 months worth of monthly service fees on top of an $800 piece of hardware?

Since DirecTV ditched them, TiVo's only hope is to succeed as a provider to cable companies. I've been hearing abotu a TiVo/Comcast deal for over a year now. If it doesn't bear fruit by the end of 2007 I don't see TiVo surviving as an independent company.




By rklaver on 3/15/2007 2:17:44 PM , Rating: 2
Ditto, when I upgraded to HD I gave my TiVo to my mom and Charter gave me probably the same Scientific Atlanta box. What a POS. The interface is horrible on it. But I agree I couldn't do the $800 either.


Tivo should sell software not hardware.
By DFranch on 3/14/2007 10:29:45 PM , Rating: 2
Tivo should get out of the hardware business, and just sell the software. I used to own a series 1 tivo and I loved it, but it used to irk me that I was paying $13 a month to download the guide data.




By rklaver on 3/15/2007 2:23:17 PM , Rating: 2
ah you have to admit, setting something to record over the internet was pretty damn cool. I ended up using that more often than I realized. Plus the fact I could transfer to my computer, made it worth the monthly fee.


Refreshing
By bplewis24 on 3/14/2007 8:47:27 PM , Rating: 3
I guess this was a no-brainer, but nonetheless it's still good to hear somebody in his position admit to what everybody else has been saying. A 50% price cut is welcome, but what type of functionality are we looking at with that type of unit?

Brandon




Do the math
By johna on 3/14/2007 8:27:22 PM , Rating: 2
Do the math. Even if they drop the price to $400 cable is still a better deal. If you use the Tivo Series 3 with cable you have to pay $400 for the box, $3 for two cable cards and a monthly fee to Tivo, usually $12.95. I can get an HD PVR set top box from my cable company for $10 per month. No matter how I skin it I never can make the payback work. Tivo is basically screwed on this.




No Cable Card 2 for Cox
By BPB on 3/14/2007 9:24:21 PM , Rating: 2
My cable company, Cox, doesn't even offer Cable Card 2 support, or whatever the second version is. So if you fo Tivo you lose some functionality like On Demand, which ain't that bad a product.

On the other hand, I read somewhere that Cox is in talks with Tivo for software support of their DVRs.




Nope...
By Bierboy on 3/14/2007 9:30:45 PM , Rating: 2
Not if you're getting your HD OTA....that's what I'm doing.




Worth it for me
By Icehawk on 3/15/2007 8:58:26 AM , Rating: 2
I happily blew the money on a S3 and I'd do it again. The upgrade in PQ from my S1 was worth it alone - it was annoying owning a HDTV and watching everything in SD with compression. The Tivo itself is just a much better device IMO than what I can get from Comcast.

A cheaper one would be great - maybe they'll make it single tuner to cut costs? Can't use too much smaller of a disk drive or you won't have enough room for HD content.




Quality of the UI
By BMFPitt on 3/15/2007 9:06:51 AM , Rating: 2
I would most definitely pay a premium to get the TiVo interface over my current Comcast DVR (Scientific American box recording interface is abysmal, and search function is nonexistent.) That premium is not $800 + $4/mo. It's not $400, either.

I would be thrilled if they brought back DirecTiVo. I strongly prefer DirecTV over Comcast, though it's not available in my current appartment.




Comcast + Tivo will be nice
By UNCjigga on 3/16/2007 5:36:19 PM , Rating: 2
I'm waiting for Comcast and Tivo to upgrade the software on my Motorola 3412 with Tivo's interface like they've been talking about for 2 years. Supposedly its available in test markets now and should be in wide release by the end of the year.

If Verizon ever activates the FiOS line they installed 2 months ago, I may just have to switch.




I heard ....
By SunAngel on 3/14/07, Rating: -1
RE: I heard ....
By essjae on 3/16/2007 12:46:20 AM , Rating: 2
Unless you have Tivo, you won't get it. You're not just paying for a program guide. You're getting a lot more, season pass...that alone is worth it, set it and forget it. Right now, my plasma is dead, it's been almost 4 weeks, Bestbuy repair guy has been here 2x, 2nd time he actually took the back of the TV off to look at the components...anyway, my Tivo is still recording all my stuff. If I had to pick my programs weekly, I'd miss the few things I normally watch each week.


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