"basic" TIVO in DVD players

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by john gilson, May 9, 2003.

  1. john gilson

    john gilson Auditioning

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    There is an article in the New York Times regarding a "basic" version of TIVO that will be placed in DVD players as a stepping stone to lure people into knowing/loving the TIVO service. Whether this taste of TIVO will lure people to upgrade I don't know.

    However I'm intrigued. I've always liked the idea of TIVO but two things have kept me away.
    1) If TIVO goes under I wanted more then a paper weight. In other words I wanted the 'basic' functions of recording to work like a VCR without the service.
    2) I don't think I would use the 'extra' features. I think I want a VCR like system.

    So I may be the perfect person for this 'basic' service. Quickly the 'basic' service is a TIVO with time/date recording. It still pauses live TV etc.

    The article states Toshiba should have a DVD player with this service by year end and that the player could be upgraded to full TIVO if wanted.

    The link is...
    http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/techn...tech-tivo.html
    Since it is the NYT you need to log in I believe.

    john gilson
     
  2. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    Panasonic already has a set-top DVD recorder on the market with a hard drive that offers live-pause and timer features. For DVD-R, it's a perfect marriage... record onto the HD for timeshifting while saving the removeable media for "keepers." To use live pause features, you must use DVD-RAM media or the HD... DVD-RW won't work for that function.

    Panasonic's box is expensive, though... about $1000, while the non-HD versions are reasonable at under $400.

    I'm holding off... I suspect that DVD-PVR (without the HD) will hit the $250USD threshold within a year. That's the magic number for me. It'll be great to archive my DishPVR programs onto DVD...

    -Scott
     
  3. SteveKNJ

    SteveKNJ Stunt Coordinator

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    As a Tivo user, I can tell you, that once you whett your appetite with TiVo, you are going to want the other features. It really is pretty much a "set it and forget it" system. This is a very smart move on TiVo's part because even if one out of ten sign up for the expanded service, they make money because the licensing from putting the Tivo into the device will pay for itself. I think eventually, the cost of the expanded service will come down, especially if TiVo is more available (supply and demand).
     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I heard a feature on NPR’s Morning Edition[/I} today on this very subject. They said (as implied in the NYT article) that Tivo has not had the market penetration that they expected and are looking for ways to increase their subscriber base.

    It may just be me, but I’m not purchasing another time-shifting device until it handles HD material. On the other hand, if I were in the market for a new DVD player, it would be an intriguing idea.
     
  5. DeborahK

    DeborahK Supporting Actor

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    I both heard the NPR piece and read The NY Times article. The Times article mentions a monthly subscription rate of around $13 or a life-time subscription rate of $295. I am a DirecTiVo subscriber and it the monthly fee is a whopping $4.95/month and it was my understanding that TiVo phased out the life-time sub fee sometime ago. Does anyone know the real deal on this?

    Deborah
     
  6. Mike Pollmann

    Mike Pollmann Stunt Coordinator

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    Tivo (standalone) subscriptions are $12.95/month or $299 lifetime. Lifetime is defined as the lifetime of that single unit, not the person.

    DirecTivos are now billed by DirecTV rather than Tivo. They only offer a $4.99/month option. There is no way to get lifetime.
     
  7. DeborahK

    DeborahK Supporting Actor

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    Mike, thanks! That clears up my confusion.

    I must say that I think one of the reasons TiVo has not penetrated the market to the degree they would have liked is that both the device and the subscription are just too expensive for the average consumer. I only paid $99 for my DirecTivo, when Philips sold off their stock of them a year and a half ago. These units sold out very quickly at that price. At $300 a unit, they were a much harder sell. If I had not had access to this deal, I would probably still be TiVoless. I know it is not possible for a young company with a new technology to just give their stuff away, but I think the price needs to come down substantially before they can expect masses of people to pony up this kind of money.

    Deborah
     
  8. DeborahK

    DeborahK Supporting Actor

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    Okay, I realize that last sentence in my post doesn't make much sense.:b What I meant to say was, the price of the units and the subscription need to come down a lot before they can expect to really get a lot of people signing up.

    Deborah
     
  9. Mike Pollmann

    Mike Pollmann Stunt Coordinator

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    With standalone Tivos, I agree. They need to come down in price. DirecTivos have reached a pricepoint that I think should be fairly attractive though. You can get them for $199 as a new customer (or $159 as an existing customer), with a low fee per month ($4.99). Even better, if you have multiple DirecTivos, they don't charge you for subscribing the additional units. Just the standard mirroring fee.
     
  10. john gilson

    john gilson Auditioning

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    The cost has certainly been one of the reasons I've not jumped on the TIVO bandwagon. I need to be convinced that I need the service and the upfront cost (price of hardware + monthly fee (or $300)) is simply too high for what I think I will end up using TIVO for, that being a VCR with the added bonus of commercial skip and live pause. I would also assume that improved picture is a bonus as well. Can you tell that I know nobody (personally) with a TIVO?

    AS SteveKNJ pointed out...if I get my feet wet I may 'need' the service which is why I think TIVO is making a smart move here.

    The DVD recorders with HD do sound nice however so I'll keep my eye on them.

    From what I understand from the NYT article...the 'basic' TIVO service is free. Of course the players will be higher due to the hardware maker paying TIVO. I hope the added cost wouldn't be $300. I would assume it would be more in the $50 dollar range. I'll wait and see until I see more details about the Toshiba unit but I am intrigued.

    john gilson
     
  11. TerryS

    TerryS Agent

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    Exactly. I would have already purchased one at current prices if the subscription was only $5-7 a month. Its just hard to justify another $14 on top of all my other bills each month. I know that many people do not have a problem with the extra $7 per month, or write the cost off as negligable, but thats just the way I look at it.

    **edit-fixed spelling typos
     
  12. DeborahK

    DeborahK Supporting Actor

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    Mike -- we're on the same page. I guess my (lost )point above was that I happily became a customer (along with many others) when I was able to easily afford the device and I became an ecstatic customer when the subscription recently was reduced from $9.xx to $4.99. $159-$199 is not as bad as the former $299-$399 that was charged for DirecTiVos, but it is probably still a bit on the pricey side for many folks. None-the-less, we DirecTV people have a sweet deal.

    Deborah
     
  13. DeborahK

    DeborahK Supporting Actor

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    TerryS,

    I hear you! An extra $7/month is not so large an amount by itself, but it is easy to continually add these seemingly negligible sums to one's monthly outflow until it starts to add up to real money.

    The market for these kinds of devices is clearly those people who have already committed to at least basic cable or satellite service and most of us consider that expensive enough. Not too many of people I know are looking to increase that expense by another 15 to 20 percent.

    Deborah
     
  14. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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  15. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    This "basic" Tivo also interests me. The roughly $600 cost currently for a Tivo (unit and subscription) is far too much for what I perceive to be a super-fancy VCR. I'd be more likely to buy one for $300 flat or for a $10/mo. subscription if it included the hardware.

    The DVD recorders don't interest me since I want to get away from worrying about having blank recording media in the player. And the Tivos with 80GB hard-drives should record, what, 30 hours of TV? A DVD would record perhaps 10 hours? The Tivo still sounds like the better solution.
     
  16. Robert Spalding

    Robert Spalding Second Unit

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    80 GB Tivos record 80 hours.
     
  17. derekyeu

    derekyeu Auditioning

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  18. john gilson

    john gilson Auditioning

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    Thanks for the link Derek. It appears these units (with basic tivo) are starting to make their appearance. I'll have to start making some decisions. [​IMG]

    john gilson
     
  19. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Stunt Coordinator

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    The RCA Scenium with the 40GB HD and a progressive scan DVD player is down to $399 at Circuit City.
     

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