TiVo and DVRs in general are slowly dying

Ronald Epstein

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This is a tough predicament.

Tivo seems to be a dying brand. That being said, it truly is the best DVR out there bar none. They do hold sales throughout the year that bring a purchase and lifetime subscription to under $500 (it could be $400 if I remember correctly).

But that doesn't help you now

Here is what I would do...

First, I know they offer a discount on hardware for current owners. It's not generally advertised on Tivo's site. Send an email to support and tell them your Tivo died. Tell them that you are not in a situation to pay $800 for a new one with a lifetime subscription. Ask them if there is a current deal for owners. You may get some help from customer support on that side.

Otherwise, I would say wait for one of their many sales, but that's not a great suggestion when you need a DVR now.

The other thing to consider would be cutting cords altogether. Go exclusively to streaming and buy a box that records OTA content. Now, this part is not my specialty. This is something I plan to do, however, once my Tivo dies. There is an entire thread on HTF about cutting the cord and what to buy. Of course, this means divorcing your cable company and buying individual streaming services but in all, it may be a lot cheaper in the long run than continuing with a very expensive combination of Tivo and cable.

Please let us know how your communication with Tivo goes and what you do from here. I trust we are all going to be in this predicament at some point. Good luck.
 

Doug Pyle

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This is a tough predicament.

Tivo seems to be a dying brand. That being said, it truly is the best DVR out there bar none. They do hold sales throughout the year that bring a purchase and lifetime subscription to under $500 (it could be $400 if I remember correctly).

But that doesn't help you now

Here is what I would do...

First, I know they offer a discount on hardware for current owners. ....

Please let us know how your communication with Tivo goes and what you do from here. I trust we are all going to be in this predicament at some point. Good luck.
Thanks for you suggestions! I did decide to replace it and bought a TiVo Edge for Cable - used a discount sale that ended yesterday - total cost $749.98 including "all in" (AKA "Lifetime") service. This was the hardest and least enthusiastic home theater purchase decision I've made! And, I have 30 days money-back return policy time to change my mind....

I researched in a day as much as I could about alternatives. And talked to TiVo tech support as well as customer sales support. The factors that tipped the decision toward getting the new TiVo:
- the price drop helped a little (still expensive)
- pausing live TV or cable stations (some streaming alternatives can get cable stations, but with limited pausing, and I miss that already)
- ad-free live TV / cable (I'm already impatient with "-go" streaming versions of cable or network stations that have countdowns of "1 of 6" unskippable ads)
- another ad-free consideration: Though the new TiVo software does insert pre-roll ads in recorded shows, and I almost didn't buy because of that, it was easy to request these ads be disabled on my account (tivo customer service was very good and prompt with this request)
- I was nervous about their 90 day labor+parts limited warranty, but I learned buying direct from TiVo includes a no-upfront-cost extended "continual care" service - $49 pay only when needed to replace a defective TiVo within 5 years of purchase (after the original warranty, which is too short)
- and, having TiVo is a hard habit to break!

Factors that made me hesitant:
- expensive
- clunky tuning adapter needed from cable company
- I use cable less and stream stations more than I did when I first bought TiVo 9 years ago
- cable image (no 4K) and sound are not keeping up with streaming alternatives
- nice that TiVo now offers streaming along with cable in the device, but Roku and other stream-only devices are much better priced if you don't need cable subscription. I expect to continue using Roku for most streaming.
- picture and sound quality better when streamed instead of viewed via cable

I really came down to: pausing live TV and skipping live TV ads. How much is that worth? I have 30 days to change my mind.
 
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DaveF

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I really came down to: pausing live TV and skipping live TV ads. How much is that worth? I have 30 days to change my mind.
Did you compare the cost to paying for ad-free and/or live-TV streaming services?

Ad-free services are relatively cheap.
Live TV streaming is expensive.
But against an $800 TiVo plus $5/mo cablecard, they might be worthwhile.
 

Doug Pyle

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Did you compare the cost to paying for ad-free and/or live-TV streaming services?

Ad-free services are relatively cheap.
Live TV streaming is expensive.
But against an $800 TiVo plus $5/mo cablecard, they might be worthwhile.
Yeah I agree with that in general and it's a good point I considered. But my condo association provides cable, including cablecard charge, so the cable service is entirely free (or prepaid in my association dues) so the only expense for me is the TiVo and the lifetime TiVo plan. I think if I also had to pay separately for cable, I'd cut the cord and not get a new TiVo. Or, perhaps get the OTA version of TiVo.

Having had to suddenly decide whether or not to rely solely on streaming with new subscriptions, versus replace my TiVo, raised for me the implied question in the thread title: how slowly are cable, TiVo and DVRs dying?

In my case I think there will be a few years left of usefulness and the cost balances roughly either way, so I renewed by replacing. But I don't receive the new box until next week. I'll see then if I am happy with this decision, or return it.
 
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Doug Pyle

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I should add: I do think TiVo will need to adjust its pricing and/or services to survive long into the streaming era.

For now, the ad-skipping is really about time-saving, and tivo still does that best. An hour program with ads may be only 44 minutes without ads. That's what I'm paying for really.

But I wouldn't consider TiVo pricing competitive now if you also pay separately for cable service, and less so if ad-free services become more available at more reasonable cost.
 

DaveF

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Makes sense. If my TiVo died, I’d be calculating cost of cable and cost of TiVo against streaming services. And I think now TiVo + cable would lose out.
 

TJPC

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I have 4 DVRs which work just as well as they ever did. My cable company is fazing them out. If this coved thing ever ends, the cable technician is coming to replace them all with some sort of gizmo which uses the internet and saves everything on “the cloud”. It is called “Rogers Ignite”. . Apparently that will be the only way to receive and record TV through this “cable” company.
 

Doug Pyle

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FWIW I have had the new TiVo for more than a week up and running and it is really a nice upgrade from what I had (an old Premier Plus). It's a keeper but I don't know that I'd say so if I didn't also get free premium cable included in my condo association. It would be too expensive to pay cable fees on top of the initial purchase of the TiVo. I don't know what I'd recommend to anyone else, it would depend on your situation. This works for me. I like the six tuners (the premier had 2) and the software on the Edge for Cable does a good job predicting the stations I regularly tune to and buffers them so I can skip ads when I tune in. So it does what I was used to, better than before.

I'm using it frequently enough to justify the cost. But all the pros and cons discussed above are perfectly valid and I still think TiVo will have to get very creative if it is going to survive as cable cutting and streaming are becoming more common.
 
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