Does TiVo Really Expect $1000 from Us?

A year or so ago, I seem to remember most of the “stuff” I wanted cost about $500. Now, it seems like that price has gone up. Take the latest Series3 TiVo, for example. It’s $800 for just the box. Then, on top of that, you’ll need a service plan. That’s another $13/month if you want to go “a la carte” or you can buy into a 3 year plan for the “discounted” price of $300. Yes, for those of us (myself included) that have existing TiVo Series1 or Series2 boxes with lifetime subscriptions, we can transfer that to a Series3… but even THAT will cost us $200. So there it is: $1000 to get a TiVo that will record in HD.

The thing is… who do they expect to sell this to? Joe Consumer, who has nothing and is looking to get a DVR to go along with his spiffy new plasma screen, is going to sit in his living room and compare this to the one his cable company offers. $800 to TiVo, then $13/per month, or $0 to Comcast and then $15/month. Ummm… looking at those numbers, even I’m tempted to go with the latter. In fact, I *am* doing that currently. We run a Comcast (HD-capable) DVR to record our our HD content, and then use our trusty Series2 TiVo to record everything else. Why, you ask? Because the Comcast DVR sucks so much that we have trouble breathing in the same room with it. But it records HD, which our Series2 TiVo won’t. And *because* the Comcast box sucks so much, we’re actually considering the $1000 to TiVo just to get the same (basic) functionality but with a much better user interface. The thing is… it’s worth the $1000… every penny of it, in fact… but Joe Consumer, who doesn’t *know* how great TiVo’s UI is compared to Comcast, doesn’t realize that and isn’t going to shell out the $1000.

So what are they thinking? Is TiVo just looking to screw its existing customer base on this one? Because we are the ONLY people who might even consider this.

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