TiVo Simplifies Pricing On May 19th

Dave Zatz —  May 17, 2011 — 75 Comments

new-tivo-offer

I’ve never been a fan of TiVo’s numerous pricing permutations. Why add complexity to what’s an already confusing purchase for many? If you need a FAQ, you have failed. Well, it looks like TiVo has discovered what most of us have suspected and will be simplifying their plans come May 19th.

Regardless of where or how you buy TiVo Premiere hardware, the new monthly fee will be $19.99 (with a required 1 year commitment). Also, the Lifetime service option will return as an option for new customers; albeit, at $499, its highest price point ever. I expect TiVo will also continue to offer multi-unit service discounts (MSD). In fact, rumor has it, monthly MSD pricing will jump from $9.95 to $14.95 (ouch) with the new Lifetime MSD option running $399.

Sadly, I expect the $12.95 monthly fee is gone for good. So when $19.99 contracts expire, renewals will continue at this rate. Add in CableCARD rental along with Additional Outlet (AO) fees in some markets and TiVo becomes a rather pricey proposition.

In addition to simplifying service tiers, TiVo DVR hardware itself is now more clearly and consistently priced. $99 for the Premiere, $299 for the larger capacity Premiere XL.

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75 responses to TiVo Simplifies Pricing On May 19th

  1. Many thanks to skaggs of the TiVo Community for taking the best screengrabs on the net of the existing promotions that refer to the new pricing.

    Also thanks to siromega and brennkobob for the Twitter tips!

  2. I got an email from TiVo today informing me of the changes with only two days notice to upgrade to a Premiere with my current $10.75/month subscription intact.

    Of course, I don’t want the Premiere until they fix the SDUI 10 minute hang bug in the Premiere.

    But still, two days notice? Good lord. A month’s notice would be reasonable.

    “I’ve never been a fan of TiVo’s numerous pricing permutations.”

    Choice is good. The new pricing plans makes me less likely to stay on the TiVo platform going forward. They want an extra $120/yr subscription fee from me on any new hardware I buy from them in perpetuity.

    Bad TiVo. Bad TiVo.

    I buy a box expecting to keep it 2 to 4 years. Under the new “simplified” pricing, I save $100 on the box, and lose $250 – $400 in the additional subscription pricing.

    Staying on the TiVo platform going forward past my TiVo HD just got a lot more expensive. TiVo is making it even harder to keep loving them…

  3. If anything TiVo needed to find a way to reduce or eliminate the monthly fee. There are so many boxes out there without a fee: Roku, Boxee, Apple TV and others. On any of these you can subscribe to Netflix for $8 a month with no commitment. I just don’t think people get enough value for $20 a month.

    When’s 1.9 going to rolling out again on FIOS?

  4. Makes me glad I stayed month to month ages ago and am grandfathered in at $6.95 per month.

  5. Michael Burstin May 17, 2011 at 8:41 am

    I wonder what is going to happen to the (grandfathered?) upgrade plans? Right now, I can upgrade one of my Series 2 boxes (already on lifetime) to a new Premier for $270 + $200 for lifetime. I would be unhappy if that offer goes away. I’ve been holding off for a while (though I may go for it now that the Comcast On-Demand thing is on the way).

  6. While lifetime did go up from $399 to $499, you actually pay less as a new customer now for lifetime units. Previously a new customer would pay $299 + $399 for a total of $698 for the first TiVo unless you used the coupon code for discounted lifetime.

    Now that same customer pays $99 + $499 for a total of $598 or a $100 savings. Assuming the $399 lifetime is correct, the new additional TiVos will run you $99 + $399 or $498 compared to previously $299 + $299 or a total of $598 for again a savings of $100.

    Now the current upgrade offer from TiVo for lifetime owners, https://www3.tivo.com/store/upgrade.do, is $269 + $199 for a total of $468. While we don’t know what the next upgrade offer will be, my guess is we will see a drop in price there, hopefully a $100 like the rest or a total cost of $368.

    If TiVo can get to a point where it releases hardware on a yearly basis at $99, I don’t see a problem with the $19.99 price point. It actually works out cheaper on a year to year basis. $99 + $239.88 = $339.87 compared to previously $299 + $155.88 = $455.87. Now of course with TiVo’s track record this isn’t very likely, but if it does happen it will be cheaper every year to upgrade the box. We also still don’t know, though Dave might, if they are offering any discounts such as one year paid in full like they do now.

  7. Nope, I have no additional info at this time. After your tip and siromega’s, I did reach out to TiVo yesterday. They wouldn’t elaborate other than suggesting they’ll have more to say soon. However, I’m obviously not waiting until the 19th to post.

    For folks willing to spend a few years with the Premiere and TiVo, the new Lifetime+hardware isn’t a bad deal. But given the rapid pace of industry changes and innovation compared to TiVo’s recent retail track record, it wouldn’t be for me. You mention the $19.99/month is reasonable if TiVo refreshed hardware on an annual basis. Well, they couldn’t even finish the HDUI software in that time frame. Sigh?

    My money’s on FiOS TV at this point. Gabe/Hub, not sure when IMG 1.9 deployments will continue, but hopefully soon!

  8. They’re either out of touch with reality, or really desperate for revenue. No chance I’d pay $10 more per month for their broken DVR over the cableco’s (premiere + cablecard).

    I KINDA get it when it’s just a few bucks over the cable DVR, the “tivo factor” and all that, but they’re pricing themselves out of fair reasoning. I’ll switch before I ever pay $25/mo for an inadequate Premiere.

  9. Looks like I’ll be sticking with my TiVo HD unit until they announce their new hardware. But even then, the new Arris/Moxi boxes look more attractive (up to 6 TVs) but no monthly fee. Hopefully they make it to retail in the US.

  10. Tivo is out of their minds. Nobody is going to pay $19.99/month. Not people who are admittedly Tivo lovers and already subscribers, and most importantly, people who don’t get the difference between Tivo and the Cable Co. boxes.

  11. The Moxi box has no fee because the cost of lifetime is included in the cost of the hardware. At least TiVo gives you the option, though lifetime is the better deal for the longterm user.

    @Dave Hey I don’t see them doing yearly hardware either, but one can dream. Of course one can dream they would have finished the UI in a year also and we all know how well that went.

    I think it will be pretty telling for the retail consumer how big or small the next update is and what it addresses. They have had plenty of time for this update so we should see something significant.

  12. I have two lifetime subs on a pair of Series 3 boxes, so I’m probably there for the foreseeable, but wow, are they nuts?

    This is so ridiculous I have to think they’re not even trying for the aftermarket anymore and counting on licensing deals with the cable companies.

  13. Oh well so much for the theory of a major update. Looks like 14.8 is rolling out…http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=469701

  14. Very glad I signed up with a zero dollar down and 2 year 19.99 contract last year. However, after that plan expires I will be canceling my service. Thanks, Tivo!

  15. We KNEW this was coming right, they wouldn’t introduce this pricing earlier in the year and then just get rid of it. As many posted in that previous post, the multi-tiered pricing was just silly and confusing for the customer. So, tivo went with the better (for them at least) option of the two.

    Now, as for “value”, it does seem a bit high. I wonder if there will continue to be a MSD for second devices – which I think there will be. At 19.95$ a month it IS a premium to just a cablebox DVR, but by how much? My read it is at least about 12-15$ for an HD DVR from the comcasts of the world. not sure how much a verizon FIOS box is. Owning the TIVO HD premier will cost 19.95$ PLUS most likely a cable card fee to a content providor. I’m going to average it out to say 5$.

    So, at 25$ a month to HAVE a functioning Tivo premier from a cable company, compared to the 15$ say the cable co charges is an extra 10$ a month. For that 10$ a month one gets of course:

    FAR better UI, user experience, remote features, etc.
    Ability to directly stream content form the cableco
    Ability to directly stream content from a netflix account
    Ability to stream from amazon (which is free for prime customers)
    Ability to stream from Hulu coming.
    youtube, etc.,

    So, in the end one is getting ONE box, with much more functionality that what a cableco would offer.

    sure, one could add a device like a ROKU, or BOXEE or appletv (none, do ALL the stuff that the Tivo does at the moment, some do other stuff and more)

    I’m thinking the 10$ a month is starting to sound OKAY, not great but ok. IF tivo could introduce SOMETHING like free hulu, or a discounted Netflx sub (hhmm, maybe NETFLIX could be a buyer) then the pricing proposition starts to sound even better.

  16. I shall genuinely “simplify” the titling for this post:

    TiVo Raises Prices in 2 Days

  17. Chucky, I thought about a headline like that. And it’s the kind of thing that would actually drive more traffic and outrage. But I was trying to be polite ;) and at least one scenario works out better, the Lifetime for new customers.

    tivoboy, in the post I indicated month MSD may go from $10 to $15. I still have a S3 on $6.95 MSD that I’ve been wanting to cancel, but now I’m even more reluctant. Hm.

  18. @TiVoboy One thing to note, Amazon’s new free prime instant streaming doesn’t work on the TiVo. They will need to update the app before it supports that.

    I guess as someone who only buys lifetime I welcome the change in prices. Now if it hurts TiVo rather than help sales this obviously won’t be a good thing.

  19. “We KNEW this was coming right, they wouldn’t introduce this pricing earlier in the year and then just get rid of it.”

    I didn’t KNOW it was coming. I didn’t even think it likely.

    “the multi-tiered pricing was just silly and confusing for the customer. So, tivo went with the better … option of the two.”

    I emphatically disagree with you here. I actually thought the current “complicated” pricing was good for TiVo, and good for customers.

    It let educated consumers like me make a commitment to the TiVo platform in exchange for lower overall costs. It let newbies get in with no money down. It got full revenue from the clueless. It got a loyal base of customers and evangelists. And it gave the customer the flexibility in how they wanted to manage their options.

    In a way, it was a lot like “complicated” airfare pricing, which everyone hates, but actually works pretty well for most everyone. If you are clueless, you pay a lot. If you are savvy in your booking methods, you get cheap flights. And if you fly a lot, you get hooked into loyalty rewards programs. Again, it maximizes revenue, while giving customers options, and creating a loyal base.

    The new “one size fits all” pricing scheme creates fewer happy matches, and likely doesn’t maximize TiVo’s profits.

    “Now, as for “value”, it does seem a bit high … For that 10$ a month one gets of course … So, in the end one is getting ONE box, with much more functionality that what a cableco would offer.”

    Happily, I don’t have the cross the dreaded Value/Price Trade-Off Bridge quite yet. I’m pleased with my TiVo HD, (though I’d upgrade to a Premiere today if the SDUI 10 minute hang bug were fixed), so the change won’t immediately impact me.

    But when I do come to the Value/Price Trade-Off Bridge, it’s going to be a close decision. Not only is TiVo going to be at least $5 – $10 more expensive per month, but many wireline providers will bundle in good deals on their DVR’s. And you are responsible for your own hardware costs, replacements, and breakage with TiVo. All in all, TiVo is going to be significantly more expensive than a wireline provider DVR.

    Now, I do get a lot of value out of my TiVo. So it won’t be an easy decision for me either way when I do come to the Value/Price Trade-Off Bridge. But like I say, they sure are making it hard to continue the marriage long-term…

    (And further, had this pricing scheme been in effect when I first went with TiVo, I’d never have made the decision to try the box in the first place.)

  20. Actually all lifetime options work out better not just new customers by at least a $100 savings. It could possibly be even more depending on what you buy the Premiere for like for example if Amazon has another gold box sale for $49.99. Also currently it will take less than 24 months for lifetime to be cheaper over the old plan of $299 + $12.99×24 or the new plan of $99 + $19.99×24. Previously it took longer for lifetime to pay off. Of course as Dave pointed out earlier, 2 years is still a long time in the electronics world.

    The only option we are waiting to see is the upgrade offer which changes every couple months or so anyway.

  21. Wow. Guess I need to look at replacing my remaining S2 unit sooner rather than later. That is if I opt to replace it at all. At this rate, TiVo is going to make it tough to remain a loyal customer.

    One question I have is, if you replace an existing DVR with a new unit, if they’ll let you ‘transfer’ the existing service. When I replaced one of my S2′s with a Premiere, they just transferred the service ($6.95/month MSD) to the Premiere rather than establishing new (more expensive) service on the Premiere and cancel the old S2 unit.

  22. Officially, you can no longer move grandfathered plans and the option has been removed from tivo.com. Unofficially, I bet if you get the right person on the phone they’d work with you.

  23. Bummer. When did they stop allowing transfers? When I transferred my plan (January), I did so via one of the wonderful TiVo telephone support folks. Hopefully they will be accommodating to their long-time supporters. Been a TiVo customer since 2002.

  24. When my current TiVo HD w/ lifetime service dies I will replace it with Cablevision’s remote DVR. I will do away with the CableCARD limitations, hardware hassles, and save money over TiVo Premiere pricing.

    Too bad cause I do like TiVo’s interface better than any cable company DVR.

  25. I’ve got one Premiere with a lifetime subscription and a 2nd one with a grandfathered $6.95/month rate. I just called TiVo and confirmed that changing my 2nd box to a lifetime subscription would cost $299 today but $399 as of the 19th. The guy I spoke with sounded very doubtful that I’d be able to transfer my $6.95 rate to new hardware in the future. He said grandfathered old rates are usually just a one-time exception.

    Do I think my 2nd Premiere will live longer than another 3 years and 7 months? Hmm….

  26. The new pricing mechanism is fine; the prices themselves are just way too high when compared to cable company STBs.

    If past experience is any guide, that new software update will introduce new and exciting ways to show us advertisements without improving functionality in any way.

    TiVo, why do you make it so hard to love you?

  27. Hmm… I thought, I was getting a good deal at $6.95/mo grandfathered rate on my Premiere XL (transferred from my S2 DT a week or two before that option was cut off), but now I feel like I’m getting an even better bargain.

    I suppose, having had two pricing tiers ($99 upfront+$19/mo vs $299+$12.95/mo) simultaneously gave TiVo management enough data to determine that higher subscription fee is a better way. Probably, for same reasons that Americans prefer subsidized phones (even iPhone became a lot more popular after it started being subsidized by AT&T). For most people, it’s easier to swallow a few bucks more per month than paying more upfront.

  28. The iphone was far and away superior to its competition at the time, not even playing the same game, much less in the same ballfield. Very much like TiVo in 1999.

    TiVo is in a very different place in 2011. TiVo’s actually degraded their service quality with advertisements, the laughable premiere 20% HD HDUI, etc, in the past 12 years, while those terrible cable company STBs have (very) slowly improved over time.

  29. Well, the new monthly plans are simply unacceptable to me, but as someone who’s never gone for the lifetime option before, I just might now. Seems like if I’m going to go that route, I’ll save $50 if I buy a Premiere right now. Considering doing that to replace the one DT that I’ve got that has a Slingbox hooked up to it. Would give me access to transferred shows from the other boxes (virtually all HD of course) for watching on the iPad etc. Like Chucky, I’d prefer to wait until they fix the 10 minute SDUI bug honestly, and I’m not expecting Hulu Plus or Xfinity support any time soon…

    Huh.

    I do love my Tivos, even though they’ve been making it difficult. Have to think about this.

  30. I do still have two lifetime S1′s in storage… waiting for the right time…

  31. They are also going to get hit by tax fraud charges.

    In reality, they bill you 20.99, and claim it as a $1 tax on the 19.99 service fee. Tax is based on idea part of your service fee includes product (the box) but that is very untenable.

  32. I think this will increase the demand for used Tivos with lifetime service.

  33. Well – a little over a year ago, I build a dual tuner HTPC with the express intention of dumping Tivo, I kept Tivo for the convenience of it – I am able to download the tivo files, and strip out the ads onto the HTPC box. Windows media center is not as easy to strip the commercials out of recorded stuff yet. So I kept Tivo. Unfortunately – if they raise my price – I’m cancelling. So I guess we will see in a few days. ( I have an old series 2 DT) I won’t be missing much

  34. Wait, they charge everybody $20.99 on a $19.99 subscription plan and call the extra buck tax? What kind of tax is that, exactly, some sort of nonexistent federal 4.75% sales tax?

    Do you have any more information on that? First I’ve heard of it.

  35. Just logged into my account – my $6.95 monthly fee is straight up $6.95, no taxes. Maybe it’s based on geographic location?

  36. For those of us who are OTA only, TiVo is pretty much the only game in town, unless you build your own HTPC. I wonder if TiVo is resigning to the fact that the (tiny) OTA market is the only one they will remain competitive in (percentage-wise) and concentrate on MSO deals for the cable market. Certainly, they don’t seem interested in competing on pricing at least.

  37. Dzatz, you’re also in VA, no?

    That’s the point. Virginia doesn’t tax tivo service. Tivo, however, is charging me a $1 tax in VA based on by zero down/ 19.99 service plan.

    Now, in my case, there is an arguable product (the box) although valuation is up in the air.

    With the new plan (99, then 19.99 a month) there isn’t. You’ll pay tax on the 99 upfront, but what about after that. And you think Tivo’s accounting can deal with that….

  38. It’s not worth $24 ($1 month/2 years) for me to complain. However, for an enterprising lawyer to make a class action suit….

    same issue as California cell phone tax issue.

  39. I just checked as well, and TiVo is charging me $0.62 sales tax on my $6.95 monthly subscription. I’m in new york city, which has 8.875% sales tax, so that matches up.

  40. I don’t really have a problem with the new pricing – but I *always* go with lifetime so I’ll save money there.

    But TiVo has tried this before and they’ve stated many times that lower up-front pricing gets more sales, so I’m not surprised by this. They tried it during the holidays and it helped, so they extended it, and it kept working – so now they’ve made it the new standard.

    I think it makes lifetime even more appealing now. Most people keep their TiVos longer than two years, and lifetime breaks even in 25 months – and you have the remaining equity in the box even if you replace it at that point. For existing subscribers it is just 20 months until breakeven with $399.99 MSD, or 27 months if the $14.99/MSD price is true.

    I think they’re really interested in MSOs anyway, and they’d love to get it to where MSOs can give the box for free and collect the subscription free directly.

  41. Dave,
    I am not sure that we are seeing the whole thing here… For example, you state (with a link): “In fact, rumor has it, monthly MSD pricing will jump from $9.95 to $14.95 (ouch) with the new Lifetime MSD option running $399.”
    When I follow that link and read what is written, I think you could interpret as there is now MSD on $99 Tivos. This means they would be cheaper. I haven’t seen a definitive statement about pricing after that first year (as you could interpret the $14.99 MSD as for the first year). It could therefore be cheaper after the first year. Basically, I think we will just have to wait until Thursday to see the pricing before really concluding anything.
    Josh

  42. We have to wait before making conclusions, but we can certainly make predictions based upon historical behavior.

    My prediction is that it will be too expensive compared to cable STBs, paying more money to see their ads strewn across every screen, and core functionality will continue to either degrade or at best not improve. Lets check back in 2 days/years/decades and see if I’m right.

    TiVo was like apple in 1999. They offered a premium product for a premium price. Their product stagnated for the past 12 years, but they’re still trying to charge that premium price.

  43. Charlie, that is indeed weird. Will they charge indefinitely, I wonder? Or are you charged until you hit a number based on their valuation of the box and your local tax rate? Weird.

    Josh, I put it out there for discussion based on official customer communiques with some specific details and that reported conversation with TiVo support. Although your point is valid that MSD total cost could be less given a $99 hardware fee across the board. It’s a bummer TiVo declined to clarify the details with me yesterday after initiating this conversation. So, yeah, some aspects may not fully present themselves until the 19th.

    MZ, you break even after about two years… based on TiVo’s monthly pricing. But that now exceeds the cableco’s box in most cases over the same time period. Of course, the biggest challenge for TiVo is still conceptual – selling a cable box in a retail outlet. We’re in agreement, TiVo’s target customer is not us but the MSOs.

  44. Those are my screenshots. Glad you were able to use them to show others the details of “deal” from TiVo.

    I have a S2 w/lifetime that I keep around so I can transfer shows to my iPad. The current upgrade offer hasn’t convinced my to buy a Premiere yet. (I have 2 HD’s with lifetime).

    –TiVo owner since 1997

  45. Sorry…I got my first TiVo in 1999. Got confused with wedding date in 1997…duh.

  46. Any word on what the one-year prepaid rates will be? I currently pay $129 for my first unit and $99 for the second one. If it goes much higher, I’ll be looking at Sage or some other HTPC system.

  47. $20 would be ok if I could get buy 2 additional streaming boxes without a monthly fee.

  48. 1) Dave, you might be interested in the latest note on the 14.8 thread noted above:

    “… the NowPlaying XML for this 14.8 software … contains a new XML field under for each show I’ve not seen before:

    No

    Currently it is set to No for all my shows, but certainly makes one wonder what happens if it is set to Yes.”

    2) I’d actually like to upgrade my oldest Tivo, a DT, currently at $12.95/mo with the others HDs on MSDs of $6.95/mo and $99/yr. If I tell Tivo that I get an offer for liftetime on a Premiere of $399. If I tell them I’m upgrading one of the other boxes (the $99/yr one) I get an offer for lifetime of $299. And they give me the option to keep $99/yr on the existing box. If I do that and THEN after I activate the premiere I cancel the service on the DT, what will happen? Will they somehow retroactively change my service plan, or charge me an extra $100?

  49. Crap, looks like the XML stuff got interpreted as HTML and removed.

    Its the StreamingPermission tag with less than () tags in the usual format. See the thread for what I can’t seem to post.

    In other words, with escapes:

    No

  50. Hmm, the Change Service Number option has been returned to the website – but I’m under the impression it won’t accept any Premiere TSN’s. So, if you have a 6.95 plan or a prepaid plan on a S1/S2 and want to put it on a S3 or a Tivo HD, I think that would work – it worked for me awhile back going S2DT to Tivo HD. I know, not useful with the Premieres, but just a thought.

    As far as the price changes, well, I think the 14.8 update is looking like an insignificant update in the early reports, so I have little faith that Tivo has any interest in updates for the Premiere. That’s relevant because IMO this pricing sets the barrier to entry high enough that I’m concerned about new users picking it up.

    What’s more, this pricing only serves to ensure that I won’t be purchasing more Premieres and highly doubt I’ll move to whatever the Series 5 is called – assuming Tivo even survives to release it. I highly doubt Tivo even realizes how dire their situation is with users on the Premiere – then again, they’ve publicly all but admitted they don’t care about the standalone boxes anymore, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.

  51. everyone still has to use accounting talk to show why the pricing is good

    and bottom line – now the 20$ a month is stuck to TiVo for ever. All the cable cos need to do now is price their DVR at 15$ a month and be golden. I have no idea why TiVo would raise the monthly rate.

    TiVo needs to market the 600$ full price and show a break even after x number of years. Though in this economy people are planning how to eat next week now how to save money 3 or 4 years from now

  52. Zeo, for comparison my FiOS HD DVR is $16/month (with the DVR Hub variant running $20) and CableCARD rentals are $4/mo. Of course, no up front hardware fee either.

    So under the new plan and over a 2-year period, a TiVo Premiere bought with Lifetime would run about $28/mo if you include the hardware and CableCARD. At least there’s no AO fee that I know of with Verizon?

    With hundreds of million in cash thanks to DISH/EchoStar, I’d think TiVo would provide lower pricing to grow their customer base until AllVid or their MSO deals take hold.

  53. Well, one thing is for certain. people feel very strongly about all of this. Dave, when are you going to get the darn email/sub thing working. ?

  54. I don’t choose to outsource my comments to services like Disqus or Intense Debate (owned by WordPress), so that limits the sophistication somewhat. Also, I’ve had prior database/email issues with a subscribe-to-comments plugin which ended up spamming users improperly and have been very conservative since. I’m hopeful the official WordPress Jetpack plugin bundle implements the wordpress.com subscribe-to-comments functionality at which point I’ll turn it on.

  55. Well the hold times were a little long last night when I jumped in lifetiming the unit I bought off woot. Thanks for both heads up, I guess I saved $133 (598-465) by reading this blog. Or I guess I could say I spent $465 from reading this blog. Guess I need to get Comcast to install cable card. Bring on on-demand and extenders.

  56. Dave,
    Well it looks like Tivo wants everyone to buy lifetime. The new pricing on their website really indicates that. To be honest, I generally like their pricing structure now but I would make a few changes.
    1. If under contract, you can purchase the contract priced lifetime at any time.
    2. Drop the MSRP down by $100 (and the ETF to $100 accordingly). This allows the no contract option to be reasonable. Currently the no contract option is always more expensive than the contract option when paying the ETF.
    3. Most importantly pricing when out of contract should be lower (for example it could be equal to the MSD pricing). This has a lot of advantages and really makes sense in many ways, like encouraging the continued use of a machine instead a purchasing a new one.
    Obviously, I am looking at this from a consumer perspective, but the fact that the payback time on the lifetime is 24-27 months really shows they are moving to that model.
    Overall, the change to a low price retail box and higher priced Lifetime is good for Tivo (I am comparing to buying a lifetime 1 year ago). It allows more money to go to Tivo even if the end user pays the same price. This is because the retailer doesn’t get a cut of the Lifetime fee.
    Josh

  57. Looks like MSD only kicks in after one year on new hardware and did indeed lands at $14.99. Hm.

    Is the no-contract pricing $19.99/month? That wasn’t clear from the FAQ I found here, which says call in. Wonder if $12.95 is still retained?

  58. Hm, although this page seems to contradict it:
    https://www3.tivo.com/abouttivo/policies/tivomsd_tcs_windowpopup_ajax.html

    So I guess my headline about simplifying pricing is off. ;)

  59. Dave,
    Well I just did an bunch of stuff and it actually seems that in general the new pricing is cheaper than the old for usage of two years or less and for buying a lifetime. So it seems that in general it is a good move for consumers.
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=8526888#post8526888
    Josh

  60. When I log into my account and try to order a box with MSD, the new pricing kicks in immediately (not after 1 year).
    Really, the only people that get screwed are those who want to buy a lifetime with older hardware. Maybe they will just allow cheaper pricing on that in a case by case basis, but you never know.
    Josh

  61. Interesting, so I setup two grandfathered premiers at the PIL in February.

    Box 1 I setup at 129$ a year, box time got MSD and I bought lifetime for 299$, couldn’t do it on box one.

    Now, the box 1 says, “pick a FUTURE plan” and it only shows the 19.99$ or 499$ lifetime. That doesn’t make sense, I figured at LEAST they would be able to continue with an annual at current rates,

    Also, received ZERO, literally ZERO emails or correspondence from TIVO about pricing changes

  62. Looks like anyone on the $99 or $129/yr plan ends up with a rate increase to $19.99/mo or $14.99/mo depending how many boxes you have in the house.

    I’ve reached out to TiVo for further clarification regarding folks in this boat. But I already did hear back there will be no press release, but Facebook and Twitter outreach to visit TiVo.com for details.

  63. “Looks like anyone on the $99 or $129/yr plan ends up with a rate increase to $19.99/mo or $14.99/mo depending how many boxes you have in the house.”

    Wait. Now I’m confused.

    Does this impact someone like me needing a continuing subscription for my TiVo HD box?

    I’ve been assuming this didn’t impact existing customers until they upgraded their hardware…

  64. TiVo confirmed for me that annual plans are gone. But at least one person on the forum was offered a renewal plan of $12.95/mo versus the new $19.99 or $14.99 MSD – it may depend on the age of the hardware though… Log into your TiVo.com account and see what renewal options you have, then report back! :)

  65. When I log into my account an old S2 can be “reactivated” for $9.95 MSD with a regular price of $12.95 listed. Pricing for lifetime is the new $399.99/$499.99.
    Maybe it is dependent on the type of Tivo? Maybe only S4s have the $19.99 pricing?
    Like I said above, I think after the first year (or so) Tivo needs to reduce the pricing otherwise it just doesn’t make sense.

  66. Wow, if they just changed the pricing on these boxes, current modern, 12.95$ legacy boxes with NO communication to the users and upping the pricing now nearly 100% (I had one on annual at 129$, which is now going to be minimum 240%) that is just VERY bad customer service and PR.

    I don’t even think it is LEGAL to jack the pricing without proper communication to the customer (either via mail or direct contact, email does NOT count)

  67. Current California law is that if recurring annual subscription type revenue is going to change, customer must be given minimum of SIX months written notice and be allowed to exit with NO deleterious impact to the customer (I think a cancellation of service and thereby a failure of functionality of these purchased boxes might quality for that)

    I think we are going to see either some form of grandfathering or some form of EXCEPTION rule for future pricing on current hardware.

    yet another customer service/pr bungle by tivo :(

    tivoboy is sad

  68. Except I don’t think the annual plans were recurring. And TiVo’s usual agreements say something like you automatically go month-to-month at the prevailing rate whenever a contract/term expires.

  69. Dave,
    Annual plans were recurring. From the previous pricing FAQ:
    “After the end of your annual commitment, TiVo will continue to charge you on an annual basis at the then-current annual rate. You will receive a notification approximately 30 days prior to your renewal date to notify you of the renewal. Your credit card on file with us will be charged the then-annual renewal rate on your renewal date. You will have up to 30 days after the renewal date to change or cancel your service plan and receive a full refund.”
    We’ll have to see how people are treated here. I hope Tivo grandfathers the pricing like they have in the past (like $6.95 MSD). Both annual subs would need this as well as people on $12.95 who paid full price for their Tivos.

  70. I did an online chat with a Tivo rep yesterday (short wait, good customer service) and was told that in general nobody’s prices would change unless you did something. So as far as I know my existing boxes are continuing at their $12.95/mo and $6.95/mo and $99/yr rates tomorrow…

  71. In response to the idea that after having been wired $300 million from Echostar, TiVo would have used some of that cash for cushion fees: The fact they didn’t and have this new aggressive price structure just shows in what bad financial shape TiVo REALLY was. Most of the $300 million may have been eaten up by who knows what. Now TiVo just has to stay in business long enough to receive the remaining $200 million in six payment over 5 years beginning in 2012. Oh, and Comcast has been messing with TiVo the last–what, 6 years? playing a game to prevent being sued by TiVo, (Tom Rogers did say that any MSO who would talk with them would NOT be sued, just the ones who have absolutely no interest in TiVO) and DirecTV is still jerking TiVo around on the new DirecTiVo that Michael White has seriously downplayed to ensure underwhelming expectations among DirecTV subscribers compared to his product. Please. I can hear the parachutes being strapped on the board members now.

  72. Some of that money was most likely used up by the 80 million engineers they have hired, which I really don’t know what those people are doing?

  73. Ok so you’re saying that the new tivo with cost roughly $35 a month plus the cable card? and how many channels will you get from Tivo Premiere?

  74. Can anyone confirm what happened to the OLD Tivo box plans? I have about 5 on my account and when I went to renew the annual service, I get lifetime service or monthly as my choice. This is for two series 1 boxes that are still hanging around, obviously I’m not spending $399 to lifetime activate them at this point (unless they retroactively credit you for that, is that the case? I don’t think it is, but if so it would be cheaper to lifetime it).

    What happened to the annual renewal option?

  75. I had 3 Tivos running in the home. Been a TiVo customer since they first started in 2001 or 2.

    Anyways, my CC expired and I stupidly ignored their emails for like 1 week. They closed all my accounts. When I called to get them all reactivated they wouldn’t do it at my grandfathered rate AND they wanted me to sign up for a 1 year commitment at today’s prices.

    Ha, I took the 3 S2 Tivos out in the backyard and played baseball with them. I now use my cable co. PVRs.

    Get lost TiVo. Never again will you set foot in my home.

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