TiVo Premiere Sees Hard Drive Boost, Fee Reduction

Dave Zatz —  March 23, 2012 — 51 Comments

tivo-premiere

Looks like the original 320GB/45hr TiVo Premiere is about to be replaced by a 500GB/75hr model. First spotted on Amazon, I now have more intel by way of TiVo that confirms the original  TiVo Premiere will be replaced by this higher capacity model. Yet the even beefier TiVo Premiere XL and Premiere Elite will remain available, with nice price reductions. Speaking of pricing, monthly service fees also see a reduction as TiVo continues to tweak their sales model. Unfortunately, the cost of entry will rise from $99.99 to $149.99 for the larger TiVo Premiere when new pricing goes into effect Sunday, the 25th. Via TiVo’s outreach:

  • TiVo Premiere $149.99: Records two shows at once and up to 75 hours of HD content
  • TiVo Premiere XL $249.99 (reduced $50): Records two shows at once and up to 150 hours of HD content
  • TiVo Premiere Elite $399.99 (reduced $100): Records four shows at once and up to 300 hours of HD content
  • The TiVo monthly service fee is now $14.99 per month, with a one-year commitment, making it lower on a monthly basis than most cable offerings
  • Multi-service discount pricing is now $12.99 per month

tivo-premiere-phone-offer

Perhaps related, as TiVo clears existing inventory, we’ve seen third party retailers recently lower the price of the 45 hour TiVo Premiere DVR. Not to mention I just received the email blast below pitching discounted Premieres.

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51 responses to TiVo Premiere Sees Hard Drive Boost, Fee Reduction

  1. Premiere Elite at $350 seems like a no brainer. Maybe it’s time for me to get in. As far as the price increase on the base level, not sure if that’s related to hard drive shortages (as noted by CEO Tom Rogers on a few occasions) or just a place holder until their clear existing/original Premiere hardware (320GB/45 hours).

  2. The elite is listing for $499 at Amazon and Best Buy today so a price of $349 would be $150 off. Although for existing customers the elite has been $399 for a month or so.

  3. Dave,

    The Elite would now be $399.99 if it was reduced by $100 correct? If not I will be upset as I just got one for $399.

  4. Brian, dave, The bullets are a cut & paste from TiVo’s email, so perhaps they split the difference or miscalculated. The $349.99 is hopefully the number that matters. If you purchased the unit within the last 30 days, just call them on Monday when the new pricing is in effect to see about an adjustment.

  5. I bought mine from Electronics Expo and not Tivo so the price adjustment would be a no go for me.

  6. $350 will have me in for an upgrade… one of my hd xl’s into a elite…

  7. dave, they might work with you on a a few months of service or something if you said you’d return within the 30 day trial period, etc. I’d say it’s worth a call.

    Regarding the Premiere Elite. Well, hell! I just called one of my contacts at TiVo for clarification and the $349.99 is a typo. It should be $399.99. Still a good deal, just not amazing. I’ll update the post.

  8. Michael Burstin March 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Grr – bought my Elite 2 months ago at BestBuy – past any price match date :(

  9. Are there any other changes to the hardware beyond a (small) increase in drive capacity? If I was to upgrade to a premiere, I would upgrade the internal drive to 2TB anyway.

    $15/month is infinitely more palatable than $20/month, particularly since I pay $6.95/month on my S3.

  10. This is a smart move from a TiVo perspective especially with TiVo launching XFINITY On Demand support in early April. These prices make the offering very competitive versus the cable operator generic DVRs for a premium product that is better than 80+ percent of the DVRs on the market. The introduction of the transcoding box and IP box along with improved whole home software this summer will make these boxes even more compelling.

  11. Rodalpho, my contact isn’t aware of any other hardware changes.

    Sam, pricing is good. But CableCARD rentals ($) and complexity are still at play. The upcoming extenders might be enough for me to replace my exiting Premiere with an Elite for a true whole home DVR hub. Hm.

  12. Wait, where is this $350 Elite figure? I’m in if that’s the case but I’m not seeing it.

  13. That was a typo, unfortunately.

  14. TiVo could move a ton of units as upgrades if they had a reasonable upgrade path for existing lifetime service units. I’ve got an Elite, an HD, and a S3 but paying practically full price to replace the HD and S3 isn’t attractive. I know I could sell the old units on eBay to make the numbers look better but it’s a hassle that most people are not going to go through.

  15. I actually don’t mind the upfront investment, but moving from paying $6.95 to $20/month was just unacceptable. $15/month is better, but still sticks in my craw.

  16. I’m wondering if they will automatically lower the multi service rate of $14.99 I’m paying now down to the new $12.99 or if I’m going to have to call them.

  17. I’ve been planning to ditch TiVo soon, just because options like Simple.tv and Aereo… this has me interested though. I feel like if they don’t try and charge more per month for an extender or transcoder, I may actually jump back on the TiVo bandwagon.

  18. I would be VERY surprised if people currently under contract are allowed to drop down to the lower fees.

  19. Since the Premier Elite has 4 tuners, does it require 2 M-stream cable cards? I can’t find this info anywhere.

    -Mike

  20. xdreamwalker, Rodalpho – I’ve fired off an email to TiVo. Will post an update if/when I get one.

    Dan, I can’t imagine there will be fees for the transcoder but the extender is interesting. We shall see. While Aereo and Simple.TV sound nice, both are extremely limited in various ways. If Simple had included a second tuner and hard drive, it’d be a different story… In fact, that probably deserves a post.

    scary, nope – just one M-stream card is sufficient!

  21. Any price drop on lifetime service to match the monthly price drop?

  22. TiVo tells me folks out of contract can renew at these lower rates, but they wouldn’t automatically roll into them.

    carroca, Lifetime remains the same.

  23. With this price drop and if their Ip STB box comes out soon at a decent price, then I will definitely want to get a second Elite. I already have a launch Elite and have been very pleased with it. If I can sell two more of my two tuner, lifetime Premieres to cover the cost of an Elite and the IP STB then I will definitely go for it. Plus that would allow me to drop another cable card. Saving me $4 more off my FiOS bill.

  24. Scarymike, the elite only needs one M-card.

  25. TiVo Blog updated with official details.
    http://blog.tivo.com/2012/03/new-upgraded-memory-tivo-premiere-coming-soon-now-record-even-more-of-your-favorite-shows/

    Though, it cracks me up that they say “upgraded memory TiVo”. I seriously doubt they added any RAM to it.

  26. My rep didn’t believe there were any changes beyond the hard drive size. So, as you infer, by memory they probably mean storage. However, it wouldn’t surprise to learn other subtle updates have been made over the last two years to bring down hardware cost or manufacturing costs. That’s pretty typical for CE devices.

  27. Rodalpho… I assume the 6.95 you refer to is an old multi discount… I’ve had no problem getting new units onto one of these plans… Simply change the TiVo service number from the old to new in account settings.

  28. I must say this 500GB/75hr model sounds like something that I would definitely be interested in if the price is right..

  29. Nancy the price is $149 MSRP. How right is that for you?

  30. @Jon, can you elaborate how you kept the on multi discount? I have 2 Tivo’s now and have though about both replacing and and adding a 3rd but wasn’t sure how to keep the 6.95 price.

  31. No way to do it when increasing amount of boxes… But if you go to “my account” instead of canceling the box you are turning off and adding the new box you go to “change TiVo service number” and basically it just keeps your activation date and details including billing and turns on the new box… The last time I did this was about 18 months ago and I had no problem… I’ll be trying again tomorrow after picking up an elite from best buy

  32. When the TiVo Premiere and new pricing hit about two years ago, they removed the ability to transfer the old MSD to new units if I recall correctly. Some folks managed to get it migrated by calling in, but officially I don’t think you can.

  33. when the new Premieres came out two years ago, they had an upgrade offer. You could transfer the $6.95 plan to the Premiere or you could get lifetime for $200(something like that anyway). Of course the lower end Premiere cost $300 back then so it still took the totla price to $500. I got lifetime on around seven Premieres but only got the $6.95 plan on one Premiere which I still own and I only have two of my launch lifetime Premieres.
    I hope this IP box comes out soon and at a good price. I want to sell those and get another Elite.

  34. I can confirm that none of my pleading to move a $6.95 sub to a TiVo Premiere worked. I’ve been paying $14.99 for both of my Premiere boxes.

  35. So is the Premier line it for a while? I bought TivoHDs right before the premiers were announced and always felt a little burned by that. If I buy a premier today, any speculation on how long before the next “version” comes out?

  36. Ditto with scarymike.

    Despite the Elite being new, we’re 2 years into the Premiere’s life and performance is still an issue. I think we’re pretty much seeing 95% of what it’s going to do performance-wise. (FYI… don’t expect much performance gain from the spring or summer updates.)

    On one hand, I want 4 tuners and the IP STB. On the other hand, at $800 with Lifetime I don’t wanna kick myself for taking the sluggish box if they show up with a new box a year from now with twice the performance.

    Decisions, decisions.

  37. Mike,

    Well, I was on the fence for ages but finally just bought an Elite and honestly, I think its pretty good. Yes it can sometimes be slow, but its not that big a problem most of the time, and certainly the HD GUI is a major improvement. For me the four tuners plus the 2TB of storage plus the really nice iPad app are worth it. And that’s with just one Elite. The others in my house are Tivo HDs and of course won’t stream from an Elite.

    If Tivo and Comcast ever get their VOD thing working in my area I might upgrade to a Premiere there to get access to that too.

  38. I am less than one month into a one year contract at $19.99 per month. The new monthly pricing of $14.99 represents a $60/year savings. Given that I am still in my 30 day trial period I sure hope they will give me the lower price. That’s standard practice with mos big box retailers. Anyone else in this situation and tried calling Tivonto get the better rate.

  39. Brad,
    In the past Tivo has given customers within the 30 day return period any promotions that were currently going on. I don’t see why they wouldn’t here either.

  40. They raised the base price by $50. He paid the old price. That’s the argument why they wouldn’t give him the promotion.

    However, he purchased less than one month ago, so he could always just return it and exchange for a new one, so they’ll probably give it to him.

    My $6.95/month rate is actually grandfathered from a promotion many, many years ago. I only have one TiVo, a S3, and pay $6.95/month for service.

    As for the elite being slow, dude, you paid a small fortune for that thing. Eight hundred dollars and it’s still slow? How out of touch is TiVo if they think that’s acceptable?

  41. Rodalpho, they raised the “base” price… but it’s for new, higher capacity hardware. Resellers like Amazon and Electronics Expo are still selling the original Premiere and based on the outreach I’m assuming the new subscription rate applies. So it’s worth it for Brad to call in and see what they can do for him. Sounds like you have the rate for people who try to quit TiVo – one year they gave that to me when I was angry about something or other and was planning to walk. But that TiVo and rate are long gone for me.

    As far as the Premiere platform being slow. It’s much better than it was at launch and I’d say it’s in the mostly acceptable. Also it’s *effectively” quicker than much of the competition due to better organization. But, it’s still not quick enough. I feel the need for speed.

  42. Yep, I believe I have the same promotion. If I could transfer that rate to a new premiere I’d do so instantly. But I can’t, so I’ll stay on the S3 until it dies or TiVo offers a product that improves core DVR functionality.

  43. Well, my 2 year old TivoHD bit the dust (starts to boot, then the screen goes grey and nothing more happens.)

    So I bit the bullet and bought an elite. Pricey, but hopefully worth it.

  44. In light of the new $14.99 plan, any word on the monthly fee for us OTA-only customers being reduced as well (below $14.99)?

  45. “As far as the Premiere platform being slow. It’s much better than it was at launch and I’d say it’s in the mostly acceptable. Also it’s *effectively” quicker than much of the competition due to better organization. But, it’s still not quick enough. I feel the need for speed.”

    If I don’t skip the current Premiere generation waiting for better silicon, I’ll run it in SDUI emulation mode. In HDUI mode, it’s not *effectively” quicker than the competition that currently sits under my TV – a TiVo HD.

    I’ve been holding off because of the notorious, showstopping SDUI emulation mode ten minute hang bug. But a bunch of longtime posters in the thread seem to indicate software updates have finally quashed the SDUI bug. So updating to a Premiere or Elite may finally make sense for me. Don’t get me wrong: I’ve been wanting the throughput speed, 2TB capacity, and small screen control, but I like ‘teh snappy’ even more.

    It would be nice have TiVo upgrade the silicon that runs the HDUI before I buy, of course. But it’s nice to finally feel like I have the option to upgrade.

  46. The press release says best buy should be stocking the new base model, but the staff at my local bb didn’t even know it existed. Any guesses on how long until it hits a retail retail store?

  47. Dan, The OTA-only thing was a short term promotion that has since ended. TiVo tells me they may consider it again in the future. So, no – no further price reduction.

    Xebec, I imagine it’d be within the next few weeks.

  48. My TivoHD is still fine for my needs and with Lifetime subscription I’m not going anywhere. If they ever run a promotion to get HD Lifetime subscribers into the new box than I would convert. Even if they just gave me the first year free. But I have a hard time ditching that box when it works pretty flawlessly.

  49. Jon the Heretic March 27, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Tivo has made some improvements but until my Premiere stops registering 2 or 3 presses instead of the 1 press made in real time, it will still be too slow. Getting the timing right with the remote and the DVR is a pretty basic aspect of usability.

    I love the Tivo iPad app but a few weeks ago, they upgraded the app and it can barely chat with my Premiere, lots of communication errors. There is nothing like reorganizing your Season Passes on the iPad— generally so much easier— only to get a ‘connection error’ and then have it mess up your To Do list. In the App store there are many complaints of the same. Not being able to trust the iPad app has made the Premiere’s performance more annoying than it had been.

  50. Haven’t had any probs with the “real” remote, but yeah the iOS update is a whole lot of hurt. It’s unusable in many scenarios. Hopefully they identify and fix this one quickly.

  51. Weaknees needs to adjust their pricing now. Who on earth would pay $379 for a 2TB Premiere? The extra two tuners of the Elite are worth $20 even if you don’t think you’ll ever need the extra two tuners.

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