Two weeks ago the Series3 was looking like a keeper, but after one of the most senseless moves in corporate history – even for TiVo – I am again on the fence.
Before TiVo raised its subscription prices this week, I expected to run the S3 @$6.95 for several years. Now I have to decide if I am willing to commit to using the S3 for 3 years @ $6.95 or whether I should just send it back and wait and see what happens.
I don’t consider a one year commitment @ $6.95 followed by an unkown price structure at that time a viable option anymore. What has changed is I no longer have any trust in either TiVo’s pricing or hardware/service strategy; I was willing to risk it before.
My 4 old units (S2s) are 3 no commitment MSDs @ $6.95 and 1 Lifetime. Those don’t seem to be at risk for price changes and until that happens, I have little reason to reconsider them. For the next couple of years, I might continue to use them for SD recording, depending upon how my system evolves.
All plans for additional TiVoes are now off. Certainly there is no way I would buy another S2 with the current commitment requirements; I had been leaning toward picking up at least one S2DT. Replacing hardware under contract is not an option because that involves $150-$220 in rebate forfeiture. As for additional S3s, that is very doubtful at this point. If I keep the current S3, it will likely just be a novelty to be used for about 3 years. Previously I had considered using 4 S3s in the network, contingent upon the MRV/TTC&G availability; now also based upon flawed strategy and future price uncertainty (the additional commitment is less relevant to the S3s) I will not be pursuing the multi-S3 strategy.
For some time TiVoes have been the heart of my Digital Media Network. Now they will be moving to a peripheral role. Most likely a Vista PC will replace much of the TiVo functionality, with media extender devices becoming the connections to the TVs. While all this is evolving, I am certain TiVo no longer represents a central part of the answer.