A Little Help with TiVo’s New Pricing – The Retail Angle

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Buying a New Box at Retail

Previously any box you bought at retail could be subscribed for $12.95/6.95 with one-year commitment, or prepay $155.40, $299 or $299 for 1,2 or 3 years, respectively.

The Basics

The S2ST costs $70 less after rebate – upfront store price hasn’t changed.

In return for that $70, you need to choose from the following sacrifices:

1 yr. – Pay an additional $7/mo or $84 during the year. This represents a terrible return on investment ($70) on your part.

Or pre-pay $199 vs. $155.40 previously. This combo reduces your cost $26.40 up front, and is better than the previous deal.

After the year is up, you are either stuck month to month at the terribly high price of $19.95 or you can commit to an additional two or three years (up to a total of four!) for $14.95 or $12.95 respectively. All of this compares extremely unfavorably with the prior ability to commit to one year at $12.95.

2 yr. – Pay an additional $2/mo or $48 over two years and be committed for that additional year, paying another $155.40 (12*12.95). Total additional financial commitment is $203.40, but you get one more year of service. This is a good deal if you genuinely want two years because you are only paying $48 over 2 years while saving $70 up front.

Don’t be an idiot and pre-pay $299 for only 2 years when that price is the same for 3 years.

After the 2 years are up, you either stay month to month at $14.95 or commit for an additional 3 years (total 5 years!) to get $12.95/mo. The month to month is OK if you don’t hang around very long.

3 yr. – No additional costs, but committed two extra years, for $310.80 in additional financial commitment. If you really want the box for three years, fine, you save $70 up front. Good deal.

Or pre-pay $299 for three years. Again, if you really want the box for 2+ years, this saves you $70 up front.

After the 3 years are up you stay at $12.95 month to month, which is better than $12.95 with one-year commitments.

If you are MSD eligible, take $6/mo off each monthly fee and additional financial commitment in the scenarios. The relative costs come out the same vs. the old plans, but the additional financial commitment part is reduced $6/mo.

Overall, if you really are keeping the box more than 3 years, that’s the way to go. It’s also the only way that is better than before. But ask yourself, who really wants an analog box for three years? The 2-year should rarely be better, and the one-year stinks.

The S2DT now costs $30 less after rebate than before. Substitute $30 less up front for $70, and each scenario is $40 less favorable than the basic S2ST version; this sours the one year prepay and 2 year monthly options which were positive during their initial terms. The S2DT has become a poorer deal, indeed.

The Series3 has had no change in price, so substitute $0 savings for $70, and you end up with the S3 really taking a hit. If you didn’t like the S3 price before, you should hate it now, but at least its possible to foresee using the box 3+ years.

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One Response to “A Little Help with TiVo’s New Pricing – The Retail Angle”

  1. What Happend to What Rogers Promised? « HDTiVo Blog Says:

    […] TiVo’s plans cost much more than before, choking unit sales. I quantify the dollar amount of the additional commitment in my reviews, and that ability (option) to decide not to continue after year one is worth something – a bit different to each person. So is the loss of the ability to re-up for only a year at a decent price (12.95/6.95) instead of 3 yrs (or 1/2 yrs at much higher prices.) […]

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