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Old 12-26-2005, 08:56 PM   #1 (Print)
wdy
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Do you need the Tivo service

Hi, I just got my wife a Tivo recorder (40 hrs) for x-mas and we were wondering
if you can use the system as a recorder the same as a vcr without the service.
She just wants to manually set a time/channel to record. Hopefully two shows at a time if possible. I also read there was a free Tivo service on consumerreports, does anyone know anything about that?

Thanks in advance, Woody
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Old 12-26-2005, 09:03 PM   #2 (Print)
mattack
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No, you can't.

Series 1s (no longer made) can work without a subscription, but you get nag screens.

Currently the only Tivos that can record two shows at once are tied to DirecTV (one standard and one that does DirecTV and HDTV, but no other sources like cable or OTA analog).

I suggest you try out the free week of service, and you'll likely get addicted. Otherwise, there are plenty of NON-Tivo recorders that don't require a service -- none are anywhere near as reliable (I have a hard drive/DVD recorder that's non-Tivo to augment my Tivos).

Read the FAQs.
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Old 12-26-2005, 11:13 PM   #3 (Print)
Stanley Rohner
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Some Series 1s can work without service, no all Series1s.
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Old 12-27-2005, 01:33 AM   #4 (Print)
gastrof
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Some of the TiVos that have DVD drives in them can also work without service. They come with "TiVo Basic".

The ones that don't are manufactured under the brand "Humax".

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Old 12-27-2005, 01:44 AM   #5 (Print)
ZeoTiVo
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if you just bought it it is a series 2 that needs a subscription to schedule any kind of recordings. Says so on the box. Also it is a singlr tuner, records one thing at a time. You should have a grace period of a week or two to try it out. Read r=the manual and give it a whirl - it will take a week to get some shows on it and understand the benefit of a TiVo
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Old 12-27-2005, 02:22 AM   #6 (Print)
Dromomaniac
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Give the service a try for a month. She'll love it. Trust me.
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Old 12-27-2005, 02:52 PM   #7 (Print)
Jeeters
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Yes, definitely give it a month. Just a week or two isn't enough time. Especially not right now since the networks are running repeats junk programming right now during the holidays. Give it a test drive through January when regular programming returns.
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Old 12-28-2005, 09:56 AM   #8 (Print)
audiocrawford
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The TiVo service is essential, IMHO. If you don't want TiVo service, you are better off buying a DVD recorder and using DVD-RW's. Regardless, for a series 2, you have to subscribe - or you just bought yourself a nice door stop.

AC
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Old 12-28-2005, 10:42 AM   #9 (Print)
jmoak
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Do I need the Tivo service?

Do I need the Tivo service?

Why, Yes! Yes I do!

Without it, I would have to get crappy tv listings on line or from the sunday paper. (TVGuide's new format and the lack of detailed listings and no local info at all makes it completely worthless nowadays as are most "free" or ad-supported listings on boxes these days) I'd have to do my own scheduling and conflict resolution. I'd have to make time every day to keep up with schedule changes and network idiocy. No more friendly suggestions, so I'd have to get use to reading about the new shows coming on to be able to catch new (or old) things I may like on obscure channels. I'd have to get use to a new recorder (tivo does not work without the sub) and make sure to be on guard to see that it recorded what I've scheduled it to.

It'd be as if I had gone back in time and had to futz with a vcr again.

Too much work just to watch tv. ...but I'd probably read more....

So, Do I need the Tivo service?

I'd have to reply with a resounding "YES"!!!!!!

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Old 12-28-2005, 11:30 AM   #10 (Print)
Atomike
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Get lifetime service. The Tivo service IS great. But it's not $13 a month great. Is programming your VCR really such a hassle that it's worth $13 every month? You folks must make ALOT more money than I do.
Lifetime service IS worth the money - but only because it's the only way the box will work.
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:38 AM   #11 (Print)
MickeS
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Quote:
Is programming your VCR really such a hassle that it's worth $13 every month?


I bought lifetime too, because I hate montly fees, but I gotta answer your question... it's not only the programming of the VCR. It's switching tapes. It's trying to cue up the right show on a tape. It's finding an empty tape. It's remembering and labeling which tapes can be used again, and which have stuff to keep. It's getting the listings. It's making sure that the VCR is turned to standby before I leave home, so the timer recording will kick in. It's not being able to record something while I watch a recording. It's having to remember to manually schedule every recording.

So I'm not sure why you'd grossly oversimplyfy what those $13/month gives you.
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:41 AM   #12 (Print)
jmoak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomike
Is programming your VCR really such a hassle that it's worth $13 every month?
As my primetime viewing is from 11pm to 2am (I must record everything in regular primetime just to be able to watch it in my primetime) and I find the vcr dance one of the greatest self-inflicted maladies I have ever endured.... Yes, it's worth $13 bucks a month.

You are correct about lifetime, though.

....but I have a hard time with commitments, muchless with one THAT long.
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Old 12-28-2005, 02:46 PM   #13 (Print)
Atomike
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I should have been more explicit in what I was trying to say. How 'bout this - is programing a DVR manually worth $13 a month? I agree that DVRs are SOOO much better than a VCR and I would never go back. However, I don't think that scheduling a manual recording is hard work. Certainly not worth $13 to have a guide. I think what most people want is a digital VCR. All manual recordings. No monthly fees.

The universal hatred of monthly fees (with a few loud exceptions who post here often) is the problem with Tivo. The marketing campaign should have ALWAYS been this: buy a box for $400-$450 and we'll give you the service free for life. This monthly fee garbage, while profitable, scares away MOST of potential Tivo customers. Of this, I am convinced. Flame away.
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Old 12-28-2005, 02:56 PM   #14 (Print)
jmoak
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would you come daily to my home and take care of recording all my shows on a few vcr's for me for $13 a month?

scheduling a manual recording is not hard work, it simply can be time consuming to keep up with schedule changes, do it correctly as not to miss anything, keep the recordings labeled and in order and to have them "on demand" anytime I want.

no flame. just a difference of opinion on what time it takes to do it right and what my time is worth.
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Old 12-28-2005, 03:09 PM   #15 (Print)
vinniet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanley Rohner
Some Series 1s can work without service, no all Series1s.


Yes depending on the date the S1 was produced the box is considered "Golden" and you can get basic service. What that means you can make manual recordings and pause live TV like usual. My box was not doing that when I got it and talked to TIvo. Here is my resolution from another the "other" Tivo site:


Ok I found out that if you have a Sony SA1 manufactured before Oct 2001 it is suppose to do basic VCR functions like recording manually. These units are said to be "golden" and it turns out my was made Nov 2000.

So I called Tivo support and they told me when v1.3 of the software was overwritten with v3 of the software, that was lost. I told them to get me the v1.3 back, which they said was imposable. So I asked to talk to a supervisor. She went through the same deal as the tech and said that my unit had to be manufactured before a certain date. Yep I told her I knew the dates and she went away for a while and came back and said that within a week my Tivo will make a call and that feature will reappear.

So I can not use my unit as a VCR. Also I assume I will be able to make calls to correct the time. That we will have to see, for now I got what I wanted.


I have a S2 with lifetime and my S1 I use when I need to tape something and the S2 is already taping something.

Vinnie

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Old 12-28-2005, 03:12 PM   #16 (Print)
Bierboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomike
I should have been more explicit in what I was trying to say. How 'bout this - is programing a DVR manually worth $13 a month? I agree that DVRs are SOOO much better than a VCR and I would never go back. However, I don't think that scheduling a manual recording is hard work. Certainly not worth $13 to have a guide. I think what most people want is a digital VCR. All manual recordings. No monthly fees.

The universal hatred of monthly fees (with a few loud exceptions who post here often) is the problem with Tivo. The marketing campaign should have ALWAYS been this: buy a box for $400-$450 and we'll give you the service free for life. This monthly fee garbage, while profitable, scares away MOST of potential Tivo customers. Of this, I am convinced. Flame away.
My, my...oh well. I find the $13/month well worth the feature of Season Passes alone...finding first-run eps, recording them and ignoring repeats. That, plus keeping up with not only schedule changes, but instances such as when ABC added a few minutes to a "Lost" ep AFTER it had already appeared in my To Do list, then made the scheduling change on-the-fly during a subsequent overnight update.

I had the Sony DHG-HDD 500 HD recorder for a few weeks before returning it to Crutchfield, and, let me tell you, working with TVGOS (which is free) made me appreciate even more the TiVo program guide (Tribune Media Services). Those who have never used TiVo don't know what they're missing.

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Old 12-28-2005, 05:32 PM   #17 (Print)
MickeS
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Quote:
The marketing campaign should have ALWAYS been this: buy a box for $400-$450 and we'll give you the service free for life. This monthly fee garbage, while profitable, scares away MOST of potential Tivo customers. Of this, I am convinced. Flame away.


I won't flame you, I agree. Unfortunately, I don't think the general public agrees. ReplayTV tried it, and when people see one unit with a sticker price of $500 next to one with a sticker price of $200 (* monthly fee of $12.95 required), most people still seem to go with the asterisk offer... just a different way of looking at it I guess!

And no, scheduling A manual recording is a piece of cake... wouldn't pay $13 for that. It's when you have to schedule 150 of them every month, and try and squeeze in watching a few recordings too between air times, that it gets tricky.
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Old 12-28-2005, 05:37 PM   #18 (Print)
megazone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomike
The universal hatred of monthly fees (with a few loud exceptions who post here often) is the problem with Tivo. The marketing campaign should have ALWAYS been this: buy a box for $400-$450 and we'll give you the service free for life. This monthly fee garbage, while profitable, scares away MOST of potential Tivo customers. Of this, I am convinced. Flame away.
And you're dead wrong. Per TiVo's own market research and pricing experimentation, more people want NO upfront cost and higher monthly fees. The lower TiVo makes the acquisition cost, the more sales conversion they get. The experiment with $16.95/month and $18.95/month subscription fees with no upfront cost was very successful and TiVo plans to pursue more such pricing options in the future. More people are willing to pay montly fees without paying upfront than the opposite.

And those who want to pay upfront still have the option of paying lifetime.

Listen to TiVo's last quarterly conference call and read the quarterly report.

Note that ReplayTV found the same thing years ago. They used to sell the box with the subscription bundled. A high upfront cost, with no fees after that. And they dropped that and copied TiVo's model of lower unit cost and a lifetime or monthly subscription option, and sales improved.

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Old 12-28-2005, 08:48 PM   #19 (Print)
dylanemcgregor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megazone
The experiment with $16.95/month and $18.95/month subscription fees with no upfront cost was very successful and TiVo plans to pursue more such pricing options in the future.


Where did you hear about the $18.95/month trial? I heard them speak in the CC about the $16.95, but this is the first I recall hearing about an $18.95 test.

I know TiVo has done market research that shows these tests to be more popular, but from working in market research for a time, I also know how flawed corporate research like this can be. I hope they are right (so long as they don't discontinue the lifetime option) but my gut and my annecdotal evidence tells me otherwise. I have lost track of the number of people I've tried to sell on TiVo who hear about the monthly subscription and are immediately turned off, they recover a little bit when I tell them about the lifetime option, but still are hung up on the word "service." These same people have had no problem plunking down this much or more on an iPod, digital camera, etc... that they will use a few times and then put away in a closet...but that's OK because there is no service fee. But I digress...I believe the question was "Do you need the TiVo service?"

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Old 12-29-2005, 02:49 AM   #20 (Print)
megazone
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The $18.95 price point was done as an offer through e-Rewards. They sent an email out to some members - I got it, and it was mentioned on some blogs at the time. I think it may have been mentioned here too, but I couldn't say for sure.

I've see a lot of people balk at the upfront cost, especially when comparing it to a cable DVR. Way more than I've seen balk at monthly fees. With cable DVR's being 'free' hardware and 'just' a monthly fee, a lot of people don't understand why they'd want to pay up front to get a TiVo. I am sick of hearing "Buy my cable company will give me a TiVo free!" Which I've heard way too many times.

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Old 12-29-2005, 06:54 AM   #21 (Print)
mec1991
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomike
Get lifetime service. The Tivo service IS great. But it's not $13 a month great. Is programming your VCR really such a hassle that it's worth $13 every month? You folks must make ALOT more money than I do.
Lifetime service IS worth the money - but only because it's the only way the box will work.


No offense, but what the hell is $13 a month? Half a tank of gas? A few packs of smokes? A couple of magazines? We all waste more than that each month on junk we don't need. I need TiVo to find the few programs worth watching on television, whether season passes or one shot programs on the History Channel or Discovery or whatever. To go back to the old days of looking through a TV Guide (which has been a joke for years) and trying to manually record them is not an option for me. This "I don't like their business model" tripe is really tiresome. Don't like it, then don't buy it.
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Old 12-29-2005, 10:31 AM   #22 (Print)
MickeS
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mec1991, tell us what you really think!

I agree that $13/month is not a lot of money (it's like, what, 2 supersized meals at McDonalds?), but it's the principle of it that I don't like. That's partly why I don't have satellite radio either.

/Mike
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Old 12-29-2005, 11:53 AM   #23 (Print)
cpemberton
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$13 is not a lot, but that's not the point, is it? It's when you have to add one more thing to all the other bills you have to pay, then you have to think about that. Personally, I just pay for the things that are most important and do without the things I don't consider so important. So I pay DirecTV $5 for Tivo service because my time is important to me, and I pay $33 for DSL again because my time is important to me, but I refuse to pay for mobile phone service, because paying $40 a month or whatever to give people the ability to be able to track me down wherever I am, is not worth it to me.

It's not about Tivo service fees in particular. It's about what's important to you. Is what a particular service supplies worth the price of the service? For me, mobile phone service isn't worthe the price. But DirecTV Tivo service ($5) is worth the price. Incidentally, TIVo service at $13, wasn't worth the price to me. I considered it before DirecTV offered the service and for me, the service wasn't worth $13. Back then, instead of paying $13, the other option for me was not to spend immense amounts of time setting up show recordings with a VCR type device. No, I just didn't watch the shows I wasn't around to watch. If DirecTV raised the price of the service to anything more than $6, I wouldn't pay for it.

Each person places different value on different services. If enough people think that TIVo service is worth the price, then they have a winning formula. It's that simple.

Last edited by cpemberton : 12-29-2005 at 02:39 PM.
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