September 20, 2011

$449 for a Tivo with Lifetime service and Why I should have bought one 4 Years ago

Today through Thursday you can get a Tivo Premier DVR with Lifetime subscription service for $449.   Thats  $150 less than the regular price.    Right now my DVR from Comcast is $16 per month + $1 in taxes so its about $17 a month.   In a year I spend $204 on my DVR.   If I buy the Tivo then I'll break even in less than 3 years.    

Three years ago I did this same calculation.     I figured at that time that if I had spent $700 on an HD TIvo with lifetime service that I would break even in 3.5 years versus paying $12/month for my Cable DVR.    But I didn't buy the Tivo then and I've just stuck with the Comcast DVR for the past 3 years.    Now my DVR is $16 a month instead of $12 a month.  

I used my first Tivo for 5 years.  I actually still have it but its not HD compatible so we don't use it now.   I spent $249 on the lifetime service on that box and it is still valid today.   If I had spent $12 /month on DVR service then I would have spent $702.   Spending $249 saved me $702 over 5 years.  That was a great deal.

I don't know why but I'm still very hesitant to buy a HD Tivo today.   The lifetime subscription on my first Tivo saved me hundreds of dollars in monthly fees.    I can look back at my older post from 2008 looking at the HD Tivo with Lifetime for $700 and see that I'd be ahead by now if I'd taken my advice then.   And I know that if I paid the $449 today to buy one that I'd make my money back in 2.5 years.     Yet with all that good evidence that it will be a good long term buy I am still hesitant to plop down $449 today.  

The one legitimate reason to stick to the Comcast DVR is that you can not get Comcast on-demand content via the Tivo unit.    That might change soon since it appears Comast on-demand may be available on Tivo in the future.   Thats a recent development and hasn't been implemented in my city and theres no indication of when it might be.   We do use the on-demand content from Comcast a bit so losing that would be a negative for us.   I'm not sure if we use it enough to justify the extra cost though.

I guess the primary reasons I don't buy the Tivo are the large up front cost and simply sticking to the status quo.   Its hard to commit to fork over a few hundred dollars up front.   Even though I know its better overall cost in the long run.    The status quo is easier since I don't have to switch boxes and my wife and I won't have to learn how to use the Tivo.  Not that using a Tivo is hard at all, in fact its easy.  But we'd still have to get used to a different interface.

The $449 deal is a good deal though.

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