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Why are DVRs so expensive?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Xsabresx, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Scale has everything to do with it, and "you're right".
    I worked for a cable equipment supplier of fiber optic receiver/transmitters and while they did build/sell a lot, even with US labor, parts were significantly more than the labor involved.
     
  2. maartena

    maartena Hall Of Fame

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    Look at the prices of laptops, tablets, smart phones.... the first two easily cost you $500-$600 out of pocket, and the last category often goes for $199 provided you have a 2 year contract at $80 a month or so, or you can buy the unlocked version for $649. (That is the price of the cheapest iPhone 4S that is not locked to a provider.

    Sure, a DVR is "a box with a hard drive", but yet there is a lot of technology behind it. There is software to develop, software to keep up to date, there is a main board with processing power, memory, more or less like a laptop.... just without the screen. But with more interfaces on the back side, and with 2 tuners built in.

    Just for shizzles, and for the sake of technology that is probably comparable and can do the job.... go google what the following components cost:

    - A 500 Gb hard drive.
    - A main board with a 1.8 Ghz Atom processor built in.
    - Two PCI-Express TV Tuner Cards.
    - 2 Gb of RAM.
    - A case to put it all in that is small.
    - A power supply.
    - Estimate the cost for cables, a remote, and what it would cost for the custom OS.

    You'd be surprised when you add it all up. Technology isn't as cheap as you think it is. Even mass produced.
     
  3. trh

    trh This Space for Sale

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    Let us not forget DirecTV is a publicly held corporation and they have an obligation to their shareholders to make a profit.
     
  4. HerntDawg

    HerntDawg Legend

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    They have a "monopoly" on their consumers(box wise), right or wrong, it is what it is. If you don't like it go somewhere else. That is the essence of capitalism.
     
  5. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    The Channel Master, model TV CM 7400 HD DVR's pre-order price on their own site is $400. Add maybe ten bucks for de-encryption and security, and that's a good indication of the non-monopoly price for hardware that can do what a DirecTV DVR can do. And I see that the Channel Master box has a 320 GB hard drive, whereas the HR24 has a 500 GB hard drive.

    But DirecTV assumes a lot more responsibility when it sells a DVR, because it is sold to a customer who purchased it to enable him to receive and record programming that he is contractually committed to paying $100 a month for. When the device fails, he demands a credit on his account for the outage interval. He expects to be able to call for assistance 24 hours a day. Are Channel Master customer service reps available 24/7? Will Channel Master make a service tech available for field service for $70 or whatever DirecTV charges for out-of warranty service these days? And if a Channel Master customer cannot be satisfied, they could bail out by giving a pro-rated refund, but DirecTV can't do that because of the contractual programming commitment. That additioinal responsibility alone warrants adding a hundred or two to the "clean sale" price of such devices.
     
  6. Scott Kocourek

    Scott Kocourek Well-Known Member

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    AntAltMike I would like to add that DIRECTV will also send you another DVR if yours stops working, they may charge you for shipping but it's almost like getting a lifetime warranty, you may get a refurbished DVR but you will get another. That alone has to be worth a lot of money.
     
  7. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Well, factually, you're wrong about what constitutes a monopoly, and your "essence of capitalism" definition is lacking, uh, definition!
     
  8. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    This is not the case. DIRECTV partnered with TiVo to create a box.

    In view of that experience, it is understandable that nobody else wants the frustration.
     
  9. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    ZING!

    Nice one, harsh. :righton: :D

    Although I wouldn't be surprised, given the long delay, if there wasn't frustration on both sides.
     
  10. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    I don't see what you are arguing about. DirecTV has monopolistic control over the D-series boxes that are made by half a dozen manufacturers, and THAT INCLUDES monopolistic control over any DirecTV-compatible boxes incorporating TIVO proprietary systems. Weren't those TIVO DVRs also made by multiple manufacturers?
     
  11. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    It's a matter of semantics. DirecTV does not have a monopoly. We have alternatives in cable, Dish and other ways to get television service.

    To say they have a monopoly is like saying Apple has a monopoly by forcing you to use their closed architecture and operating system with their pieces. No, there are plenty of other smart phones, tablets, computers and mp3 players out there.

    DirecTV has a proprietary product you have to use to make their system work. That's something completely different.

    Maybe a better example would be the engine to your car. Nobody would say Ford has a monopoly over the engine you can use in your Fusion.

    The difference isn't trivial. Monopolies are generally considered illegal, if not just bad for the economy and the consumer. Making you use a proprietary product isn't. You, as a consumer, chose to buy it. You did have alternatives. Proprietary products aren't illegal.
     
  12. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Winters,...
    Good explanation, Carl. I wouldn't have the patience to write it out like that.
     
  13. Scott Kocourek

    Scott Kocourek Well-Known Member

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    Every business makes choices and has control over vendors or subcontractors that they may or may not want to use, that has nothing to do with a monopoly.
     
  14. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    It isn't just a matter of choosing vendors. Anyone can make and sell you Ford brake shoes, with or without Ford's permission, but no one can manufacture a DirecTV receiver without acceding to DirecTV's demands regarding performance and even price.
     
  15. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Well this has been a fun thread! :)

    But it is really all for naught as I don't think D* calculates the way we are doing in this thread. D*, just like most service oriented businesses, wants to generate a certain average revenue stream from their subscribers. How that stream is made up in these discussions is kind of fiction.

    And of course, the way that the bill is made up fits some of the advertising that companies use. Like, 'cheapest programming cost'! Yeah, it is true, E* does have that, but they make up for it in the equipment cost lines. Which brings up a question in my mind, how much is the 'average' bill from D* and E*?

    I think that number will be real close...
     
  16. Scott Kocourek

    Scott Kocourek Well-Known Member

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    The brakes that come on a Ford vehicle from the factory have specifications set by Ford and that no way make them a Monopoly. In many cases if you use a part that is not approved a vehicle manufacturer does not have to help you troubleshoot it or fix it under warranty. I never had to call TiVo when I had problems with my receiver, I called DIRECTV.

    The word monopoly is thrown around as a feel good term, it's easy to hate a monopoly. DIRECTV makes business decisions that are best for them, that doesn't make them a monopoly.
     
  17. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    Brake pads are a subcomponent that can be changed out. I'd compare them to the HDMI cable that comes in the box with the DVR. You can replace that with a Monster Cable if you wish, just like you can buy aftermarket shoes. The DVR is more like the whole wheel assembly. You can't take a Chevy wheel/tires/brakes/strut/tie rod/bearing assembly and use it on your Ford.
     
  18. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Yes you can, but "it ain't easy". :lol:

    DirecTV would have a "monopoly" if there weren't other Satellite TV providers, and you could only get TV service through a SAT feed at your location.
     
  19. Scott Kocourek

    Scott Kocourek Well-Known Member

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    Would that still be true if you could get your TV through the mail like Netflix?
     
  20. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Well "maybe" if you could watch it live. :lol:
     

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