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Originally posted by Kenster


This justification doesn't work when you can get a free television guide, complete with VCR+ codes, in your Sunday newspaper. I, for one, would love to have a UTV, or DirecTivo, but don't think it's worth $10 to $13 per month for a SAT fed program guide. Since there is already a program guide that comes with D*TV service, why does that not work with UTV, or DirecTivo?
First, you are mistaken in your assumption that the $10 or $13 fee for TiVo or UTV is for guide data. DirecTiVos and UTVs use Directvs own enhanced guide data, downloaded via satellite 24/7, and they only need to call TiVo once a month to confirm service. SA TiVos use dial-up connections to a local UUNET for guide data so they call nearly every day, but it's the same guide data Tribune supplies to everyone, so for a SA TiVo your paying for the necessary download, not for the info itself (exactly).

Second, the extra $10 a month (or $250 one-time fee) is for use of TiVo software, a sort of licensing agreement. It is set up this way to get the unit into a store and sell it at a lower out-of-pocket price, then get the user to subscribe to the service that uses the hardware to make money on the back-end - the exact same way cell phones have been sold for years.

TiVo could have sold the units like RePlay does - $700 to $1000 covers hardware and subscription/software license costs in one shot. Nobody would have bought them at that price, so they cut the license cost out of the shelf price and sold them for $300 - $500, then gave people options - 1) Pay $250 once and use it until it dies or 2) Pay $10 a month (now $13 on SAs) and use it until you sell it or throw it away. When the DirecTiVos came out, they allowed ALL DTiVos on the same account to be used for a single $10 monthly fee or a single $250 "lifetime" fee since they dont require as much support from TiVo.

A TiVo is a helluva lot more than a glorified VCR, even one with the over-rated VCR+. R&D costs to make a TiVo do what it does have been/still are expensive (and it works damn near flawlessly). After using their system for 5 months, the $10 I pay to Directv to use my 2 DTiVos is the most satisfying part of my Directv bill - I feel I actually get my $10 worth. A year ago I thought paying $10 to record TV was ridiculous, but TiVo's Season Passes, Wishlists, tremendous search capabilities, commercial skip, live buffering - the list goes on, but all these have shown me that I never want to go back to watching TV the old way ever again .
 
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If the broken unit can be repaired, the lifetime sub is still valid on the unit. HOWEVER, if the unit cannot be repaired by an authorized TiVo repair center, the lifetime sub can be transferred to a replacement unit :)

Lifetime is a good option, but since I have 2 DirecTiVos I am gonna stick to monthly. The Series II DirecTiVos may have some features I want, and staying monthly allows me to switch any unit at any time I please quickly and easily.
 
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