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Tivo a ripoff?

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  • Tivo
  • Home Theatre
Last response: in Home Theatre
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February 18, 2007 12:49:33 AM

I don't own a TIVO, so I can't say this for sure, but looking at everything that it offers it looks like a blatent ripoff.

The ripoff part is not the device itself, but having to pay a monthly fee. The concept behind TIVO (recording TV) can easily be handled by a custom built computer system with a Video Capture card. Alternatively, if you couple the system with something, like the ATI All-in-Wonder, you then get the remote, as well as the software for scheduling programs for recording.

Why, someone would want to pay TIVO a monthly fee doesn't make any sense to me.

Now... I am told that TIVO does have the feature to filter out advertisements; however, this is nothing that would require a monthly fee. A single programmer could design a program in about a month's time (if he is a good programmer) that would be able to filter out all advertisements with near 100% effectiveness. After the program is made, little maintenance would be required. All that would be needed is for someone to make the program once, and everyone can benefit from it from then on.

Knowing that it would be rather easy to make a device that you could put together one time and would require no costs afterwards, it bothers me that any company would dupe people into paying a monthly fee. It seriously makes me question a company that would do such a thing, while knowing that there is easily a way to do the same thing with very little monthly cost.

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May 3, 2007 3:59:36 AM

Yes it is a rip off, i'm not absolutely sure but some big company probably bought out Tivo a while back and is running it in the ground.
November 23, 2007 4:48:29 AM

KevinAr18 said:
I don't own a TIVO, so I can't say this for sure, but looking at everything that it offers it looks like a blatent ripoff.

The ripoff part is not the device itself, but having to pay a monthly fee. The concept behind TIVO (recording TV) can easily be handled by a custom built computer system with a Video Capture card. Alternatively, if you couple the system with something, like the ATI All-in-Wonder, you then get the remote, as well as the software for scheduling programs for recording.

Why, someone would want to pay TIVO a monthly fee doesn't make any sense to me.

Now... I am told that TIVO does have the feature to filter out advertisements; however, this is nothing that would require a monthly fee. A single programmer could design a program in about a month's time (if he is a good programmer) that would be able to filter out all advertisements with near 100% effectiveness. After the program is made, little maintenance would be required. All that would be needed is for someone to make the program once, and everyone can benefit from it from then on.

Knowing that it would be rather easy to make a device that you could put together one time and would require no costs afterwards, it bothers me that any company would dupe people into paying a monthly fee. It seriously makes me question a company that would do such a thing, while knowing that there is easily a way to do the same thing with very little monthly cost.


Name me one package that provides the features that TiVo does with a 'set it and forget it' convenience.

Not everyone wants to tinker with a homemade set top box. The worst problem I have had has been taken care of with a simple power off reset.

Is there any other package out there that will allow me to pick the programs that I want to watch and find them no matter what local or satellite channel they are on, when the times change and not duplicate reruns. What package will automatically record alternative shows that I have indicated an interest in when it isn't busy recording my programmed shows? Will those packages automatically download and install firmware updates to themselves? Do any of those packages keep up with the satellite provider's channel number changes, additions, deletions AND send me an 'email' to let me know?

As for your speculating about how easy it would be for a programmer to create some mythical code to skip commercials..... where is it? I've been skipping through commercials for years now (30 seconds at a time). While we are all waiting for some white knight programmer, I'm enjoying what I have for these many years.

Finally, I find it pretty arrogant of you to imply that I have been duped by TiVo. While you may find it 'simple' to build your own, I'm sure you are not so stupid as to think everyone thinks the way you do. I've been doing electrical engineering and software design/coding since the 70's. I could certainly put together a home video recorder system. I just choose not to. The 'thrill' of building this stuff isn't there anymore. There are far, far more people that are simply incapable of doing so.

While you pontificated upon Tivo's 'blaten ripoff' and 'dupe[ing] people', you never once mentioned any real off-the-shelf alternative.
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March 4, 2011 2:33:08 AM

I Own a TIVO but you should know that when you pay for their sevice it only applies to the unit you have at the time. If you upgrade to a newer unit your present service is no longer any good and you will need to pay again if you want your new TIVO to work. If you paid the $199.00 for the life time service it will not transfer to your new unit. As most of us have found out the hard way, When your cable service goes to HD TV and you have to upgrade to a HD TV your analog TIVO box will no longer be of any use to you. I contacted the TIVO support and found out that they will not transfer your account to a newer unit So if you paid for a life time you just got ripped off.
March 30, 2011 5:13:42 PM

scottwmlewis said:
Name me one package that provides the features that TiVo does with a 'set it and forget it' convenience.

Not everyone wants to tinker with a homemade set top box. The worst problem I have had has been taken care of with a simple power off reset.

Is there any other package out there that will allow me to pick the programs that I want to watch and find them no matter what local or satellite channel they are on, when the times change and not duplicate reruns. What package will automatically record alternative shows that I have indicated an interest in when it isn't busy recording my programmed shows? Will those packages automatically download and install firmware updates to themselves? Do any of those packages keep up with the satellite provider's channel number changes, additions, deletions AND send me an 'email' to let me know?

As for your speculating about how easy it would be for a programmer to create some mythical code to skip commercials..... where is it? I've been skipping through commercials for years now (30 seconds at a time). While we are all waiting for some white knight programmer, I'm enjoying what I have for these many years.

Finally, I find it pretty arrogant of you to imply that I have been duped by TiVo. While you may find it 'simple' to build your own, I'm sure you are not so stupid as to think everyone thinks the way you do. I've been doing electrical engineering and software design/coding since the 70's. I could certainly put together a home video recorder system. I just choose not to. The 'thrill' of building this stuff isn't there anymore. There are far, far more people that are simply incapable of doing so.

While you pontificated upon Tivo's 'blaten ripoff' and 'dupe[ing] people', you never once mentioned any real off-the-shelf alternative.


To scottwmlewis: I know this is an old post but you are seriously very ignorant. Just because you can't name another alternative that does what "should" be done, doesn't mean the company at hand isn't completely ripping people off. You are assuming that in the free enterprise market we have today that surely there will be a copmany that will rise up and offer competing service for reasonable prices (or no price in this case). HELLO.... have you heard of corporate America? Companies will force people into contracts and service fees that are absolutely insane but people have no choice, either because they are too dumb to realize that they shouldn't be paying for them or because there is simply no other choice. Cell phones are a great example. Take the tethering feature for instance. Why do I have to pay a fee for tethering? If I buy a 2gb data plan from my provider (AT&T) then that is a set amount of bandwidth I should have acess to however the heck I see fit. The fact that my $400 phone has the ability to give internet access from my phone to my laptop or computer is a feature of that $400 phone. AT&T has no right to charge a fee simply to use a feature that is on that phone, and ESPECIALLY when it's a set amount that I've purchased (2gb in this example). How would you like it if your ISP charged you a fee if you wanted to have more than one computer in your home access the internet? (And they used to do that in the beginning of ISP's....thank GOD people have wised up and realized that was a total BS scam)

My point is, TiVo is a great product no doubt but there monthly fee is a little ridiculous for most people. They need to offer a package without the service for people who want it. Oh but no, they won't do that because then they know since there is no competition that they do'nt have to. Take me for instance, the whole reason I looked into TiVo was because I want Blockbuster Online for HD. I want to be able to download blockbuster movies in HD and TiVo is the only device that will do it. I don't care at all about the DVR package, which I can't even use because I have DirecTV and there currently is no DVR for DirecTV. So all I want to use the device for has everything ON THE DEVICE. If I can't even friggin use the DVR for what it can do, then I should not have to pay a fee and that is what pisses me and so many other people off. They FORCE the fee on you whether you need all the services or not. That is called a self imposed fee. And DirecTV does it all the time too. Ask anyone who has an "additional receiver" fee on their bill how they feel about that. If you lease the receiver from DirecTV then you pay a $5 "Leased Receiver Fee" but if you go buy your own receiver then they charge you a $5 "Additional Receiver Fee". WTF??? No joke, they force fee's on their customers and we all piss and moan but we still have to have TV. Why isn't there a competitor for that out there? In your thinking there should be a sattelite company that comes along and offers pricing the way it should be. Nope, sorry charlie..... even DISH Network (which I believe is going out of business possibly) does the same exact tactics. And they all use the same justification: "Well sir, it's an industry standard to charge a fee for ......" Oh, so what you're saying is because all the kids on the block are doing it then that makes it ok? What a friggin joke.

Moral of the story: TiVo's monthly service is a total scam for a large percent of their customers. They force the fee on you whether or not you care about their features that require them to do anything. I would recommend people get a TiVo and then Google 'how to hack TiVo' to enable the features that TiVo scams people into paying more for. Let it be known this is EXACTLY why people started pirating cable/sattelite, to keep companies in check. Hackers might be the only last system of checks & balance left to these corporate giants. I hacked my sattelite for years because I refused to pay DirecTV or DISH for their stupid ridiculous BS fees, and it's the same situation here.
April 5, 2013 3:20:23 PM

You don't have to get TIVO or any other that has a monthly charge to record programs. Magnavox makes a DVR that does not have a monthly charge (they are the only one). They have 3 hard drive options. A 1TB, 500MB, and 320MB. I have a 320MB which is all I would think anyone would need. I have had mine over 2 years and it works great. I record several shows weekly I like to watch and then view them when I want to. I love it. Most shows I delete after watching and is the main reason why you only need the smaller hard drive. It also had a dvd recorder so if you want to keep something permanent you can record it at high speed in about 2 minutes from the hard drive to a dvd.

Walmart has the best prices. You have to order them online as they don't carry them in their stores. Just enter Magnavox in Walmarts search and all 3 of their dvr's will show up. They ship for free to your local Walmart store.
April 7, 2013 4:19:43 PM

I have had a Tivo HD upgraded to 1GB with lifetime service since 10/2008. I do not have cable and just use it for over the air broadcasts of HD brodcasts. Both me and my wife love it. What you pay for is the software and having the automated schedule. I just tell it what I want, and it figures it out and never records a duplicate program. I am an electrical engineer, and could easily hacked something together. I looked at the make it yourself approach but decided it wasn't worth my time. I want an appliance that just works, not a build and manage DVR project/hobby. What is your time worth? currently my total cost of hardware and service has worked out to $14/month and the longer I own it the cheaper it is.
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