Last night I posted about a new 500GB TiVo Premiere showing up on Amazon.com and I speculated that this was replacing the 320GB model in the lineup. Today TiVo emailed me a press release that not only confirms this, but also brings with it the welcome news that the Premiere XL and Premiere Elite are getting a $50 and $100 price cut, respectively. TiVo was planning on announcing this on Sunday, March 25, which is when the new unit becomes available and the new pricing takes effect; but since Amazon let the cat out of the bag they sent out the press release early.
The new Premiere family lineup will be:
- TiVo Premiere – 500GB/75 Hours HD, 2 tuners, analog cable, digital cable, FiOS, antenna – $149.99
- TiVo Premiere XL – 1TB/150 Hours HD, 2 tuners, analog cable, digital cable, FiOS, antenna – $249.99
- TiVo Premiere Elite – 2TB/300 Hours HD, 4 tuners, digital cable, FiOS – $399.99
As further good news, TiVo is reducing their monthly subscription pricing from $19.99 on the first unit and $14.99 on each additional unit under the Multi-Service Discount, to $14.99 for the first unit and $12.99 for each additional unit. Product lifetime service remains at $499.99 for the first until and $399.99 for each additional unit. (Note that this pricing only applies to the Premiere family, older models remain at the $12.95/$9.95 pricing level. This reflects the different pricing model and subsidized on the older units when they were sold.)
So the Premiere gets a 180GB capacity bump and a $50 MSRP bump, the Premiere XL drops by $50, the Premiere Elite drops by $100, and monthly service pricing drops by $5 on the first box and $2 on each additional unit. Not a bad change I’d say.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – do not go monthly, buy product lifetime service. Yes, it is more up front. But you break even in 33 months with the new pricing on the first box ($499.99 vs. $14.99/month), and 31 months on additional units ($399.99 vs. $12.99/month). Odds are you’re going to be using the unit for longer than that. TiVo expects units to remain in service at least 60 months; that’s the period they amortize lifetime service revenue over. Once you break even you’re effectively saving money every month you use the box.
But there’s more – it is like buying vs. renting. If you go monthly, when you stop paying the box becomes a doorstop. And a used TiVo without any subscription has very little residual value on the resale market because of the relatively low pricing on new units – and factory refurbished units which have a full warranty unlike a used box from a user. But units with product lifetime service have a high residual value because PLS transfers with the unit. So you can resell the box on eBay, Craigslist, etc., and recoup a good bit of your initial investment. You won’t get that with monthly service – those payments add nothing to the value of the unit. So you save even more in the long run if you decide to resell the box.
Of course, you can always just give it away to someone else – a friend, the kids, etc. – or put it in another room in your home when you decide to upgrade to the latest and greatest. Since it has lifetime service it will continue to do its thing with no additional cost. And if you’re worried about it failing, which will happen to everything eventually, most failures are the hard drive or the fan – the only two moving parts. And both of those are readily replaced with very little technical knowledge required. If you can operate a screwdriver you can replace either one. Even a unit with a failed hard drive will carry value if it has PLS as people buy them just to fix them and put them back into service.
I’ve owned six TiVo units and I’ve had PLS on all of them. I’ve resold four of those over the years and recouped a fair bit. It works out especially well when PLS pricing increases between the time you purchase it and when you resell it. But enough of this – you get the point.
The full press release from TiVo is below:
Expanded TiVo Premiere Model with Upgraded Memory Records up to 75 Hours of HD Entertainment
Accompanies New Monthly Service Pricing for All TiVo Premiere DVR Models
ALVISO, Calif. (March 25, 2012) – TiVo Inc., the creator of and a leader in advanced television services including digital video recorders (DVRs), announced the launch of its new entry-level TiVo Premiere DVR which records up to 75 hours of HD content giving customers 65% more recording space than its previous version. Beginning Sunday, March 25, the upgraded memory version of TiVo Premiere is available for purchase on tivo.com or from your local Best Buy store.
With the introduction of this expanded model, TiVo has updated its pricing structure across all TiVo products giving customers easier access to even higher recording capabilities. The TiVo Premiere product line is the following:
- TiVo Premiere $149.99: Records two shows at once and up to 75 hours of HD content
- TiVo Premiere XL $249.99 (reduced $50): Records two shows at once and up to 150 hours of HD content
- TiVo Premiere Elite $399.99 (reduced $100): Records four shows at once and up to 300 hours of HD content
“We now live in a world where HD entertainment is the standard and there is more demand than ever to provide customers with additional recording space,” said Doug Bieter, Vice President of Retail Sales for TiVo, Inc. “By enhancing the TiVo Premiere, we’ve also responded to customers’ requests for upgraded memory and introduced a new TiVo monthly service fee structure that is highly competitive with most cable DVR pricing. It is now easier than ever to get the greatest at-home entertainment experience available on the market today.”
TiVo has introduced new monthly pricing for all TiVo Premiere DVRs:
- The TiVo monthly service fee is now $14.99 per month, with a one-year commitment, making it lower on a monthly basis than most cable offerings
- Multi-service discount pricing is now $12.99 per month
For customers wanting to pay once for the lifetime of the DVR, product lifetime service is still available for $499.99 and at a discounted price of $399.99 for customers with multiple TiVo DVRs.
TiVo’s award-winning user interface offers a unique combination of TV, web and on demand content, paired with top-of-the-line recording capabilities and the many great features users have grown to love. With TiVo Premiere, Premiere XL, and Premiere Elite, users have access to the world’s largest on demand library from services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, Pandora and more.
The 500 GB TiVo Premiere TiVo can be purchased nationwide at retail stores like Best Buy or directly from TiVo by calling 1-877-BUY-TIVO (1-877-289-8486) or visiting www.tivo.com.
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* There will be no pricing change for non-Premiere legacy boxes; monthly service now costs $12.95/month ($9.95/month for multi-service discount pricing). Product Lifetime Service remains the same: $499.99 – $399.99 multi-service discount pricing for additional units.
About TiVo Inc.
Founded in 1997, TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO – News) developed the first commercially available digital video recorder (DVR). TiVo offers the TiVo service and TiVo DVRs directly to consumers online at www.tivo.com and through third-party retailers. TiVo also distributes its technology and services through solutions tailored for cable, satellite and broadcasting companies. Since its founding, TiVo has evolved into the ultimate single solution media center by combining its patented DVR technologies and universal cable box capabilities with the ability to aggregate, search, and deliver millions of pieces of broadband, cable, and broadcast content directly to the television. An economical, one-stop-shop for in-home entertainment, TiVo’s intuitive functionality and ease of use puts viewers in control by enabling them to effortlessly navigate the best digital entertainment content available through one box, with one remote, and one user interface, delivering the most dynamic user experience on the market today. TiVo also continues to weave itself into the fabric of the media industry by providing interactive advertising solutions and audience research and measurement ratings services to the television industry www.tivo.com
TiVo, TiVo Logo, and Trick Play are trademarks or registered trademarks of TiVo Inc. or its subsidiaries worldwide. ©2011 TiVo Inc. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.