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Two Tivos's One Subscription

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Posted by: ramtec

I just purchase two tivos. I have one up and running which I am very pleased with. I've opted for the lifetime subscription 199. My question to Tivo was if you have two boxes in the same house surely you don't have to pay two subs. Oh yes you do!

My question is:-

Is there any way to get the second box connected to the first to do the daily updates? I have just bought a turbonet card.

Cheers



Posted by: radish

If it were possible, that probably comes under "Theft of Service", and is therefore verboten on this board :)



Posted by: sanderton

Yup, I have 2 TiVos and 2 subs!



Posted by: davidshack

Yes, one would think 1 household 1 sub, but TiVo would argue you're getting twice the benefit. As Radish says, there is no legit way to copy epg info between TiVos.

Depending on your circumstances (where the TiVos are, how many progs each records) you may find it only a minor inconvenience using 1 subbed unit and 1 unsubbed unit.

An unsubbed unit can still record using season passes, set manually: so it catches weekly episodes. You can manually set one-off recordings too. Setting a recording takes about 20 seconds to do.

I had 2 TiVos in the same room, one (subbed) used as the main recorder, the second (unsubbed) just for programme clashes or recording long programmes like films. Once a week I spent 10 minutes scanning the epg - if I found a film or a clash I input it manually into the unsubbed TiVo.
Worked a treat. After a couple of months I decided that the convenience was worth the 10 a month, and subscribed.

And that's the real message: everyone (including me) hates subs or standing charges or monthly fees - but unlike many companies TiVos 10 is very fair for the benefit it gives you AND you can decide to pay - or not.

Why not set your 2nd unit up, getting the xmas epg in the grace period, then when the epg runs out in Jan try it manual for a while. See how your usage fits the manual pattern: then sub if it doesn't.


David



Posted by: sanderton

The TiVo will go "manual only" after 7 days, not when the EPG runs out.



Posted by: xxxx

And that's the real message: everyone (including me) hates subs or standing charges or monthly fees - but unlike many companies TiVos 10 is very fair for the benefit it gives you AND you can decide to pay - or not.

I think that 10 per month is very overpriced and is certainly far more than I would ever pay if I had to pay something monthly. When I bought my Tivo I looked at it as a total one-off 299 payment (100 for the box and 199 for the service) spread over some 5 years or more and I don't think that I would have bought it at all if the total had been much more than this.

If I had no choice but to pay monthly then I doubt that I would ever be willing to pay more than two or three pounds at the most.

Bear in mind that a Tivo without a listings subscription but with auto-record when scart pin 8 goes high would give the most important parts of Tivo functionality direct from the Sky EPG for free.



Posted by: iankb

quote:
Originally posted by xxxx
I think that 10 per month is very overpriced


If it so overpriced, why are TiVo not making huge profits? Just because you don't want to pay it doesn't mean that you don't get value for money. The cost of developing the TiVo, the cost of acquiring the EPG data, and the cost of reprocessing the data to categorise the programs, etc, all costs money. You don't think that TiVo are making any money on the hardware, do you? Just because it is possible to get TiVo to subsidise the costs of a manually-programmed hard drive recorder doesn't mean that they shouldn't try to recover that subsidy via a subscription. I'm afraid that this sort of attitude that infers that no company should be able to recover their investment will just kill off all potentially-interesting developments.

I think TiVo's biggest mistake was not disabling all recording without a subscription. That has cost them dearly.

Ian.



Posted by: whiteswan

Why not offer a second sub to those of us with 2 boxes for say half price.

Dave



Posted by: radish

quote:
Originally posted by xxxx

Bear in mind that a Tivo without a listings subscription but with auto-record when scart pin 8 goes high would give the most important parts of Tivo functionality direct from the Sky EPG for free.



The most important feature for me, without a shadow of a doubt, is season passes. I don't think your "solution" would do that for me. 10 a month is a bargain, look at what people pay for NTL/Sky (up to 60), I pay 3 times that just for internet access. Sorting out all my TV and making sure I never miss an episode of anything, whilst at the same time freeing me from having to adhere to schedules is worth a lot more than 10 to me.



Posted by: iankb

quote:
Originally posted by whiteswan
Why not offer a second sub to those of us with 2 boxes for say half price.


I think the problem would be policing it. There is no way of knowing where the second box is installed.

Ian.



Posted by: Automan

I have 3 TiVo's and 3 Lifetime subs :)

Automan.



Posted by: iankb

quote:
Originally posted by Automan
I have 3 TiVo's and 3 Lifetime subs


Automan, how many Sky+'s have you got? And have you made up your mind which you prefer? - or is it 'horses for courses'.

Ian.



Posted by: Rolf213

quote:
Originally posted by iankb
I think the problem would be policing it. There is no way of knowing where the second box is installed.
Ian.

I disagree - Sky manage to do it quite successfully. They just use caller ID to make sure the box is calling in from the registered phone number, and there's no reason that TiVo couldn't do the same. And I also think that the half price second subscription is a very good idea. It's only the cost of the second sub at another tenner a month that has stopped me buying one.

Maybe TiVo themselves should do a software upgrade that sent the EPG data down the serial cable to another box registered to you. This way, it wouldn't cost them any more in the daily phone calls, and they could be assured that the second box wasn't being kept somewhere else (and to be sure, they could vary which one called in randomly so they would know for sure). Kind of making the boxes work in tandem for the EPG data. They could charge an extra 5 for the second box, and the only extra cost to them would be the cost of adding to the software.

On the other point, I do tend to agree that 10 a month is worth it for what TiVo provides, but when you add up your TV licence, Sky subscription and TiVo subscription, it does tot up to a scary amount. 600 a year is a fair whack, to me at least, and I'm not badly paid. It'd be welcome to have a little discount on the second sub for being so loyal to TiVo that you buy 2.

Oh, and I doubt TiVo are subsidising the box by very much, so they won't be loosing much money. First off, if they were subsidising by a lot, they would make it madatory you had a sub for 3 or 6 months or so. And secondly, consider what it is, and what the actual cost of parts are if you buy them by the hundreds of thousands, and it's not that expensive a device to make.

The main cost would have been in the initial R&D I would have thought.

Rolf.



Posted by: radish

You can't use caller ID, as it would fail if caller ID wasn't available (for instance using a network connection, or some cable phone system which didn't support CID). You'd also have a massive support overhead for everyone moving house, changing their phone number etc, to keep everything in sync.



Posted by: hamradio

quote:
Originally posted by sanderton
The TiVo will go "manual only" after 7 days, not when the EPG runs out.
Well that's strange, I have just downloaded 2.5 on my second Tivo the 5 day grace period run out about a week ago but I have EPG programmed till 30 th of december, and I do not need to use manual it will still record via the EPG, but of course I will need to go to manual after the above mentioned Date. ken lee hamradio@terra.es



Posted by: sanderton

I'm sure others have reported that they can no longer use SPs etc after the grace period has run out. Maybe you can use EPG data to set manual recordings, but SPs don't work? Purely second hand info; mine are subbed!



Posted by: iankb

quote:
Originally posted by Rolf213
Oh, and I doubt TiVo are subsidising the box by very much ...


My point about the subsidising of the box was that, conceptually, the costs of the R&D, investment capital, etc, have to be added in, since they get no other income for an unsubscribed box. The box itself may not be subsidised, but every unsubsidised box that is sold (especially, when they are in short supply) is lost earnings.

Caller ID would also not work with TiVoNet.

I didn't realise that a Sky digibox had to be plugged in to a 'phone line after the first year of a subsidised installation. Is this a condition forever for both boxes of a mirror sub?

Ian.



Posted by: sanderton

For a mirror sub yes; not for an ordinary one (although you can't use PPV unless it's plugged in obviously)



Posted by: sammoj

quote:
Originally posted by Automan
I have 3 TiVo's and 3 Lifetime subs :)

Automan.



Automan

I really am curious, why do you have 3 Tivo's and your Sky+? Do you really watch that much telly? I can't keep up with my 1 Tivo and 120GB disk.

J



Posted by: mrtickle

quote:
Originally posted by Rolf213
I disagree - Sky manage to do it quite successfully. They just use caller ID to make sure the box is calling in from the registered phone number,



No they do not. There is no requirement in the contract to present caller ID, and plenty of people have it blocked. And before you suggest "they are a telephone company because they run SkyTalk, so they're able to see it anyway" - that's not true either. Skytalk is separate, also the CLI code of practice is VERY strict on what you are allowed to do, and they would be shut down extremely quickly if they tried to override subscriber's CLI flags.

There are other simpler ways of detecting if both boxes are in the same location - such as telling the first one to dial up, then the 2nd, and seeing if the 2nd one reported "line engaged". etc.



Posted by: mini__me

Actually with a second sub and sky they do need to see where the box is calling from, how do I know...

Because one day I got a nasty letter telling me that my boxes were not calling from the same number and I would have to pay up the full 37 a month instead of the 12 that I have on my 2 extra sky subs, this was around the time the new T+C's were posted out. Of course they are all in the same house so I phoned up to enquire what was going.

On my phone I have auto hide your number thingy installed so no-one knows where I'm calling from it turns out that because of that sky didnt know where my boxes were and I had to prefix the calls to override the auto number hide thing.



Posted by: mrtickle

Interesting. Not all exchanges fully support caller ID yet (eg some old cable networks, you might have cablephone but want Sky tv), so I wonder how they'd cope with that. At least it shows they can't override it their end - thanks.



Posted by: mini__me

Yes that would be a problem...dunno what they do in that case, probably just do it on trust as I expect occurrences of that type will be pretty rare.



Posted by: tonywalk

quote:
Originally posted by sammoj
Automan

I really am curious, why do you have 3 Tivo's and your Sky+? Do you really watch that much telly? I can't keep up with my 1 Tivo and 120GB disk.

J



Try working shifts and it will dawn on you

Tony.

(2 Subbed Tivos and a Sky+(bleah) and three VCRs gathering dust)




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