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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd LIKE to get Three or even FoUr 50xx units and put a 120gig in each of them and live happily ever after.


The bigest problem is paying $250x4($1000) on top of the four units and the upgrades.


In my mind it would be fair to pay one lifetime and have the other 3 as dummies without listings.


I wish there was a hack to activate units but not activate the lifetime listings. I'm unclear if this is illegal in any way. If ativating functionality without the use of listings is illegal that is pretty lame. If anyone knows the legal details of this please inform the rest of us who wonder.


I have a propensity toward hs2000 units because I feel Im actually buying something. Something that will at least work as a clunky manual recorder(which is much welcomed). For me taking the dive and buying a 50xx is analagous to being epoxy-ed to the back seat of a motorcycle awhile random people in shinny black leather suits (who accesoriees however they want) take turns riding me around on the back.


Changing gears awhile i can...

Lexmark recently sued a generic ink cartriage company(and won) because the company was bypassing the small computer chips lexmark was putting on their ink cartrages which stops people from refilling their own lexmark cartragies. They currently dont make much on the printers themselves and profit gregoriously on ink cartrages. No doubt, they used the new DMCA Digital Millenium Copywrite Act to win the case. I find this particularly prodding because printing is a type of communication. They are essentially saying "You have the right to free speach and inkjet printers are a friendly fundamental way to express it. Lexmark proudly enables you to express your opinion on paper for as low 15 cents a page. About 1/4 of a cent goes to towards the cost of the ink, and the rest of the 14.75 cents per a page goes to Us(Lexmark). And we deserve it! We've put hundreds of thousands of dollars into fundamentally flawed protection schemes, and legal fees. God bless America. Please support free speech by supporting Lexmark. We are your sugardaddy of trust."


I really dont like these strange relationships. Its Tort(extortion).


Theres a thousand similar examples of this going on. I dont like it.


icecow
 

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I don't really see it as extortion...i think the idea was to sell "the service" all along...which was included in the price of everything up to the 40xx series machines.


Think of it like Satellite TV service: you by the receiver and pay monthly for the service. Actually, they're giving away the receivers right now, and only charging for the service. Satellite includes its guide as part of its service.


Replays (and Tivos) right now are pretty darn cheap; eventually the basic box itself may even become free. They became cheap for 2 reasons: to compete more with the Tivo pricing (ie, match the competition), and to offer a cheaper initial upfront cost to attract more customers...I'd bet there's a bunch of people out there paying monthly whereas I paid for all my boxes with lifetime service.


Yep, it's illegal to hack the boxes as you suggest. RTV's business model is based on profit due to the service. They probably make very little if anything on the boxes themselves, except for maybe the bigger units which are a bit overpriced for just using a bigger hard-drive. I guess that's why all the hack-upgrades have been so popular.


Personally, I myself wish they'd just charge what the things cost...like $5/month for the guide for your household...kind-of equivalent with what you get with the Satellite dual-tuner boxes. Yep that price seems more fair.
 

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I'd like to see Replay follow the DirecTV satellite receiver subscription model.


With the first DirecTV sat. receiver in your home you pay the full price for the services you want. For each additional receiver in the house you pay only an additional $5/mo for activation of these extra receivers. So for example, if you have 3 DTV receivers in your house and you sign up for the Total Choice package, that's ~$40/mo for the TC package, plus $10/mo for the two additional receivers. Even if you get all the packages that DTV offers (about $80-90/mo) you still only pay $5/mo for the additional receivers.


Replay could (and should) do something similar with their Lifetime subscription. $250 for the first receiver, and $25 for additional receivers.


I think it's ridiculous to pay a full subscription for each (additional) ReplayTV in your home. Would you pay your cable TV provider a full monthly fee for every TV you had in the house?
 

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How does Replay know if a particular unit is in your house or not? At least the cable company knows that you can't take your HBO enabled box to someone else's house to let them use it (I think).


That's why a thin client (that wouldn't work without one "thick" client) would be a great idea.
 

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What it sounds like you want is the fabled 'thin client' unit. This rumored device was to have been a display only replay unit without a HD or encoder. You would have to cable it to your full replay unit with an ethernet cable and the client would then play recordings using the data stored on the full unit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I knew someone would jump in and with an authorative 'alpha-male' presence and dub my post inappropriate. Now that I think about it, he didn't come in that way. I'm just being a little bit defensive.


The 'service theft' post, from what I can tell, is about accessing the listings service for free, which I will concede is clearly theft dispite the low cost of offering such listings. In my post I asked if hacking a unit to get manual record/basic funcionality is illegal in any way. It is apparent, but unclear, that modding an image so the user can set the clock is legal. It seems that putting in a large harddrive instead of buying a higher capacity unit is legal.


If it doesnt draw on any of their services, it appears to me that it would be legal.


I recognize the administrator of the forum as an authority in regards to thes postings. Right or wrong it's his board. But I'm still tring to figure out what the consensus of what right and wrong is.


I must admit I'm already getting defensive about being portrayed as the deadbeat from the paradigm of "deadbeat vs. white-armored corporates" where I have to either be an immoral person or superior human being who happens to be a corporate type with moral opinion.


What do you people thing about this stuff?


There's alot of this going on.


two main issues:


The First Issue

Is it fair for companies to sell a product that forces you into a contract of a second service or product?

For example: should a company that makes cars be allowed to force you to only use their branded gasoline? This puts them in a monopolistic position to charge whatever they want for gas(terms subject to change at any time of course). The gasoline industry is naturally a completely seperate business that traditionally is subject to competition. If all the car companies found it viable to do this would you accept the reasoning: "You are free to start your own car company."?


The second issue.

Is it ethical to modify your own hardware as long as you dont dial out and use the services didnt pay for?


What do you think?


currently, I think that anyone should be able to offer listings to tivo and replay units.



icecow
 

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Maybe what Replay should do is sell the service first, and then ship the box. You could either rent or purchase the unit. It really is a package deal just like XM radio, dish network and Directv. Granted they do lower thier subsciption fee for each additional box, but you still must pay for the service.


If you want a playback machine you can build one from a PC that will connect to your TV (I believe the AV Forum has a section devoted to PC home theaters). Then use DVArchive or some other app to stream your video. I think if you do you will see you can't build the hardware for $250 (or whatever a 5040 goes for these days.
 

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Obviously what all these companies are doing is illegal. The Sherman Act was enacted to specifically stop this kind of action. Unfortunalty If the word "Digital" can be applied to the subject, the Sherman Act is no longer considered valid.


The most common rational for this is "That is how the company makes it's money". This is obviously an absurd argument for making the illegal acts of these companies alright. By the same logic, bank robbers and hit men are not committing crimes because "That is how they make their money."
 

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If you don't like it build your own. If you want a mature (compared to home-brew or non-tivo, non-replay) PVR then step up to the plate, understand why it's priced like it is, and pay the price.


Let the whining commence.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by JackMultiple994
I'd like to see Replay follow the DirecTV satellite receiver subscription model.


With the first DirecTV sat. receiver in your home you pay the full price for the services you want. For each additional receiver in the house you pay only an additional $5/mo for activation of these extra receivers. So for example, if you have 3 DTV receivers in your house and you sign up for the Total Choice package, that's ~$40/mo for the TC package, plus $10/mo for the two additional receivers. Even if you get all the packages that DTV offers (about $80-90/mo) you still only pay $5/mo for the additional receivers.


Replay could (and should) do something similar with their Lifetime subscription. $250 for the first receiver, and $25 for additional receivers.


I think it's ridiculous to pay a full subscription for each (additional) ReplayTV in your home. Would you pay your cable TV provider a full monthly fee for every TV you had in the house?
I have to agree with you and that is the primary reason we only have two Replays in our house, but 4 VCRs that we rarely use (kids videos) and 5 TVs. I'd like a Replay with each TV, including a high def one for the RPTV, but who's going to pay $50/mo or $1250/life when you can only watch one or two of them at a time?


Tim
 

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I have 9 PVRs, total cost about $1,500 plus $200 additional lifetime subscription cost and I have lifetime on all 9 of them. 7 DirecTV/TiVos and 2 Showstoppers and as long as I keep my DirecTV account active all 7 have lifetime service. Granted I don't have any networking or file sharing capabilities, which is important to many, but all 9 work great and all have 30 second skip. Heck 7 of them even have status bars.


Chris
 

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Okay, maybe some will pay for all that but not me and not most of the people I know. I believe that where we put our money reflects what's most important in our life. For me and my family, it's not TV - sorry, Hollywood.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Belial6
Obviously what all these companies are doing is illegal. The Sherman Act was enacted to specifically stop this kind of action. Unfortunalty If the word "Digital" can be applied to the subject, the Sherman Act is no longer considered valid.


The most common rational for this is "That is how the company makes it's money". This is obviously an absurd argument for making the illegal acts of these companies alright. By the same logic, bank robbers and hit men are not committing crimes because "That is how they make their money."
A lot of the products mentioned (especially inkjet printers) are basically a modern day version of the old Gillette disposable razor blade business model, where they give you the razor for free (or heavily discounted) with the intent of making their money back when you buy replacement razors. I would say that Replay TV is partially counting on this business model too. There is nothing monopolistic about this practice, because none of these companies has a monopoly on the entire category of products.


However, I think that the Lexmark DMCA case shows how flawed the DMCA is, because it seems to apply a double standard to any "digital" products, especially when you compare it to the analogy of the disposable razor blade cartridges. If you look in the razor section of most grocery stores, you will see that almost all of them sell generic/store brand replacement razor blade cartridges that fit into Gillette or Schick brand razors. As far as I know, it is perfectly legal to manufacture and sell generic/store brand replacement razor cartridges that fit into Gillette or Schick brand razors, as long as you don't infringe on their patent(s) in order to make them. I don't see why it should be any different with inkjet cartridges (or guide services for that matter).


IMO any company that uses this type of business model should have to assume the risk that there's a posibility that someone out there might be able to provide an alternative replacement razor, inkjet cartridge, or guide service that might be cheaper or better in some way than the original. I think that Replay TV originally didn't want to take this risk based on the way their earlier units were sold (with lifetime guide service included in the price), however eventually, they had to separate the cost of guide service from the cost of the unit, in order to stay competitive with the Tivo pricing scheme.


Unfortunately, the DMCA seems to make it illegal to try to develop alternative sources of inkjet cartridges or guide services or whatever, when dealing with any type of electronic product.
 

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Take this approach.

The 4000 units were sold as a full price item. There was not subscription cost and no talk of paying for subscription. You paid one price for the full unit. So my proposal for you, so you won't feel like you are paying for the subscription for 4 units, is to buy on ebay (only place you can find them now) is 4 4000 units. This way you actually pay the full price of the unit.

You are talking about stealing (as I believe it is a free world and you should be able to discuss it, just not do it, it is the action that is illegal) when you talk about avoiding to pay the subscription cost of the 5000 because they sell these for less than it cost to produce them, because the users will pay for the subscription making the difference back. Just like Gaming consoles. They sell these at a loss and make up the difference in the cost of the games.


Sorry but this is the nature of some business models.
 

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I've spent $750 on lifetime fees so far. Before that, I paid $250 included in the price of the units (4xxx series and Showstoppers) for the activation. The cost is the cost, you pay it or you don't, but you don't steal it.


The "thin client" is exactly what you seem to want. Service on one machine, and the ability to play the shows recorded on that machine on other ones throughout your house. If you want to record on those machines, you'd need the service.


Yes, I would like to see an "in-house" discount, or even just a loyalty program where you don't even need to have them in the same place but if you buy multiple ones and register them to yourself, you would get a discount after the first one was registered. Since that doesn't exist, I'll gladly pay the $250 for each new unit I buy because these machines are so great.
 

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It's great that you like a company's product so much you want to buy 4 of them. It sucks that you feel it is OK to steal from a company that makes products you like so much.
 

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Here is what it boils down to... you should consider the cost of the unit to be the cost to buy it and the cost of the subscription. Yes it sucks that they have to price it this way -- blame TiVO, as others have pointed out ReplayTV didn't used to be this way but Circuit City and Best Buy wouldn't carry a ReplayTV on a shelf next to a TiVO that was $250 "cheaper". In any case, things cost money. You can't have everything you want, only want you can afford. If you can't afford the cost of purchase + $250 lifetime activation then you can't afford to buy another one. It sucks but that is why it took me so long to buy my 2nd unit, I had to have the money to be able to afford it.


Hopefully ReplayTV will come out with this "thin client" that will be cheap enough that they can charge enough money for it that they make a profit. If they could sell one at the price of a 5040 but not charge a subscription fee, that seems like a nice deal, but will people buy it? After all, the 5040 looks like it is the same price and it has a hard drive and can record! At least that is what BestBuy and Circuit City probably think the American public will believe. See, BB and CC would rather you didn't think about the cost of subscription, they know they'll sell more if they are "cheaper" so they sure don't want to say "Yes, the thin client looks like the same price but remember there is no subscription fee."


Enough ramblings, back to work.
 

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Honus has it right. The $250 activation fee is really just part of the purchase price that has been deferred. It's totally bogus and we all know it, but like he said, blame TiVo.


Back in the day, Replay took the attitude that the American public wasn't stupid enough to fall for that crap, but oh boy, were they wrong.
 

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If you want 4 machines for extra storage your a crazy crazy man. Just dump a boat-load of drives in your computer and use dvarchive as a server....:p
 
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