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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the closed info topic about "mandatory activation" at the top of the page you say:


"... the cost of the units is greater than the sale price of the box at the retailer. When you activate the unit, you are simply paying the remaining cost of the unit to Sonicblue. If you just paid for the box, Sonicblue would lose money on every unit sold."


Sorry about sounding so dumb 'cause it seems plain in your above statement, but...


SonicBlue sells the ReplayTV boxes at a loss? ie. sells the boxes at less than the cost to manufacture and it's counting on the monthly or one time activation fee to make it's profit?


...bringing in the old argument that the tivo's use to have back when they sold their boxes at a loss,


"If you buy the box and never activate it you are in effect "stealing" from SonicBlue."


Is this the case today?
 

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Well, SB hasn't changed anything in the 5 days since that post.


Now, not being a SB employee, I'm only guessing here, but since jleavens only posted that FIVE DAYS AGO, I'd imagine that it is still the case, yes. :rolleyes:



Will a mod/admin please close this thread before it gets out of hand again?


Please? ;)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jmoak
...bringing in the old argument that the tivo's use to have back when they sold their boxes at a loss,


"If you buy the box and never activate it you are in effect "stealing" from SonicBlue."


Is this the case today?
If you don't activate and you don't hack around the issue, you've got a doorstop and that's a strange way to 'steal'.


If you don't activate and you somehow figure out how to hack around it, then yes, you are stealing. That's why the jleavens said in his post that he doesn't want any discussion about how someone might hack around activation in this forum -- he doesn't want this forum to be aiding and abetting something that is so obviously wrong.
 

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Wanting to buy a ReplayTV unit and use it without paying for the service activation -IS- theft of service if you successfully get service without paying for it. It is no different from buying a cable converter to use a cable signal you haven't paid for, or buying a DSL modem and using it with service you haven't paid for. It is theft of service plain and clear. Why can't some people understand that? I am not saying you are saying that, jmoak. But there seem to be occasional posts here from people asking how they can activate a ReplayTV without paying for the service. Some people are idiots (not you, jmoak, this isn't directed at you, just in general).


Stan
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i'm sorry if i touched on a sore subject! i intended no offense or in any way did i mean to imply that the propose of the question was to inquire about or to attempt to justify theft of service.


Some have purchased electronic devices, that were sold at a loss in future hope to achieve profitability on subscription/activation fees, to use in a manner "not intended for by the manufacturer" in ways that went above and beyond the manufacturers service and features. Buying the box and then not subbing to the service. (as in, but not suggesting to, somehow hacking the box to be a dumb dvr? ...as stupid as that would be with a new replay box these days....)


Some of these folks are then accused of stealing from the original manufacturer, simply by not subscribing.


That was my question. Would that then be considered stealing by the replay faithful?
 

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jmoak, despite others attempts to explain this to you, you seem to be missing the central point. There is no way to "not pay for the subscription" and still have a working unit. Any attempt to do so would involve hacking and yes would be considered "theft" by the majority of people.


The TOS that you must click that you agree to when you buy a Replay spells these facts out pretty plainly.


Also, in you original post you seem to think that TIVO does not take a loss on units they sell any longer. That is not the impression I am under. They have closed the ammount of loss a great deal but they only make a profit when the service money comes in as well, just like cell phones, ink jet printers and other types of products as well. The real money for the company happens after the purchase.
 

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Tivo has stated that the Series2 Tivos are not sold at a loss like the Series1 Tivos were. (This probably doesn't take into account the current rebates though).
 

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I have seen that but their financial forecasts don't quite match up to that.


They may not have an actuall loss on the hardware & manufacturing costs, but I suspect that does not include marketing and other costs. Otherwise they would get out of the red faster then they forecast at the moment.


I do not want this to become about that though, even if they do not have a loss there is still no real profit except for the service. So the same basic point I was making about the business model applies.
 

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I agree... they (Tivo and SonicBlue) are either losing money or breaking even (just barely) on the hardware.


But if they sell it without requiring that you sign a contract (like DirecTV does with new receivers, cell phone companies do with new cell phones, etc.), there is no obligation that you activate the service (for either a Tivo or Replay). It's stupid not to activate it, since it's just a glorified doorstop or boat anchor. You could use it as a space heater I suppose! :)


And if you attempt to modify the existing software to work without paying for the activation, you've obviously crossed the line.
 

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AFAIK, discussion of "business model" or "why would that be stealing?" are OK. "How to" get around activation is not an OK discussion. At least that's my understanding after having PM'd jleavens.


I believe that discussion about this topic is a GOOD thing. Why? Allowing people to air their dissatisfaction or opinions helps everyone. SB benefits because IF there are employees who observe this forum, they can get keyed into why some people are reticent to purchase a RTV as well as how people think about it. The fact that there is so much dissention about this topic tells me that it's likely a rather large "dissatisfier" for consumers as well as potential consumers. If I were SB, I'd want to know about that. As far as potential buyers of RTVs, open discussion allows them to air their opinion and hear some (hopefully) articulate replies as to why what they're asking -- avoiding the activation fee -- cannot (or should not) be done. For those who have already purchased, open discussion of the topic is good to re-affirm one's position (or possible even consider other POVs).


While none of us want to see either Tivo or SB's business model fail, feedback (even in the form of dissention) is usually a valuable thing to a company. Who knows, SB has already migrated from a "one size fits all" pricing strategy to a more "tailored" pricing strategy (pay all at once, or pay by the month) in order to compete more effectively with Tivo. Maybe they'll take the next step on offer an even more customized pricing plan to allow folks to use their units as stand-alone digital VCRs (i.e. no guide downloads). One thing is certain, both Tivo and SB will need to continue to innovate (in their products AND their services) to continue to survive. It's likely that the DVR market will see more entrants (we've already seen electronics firms, satellite providers, cable providers, and PC hardware mfgrs enter the fray and begin to refine their offerings) and the space will become both crowded and segmented as this product becomes commoditized.
 

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I think this situation best resembles the cellular industry in the USA. For the most part you must buy a phone for a certain carrier. GSM is different, but most people do not like to buy phones for retail price. I think the one thing that SB needs to do is to provide updates more frequently and possibly add some features so it doesn't feel like the $10/month is wasted. For most people a channel guide is something that should be free. It is free with digital cable and with satellite service. Since both of these services provide video in addition to the channel guide people perceive value in this monthly expense. Currently, SB offers very little for their monthly fee. For those of us which purchased units outright (4k and earlier) it is perceived that the guide is free since we are not paying for it every month. In this case we feel that SB should correct problems with the RTV in the same manner in which MS does. In addition MS has taught us that we can even expect new features (IE upgrades for example). Certainly you can argue that these expectations are too high, but the state of the industry offers a different view.


Cheers
 

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Can someone make sure that we have this same discussion about once a week? And even if a moderator makes a large post that sticks to the top of the forum explaining the bottom line, make sure that people still start threads discussing it :D


That said, this thread was created, so I'll just throw my $0.02 in...


The reality is, whether you can see the big picture or not, that the units cost $X at the store, plus either $10/month or $250. Period. Hacking the unit for other uses would be like buying one of those 'free' satellite deals, and hacking it so that you don't need the service you agreed to when you bought it.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by RandyL712
Can someone make sure that we have this same discussion about once a week?
more like once a day



Mayor Quimby: Are these morons...


(never mind, i give up, let the asshats & cheap-o pirates win)
 

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Last I checked no one is forced to read any of these threads or reply to them. So here's a novel idea . . . if you see a thread with a title you don't like . . . . don't read or reply to it. GASP! Could it BE that easy? Me thinks it is. Then again, maybe there IS someone standing behind you with a gun to your head forcing you to click on threads you hate . . . err, then again, maybe it's just someone INSIDE your head making you click on threads you hate . . . THAT is a bit more problematic (but entirely treatable with substances such as lithium or prosac). Such chemicals may, however, dull the incredibly creative & witty repartee you've so unselfishly displayed.
 

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Come on guys. We do not need the personal attacks. You know the rules of this site. We just do not care to have the talk of how to hack a service for free access or use. Be it DSS, a data guide, or what have you. Please...this is also to protect the site itself.


Thanks
 
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