AVS Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,951 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With all the threads about "service" fees and "activation" fees I thought it might be useful to take a step back and survey the landscape.


In the past the RTV was offered for a price basically as is (I would argue that SB has made quasi-commitments which have been ignored, but I digress). Now there is opportunity to buy a new unit and pay $10/month for the RTV service. So I think it is a fair question to ask, "What do you get for your service fee?"


At least the following as far as I can tell:


1) Channel guide

2) Internet Show Sharing main server usage

3) Clock updates


Of course, I think people are expecting more from this. This is text I copied from another post of mine. I'm assuming that the thread will probably be locked or deleted. I think it accurately summarizes what people expect with regard to monthly services and why they expect it:


"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."


What do you think?


Cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,207 Posts
Well, considering that without paying the service fee, the box is basically a fancy and heavy carrying case for an expensive hard drive, I'd have to say that technically, every feature in the box is a result of paying the service fee :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
your service activation fee activates your replytv unit and allows you to use it for any purpose other than a kincknack.


plain and simple
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,951 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I understand your confusion. What I meant was what can you expect from the monthly charge versus the single-time charge. It feels like you should get more from a "service" than from an "activation".


Cheers


P.S. Do NOT steal the RTV "service".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,207 Posts
Umm.. you're asking if paying $10 a month versus paying $250 once gains you anything? That's like asking if the Ford Explorer you're paying monthly for is any different than the one you paid for in cash? Same car, different financing. Right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
811 Posts
With the ever so small caveat that on the SB "financing plan" (per your Ford example) the payments go on and on and on and on . . . .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,951 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How about looking at it from the cellular phone industry. You buy a phone for say $99 and then commit to a 1 year contract. The actual phone price is $400 retail.


I guess the real point is that if I'm not still paying for something then SB can write me off completely, but if I'm a paying customer then they might try harder to keep me.


Cheers


P.S. Seems like everything is an uphill battle around here anymore... I guess I'm glad no one called me stupid or jerk--yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
811 Posts
Yeah, the cell phone example isn't a bad one. There are a couple of differences (IMO), however. For instance, let's say I buy a Kyocera cell phone/PDA . . . and stop paying my monthly cell phone bill to Verizon. Not certain, but I'm pretty sure I can still use the PDA functions of the phone. What is unique about the RTV is that SB has "bundled" (sorry, bad anti-trust type of word) the HW/SW and the "service" in such a way that the two cannot be un-bundled to provide independent value for the user. That is, you either use it at 100% utility, or at almost 0% utility. I believe this is unique, because I can't think of another product where the mfgr has intentionally disabled their product in such a way . . . I'm sure there must be such a case, but I just can't think of it at the moment.


The problem I see in your statement that as long as you're paying for something that SB can't write you off completely is that you (as the consumer) are probably at a greater disadvantage. You've already sunk anywhere from $250 to $450 in the HW plus either $250 for the lifetime activation or $10 X however many months you've had it if you're on the monthly plan. In this case, the consumer's decision works out to the marginal utility versus the marginal cost. That is, does the unit provide you with $10 worth of value every month. In most cases, I suspect, the answer to that question would be "yes".


The Tivo/SB model of bundling the HW/SW with the "service" is a very good one . . . as long as the unit cannot be made to work without activation. Once that happens, the model crumbles fairly quickly.


Personally, I'd like to see SB show some innovation in the activation fees. Offer more options or tiers. Let people pay for the portion of "service" that they really want to use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
653 Posts
Amazingly Smooth you Stupid Jerk! :D :D (you did ask for that)


I think what you have now is a high loss of patience with this entire subject on this board.


We all know the whole activation thing was done to get Replay back into the retail channel and that SB would prefer to have a flat price like it did before. But that was not working well. Most poeple here still look at it as a flat fee in 2 parts and are tired of everyone who want to talk about how they think they should get something extra.


I am happy I have a ReplayTV unit at all and that it works as well as it does. I am happy with the price I paid (including activation) and do not think SB owes me anything more then reliable service for the guide, and bug fixes for the software.


I understand that some people want to talk about this stuff still but I would reccommend that you leave a small break between threads to minimize the exauhstion many feel over this subject.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Quote:
Personally, I'd like to see SB show some innovation in the activation fees. Offer more options or tiers. Let people pay for the portion of "service" that they really want to use.
Perhaps they will be doing so in the future. While reading the Agreement for my 5040, it always referred to the service as Basic Service, implying that there could be more offered in the future at different pricing levels. (I chose the lifetime anyway, though.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,951 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I see two things happening on this board right now. First, people want new features and bug fixes. Second, people want justification for spending $250 up front or $10 per month. SB could serve both if they offered something more than what was perceived as offered for free in the past. The issue is one of perception that SB has yet to overcome.


I personally have bought two RTV units at almost full price each. I paid $1300 for my 2004 back in 1999 and $1900 for my 4320 this year. I'm considering purchasing a 5040 to network with my 4320 (obviously after the software is updated--I'm not getting burned again). The cheapest way to do it in the short term is through the monthly plan. This plan also has the benefit that if the unit dies after one year you've only paid $120 versus the $250 up front. And after one year SB is likely to have released a new version with more features. I can apply the $130 difference ($250-$120) to the new unit. Of course if SB offered new features there might be an incentive to keep the existing unit active. We shall see how this all plays out.


Cheers


EDIT: I did want to respond to the cell phone analogy one more time. I think the PVR market is almost identical to the cell market. If I buy a phone for Sprint and cancel the service I can only make 911 calls. Hopefully I'm not making lots of those. The PDA phone isn't the norm so it is better to compare the standard phone offerings to the RTV situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
677 Posts
Quote:
"What do you get for your service fee?"
You get a working unit. End of story.


I don't care what they call it (service fee, activation, etc.)...I just love skipping the ignorant and pathetic commercials every ten minutes and I would gladly pay more . Thank you SB!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,951 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
You get a working unit. End of story.


I don't care what they call it (service fee, activation, etc.)...I just love skipping the ignorant and pathetic commercials every ten minutes and I would gladly pay more . Thank you SB!
If cell phone companies could only be so lucky to have customers like us...


Cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,207 Posts
The $10 / month fee is only there to hide the real cost to people... it's just easier to swallow than $250. People pay for that 'convenience'. Just like how my $100,000 mortgage will end up costing me $300,000 but I didn't want to pay it all up front, so I pay for that 'convenience' of paying just $1,000 a month. It's all relative, and while SB makes more from the $10/month people, they are gambling that people will pay long enough. So it's not like they're expecting people to pay $10/month for 10 years... It just won't happen, at least not very often.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,119 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Amazingly Smooth
If cell phone companies could only be so lucky to have customers like us...
You know if I could get the $250 lifetime service option on my phone (as opposed to $250/month) I just might use it more?


("stupid or jerk--yet") :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
413 Posts
I bought the 4080 so I paid for the bundle, but if I bought a new one I would pay the $10/month, for the simple fact that I'm not sure they will be around longer than two years.


I saw a program on G4 ... whatever the gamer channel thing is ... and their 20 coolest tech toys had Tivo at #1, it also mentioned one of the combo DVRs for competitive balance, but didn't mention SB at all. If a techie channel doesn't even know about SB, I don't see how the rest of the US will.

Quote:
Originally posted by RandyL712
The $10 / month fee is only there to hide the real cost to people... it's just easier to swallow than $250. People pay for that 'convenience'. Just like how my $100,000 mortgage will end up costing me $300,000 but I didn't want to pay it all up front, so I pay for that 'convenience' of paying just $1,000 a month. It's all relative, and while SB makes more from the $10/month people, they are gambling that people will pay long enough. So it's not like they're expecting people to pay $10/month for 10 years... It just won't happen, at least not very often.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top