TiVo Raises Rates, Pushes 'Free' DVR

TiVo has silently raised its monthly service rates by as much as 54 percent depending on the plan selected, a move that has been criticized by some of its users. Effective this month, service plans with new contracts could be as high as $19.95 USD per month.

That figure is for a one-year contract, although consumers would be able to save money by extending their contract by more than one year. A two-year contract would reduce the rate to $14.95 USD per month, which would be a 15 percent increase. If the user decides on a three-year contract, the rate would remain at the current $12.95 USD per month.

The Multi-service discount rates have also changed similarly: $13.95 USD for one year, $8.95 USD for two years, and $6.95 USD for a three year contract - the same rate as it was before the price increase.

Those currently paying month-to-month appear to be grandfathered at the $12.95 per month plan under the new pricing structure. However, those on current prepaid plans would be subject to the new pricing.

Prepay plans would range from $199 for the one year, or about $16.58 per month, to $349 for three years, or $9.69 per month.

Criticism of the price hike was near immediate. "TiVo's doing a good job here confusing consumers and pricing themselves right out of the DVR market," Dave Zatz of the Zatz Not Funny web log wrote in a post Sunday.

Respondents to his post echoed such concerns. "Most people who are considering Tivo are on the fence at $12.95 and three years for that price is a long commitment! There is no way that people will go for $19.95 on top of their cable or satellite bill," a poster named CheezWiz said.

However, others noted that the rates that include a box have not changed. "On closer inspection, I don't think rates have really gone up. You're just getting a free box no matter what," a poster named peteypete wrote.

Others pointed to the total cost of DVR solutions from cable providers like Comcast would be roughly the same as the $19.95 monthly fee now charged by TiVo.

A request for comment from TiVo was outstanding as of press time.

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