In case you don't know, TiVo is a leading brand of personal video recorder that can "automatically finds and digitally records up to 140 hours of programming you want" and "pause, rewind and slo-mo live TV." I have been considering buying a TiVo for several months. Now it's holiday season, I am giving this idea some more thought.
The main reason I want a TiVo is because I am becoming busier everyday, and as a highly-selective TV fan, I don't want to miss even one episode from my favorite shows like Fox's 24 and CBS's CSI family. My working schedule increasingly creates more conflict with these show's broadcasting time, which bothers me.
The low-end TiVo model starts at $99.99, and this is not what keeps my on the sidewalk for these months. However, TiVo is a subscription service that costs $12.95 a month or $299 for the lifetime of the TiVo box, and I am naturally against any move that will permanently add something to my cost structure -- at PFBlog, you saw my efforts to reduce monthly fixed cost by moving to Vonage and Virgin Mobile. I am still debating with myself whether almost $13 a month is worthwhile.
I have also considered some alternative technology. For example, ReplayTV offers almost the same set of functionalities, although with a smaller subscription base.
Or, I can buy a DVD recorder, which more of less resembles a VHS Recorder but uses rewritable DVD discs as storage medium. Because I tend to be disorganized when it comes to my CD and DVD collection, DVD recorder might not be a good match for me.
I am also waiting for news from Comcast. Earlier this year, Comcast announced it will develop its own Tivo-type box -- Comcast subscribers probably can expect much lower monthly due. However, it might sound more like vaporware now.
Will I make an implusive purchase decision during Christmas to celebrate great financial progress in 2004, or will I leave it to 2005? I don't know, but I am thinking.