TiVo toys with free, contract-based DVRs
After years of selling its DVR as a relatively pricey piece of consumer electronics, TiVo is experimenting with adopting the cell phone model of product and service pricing. According to Engadget, TiVo held a short-lived test promotion where the company would give its set-top box to customers for free, in exchange for locking into a two-year service contact.
The promotion seems to have disappeared from TiVo's web site, but it previously described a promotion where a customer could go into a two-year service contract at a service rate of $19.95, $8 more than the standard rate. However, over two years, it would mean the $300 DVR would cost a total of $240 over the standard service rate. It's not the most tempting deal in the world, but it could be a sign that TiVo is reconsidering its pricing structure.
— Will Greenwald