Most agree that TiVo's DVRs are among the best available, but the main sticking point for most buyers is always the monthly fee.
TiVo's making it a little easier to get over that hurdle, announcing today that the monthly fee has dropped to $15 a month with a one-year commitment. On the other hand, TiVo has changed the cost of the DVRs themselves as follows:
TiVo is also increasing the storage capacity on the entry-level TiVo Premiere to 500GB, which is 75 hours of HD content. That feels like the somewhat overdue update, especially with the cost of 500GB internal hard drives dipping below $100.
Figuring out the "actual" cost of a TiVo always requires more work than it should, but the two-year cost of ownership for TiVo's offerings is now: Premiere ($330), Premiere XL ($430), and Premiere Elite ($580). There's still the option "lifetime" service option, which costs $500 and makes sense if you expect to own the box for more than two years and nine months, although it's a hefty initial investment.
I'd bet that the fact that it requires a bit of calculation just to figure how how much a TiVo actually costs (and what service plan to get) is still one of the major factors holding back TiVo from expanding its reach. That being said, it's, especially if you can't stand your cable company's DVR offering.