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Fast Forward and Get Rich?

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Scott Burns from MSN Money preaches the benefits of TiVo. In this article he claims that a TiVo device pays for itself in the value of your time saved after 12.5 hours for the $100 price to buy the device and after an additional 6.5 hours for each monthly fee of $13.

His assumption is that you can put a value on your free time. For the purposes of the article, the author chose $8.00 per hour without any explanation.

From this, he calculates that you actually have a “return” on investment or a “profit” after shelling out the money each month for the device.

I don’t buy it (pun possibly intended). Sure, you do save time, but I believe that most people wouldn’t take that newly found free time and earn more money or even do anything useful. They would probably just watch more television. Maybe I’m just projecting what I believe I would do; if I had a TiVo or similar device, I would probably spend more time in front of the television.

Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published October 25, 2004. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 5 comments }

avatar Dan

I have a few Replays throughout the house. It makes me a much more efficient TV watcher. Since getting my first one 3 years ago, I actually watch way less TV….like a third.

Another benefit — I have the kids watch all their shows on the Replay. They have been taught to use the commercial advance/FF button. They hate commercials and when Christmas comes around they aren’t screaming “I want this, I want that”. The toy commercials haven’t brainwashed them into wanting things they don’t need. They are actually happy getting clothes.

What a money saver!

Keep up the good work, Flexo!

avatar Luke Landes ♦127,550 (Platinum)

What happens in the future when companies realize that television advertising have lost its effectiveness? It’s a game — if commercials don’t work, companies will force their products into the shows we watch. That’s already done to a large extent, but I fear it would be even worse.On my Firefox internet browser, there is a setting that will hide all advertisements (after you teach it how). I want this for the TV so when I watch the World Series, I don’t have to see all the product image placements behind home plate or in left field. If they can add the images digitally, they should be able to remove them as well.

avatar Luke Landes ♦127,550 (Platinum)

Oh, and you had a good point about TiVo/Replay, Dan. Imagine a generation of kids who don’t beg their parents for something just because they saw commercials on television.

avatar Darren R. Sussman

Well, to play devil’s advocate here, I think you’re right, Flexo. I do, in fact, watch more television now that I have TiVo. Maybe not significantly more, and certainly I’m only watching those things that I want to watch instead of just watching whatever is on, but there are shows that I would never have watched had I not been able to catch them on TiVo and watch them whenever. On the other hand, I CAN watch them whenever instead of having to be on the schedule that the progammers set, so in that sense, I’m more free to do my work and then watch TV instead of not doing my work because something is on, and I still end up not missing the programs I want to watch. Take that for whatever it’s worth, I suppose.

avatar u_set

i had a tivo and i never wanted to leave home so your theory is correct…

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