Verizon is sending customers links and literature covering updated FiOS TV fees. And, sadly, TiVo owners will be paying the price. Already the most costly provider when it comes to CableCARD rentals, Verizon has jacked up the price, once again, to $4.99/month. By comparison, a DTA set-top box runs a single dollar more at $5.99/month.
Unfortunately, the differential doesn’t logically scale as the cost to replace a damaged or misplaced CableCARD runs $100 whereas the DTA is $175…. leading me to believe this supersized fee for a mere PCMCIA card is both punitive, designed to encourage folks to utilize Verizon’s own equipment, and intended to offset whatever additional support costs Verizon incurs due to (their) activation/pairing issues and the like. Of course, as all who follow this space know, CableCARDs are under attack … by the very same industry that put forth this imperfect technology and, yet, without a viable replacement.
My FiOS bill shows the new fee, but I can’t say that all customers will be hit as I wonder if a recent change to my account (dropping HBO for a spell) may have triggered the increase… and I’m hopeful others have been grandfathered in at their prior rates ($1.99 – 3.99). And, if nothing else, this surely supports trading in legacy TiVo hardware for TiVo Mini extenders. Otherwise the math just doesn’t work.