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: Premiere ($150), Premiere XL ($250), and Premiere Elite ($400). That's a $50 increase for the entry-level Premiere, while the Premiere XL's price has dropped $50 and the Premiere Elite has dropped $100.
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 still a great DVR, especially if you can't stand your cable company's DVR offering.