My ReplayTV is Worth Thousands

If you watch TV and have a computer, it is an exciting time indeed. Between the shows sold through the iTMS and the recent announcement of a video marketplace by Google, many of your favorite shows should be available for purchase from the Internet, and I'm not even talking about the DVD sales.

Many of the shows are available for $1.99, which isn't too bad, but that's far more than people pay per show for cable or even when they buy the DVD season set. Along with primetime favorites such as CSI and Survivor, Google will be selling NBA games. Fantastic I thought, I'm lucky enough to catch the Lakers on TNT, ESPN, and whenever they play the Bulls, but I'd like to watch a few more games. That is until I found out I would have to pay out $4 for the privilege! No thanks guys. I'm a fan, but I'm not that much of a fan.

All that thinking about show pricing got me wondering how much I do spend for the TV we watch. I've tried a few times to calculate the per show cost, but I usually quit when I start to realize how much TV we watch. Ugg.

What I will try to calculate is how much money our treasured ReplayTV is worth. Of the shows available for purchase from iTMS and Google (soon), we watch Lost, Law & Order, Desperate Housewives, Survivor, CSI, The Amazing Race, and NBA games. Other than the NBA, I'd guess each and every episode from every season of those other shows has been recorded at some point on our Replay (syndication). The ReplayTV is now 3 years old. So, I'm going to note a rough calculation of the number of episodes we are talking about here.

(25+9 + 20*15 + 23+10 + 70 + 100 + 70 + 25*3)

Figuring out the NBA games was fun. First, I found a NBA TV schedule that was plain text. Then, I just paste that to a file, run it through grep a couple of times and count it with wc. Thank you OS X.

ryans-mac-mini:~/Music ryan$ grep Lakers lakers.txt | wc -l
ryans-mac-mini:~/Music ryan$ grep Lakers lakers.txt | grep NBATV | wc -l

The Lakers aren't on as much as they used to be when Shaq + Kobe = ratings so I upped the number a bit to compensate. I didn't watch all of those games (recording conflicts), so I'll leave them in the calculation and ignore the fact that they cost twice as much.

I calculate 682 * $1.99 = $1357.18

The ReplayTV itself was about $550, but that includes the lifetime subscription and I expect it to live a continued good life.

But you don't get to keep the episodes you say! Well, I could if I wanted to and don't forget about the thousands of other shows we have recorded and watched that aren't available for download (purchase). That's got to be worth some large sum of money. I know the time I saved by skipping commercials is close to priceless (the price is watching the TV in the first place).

I think the most shocking number to me was what 3 years of cable cost me. $45 a month for the 3 years used in these calculations is $1620! If it weren't for the throw away shows that we watch (not you Judy) and the spectacular viewing of HD (vs the crap resolutions they are selling), paying per show doesn't look all that bad.


Jason said...

Ahh, me money bin. I agree, the Replay is fantastic, and cable fees suck.

I am waiting to see what this next round of CES and such brings though. Some new features and a price war on HD DVR's should be nice.

---ryan said...

Fantastic? You weren't singing that tune when they were giving you bum units!