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Explain Why Lifetime Service isn't a hugely bad idea

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by bengalfreak, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Active Member

    Mar 21, 2004
    For generational buyers who don't run their hardware all the way to their death, the resell value is where the savings happen. It would be silly to throw out or store away equipment worth hundreds of dollars. The resell is the active and most important part of their savings strategy.

    My total out-of-pocket for my original Lifetimed Premiere was about $165 for the 3.5 years I had it, because I sold it shortly after the Roamios launched. That's less than $4/month.

    That's a steal compared to the would-be Premiere + subscription cost. Even if I give the non-lifetimed Premiere a generous resell value of $50, the cost would be around $15/mo for the same duration of time.

    It covered almost half the cost of my Lifetimed Plus, taking a good bit of the "bite" out of the steep upfront cost.
  2. mpf541

    mpf541 New Member

    Nov 24, 2009
    I have had several Tivo's with lifetime. And When I get rid of them for a new model they go on ebay and I get a bib part of that back. Lots of demand for old tiros with lifetime. Factor that into the cost and I see no reason not to get the lifetime. And maybe I am lucky I have never had a tivo go bacd. My fist S3 I bought with a lifetime is still in use by the gut I sold it to.
  3. bengalfreak

    bengalfreak New Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    I'm still not certain lifetime is a good investment. I think its a minor miracle that Tivo is still in business at all. They go belly up and your lifetime investment in the service is worthless.

    Having said that, it appears that Tivo is more profitable now than they have been in a while.
  4. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 New Member

    Jan 12, 2014
    That is an irrational fear. They have a ton of cash on hand, are at least breaking even on the retail side of the business, and have business deals with various cable operators. They will probably never be a business that makes money hand-over-fist, but they aren't going to go "belly up" anytime soon.
  5. mpaquette

    mpaquette New Member

    Aug 1, 2005
    For those of you that purchased lifetime with a Roamio, did you also purchase an extended warranty? How much does Tivo charge for the 3 year extended warranty?
  6. c133roamioerrors

    c133roamioerrors New Member

    Dec 28, 2013
    It was $39.99 for my Roamio pro.
  7. eric102

    eric102 Member

    Oct 31, 2012
    Paid $30 for the 4 year warranty on a basic at Best buy.
  8. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 New Member

    Jan 12, 2014
    I never buy extended warranties. They are always a rip-off. I didn't buy an extended warranty on a $2000 HDTV or a $1,300 laptop, so why would I buy a warranty on an $739 Roamio Plus or a $236 Mini? When you just think of the lifetime service as just part of the purchase price, it makes it much less scary. I mean, who can't afford to replace a $236 Mini if it craps out on you? Is that really something you need to buy an insurance policy for?

    And even if you buy an extended warranty and yours is one of the rare ones that does break, you're going to have to go through a lot of hassle to replace it under the warranty. And even if you do manage to get a replacement, from what I understand TiVo doesn't give you a new replacement unit, they give you a "refurbished" one. Yeah, no thanks. I don't want someone else's reject. I only want a new piece of electronics. I'll keep pocketing the money I would have paid for extended warranties, and if something breaks I'll just buy a new one. Life is so much simpler that way.
  9. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

    Oct 30, 2003
    You have it totally backwards. There's no way I would BUY and TiVo and THEN have another monthly fee. Monthly is idiotic, as it's always cheaper to go with Lifetime, whether you keep the unit way longer than the break-even point, or whether you sell the unit and get the increased value from Lifetime, or whether you give it to someone, and they can use it without paying MORE.

    My parents had their S2 for over 6 years, and we could have put a new hard drive in it when it died, but it just wasn't worth bothering, since HD was already the standard by that point, so they ended up getting a crappy cableco DVR.

    Pretty much the only things that go bad are the PSU and HDD. Both can be replaced, and the lifetime is tied to the motherboard, so you can rebuild/replace everything around the same motherboard and keep lifetime, although there really isn't anything in a TiVo other than the motherboard, an HDD, and a power supply.

    This is the only downside. However, cheap has nothing to do with it. DirecTV is MORE expensive than any cable company, and TiVo makes cable more competitive, since you own the hardware, and with lifetime, there's no monthly fees.

    It depends on how bad the cable company is. Here I have two mediocre options for cable (an old, non-upgraded 650mhz Comcast system with only 70 HD's, and a local overbuilder who has an even worse HD lineup, and still has a ton of analog). Places with FIOS usually have two good ones, as the cable companies have upgraded to compete with FIOS, and then, of course, there's FIOS. And FIOS is so good that few people would get DirecTV over FIOS anyways, and if they did, they would know that they wanted DirecTV, and would never consider TiVo.

    TiVo saved cable for me. If it weren't for TiVo, I'd be paying through the nose for DirecTV because they have the only other decent DVR solution out on the market with good multi-room and good scalability.
  10. kbmb

    kbmb Active Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Has anyone ever had a unit replaced by a third party and had tivo transfer the lifetime to the new unit?

  11. mattack

    mattack New Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Haven't read all of the responses from this thread, but I have even had a lifetime Tivo go bad (OLED S3, and no, not the power supply).. But even that was I think _slightly_ over the break even point.

    I've still bought 2 lifetime Tivos since then.. I keep 'intending' to sell one, but haven't gotten around to it.

    Basically, if you *weren't* able to pay lifetime, if the monthly cost wasn't a LOT LOT cheaper, I would at least strongly consider other options at some point in the future.

    Could I afford to pay monthly? Of course. It just adds up to a LOT.

    People who paid lifetime on satellite radio won too.
  12. HerronScott

    HerronScott Active Member

    Jan 1, 2002
    TiVo has 1 billion in cash and short term investments as of the last financial statement so there should be no concern that they go belly up within the time frame to recoup your lifetime investment.

  13. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Even if TiVo went belly up, I'd bet someone else would buy in and keep the service going. Now, whether or not we like that continued service is another matter.

    That, or at the very least, TiVo could flip a switch (alter the software) and make the DVRs functional without the service. It would probably be like going back to the VCR days, but it would still be something.
  14. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    Yeah and people have been saying that for years but Tivo is still around.

    Let me guess, you'd rather lease all your cars too, right? And continue to pay your cell phone company full price because you want a new phone every couple of years?
  15. mae

    mae member

    Dec 10, 2001
  16. kbmb

    kbmb Active Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    First congrats on the easy process and the upgrade!

    Good to know that Tivo honors third party warranties and transfers lifetime.

  17. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 New Member

    Jan 12, 2014
    This would be the probable outcome. I'm sure we would no longer get any software updates, but it wouldn't take much for a company to buy up the subscriptions and just provide guide data indefinitely.

    Yes, if TiVo couldn't find a buyer for the subscriptions, they would probably send one last software update through to unlock all boxes functionality as much as possible before they turn the lights off.
  18. brianric

    brianric Active Member

    Aug 29, 2002
    Replay TV went belly up, yet to lifetime owners of Replay TV the guide data is still available for the recorder to function.
  19. Grakthis

    Grakthis New Member

    Oct 4, 2006
    There's a list of about a dozen things we're "ignoring" for the purposes of this simplified example. I didn't feel the need to get into TVM and economic cost and all kinds of other cases. I gave a simplified example.

    Suffice it to say, my example is exactly what it says it is. An example where a lifetime service would not have been beneficial to me.

    Like I said, the S3 would have been a money maker had I lifetime'd it. But at the time, it was like, at 7 dollars a month, I'd have to keep this thing for 4 years to make my money back. And that's nutso, right? Well, showed me! That box is incredible.

    You want the funny part? I did lifetime it. About a month ago when I called to cancel it... they offered me the $99 lifetime on it. Now my dad uses it. It's probably easily going to make back that $99 still too.

    I did upgrade the HD in it. The HD died a few years ago.
  20. Grakthis

    Grakthis New Member

    Oct 4, 2006
    But it's even cheaper to just skip bad generations of TiVo's... like I did with the TiVo HD line and probably should have done with the Premiere line.

    If you do that, then there's definitely wisdom in a lifetime cause you'll have a box for 5+ years.

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