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How can I tell if a Tivo has a lifetime Subscription?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by scsiguy72, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. scsiguy72

    scsiguy72 OTA Only..Free TV

    1,158
    0
    Nov 25, 2003
    California Guy
    I just got a Used Tivo TCD 540040

    This was a freebee to me that someone was throwing out, so I snapped it up.

    I expected that it would be unsubscribed, but when I looked at the system status screen it was:

    3:account in good standing

    The Tivo has not "Phoned home" since December and the person that gave it to me did not do a Clear and delete.

    Right now I am OTA only and I know this unit will not do digital.

    So am I correct in assuming that it will work OTA for now until the Digital conversion? (Using analog stations)

    Is there anyway to make it work with a digital converter box?

    and if I do a clear and delete everything will it still be subscribed?
     
  2. robomeister

    robomeister DVD TiVo Expert

    593
    0
    Feb 4, 2005
    Beltsville, MD
    The only real way is to have it "phone home." When it does, it will update the status of the subscription. I've gotten some TiVos from eBay that initially look like they had subscriptions, but when they phone home, the sub status will change, invariably to "8: Account Closed."

    So, you should simply attach it to the phone line or install an network adapter, and have it phone home. Then check the status in the System Information screen. If it is a lifetime sub, call TiVo and have it transferred to your account. If it is a monthly sub, just use it as is. There is no way to transfer the sub to you.

    Another way to test if it has a sub is to go to www.tivo.com and attempt to subscribe the TiVo. If it already has a sub, you will be immediately informed that it has a sub by a red text message saying "Oops, the TSN you entered is already subscribed..."

    Regarding the OTA question. Yes, it will work OTA until the digital transition in June. In order for a Series 2 TiVo (a 540 is a Series 2) to work with OTA signals, you must have a Digital to Analog (DTA) converter box attached to the TiVo. The software version of the TiVo also has to be at least 9.2, so you'll have to have the TiVo phone home and download the latest software before it can control the DTA converter box.

    Good luck,
    robomeister
     
  3. MikeAndrews

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

    14,222
    2
    Jan 17, 2002
    Northern...
    Being that I explored what my old Series 1 would do, what robomeister said.

    The only caveat is once you get account closed it will nag you to subscribe but it's still usable for live buffering and it might not have your channel lineup, but you can fake that with not it has now and punch in channels directly.

    ....so if you have no intention of subscribing DON'T let it call in. The "haven't made a call" nag is not as bad as "account closed"

    NB, whether you go monthly or yearly you have to commit to a year of service...and you know it won't work after June without an external box....but you get 30 days to cancel and get a refund on a new service order. Seeing a solution here? I do. (You won't be able to set it up to grok the external box without service either.)
     
  4. scsiguy72

    scsiguy72 OTA Only..Free TV

    1,158
    0
    Nov 25, 2003
    California Guy
    Well, I don't want the nag screen so I thought I would dig a little deeper.

    I tried to Sub this unit like Robo suggested and I got:

    Oops! The TiVo service number you entered has already been activated. If you think you may have entered an incorrect number, please try again or call Customer Support at 1-877-367-8486.

    So it looks like it is paid up at least through this month. But if it hasn't called in for 3 months...I am thinking it may have a lifetime Sub.

    Edit:I had Tivo phone home and it still says 3:account in good standing

    Does any know if there is a code that indicates lifetime?
     
  5. Grey Griffin

    Grey Griffin Member

    123
    0
    May 24, 2007
    Tulsa, OK
    If I remember correctly the code for lifetime is 5. I think it actually reads "5: Lifetime Service." The account in good standing code 3 is the same thing I'm showing on my monthly units.
     
  6. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

    10,618
    21
    Oct 20, 2007
    MN, greater...
    It doesn't have lifetime unless the status says lifetime as Grey Griffin described. Considering that the you've already stated that it says "account in good standing" it does not have lifetime.
     
  7. scsiguy72

    scsiguy72 OTA Only..Free TV

    1,158
    0
    Nov 25, 2003
    California Guy
    OK Thanks, Maybe it is a prepaid or something. or maybe I have until the end of the month. I just did a guided set-up with my Digital converter box and it worked great.

    So I guess I will get DTV for a while at least
     
  8. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

    7,392
    68
    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    It is either on a monthly, or yearly sub.

    It will work with a digital converter box.



    Yes.
     
  9. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

    10,618
    21
    Oct 20, 2007
    MN, greater...
    Or a three year prepay.

    Ya, he knows that.
     

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