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Lifetime or Monthly?

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by imacericg, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. bcronin

    bcronin Member

    Dec 28, 2001
    Hyde Park, NY
    Both HD units were bought directly from TiVo and both did have hard drive failures. All my earlier TiVo's (back to my original series 1, and my later 2 DirecTiVo units) worked without issue until I moved on to a new unit. So its just been the more recent ones that haven't lasted. Sure, I could have put new hard drives in them but in both cases the cost of doing that was roughly the same as just getting a new unit, so for me it wasn't worth the effort. Anyway, since new TiVo generations seem to come along about every 3 years and I am the type to upgrade fairly quickly, I just don't see the point in paying the monthly fees upfront. For my use case, it doesn't make sense.
  2. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

    Sep 29, 2013
    New TiVo owner here (about three months). I opted to pay month to month. True, the payoff is about 2.5 to 3 years. But I figure TiVo, my provider or someone else (Apple?) will have exciting new technology by then -- and I'll want it.

    Many say the TiVo resale value covers it -- and they're probably right. But too many things can change -- so I decided to pay month to month.
  3. GBL

    GBL covert opiniative

    Apr 20, 2000
    Twin Cities, MN
    That 98 TiVo must be an early prototype!

    TiVo first shipped in March 1999 as memorialized by the annual Blue Moon holiday at TiVo.

    PS. I'm still using a Sony SVR-2000 from 2000 (albeit to record from an analog security camera).
  4. hooper

    hooper Member

    Sep 22, 2007
    There are other ways to look at this as well. I paid $78 bucks for a new premiere in November of 2011. I then moved a $6.95 plan over to that box. I just bought a new roamio and decided to unload the premiere. Called up Tivo and told them I was gonna cancel and they offered me lifetime for $199. I then sold the premiere on ebay for $355 with lifetime.

    You can find boxes on ebay with the $6.95 plan and move it to a new roamio. You just have to know what to look for.

    The $6.95 plan is now on my roamio. If something newer or better comes along in 2 or 3 years I can likely add lifetime to the box and repeat. Tivo doesn't want to lose subs and will generally offer ways to keep these boxes active. It is a way to hedge the market a bit.
  5. jmpage2

    jmpage2 Active Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    Almost every TiVo I have owned has been sold after 3 years and only one of them had a hard drive failure. That hard drive was one that I myself installed (and not an AV type drive).

    Replacing a drive on a TiVo (even the older ones) is really not that big of a deal and does not require you to re-up your Lifetime.

    Alternatively calling TiVo and crying to them, even on an out of warranty unit will usually result in the offer of a heavily discounted refurbished unit with Lifetime to replace it.
  6. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    But your hardware will likely be *essentially* worthless in a few years.. I know you said resale value covers it, I'm just trying to iterate that again.
  7. Starfury9

    Starfury9 New Member

    Nov 1, 2013
    Go get a Tivo from either Best Buy, Amazon or ABT (not Tivo directly)
    Then, during activation, use the PLSR code. I ordered mine from ABT, and was able to use the PLSR code succesfully for $399 instead of $499 activation.
  8. gthassell

    gthassell Member

    Apr 22, 2003
    Willowbrook, IL
    Plus, if you use nearly any Amex card (except co-branded ones, I believe) amex will double the original manufacturer's warranty up to an additional year. If you buy an extended warranty (TiVo, squaretrade, etc,) the Amex extension is tacked on at the end of any other extended warranty. If it dies in the Amex supplemental timeframe, Amex will typically refund your Original Purchase Price, and TiVo will recognize the extended warranty and support moving lifetime to your replacement box.

    We ended up doing that years ago with our first TiVo a Sony Svr3000 (series 2), in hindsight, it was probably just a bad hard drive that I now know would have been easy to replace.

    One other neat trick is to find one of the "old" original S1 TiVos on eBay or elsewhere with an Original Lifetime activation date prior to Jan 21, 2000.

    If you do, you should be able to do a one-time transfer of the S1s lifetime service to any box without service. What's kind of neat is that the new box inherits the old S1's original activation date.

    I managed to find one for a song just before the roamio's came out, and so I now have what one of the TiVo CSRs called a "time traveling roamio" as it has an activation date in 1999. :D
  9. ltxi

    ltxi New Member

    Feb 14, 2010
    The first TiVo I bought, an S1 Sony 2000, with a Weaknees drive upgrade, I got lifetime. December 2000. I just took it out of service this past month.....still healthy with the original drive. Over the years since, I stayed away from lifetime in favor of heavily discounted monthly. Went back to lifetime on an S4 in early 2010 'cause the discounted monthly was up to 12.95 vice the 6.95 I'd been shelling out on an S2. It's paid for itself. Went lifetime on the two, new Roamios I've added to replace older S3 HDs because I've decided it makes better economic sense, especially now that the major failure component, the hard drive, is easily replaced.
  10. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    Feb 28, 2001
    I stuck with a single $6.95 monthly sub along with my half-dozen lifetimes since the price was so good. Mistake. I retired the S2 with 6.95 a couple of months ago after 6-7 years - it would have been cheaper to get lifetime for it.
  11. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    Lifetime costs alot more now. So with MSD $400 lifetime, it would take over 57 months to break even with the $6.95 rate. The break even point was only 43 months when MSD lifetime was $300.

    Since the break even point being so long was why I wanted to keep my $6.95 rate and have it transferred to my Romaio Basic. Of course the resale value is much less. But I figure since it can handle OTA or cable it will be more useful as a backup unit if needed in the future for me or my GF.
  12. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Your not assuming any re-sale value, you will recover some of your lifetime investment if you sell the TiVo on say E-Bay.

    At the end of October this year I sold a TiVo Premiere TCD746320 no hard drive upgrade for $370 (net after shipping of $310) and a TiVo HD TCD652160 Upgraded to 157h for $265, net $220, the unit was purchased in Sept of 2007 and a $79 1Tb drive was installed, that 8 years of use for a service cost of $400/96 or about $4.2/month.
  13. Lrscpa

    Lrscpa Member

    Apr 20, 2003
    For anyone who is an eBay virgin, selling a Lifetime Tivo is a breeze.

    They make it sooooo easy.

    And in both cases (an HD/Tivo Wireless Adapter/Lifetime, Premiere XL4/Stream/Lifetime), items sold at above my minimum price.
  14. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    Depends on the person and whether they feel compelled to have the latest model or some new feature on that model. Our original S1's were in use for 6 1/2 years and the 2 S3 OLED's that we upgraded to are coming up on 7 years in January. For me the S3's are still meeting my needs so I have not felt the need to move to the Premiere or the Roamio yet and lifetime has paid off tremendously for us especially since we were allowed to "transfer" the S1's lifetime to the S3's for $199 so my cost of service is $2.47 each and dropping with each month.

    Unless Comcast decides to implement mpeg4 on a channel that we watch (none yet) I don't see that we'll be upgrading anytime soon either.

  15. nexusplexus9

    nexusplexus9 New Member

    Jan 28, 2013
    I upgraded to the Roamio Plus, transferred my $6.95 plan to it and upgraded a Tivo HD to lifetime for $99. If I was paying a higher monthly rate I would do lifetime for the Roamio.

  16. gigaguy

    gigaguy Member

    Aug 29, 2013
    I know many people won;t buy used or want the Roamio, but you can get Lifetime TiVos for a fraction of 'new' plans. I bought a used P4 complete w/ slide remote for $70. I've used it about 90 days on a monthly plan. I just bought an unused lifetime & ext warr. XL4 off craigslist for $200. then TiVo lifetimed my used P4 for $99.

    For used buyers or newbies, their plan transfers are great.
  17. Bierboy

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

    Jun 12, 2004
    Quad Sillies
    I just tried entering it on my year old XL4 to upgrade from $12.95/month, and it reduced lifetime to $399. I would be ahead after 2-1/2 years.
  18. dahacker

    dahacker Member

    Jan 14, 2004
    What exactly did you do with your Tivo HDs that had failed drives? If they had failed drives, they were still worth a considerable amount and putting new hard drives in them would have been less than $100. I get it, if your time is more valuable than money.

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