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Will Tivo let me switch a broken TivoHD w/lifetime with Tivo Premiere

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by superflysocal, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. superflysocal

    superflysocal Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    I have a tivoHD and a Tivo premiere both with lifetime.

    My TivoHD is on the blink and I need to replace it.

    I see ads for refurbished Tivo Premiere for pretty cheap (less than 100, service required but no contract required to "buy"). If i buy one, can I call up tivo and swap out the lifetime tivoHD for the premiere?

    I am pretty sure if I get another tivohd they would probably let me swap it out, no?
  2. edtude

    edtude New Member

    Oct 12, 2009
    Frederick MD
    Unfortunately service agreements are ties to the box. You should try to repair the Tivo. What is the problem with it?
  3. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Doubtful. Lifetime is for the life of the DVR and when it dies, so does the lifetime subscription.
    If you go through TiVo to have your Tivo HD replaced, they might allow for a lifetime transfer to the replacement unit for a nominal fee, but you would be getting back another Tivo HD, not a Premiere. Call TiVo to weigh your options.

    For the price of the replacement unit and the lifetime transfer fee, you could probably fix that Tivo yourself and not have to deal with all that hassle.
  4. dwit

    dwit Active Member

    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Best to call Tivo and see what advice they will offer. If you have upgraded the drive in the problematic unit, and still have the original hard drive, it may be best to re-install the original drive and let the Tivo connect to the "service" for a few days before calling.

    There was a time when Tivo would let you swap an older failing unit for another like unit, that they provided, and for a fee of about $150. I think that is still probably the case for current Premiere units, but don't know if they are still providing refurbished TivoHD or any earlier tivo models.

    You almost certainly will not be able to "swap in" a Premiere, and almost certainly not even another TivoHD(again, unless they provide a refurbished HD).

    As per the previous post, the most likely cause of the problems with your unit is a failing hard drive. If you are relatively handy at replacing hard drives in a computer(preferably pc), the problem can probably be easily remedied. The methods to do so can be learned in these forums.

    Good luck.
  5. JoeTaxpayer

    JoeTaxpayer Member

    Dec 23, 2008
    My experience with multiple TiVo (more than in my sig) is the hard drive is the weak link. A lifetime TiVi with failed drive is still worth $300 or so on eBay.

    If the hard drive is your issue, a fix isn't too tough.
  6. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Yes you can swap out the lifetime for only $399 to a TP, and as a bonus you can still keep the lifetime on your old TiVo-HD
  7. farmermac

    farmermac Recorder of shows

    Jan 31, 2012
    My experience last January with a failing tivo with lifetime was that TiVo charged $79 for an out of warranty replacement and that included a lifetime service transfer on the box. Great deal IMO.
  8. shadowplay0918

    shadowplay0918 Member

    May 16, 2011
    My HDMI port doesn't work on 1 of my TivoHDs and they did give me that offer but it was for a refurb HD (not a Premiere) so I passed...
  9. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    I just sold an unmodified TiVo HD (160GB) with lifetime on eBay for $314.00 + shipping.

    A 1TB Series 3 with lifetime will be going up on the auction block next.
  10. farmermac

    farmermac Recorder of shows

    Jan 31, 2012
    Was your broken TiVo a TiVo hd? I don't see why they would upgrade you for free if it wasn't. Just exchange same model for a refurb.
  11. shwru980r

    shwru980r Active Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    You could look for a cheap Tivo HD without service on Craig's list and swap the hard drives and/or power supplies to get the lifetime Tivo HD working again.
  12. timckelley

    timckelley TCFer

    Oct 15, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Back when TiVoHD was the current model and I had a lifetimes series 1 die on me, I got really lucky, and the CSR let me transfer the lifetime sub onto a new TiVoHD that I bought off Amazon, with no fee at all for the transfer.

    I'm still enjoying that TiVoHD today.
  13. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    You can probably find a Premiere on Craigslist for $50 if you look hard enough.

    What are the specific symptoms of that HD?

    Maybe we can get it going again.
  14. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Is it possible that the S1 was one of the "grandfathered" lifetime subs purchased on or before January 20, 2000?
  15. timckelley

    timckelley TCFer

    Oct 15, 2002
    Austin, TX
    In my case, no it wasn't. I just lucked out and got a generous CSR.
  16. SoBelle0

    SoBelle0 Go Big Blue!! TCF Club

    Jun 25, 2002
    Decatur, GA
    I have this same question. My TiVo HD died on Saturday - won't get past the "Welcome! Powering up..." screen. I can't get into the kickstart codes or anything.

    I called TiVo to inquire about my options and they provided the following:
    They'll transfer my lifetime service to a refurb, and send me the refurb, for $249. This is a $200 lifetime transfer fee and $49 for the refurb TiVo HD.
    Or, they suggest I buy / repair the hard drive through Weaknees. I did some very quick searching, and it looks like that would run me around $200, as well.

    If I do this myself, do I get to keep the lifetime service?

    I didn't really want or plan to invest another $250 into this machine - and have been saving for a new Premiere, and planned to then move this TiVo HD to another room.
    Should I go ahead and upgrade to Premiere, or fix this TiVo myself and keep my original plan?

    All I know right now is that it stunk not having a TiVo yesterday, and I missed all my shows. :)

    Thanks for any tips or ideas y'all may have!!
  17. timckelley

    timckelley TCFer

    Oct 15, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I personally wouldn't use weakknees; I'd buy a hard drive from Amazon, or Fryes, etc, and do the repair myself. It'll be way cheaper than Weaknees. The repair forum here is very helpful on helping you get it done. The utilities you have to run are free and available for download. Also, the utilities for the Premier seem so much easier and more user friendly than the old S1 and S2 utilities were, so when I expanded my wife's hard drive the job seemed to go pretty smooth for me. I see you have a TiVoHD, and I've not replaced one of those hard drives... I'm hoping the utilities are similarly easy for a TiVoHD like they are for a Premier.
  18. timckelley

    timckelley TCFer

    Oct 15, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Oh, the tricky thing for you though is that, unlike me, you have a TiVo that won't boot, so that means you might not be able to easily copy the image from the old drive to the new drive, like I was able to do. So you might have to get a image file from elsewhere. I think those image files might be sold somewhere, but back when I repaired my S2 and needed an image file, a nice TCFer here emailed a blank image for free, so maybe you can have similar luck and get a free image.
  19. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Sounds like the motherboard is still okay, but for some reason it and the hard drive are unable to communicate.

    Assuming that you do not have an external drive attached to this TiVo, it might be a hard drive problem, or it might be a problem with the power supply no longer being able to supply enough clean current for both the drive and the motherboard.

    Do you know anything about electronics?

    Or know anybody who does?

    If the problem is just the power supply, and the problem with the power supply is the one that most HDs have when they have power supply problems, it's a simple repair using less than $10 worth of parts.

    Have you ever replaced or installed anything inside a computer?
  20. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    What you should do with your TiVo HD really depends on your skills. If you are fairly sure it is the hard drive you can buy a replacement hard drive on ebay from someone like DVR_Dude if you have the skills to open your TiVo and replace the drive. You would end up with a TiVo HD with a 2TB drive for $190 or a 1TB drive for $145.

    If not you could buy a Premiere and put lifetime on it assuming you qualify for MSD that will cost you $500+/- depending on what Premiere you buy and how much you pay for it. Then you could sell your TiVo HD, someone might be willing to give you $150+/- for the unit as is because of the lifetime service.

    A fully functional TiVo HD with lifetime and maybe a 1TB hard drive upgrade appears to be worth around $300 so I am not sure the $250 replacement cost for a refurbished unit with a standard 160GB hard drive is a very good deal as that appears to be close to the full market value of the unit.

    Good Luck,

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