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Old 03-09-2014, 11:17 PM   #31
sakaike
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As someone who has owned 7-8 Tivos since the original S1, and almost all of them with lifetime, let me turn the question around: Is there any scenario in which NOT purchasing lifetime makes sense? The only one I can think of is cash flow. If you don't have the $400 in hand at the time of purchase, maybe you go with monthly while you save up the money and then pull the trigger.

Other than that, it's not clear to me why anyone would NOT get lifetime. Anyone care to share any scenarios in which going monthly (even with MSD) makes sense?
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:57 AM   #32
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I bought a Roamio Pro 8-25-13, got extended warranty. Had to replace unit last month, got extended warranty on replacement unit, good until 2-2-17
Good to know!

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Old 03-10-2014, 06:10 AM   #33
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I've had multiple TiVo's since the series 1 in 2001 or 2002. Bought lifetime on each and every one. Pretty sure every one of them has paid for lifetime before it conked out or got sold/gifted.
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Old 03-10-2014, 06:35 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by sakaike View Post
Other than that, it's not clear to me why anyone would NOT get lifetime. Anyone care to share any scenarios in which going monthly (even with MSD) makes sense?
Only one I can think of, I mentioned in post #3:

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The one and only reason NOT to get lifetime, is if you are type of person that likes to upgrade every time a new unit is introduced.
And even that is questionable, since no one knows when/if TiVo is going to introduce the next new DVR.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:47 AM   #35
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Thread conclusion: Even if it may seem expensive or "scary" to get product lifetime service, it makes the most financial sense under almost any scenario. Pretty much the only reason to not get lifetime service is if you know for sure that your TiVo will break down within 2 years.
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Old 03-10-2014, 01:43 PM   #36
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I've been trying to understand why anyone would purchase Lifetime service of a Tivo Roamio (or for that matter any model Tivo) DVR. According to my calculations, it would take roughly 33 months to break even on the $500 cost of the Lifetime service considering that the monthly service fee is $14.95. From what I understand the Lifetime service is only good for the life of the individual machine. The warranty on a Tivo Roamio is one year. So what happens if your Tivo dies at 13 months? Are you just SOL? If so, it seems that you are taking a risk that the machine even last 33 months. It does not seem like a good deal to me. But maybe I'm missing something?
Its not a 1 year warranty if you buy the three year plan.

With out Lifetime service on your Roamio its not worth what you paid for it. Why would anyone buy your used TiVo at the price you paid for it when they can get a new one for the same price or cheaper.
With Lifetime service on it your TiVo now has resale value, you might not get back all you have into it but you may get back enough to knock a chunk out of the next new thing.
As for repairs, all of my TiVo's have been very reliable and short of mother board failure and with the help of kind people from this site I can fix it myself if need be, and have!
Using your numbers after 33 months the PLS has paid for itself and now your ahead of the games each day forward.
My TiVo HD with PLS looks and works like new, PLS has paid for itself, my Premiere with PLS will pay for itself soon and I'm content with $99 yearly on my Roamio, for now, always looking for a deal.....
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:15 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by sakaike View Post
As someone who has owned 7-8 Tivos since the original S1, and almost all of them with lifetime, let me turn the question around: Is there any scenario in which NOT purchasing lifetime makes sense? The only one I can think of is cash flow. If you don't have the $400 in hand at the time of purchase, maybe you go with monthly while you save up the money and then pull the trigger.

Other than that, it's not clear to me why anyone would NOT get lifetime. Anyone care to share any scenarios in which going monthly (even with MSD) makes sense?
There are a lot of scenarios. I only had my premiere for 2 years. Would have been awful if I had lifetime'd it. My S3 I used for like 8 years I think, and I didn't lifetime it, but for most of those years it was 6.99 a month due to the old MSD price.

I only lifetime'd my Roamio because I was getting a steep discount on the box + service due to the Advisers Panel code.

There are lots of reasons not to lifetime.

In general, technologies flip every 2-3 years. TiVo is smart. They aren't putting the lifetime price such that it's an obvious "do it" or "never do it." They are putting it right in that range where, on average, they come out the same selling you a lifetime or selling you monthly. People get paid a lot of money to do that math.

Most of you who have lifetime'd a bunch of TiVo's and bought each generation are not making your money back... because without the lifetime, you would have retired old TiVos. Those of you who lifetime a few of them and keep them for a really long time (frequently skipping generations), probably are.

edit: When I ran the numbers for myself and my lifestyle and the value of the up-front payment (i.e. what else could I do with that cash? What is my future uncertainty, etc), I came out with a lifetime requiring a break even of about 24-28 months. Anything more than that, and it's not worth it. Anything less, and it's an automatic slam dunk. Anything in between 24-28 comes down to just personal preference at the time.
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:16 PM   #38
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Its not a 1 year warranty if you buy the three year plan.

With out Lifetime service on your Roamio its not worth what you paid for it. Why would anyone buy your used TiVo at the price you paid for it when they can get a new one for the same price or cheaper.
With Lifetime service on it your TiVo now has resale value, you might not get back all you have into it but you may get back enough to knock a chunk out of the next new thing.
This is such a silly thing to say. It's true regardless of if you bought a lifetime. Both boxes lose value... if you buy a lifetime, you lose value on the hardware AND the lifetime. If you just buy hardware, you only lose money on the hardware.
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:33 PM   #39
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There are a lot of scenarios. I only had my premiere for 2 years. Would have been awful if I had lifetime'd it. My S3 I used for like 8 years I think, and I didn't lifetime it, but for most of those years it was 6.99 a month due to the old MSD price.
That ignores re-sale value. If you have no desire to sell stuff on eBay, then sure, Monthly was a good choice for you on the Premiere.

Assuming a 2-tuner Premiere, worst case, it would have had a re-sale value of at least $300. You would have paid $99-$149 for it with $399 MSD. After 2 years of $12.99 MSD a month, you paid $311.76 in service. Ignoring the cost of the box since it is paid whether you get Monthly or MSD, the Lifetime box had a net cost of service of ~$88 after selling it.

As for the S3, after 8 years, you paid $671 in service. Lifetime would have cost $299 back then.
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:37 PM   #40
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Use case: Tivo premiere with lifetime is around 300-350. Tivo premiere without is around 25. Driving the cost to zero in an analysis is not being fair to the residual value of the remaining asset life. So, the 400 dollar spend using plsr nets 275-325 compared with a monthly plan. I would think a roamio, being vastly superior, would hold value greater over time than a premiere.

But, people lease cars for long periods, purchase undercoating, and even buy insurance on every electronic gadget. To each their own.
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:25 PM   #41
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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.

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Old 03-10-2014, 04:10 PM   #42
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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.
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:09 PM   #43
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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.
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:13 PM   #44
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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.
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.
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:55 PM   #45
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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?
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Old 03-10-2014, 08:00 PM   #46
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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?
It was $39.99 for my Roamio pro.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:14 PM   #47
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Paid $30 for the 4 year warranty on a basic at Best buy.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:17 PM   #48
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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.

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Old 03-10-2014, 09:20 PM   #49
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I've been trying to understand why anyone would purchase Lifetime service of a Tivo Roamio (or for that matter any model Tivo) DVR. According to my calculations, it would take roughly 33 months to break even on the $500 cost of the Lifetime service considering that the monthly service fee is $14.95. From what I understand the Lifetime service is only good for the life of the individual machine. The warranty on a Tivo Roamio is one year. So what happens if your Tivo dies at 13 months? Are you just SOL? If so, it seems that you are taking a risk that the machine even last 33 months. It does not seem like a good deal to me. But maybe I'm missing something?
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.

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All valid points. I guess another problem I have with it, is that it locks you into the cable Tv company. Once you invest in a lifetime Tivo subscription, you are kind of locked into getting your television from the cable company and not free to move to a cheaper supplier. Which is, i guess, an entirely different argument.
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.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:24 PM   #50
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Paid $30 for the 4 year warranty on a basic at Best buy.
Has anyone ever had a unit replaced by a third party and had tivo transfer the lifetime to the new unit?

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Old 03-10-2014, 09:29 PM   #51
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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.
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Old 03-11-2014, 06:38 AM   #52
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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.
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.

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Old 03-11-2014, 07:11 AM   #53
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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.
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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.
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.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:43 AM   #54
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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.
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?
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:26 AM   #55
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Best Buy extended warranty

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

-Kevin
Yes, Best Buy a few weeks ago on a 3 year, 10 month old Premier. See post #11 in this thread, http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=514639.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:28 AM   #56
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Yes, Best Buy a few weeks ago on a 3 year, 10 month old Premier. See post #11 in this thread, http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=514639.
First congrats on the easy process and the upgrade!

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

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Old 03-11-2014, 11:13 AM   #57
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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.
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.

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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.
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.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:01 PM   #58
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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.
Replay TV went belly up, yet to lifetime owners of Replay TV the guide data is still available for the recorder to function.
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:33 PM   #59
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That ignores re-sale value. If you have no desire to sell stuff on eBay, then sure, Monthly was a good choice for you on the Premiere.

Assuming a 2-tuner Premiere, worst case, it would have had a re-sale value of at least $300. You would have paid $99-$149 for it with $399 MSD. After 2 years of $12.99 MSD a month, you paid $311.76 in service. Ignoring the cost of the box since it is paid whether you get Monthly or MSD, the Lifetime box had a net cost of service of ~$88 after selling it.
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.

Quote:
As for the S3, after 8 years, you paid $671 in service. Lifetime would have cost $299 back then.
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.
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:37 PM   #60
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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.
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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