Originally Posted by Naryator 509
Bought a new series 2 and also bought a used series 2 with life time subscription. Can I put the hard drive from the used unit with life time subscription in the new unit so the new unit will be lifetime insted of the used unit?
The lifetime subscription, known as Product Lifetime Service, is tied to a number called the TiVo Service Number.
TiVo maintains a database of which TSNs have had PLS purchased for them.
When the TiVo contacts the TiVo servers for program guide updates and such, it reports its TSN to TiVo and is told what its account status is.
If it does not have PLS and the subscription has been cancelled or allowed to lapse, the TiVo will be told that, and it will quit doing or allowing a lot of what could previously be done, like recording, transferring shows, etc.
So, how does the TiVo know what its TSN is?
The way the human owner knows is to look at the sticker on the back, but the way the TiVo itself knows is that there is an integrated circuit, or IC, commonly referred to as a chip, on the motherboard with that number stored on it in a way that cannot be erased once written. You'll see it referred to as the "crypto chip".
Why am I telling you this?
If the first 3 numbers of the model number of both of those S2s are the same, like say TCD240, or TCD649, then if the motherboard on the lifetimed one dies, someone who knows what they're doing working with surface mount devices (SMD) can unsolder the crypto chip from it and solder it onto the other motherboard, and it will now report itself to TiVo as the one with the number which has PLS.
This is not something you ever want to do unless it is absolutely necessary.
Also, PLS or not, recordings made on a particular unit are tied to that unit's TSN, and even if you move the hard drive, they won't play back on the other one just because the model numbers are the same.