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Old 01-01-2013, 04:04 PM   #1
telstar
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HD TiVo - "Forgot" its Lifetime Subscription / Account Status

A couple days ago I experienced a problem with my five-year old HD TiVo with Lifetime subscription. I went to watch something I'd expected it to record that morning, only to find that it hadn't been recorded. So I clicked around the TiVo menus and saw that my TiVo seemed to have forgotten it was a "lifetime" device. I saw a message saying that my account was expired or cancelled (I forget the exact terminology). I also saw that the menus shown to be were limited to a very restricted set of options. I'm assuming this is what people see when they don't have a paid subscription for their device or lifetime service on their device.

So I tested my network connectivity. The test was successful. I tried a service-connection to refresh my program data, and this failed. I logged into the website, and the website showed my device as correctly having lifetime service. So I rebooted my device completely - and only then did it register as having service. Again, I forced a connection to download the program data - and when I did that, it correctly downloaded the new data.

Next, I checked my season passes. Every one of them showed up as "None Scheduled". Apparently when my device lost track of its subscription, it stopped checking when to record season passes. I re-ordered the list by moving one item higher in priority assuming this would force the TiVo to re-schedule everything - and this worked as I'd hoped.

If I look back at the Recording History I see a number of items listed as "Not Recorded" or "Won't Record" and when I check the details the TiVo says these items weren't recorded because "it was scheduled with a TiVo Plus service feature." with instructions on how to upgrade to TiVo Plus via their website.

From what I can tell - I'm back to normal, but I've never had a TiVo lose track of its subscription/lifetime service before. Has anyone experienced this before? Is it indicative of a one-time bad download, or a larger warning that this device may be near its end-of-life?
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telstar View Post
A couple days ago I experienced a problem with my five-year old HD TiVo with Lifetime subscription. I went to watch something I'd expected it to record that morning, only to find that it hadn't been recorded. So I clicked around the TiVo menus and saw that my TiVo seemed to have forgotten it was a "lifetime" device. I saw a message saying that my account was expired or cancelled (I forget the exact terminology). I also saw that the menus shown to be were limited to a very restricted set of options. I'm assuming this is what people see when they don't have a paid subscription for their device or lifetime service on their device.

So I tested my network connectivity. The test was successful. I tried a service-connection to refresh my program data, and this failed. I logged into the website, and the website showed my device as correctly having lifetime service. So I rebooted my device completely - and only then did it register as having service. Again, I forced a connection to download the program data - and when I did that, it correctly downloaded the new data.

Next, I checked my season passes. Every one of them showed up as "None Scheduled". Apparently when my device lost track of its subscription, it stopped checking when to record season passes. I re-ordered the list by moving one item higher in priority assuming this would force the TiVo to re-schedule everything - and this worked as I'd hoped.

If I look back at the Recording History I see a number of items listed as "Not Recorded" or "Won't Record" and when I check the details the TiVo says these items weren't recorded because "it was scheduled with a TiVo Plus service feature." with instructions on how to upgrade to TiVo Plus via their website.

From what I can tell - I'm back to normal, but I've never had a TiVo lose track of its subscription/lifetime service before. Has anyone experienced this before? Is it indicative of a one-time bad download, or a larger warning that this device may be near its end-of-life?

Sounds more like the database servers at TiVo, Inc., are near the end of their lives, 'cause every time the TiVo phones home it tells them it's TSN and gets it's account status told to it in return.

If TiVo had been smart they'd have included a "wait a minute, I was PLS'ed just before this call, are you sure I'm cut off?" sub-routine to avoid accidents like this.
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:27 PM   #3
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Could be a one time thing.

Before this, had the Tivo been running a long time since it was last rebooted? Maybe things were getting stale within the software (if that is even possible?) and it took a reboot to clear things up.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:13 PM   #4
telstar
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Could be a one time thing.

Before this, had the Tivo been running a long time since it was last rebooted? Maybe things were getting stale within the software (if that is even possible?) and it took a reboot to clear things up.
Yeah, it'd definitely been awhile since a reboot. I don't know why that'd cause this though. Seems like it just got bad information from TiVo when it connected one day, and they don't have an elegant way to recover from the state it put my device into. I was fortunate that I caught it the day it happened.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:14 AM   #5
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This sounds more like a network issue. The fact that the forced connection did not work until reboot is the key. If it was not connecting for whatever reason, it will eventually think the subscription is cancelled. Even on PLS units. They have to phone home.

Does your tivo have a static ip address? I have seen this sort of behavior with units failing to request a renewal of the dhcp obtained ip address.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:05 AM   #6
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This sounds more like a network issue. The fact that the forced connection did not work until reboot is the key. If it was not connecting for whatever reason, it will eventually think the subscription is cancelled. Even on PLS units. They have to phone home.

Does your tivo have a static ip address? I have seen this sort of behavior with units failing to request a renewal of the dhcp obtained ip address.
Somewhere in sysinfo there's a field that amounts to "how long the current account status is good for". With monthly subs it's usually until the next payment is due plus about a week. And lifetimed units get that as well, but I'd think it'd run out of guide data first if the problem was a failure to connect with the mothership, so I'm leaning towards connected and got lied to by a server database screwup.

But better to have a static IP no matter what else is going on. One thing fewer to go wrong.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:12 AM   #7
telstar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcthorne View Post
This sounds more like a network issue. The fact that the forced connection did not work until reboot is the key. If it was not connecting for whatever reason, it will eventually think the subscription is cancelled. Even on PLS units. They have to phone home.

Does your tivo have a static ip address? I have seen this sort of behavior with units failing to request a renewal of the dhcp obtained ip address.
It was connecting - just the one time I tried the connection it failed part-way through the guide-data download. And I saw that it still had its IP address (dynamic) - but perhaps there was an issue with DHCP and its assigned IP address.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:30 AM   #8
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That is the problem. Tivo does not do a good job of keeping the IP address lease up to date with your router. Setting a static IP eliminates the problem. As the Tivo does not move, there is no downside.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:00 AM   #9
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I had the same issue with my TIVO HD yesterday, and called TIVO support. I noticed on the Account Information screen under service level, it read "A:-".

I didn't recall seeing this before- thought there was a numerical value.

TIVO support had me reconnect to the service twice in succession, and then restart the box. Once that was completed, everything was back to normal.
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