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Old 10-16-2013, 10:07 AM   #1
imacericg
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Lifetime or Monthly?

Looking to buy the Roamio Basic in Feburary (when my DirectTV contract expires) and we are going 100% OTA to save money.

I can't decide if I should by the Lifetime subscription, or Monthly. Here is my thinking:

Lifetime:
- No monthly bills
- Better resale value
- Can keep it forever

Monthly:
- No huge $499 payment upfront
- Easier to upgrade to new Tivo/not feeling stuck with current box

Looks like I would need to keep the Tivo for 33 months for the lifetime to payoff. I think its doable, I just can't seem to swallow the $499 part.

What does everyone think?
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:11 AM   #2
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lifetime.

I think the resale makes upgrading easier, so would cut that from your monthly "pro".

it is shorter than the 33 months- you did not figure in the resale value.
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:24 AM   #3
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Absolutely lifetime, you will not regret in the long run.

You have the pros and cons down pretty well, I will add a con before the peanut gallery jumps in…

The lifetime stays with the box and if your box dies, you loose the lifetime service. Now to answer that complaint…

You are going with the Roamio Basic; historically the things that go wrong with the TiVo’s are the hard drive and the power supply. On the Basic the power supply is an external brick and the hard drive on the Roamio line is simple plug and play replacement.

The thing is practically bullet proof at that point – sooo… If you can swing the investment, the lifetime is the best way to go.


Another point I would like to make, they just came out with the Roamio, so your ability to get three years of service before you even have the opportunity to upgrade is very good.
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:37 AM   #4
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Thanks guys! For resale, it looks like most people get most of the Lifetime Subscription back. So if I bought Roamio Basic + Lifetime, I could ask for $500ish in 2-3 years. Right?

Think the resale is the biggest factor? So instead of giving monthly payments to TiVo, I get a majority of it back in resale?
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:03 AM   #5
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Get Lifetime and use the PLSR(or is it PSLR) code to get lifetime for only $399. I know it has been around for years and I used it recently with lifetime for my Roamio Pro.
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:08 AM   #6
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Yes, lifetime all the way, you'll get most of the value of the lifetime service back. You'll probably get $300-$400 or so back in 3 years. Depends on the market as well though. I live locally near TiVo so the resale value is probably not as good as if you were in an area that isn't as saturated.

I have always bought the units when they were first released. Recently, sold my original 40 hour Premiere with Lifetime for $300. Probably could have gotten a bit more if I was patient, but just wanted to unload it quickly.

Ended up paying $840 or so for the Roamio Plus + Lifetime ($400 + tax for unit + $400 Lifetime for multi-unit discount). Two weeks in, I realized that a lot of TiVo employees were unloading their "gifted" units. I picked up a Roamio Plus with "evaluation" status lifetime service for $650. Returned my other unit to Best Buy.
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:14 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post
Get Lifetime and use the PLSR(or is it PSLR) code to get lifetime for only $399. I know it has been around for years and I used it recently with lifetime for my Roamio Pro.
I think PLSR is old, and doesn't work anymore
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:23 AM   #8
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I think PLSR is old, and doesn't work anymore
Find a friend that's willing to place an order for you on their account. I've done it in the past for my other friends. Good luck.
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by imacericg View Post
I think PLSR is old, and doesn't work anymore
Nope....it still works. I used it not more than a month ago on my Roamio Plus.

BTW....for what it's worth, if you really plan on keeping the Tivo.....go lifetime. When I look back at my last 8 years of paying monthly for my TivoHD at $12.95/month....that's over $1200 in monthly fees.....it was a no brainer for me to invest in the lifetime for my Plus.

Also, and I know this is hotly debated, but I chose to purchase the Tivo extended warranty since I was going lifetime. For $40 bucks (that's less than a dinner out with the family) I felt more comfortable having it incase anything goes wrong. Yes it's a once and done, and yes people say Tivo will work with you if you unit fails and you don't have a warranty, but I feel better being able to say for the next 3 years that Tivo will replace it for free and transfer the lifetime to the new unit.

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Old 10-16-2013, 11:50 AM   #10
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Nope....it still works. I used it not more than a month ago on my Roamio Plus.

BTW....for what it's worth, if you really plan on keeping the Tivo.....go lifetime. When I look back at my last 8 years of paying monthly for my TivoHD at $12.95/month....that's over $1200 in monthly fees.....it was a no brainer for me to invest in the lifetime for my Plus.

Also, and I know this is hotly debated, but I chose to purchase the Tivo extended warranty since I was going lifetime. For $40 bucks (that's less than a dinner out with the family) I felt more comfortable having it incase anything goes wrong. Yes it's a once and done, and yes people say Tivo will work with you if you unit fails and you don't have a warranty, but I feel better being able to say for the next 3 years that Tivo will replace it for free and transfer the lifetime to the new unit.

-Kevin
Thanks Kevin. Can you get PLSR to work on Roamio Basic? Can you share a screenshot? I could be messing it up.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:00 PM   #11
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Thanks Kevin. Can you get PLSR to work on Roamio Basic? Can you share a screenshot? I could be messing it up.
No idea if it's model specific. I had a TivoHD on my account as well as an old lifetime'd series 2 (that was long since used). I initially added the Roamio Plus to my account on a monthly plan.

Before switching to lifetime I was doing research and testing what my price would be. I tried both using my MSD, which did give me it for $399, and also the PLSR code, which also gave me the $399 option. I didn't add lifetime until a few days after when I went back and used just the PLSR code.

Looking at my receipts, they don't list any code used.....just the $399.

Is it not taking the code? Do you already have the Tivo on your account at monthly. Someone else would have to chime in....but I've read places where that code is for existing customers, so maybe you need to have the Tivo on your account as monthly first and then switch?!? You have 30 days to decide once activating the device.

-Kevin
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:12 PM   #12
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After reading some old posts, it seems that most people can't get the PLSR code to work if you are ordering a Tivo and service at the same time from Tivo.com. Not sure if that's what you are trying to do.

I bought my Tivo from Best Buy.....so I had to activate separately.

-Kevin
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:23 PM   #13
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After reading some old posts, it seems that most people can't get the PLSR code to work if you are ordering a Tivo and service at the same time from Tivo.com. Not sure if that's what you are trying to do.

I bought my Tivo from Best Buy.....so I had to activate separately.

-Kevin
I have the DirectTV Tivo, which Tivo won't consider the Roamio as an additional device. I think I might buy it first, then activate it trying to use PLSR.

I am 90% sold on Lifetime, now I just need to sell the boss (wife).
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:36 PM   #14
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+1 for lifetime. I bought squaretrade warranty as well on amazon since I upgraded HD (voiding the TiVo warranty).
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:36 PM   #15
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I have the DirectTV Tivo, which Tivo won't consider the Roamio as an additional device. I think I might buy it first, then activate it trying to use PLSR.

I am 90% sold on Lifetime, now I just need to sell the boss (wife).
Yeah, I'd buy it and try to activate it using the code. If it still won't let you, then activate it on monthly. Wait until it's in your account and use the link to "select a future plan". This is how I did it.

Just tell the wife you plan on keeping it for years and it pays off in the end. That and cook dinner tonight Once I told my wife we paid $1200 over the last 8 years she was sold on dropping even the $499....the $399 was even better!

-Kevin
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:40 PM   #16
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Great news! The wife approved the Lifetime Subscription! Thank you everyone for your assistance!


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Old 12-10-2013, 09:53 PM   #17
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I recently bought the new Roamio basic model for $149 last week and got a monthly subscription. I read this forum and used the PLSR promotional code to get $100 off a lifetime subscription and it worked. They refunded the $14.99 I paid for this month so I got a lifetime subscription for $385. So in 26 months I break even thanks for the code.
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:34 AM   #18
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Great news! The wife approved the Lifetime Subscription! Thank you everyone for your assistance!
Good choice! Owning is better than renting, and unlike with 'living space', Tivo's don't need expensive maintenance. If you can afford the upfront lifetime payment, it's a no brainer.
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:44 AM   #19
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Good choice! Owning is better than renting, and unlike with 'living space', Tivo's don't need expensive maintenance. If you can afford the upfront lifetime payment, it's a no brainer.
On the other hand, I've (sadly) found that the life of a TiVo unit is not that much more than 3 years. Both my old TiVo HD's died almost exactly 3 years after being put into service. So the monthly fees added up to about what lifetime would have cost, so its kind of a wash. I'm not convinced paying the monthly fees upfront via the lifetime charge is so compelling ...
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:01 AM   #20
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On the other hand, I've (sadly) found that the life of a TiVo unit is not that much more than 3 years. Both my old TiVo HD's died almost exactly 3 years after being put into service. So the monthly fees added up to about what lifetime would have cost, so its kind of a wash. I'm not convinced paying the monthly fees upfront via the lifetime charge is so compelling ...
--
bc
You have had a bad experience as most TiVo will last over 10 years with a one hard drive change, both my married kids have some old TiVos Series 2 from 2005 and their running great for analog only as their cable system still has analog.

Some on this forum are still using the Series 1 TiVo from 1998 !!
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:10 AM   #21
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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.
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:13 AM   #22
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I'm not convinced paying the monthly fees upfront via the lifetime charge is so compelling.
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.
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:14 AM   #23
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You have had a bad experience as most TiVo will last over 10 years with a one hard drive change, both my married kids have some old TiVos Series 2 from 2005 and their running great for analog only as their cable system still has analog.

Some on this forum are still using the Series 1 TiVo from 1998 !!
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).
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:10 PM   #24
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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.
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Old 12-11-2013, 05:35 PM   #25
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On the other hand, I've (sadly) found that the life of a TiVo unit is not that much more than 3 years. Both my old TiVo HD's died almost exactly 3 years after being put into service. So the monthly fees added up to about what lifetime would have cost, so its kind of a wash. I'm not convinced paying the monthly fees upfront via the lifetime charge is so compelling ...
--
bc
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.
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:23 PM   #26
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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.
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.
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:22 AM   #27
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Plsr

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.
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Old 12-12-2013, 03:28 AM   #28
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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.
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:18 PM   #29
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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.
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:14 PM   #30
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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.
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