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Old 07-29-2014, 09:22 PM   #1
jumprun3
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Lifetime Service Transfer Question

I bought a used Toshiba Series 2 DVR at a swap meet. When I powered it up, the System Information screen says the TiVo account is in good standing. It also says call their service number since the machine hadn't logged on in a long time.

Since I'm not the original owner, and don't know who he/she is, and I've never had a TiVo subscription, can I get a free account in my name and receive the TiVo service?
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:19 PM   #2
Chris Gerhard
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My guess is when it calls home, it will show no service and give you a number to call to buy service but unless you have analog cable, I don't think you will want to bother with it. If in fact it does have lifetime service, you can just use it or contact TiVo to get the service in your name. It still won't be worth much unless you have analog cable.

What is the service status shown? Should be a number.
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:44 PM   #3
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I was told by TiVo that lifetime service can be transferred without the authorization of the previous owner. All it has to do is connect from your zipcode.
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Gerhard View Post
My guess is when it calls home, it will show no service and give you a number to call to buy service
Yep. This Tivo does not have lifetime service if the system info screen says TiVo Account Status 3: Account In Good Standing. If it had lifetime it would say 5: Product Lifetime Service
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Old 07-30-2014, 01:03 AM   #5
jumprun3
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The info screen does indeed say "Account Status 3: Account in good standing".

So you're saying it's NOT lifetime service?
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Old 07-30-2014, 01:35 AM   #6
squint
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If it has lifetime, it will say 5: Product Lifetime Service. You should let it phone home. Someone may have purchased the lifetime upgrade for it. Another possibility is that they have an annual plan and purchased lifetime service which doesn't start until the annual plan ends.

The easiest thing to do might be to chat online with TiVo customer service. They can see the account history of the TiVo.
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:30 PM   #7
scandia101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squint View Post
If it has lifetime, it will say 5: Product Lifetime Service.
Why hasn't someone already said this?

Quote:
Someone may have purchased the lifetime upgrade for it. Another possibility is that they have an annual plan and purchased lifetime service which doesn't start until the annual plan ends.
Not even remotely likely.
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:49 PM   #8
squint
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scandia101 View Post
Why hasn't someone already said this?
Someone did but the OP seemed like he didn't believe it the first time.

Quote:
Not even remotely likely.
Well, when I took up TiVo on the $99 lifetime offer for my original monthly Tivo HD, the lifetime plan was listed on my account as a future plan that would begin once my final month of the monthly plan finished. You wouldn't know this from just looking at the system information screen, which said my account was in good standing up until the day the lifetime service plan started.

It's not clear if the OP has allowed the TiVo to phone home. If it hasn't, it's possible the original owner bought lifetime service since the last time it called in. Unlikely, but not impossible.
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squint View Post

Well, when I took up TiVo on the $99 lifetime offer for my original monthly Tivo HD, the lifetime plan was listed on my account as a future plan that would begin once my final month of the monthly plan finished. You wouldn't know this from just looking at the system information screen, which said my account was in good standing up until the day the lifetime service plan started.

It's not clear if the OP has allowed the TiVo to phone home. If it hasn't, it's possible the original owner bought lifetime service since the last time it called in. Unlikely, but not impossible.
Apparently everything needs to be repeated here
Quote:
Originally Posted by scandia101
Not even remotely likely.
The chances that it has a current active subscription of any kind are practically zero much less it having a lifetime subscription added just before the owner unloaded the outdated obsolete piece of tech.
and explaining how it works doesn't change that fact.
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:13 PM   #10
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jumprun3,

You may want to consider that some TiVo software versions allow manually setting automatic recordings with no TiVo service when the account status is 3. If you allow it to connect, it will no longer be able to do this without TiVo service. I do not know if this is possible with a Series 2, but I do know it is possible with a Series 4 with some software versions.

Like this one:
http://miami.craigslist.org/pbc/ele/4545502017.html
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:22 PM   #11
heyted
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It still won't be worth much unless you have analog cable.
With Comcast, a Series 2 is fully compatible with all standard def encrypted digital channels using a standard def DTA.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:05 AM   #12
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Apparently all 3 of the Toshiba TiVo models, the DVD playback only SD-H400, and the DVD burner-featuring RS-TX20 and RS-TX60, have what is called TiVo Basic service which gives you 3 days worth of program listings and that's about it.


"TiVo Basic service is a complimentary version of the TiVo service available only on DVD integrated models from Toshiba and Pioneer. TiVo Basic service is not available on standalone TiVo DVRs.

No activation is necessary to use TiVo Basic features. By upgrading to TiVo Plus service, you will be able to use the additional features listed in the table below:"


http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/25


So you should have a sort of lifetime subscription on that machine already, but you'll have to contact TiVo Customer Service and give them the TiVo Service Number (look on back near where power cord enters), or TSN, for them to check to see if the account has ever been upgraded beyond that, and whether the upgrade was a by the month or year or 3 year deal, or lifetime.

Or you could just let it "phone home" and see what happens. You'd still have the TiVo Basic service.

That "lifetime" service, by the way, is for the lifetime of the unit itself, not the unit's owner.

We know some lifetime extension tricks and techiques around here if/when that Toshiba breaks down on you, so hang around, read old threads, learn stuff.
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