Lifetime vs. Monthly?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by michael1248, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. michael1248

    michael1248 Member

    Feb 14, 2002
    As a TiVo purist since my very first Series One (still in my basement and probably destined for a museum!) I always purchased a lifetime service plan for my subsequent generations of TiVos.

    However, I've noticed over the last few years that the newer generations of TiVos seem to be breaking down sooner. I've also noticed that a lot of folks tout the virtues of a monthly plan a $14.99 vs lifetime service.

    Just curious what today's conventional wisdom is on these boards...
  2. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    Lifetime when buying a unit during a sale. Always use a UPS. Things last longer.
  3. ajwees41

    ajwees41 Well-Known Member

    May 7, 2006
    avaddict and CloudAtlas like this.
  4. razor237

    razor237 Member

    Feb 1, 2002
    Jackson, NJ
    I've always liked Lifetime and i have kept most of my boxes for a long time so it was worth it. recently i got the bolt vox and decided against it for the fact that its possible in the next few years my Cable company could switch to IPTV so with some uncertainty i decided to do the monthly thing for a while to see what happens
  5. gigaquad

    gigaquad Tivo Image Master

    Oct 25, 2004
    For me when I switched off of my Series 2 machines (6 boxes, all lifetime) to Roamios I wasn't all that sure that Tivo would keep supporting hardware much longer. So I went monthly on 4 tivos. They just said something about getting out of the hardware business last month or the month before so it looks like I was right.
  6. ah30k

    ah30k Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    The 'getting out of the hardware business' can be easily misconstrued... They are getting out of the hardware manufacturing business, not getting out of the retail sales business. If you remember in the early days the boxes were made and branded by Philips. TiVo did the software and let others do the hardware. That is the model they are getting back to with 'unnamed vendor A' making the boxes going forward.
    Mikeguy likes this.
  7. ah30k

    ah30k Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    I've always gotten lifetime and kept my boxes running well for the long term right up until... it didn't. It is a gamble. I had a lightning strike that whacked a lifetime unit that could not be fixed (the surge passed into the unit through the HDMI cable as was obvious from the burn marks).
  8. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    Feb 4, 2008
    Who is claiming the boxes are less reliable? There is not any data to support that. Older boxes were more susceptible to capacitor problems in their power supplies. If anything, with a modular power supply their reliability has increased.
    slowbiscuit and CloudAtlas like this.
  9. Barnstormer

    Barnstormer Member

    Sep 23, 2015
    My Roamio boxes work fine. Lifetime service, while expensive has now past the break even point for both machines. Every month spend the fees on wine, women and song, rather than giving it to Tivo. Life is good.
  10. razor237

    razor237 Member

    Feb 1, 2002
    Jackson, NJ
    most of my Tivo hardware has been extremely reliable , i had a psu cap go bad replaced it and all good and two or maybe 3 HD's over the years one of the boxes is still going today at a friends house. i have two Roamios with lifetimes still chugging along. so lifetime service has treated me well and saved me lots of money over the years. The bolt is the first box i opted not to get it on and may still wind up getting it only if they still had the 99 dollar transfers haha
  11. chicagobrownblue

    chicagobrownblue Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    My Roamio, purchased shortly after they came out, is still working fine. It is on a battery backup and a coax surge protector. I did upgrade to a larger 3TB hard drive which is still working. I paid at least two years of pre-paid annual before paying $99 to upgrade to lifetime.

    There were some complaints about user upgraded hard drives in the original Bolt overheating. When the 6-tuner Bolt with a 3TB drive came out in black, the overheating issue gave me pause. Oh, and the very high price.

    Maybe there will be a new Tivo this September, but I'm not holding my breath.
  12. avaddict

    avaddict Member

    Nov 23, 2014
    Do they not allow a lifetime transfer when hardware is moved to a new owner?

    Regarding monthly vs lifetime...
    I'd like to see a lifetime promotion. But I do not see the company yielding any subscription revenue for the purpose of selling more hardware based on the nature of the promotions this year, such as these very weak cross promotional efforts. Do others think they will discount the lifetime sub again?
  13. longrider

    longrider Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Oct 26, 2017
    Elizabeth, CO
    A lifetime absolutely transfers when you sell a DVR to a new owner. What the $99 transfer was referring to was at one time you could replace hardware and transfer your lifetime service for a $99 fee
    razor237 and avaddict like this.
  14. dstoffa

    dstoffa Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    New York, NY
    I am a fan of lifetime. I buy my cars, not lease them. It is indeed a gamble, but one I was willing to take based on MTBF and the break-even point.

    I once had a ReplayTV that suffered a lightning strike. It fried the modem, and once it rebooted, it wouldn't start-up again. I was able to buy a used RTV, and move the lifetime EEPROM and the HD from the failed unit over to the used one (which was a cancelled monthly sub which I got for a song) and presto.. I was back up and running. I had confidence that I could repair it and not lose my investment. So in that regards, I will always go-large and go-lifetime.

    However, newer technologies would scare me off a bit here. While repairing a unit is one thing, ensuring it's useable (IPTV, ATSC 3.0) is something very different. That would be the only reason I don't go all-in anymore.
    razor237 likes this.
  15. mschnebly

    mschnebly Active Member

    Feb 21, 2011
    So you're saying that now you're just a leach on the TiVo tit? :)
    jrtroo likes this.
  16. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Los Angeles
    "leach" is a verb. The noun is "leech". Also, way to mix a disgusting metaphor! :)
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
    mschnebly likes this.
  17. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    I would always choose lifetime, unless monthly went down to like $5/month or something. It's a gamble, and my S3 OLED died at around the break even point..

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