Our old TiVos - any likely value? LT Subscription? Tivos we might consider today?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by TrinaLC, Dec 25, 2015.

  1. TrinaLC

    TrinaLC Charleston, SC

    Sep 25, 2002


    We are trying to get rid of "stuff". We have too much "stuff".

    Included in our stuff are two older TiVos - probably from 15 or so years ago. Maybe 20.

    At one point we had a lifetime subscription. I don't think it was tied to a particular unit, but I don't really know.

    How can I find out if there is any value associated with these? If we had a LT subscription tied to one - does that mean anything anymore?

    And on a related point - since we are now shedding stuff, we can get more stuff!

    We are on Comcast - is there any TiVo unit that can replace the useless one that Comcast provides? Even though I haven't used TiVo in many many years, I still miss it! (Would that old lifetime subscription come in handy here?
  2. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

    Aug 2, 2003
    Lifetime subscriptions are tied to the units, except in the case of DirecTV-specific TiVos, TTBOMK.

    An old TiVo with Lifetime should still work, even with modern digital cable -- you'd use it to control a cable box -- as long as you were content with standard definition (and slow channel changing, and continuing to rent a box from the cable company). Or, you might be able to use it (depending on the model) with an off-the-air antenna and converter box, if that interests you.

    Some very old TiVos may (?) still allow for the Lifetime service to be transferred to a newer unit. Or, you could sell it (for a very small amount of money) to someone else. But a pre-Premiere TiVo without Lifetime has no value whatsoever now, except for parts.

    And yes, TiVo absolutely has modern units that can fully replace your Comcast-supplied DVR.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2015
  3. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Well-Known Member

    May 10, 1999
    I wouldn't bother with anything older than a Roamio.

    Cable is all digital now, so old analog Tivos can only record at all by controlling a digital cable box with IR blaster and recording the analog output, and the recording quality is relatively terrible compared to just directly recording incoming digital data.

    Even the series 3 / TivoHD digital units are going obsolete with Comcast starting to switch over to MPEG-4 for most channels. I just had to replace my mother's TivoHD with a new Bolt. I just recycled my old Tivos at Best Buy. Maybe you could get $30 on ebay for an old Tivo for someone repurposing it for something like recording a feed from a security camera.

    I use a Roamio plus, it's quite nice on Comcast. You can access Xfinity on demand using the Tivo. Has commercial skip on some shows now, quick play mode (play shows 30% faster, albeit with somewhat distorted sped up audio), streams to iOS and android devices both on local network and over internet. Bit pricy though, $299 for a 500Mb Bolt, $399 for 1TB, and $399 for lifetime (now called "all-in pricing", on sale from $599). I wouldn't pay the $599 for lifetime but on sale I thought it was just worth buying in long run considering how long my TivoHDs lasted before they went obsolete. Alternatives are $150/year or $15/month. First year of service is included on the Bolt.
  4. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    On non-DirecTV receiver TiVos, the lifetime sub is tied to the TiVo Service Number, which is on the sticker on the back where the AC power cord plugs in.

    Run the number by TiVo Customer Service and they can tell you the account status.

    If they aren't lifetimed and TiVo hasn't been billing someone's credit card every month without it being noticed by the cardholder (that has happened, by the way) then I assume service on these was discontinued some time ago, which means no one can subscribe them ever again, thanks to a recent policy change, so that makes them parts machine or boat anchors, pretty much.

    If one of them is a Series 1 Philips TiVo, with Product Lifetime Service purchased for it on or before January 20, 2000, that lifetime sub can be transferred one time to another TiVo.

    Otherwise, lifetime stays with the machine if it does have lifetime.

    Feel free to come back and satisfy my curiosity about what model number those units are (model number also can be found on that sticker).
  5. unixadm

    unixadm Super Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 1, 2001
    Georgia, USA


    I have a Sony SVR2000 I purchased used in 2001 and have a lifetime I purchased at the same time when I got it for my parents (upgraded drive and still works). My Dad has retired it and I have it sitting here at my house. Am I pretty much out of luck for transferring lifetime or for any value of it?
  6. Wil

    Wil Unknown Member

    Sep 26, 2002
    If you get a really nice CSR at a really nice time in his life he may be somewhat flexible about that date. In my personal experience close to four months.

    Try the call and ask, if you're that close. If NG be really polite but very quickly off the phone; you don't want any notes put on your account. Call again at a later time, and as often as you have the patience for. Don't argue or say other people have had it done; no notes!
  7. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

    Feb 22, 2001
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Yes, lifetime sub being tied to the unit (and the few exceptions) was already explained. You can try checking on your TiVo account (via their web site) to see what units exist under your account and what their subscription status is.

    As for 20 years ago, that's impossible. Per https://www3.tivo.com/jobs/questions/history-of-tivo/index.html, the company was founded in Aug 1997 and they didn't ship their first unit until March 1999.

    Series 1 thru 3 TiVos w/lifetime probably have a some value left to them w/Series 1 and 2 having little value. Those without it are worthless since you can't reactivate them anymore. See https://support.tivo.com/articles/Essential_Summary/TiVo-Payment-Plans-and-Policies under "No new plan available after current service plan expires".
  8. TrinaLC

    TrinaLC Charleston, SC

    Sep 25, 2002
    OP here.

    We actually only have one old TiVo (the other unit was something else). It is a Series 2, and whether or not that unit has lifetime I guess it really has no practical value.

    HOWEVER, we did have lifetime on an old DirecTV unit (we no longer have the unit) -- and evidently we are actually using that lifetime policy on a non TiVo DirecTV subscription - a non-TiVo branded Philips DVR.

    Does that seem right? My husband thinks that when we moved to our new house back in roughly 2007, the lifetime service was activated for this DVR.

    The DVR is not digital though ... we probably should look into upgrading.

    So - I guess I need to figure out if there is an upgraded (digital) DirectTV unit that will continue to use the lifetime, and then look into the Roamio for the cable unit. (We only have DirecTV for the Sunday ticket. Don't ask :)
  9. LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

    Jul 24, 2001
    Milwaukee, WI
    No. Lifetime subscriptions are permanently tied to the specific piece of hardware being subscribed. You can't "use" a Lifetime subscription from one device on another device.
  10. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Are you certain? I seem to recall reading that DirecTiVos have their own rules that are in the hands of DirecTV and not TiVo.
  11. TrinaLC

    TrinaLC Charleston, SC

    Sep 25, 2002
    Certain older direcTiVos evidently were grandfathered ... we seem to have one of those as it is now running on a philips DVR associated with a DirecTV account
  12. unixadm

    unixadm Super Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 1, 2001
    Georgia, USA

    With DirectTV, it was different. If you had a lifetime sub on a a Sony T-60 or Philips DSR6000 early on, it was originally paid to Tivo and tied to the unit....then the terms changed and DirecTV took it over and switched the lifetime service to the account of the subscriber. In this type situation, the account itself will never pay a DVR fee as long as the account remains active, no matter what hardware you have on it. You can't transfer from one DirecTV account to another....it remains with the account. My DirecTV account says "lifetime DVR" even though I have no TiVos left on it.
  13. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

    Jul 6, 2002
    Nope, 2001 is too late, I know, I had the same model as you do in the past.
  14. jim1971

    jim1971 Member

    Oct 11, 2015

    * Anything older than a premiere is not supposed to work for much of anything useful after Comcast goes to MPEG4. You might get locals, or so they say, but what good is that if you're paying for Comcast?

    * Owning a multi-tuner Tivo DVR with minis throughout the house can pay for themselves over time. It depends on your initial buy-in cost vs your current rental expense. If your old devices are lifetime, then you're a longtime tivo customer. There is a chance you can buy new equipment at a lower than retail price directly from Tivo. How many months of rental savings will it take to cover the cost of the equipment from Tivo? It's worth a phone call and some persistence. Ask to talk to a supervisor if the rep you get first isn't agreeable and you think you might have a chance in hades of getting a cheap buy-in. Be ready to buy if you get a good offer as the offer might have a lifetime that ends when you hang up the phone.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2015
  15. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    I'm not sure if any of the Sony TiVos were even available for purchase until after the "grandfather clause" cutoff date of January 20, 2000.
  16. jlb

    jlb Go Pats!

    Dec 13, 2001
    Burlington, VT
    Not 100% true. As you allude, not all channels will be switched to MPEG-4, and that should be just the locals. I am one of the few (it seems) that just subscribes to the locals (at $10/mo) and my TiVoHD will continue to work fine going forward (failures aside).
  17. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Well-Known Member

    Apr 27, 2002
    That's true, the only hope would be TiVo makes a mistake and allows a transfer anyway.
  18. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    Actually there are people still using S2 TiVo's -- they post here occasionally. There are still some cable systems (e.g., TWC in SW Ohio) that broadcast analog versions of channels below 100, which S2's can tune directly. But no Comcast systems AFAIK. And eventually no system will be sending analog.

    Also there is at least some hope that Series 3 TiVo HD models (652xxx and 658xxx) could receive a software update to enable them to record Comcast MPEG4 channels -- see this thread:
    In particular see post #22 of that thread, which makes this seem plausible.

    But the overriding fact remains: The only way you will get a subscription on a S2 or S3 TiVo is if it already has lifetime service and it is transferred to, or already on, your TiVo account.

    OP, don't bother guessing or trying to remember -- simply call TiVo support and find out the status of any TiVo's on your account.
  19. Clarity5

    Clarity5 New Member

    Dec 31, 2015
    Been lurking here on and off for years, but never posted...

    I actually have a Series 2 from 2007. Still works great, and when we moved I had difficulty getting an SD box from cable (optimum) and tried to run it through a HD box, and it wouldn't work. However, my SD box eventually died recently, and I gave it another try with another brand HD, and it works fine - including the pay channels.

    I was actually back here trying to figure out what new tivo to buy, because I know it's eventually going to come down to incompatible equipment, but I'm ok for now, and I am on the fence with the Bolt so I'll see what comes out next yr. I also saw from the Q&A thread that Series 1-3 will not be shut out, but new service can't be started on a box without lifetime.

    Thought I'd throw in my 2 cents...
  20. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    You should be aware that you might likely qualify for deals on either a Roamio with lifetime for $400 or a Roamio Pro with lifetime for $600. You have to call and ask for those deals.

    So far the Bolt's price has held pretty well and lifetime is allot more money now. I did read someone say they were offered a special deal on a Bolt with lifetime for $700 (current price would be $900) but haven't seen much more about it since then.

Share This Page

spam firewall