Premiere - Lifetime - Breakdown repair?

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by RDK, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. RDK

    RDK Member

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    Oct 8, 2011
    When I purchased my Premiere a few months ago, I activated under the $10/month antenna promotion. Which I was fine with, since it would take more than 4 years to break even with a lifetime activation -- and I tend to not hold onto electronic gear that long anyway.

    But now that I've gone back to cable (OTA signal marginal at my home), my monthly Tivo rate will go up to $20. I emailed Tivo and they said I could upgrade to lifetime now ($499) instead of waiting until end of 12 month commitment period.

    At just over 2 years breakeven, I'm about ready to pull the trigger, but I have one reservation -- what if my Tivo breaks before then? As I understand it, the lifetime service only applies to the actual unit, so if it breaks, am I totally screwed? Or can it be repaired (such as by replacing the hard drive) without voiding the lifetime plan?

    (Speaking of hard drives - if I put in a larger hard drive at some point, will that void the lifetime plan?)
     
  2. RDK

    RDK Member

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    Oct 8, 2011
    Thanks - that does answer my question about hard drive replacement (either to expand capacity, or for repair), but how about the durability of Tivo units in general? Do they have a reputation for breakdown (for other than HD reasons)?

    I'd hate to pay for lifetime and then have it break.
     
  3. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    In ten years using TiVos I've never had a TiVo breakdown. Although I did replace a fan once that started to periodically make some noise.
     
  4. tomm1079

    tomm1079 Member

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    same here. Nothing major ever. With a tivo it is usually the fan or hard drive that dies.
     
  5. justen_m

    justen_m Cheesehead

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    aaronwt is the single person on earth who has never had any problem of any type ever occur on the tons of tivos he owns. So take what he says with a grain of salt.

    My dead Tivos say otherwise. But... My TivoHD with an upgraded drive has been running fine for a couple years, as has my refurb S2DT, which replaced A DEAD TIVO.
     
  6. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Series 2s and Series 3s are starting to see power supply problems due to faulty capacitors, although it's too soon to tell if this is going to be an S4 problem as well.

    See the wikipedia article on "capacitor plague" to learn what's behind it and how it's an industry wide problem.

    The good news is that S2 and S3 power supplies affected by this are fairly easy to spot and to fix at little cost.
     
  7. zalusky

    zalusky Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I have had Tivo for over ten years. I have had 8 different tivos. In all that time I had two hard drives go. One was in a cabinet with poor ventilation and the hard drive eventually cooked. The other one was on a series 3 that just got old. I replaced both hard drives one via instance cake and one via a replacement drive from weaknees.
    Fortunately I had the weaknees hard drive sitting around. I had ordered it and not used it a number of years earlier. I installed it and the system did an upgrade and I was back in business in less than two hours.

    Weakness has drives for premieres now. I haven't checked on instant cake style images.

    I would not worry just make sure the unit is in a well ventilated location.
     
  8. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

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    There's really only two things that will break: 1) hard drive (easily replaceable DIY style or you can buy a preformatted one) and 2) power supply (you can buy a new one of these as well).

    The premiere doesn't have a history of many complaints of power supply problems. You really can't predict hard drive failures (put it on a good UPS with battery backup though).

    In the past TiVo has been good about allowing you to replace a broken lifetime TiVo for a fee. They don't have to do this but generally they will allow you to do it once.
     
  9. Showtime

    Showtime New Member

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    My TIVO Premiere is about 2 years old. 2 days ago it started spontaneously rebooting with N33 error messages. My first call to TIVO resulted in a lengthy session during which we rebooted, checked SNR, etc. Finally the guy said try running it for a day disconnected from cable and Internet to see if it's a problem with the box. It was. The rebooting continued. I just got off the phone with another fellow who said my Premier is dead. Must say that I'm VERY disappointed.
     
  10. RDK

    RDK Member

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    Oct 8, 2011
    Are you planning to get a replacement from Tivo? Or repair it? Or something else?
     
  11. Showtime

    Showtime New Member

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    Nov 27, 2011
    If I understood the TIVO rep correctly, a replacement Premiere would cost me $150.
    A totally new one is $80, if I buy it tomorrow (plus the one year commitment).
    So I'll probably buy a new one.
    There's always the option of going with Time Warner's DVR.

    .
     
  12. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Even several of my DirecTV SD TiVos that have been running for almost 7 years and ten years straight are still working fine at my friends houses.
    All the TiVos I've owned have always been on a UPS, but my friends don't use any UPSs, although my girlfriend does with her two S3 TiVos I bought in 2006. No issue with hers either.

    The vast majority of people don't have problems with their TiVos. Of course with any electronic device there are going to be issues with a certain percentage. But so far I have not owned any of those TiVos.
     
  13. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

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    A replacement TiVo usually means they will transfer lifetime service to the new TiVo. Only getting a replacement TiVo through Tivo support allows this type of transfer.
     
  14. ducker

    ducker New Member

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    That's only if you're on a monthly plan where you would want to only pay $80...

    Otherwise if you have a lifetime on the unit, the fact that they will transfer it over to a new unit for $150 isn't bad.

    I bought a S2 single tuner some 8 years ago - upgraded the HD - and then reverted it back to the original one again -- no problems with this box ever.

    I just upgraded my Premiere box last weekend. Love it. The warranty for your Tivo is 90 days - but from what I've seen here, they are pretty good in terms of supporting their hardware when it is an issue that comes up with their hardware within the first year (as hardware should NOT be failing inside of a year)
     
  15. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    I have four Tivo's and my first, a Series 2 single tuner purchased in 2003, is still working fine. I've only had one issue and that was with my Tivo HD and Tivo replaced the box for free even though it was just outside of the warranty.

    But as many here have already said, most issues are from hard drive failures and that is easy to replace. Even if the issue were something other than the hard drive, they're still worth fixing if they a lifetime. At least until the technology greatly improves.
     
  16. ltxi

    ltxi New Member

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    TiVo since December 2000 and that first, upgraded early Sony 2000 with lifetime is still running happily in my basement as my basis for legacy MSD pricing. Been through maybe a dozen boxes or less since then and the only real failure I've had was a drive on a DTS2 about four or five years ago. Early units had drive, modem, and power supply failures. Plus a few motherboards went south. Current stuff hardware issues seem to be only hard drive failures.
     

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