Tivo HD lifetime subscription transfer offer until Nov 8 - $199

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Koan, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. Zaphod

    Zaphod Member

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    Feb 17, 2003
    Des Moines,...

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    Sorry for the long message, but I'm really trying to wrap my head around this.

    I've got a Philips Series 1 that qualifies for the transfer. I'm pretty well convinced to do get the TivoHD, but I've got a few questions.

    First, on a technical front...

    I'd hate to get the TivoHD home and then have issues getting the cablecards working and potentially end up having to return it due to those issues. (If everything works okay I fully intend to keep it.) So, at what point should I actually call to transfer my lifetime? Before installing and configuring the cablecards, or after? Ideally I'm thinking I'd like to do it after so I can make sure everything is set up and working okay before I transfer. I'm afraid that if I transfer the lifetime first before settting up the HD, and if I have problems and end up needing to return the HD, will they transfer my lifetime back to my S1 and refund my $199?

    Regarding hard drive upgrades, I know this technically voids your warranty, but is there something on the unit that makes it obvious whether a unit was opened or not, like one of those "seal" stickers that you have to break or something? My thought is, as I've read in some other posts, I'd get it working first and then upgrade the hard drive myself and keep the old drive as a backup. But if I had trouble with the unit down the road that would otherwise be covered under warranty could I theoretically put the original drive back in and take/send it in for warranty service? Or would it be obvious that it had been opened? Also, what is the standard warranty on these anyway? 90 days? 1 year? 3 years?

    Now, on the subject of cost...

    Am I correct that I have these 2 options? On a side note, I will say that I have no interest in keeping my S1 once I get the HD, though down the road I may get an additional S2 or another HD, but not right away.

    1. Keep my S1 with the life sub for free (even though I don't care about the S1 anymore), buy the HD and pay $6.95/month for it under the MSD? Sometime down the road they may offer another lifetime transfer offer that I could use on another HD (or they might not).

    2. Buy the HD, transfer the sub for the $199 and just stop using my S1 (even though it's got a year free, I don't see me using it). BUT, with having transferred the S1 life sub to the HD, would I still be able to buy an S2 or another HD down the road and pay only the $6.95/mo on that under MSD?

    I'm really debating whether to bother to transfer the life sub or to just keep the S1 active for free and pay the $6.95/mo on the HD under MSD. Again, this is considering that I currently have no interest in keeping my S1 once I get the HD, but may down the road (another year minimum) want to add an S2 or another HD.

    Somebody tell me if you see any holes in my math.

    On a basic level, $199 to transfer the life sub vs. the $6.95/mo MSD fee gives about a 28 month payback. So if I have it 2.5 years I'm better off to do the lifetime transfer. Is that correct?

    BUT, going further and taking into account what I'm currently paying in fees for my cable company DVR, I can actually save money in the long run by buying the TivoHD and giving up my cable company DVR.

    Right now I pay a total of $15.90 for my cable company DVR (between the hardware rental and DVR "service" fee). The cable cards from them are $1.99 each. So I drop from $15.90/mo to $3.98, for a difference of $11.92.

    If I keep the S1 lifetime and do the $6.95/mo on the TivoHD, between that and my cablecard rental that's $10.93/mo, or $4.97 savings over what I'm paying for the cable company DVR. $299 for the purchase of the TivoHD, divided by the $4.97/mo savings is a paypack of 60 mo, or 5 years.

    If I transfer the lifetime sub, that's a total of $498 between the purchase and transfer fee for the TivoHD. My only monthly fee at that point would be the $3.98/mo cablecard rental, the savings mentioned above of $11.92/mo. So $498 divided by the $11.92/mo savings is a payback of 41 months, or about 3.5 years. After that I've got DVR service essentially totally free vs. what I'm paying now to use the cable company's DVR. Correct? (Oh, I have the cable company DVR because it is at least dual-tuner and HD capable, and until the TivoHD came out I couldn't justify the cost of a Series 3.)

    So it looks like transferring is the way to go assuming I will have for that 3.5 years. Do I interpret this all correctly? Again, any holes in my math?

    Thanks much!
     
  2. akitadog

    akitadog New Member

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    Jan 27, 2002
    SF Bay Area
    I also have an older S1, circa 2001. How do I find out whether this is a grandfathered unit?

    If so, this would be a no-cost transfer for the lifetime subscription?
     
  3. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    If you purchased lifetime for it on or before January 21, 2000 it's grandfathered for one no-cost transfer.
     
  4. Zaphod

    Zaphod Member

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    Feb 17, 2003
    Des Moines,...
    Sorry again folks for anything confusing here. This is a follow up to my last post about costs (a couple posts up). That previous analyis was all based on the fact that I didn't care to keep my S1 once I got the TivoHD. BUT, I reanalyzed supposing I did want to keep my S1 (I have a friend who wants to keep his so I thought I'd the analysis for his situation while I was working on mine). In that case I think I'm better off NOT to transfer. Again, am I off on my math here?

    Quick review, I currently pay $15.90/mo for my cable company DVR. By giving up the cable company DVR and going to TivoHD I drop that to $3.98/mo for cablecard rental for 2 cards.

    If I was keeping my S1 and I don't transfer, aren't I still at the 60 month payback on the TivoHD vs. the cable company DVR as mentioned in my previous post? ($3.98/mo cablecard rental + $6.95/mo for TivoHD under MSD = $10.93 or savings of $4.97/mo, $299 divided by $4.97/mo is about 60 months) The only difference from my previous post is whether I actually use the S1 or not. Then after the 60 month payback I'm still saving $4.97/mo for having 2 DVR's over having the cable company DVR along with my S1.

    Bu if I do transfer the lifetime, my S1 gets a free year. At $6.95/mo under MSD that's $83.40 worth of subs. BUT, after the first year I'd still be paying $6.95/mo for it. So that's essentially still the same $10.93/mo ($3.98 cable card rental for the HD, plus $6.95/mo to keep the S1 around), or again $4.97/mo savings over what I'm paying now for my cable company DVR. So we take $498 (purchase price plus transfer fee), subtract the 1 year free sub worth of $83.40 = $414.60. $414.60 divided by the $4.97/mo savings is payback of 83 months!!!

    Based on that (unless my math is off) the only reason here I might transfer is if I dump the S1 and replace it with a new S2 or another HD so I still have lifetime on a unit and qualify for the MSD on the 2nd device. But if I had a S2 that qualified that I wanted to keep around I think I'd be a fool to transfer the service.

    Seems in general, if you want to ADD the TivoHD and keep your existing Tivo long term, you're better off to NOT transfer the sub. If you are going to REPLACE your existing Tivo with the TivoHD and give away or sell the old Tivo, then you should transfer the sub (assuming you believe you'll have your HD for at least 2.5 years).

    Am I missing something?
     
  5. Stylin

    Stylin Stylish Jane Sixpack

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    Nope! I came to the same conclusion you did. PLUS, I predict that there will be other LT xfer opportunities in the future.

    captainstabbins reported that he was told that he could xfer LT back to the S2 if things didn't work out. TiVo is known for trying to accomadate their customers, so I certainly believe that they would do a backward transfer.

    TiVo's come with a 1 yr warranty. AFAIK, there is no "seal" to detect tampering. Most ppl sending in for warranty repair send it back with the orignal drive. You can buy an extended warranty from a retailer (CC or BB) or purchase with a credit card that extends the original warranty or purchase from Costco.
     
  6. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

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    There is nothing to transfer "back" because the actual transfer does not occur until the 30-day money back guarantee is over.
     
  7. Stylin

    Stylin Stylish Jane Sixpack

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    Dec 31, 2004
    NYC
    Well I've decided to do msd instead of the LTxfer. Now my decision lies between the S3 or TiVoHD. Usually more expensive denotes a better product, but I'm not so sure with the S3. I do like the OLED, but beyond that I don't really care for the THX, remote (have a harmony) or hd space (will upgrade regardless). I'm more concerned with the nuts and bolts of the machine. The only real difference I've read about is that the TiVoHD seems to have a larger onboard memory than the S3 - is this a really big deal? Basically I want to buy the more "future" ready machine regardless of cost (and looks). Based strictly on the nuts and bolts of the machine, which is better - the S3 or TiVoHD? Thks
     
  8. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

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    There are many other S3 vs. HD threads.
     
  9. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    There's the lifetime of the unit itself to consider; and while that usually can be extended almost indefinitely by using the "authorized service center" repair system, there's a growing likelihood at some point you won't want to be continuing to spend money to fix an older, less capable receiver, and at some point, too, it may no longer be possible to repair.

    Someone with an old series 1 or even a single tuner series 2 might do well to get lifetime off their units onto something with a longer useful life or at least something with a full set of TiVo features.
     
  10. JustAllie

    JustAllie Number crunchin' TCF Club

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    You are missing the potential effect of the lifetime subscription on the future resale value of your TiVoHD a few years down the road.

    You are missing the fact that if you transfer the lifetime away from a Series 1 TiVo, you can still use the Series 1 as a dumb digital VCR, so that even once the year of free service is used up, somebody might get some value out of it even without a subscription. (This is not true of Series2 and later TiVos.) So once you transfer the lifetime away from the Series 1, it can be operated (in some fashion) for free in the future.

    You are missing the fact that a Series 1 TiVo it is quite "old" technology at this point, and will become less and less desirable as more people buy HDTVs, and also the fact that a Series 1 TiVo that qualifies for this offer is old (and potentially near the end of its usable life). A new TiVoHD is just at the beginning of its potential lifespan.

    You're missing the fact that comparing a cable company DVR to a TiVo is like comparing apples to... turnips. :D

    Basically, it's not just about your monthly cost and amortizing it over X number of months. You have to take into account the old tech/new tech issues, TiVo vs. clunky generic DVR, and resale value.
     
  11. azitnay

    azitnay Active Member

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    Exactly... As the push to HD continues, SD units are going to become less and less useful to the majority of people. As long as you plan on using the unit lifetime is being transferred from for at least another year, I feel it's well worth a one-time payment of $115.60 ($199 - $6.95 * 12) to move your lifetime investment to a more current unit.

    Drew
     
  12. missdona

    missdona Member

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    The $179 converted to a sale, the 3 $199s are still pending
     
  13. nyny523

    nyny523 Oy

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    Well, it took me an hour on the phone, and insisting on being transfered to a Supervisor, but I finally got my lifetime membership transfered to my new Tivo HD last night!!!

    FYI, the explaination for purchasing through the Tivo websight that was given to me was that this was the only way to verify if your old box was qualified for the transfer. I explained that by calling, they could look at my records and see that I qualified. Then they gave me the transfer.

    It was a lot of aggrevation, but worth it. My cablecards are being intalled on Saturday. I should be able to Tivo the football game on Sunday in HD goodness! :)
     
  14. azitnay

    azitnay Active Member

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    Sounds like your experience rivaled mine, Sheryl... I was on hold for over 20 minutes, and then the woman was pretty incompetent (I had to read both TSN's and my credit card information all at least twice). She didn't question the purchase location, though, so that was a plus (not that I expected her to).

    Overall, it was a lot more frustrating than I remember the S3 transfer being last year... Ahh well, at least I'm free of lifetimed S2's.

    Drew
     
  15. No Static At Al

    No Static At Al New Member

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    May 22, 2002
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    I am tempted to Xfer my LT sub from my S1 (101 hours, June 2000, still working PERFECTLY BTW)

    But am I understanding correctly: If I ADD an S3 (Hardware cost roughtly $60 more than THD) I can sub it for $6.95 a month if I keep the LT on the old trusty S1?

    My old LT sub purchased over 7 years ago makes me eligible for MSD????
     
  16. azitnay

    azitnay Active Member

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  17. DVDerek

    DVDerek <WittySaying />

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    Why? If my S2 on lifetime ever truly spits the bit, I can apparently just leave it in my closet collecting dust and qualifying me for the MSD on the HD. You're out 1 working TiVo, of course, but if you wanted to replace it it's still just another MSD charge.

    Of course, MSD rates are not set in stone, nor is it set in stone that MSD will always exist... I think THAT is the calculation that is key here. How confident are you folks that are choosing MSD over lifetime in the MSD rate staying relatively low? How would an increase of $1 effect your math? $2? 3$?
     
  18. azitnay

    azitnay Active Member

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    I believe there's a stipulation that says the lifetime unit has to call home at least once in a while to maintain MSD eligibility (to prevent just the situation you describe)... I'm not sure how well it's enforced, though.

    Regardless, if your S2 does die (or perhaps more likely, becomes obsolete), you're paying $6.95 per month for your THD instead of getting it free.

    Drew
     
  19. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    The lifetime unit becomes inactive if it has not connected to TiVo in the last 6 months and then is no longer an MSD-qualifying receiver.
     
  20. DVDerek

    DVDerek <WittySaying />

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    You have a funny definition of "Free." You're paying $199 for it (a little less if you have a true need for 2 active TiVo's). Further, while we know the series 2 units are pretty robust (they have a proven track record) the HD Hardware is still new and largely un-tested. Then there's the whole switched digital video issue...

    I don't think lifetime is a slam dunk. At the current price of the offer it's very much a crapshoot (especially if CSR's continue to enforce the "You must pay the $50 direct from TiVo tax).

    I've said before, I'm not eligable for the offer so TiVo won't be getting my $500 yet. If I were eligable I'd have to look into this SDV issue quite a bit. I think I may end up biting the bullet and doing the transfer (I like to avoid monthly bills), but I can't fault anyone who doesn't.
     

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