Tivo series 1's on Ebay

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by dshinnick, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. Sep 4, 2007 #1 of 20

    dshinnick Member

    Jun 6, 2003


    I was able to pick up a couple of series 1 boxes, both with lifetime service, for $25. I thought it was the deal of the century, that I could sell each of them for around $300 on Ebay. I was surprised to find that similar units are selling for $100 or less. What's the deal? TIvo subscriptions are about $13 a month, right? And even though these are older units the core Tivo functionality is the same as with the Tivo S2's, except for dual-tuner, right? Why are these selling so cheap on Ebay? If I wanted to get into Tivo I sure think I'd snag on of those; it would pay for itself after only 8 months of not having to pay the service. I know it doesn't have the new whiz-bang cutesy stuff the new boxes do, but I question whether most people want that stuff anyway.

  2. Sep 4, 2007 #2 of 20

    normychas Member

    May 10, 2007
    unless i am mistaken there is a lot lost via the lifetime subscription. There is no season pass. But other than that i believe if you are happy with your series 1 you have gotten a good deal. Not having a season pass is a deal breaker for me and if im gonna pay for the tivo service i was happy to plunk down the 300 and snag a tivo hd. To each his own though if you only need the core that is a solid deal
  3. Sep 4, 2007 #3 of 20

    RARamaker New Member

    Dec 1, 2000
    Grandville, MI
    A Series 1 TiVo with lifetime subscription has Season Passes. I know, I have one (recently handed down to a relative).
  4. Sep 4, 2007 #4 of 20

    dshinnick Member

    Jun 6, 2003
    Ah, wrong, Normy. You may be thinking of "Tivo Basic" which was a stripped-down version of the Tivo service which was included free on some manufacturer's boxes. But no, this is the full Tivo service with no charges ever. Still can't understand why they don't have more value, unless it's the dual-tuner thing.
  5. Sep 4, 2007 #5 of 20

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

    Jul 24, 2001
    Milwaukee, WI


    The key thing is: for the most part, no more lifetime transfers. Since the lifetime subscription is dead-ended on that box, and the box is an analog standard definition box, there's not as much interest these days in them.

    Plus, the cable company DVRs that CAN record HD and have two tuners and all that have further reduced resale value of the TiVo.
  6. Sep 4, 2007 #6 of 20

    JacksTiVo TiVo User since 2001

    Jan 7, 2006
    New Jersey
    Perhaps another reason for the low S1 Ebay sale price is that TiVo allows the transfer of Lifetime from an older unit to the S3 for $200. So if you are buying the S1 for the ability to transfer the lifetime the cost is about $300 (S1 on Ebay $100 + lifetime transfer cost $200). This is equal to the current TiVo prepaid offer of 3 years for $299.

    Six years ago when I purchased my S1, lifetime was $250 versus a $10 per month subscription fee. So my break-even point was 25 months. Based on the above assumptions, the break-even point is now 36 months. The difference is that on the prepaid plan, you can upgrade to a newer model or replace a failed unit and transfer the remaining subscription time to the new unit. When a unit with Lifetime fails within the first three years you will have to replace it with a new unit and then pay for the subscription service.

    If TiVo should offer a lifetime transfer from an S1 to a HD for a $200 fee, I guess I would take it, but that is because my break-even point would be 24 months and I would make the assumption that it would not fail during the first two years. On the other hand, MSD may be the way to go when I purchase an HD Tivo since I have two lifetime units.
  7. Sep 4, 2007 #7 of 20

    timckelley run of the mill TCFer

    Oct 15, 2002
    When I looked, lifetimed S1's on ebay cost more than $200. I think you got a good deal.
  8. Sep 4, 2007 #8 of 20

    matt314159 Member

    Jan 14, 2007
    I'm in the market for a lifetime box (if you say my "I just bought a tivo on ebay" thread last week, that deal fell through, when the seller backed out) and I've been keeping a hawkeye on ebay last couple weeks. I've seen S1's go for as low as $100, and as high as $250, so it all depends.

    If you only paid $25 for yours you're way out on top. I'm looking to pay no more than $125 if it's a S1 tivo, so the hunt continues. I'm going to be patient this time and wait out a hot deal instead of buying the first thing I can afford. I think the OP did well with his deal.
  9. Sep 4, 2007 #9 of 20

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    If you call up Tivo, they apparently will let you buy a new Tivo from them and transfer the subscription for a fee in this case. That is, it is not a set in stone policy, but it does happen, and happened for a friend of mine very recently.
  10. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Happened for a lot of people - Tivo had a promotion to transfer certain lifetime subs to a new S2DT box.
  11. EVizzle

    EVizzle ^^MacGvyer^^

    Feb 13, 2005
    St. Paul, MN
    tivo's with lifetime have always had a special place in my heart, when I strike oil in my backyard, I will send you all free admission passes to my DeLorean and Tivo museum.
  12. gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

    Oct 31, 2003
    Potato and pen.
    TiVo Series 1 units can only tune analog OverTheAir TV and analog cable on their own.

    Analog OTA is set to disappear from the airwaves as of early 2009. How long analog cable will continue in a given area is anyone's guess. Some places have been switched over to digital-cable only already.

    The OTA aspect of Series 1 machines will be gone as soon as the last analog OTA channel goes dark.

    The Series 1 machines may work with some digital cable boxes today, but as newer ones with different IR codes come along, the databoase won't be updated, and so their usefulness even with cable will lessen.

    Paying money for "Lifetime Service" on a box that won't work (possibly at all) in a few years is not something most people want to do, and apparently a lot of people know what's what with Series 1s.
  13. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    I suspect most buyers of a LT S1 on eBay know that and are buying them to own a lifetime sub in the event Tivo has a future transfer promotion.

    Right before the initial S3 offer, LT S1's had minimal value ($50-$100); now they seem to be in the ($100-$200) range.
  14. pdhenry

    pdhenry Ruthless

    Feb 27, 2005
    Small element of FUD in your post. OTA is set in stone but there's no handwriting on the wall for analog cable in general.
  15. BL

    BL Member

    Oct 15, 1999
    Falmouth, Maine
    I still have an S1 which is rolling along fine, and can be used on analog cable and also controls the latest SA cable box just fine. I also have not heard of a looming conspiracy to change remote codes.

    Also, the video quality is better than the S2 series. I know there is a rush to everything HD, but there are a lot of shows that I watch on a regular old 31" TV, and it looks great. I don't need to see the Daily show, Everybody loves Raymond, etc. on a big screen, and the S1 is the perfect solution for that. Plus I just bought a 250 GB hard-drive for $60 and it is now a 300 hour Tivo.

    If I want to watch a movie, I watch it on my S3.
  16. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    The only thing that will stop an otherwise functional Series 1 TiVo from working is if TiVo were to stop providing service for them. And that is only for service, they, if they are and older one (pre Oct 2001, as most are), then they should still manually record.

    The IR database does get updated, and the updates do get sent to the Series 1 also, so they should continually run the newest boxes with IR. And as long as the boxes provide an SD composite or S-video out, a Series 1 TiVo should still work with it.
  17. BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Well-Known Member

    May 15, 2002
    And OTA isn't set in stone, either. A better analogy is "set in curing cement". One Executive Order or emergency law ("sledgehammer") can immediately prevent the disappearance of OTA NTSC.
  18. JacksTiVo

    JacksTiVo TiVo User since 2001

    Jan 7, 2006
    New Jersey
    Per this news article, the Series 1 should live as long as the FCC requires OTA digital to analog converter boxes and also requires the cable companies to provide their customers with either an analog signal or a digital to analog converter box. How they accomplish it has still not been resolved. As long as the S1 receives an analog signal, it will work just fine. The only issue is that its data base include the codes to change the channel of the new D to A converter boxes if that is the route the cable companies take.

    See: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070911/ap_on_hi_te/digital_cable_7;_ylt=A9htdGa0a.ZGGlEAGAAE1vAI
  19. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    As said, the Series 1 works with any STB that outputs analog video and IR control of channel changing with just 2, 3, or 4 digits. I doubt they will re-write Sereis 1 code to the numbering scheme typically used for OTA channels and tuners.
  20. JJ

    JJ TiVoPlantation Owner

    Jul 14, 2000
    Land of...
    Lifetime S1
    works fine with cable and activated Voom OTA box, couple of 'dead end' items that onced paired will carry on for years...

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