To warranty - or not to warranty my Premieres

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by xberk, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. xberk

    xberk Member

    Dec 3, 2011
    I have two Premiere units. Got em for $50 each in Dec. -- (Paid $26.25 sales tax on each unit - but that's another story) ... I've paid for Lifetime on each box. $900 bucks total.

    I still have time to take a warranty on the units. But is it worth it? I've upgraded to 2TB drives -- (still have the orig drives as they were after activation) -- but I notice that TIVO can merely give me my money back. In other words, $50 each. They don't have to repair them or send me replacements. I realize, generally, they try to help you preserve your Lifetime service by sending a replacement unit. But they don't have to .. that's in the contract.

    I'm assuming the only thing that could go wrong that I may not be able to replace (and keep my Lifetime service) is the Motherboard .. I'd be gambling on the mother board -- otherwise, it's no problem for me to replace the Hard drive or the power supply. Done those kinds of things before.

    I'm wondering about the wisdom of taking the warranty. I'm not even sure how much it costs ($29.95?) and how long a period it covers.

    Any thoughts out there?
  2. news4me2

    news4me2 Member

    Jul 10, 2010

    2 year contract - $29.95
    3 year contract - $39.95

    Contract allows 1 time replacement of a failed TiVo DVR. If your unit fails within the contract period, TiVo will send you a replacement (could be new or refurb unit). Note that your original contract will be expired at that point in time. I have heard that TiVo has offered customers the opportunity to purchase a new contract after the first one is used.

    To each their own, but I added 3 year contracts on all of my lifetime units..
  3. jbell73

    jbell73 Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    The only unit I purchased a warranty on was the Premiere Elite, since it already has the 2TB drive, I cannot upgrade it, which is what I did with all of my other Premieres (3 in total, 1 has been sold). I went with the 4 year option trhough BestBuy though.

    I would forgo the warranty, and go with a spare drive strategy. 99% chance the only thing that will fail is the HDD or the system fan on the back of the box. What I ended up doing was actually purchasing an EXTRA Premiere (@ $50) for spare parts (fan, PSU) and ultimately may use it, or sell it over time.
  4. mmf01

    mmf01 Member

    Jan 31, 2011
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. ;) If the CMOS battery goes out, you can replace it. If the HDD goes out, you can replace it. If the FAN goes out, you can replace it. If the power supply goes out, you can replace it. The only thing you can't replace/fix is the mobo. Typically, in my computer experience, mobo usually doesn't go out.

    Why risk the hassle of swapping drives, potential truck rolls/cable card isuues, and/or getting a refurb where one on the replaceble items may be ready to go out?

    Case and point. I had to replace a newly purchased refurb premiere that had both a bad CMOS battery and bad fan (Later realized I could have replaced both). I was shipped another refurb. Refurb fan went out in the replacement. Rather than risk getting another unit with another old fan that was about to go out, I just bought a replacement fan for $20. Less hassle and worked like a charm.

    Moral of the story, unless your having mobo issues, IMHO, it's better to replace the part that is failing rather than gamble on the replacement. With replacing the part, at least you know what variables your starting with.

    PS: If your asking if it's worth buying the warranty, I'd say yes. Cheap peace of mind, especially on a lifetime unit. :)
  5. xberk

    xberk Member

    Dec 3, 2011
    OK. Cheap peace of mind. $40 covers 3 years. Considering that it will take 2 years to get even on Lifetime service, makes sense to spend something like a dollar a month to cover those first years in case of Motherboard disaster.

    What I might do is take the warranty on my wife's unit (she loves her TIVO) and let it ride on my own. I'm not really worried about the motherboard. TIVO would not cover it for 3 years if it was junk. The warranty is an excellent profit center for them. Of course, a small fraction of the boards will go bad. If I'm unlucky and the Motherboard goes on my unit, I'll replace it with a CETON. My wife is not so easily converted. AND -- get this --- if I take the warranty on my wife's unit, it will not fail until the warranty is up. Guaranteed. That's a law of nature somewhere, right?
  6. mmf01

    mmf01 Member

    Jan 31, 2011
    If you buy the warranty, your best bet is to buy directly from TiVo. I purchased the 3 year warranty for two $99 refurb premiere boxes (To get the $12.99 Monthly Plan) I bought about a year ago. One box has had zero issues. The other box had the CMOS Battery and FAN go out. Tivo warranty process is pretty painless since they will ship you an advance replacement pretty much no questions asked. And your never out of a box. If within 90 days, they cover under original warranty, after that you get ONE replacement under the extended warranty, hence why repairing everything before swapping is the way I'd go. Both my boxes have 2TB WD Upgrades, so those wouldn't be covered under the warranty anyways. If I eventually decide to go lifetime, TiVo will will cover a box transfer if swapped under warranty.

    On a side note, my first refurb tivo box had problems holding the program guide data and clock time was reset after each reboot. After quick inspection, I noticed the CMOS battery and though that might be the issue. I originally looked like it was soldered and to my surprise only after the replacement came and swapping drives did I realize it just slips out, otherwise I wouldn't have gone the warranty route. Since my box was out of the 90 days, they naturally wanted me to use my ONE replacement. But, after explaining I'd called before due to weird issues, they cheerfully agreed to cover under the original warranty.

    All in all, TiVo's warranty process is excellent and perceived mobo issues may be solved with as little as $1.99 battery replacement. In 3 years, I can see the battery going out and doubt they replaced mine on the refurb unit I purchased. Given Premiere was only out for about a year, that gives some insight into longevity.

    I'm sure there are some S3 lifetimers here who haven't purchased the warranty and never have an issue, but I would be my luck the mobo fails 91 days into purchase and then I'm

    But, all in all...If I paid $900 for LT service, I would protect that investment at all costs, even it means throwing a little more money into a warranty program I may never use. BTW, the LT service stays with the box, regardless of owner, so you could always sell the TiVo w/LT and recoup part of your investment if you wanted to move to CETON down the road. However, a failed TiVo box even with LT service is worth much less, if nothing to the average consumer. Again, cheap peace of mind, for me at least. :)
  7. smbaker

    smbaker Well-Known Member

    May 24, 2003
    I wouldn't bother with the warranty. I've had Tivos since the first Philips model, and aside from the occasional hard drive failure, the only thing I've had to repair was a bad battery holder on the S1. You're fortunate that since you're capable of replacing the HD yourself, that you're able to deal with the most common mode of failure.

    That's not to say you won't be that one unfortunate guy who bought two lifetime Premieres only to have the CPUs mysteriously fall off while the motherboard cracks in half and the power supply catches fire as the case spontaneously disintegrates...
  8. xberk

    xberk Member

    Dec 3, 2011
    I've had TIVO since way back (2001 or 2002). Series 1 and 2. Five units all together. Still have them. They were all DirecTV models. Hughes, Phillips, Sony .. never had a motherboard fail. Replaced 2 HD that I can remember using Instantcake on the Sony's .. Just recently replaced the Power Supply on one of the Hughes (cannibalized my other Hughes to do it) .. But that power supply issue caused is to think hard about going HiDef -- hence we bought new Premiere units and left DirecTV for Cable. (Wrenching but glad I did it)

    The suggestion to buy an extra Premiere just for parts is a usually a good one. But basically all that's useful is the Power supply ..

    I have 2TB drives in the Premieres but I'm sure that if I had to send a TIVO in on warranty (for Motherboard or Power supply issue) that if I put back the original drive, all will be well. I doubt TIVO will detect that I've opened the box up -- or even care as long as the unit actually has the problem I say it has. Naturally, I'll cover my own hard drive (I have 3 years with Western Digital) I think, for me, the question is how much do I trust that Motherboard (not worried about CMOS battery).....

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