what is Lifetime Service?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series 1 - UK' started by TeaVoChimp, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. TeaVoChimp

    TeaVoChimp New Member

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    Jul 16, 2007
    Hastings,...
    ...I note that with the drive connected that came with the TiVo under System Information it says:

    Accounts Status: 5:LifeTime Service

    What does this mean?

    When I called to subscribe I was told there was no active contract on this unit and promptly setup a monthly pay subscription.

    I take it that Lifetime service is not the same as lifetime subscription?

    TIA
     
  2. Automan

    Automan Ex TiVo User

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    Oct 29, 2000
    South...
    Your phone-call may have been an expensive mistake :(

    Status 5 indicates Tivo servers thought the box had a lifetime sub.

    I assume it could make recordings and had a live up to date program guide?

    If so it was already 100% okay.

    Automan.
     
  3. TeaVoChimp

    TeaVoChimp New Member

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    Jul 16, 2007
    Hastings,...
    sadly not, I have been unable to make that program guide call from day one....

    have now gone the network card route and still having problems :confused: as it seemed to be a faulty modem.

    the chap @ TiVo subscription said to me (without any prompting) that the sub had been canceled on that box and there was none active. Is it possible that a previous owner moved it to a new box he may have purchased?

    fortunately I still have THAT hard drive and its settings removed from the unit, while I try and get this bigger drive/LAN card working.

    also have a screen shot of this Lifetime Service statement


     
  4. mikerr

    mikerr TiVoCentral.co.uk

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    Jun 2, 2005
    Lancashire, UK
    If you put a drive in a lifetime subbed tivo and make a daily call,
    the hard drive will still show lifetime when put into another tivo.

    Until you make a daily call on THAT tivo, at which point it updates with the
    serial number from that physical box.

    So all that message means is the HDD came from a lifetime subbed box.

    So yes, the original owner may have transferrred his lifetime sub to another box
    (if the serial in system-information matched the back of the box),
    or just have used a drive image from a lifetime subbed machine.
     
  5. TeaVoChimp

    TeaVoChimp New Member

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    Jul 16, 2007
    Hastings,...
    yes, the onscreen serial matches the case...but I suspect that was the last time it connected to mission control! (about Feb 2007)

    cheers for the heads up
     
  6. blindlemon

    blindlemon tivoheaven.co.uk

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    May 12, 2002
    Malmesbury, UK
    The on-screen serial number will always match the case as it's read from the chip on the motherboard; the subscription status though is cached on the hard drive between daily calls, so that could be wrong if the drive was imaged from one taken from a lifetime-subbed machine.

    Once you make a successful daily call - or get through Guided Setup - the displayed account status should be correct.
     
  7. Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    Aug 1, 2006
    Not Far...
    No it won't - not always.

    It is possible for the Service Number on a Tivo motherboard to be alltered, although we may not discuss the process here.

    Alteration of this service number would only happen for two reasons:-

    1. The owner of a legitimate Lifetime Subbed box experiences equipment failure but is not the first Tivo owner and the Lifetime Sub has not been officially transferred across to him so he will not be able to call Tivo customer services and persuade them to transfer the Lifetime Sub to a working Tivo, as he does not have all the correct subscriber details to persuade them to. He therefore uses the alternative process to transfer lifetime subs between boxes.

    2. A criminal wishes to clone one Tivo's Service number on to other Tivo boxes for criminal reasons to artificially create the impression they have a legitimate Tivo Lifetime Sub. This will allow him to sell the unit for a substantially higher price than that available for an unsubbed Tivo unit of the same spec.
     
  8. mikerr

    mikerr TiVoCentral.co.uk

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    Jun 2, 2005
    Lancashire, UK
    3. The motherboard has been replaced ;)
     
  9. Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    Aug 1, 2006
    Not Far...
    But only if it has been replaced by the end user?

    Presumably if Thomson had replaced the motherboard during a repair they would transfer the Service Number over?

    Or would they just have told Sky Tivo customer services to amend the Service Number that is recorded on their database against your Lifetime Service account to the one on the new Motherboard?
     
  10. healeydave

    healeydave from tivoland.com

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    Jun 4, 2003
    Midlands
    the most likey reason is as mentioned, the box suffered a modem
    failure and the previous owner transferred the sub to another unit which means the last successful state was showing in the info screen.

    Drive swaps will still report the last known status until a daily call is made!

    The service number keyed to the main board will always be reported correctly as blindlemon stated as this variable is read during boot and is not reliant on a call to update the info screen!

    (my first post on an iPhone , ding, dong, bang on)
     
  11. Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    Aug 1, 2006
    Not Far...
    I thought the Service Number keyed to the main board could be permanently amended though without any hardware alteration?

    Even though clearly the practice of any such activies in all but extremely limited circumstances involving defective equipment and Lifetime Subs would be quite rightly condemned.
     
  12. healeydave

    healeydave from tivoland.com

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    Jun 4, 2003
    Midlands
    Irrelevant though, what we are trying to explain is its possible that the Service Number (read from the main board) will match the one printed on the back of the machine and yet the System Info screen can report a previous subscription status.

    Every time I send out a Tivo replacement hard disk, the System Info screen will state whatever the the subscription was in the particular Tivo unit I tested it in. However, when the person puts the new disk into their own Tivo, the Service Number will be accurate the minute it boots up (the Subscription status won't update until a call is made).

    So you can see how someone could buy a second hand unit that had the lifetime transferred, boot it up, see an old status still saying "Lifetime", also see that the Service Number matches the back of the Tivo and be mistaken for that being proof that the system should be still a "Lifetime" , which is not necessarily the case.

    Board swaps, modifications etc aside the fact remains the Service Number of the main board will always be read out of the firmware during boot and reported in the System Info screen (a real-time state if you like), the subscription status is cached and static until the next call is made.
     
  13. blindlemon

    blindlemon tivoheaven.co.uk

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    May 12, 2002
    Malmesbury, UK
    And just to add another little wrinkle... even if the box does have a valid lifetime sub, if the previous owner has called TiVo CS to cancel their account the status, even after Guided Setup, will be "Closed".

    That doesn't mean the box has no sub, just that as far as TiVo CS ar concerned, it has no owner :)
     
  14. Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    Aug 1, 2006
    Not Far...
    Indeed when I acquired my defective Tivo from the house clearance firm with the broken hard drive and flickery video output and put my old 30Gb and 15Gb Quantum drives in it the machine started up showing 5 Lifetime in System Information.

    But after making a Daily Call this changed to 1 Never Set Up.......................

    Of course as the MHEG encoding or decoding system is also knackered somewhere the whole question of the subscription status is largely academic.
     
  15. TeaVoChimp

    TeaVoChimp New Member

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    Jul 16, 2007
    Hastings,...
    EXACTLY what has happend to me!

    ...and as I havent successfully called-up on that original drive, it hasnt changed.

    Now I have the replacement drive from your goodself, it says something different
     
  16. chubbybrown

    chubbybrown New Member

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    Feb 19, 2005
    I phoned tivo last week and they wouldnt transfer a lifetime to another box,I was told it was for the lifetime of the box not my lifetime.
    the gits,needless to say I added I hope its the power supply then :p
     
  17. Dave Parry

    Dave Parry New Member

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    Aug 23, 2004
    Bracknell
    As a non techie as far as tivo's are concerned does this mean that if I buy a Tivo with a lifetime subscription i can swap this to another tivo if the first one dies, or is that only the original purchaser? also i assume i can buy and install a bigger drive without affecting the status? sorry if this is basic, but I am slightly confused by the posts.
     
  18. healeydave

    healeydave from tivoland.com

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    Jun 4, 2003
    Midlands
    Installing expanded drives will not affect your subscription is anyway, it will simply update as soon as your Tivo makes a call home.

    As for failing units, Tivo will sometimes allow you to move your lifetime subscription to another unit if your original unit goes faulty. I say sometimes because I have heard them refuse to do it on occasion. It is above and beyond their original remit but I think they bent the rules because they couldn't offer an upgrade of repair service themselves here in the UK anymore.

    If you fall into this situation and have any further questions, please feel free to email me for advice by clicking on my forum ID to the left <------
     
  19. wolflord11

    wolflord11 Lord of Darkness

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    Jan 16, 2007
    Madisonville...
    Lifetime Service/Subscription is for the "Lifetime" of the unit, not the owner but:

    You can modify the Box for as long as you want, add more HD Space, modify things, replace things etc. So its not truely the "Lifetime" of the unit. You could possibly have the unit your entire lifetime and still have the Lifetime Sub :D
     
  20. chubbybrown

    chubbybrown New Member

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    Feb 19, 2005
    I agree,its all true until you need them to amend somthing when they said they wouldnt.
     

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