Lifetime Service and Monthly Service Fees and Availability

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Historically, TiVo offered both monthly service and Lifetime Service for standalone TiVos. They now offer only monthly service for new TiVo boxes. DirecTV DirecTiVos had a lifetime option that ended in 2003; all DirecTiVos after that time were charged a flat monthly DVR service charge.

Monthly Service Charges for Stand Alone TiVos

For Series 1, Series 2, and Series 3 TiVos that do not have a lifetime service plan, the only current option is to purchase monthly or pre-paid monthly service. The current rates are shown below:

Monthly Plans

  • 1-year commitment, billed monthly $16.95/month
  • 2-year commitment, billed monthly $14.95/month
  • 3-year commitment, billed monthly $12.95/month

Prepaid Plans

  • 1-year prepaid plan, $179.00 ($14.92/month)
  • 2-year prepaid plan, $299.00 ($12.46/month)
  • 3-year prepaid plan, $299.00 ($8.31/month) (1 year free - 3 years at the price of 2 years)

Multi-Service Discount (MSD

If you have one Lifetime TiVo on your account, or if you have a full-priced monthly subscription on your account, that account is eligible for a Multi-TiVo Service Discount. The monthly subscription price for each additional TiVo will cost less than the $16.95/month charge of a single TiVo. If you sign-up for a 3-year commitment, the monthly fee for the second monthly TiVo will be $6.95/month and will remain $6.95 every month after the 3-year commitment expires. If you sign-up for a 1-year commitment, the second monthly fee will be $10.95/month and will remain $10.95/month every month after the 3-year commitment expires.

Lifetime Service

Lifetime Service is tied to the TiVo box. It means that for the lifetime of the TiVo box, a monthly TiVo subscription fee does not have to be paid. TiVo stopped offering Lifetime service plan Wednesday 15-March-2006. After that date, the only option available to customers is to purchase monthly service.

Lifetime Transfers - Very Early Series 1 Stand Alone TiVos

Very early Series 1 Stand Alone TiVos activated before January 21, 2000 are considered "grandfathered" units and are eligible for 1 free transfer of the Lifetime subscription to any new TiVo. When Lifetime service was first offered, owners were not informed that the Lifetime subscription stayed with the box, not the owner. For this reason, these early owners were offered 1 free transfer from that early Series 1 box to any other TiVo. Lifetime service purchased after that date clearly divulged that the Lifetime subscription was tied to the box.

Lifetime Transfers - Special Offers

In early 2007, TiVo offered a limited-time transfer of Lifetime service from an existing Series 1 or Series 2 TiVo to a Series 3 TiVo for a one-time fee of $199. The older box from which the service was transfered would receive 1 year of free service after the transfer and the revert to a monthly subscription. Officially, this offer has ended, however some people have still reported success in transferring existing lifetime service to new TiVos as of July 2007 and later.

In June 2007, TiVo offered a limited-time transfer of Lifetime service from TiVos activated prior to June 15, 2003 for anyone who purchased a 80-hour TiVo Series 2 Dual Tuner DVR. The total price for the transfer and the new Dual Tuner box was $299. This offered ended on July 23, 2007.

Exceptions: Humax DVD Recorder TiVos and Humax T800 TiVos are still eligible for Lifetime subscriptions.

Lifetime Service - Series 1 DirecTiVos

Lifetime service was offered for Series 1 DirecTiVos on and before 21-January-2000. DirecTiVo units with Lifetime subscriptions were eliminated and the monthly TiVo fee was dropped from $12/month to $5.95/month. If it is a DirecTiVo, the lifetime is tied to the TiVo account and not the box. To transfer a DirecTiVo lifetime subscription, you have to completely close your TiVo account and while closing your account have the lifetime transfered to someone else (presumably with a DirecTV DirecTiVo).

Note: When the Series 3 was first offered for sale in late 2006/early 2007, TiVo allowed DirecTV users with lifetime to transfer that lifetime to a Series 3 for $199. That offer has now officially ended and subsequent limited-time lifetime transfers have not included transferring from DirecTV lifetime units.

How to Transfer Lifetime Service to Someone Else

If you sell your Lifetime TiVo so someone else, the purchaser will call Tivo once they receive the box and have the box added to their TiVo account. They will need your name, address and the dvr service number.

TiVo Basic and TiVo Plus

TiVo Basic was limited to Toshiba, Pioneer and early Humax models and NO others. TiVo Basic is a free lifetime service that gives 3 days program information; no Home Media Features such as MRV or TiVoToGo, etc. This was included with the box. TiVo Plus was an update these models and is the same as normal TiVo subscriptions on other models. It is basically a very basic program data service that offers only a fraction of the features available with the monthly plan/lifetime plan. To get full TiVo functionality, it is necessary to purchase monthly (or lifetime) service.

Lifetime Gift Cards

At stores like BestBuy and CircuitCity, TiVo offered gift cards for monthly subscriptions in various dollar amounts and lifetime subscriptions for $299. When TiVo stopped offering the lifetime option, the gift cards were no longer offered for retail sale. These cards were good for 2 years after the date of purchase. Many cards were available for purchase on Ebay at elevated prices after they were taken off of store shelves around March 2006. So, all of these Lifetime Gift Cards will most likely be expired in March 2008.

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