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Lifetime TiVo Service - FAQ

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  • Lifetime TiVo Service - FAQ

    DirecTV TiVo DVRs

    DirecTV charges a DVR fee of $5.99/month to customers with one or more DVRs on their DirecTV account. You also pay a receiver/lease fee of $4.99/month per DirecTV receiver, after the first receiver on the account. If you are running an HD TiVo and want the HD channels, that's another $9.99/month (currently the first three months of that are free).

    If you have a DirecTV Premiere package, the DVR fee is included in the umbrella that you're paying for, so you won't also have the $5.99 monthly charge. So if you have this package, all you pay to add a DVR is the hardware cost, once.

    Once upon a time, DirecTV and TiVo offered lifetime TiVo service for DirecTV units. This is long gone, but if you had it, it's now part of your DirecTV account, and, unlike lifetime on standalone units, it covers all of the DVRs on your account, and you can remove/replace old DVRs from your account without affecting the status of this lifetime coverage. If you close your DirecTV account, however, you'll never get this back.

    Standalone TiVo DVRs without DVD burners

    Monthly service on TiVo units is from $12.95/month to $19.95/month depending on the length of time you commit to TiVo. If you had monthly service before November 3, 2006, you can remain at $12.95/month with no long-term commitment beyond the one-year you agreed to.

    Until recently, these units were eligible for lifetime service. TiVo has stopped selling lifetime service for these units. There are ways to get this (eBay, WeaKnees, gift cards) but by and large, if you want a unit with no monthly fee, you should consider a Humax combo unit, below.

    Secondary units (up to five per account) qualify for a multi-service discount of $6/month. So if your primary unit is $12.95/month, your next one is $6.95/month.

    TiVo DVD Combo Units

    The monthly service for these units is the same as that for the standalones (see above). But these units are still eligible to get lifetime service.

    At $299, lifetime service is a pretty good deal, at least for the first unit on your account. This covers the monthly fee for just over 23 months - after that, your service is essentially free, and, since service travels with the box for these, your unit is worth more for potential resale.

    To purchase lifetime service for a Humax unit, you need to call TiVo - and it won't work on Humax units purchased from TiVo. Lifetime can't be purchased online at this point.

    Series3 Lifetime Transfer

    Until 12/31/06, owners of standalone TiVos with lifetime service can buy a new Series3 unit and convert the lifetime service over to it for $199. The older unit also gets TiVo service for one year. Not a bad deal - soon to be gone.
    Been here a long time . . .

  • #2
    I'm using aDirecTV R10 and a Hughes Model DVR. I kept the Hughes to safeguard my lifetime service. I would really like to use another R10 or better. Do you know where they explain lifetime service on their website? I referred a customer once and had to get a little nasty to get my fifty bucks. I really like DirecTV, but I don't really trust them unless I know it's in writing (by them)!


    • #3
      We're really pretty sure that the lifetime is part of your account now, but you should be able to call DirecTV and get a good explanation of the situation.
      Been here a long time . . .


      • #4
        drt800 lifetime question

        Hey WK-Michael in your post you mention you can still get a lifetime on the DRT800. when does tha go away or has it allready. I recently Jan4/07 activated a DRT800 for a freind and saw the lifetime was still on tivo's website and I thought it was an error but signed up for it any way because it was the same price as the 3yr commitment figureing if it was wrong they would fix it on there end. It charged the credit card ok and I printed the receipt saying lifetime, but I haven't called him back to see what the tivo unit says in its info screen. If they are still offering a lifetime on this unit I would be very interested. Any other details as to why and how would be appreciated. Thanks


        • #5
          Sony SAT-T60 TiVo Lifetime question

          I have a Sony SAT-T60 TiVo box with a lifetime subscription and a Toshiba/DVD Tivo with a month to month plan. I currently have decided to switch over to cable due to problems that I am having with my Toshiba/DVR Tivo box. It seems that changing channels no longer works reliably and Directv does not want to acknowledge the problem. The best I can understand from reading posts on the web, is there has been some kind of software upgrade to the Directv boxes that has caused this problem.
          Do I understand that if I close my Directv account and later decide to re-open my account, I will no longer have a lifetime subscription on the Sony SAT-T60 TiVo box?


          • #6
            That's right - if you close the account, the lifetime sub vanishes.
            Been here a long time . . .


            • #7
              Lifetime Subscription Transfer MIGHT Still Be Possible

              For several years have been using a 2-tuner DirecTV Tivo as my primary, plus an old single-tuner Series-1 (with lifetime subscription) as a reduced-capability backup. Recently bought a 1000-hr Series-3 from Weaknees and signed up for Verizon FIOS with the intent of ditching the DirecTV service.

              Obviously, I wanted to transfer the lifetime subscription to my new Series-3 box, but the option to do so via TiVo "expired" a few months ago - some details still available on When the offer was in effect, you could supposedly pay a transfer fee of either $199 or $249 to move the subscription to your new box, plus, TiVo would throw in another 12 months of free service on your old box.

              Weaknees has been saying that although officially expired, TiVo has been intermittently agreeing to honor the offer for transfer applications that arrive after the expiration.

              The way to do this is to provisionally buy a new box from Weaknees and Weaknees will supply the new TiVo Service Number (TSN) without shipping the box. Then, you call TiVo and beg/borrow/steal your way into getting them to let you transfer the subscription to your new TSN, even though the offer has expired. Weaknees continues to say that they will happily cancel such a provisional sale if TiVo refuses to allow the transfer (you don’t ask Weaknees to ship your new box until you confirm that TiVo will allow the transfer).

              I provisionally ordered my new Series-3 from Weaknees and they gave me the new TSN. I then called one of TiVo's toll-free numbers (877-367-8486), patiently explained what I wanted to do and met with, frankly, significant and condescending non-support. The TiVo agent treated me like a child and was less than helpful. Bottom line: they required me to have my new box physically in hand (I didn't yet have it since it was a provisional Weaknees purchase but I already had my new TSN which is all TiVo needs), PLUS - the deal killer - TiVo was demanding that I activate service on the new box and ONLY THEN would they even "consider" my subscription transfer request. This would have put all the risk on me - once I activated service on my new box it renders it un-returnable -- and I wouldn't have been able to get a decision on subscription transfer until after I had committed to keeping the new box, which I didn’t want to do unless I was guaranteed to get the subscription transfer.

              Thus ended that call. I called Weaknees back, explained. Weaknees tells me to call TiVo’s “VIP” line (866-424-8486) and try again. Did so, very helpful CSR does the deal quickly, courteously and completely to my satisfaction. And the icing on the cake? They moved the subscription from my old Series-1 TSN to my new Series-3 TSN … WITHOUT any fee! Now, they didn’t give me an extra free twelve months on my old Series-1 box, but who cares?

              Don’t know if they gave me this deal since I’ve owned/operated multiple TiVos for years, your guess is as good as mine. The secret to success “appears” to be bypassing the generic huddled masses customer service number and use the VIP line.

              It remains to be seen whether or not a transfer of a pre-existing lifetime subscription will still make the new box purchase eligible for the $200 rebate - reading the fine print on that offer doesn't make that outcome clear, although my gut feel says I will more than likely still get my rebate a couple of months from now.

              Give it a try – I make no promises or estimates as to the likelihood of your success – am just letting the Forum know what worked for me.


              • #8
                That's excellent! We've heard that some reps seem to do the transfer for free, with no one-year service on the old box, and some seem to charge the $199 and give the one year on the old box.

                We can't figure out which they choose - did your old box maybe have lifetime from before Feb of 2000?
                Been here a long time . . .


                • #9
                  Interesting question, and too far back in memory. Dug out some old records to answer. I bought my Series-1 box in Nov 2001. Records don't indicate exactly when I bought the lifetime, but it was either simultaneous with the box or at most within a handful of months later ... but none of it near Feb 2000. What is significant about Feb of 2000?


                  • #10
                    People who purchased lifetime before that date get one free lifetime transfer to a different piece of hardware.
                    Been here a long time . . .


                    • #11
                      This might sound stupid, but are you saying that if I purchase a used Humax from an ebay seller, I can still buy/activate the lifetime service from Tivo?


                      • #12
                        Really not sure - but our new, unactivated Humax units (our refurbs qualify also) will work to get lifetime still. It's hard to say for Humax units from other places. If the unit is used, all bets are off.
                        Been here a long time . . .


                        • #13
                          Got another good one for you: is the lifetime service transferable if the seller used to work for Tivo?


                          • #14
                            Really, really hard to know, parrottrooper. But you can certainly try . . .
                            Been here a long time . . .


                            • #15
                              Follow-up to my lengthy post from June 5th about transferring lifetime subsciptions...

                              Tivo will NOT honor my $200 rebate. Error message specifically says that I have to activate "new" service to get the rebate. Transferring my pre-existing lifetime sub from my old Series 1 box to my new Series 3 HD box did not qualify. I knew that this might happen - was hoping I'd slip by. Oh, well, it sucks to be me.