TiVo Offers Lifetime Service Transfer

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DVR pioneer TiVo used to offer a lifetime service plan, whereby customers could pay an upfront, one-time fee (originally $249, then $299) to receive TiVo service for life, instead of paying a monthly fee to receive programming and channel information by which they can program and manage their DVRs. Although TiVo never cancelled lifetime service for customers who signed up for the service, it did stop offering the service back in early 2006. The problem for existing lifetime service subscribers, of course, is that their lifetime service is bound to their existing DVR: if they want to upgrade to a Series2 system—to be able to record more than one program at once, for example—they’d have to switch to a monthly service agreement.

For a limited time, TiVo is offering a promotion by which lifetime subscription users can transfer their service to a new Series2 Dual Tuner DVR. The TiVo transfer plan lets users retain their lifetime service agreements essentially by letting them pay for it all over again: for $299, qualified lifetime service customers can get lifetime service on a Series2 TiVo.

Users need to know their 15-digit TiVo service number, and would have had to have activated their existing TiVo lifetime service prior to June 15, 2003. Once qualified, users can buy a new Series2 Dual Tuner DVR and transfer lifetime service to the new unit, so long as they call TiVo Support by August 31, 2007. But those lifetime subscribers will need to hurry: the transfer offer is only good through July 23, 2007.

In unrelated news, TiVo has apparently delivered TiVo-branded DVR software to cable provider Comcast for deployment on the company’s set-top box DVRs. If Comcast actually begins to roll out the software, it will be the first concrete result of TiVo’s much-touted partnership with Comcast, originally announced in early 2005.

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