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June 28, 2007

TiVo Upgrade Offer Just Might Work On Me

Forget about the iPhone for a second, if possible. TiVo sent me an e-mail earlier today, practically begging me to upgrade my old Series 1 DVR with lifetime service to a new 80-hour Series 2 DVR model, for $299, taking my lifetime service contract with me. While TiVo's Series 2 model has been out for some time, and has already been lapped by the company's Series 3 boxes, the second generation boxes offer enough advantages over the first generation that I'm seriously tempted to take the plunge.


Click for full invite or visit the offer page


My wife and I just might be the cheapest TiVo customers in history. We didn't pay a dime for our 180 Gigabyte (140 hour) Series 1 box, which came to us from a friend as an extremely generous wedding present in April of 2003. Four-plus years later, the only money I've ever given TiVo was my initial lifetime service fee of less than $300, and I've never looked back or given TiVo a dime for new service or hardware, even finagling a free remote from the company's headquarters just last month.

But as we held steady with our TiVo, the company continued to innovate, adding the ability to record from multiple channels, and the ability to serve up home music and pictures through the device. Still, we were stymied by TiVo's doing away with the lifetime service option in a push toward more consistent monthly subscriber revenues. We were happy to stay with series one, thank you. Later, this was made even more solid when the Apple TV came into our lives, bringing photos and music to the screen on its own.

Today's e-mail has me thinking again. Is it worth $299 to pick up an 80-hour Series 2 device for dual channel recording and an improved form factor? It just might be. TiVo has done well by us for almost five years, and I'm beginning to think it's our turn to do well by TiVo and take the next step in this relationship. We'll keep you posted if we move forward.