TiVo’s winding down support operations for their original UK DVR offering across the pond, with Series1 service slated to cease on June 1st, 2011. Active users should have recently seen an incoming message from TiVo on their PVR detailing the potentially bad news. Although service will remain free… until it’s gone. Unfortunately, without service those folks may end up with a rather bulky paperweight. From TiVo:
Without the program guide data provided by the TiVo service, Series1 boxes will have limited – if any – functionality. They can still be used to view previously recorded programs and, under certain circumstances, may be used to record programs manually.
The company’s hoping for an orderly transition onto their new Virgin TiVo UK platform. In fact, there’s some sort of vague upgrade program in place that “extends a special offer” to existing owners. Yet, I imagine a large percent of these folks aren’t physically located within Virgin Media’s territory along with those who are probably content with their existing television provider and hardware solution.
Given the headline, the angle that obviously interests me most is the fallout related to owners who had purchased “Lifetime Service”… and what it could foreshadow here in the US if TiVo ever tires of providing dialup guide data. Nicholas de Villiers comments on TiVo’s blog entry:
I’m sorry, but when I gave TiVo £200 for a “lifetime” subscription, it meant for the lifetime of the hardware according to the contract. As my hardware is still in perfect working order and still regularly making daily calls, I’ll be expecting a refund of my money.
While I can’t comprehend running 10 year old DVR hardware, I do understand his perspective.