The $0 TiVo Premiere Returns

Dave Zatz —  June 6, 2011

Last fall, we briefly saw TiVo experiment with a zero down Premiere. But that $20/month two year commitment, was ultimately superseded by the current $99 hardware fee that comes mated to a 1 year commitment (or optional Lifetime Service plan). But, TiVo’s giving it another shot this week via a Father’s Day promotion.

At first blush, it doesn’t seem like a great deal… as $99 is less than one year of service (12 * $20 = $240). Yet, in both scenarios, one is likely to keep the TiVo Premiere at least two years – making the zero dollar TiVo $99 cheaper over that same time period. Assuming my logic and math are right. Regardless, the prevailing wisdom seems to value Lifetime service ($400 – $500)… given a slightly longer horizon.

You have until June 13 at 9pm PDT to make your decision.

19 responses to The $0 TiVo Premiere Returns

  1. Lifetime is still the best deal and only $20 more assuming you have the $500 to drop.

    2 years at $0 down is $480.

    $99 or less for the Premeire and I believe the old coupon code still works which brings even the initial lifetime down to $399. For a total of $500.

    Of course if you grab the Premiere from Amazon who usually has it around $80, the lifetime Premiere with the coupon code costs the same.

  2. Lifetime for new customers is $500, so that’d bring the upfront cost to $600 once you factor in the $99 hardware. Unless the coupon you reference is good for all…?

  3. Yeah the coupon code was/is good for new lifetime purchases. It takes $100 off lifetime so it gives you the MSD pricing. I read on TiVocommunity someone said they were able to use it since the pricing changes. I haven’t tried it personally.

  4. Coupon only works on new lifetime and doesn’t reduce MSD lifetime unfortunately.

  5. What is the lifetime cost for existing subscribers?

  6. Without the coupon, that I don’t know much about, I believe new customers pay $500 for Lifetime service while existing customers pay $400. That’d be on top of the $99 hardware fee.

  7. If they were offering this with the ability to immediately purchase lifetime I might jump on it. Still waiting for the new CableCARD rules to go into effect on August 1st so I can perform a self-install. It should be interesting to see if my cable provider, Bright House, actually meets the deadline. My discussion with a high level rep indicates that they actually have some flexibility in meeting these deadlines.

  8. Eh maybe the cable providers will meet the FCC’s suggestions, maybe they won’t. Time Warner got hit with a $7500 fine for not being in compliance in regards to SDV and lineup changes. So it’s not like there’s a whole lot of fear when it comes to penalty.

  9. God if I could do a self install I’d probably buy a Premiere right now…

  10. I’m an existing customer and I just purchased Lifetime for a Premier ($60 refurb from Woot!). It cost $399 for Lifetime. I tried to add the coupon but it only added a second option on checkout for the same price, $399.

  11. The coupon has only ever worked on the $399 or now $499 lifetime. It has never worked to reduce the cost of the MSD lifetime.

  12. Is there a reason no one is stating what the heck the coupon code is?

  13. Well, I didn’t know it until last night. It’s PLSR. But by publishing it, we could hasten its demise…

  14. You say true, I say thankya.

    Hopefully they can backdate this – I just purchased Lifetime within the past 30 days.

  15. My last Premiere was $60 from woot.

    Already a long-term subscriber, convinced Tivo to sell me the $199 lifetime.

    Not going to pay the new, $100 more expensive ‘$399 for lifetime w/ MSD’ anytime soon.

  16. Given that my experience with TiVo’s (S2 broke, S2 DT became outdated b/c no HD recording), I’d not gamble on lifetime service, but — then again — I’m one of the lucky ones paying $7/mo :P

  17. The resale value of a premiere with lifetime service will be significantly more than the resale value of the $0 2/yr Tivo. Even if you pay top dollar $600 for the lifetime premiere, you should still be able to sell the premiere for more than the $120 premium. I would think you could get at least $300-$400 for a lifetime premiere.

  18. Agree with Ivan Y … it seems risky looking out 3-4 years with TiVo. My (non-HD) S2 box with Lifetime is pretty much worthless other than getting me $6.95/month on my TiVo HD box, which is itself pretty much worthless in terms of resale because TiVo abandoned software updates on the HD in favor of Premiere.

    Also, there’s a big risk that your box will stop working before 3-4 years. It’s a gamble.

    I hear what you are saying shwru980r, but in three years or so, I question you could get that much for a Lifetime Premiere. Either TiVo will have abandoned the standalone market, or the company will be seen as hanging on for dear life (reducing resale value), or your box will have broken, or there will be a new model making yours obsolete, or some new regulation wiping out a key feature like MRV. Point is, it’s a risk to buy Lifetime now.

  19. “my TiVo HD box, which is itself pretty much worthless in terms of resale because TiVo abandoned software updates on the HD in favor of Premiere.”

    Hey, if my TiVo HD went belly up tomorrow, I’d buy your used TiVo HD from you. I don’t want a Premiere until they fix the SDUI 10 minute hang bug.