TiVo Now Offers Roamio OTA Lifetime Service

As TiVo expands cord cutter marketing, they’ve now brought a Lifetime Service option to Roamio OTA. At least on an experimental basis. For a single $300 fee, you can now pick up a Roamio OTA bundled with a lifetime of TiVo service. Given four HD tuners, a 500GB drive, several solid apps like Netflix and Amazon Instant, the potential (for more $) to stream to mobiles devices or TiVo Mini, I’d say this is A Very Good Deal™. And it certainly undercuts Channel Master’s mostly silo-ed two tuner, 1TB $400 DVR+ — TiVo is the superior product and removing the $15/month barrier seals the deal. But you may want to act fast, as this is just one of several pricing permutations TiVo is looking at. The others, like this $400 Lifetime Service fee on top of hardware, aren’t nearly as appealing.


(Thanks Sam & Drew!)

66 thoughts on “TiVo Now Offers Roamio OTA Lifetime Service”

  1. of course this happens 1 month after i buy the base model for OTA only. well, i guess the bright side is if i ever (highly unlikely after 5 years) go back to cable, ill be able to use it. Also hope that the resale value of it would be higher than the OTA model.

  2. I contacted TiVo about upgrading an existing Roamio OTA to lifetime, and I was told the only option is to buy a new box with this promotion. That’s a bummer, but not unexpected. My guess is they’ll give me the option to upgrade to lifetime at the end of my year of sevice, but I’ll end up spending a fair bit more than $300. If I didn’t already have an OTA I would jump on this deal.

  3. Is the roamio OTA the same thing as a base roamio without the cable card slot? IE, can I plop in a 3TB drive and it will auto-format it?

  4. Yeah, Roamio OTA is the same as the Roamio (base) other than the internal CableCARD hardware has been removed. It should absolutely support those drive upgrades. But I can’t confirm thru any first hand experience.

  5. Amazing! Now I need to figure out how much it cost to upgrade my roamio ota to lifetime. Any news on current contracts for ota model that were bought before the lifetime offer was available?

  6. Oh and for those of us who bought the ota before this offer: if we could buy out the rest of the 1yr $15/mo contract plus add $70 it would equal total of $300. This is what TiVo should propose in order for upgrade.

  7. Zach, as this may be promotional or experimental pricing, there may be no favorable way for existing OTA owners to upgrade to Lifetime. Probably depends on the call volume and chaos in the support center, if you know what I mean.

  8. I spoke to TiVo this morning and was told they don’t currently offer any upgrade options for my OTA. They told me the only option was to buy a new box at the promotional price. I didn’t dig further, but at the moment current OTA users are stuck paying $15 a month.

  9. If I buy this as a gift and that person can’t get all the OTA channels, does the unit have clear QAM for use with Cable ?

    I know FiOS still has all local channels in the clear.

    * The TiVo site is not too helpful in this regard.

  10. Even if the tuner hardware is capable, TiVo will not be — they’ve never mapped clear QAM. Also, all cable providers are now free to encrypt the basics, possibly including the locals, so don’t expect clear channels to be available indefinitely.

  11. Does the OTA offer any advantages (other than the OTA tuners) over the mini as an extender? I am annoyed that the base roamio doesn’t do OTA and cable card. I could see potentially adding a $300 box in lieu of a $150 box and then tasking that with the broadcast recording duties (and can pure HD instead of compressed HD) and leave the base roamio to record the cable content.

  12. Anyone know if the TiVo box can be side loaded with XBMC/Kodi? If so, I would have all I need then in one system.

  13. D, I’m not sure two Roamios talking to each other will gracefully tune live TV the way a Mini co-ops a Roamio tuner. You might have to trigger a recording and stream that in near-real-time to mimic the behavior. Probably not worth it.

    Terry, kmttg and pytivo are tools that allow you to move content onto and off of the TiVo. There’s also a pretty good indication that Plex will be launching on TiVo in a matter of weeks. But no Kodi/XBMC.

  14. I’ve just recently decided to lower my monthly TV bill and have been looking @ Tivo as an option. I called Verizon and lowered my bill with them, I was on a Triple Play and moved to a Double with Internet and Local channels (it was cheaper then just internet). Just yesterday, I ordered a TiVo Roamio Plus w/Lifetime thru Tivo.com. It shipped last night. I talked myself into the Plus b/c of the better hardware….but now I’m thinking for $300 for the OTA unit, this is a much sweeter offer.

  15. Called TiVo support. As others have stated Current OTA owners will have no option to upgrade their service to lifetime. They said because its a web promotional and only for new customers. My guess is if they decide to move forward with this strategy then they will lift the mandatory contract subscription and give the option for lifetime at some point in the not too distant future. Hopefully sooner than later.

  16. I’m still using SageTV. If there was a way to use comskip to remove commercials, I’d switch back.

  17. Does the Tivo OTA work with a Roku or FireTV? I have Simple.tv and would upgrade to the Tivo OTA if it worked with the Roku or FireTV stick.

  18. This does seem like a good deal considering Tivo pricing history. This seems like a good deal when Tivo wants to compete on pricing. Every 6 months or so I look at Tivo (I have cable), and I just can’t justify the move when I have to lay down like $700 dollars.

    I hope this is a start on price competition. I don’t understand how this setup can be SO much cheaper than the same hardware that has a cable card.

  19. @Cote. I agree with you on the pricing. As I mentioned, I just placed an order for a Pro unit the day before this offer was announced. There are some hardware and feature capabilities differences in these units, but now I’m half thinking I may want to return the Pro and pick up the OTA unit now that they offer Lifetime and save myself >$300.

  20. Whew, barely got this deal in time! Looks like it’s already gone, as the link just redirects to the regular pricing. I had pulled up the $299 page on my iPad earlier this morning and then, about 45 minutes ago, when I tried to pull it up on my Mac, I couldn’t get it. It’s still not available. Fortunately, I was able to order it from the page that was still open on my iPad. Got the confirmation email, hello TiVo!

  21. I just bought a $50 unit from Best Buy a week ago, so I called Tivo to see if I could just pay the difference. Apparently they are not set up to do this at all, you’ve got to return what you have and order a new one if you’re still in the trial period.

    The customer service rep noted that interest was *very* high, and there appeared to be some randomness if you got the offer even with the right URL. I noticed this too – I didn’t see it at first, but when I opened a ‘private’ browser window the deal showed up and I could place the order.

  22. This is weird. After repeated attempts in the last hour or two to bring the $299 page back up, I opened a private window in the Chrome browser on my Mac and, voila, the URL worked! When I pasted the same URL into a regular window in Chrome, it wouldn’t work. However, it doesn’t work for me now in either a private or regular window in Safari. Just to cover all my bases, I tried Firefox — the URL worked in both a private and a regular window! I’m not sure what sort of voodoo is going on with TiVo’s web server but if their goal is to get as many new customers as possible on this $299 deal, they need to fix something…

  23. Like Tim, I tried this on my computer later in the day but had it open on my iPhone from the morning. Computer deal was gone, but it worked on my iPhone and I got the order placed! Then the deal disappeared from my phone as well when I tried again. They must have pulled it but maybe the mobile site was cached or something? Glad to have gotten it, sad it’s gone :-)

  24. So glad I jumped on this offer! It is an outstanding deal, and is already gone. Those of you complaining about no upgrade to lifetime for your existing box, you should have just bought the new box in this deal. It is much cheaper than the regular price of lifetime service alone. You could then cancel service on your first box, or just keep using both.

  25. I called Tivo trying to get the promo and while hey did not know why the link was not available other than not available in all markets, the promo is running through June 15th.

    Website is supposed to hae rotating banners with different promos and one of them is supposed to be the $299 Roamio OTA with Lifetime.

    Anyway that is what Tivo Sales said. I may try on Monday and maybe they may fix the promo links(if not pulled altogether).

  26. I can’t believe folks are still interested in TiVo with all the new and highly compelling features just introduced for WMC.

  27. “I hate to be the bearer of bad news but “It’s dead Jim”. No WMC for Windows 10”

    Groundless rumors. Next up, you’ll be telling me my parrot is dead, instead of merely sleeping soundly.

    What about the new ‘Microsoft subsidizes all your OTT and cable sub fees” in the new WMC? Free unlimited teevee is pretty damn compelling, no? Not to mention the $29 pre-configured hardware boxes, including platter drives. And the streaming to all platforms with Microsoft subsidizing cell data fees?

    Heady times for WMC, no doubt.

  28. I got the deal late last night on the 3rd. To do it, you need to keep entering the correct link into your browser and hiting enter. If you get re directed to the wrong page, enter the correct link again and hit enter. You may have to do it 5 to 10 times. Don’t click on the reload page option as that will just reload the same wrong page!!!

    I’ve done it a few times now and it does work. No need to try some other browser or another platform. I’m using chrome on Windows 7. I just control v the correct link in over and over until it works. Give it a try.

  29. “Next up, you’ll be telling me my parrot is dead”

  30. Jeffrey, it still works (in any browser). I tried it just now.

    You have to type or paste the address https://www.tivo.com/TLP4 into your address bar and press enter (don’t just click the link). If you get redirected, paste the address again and press enter again (don’t just reload or refresh). Keep repeating this until it works. Just now it took 5 times for me.

  31. I’ll going to keep trying, but I’m with Jeffery right now!! I’ve tried more than five times….

  32. “I’ll going to keep trying, but I’m with Jeffery right now!! I’ve tried more than five times….”

    No interest in the offer. But just tried it in the interests of science. Worked perfectly the first time.

    You folks are following the instructions about not clicking the link, and not just re-loading upon failure, correct? And you’re using a computer, rather than your microwave oven, right?

  33. Chucky, did I mention I’m the GE Vice President of East Coast Television and Microwave Oven Programming?

  34. Works, just did it and ordered. Simple just left click on the link below and click open link in new tab. Do this 7 or 8 times then go look at each tab until you see the $299 price.
    I completed my order at 10:20 PM on 5/4/2015


    Also you have 30 day to return if the product does not work out :-)

  35. It’s now May 4th, almost 8PM PST and I was able to bring up the page once again after 4 tries!!!
    Again, Ctrl V into the address bar https://www.tivo.com/TLP4
    When you get redirected, Ctrl V https://www.tivo.com/TLP4 into the address bar again and hit enter. If it fails, Ctrl V https://www.tivo.com/TLP4 into the address bar again. At some point, you won’t get Redirected and the web page will STAY at that link without being redirected. Again, it took me 4 tries just now, in about 30 seconds and the Offer was listed once again. I think this program lasts until June 12th, but I wouldn’t count on it. Highlight one of the links listed, Right mouse button, scroll across , then Ctrl C to Cut, then you can easily just Ctrl V Paste into the address bar over and over again, Ctrl V, Hit return, Fail, Control V, hit return, Fail, Ctrl V hit return, On the correct page. It shouldn’t take to many tries. If all you do is click on reload, you are just reloading the wrong page and it will never work.

  36. “I think this program lasts until June 12th, but I wouldn’t count on it.”

    Still speculating that they’re clearing out inventory for a ‘Roamio Aereo’ with integrated streaming…

  37. I got it to work last night. Finally! Now the fun begins of returning the other unit tha tI have had for 2 weeks (still within the 30 days) but have had significant issues and they had multiple accoutns from when I was an RCN customer.

    I must admit that tivo support/service lacks in many ways.

  38. I tried yesterday and it did not work for me. I just tried today and in 3rd try I was able to place an order and received a confirmation email from Tivo.

  39. Still can’t get it.

    Is Tivo still offering the base Roamio w/ lifetime for $400 for us (me since 2003) long-term customers?

  40. “Still can’t get it. Is Tivo still offering the base Roamio w/ lifetime for $400 for us (me since 2003) long-term customers?”

    Damn, Bill. Read the fine print. Both offers are null and void in North Carolina only.

  41. Still works for me. I did the right click and open new tab in Chrome several times and got more $299 than $49 offers show up for me.

  42. Think they pulled the plug last night on the most compelling of the deals… Hopefully the response was good and it wasn’t an error on their part, so they’ll offer it again.

  43. I setup my new Roamio OTA last night, and coming from a Tivo HD, I’m really happy with it. It’s even allowing me to copy the recordings from the HD over the network to the OTA. Didn’t expect that.

    Tonight I will swap them out, and say goodbye to that HD after 6+ years. I wonder if Tivo will let me upgrade the HD to “Lifetime” for $99 when I call to cancel. ;)

    Thanks to Dave (and the ZNF gang) for staying on top of these awesome deals!

  44. I am also loving my new Roamio OTA. It is a huge upgrade from my old TiVo HD, which I have demoted to the bedroom. I refuse to pay a monthly fee for any DVR, so I was excited to learn TiVo finally is offering lifetime service on the OTA. Getting this deal at $150 off the regular price is icing on the cake. Thanks ZNF!

  45. “Hopefully the response was good and it wasn’t an error on their part, so they’ll offer it again.”

    Hmmm… I’ll somewhat dissent on your premises here.

    It’s one of three, IMHO:

    1) My original thesis has been that this is to clear out units in preparation for a ‘Roamio Aereo’ unit with streaming included. But the odd covertness of the deal seems to argue against this.

    2) The odd covertness of the deal is just ‘airline pricing’ on the part of TiVo, something I’ve always advocated for. Charge bargain prices for those willing to jump through hoops, and full freight for everyone else.

    3) TiVo marketing is run by drunks, and we can tell nothing going forward from the odd covertness of this deal.

  46. As you think it thru, keep in mind they ran at least four pricing variations (the others seemingly still in play) and none were promoted thru the main site. So I’m going with TiVo employees that imbibe in tequila and weed were too foggy to recognize that Internet denizens will find the best of the promos. And share it.

    As to why it stopped, maybe they weren’t prepared to analyze their results of this now skewed survey or for demand. Also, Support had no idea what to do with existing OTA customers who wanted a Lifetime option. Its also possible Best Buy or Amazon called, or at least they figured they better halt this until retail partners are briefed.

    I do suspect there’s something else in the pipeline. But TiVo generally moves slow. Let’s say holidays at the earliest.

  47. Well it’s the May 9th and it no longer seems to work. The Deal is over with. if you didn’t rush out and grab one, you are out of luck. I now have mine as of yesterday. First thing I did when I got it out of the Box is open it up, and install a WD 3TB Green drive into it. That showed up faster from Amazon. That was simple enough. Plugged everything in and let it do it’s thing. So hey, Now I have a 500 Gig drive brand new. If of course shows Lifetime Membership on the TIVO.

    I’ve tried over and over and the $299 Deal seems to be done for.

  48. If anyone is still looking for lifetime on the OTA version, nf323712 is selling them on eBay. I picked one up from there.

  49. Today I was able to order a Roamio OTA with lifetime for $449 (using one of the 6 promotional links @David listed.)

    But I passed on that went the eBay route instead as @James Graham suggested, for $390 shipped.

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