TiVo Giveth… and Taketh Away

I’ve got some very good news for owners of legacy TiVo hardware… and a smattering of bad news.

While I had assumed the TiVo Premiere was end-of-life, over 250,000 of you still on the platform recently received the Roamio and Bolt’s highly desirable SkipMode – which enables somewhat automated commercial skipping of most prime time television recordings. Additionally, these 8-year old DVRs have been treated to the recently released Alexa integration for voice control. It’s quite refreshing to see TiVo invest their finite resources in backporting a subset of folks on this older hardware (and I’m guessing those of you on monthly or annual service plans are to be thanked).

On the flip side, the less than 1% of TiVo owners still using dial-up for guide data are about to be cut off due to exorbitant fees:

We are making this decision primarily because the cost of dial-up access has risen dramatically (3x price increase) and our usage has fallen to the point where the minimum costs and overhead are no longer sustainable. […]

For Series 2 customers who would like help in finding a compatible USB network adapter, I would recommend that you start here: https://support.tivo.com/articles/FAQ/TiVo-Compatible-Network-Adapters-FAQ

Customers with Series 3 or Series 4 devices that have built-in Ethernet, there are a ton of cost-effective network bridges available via Amazon, Best Buy, etc. that will likely perform much better than a USB adapter.

Those utilizing dialup will be, or have been, contacted by TiVo to review the situation – including an option for owners to purchase the older USB TiVo wireless adapter for $25 (which TiVo should probably consider providing customers on monthly or annual plans at no charge – why encourage active subscribers to potentially seek out other solutions).

16 thoughts on “TiVo Giveth… and Taketh Away”

  1. I wonder how many of those premier units are ones that the cable companies provide (and whether those also got the feature). I know that my aunt has a premier from RCN in the Boston area.

  2. I was indeed surprised when I discovered that SkipMode had been backported to the Premiere. The Premiere continues to serve since I bought it in 2011 and does pretty well for its age. I did have to replace the hard drive about 4 years ago, but it was nice to go to a larger drive.

    My four Series 2 TiVos also continue in service, but none of them have been on a phone line since about 2006. Two are in somewhat active service in our rec room and home office, but two are essentially idling waiting for a $99 transfer deal to come around again. TiVo’s insistence on not only having them on your account but also recently checked in is a bit of a nuisance. I should have gone for the Roamio Pro deal when they were closing them out.

  3. I’m curious what other people do with their old TiVo boxes? I have a couple series 2 boxes and a Roamio that are just collecting dust. Is there anything to be done with them other than sending them to electronics recycling?

  4. If that Roamio has lifetime on it, you probably can sell it. The series 2 are basically junk and probably easiest to just recycle them. Sometimes you can sell something that old for parts, but probably more of a hassle then worth it.

  5. Glad to see the innovations make it to my “lifetime” subscribed premiere. Still rocking like a champ using a Comcast Cable card. I do defer to other more robust media players for online content when available. NetFlix takes quite a while to get going and navigate but for my daily DVR purposes the Premiere had been fine. (And been off dialup since I moved to the Premiere).

  6. I have two Premiere XL boxes that I purchased in 2010 with Lifetime Service that I transferred over from previous TiVo boxes I owned for the prior 8 years. I rent the cablecards from Comcast to get Comcast service. The Comcast interface still is inferior to the TiVo interface.

  7. Yet, I still can’t adjust the aspect Zoom in a streaming service without being kicked back to the main menu, and the plex app never remembers which user was logged in when it updates (causing my family lose access to our library until I reprogram it for 6 devices.

    Nice to see them supporting old devices, but can we get these 7+ year old bugs fixed!?

  8. My Premiere is direct from TiVo. I had 2, but one started failing on me, and I really didn’t use both. I suppose I should have splurged on the lifetime now, but $3.99 a month is hard to complain about.

    I don’t even want to see the TV’s the Dial-up units are connected to.

  9. The end of an era occurred for me this past Saturday when I called to cancel TiVo service. I had owned a TiVo for almost twenty years and the TiVo HD that I retired for ten. But I no longer subscribe to pay TV and I wasn’t even watching antenna. Mainstream media so disgusts me, I can’t be bothered. Bye TiVo.

  10. I still have my non-cable provided Premiere. Hell, I still have my HD and Series 1 in boxes somewhere! Ok, maybe I’m not the best example, as I might be a bit of a tech hoarder!

  11. When we moved about a year ago, I recycled an old Premiere. Guess I should have kept? Although we watch so little TV via TiVo these days, getting most content via app. Didn’t hear about Killing Eve until it was nearly over, so we streamed it via the AMC app (with sooo many ads) and are currently watching This Is Us S2 on Hulu without ads, although it’s probably also sitting on the TiVo.

  12. What’s dial up???


    Skip mode is great. Didn’t realize my Premiere has Alexa features. Definitely going to check that out.

  13. What’s dial up??

    Just kidding.. I had a USR Courier DS.

    Anyway, wasn’t happy to stumble upon the skip feature on my premier. Nice to read they gave it Alexa features too. Definitely gonna check that out.

  14. Both my Series 3 and HD are working well. Both have lifetime subscription. Dropped cable last year and now recoding OTA. While getting kind of clunky (Netflix using Roku is much better), they are perfect as an OTA DVR.

  15. I wish my Lifetimed Roamio worked with OTA… that would have saved it. We finally made the leap to DirecTV Now and a Plex server with an OTA antenna this week, and we’re saving almost $90/month. As it is, I have no use for a cable-only TiVo.

    I might keep the Mini, since I can install Plex… at least until I get the “free” AppleTV 4K from DirecTV Now for pre-paying.

    Gonna give this setup a try for three months this summer and see how it goes. As old and cranky as the TiVo interface was, I already miss it. I’ve had nothing but TiVo since 2004.

  16. Still got an HD XL from April 2009. Original HD. Lifetime sub, of course. Deal of a lifetime.

    When it dies, I will probably dump cable TV. I refuse to give Commiecast one more dime than I have to.

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