TiVo Tips Hat To First 2000 Customers

As we continue to commemorate TiVo’s 20th anniversary, the DVR pioneer recently mailed hand-signed Thank You cards to its very first 2000 customers. Assuming those 480i platter-spinning trailblazers are still among the living and at the same residence to receive. Beyond a shout-out, TiVo is also spotting those folks a $100 store credit should they be in need of a hardware refresh or expansion.

18 thoughts on “TiVo Tips Hat To First 2000 Customers”

  1. “Assuming those 480i platter-spinning trailblazers are still among the living”

    Hahahaha… Nicely done!

  2. Those would only work these days on unencrypted analog cable or someone still broadcasting in analog ota.

    In other words….nobody.

  3. Any idea what kind of date range that would fall into? Mine is November 1999 but we’re long gone from that address.

  4. cfbcfb, I didn’t mean to imply original hardware was still in service. For reference, Series 1 guide data and dialup was killed in 2016. However, from a purely technical perspective they could be used like a VCR with a digital adapter and folks could continue watching any recordings. Although I doubt any do.


    Richard, I don’t know how quickly they moved them. But bet you were a month or two late.

  5. I guess I’ll be expecting mine soon… My activation date was June 7, 1999, just over 20 years ago. It was a friends and family purchase, with product lifetime, and was upgraded (twice with bigger drives and once to add Ethernet) and was still running when I unplugged it maybe seven years ago. It was our kids’ TiVo — for many years, they never knew there was such a thing as “live TV” since they only watched whatever was in “Now Playing”.

  6. I had a DirectTV set-top box with TiVo SW back in 1994. Had DirecTV ever since. Currently on FiOS platform

  7. Oops, made a mistake on my original post. Swapped DirectTV for TiVo

    I had a DirectTV set-top box with TiVo SW back in 1994. Had TiVo ever since. Currently have TiVo on FiOS platform

  8. So I would upgrade my Premiere4 but I hate the thought of paying again full price for the lifetime subscription. Tivo does not seem to ever want to offer any incentives to upgrade with a discounted subscription or subscription transfer for a fee. Too bad. If and when the unit dies, I will find something else. They need to generate customer loyalty. I would send the old unit back so they don’t have to worry about it ending up on the used market.

  9. My cable provider, Spectrum, switched to digital making my old TiVo obsolete. I contacted TiVo about this and there answer was to sell me a new unit. I had lifetime subscription on this so I refused offer.

  10. Don’t waste your money – I have Spectrum and also have my 3rd replacement BOLT. The signal , said by Spectrum, is too strong ⁉️⁉️⁉️
    Crazy – we still use 2 other TiVo’s that work perfectly.

  11. I bought my first TiVo in March 2000 when I was working at VA Linux. TiVo was one of the first mass market devices running linux, so just about everyone at the company had one. We were also in Sunnyvale at the time, and TiVo was just around the corner. Some TiVo engineers came by to give a technical talk. I remember all of the questions were around whether they could detect commercials and build in auto-skip. They were all pretty confident that they’d be able to do that pretty easily. I suspect they had commercial skip code ready for a long time before it was released.

    Andrew Tridgell also worked at VA Linux at that time and was one of the original TiVo hackers, extending the original platform beyond the original factory capabilities. Like a lot of others (especially those that bought lifetime service and wanted to hang on to it for as long as possible), we added larger hard drives and an ethernet adapter. The latter was useful for transferring and archiving shows off for storage on Networked Attached Storage (NAS) servers. I spent a lot of time with our newly released Orinoco 802.11 “Wifi” adapters streaming these shows to my laptop. But all of those recordings were taken over the analog cable interface, and it wasn’t until we switched to using a DirecTivo that we were able to save the original digital streams.

    TiVo hacking was a pretty fun time. The hardware running an operating system that was easy to work with, with lots of online support, led lots of people to try creative things, and built a lot of community engagement. It’s also fun to look back at home much has changed in the last 20 years.

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