miscFAQ: The TiVo Series3 – Currently with a $200 Rebate


This edition of miscFAQ focuses on the Series3 TiVo, which currently has a $200 rebate from TiVo.


What’s the difference between the Series3 TiVo and the TiVo HD?

The biggest differences between these units are the price and the size of the starting hard drive. But with the rebate, and with our low price on the box, the price difference is essentially zero. Beyond that, see our HD TiVo comparison chart for a full list of differences between the units.

How do I get lifetime service on my Series3 TiVo?

There’s no official way to get lifetime service on the Series3 at this point. In fact, only one unit is currently eligible for lifetime service at all from TiVo (the Humax DVD TiVo). That said, TiVo did have a program where you could pay to move lifetime service from an older box to a Series3 for $199, and they would give you one year of service on that older box. While that program expired, we still hear from customers who are able to get TiVo to honor it. If you want to try, when you get your Series3, call TiVo at 866 424-8486.

But if you already have lifetime on a unit, or even have monthly on a unit for that matter, you really only pay $6.95/month to add another TiVo (HD units included) to your account. TiVo charges full boat for the first unit, but additional units are only $6.95/month. So if you have a lifetime unit, you might even just stick it in the closet but keep it on your account. That qualifies your next units for that lower secondary monthly fee.
(EDIT: A reader wrote in to tell me of a term in TiVo’s info on this. It says that the unit with lifetime must connect within 180 days, or the $6.95/month price is invalid. So you’d need to pull it out of the closet once every five months to be safe, and have it connect to home base.)

What’s the deal with Multistream or M CableCARDs?

For a good primer on CableCARDs, see our CableCARD blog entry. For the quick and dirty answer, the Series3 unit can only record one stream from a CableCARD, even an M card. But with two M cards, you can record two channels at once. So you aren’t really losing anything here, other than needing two cards from your cable company.

Does any HD TiVo work with DirecTV?

The two current HD TiVos – the TiVo Series3 and the TiVo HD – don’t work with DirecTV or DISH. They work with cable, antenna, and/or an OTA HD antenna. DirecTV and TiVo did make an HD TiVo for DirecTV (and we still have some) but DirecTV has refreshed their line with a new HD DVR, and it doesn’t have the TiVo OS. The HR20 is the only current unit to record HD signals from DirecTV.

How do I get a unit with HD and DVD?

There is no DVR that both records HD and contains a DVD player or burner. Even standalone HD DVD burners are still in their infancy. We don’t expect an all-in-one unit with both HD and DVD anytime soon – we haven’t even heard rumors about it.

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