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Old 01-10-2005, 05:48 PM   #1 (Print)
theilian
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How long does Tivo live?

A Tivo newbie here.

What is Tivo's average lifespan?
I have my Tivo turned on all the time and record about 5 hours every day.

Any tips on how to prolong its life?
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Old 01-10-2005, 05:51 PM   #2 (Print)
mdscott
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Make sure it has plenty of ventilation for cooling and consider a UPS to protect it against power spikes and interruptions.

TiVo Inc I believe amortizes lifetime subscriptions over a 4 year period.

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Old 01-10-2005, 05:54 PM   #3 (Print)
Rcrew
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Re: How long does Tivo live?

Quote:
Originally posted by theilian
Any tips on how to prolong its life?


Kneel before the God that is TiVo, and offer homage daily. Burn a votive candle near, but not so close that wax might drip into the case...

I have two DTiVos that went into service Jan '02. One did require a fan replacement. Both have had hard drives replaced, but simply to gain storage. Both run great.

You could check the operating temperature on the system info screen. Middle 40's to very low 50's should be ok. Higher might shorten life.

Otherwise, I wouldn't worry much. Oh a surge suppressor might be a good idea. Just because they run 24/7 doesn't necessarily mean a short life.

Oh, and the fact that you record 5 hours a day doesn't have any impact. Your TiVo is constantly recording to maintain the 30 minute buffer. The only difference is if the program gets saved when it's completed.
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Old 01-10-2005, 06:02 PM   #4 (Print)
SoupMan
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My 1st generation Sony, bought in Dec '00 just died. Fortunately most deaths are just the hard drives. This was the case with mine and it was easily replaced with a kit for about $100. Plus it added a bunch more recording time.

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Old 01-10-2005, 06:16 PM   #5 (Print)
rseligman
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It also has nothing to do with how much you explicitly record each day. TiVo is always recording, even if it's just for keeping the last 1/2 hour in the buffer. Scheduling your own recordings causes no additional wear.
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Old 01-10-2005, 06:16 PM   #6 (Print)
Mark_TV
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I second the UPS suggestion. This is probably the single most important thing you can do to prolong the live of your beloved TiVo. Not a surge protector but an uninteruptable power supply of around 500VA.

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Old 01-10-2005, 06:19 PM   #7 (Print)
Rcrew
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rcrew at 2:54 PM
Oh, and the fact that you record 5 hours a day doesn't have any impact. Your TiVo is constantly recording to maintain the 30 minute buffer. The only difference is if the program gets saved when it's completed.


Quote:
Originally posted by rseligman at 3:16PM
It also has nothing to do with how much you explicitly record each day. TiVo is always recording, even if it's just for keeping the last 1/2 hour in the buffer. Scheduling your own recordings causes no additional wear.


... 'smeeker is that you?
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Old 01-10-2005, 06:32 PM   #8 (Print)
jimisham
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We have a Sony SVR 2000 that's over 4 years old that we just gave to our son and his family. Except for two or three months before we gave it to him it had never been on a UPS.
We are using a Sony SAT-T60 thats just over 3 years old. Until 6 months ago it had never been on a UPS but is now.
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Old 01-10-2005, 07:11 PM   #9 (Print)
jsquid001
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I have a first generation series 1 Tivo back when they first came out (remember how cheap their lifetime service was then?) that is in my ex-wife's house and is still working.

She go the Tivo and I got an excuse to upgrade
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Old 01-10-2005, 08:00 PM   #10 (Print)
rhuntington3
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My Sony SAT-T60 has been running since May 2001 with a occasional power outages.
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Old 01-10-2005, 08:22 PM   #11 (Print)
m_jonis
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Well, let's see. My SVR2000 (I think that was the Sony model) had the hard drive die within 1 year (fortunately I was able to replace it before it totally failed to boot up). Of course, they had a piece of garbage Quantum hard drive in there.

My Series-2 Tivo died 100 days after I bought it, (system board) so I had to pay $100 to replace it.

My other Series-2 Tivo had the hard drive die (that one actually went kaput before I could replace it).

Then, the hard drive in my Sony unit that I replaced died within 2 years.

So, maybe it's just me. Yes, EVERYTHING is plugged into UPS (made by our friend, APC).

Hard drives I can understand, ESPECIALLY if they are left on and running 24/7 (SCSI-server hard drives have slightly higher tolerances), but even then, it's been my experience that a hard drive left running 24/7 will usually die in year 3-4.

So, if it were me buying a NEW Tivo, I'd immediately put in a diff. hard drive, and then if that ever died, you slap in the old one and away you go.

Until we get to the point that Tivo enables USB/Firewire hard drives or something.
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Old 01-10-2005, 08:39 PM   #12 (Print)
dgh
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My circle of friends has 9 TiVos that are all at least four years old (as well as bunch of newer ones.) We haven't had a failure yet.
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Old 01-10-2005, 09:13 PM   #13 (Print)
dmdeane
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Quote:
How long does Tivo live?

Heretic! TiVo shall live forever!

If you mean the average life of the box....I have a Series 1 TiVo, Sony 30 hour, purchased about May 2000, continuously running since then, absolutely no problems. Ditto my Series 2 TiVos, albeit they haven't been running as long.

Most likely hardware failures are going to be the hard drive or the modem; both are easily fixable or repairable; if you make the effort your TiVo box should last much longer than it takes to justify the cost of lifetime subscription.

Just make sure to give it plenty of ventilation to keep cool, and protect it with a surge protector - surge protect not only the electrical connection, but also the modem and/or the ethernet and/or the coaxial cable TV/satellite TV cable. UPS protection wouldn't hurt either, though I have never used one, it does provide extra protection and ensures against losing shows due to short power outages.

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Old 01-10-2005, 09:15 PM   #14 (Print)
daperlman
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I have 3 that have lived 4 years, and 1 HD-TiVo that has been problem free since the day they came out.

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Old 01-10-2005, 10:18 PM   #15 (Print)
fishpop
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Question

So what part of the unit is considered for lifetime service? Is the lifetime service associated with the MAC ID? Or something on the hard drive, or is there an ID on the motherboard? I'm asking because if it's something on the drive then I would think it would be advisable to backup it up to ensure that my TiVo lives forever (in terms of the lifetime subscription).
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Old 01-10-2005, 10:23 PM   #16 (Print)
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Lifetime is tied to the serial number of the unit. Drives can come and go.

My SVR-2000 is 4 years, 3 months old, I added an 80G hard drive but the original 30G is in there as the "B" drive. Other than an occasional loss of response to the remote or a spontaneous reboot, it has worked well.

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Old 01-10-2005, 10:28 PM   #17 (Print)
LiveBlues
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I got my first 30 hour Philips on Halloween day 2001. It is still going strong. 3 other series 1's that I have had since March 2002 are still going strong. More recently a series 2 40 hour and a Toshiba RS-TX20 are recording workhorses. I suspect that they will give me years of service as well.

Maybe I am just lucky, but I doubt it. I think that problem units are the exception, rather than the rule.

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Old 01-11-2005, 06:58 AM   #18 (Print)
M_at
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My UK Series One box is over 4 years old - had a swapout in the first year.

Lifetime subscription was the best thing I ever did

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Old 01-11-2005, 09:37 AM   #19 (Print)
S.Mo
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The hard drive is the component that is most likely to fail (provided you have a good surge protector on your modem, if used). When the hard drive does fail, that's Gods way of telling you to upgrade to a bigger one. It doesn't mean the TiVo is dead.
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Old 01-11-2005, 10:39 AM   #20 (Print)
classicsat
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And the serial number is held in a chip on the mainboard.

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Old 01-11-2005, 11:43 AM   #21 (Print)
msokad
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Please excuse me if this is not the correct place to ask this question. How do you enter the TSN number and software on a new drive since you will not be able to restore the data and software off the old drive.
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Old 01-11-2005, 12:21 PM   #22 (Print)
dgh
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The software can come from an old drive, from a CD like "Instant Cake" or preloaded from someone like Weaknees. The TSN is on the motherboard. If you buy a preloaded drive from Weaknees, you remove some screws, plug in the drive, screw it back together, and your service is unaffected.

You don't feel comfortable with that, you can send your TiVo to Weaknees and they'll do it all for you.
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Old 01-11-2005, 01:59 PM   #23 (Print)
msokad
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thank you dgh. I work as an IT analyst so I have no problem with opening the case and working inside i was just unsure on how it was done. I guess its time to do some searching and reading.
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Old 01-11-2005, 02:26 PM   #24 (Print)
terminus303
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Quote:
Originally posted by classicsat
And the serial number is held in a chip on the mainboard.


But it can be changed.

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Old 01-11-2005, 02:28 PM   #25 (Print)
terminus303
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I bought 5 series one Tivos. Three died quickly and two still work 5 years later.

My reccomendation - buy someplace with an extended warranty (base warranty is only 90 days) and never buy a lifetime subscription.

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