TiVo are to end the option to pay for a lifetime subscription for new customers in favor of higher priced monthly subscriptions. The higher monthly cost will come with the box for free, but the monthly charge will be $19.95 for a one year contract or $18.95 for a two year subscription.
The reason for elliminating the lifetime subscription is that it turned out to be too much of a good deal in favor of the customer. We took a lifetime subscription on our TiVo box when we bought it almost 4 years ago and it’s still going strong (apart from the occaisional harddrive grinding noises…) so we’ve been enjoying the service for free now for some time, compared with if we took the monthly subscription option.
$19.95 seems too high to me to attract any new customers, even if the hardware is free. I believe both the DirecTV and Dish options that come with a DVR (even though not TiVo) are a lot less than these suggested monthly fees, so I think the majority of people would take the lower cost option with their satelite provider rather than pay an additional $20 on top of their satelite fee.