TiVo Offers Cheaper Service Plans, Brings Back Lifetime ServiceS

Billed as "promotional pricing" for the holiday season, TiVo is now offering pay-as-you-go service for $12.95 to everybody, not just people planning to keep it for three years. That's a savings of $4 per month. Also 1-year prepay is now $129, down from $179, and 2-year prepay is $249, down from $279. Three years up front is still $299. The new multi-service deal is $9.95/month or $99/year.

For $399, you can get service for the lifetime of the box, though service for more than three years is really showing a lack of faith in the rapidly evolving TV technology. UPDATED There are qualifiers for lifetime, too—it's really only good for old customers activating a new box:
• Must be a current TiVo customer with a qualifying DVR
• Must purchase a new TiVo DVR on the same account as current boxes
• Cannot transfer service, must be a new activation

The most important question is, do the sad sacks currently paying $16.95 get a break? Answer: Not unless you bought your TiVo within the last 30 days. That's a lot of loyal customers getting screwed, so we'll see if that sticks. [TiVo]