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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

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Satisfaction Rating

My TIVO Bolt worked for 4 months, but has had issues for over 2 months. Calling support results in the same response. "Unplug the unit, Unplug the modem, do this multiple times" while I am put on hold for 5-10 minutes at a time. Then wait 5-10 days and try it again. When asking to speak to a supervisor usually results in a dropped call. The couple of times I got someone, I was again put on hold for 5-10 minutes. I finally got them to send a new unit, which had a different problem.

After going through multiple calls, they finally agreed to take the new unit back and send another unit. Surprise, the new unit had the same issue as the first replacement. Now I am told it is a known issue and to wait another 15-20 days for a fix. I have had 14 different service log numbers and spent over 4 hours on the phone with TIVO. I purchased a one year contract upfront, which I now know was a mistake. I plan to cancel as soon as possible and never deal with TIVO again. I rated them a 1 only because there was no 0 option. I hope this save someone the aggravation of dealing with this company.

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TIVO Discontinued My Lifetime Service. What is the point of paying for Lifetime service if TiVo is just going to cancel it whenever they feel like it? I'm sure there is something in their legal mumbo-jumbo that allows them to do it but they shouldn't be able to call it "lifetime" service if it isn't. They should call it "lifetime service until we cancel it", at least that would be truth in advertising. Very sad because I have used Tivo for over 10 years and I hate the idea of using another service.

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Like many others on this thread, I had excellent service and luck with TiVo. I have two Series 2 boxes which have run for 10+ years with little incidents. If/when there were incidents, I'd call the TiVo Tech Support line and they'd invariably help me fix the problem quickly and professionally. In February, I got an email saying the Series 2 boxes would not be supported much longer. They had a great offer to transfer my lifetime service onto a new Bolt. I bought a Bolt and a TiVo Mini to connect to the machine. I then got emails saying the supply was not meeting demand and the delivery was on hold awaiting their manufacturer. I got the new Bolt a few weeks later and got it all running with the TiVo Mini. I really liked streaming off the box onto my phone feature because I travel for business.

All was working well until a few weeks ago. I spent 10+ hours on phone with TiVo Support and Verizon as TiVo often blames the provider. Then TiVo sent me a replacement box. I got it, plugged it in, called TiVo to activate. It didn't work. Called Verizon. Spent 3+ hours on phone trying to get it to work. Called TiVo back. Spent another 3+ hours. Finally, I plugged my Series3 boxes back in and they work fine. So, after 20+ hours of working on this, I called TiVo and they're refunding my money. It appears these Bolts are just not working.

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Customer for 9 years. Premiere box in 2008, then Roamio Plus in 2014. Premiere died two years ago (hard drive kaput). Roamio is still alive. The interface for the DVR function is fabulous and the recording function seldom fails. But over the years as streaming and wireless connectivity has taken on a bigger role, Tivo has lagged far behind. During that same timeframe I have owned Apple TV (two boxes) and Amazon box. Never ever an issue with them streaming. Tivo not so much. Once a month Tivo box fails to connect with Tivo's homeland to download the TV listings (without which, Tivo can't record). When that happens, you need to check under the hood and tinker because Tivo support only ever has one solution: reboot your router (then reboot your cable modem then reboot Tivo then start rebooting everything again).

I don't even know the support phone numbers for Apple and Amazon because I have never had to call them. Tivo offers a link to Netflix and Youtube just like Apple. Choosing the Tivo link instead of Apple is madness - freezes up midway through any show. Same top of the line router, same distance from it. And the Tivo smartphone app? HaHaHa...

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Purchased three (3) TiVo units that are now 3, 4 and 5 years old respectively - all with lifetime service. Approximately six months ago, the channel guide would not download correctly to all three devices requiring a call into customer support. TiVo acknowledges the problem promising a fix but it has only gotten worse. The temporary fix is to reboot the DVR. After contacting TiVo again for the third time with yet another ticket number, I elected to reach out again by phone.

I first spoke with Muriel who then passed me on to her supervisor, Patrick. In the course of our discussion, Patrick suggested, given the age of my 5 year old unit, that problems are to be expected. I argued, "What therefore, is the value of a Lifetime Service Plan if it is only expected to last 5 years?" Flustered, he proceeded to ramble on with a stream of nonsensical gibberish only to hang up on me.

Patrick's 5 year admission only serves to confirm that TiVo's long term, life time plans are meaningless. Their business model is based on two elements, 1) monthly service fees and 2) selling new hardware. Bear in mind, there's nothing wrong with my hardware - it's a software issue. As a software developer, there's no easier way for a technology company to render a product worthless than by breaking the software with which its hardware is dependent. TiVo does not want their solutions lasting beyond 5 years - consequently, there's no value in purchasing a TiVo.

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I have had a Tivo DVR since the company's launch. I recently acquired a BOLT after nearly 2 months of fooling around with fixing the #3 generation TIVO. I can't begin to describe the hassle I've encountered -- everything from payment to order to technical support. I suspect that TIVO's recent acquisition by a larger company may have something to do with the problems I've encountered. Now after about 3 weeks of use, the BOLT box I installed isn't working and TIVO is mailing me another. I am ready to pull the plug and use the less user friendly but at least less expensive cable DVR. Don't make an investment in this technology unless you're willing to put up with consistent problems across the board. It's too bad as this used to be a very well run company.

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Like other reviewers, I upgraded my TiVo box, then found out a year later I was being billed for two TiVos... I guess this is standard rip off for them. Now I'm trying to cancel my account, they won't let me! Ridiculous! I will have to cancel the card they are billing. I don't know how to prove I'm trying to cancel this. It's outright robbery. Beware.

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I canceled my service two months ago with TiVo after 12 years as a loyal customer. Imagine my surprise when I was billed a couple of days ago for the canceled service. I called today to inquire and was told that the first rep had offered me two months of free service as compensation and since I didn't call back to cancel before that time was up, my service was continued and I was billed. Let me be clear, the first rep said he was extending free service so that I could "sell the box" and due to my loyalty. He never once mentioned my having to call back into re-cancel. And now they refuse to refund me for this month. This is very, very poor customer service and TiVo has lost a very loyal customer forever.

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When you call the phone number for Tivo, you no longer get a person in the United States. They no longer have any representation here. If you think as an American I am giving my information to total strangers in the Philippines, think again! Tivo has completely gone downhill. Worst company ever. No wonder everyone has billing issues. And they will lie and tell you that no one can talk right now in the States... Do you get this. There is no more USA jobs for Tivo or Tivo support!!! Know how I know, the supervisor in the Philippines told me so!!! Don't buy a Tivo. They are no longer a good company. It is terribly sad. It's all about them getting your $$$.

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I ordered top of the line Tivo, Tivo Mini and service. Received product and when I connected, I was told it would not work with my equipment or service. I immediately returned $1000.00 worth of equipment and was told I would be refunded within 10 days of them receiving it. It has been 20 days and still no refund. When I try to contact customer service, I am disconnected. I have tried email and they acknowledge receiving the email but offer no resolution. This is INSANE.

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TiVo makes it nearly impossible to cancel. They want to bill you forever, even after you've stopped using their service. They let you sign up online, but you can't cancel online. I call them and they pretend they can't find my account, even though I give them my name and phone number - the info they request and the info my account was registered with. They play games and will probably turn account over to collection agency once it totals a few hundred bucks. The last time I called them to cancel - June 19, 2017 at 14:44, a gal who called herself "Ann" claimed she couldn't find my account; refused to give a last name, employee number or any way to really identify her and refused my three requests to speak to a supervisor. BEWARE - CROOKS!

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Three months ago I "thought" I was going to "enjoy" Tivo when I discovered the same day of Tivo activation that I had a serious mold issue! Part of the foundation as well as walls and flooring in approximately one third of my home has gone through the long and intricate remediation process of demolition and building! I discovered that my credit card was paying for the monthly Tivo that I had NEVER EVER even had a chance to turn on and watch even a single TV show of any kind!

I called Tivo and asked to have my account suspended as I had this terrible problem! THEY ARE SO GREEDY! No they would not suspend it! They had to cancel for a penalty of 75.00 or I could continue to pay for nothing as well! Very bad customer relation! I think with the loss I have now into this and the BULLY behavior I experienced with this VERY arrogant company that I will just throw this idea away and put it all behind me! I hope anyone who wishes to experience the Tivo service that they research it thoroughly! Very expensive mistake I made in this one sided uncaring company!

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When I purchased a new Bolt a year ago, I cancelled service on the old Premiere. I just found out that I have been being charged 14.99 a month for 12 months for that Premiere. Customer support said I never requested cancellation of the Premiere and that I had been carrying two services for the years. They also said they would not refund the money because it had been my responsibility to stop the service.

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I want to warn prospective customers that units are expensive, mostly defective and built not to last (tried both Roamio and Bolt). Charged $300 for a TiVo Bolt. Subscription is $14.99/month. Warranty is only for 90 days, after which they try to sell you a "refurbished" unit for an additional cost of $149! Then try to rip customers off further with selling "service agreements". The front green light on my almost 13-month-old Bolt suddenly stopped lighting up. The unit would not respond in any way to the remote. The light on the back was on and I could hear the fan running. I checked online - seems to be a common problem - and went through all the recommended steps, including unplugging the unit, trying to set up again, etc. but nothing worked.

When I called tech support, I was first told that they only offer a 90-day warranty but would send me a "refurbished" unit for a cost of $149. Told them I would not be forced or coerced into paying them AGAIN for a practically new $300 unit. They agreed to send me a 'refreshed?' unit (with no cords or remote) at no charge. I spent hours transferring my saved programs onto the new unit, with phone help from TiVo. Within a week, the so-called refurbished/refreshed unit started to cut out sound, freeze screen picture and kept losing connectivity with my WiFi (the latter of which was working perfectly with my laptops and printer combo). I then wasted hours on the phone with a variety of tech support and customer service staff. For my "frustration and inconvenience," I was promised a brand new Bolt with attachments. A week later, another "refreshed" unit with no attachments was received.

Since then I have called several times, always maintaining politeness to reps in both tech support and customer service. I was assured that my case would be escalated to a supervisor and promised a call within 3 days - which never came. I called again May 8th, was disconnected several times, even when "escalated" to a supervisor twice (with no call back, despite them verifying my phone number on my account). Bottom line, they sell you an expensive product, charge you a monthly subscription fee, and don't give a damn about selling a lasting product or customer service.

I am not writing this to be vindictive, but to warn others not to get sucked into this giant scam. Yes, it's a good service - WHEN IT WORKS! Do NOT trust a "refreshed" unit - both a replacement Roamio and Bolt were defective from the start. They also make every effort to get customers to pay another 50% of the cost of a new unit that was only purchased 13 months prior.

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HDMI Input stopped working a couple months after purchase. I called TIVO who not only refused a refund, they charged me $75 to cancel my service early! Terrible company! They know this is an issue (Google it!) and they are scamming people that bought one. Don't EVER do business with TIVO!!

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We have always liked TIVO for 10 plus years until we bought the Bolt and this is a disaster. We are disgusted with TIVO. After a month of not programming properly and TIVO not answering any questions about their problems they finally sent out an email saying the problem was fixed. After doing all they asked we find out they messed up yet again. I would like to know if they are ever going to get this problem with recording one passes. We are so very disappointed in them.

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Today, my TiVo Mini just refuse to work. It was working fine yesterday, but today, nope. I tried to do some troubleshooting myself, but it would not work. I called tech support and, after about 30 minutes of unplugging everything, etc., etc., the tech guy said I had to replace the Mini. I believe it is barely more than one year old. So, I have to pay $79 to get another one, but they will not send it out until I Fedex them the broken one. So, this process will take about a week during which time, obviously, no TV service in the main room of the house.

With what they charge for their equipment and service fees, I expect a better quality product. Or, if something happens, I expect them to make it work ASAP and not wait until I find a box to mail them a faulty piece of equipment. I could use the box the replacement is coming in - IF I COULD GET IT. And, as a further insult, TiVo has already charged my credit card for the full amount of the replacement - which is not being sent to me. I will never recommend TiVo to anyone and am considering getting another service, myself.

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I have had a TIVO Roamio for a couple of years and have really enjoyed it. I decided to purchase a TIVO Bolt. I started the activation process and found out that I would be committed to paying the monthly price regardless of whether or not I used it. It is absolutely ridiculous that you must purchase their hardware (which would be useless without a subscription), and then be held to pay on a monthly basis regardless of use. I wonder if Donald Trump owns a share of this company. It's something he would do to take advantage of people with limited income. I told the "advanced" customer service representative that I did not agree with the terms and he hung up on me.

I am returning the TIVO Bolt to Best Buy (letting them know why they need to take the device back) and I am going to find out if I will be committed to a year subscription for the Roamio I currently have when the current year expires. If so, I'm done with that. If more customers refused to be held hostage, TIVO would get a clue and treat us with some respect.

on
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Terrible customer service and product support. After 2 different TiVos and 4 different cable cards I am still receiving a V52 error. Tivo customer service was rude and condescending. Although this is a known problem with TiVos they act like I'm the only one that has ever had this problem, which is completely untrue. They should not sell a product that they cannot honestly support. Really too bad, this used to be a great company. Unfortunately, not anymore.

on
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Happy customer for over 10 years. I was really surprised to see all the negative reviews. Tivo has state side support and always seem friendly and helpful to me. They stand behind their product better than most companies. But it does come at a price, you buy the equipment and pay a subscription.

on
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I have no idea how far to go with the horrid support. I have been a Tivo owner since 2004 and simplicity has been the reason... That is gone. I literally lost 2-3 weeks of my life due to a defective unit. Not only did it not work until it was replaced over two weeks later (I requested it be replaced right away) but they insisted to be patient and keep downloading updates even though as long as it was hooked up I couldn't use my tv at all... Two weeks of no tv and missed shows and spending most of my time forcing updates or calling and playing games is absurd. My time is valuable and obviously tivo doesn't seem to care. I even got one support agent talking down to me and literally gaslighting me. No one should get that from tech support.

The only reason I even got a replacement was because after the abuse I Insisted on talking to a manager as my desire to return it was ignored. He sent one out asap. I asked about a previous unit that was supposed to come to me a week earlier and it was never sent even though support kept claiming it was on its way. They also kept insisting a new unit wouldn't fix the problem even though a new unit worked perfectly out of the box. I lost weeks worth of functionality, time and stress I didn't need.

It's not too much to ask a company to respect your time is valuable. My time lost could have bought 10 bolts... this refurbished one... which I only bought due to the discounted price wasn't worth it. It's working fine now but I feel compromised keeping it. I just don't want to fight with them anymore. When it expires I highly doubt I will ever use tivo again. If you get the runaround DON'T play their game. Insist on returning it or getting a new one ASAP and insist if it doesn't arrive in time to take it back. Although I doubt they will. You'd think they respect your desire to return things but I can't force them to live up to their legal responsibility without a lawyer.

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TiVo has a lousy customer complaints department in my opinion. Plus poor Bolt cover color control. TiVo boxes colored bright white detracts from viewing the TV in a dark room. I have never experienced such a lack of listening to a customer as I have experienced at TiVo. TiVo customer complaints gives case numbers but do not record them, and when you call back because they have not responded to your complaint they indicate you are beyond their 30 days return policy. If you ask for their management emails they are not 'allowed to give them out'. Yet LinkedIn has most of them publicly available! If you tell them that you are going to document this situation on the internet, they indicate you are threatening them! Companies that treat their customers this way lose customers.

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I'm on my 2nd Roamio box and all I've had is grief. My recordings are messed up and the machine might cut a recording or start recording then stop and then start to record again so my program is split up without human interference. Just the other day and this was the second time the box resets itself on its own. I was at my desk watching the news and without notice and it resets. Customer service is a waste of time. I called 6 times total over 6 months and gave up. I'm looking for an alternative to TiVo.

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TiVo just lost a customer because they refuse to send me an invoice (hard copy or email I don't care) for their annual prepaid subscription. I bought a Bolt a year ago that came with one year of service included in the purchase. I got an updated credit card during the course of the year and when it came time to auto renew obviously the card was declined. Then the fun started. I could not find an email for customer care (or lack thereof as I was about to find), so I called in. The CSR told me that it was my responsibility to know when my bills were due and their system does not have the capability to generate an invoice. His snotty attitude really set me off so I tried with the only chat service they offer.

This person seemed nicer but eventually I got the same response. She escalated me to a Supervisor who called me the next day. All I want is a copy of an invoice for my records. Now I just got an email saying they discontinued my service and are sending me to collections... haha - for a prepaid service. I'm in the process of looking at other OTA DVR's and will soon purchase one rather than deal with TIVO anymore.

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It has been over 30 days, five email and two no sorry three case numbers and no response to date. Brutal customer service. I paid to unlock my box last year. This year they came back looking for another year's subscription but as I explained I paid last year. So I was to pay another 200 and then get a 50 dollar credit 30 days later. Not only do I feel I should not have to pay another 150 but I have been 30 days + just trying to get the already agreed upon $50 back.

on
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TiVo is a horrible company for customer service. You send an email with a basic question and the response is 'security does not allow us to answer this', please call customer support. You call customer support and the automated voice says a five minute wait. You are waiting for 30 minutes. IF you do get someone, they listen to the issue and say this is the wrong department, they transfer you and you wait forever. I have surmised that if you have a yearly subscription and upgrade your equipment (ROAMIO to BOLT), you forfeit the remainder of the ROAMIO subscription and have to purchase a subscription to BOLT separately. They are terrible, I think the writing on the wall says there is no need to TIVO when the 'fibers' reach larger audiences (Google, AT&T fiber). They have customer support. TIVO is poorer than COMCAST when they were the perceived WORST in customer support.

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Today is December 20, 2016. My husband and I have been dealing with Tivo over a malfunctioning Roamio DVR since December 2nd, and we are not done yet. We had one Tivo start making a very loud buzzing sound and it quit sending sound. After some difficult discussions with Tivo, they agreed to send us a refurbished replacement if we gave them $217 deposit, which they would return when they received the broken one. That is when the nightmare began. The replacement was defective and would not send picture to the television. They said it was a cable card problem and we needed Time Warner to deal with it. We went through the start up and attempted to pair several times, on the phone with both Tivo and with Spectrum. Spectrum sent out a technician. We tried another cable card. Still wouldn't work. Technician said it was the Tivo and left. I called Tivo and they still refused to believe it was their machine.

To make a long story short, I spent every day from the 15th through yesterday working on this. Tivo made Spectrum come out and try a total of 6 cable cards before they would admit that the refurb was "DOA" (their term). Supervisor said they would send another immediately and would not require another deposit. This morning we got an email saying that the replacement would be sent AFTER they received the refurb and we would receive it 7-10 days later. NOT the agreement that we had made after 6 solid days on the phone with them - not exaggerating. I have never wasted so much time with such horrendous customer service.

So I have spent another 2 hours on the phone with Tivo this morning. They say the same thing they told me on Sunday - they will send another asap and not wait for the return of the refurb. We'll see. We are saving about $12.50/month by using Tivo instead of the Spectrum DVR. We have two Tivos. When we get the next refurb, if it works, I plan to sell it on eBay and pay the extra money to my cable company. When the other Tivo breaks, we will switch that to a Spectrum unit as well. I never want to spend more than a week of my life talking to one customer service agent after another, repeating the same information over and over and over, ad nauseam.

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I was attempting to use the Tivo on-screen setup features to enable my Tivo remote to switch between data sources (TV, Roku, Tivo, Blu-ray, etc...). The on-screen instructions were not working, so I first called Tivo's technical support line. The rep did not understand in the least what the issues were, she kept telling me Tivo would not replace my remote based upon this issue. I told her I did not want my remote replaced, I was trying to just make the remote do something their on-screen instructions said it could do.

Since I was unable to get any technical assistance, I then attempted to use Tivo's chat technical support feature. The rep did understand what my problem was, so he sent me an online link to try, instead of my continuing to try using the on-screen instructions. Unfortunately, the online link instructions did not work. The problem got worse, as the online instructions actually forced my tv to power down. I was unable to power it back on. Neither the Tivo nor the TV remotes worked on it. The power button also did not work. I powered the Tivo off, only then would my TV power back on. Neither remote works on it, though, so it is stuck in the "greetings" screen waiting for me to tell it which source of input I want.

I asked to be put through to a higher level of support, at first the Tivo rep said I would get no different answer. Later he told me he was unable to put me through to a higher level support or a manager. He told me the problem was with the tv manufacturer, not Tivo, even though I reminded him that the tv worked until I followed his instructions. He was completely unhelpful.

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Who's the Idiot at TiVo who decided to make the selected TiVo Menu entries (like in My Shows) BRIGHT YELLOW?!! Trying to Read the Contents of the entry in a Dark Room (like from Bed at Night) is Impossible!!! I tried to tell TiVo about it right after they did their release and they didn't want to hear About It! (They were ONLY INTERESTED IN HEARING POSITIVE FEEDBACK!) Question: Who's in charge of Quality Control at TiVo? Answer: No One!

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I informed TIVO that my channel line up was wrong and that I was missing channels on Sept. 22, 2016. Today is 11/20/16 and I still have the same problem. They said the issue takes 5 - 7 days to correct. I paid for a lifetime subscription so this is costing them nothing. I am considering changing to my cable companies DVR service but It would cost me a monthly fee, so I am still patiently waiting.

Expert Review

Jonathan TroutConsumerAffairs Research Team

As a member of the ConsumerAffairs Research Team, Jonathan Trout believes having access to free, comprehensive information on products and businesses is vital to making smart purchasing decisions. He focuses his efforts on researching and reviewing multiple brands across a variety of industries, with the goal of writing unbiased buyers guides to help inform consumers on impending purchases.    More about Jonathan→

TiVo first appeared in 1999 with the DVR. Today it offers the TiVo BOLT, a streaming device that turns your TV into a smart TV by integrating your favorite streaming apps like Hulu, Netflix, Sling TV and more. The BOLT comes in a 500GB, 1TB and 3TB storage capacities. That comes out to be about 75, 150 and 450 hours of show and movie storage capability. Pricing starts at $199.99 for the 500GB BOLT, $299.99 for the 1TB and $499.99 for the 3TB.

  • Monthly plans: You have three options when it comes to TiVo’s service plans. You can pay a monthly service fee of $14.99, an annual service fee of $149.99 or an all-in service plan for a one-time payment of $549.99. The monthly plan comes with a one-year commitment and a $75 early termination fee.
  • Cable and streaming integration: By using the TiVo BOLT box instead of your cable provider's box, you can integrate your cable TV subscription with your streaming services subscriptions and puts them all in one place. This lets you avoid monthly rental and DVR fees from your cable company.
  • Avoid commercials: SkipMode on the BOLT makes sure you never have to watch commercials again. Not only that, but you’ll never have to fast forward commercials again. One button lets you skip a whole commercial break and resume your show exactly where it picks up again.
  • 4K ultra high definition compatible: 4K UHD TVs are slowly creeping into the market as the next big thing. TiVo BOLT is 4K compatible so you can get all the clarity, color and detail your new TV offers.
  • Recording features: TiVo BOLT lets your record four shows at once for up to 150 hours of HD programming (for the standard model). Watch your recorded shows on your TV or your mobile device.
  • Multiple devices: You can stream content from the TiVo BOLT on up to ten TVs as long as you have a TiVo Mini for each TV ($150 each).
  • Best for people who want to integrate their cable subscription and streaming service subscriptions in one place.

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TiVo Company Profile

Company Name:
TiVo
Website:
https://www.tivo.com/