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TiVo lets subscribers plug into new gear

The digital video recorder company is allowing existing service subscribers to transfer their membership when they purchase a new Series2 recorder.

TiVo is allowing current lifetime subscribers to transfer their memberships to new recorders when they purchase a Series2 set-top box with 80 hours of storage capacity.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company sells monthly and lifetime service subscriptions to its digital video recording service, which allows customers to pause live shows and choose which ones to record using an interactive programming guide. The lifetime subscription refers to the life of a recorder.

The company officially kicked off the promotion Tuesday, according to TiVo spokeswoman Rebecca Baer. Customers must purchase their 80-hour Series2 boxes directly from TiVo for $349 after a $50 mail-in rebate. The promotion ends March 10.

Information about the promotion first appeared over the weekend on a TiVo community Web site.

DirecTV receivers with TiVo service are not eligible for the promotion. Recorders that are eligible include Philips HDR112, HDR212, HDR312, HDR612 and Sony SVR2000.

TiVo will also make its Home Media Option available in the spring for $99. The new service will allow subscribers to remotely schedule the recording of shows over the Internet. Subscribers will be able to play music and videos as well as view photos from devices connected to the network.

The new service lets subscribers with more than one recorder share content on both recorders. For example, a show seen on a recorder in the living room can also be played on a recorder in a bedroom. Consumers will be able to download the Home Media Option to Series2 recorders.

TiVo recently changed its strategy of using the recorder as the center of a home network. The recorder now is just part of the home network.

Starting March 3, TiVo will increase the cost of a lifetime subscription from $249 to $299, but it will not change the $12.95 monthly service fee.