There are two special offers out there.
The first is off TiVo’s homepage. If you sign up for high-speed Internet at any Best Buy retail location (not online), you’ll receive a free 80-hour Series2. Or you can pick up an 80-hour Series2DT for $49.99 (after rebate). And, either way, you’ll also pick up a free TiVo 802.11g WiFi USB adapter – a $64.99 MSRP value. And if you sign up before July 31st, 2007 you’ll also get 3 months of TiVo service free. See all of the details and requirements on this page. You need to print out this page and bring it to the store.
The other offer went out via email to some TiVo subscribers. If you have a TiVo with Product Lifetime Service that was activated prior to June 15, 2003, you can transfer it to a new 80-hour Series2DT for $299 total. It sounds, to me, like an offer primarily designed to get people still using old Series1 lifetime units to jump to the S2DT. With all of the cheap, or outright free, offers on the S2 and S2DT over time, anyone on monthly with an S1 has had plenty of opportunities to simply swap it for a newer box. But those with lifetime have had a reason to keep using their old box. There have been limited opportunities to transfer to the S2 and S3 when those products first shipped.
While early-adopters of the S2 would also be eligible (the S2 first shipped, via AT&T, in late 2001), I don’t see this as being as appealing to those users. The S2 has all of the software features the S2DT has, and the first S2 boxes actually had decent performance. Maybe there is some incentive as the first first (1xx) series units had USB1.1, which could slow down network transfers a bit, but that’s not huge. And the second spin (2xx) series units have USB2.0. The only things really missing are the second analog tuner and the built-in Ethernet port. This reinforces my view that it is aimed at S1 owners.
Getting people to switch to a newer unit gives TiVo the chance to generate additional revenue from those users. Aside from the fee (which isn’t bad, IMHO, for a new box and the lifetime transfer – that’s what lifetime cost by itself before it was dropped), the newer boxes support services such as Unbox which generate additional revenue.
So, if you have an old S1, or even an early S2, with lifetime, and you want to jump up to the S2DT, the details are here.