New $200 rebate on the TiVo Series3

Yesterday I posted about a rumored $200 rebate on the Series3, but I was waiting for information from TiVo. Well, I never did hear back from TiVo, but Lou Jacob of was kind enough to send me the PDF of the rebate form.

It is a $200 mail-in rebate on the TiVo Series3 – this is only the original Series3 and not the TiVo HD. Purchase the Series3 between September 16th, 2007 and January 26th, 2008. The rebate must be postmarked by March 26th, 2008. So the rebate kicks in this Sunday – if you’re thinking of buying a Series3, hold off a few days more.

With the Series3 available for $600, or less, from a few online retailers, that brings the cost down below $400, putting it about $100 more than the TiVo HD. That’s not a bad deal for what you get – 250GB instead of 160GB, the Glo remote, and the nicer design of the unit itself.

EDIT: The rebate went live on Sunday. To support the site you can purchase a Series3 via these links from (including expanded units),,, or

And if you plan to connect any TiVo using WiFi, be sure to pick up the TiVo Wireless G USB Network Adapter.

If you pick up a new TiVo, using TiVo Lovers as your TiVo Rewards referrer is always appreciated.

About MegaZone

MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
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  • distilled

    Are there any hardware differences between the original series 3 and the HD?

  • megazone

    Yes – pretty much everything, the HD is a new unit redesigned from the ground up. I don’t know that any of the components are the same – it has a new CPU/decoder, new encoder, new tuners, new RAM, etc.

  • Marc Novakowski

    Your response reminds me of a scene from the Blues Brothers:
    “It’s got a cop motor, a 440 cubic inch plant, it’s got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks. It’s a model made before catalytic converters so it’ll run good on regular gas.”

  • megazone

    It’s dark out, and we’re wearing sunglasses.

  • Marc Novakowski

    I wonder when TiVo is going to start offering rebates for Canadian and Australian customers, too? Every single rebate is always “US only”. :(

  • megazone

    Well, TiVo isn’t (yet) supported in Australia, and when it is it won’t be sold through TiVo – but through Seven/Engin.

    As for Canada – TiVo still doesn’t officially sell there. I understand it is a regulatory thing – that if they officially sold and marketed the hardware there, they’d have to run it through all the Canadian approvals. So Canada is kind of a grey market on the hardware, even with the service supported there. I’ve heard that TiVo has accepted rebates from Canada, but it is probably safer to have a friend in the US submit it.

  • CaboWabo

    So can anybody explain this “$200 rebate valid only on TiVo Service Numbers (TSN) starting with 648.”? My TSN begins with ’649′… hoping that I’ve misunderstood that part. Seems like some very important bit of “fine print”, especially if you’re expecting $200 back around the holidays this year.


  • megazone

    The rebate is only good on a new purchase of the original TiVo Series3 – which starts with ’648′. ’649′ is the TiVo Series2DT, which this rebate is NOT good on. The new TiVo HD is the ’652′ – which means this rebate is no good on that either.

    There are other rebates – right now the ’649′ has a $150 rebate. You have to use the right rebate and make sure you purchase the unit during the rebate period.

  • Brian

    Has anyone validated this with Tivo? It is not on their website.

    Also it says you need to get a 1 year subscription. You can still transfer your S2 lifetime subscription to the S3 for $199 (you just have to ask). Do you think this will be valid for the rebate?

  • megazone

    Brian – TiVo had confirmed with me that a rebate was coming on the Series3 before Lou emailed me the PDF. is a well respected TiVo reseller, and Lou would have no reason to make up something like that. It probably isn’t on TiVo’s site yet because it doesn’t kick in until Sunday, and they tend not to post them in advance.

    As for the transfer – I really don’t know. I would tend to think it would make you ineligible for the rebate as is specifies *new* activation and I know that other subscription transfers – like transferring a multi-year commitment to a new box – make the new box ineligible for rebates.

  • Videobob

    This rebate is a total waste of time.
    It is only valid on NEW Series 3′s if bought from an AUTHORIZED RETAILER and requires a 1 year subscription…meaning that you must pay the full price of $799 for it and can not get a discount
    on pre-paid service, or use a Lifetime Sub on it. Either way you would need to pay for a one year sub.
    So with the $200 you are paying $599.99 for it after a lengthy wait for your check.

    You could buy a REFURBISHED unit direct from Tivo for only $512.94 which carries all the same
    exact warranty but requires a one year sub, again without the luxury of pre-paid discounted service.
    You would be tied into a regular service agreement of $12.95 per month FOREVER.

    Tivo has discovered that charging for service far outweighs the sale of hardware.

    This rebate is a total waste of time and chances are unless you do everything just right you
    will get ripped off by them and have to wait forever to get your money back.

  • megazone

    Pretty much *all* rebates are only good on *new* products and not refurbs, so that’s no big deal.

    And you’re dead wrong on the pricing – the rebate is valid on units being sold, new, for under $600 – such as from,, etc. ‘Authorized reseller’ is very broad with TiVo, and is basically anyone who sells new units as a retailer – as opposed to John Smith on eBay, etc.

    You’re also dead wrong on the subscription. It requires a *minimum* of one-year service – you can use 1-, 2-, or 3-year monthly subscriptions or the 1- or 3-year pre-paid subscriptions. Lifetime hasn’t been offered for a couple of years now on any new units.

  • Videobob

    Your right, and I stand corrected.
    After spending some time looking I found a great deal on ebay:
    Only $594.99 and I called the seller and had them verify the TSN and pre-qualify it for me
    and they are authorized sellers.
    So the final price will be $394.99 after rebate.
    With almost 6000 positive feedback and not one single negative, I trust these guys.
    They said they have dealt with these rebates in the past and have not had problems.
    I will be buying one of these from these guys.

  • Videobob

    UPDATE 1 of 2:
    I ordered my HD TiVo from the above and got it fast!
    It is new and everything checks out.
    My Charter cable comes to hook it up with a HD Card Monday and I will be mailing the rebate.
    I will let everyone know how that goes!

  • Videobob

    Update 2 of 3?
    The cable guy shows up today and had no idea what he was looking at, had never seen a TiVo before.
    These chimps at Charter cable have not been trained at all for TiVo.
    Most of my HD are not working, only some are, and there is a long delay as you change channels
    when the TiVo and the TV change aspect ratios between channels and shows.
    Sometimes there is 20-30 seconds of black before the picture kicks in.
    It is not without it’s faults.
    However, we watched the Tonight Show with Jay Leno in HD for the first time and it looks awesome!!!

    I do have a few complaints about the Series 3,
    for some reason it does not have the DELETED and RECOVERY function that the series 2 has.
    That was a cool function that I am going to miss.
    Also, the dual tuner aspect is hard to get used to, you never know which card you are operating on.
    I will update as to when I get everything in order….

  • Videobob

    So here I am, putting my foot in my mouth again,
    after a long download and restart, all the missing items like the DELETE BIN, and TiVoCAST are now there.
    I also have the Amazon UnBox and all that other stuff too…..

  • megazone

    Videobob – I was going to say it sounded like your box was still on 8.0.1 and hadn’t upgraded to 8.3.1 yet – sounds like you got it.

    If you only get *some* and not *all* of your HD channels – that almost certainly means your CableCARDs are not paired correctly. I, and others, have had that very same problem and it is corrected by correctly pairing the cards.

    The picture delay while channel changing could be your TV. By default the S3 is set to ‘Native’ output, which means content is displayed at its native format – 480i, 720p, or 1080i. The TiVo menus are 720p, so if you go from a menu to a 480i show the signal changes and the TV has to re-sync to display it properly. Some sets do this almost immediately, other sets can take a while.

    If this is the case, try setting your TiVo to 720p Fixed or 1080i Fixed (as appropriate for your TV – for a 1080p set you’d want 1080i fixed, etc). This makes the TiVo scale everything to that fixed format, so the TV always sees the same input and there is no re-sync when changing between content types.

  • Videobob

    I think this is the final update….(until I get my rebate check)
    Yes, the stupid cable company had not activated all of my HD channels but now I have them.
    The delay was in fact the TV resizing, still does it sometimes when flip flopping from HD to standard.
    So far, no complaints, it’s all working.
    I recorded from HD, and transferred to my DVD-R and it looked so damned good.
    I swear, better than a store bought DVD!!!

    I have everything hooked up through HDMI using a SONY STR-DG810.
    After tons of research this is the best Tuner for the money, it has 3 HDMI inputs and at retail $399
    or $260 on eBay it is the best.
    If you don’t need 3 inputs then you have lots more options.
    But I needed the Tivo, the XBOX-360, and the DVD.
    If they would only make a DVD-R with a HDMI input-output then I could double that up and pass through
    that way and maximize my quality.
    Instead I had to output from the Tivo S-Video to the DVD, but it still looks great.

    I am sure that in the next few years HD-DVD and Bluray recorders will become common and most
    likely have HDMI inputs.

    Overall, the HD Tivo is worth having, I guess the only question is, is it worth it to buy the
    THX TiVo over the cheaper one?
    I mean, what channel is broadcasting THX?
    Am I really seeing the benefit of this?
    That is still undecided, but I have an awesome Bose Acoustimass 10 setup…everything sounds good.

    - Bob

  • Videobob

    I waited and waited for my rebate and it never showed up.
    I managed to log into the TiVo Rebate center for an update and it claimed
    “Denied by 3rd party rules”
    So I called customer service to see what the problem was, every time they put me on hold
    or transferred me I got disconnected.
    On my 7th call I finally got ahold of someone who was an upper level support.
    They explained that my rebate was denied because I did not start “new” service as required
    but rather added it to my current monthly service.
    I said, “come on dude, I have been a monthly customer for 7 years and I have had this new unit
    activated and paid since September”…so he said he would “push it through” for me.

    I tell ya, these companies do everything they can to get out of paying.
    I haven’t got the check yet, I will post when I do.

  • MegaZone

    That smells like bullshit. It has always been ‘new product activation’ – activating a new box. Not a new account! Activating a new box on an existing account has always qualified.

  • Videobob

    This has been going on now for what, 7 months now?
    The last support call told me that they would be “pushing it through” and sending me the check.
    I called today to check on it and the first support person I got confirmed in her notes that
    the last support guy said that it was to be “pushed through” and she transfered me to level 2 again.
    This guy ignored the notes, and when I asked him, “are you going to send me the rebate” he said “no”.
    So I said, “I need to speak to your supervisor please”, then I heard a CLICK and he hung up!!!!

    I called back and went through all this crap again and asked for a supervisor, I got “Rebecca”
    and she said also “push this through”…during the call my cellphone dropped and she actually
    called me back! I thought that was nice.
    She said to expect the check in about 3-10 weeks.
    We’ll see.

    Has anyone here ever got a rebate check from them?

  • Videobob

    After over 6 months of crap from these people, all the phone calls and complaining I FINALLY did get my refund check of $200 from them today. So unless is bounces or something, this is the end of this saga.
    Bottom line is that these companies offer these rebates and make you earn the money by making it so hard that you eventually give up….
    Thanks ya’ll.

  • MegaZone

    I’m glad it finally came through!