TiVo Premiere now free on contract for $20 monthly

Well, it seems we finally know why TiVo was waxing poetic about software in recent months -- it's the way the company primarily plans to charge for its DVR hardware from now on. Following a week-long experiment of free-on-contract DVRs conducted last month, TiVo's opening up subsidized and partially subsidized pricing tiers to the entire US for those willing to chain themselves to a pricier $20 monthly fee. You can now get a TiVo Premiere for $0 on a two-year contract or $100 with a one-year arrangement, or pick up a TiVo Premiere XL for $300 on a one-year deal -- the same price the regular old 45-hour TiVo Premiere cost originally. TiVo's also kept the original $12.95-a-month plans around in case you want to pay full price for your hardware, which would normally make better financial sense after about three years, if not for the fact that there are still lifetime subscriptions available for $400 if you're truly in it for the long haul.

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