The lifetime memberships are just like Tivo lifetime--for the lifetime of the unit. They've always been that way, which is why I've never purchased one. The online thing starts on 3/11, and if you renew before then, the online is still free until that renewal period is over, the way I understand it. I go quarterly, so if I renew now, I'll start paying the 2.99 online fee after another 3 months. I used the online mostly for work, but being unemployed for 3 months, I haven't used it nearly as much. I'm anxious to see when I start my new job on Monday, if A) Stilleto 100 will work at the new office, and B) if not, can I get the online service there. Sometimes you get lucky and there's a terrestrial repeater nearby, which means you don't need the antenna pointing outside. Hell, at my old office, there was one spot in the building where I could point my headphone antenna out the window of the big boss's office, and get a signal with no problem, so I sat in the cube right outside his office.