I finally crossed over to the "other side" and recently purchased a TiVO HD series machine. So far I am very happy with it- a superior menu and guide system to my Comcast box.
I will keep my Comcast box for awhile. As a longtime Reply TV advocate, I found the 12-14 hour limit on HD storage, to say the least, very limiting. After the 2007 season ended in May, I vowed to get more storage before the new season starts in September. I originally purchased the TiVO HD assuming that they would activate the eSATA drive sometime before year end. In the meantime I would keep the Comcast box- between the 2 boxes I would have around 30 hours HD storage. When the eSATA port is eventually activated by TiVO, I would get a 500GB eSATA drive- and return the cable box.
But 2 things have changed my ideas. First, I read an article here
in the TiVO Forum clearly detailing how to install a new larger hard drive into the TiVO. Opening the box will, of course, void the warranty, so I will wait a few weeks to make sure there are no immediate issues with the new TiVO HD box. Then I plan to install a spare 500GB drive I have.
And then this week, Ed Bott, clearly detailed the parts necessary to create a VISTA based home entertainment center
using Windows Media Center. I live in metropolitan Seattle, so I am confident that I will be able to receive the major HD channels OTA. The other channels I watch (663-666, ESPN HD, etc I can use my TiVO HD to record shows). I purchased the parts today at the sources he suggested (Dell and Amazon) for at/or under the prices he describes in his parts list
. I have been waiting to find a QUIET box with a small footprint. Seems like this will do the job (I considered waiting until the new XBOX comes out- the current XBOX, from all reports, is quite noisy. But who knows when that will Microsoft will bring that out). I am currently using the beta version of Microsoft's Home Server, so I will be able to tie into it to view pictures, play music, and hopefully, stream recorded HD shows.