Re: lost or missed shows, and pros/cons
I've had some sort of DVR since 1999 when I got my first TiVo. Since then have added DirecTiVo, Comcast DVRs, FiOS DVRs, and the latest a Moxi. I've also dabbled with HTPC (PC and Mac)and web tv like Hulu and the various network alternatives.
In a word, there is no one ideal solution - each has its advantages and disadvantages.
But missing a show is not the end of the world.
The most valued of course is the original recording. My favorite alternative is now video-on-demand. FiOS has an extensive offering of network as well as many other cable and subcription channels available. My most recent example of viewing a lost show was last night for 30 Rock.
On Thursday night, the local affiliate was carrying the Blazer playoff game, and the game preempted 30Rock; the latter was in the guide so the DVR dutifully recorded the time period, but it was latter minutes of the game and the post-game show. Oh well. Checked the VOD listings, and quickly located the missing show, so we were able to watch it within minutes of noticing it had been "lost" due to the Blazer game running over.
The extensive VOD library also makes it convenient to "extend" the limited storage for recordings by the FiOS DVR.
I have the Moxi and FiOS DVR side-by-side to balance the shows being recorded for later viewing; the recording list far exceeds the time we have to actually watch them all, as we do have a life outside of home. When we do sit down as a family to watch our favorite programs, it si nice to have some flexibility to match our viewing mood.
Another anecdote: the recent 2 hour telecast of 24. The trusty FiOS DVR somehow managed to record 2 hours of "black"! Imagine our disappointment when we sat down to view those episodes in the series. Alas, nothing from Fox available with VOD in our market. After futzing with Hulu and Playon with the Moxi, and getting frustrated due to the cumbersome navigation, I brought one of my laptops into the TV room. Connected the laptop to the big-screen TV, fired up Hulu, set the display to output to the TV, and in a few minutes had a very watchable, near HD quality version of the missed 24 episodes.Note, I had already wisely had a hard wired ethernet link in the TV room for the Moxi and the other devices nearby (AppleTV, WiFi bridge, PS3). Just plugged in the laptop to a free port on the ethernet switch. WiFi was too jumpy for watchable viewing.
I like both the FiOS DVR (with multi-room viewing) as well as the Moxi. Someday I'll add the Mate for the Moxi. I value the FiOS VOD, because of its extensive offerings. I like the Moxi because of its DLNA and somewhat limited internet capability.
Someday, Moxi might make internet viewing of services like Hulu a bit easier to use; it's usable now, but still takes some planning to easily find the shows you wish to view. It would be great if Moxi could handle VOD, too.
What about TiVo?
I'm still stuck with DirecTiVo and SD, never making the jump to TiVo HD. I had eagerly awaited the arrival of the Premiere, but am disappointed in what actually appeared after all this waiting. So the TiVos are relegated to SD programming, and access to some exclusive channels (I have the East and West coast feeds for NBC); I have to admit, though, that the TiVo gets little use nowadays.
So, if you have the choice of only one - which is better or the best? Thankfully, I don't have to make that choice just yet, but someday I will trim things down.