Now that I've had a day to play around with my 3 tuner Moxi and Moxi mate (on Verizon) I have a few observations to make.
Overall, the response time was fine. Dish response time was significantly better than with the Tivo so I was expecting to get dissapointed, fortunately I wasn't. Pauses when switching channels were slightly longer than with Dish, but overall it was pretty good. Even the grid guide had pretty good response time. Not quite as fast as Dish but perfectly usable.
While watching a recording or navigating the menus with 3 things recording, there were no noticable changes and no stutters. Picture quality was slightly better than Dish, although that is more a function of Verizon.
Searches for programming were more Tivo like than Dish like, using an incremental search as you type each letter. No issues here although setting recordings online is a lot easier and the way I plan to do it most of the time.
Cablecard setup was really quick. It took maybe 10 minutes and all the channels came up immediately. Based on all the posts about problems with cablecards and activations I had been anticipating some issue. This was the first Moxi the tech had seen so he was surprised that it had more than 2 tuners.
Now on to the things I had issues with or didn't like too much.
Personally, I like vertical menus with shortcuts. You get to see all the options available (without having to keep scrolling all over the place and figuring out if it faster to go left or right). Once you've worked with it for a short time you can bounce through it really fast with minimal keypresses. On Dish for example, all the menus are vertical and each one can be selected by single digit numbers. Most tasks on the Moxi took way too many keystrokes and it was a bit frustrating to work with.
When it comes to viewing the channels, thank god they added the grid layout. I sure hope they add it to the moxi mate. They also need to make it configurable as to if it's ascending or descending (across all interfaces). I'm sure there are people who like it as it is, but those that like it in ascending order will find it frustrating.
Overall the media link is great and was a major selling point to me. For the most part it worked with everything I threw at it. The one problem I ran into was with blue ray movies (1080P, DTS). Any mkv file that was over an hour, would start to stutter and become unresponsive near the hour mark (I tried 5 different files0. The exact spot depended on the bit rate and overall size of the file. I have a gigabit network set up and streaming these worked fine to other devices. I even tried reripping one movie as 720P and it still happened, but further in to the movie.
This issue came up at almost the same spot each time and it didn't matter if I played it all the way through or 15 minute fast forwarded past the spot. What i ended up doing was using mkvmerge and splitting them at 40 minute intervals and all the parts worked fine. I suspect their codec has issues with files over a particular size. Hopefully they will fix this, but at least I have a workaround.
Next thing I didn't like was the fact that it auto unpauses after 30 minutes. I'll often start watching something, end up pausing it and turning off the tv (but leaving the receiver on) to go take care of something, and comming back to it later. After 30 minutes, it would unpause (maybe switch to live tv or whatever it did) and there would be sound blasting out of my sound system. This should be a configurable item. Not everyone is worried about burn in.
My last gripe is about the way they show the upcomming recordings and use a separate selection for showing the conflicts (These should be shown together in 1 place). For starters, it really helps if you can see the upcomming recordings partitioned by starting time and showing the tuner number (which is how dish does it). When going through "scheduled to record" or "cancelled and deleted" you only see a date and time for the currently selected item. You just can't tell what or how many things overlap. The way Dish shows it, you can take look at it for 1 second and see what is recording tonight and what things overlap, what isn't recording and is it because of priority or it's a repeat.
Also on dish, they give you the option to hide or unhide items that won't record. If you bounce through them you can see if it's by priority or repeat. The advantage to this is you can see what you have set up in each time slot and select to override something right then and there without having to bounce between two different views (neither of which shows the full picture).
Clearly no DVR is perfect and overall I do like the Moxi. I think with a little more focus on the UI, making a few more things configurable and adding more functionality to the Moxi mate there will be barely any compromises.
Found a few more missing features. When going online to set shows, it shows all channels instead of downloading the list of channels I set up. The full list has channels I don't get.
I also couldn't find a way to get rid of Kids, Movies, News etc from the horizontal menu. This really should to be configurable.