Okay, someone indulge me here:
I'm looking into getting a new DVR for my OTA setup and have been scouring the internet for some good options, of which I'm learning there aren't many. I currently have a Hauppauge 950Q tuner which I connect with my laptop via WinTV 7 or Windows Media Center. For my setup, it does okay, but it has significant drawbacks. The first being is that it has to connect to my laptop, which is the only PC I have. The second is the thing only has one tuner so I can't watch something else when I record. I guess I could always get a second USB tuner, but that seems like overkill, and if I can get a decent DVR box with a dual tuner for the same price or not much more if I look hard enough. The third is that it's not reliable. My Windows Media Center hiccups occasionally and doesn't record (not due to space, I have a 500GB hard drive, and delete shows when I'm done with them). In short, I'm looking to upgrade.
The TiVo Premiere sounds promising to me. The boxes aren't ridiculously expensive, and they have a few bells and whistles that I am not looking for, but could still use. Let me understand something: in addition to the box, I have to pay a subscription of about $15 a month (give or take), or a "Lifetime" subscription for about $400-$500 bucks (up front cash I don't have), perhaps a little cheaper if I buy a set off of someplace like Ebay. This includes, among other things, guide data, which is powered by Zap2it or Tribune Media. How accurate is the guide data? Guide data isn't a complete make or break for me, but if I'm going to pay for it, it better be good and have full functionality. Does anyone on a border city (Buffalo, Detroit, Seattle, etc.) use it? Does the guide data work for OTA channels out of Canada (including program based recording and "Season Pass")? If I enter a zip code into TiVo, will it give me all the channels that I would find on Zap2it's site (assuming I pick up the signal), including the Canadian channels? This was the drawback for DirecTV's setup. I have the DVR (the HR 24), and was thinking about the AM21, but I understand I have to do some serious messing around to get all my channels with it, especially the Canadian ones, more than it's worth (to me anyway) because DirecTV doesn't update its database for the Canadian ones, even though Tribune Media lists them through Zap2it. Does TiVo solve this problem (obviously as a separate setup than DirecTV)?.