Well, I have some good news to report about my latest Tivo HD purchase and Cablecard install. First, if you check out this thread I posted at Tivo Community
, you'll see that you might be able to find a Tivo HD on clearance at a local Blockbuster for $100, which is a great deal. Tivo HD XLs have also been on sale recently at woot.com for $185 shipped, but I think they're out of stock on those again.
The best part is that my recent Cablecard install was a breeze, and it only cost me an additional $1.50/mo. for an extra Cablecard. The tech came and was very experienced with these - he popped in the card, called in the pairing numbers, and within a couple of minutes the channel map downloaded and all my channels (including HBO) were working great (I had run Tivo guided setup first to get the Comcast World of More lineup configured). He wasn't in the house more than 15 mins. Kind of sad that you have to pay $25 for a truck roll for this but it seems like they've got the process down pat now. On a Saturday, no less.
I think the $1.50/mo charge for an additional card is a billing mistake on their part because I have two Tivos and probably should get hit for an additional outlet instead, but I've read that this varies by how they do it and I'm not complaining
. Perhaps they only charge the outlet fee for their equipment - I have two Tivos now and no Comcast boxes, the new Tivo replaced an old SD Motorola STB and I did have an outlet charge for that which they removed with this swap.
So in summary, go find a cheap Tivo HD at Blockbuster and add Tivo lifetime service to it ($399) and you'll have a great DVR which you can upgrade with a cheap 1TB hard drive for less than $600 total. Additional lifetime subs for extra Tivos are $299. Believe me, the lifetime is worth it if you ever want to sell the box on ebay or craigslist.