I finally decided to upgrade my Motorola 5100 box to the 6200 so I can mess around with the FireWire ports. The cable guy came this afternoon (at 3:15; the appointment range was between 3:00 - 5:00pm) and swapped cable boxes. The entire operation took about five minutes, and after I got a good look at the back of the 6200 I went to Best Buy to get the appropriate FireWire cable.
I connected the 6200 to my Mits WS65869. The Mits immediately said it found a 1394 device, and after a couple of clicks on the remote it was configured and operational. I changed the video input to 1394 and started browsing around the channels.
The HD channels look very good, but I don't really notice any difference in quality between FireWire and component video. I was a little surpised that the normal overlay graphics (channel guide) don't show up on screen when using FireWire. I got the 6200 manual from Motorola's web site
and found out this is normal. Also, there is a three second pause when changing channels - much slower than via component video, which is practically instantaneous. All this is probably mute, because the FireWire connection is mainly for recording programs and these things shouldn't really matter that much.
One big thing I noticed while watching SD channels is the overscan setting is noticeably different from the component video setting. In fact, I'm guessing the overscan via FireWire is little to nothing, maybe 1% at most. The picture is much wider when viewed via component video, and the text crawls on CNN and other channels is fully visible on the FireWire screen.
Anyway, I'll start tinkering with the DVHS recorder and a hookup to my computer in the next few days.