I'm in Greensboro, NC and just got the new HD-DVR from TWC, the SA8000. I was using the Pace 550 box before tonight. Here's what I think so far:
1) No component loop-through like on the Pace
2) Slow to acquire/switch the HD channels just like the old SA3100 box I had before the Pace (the Pace was MUCH faster)
3) The SA8000 lets you set up your display choices, asking you if you want to "Save" 1080i Widescreen, 720p Widescreen, 480i, 480p.
4) I'm used to my TiVo, so the DVR seems a little antiquated in comparison, it's a little slow to react to pause, FF, RW, etc...
5) Being able to record HD on one channel while watching HD on another channel is incredibly cool.
6) The DVI output is NOT active, the guy didn't know about future plans.
7) [It has 2 Firewire ports, but I don't know if they work, I don't have anything to try it with.]
EDIT: The manual shows 2 firewire ports, but they are ABSENT from the actual box. Don't know if that means that TWC chose to leave them out or that the specs got changed after the manual was printed.
8) LAST, and I could be making this up or over analyzing things, but I don't think the picture is as good as the Pace box. It just doesn't seem as sharp and the colors don't seem as rich. Even my wife commented that it didn't look right. I mean, it's not a drastic difference by any means, but it just doesn't seem like a WOW HD picture. Now this could totally be a psychological thing because I've been used to HD for a while now and maybe I hadn't really been critiquing the pq lately and now all of a sudden I change boxes and so I start analyzing every little flaw, that's possible. But I really don't think that's what's happening. I also noticed that the peakaboo horizontal scanline artifact that is known to be an issue with my pj seems significantly worse with this box, and vertical banding seems worse also (LCD projector). I hope I'm not being a pq hypochondriac. But something just doesn't seem right.
When I went through the setup options, the text with 720p looked blurry so I even tried not saving that resolution (can't get ESPNHD or ABC yet anyway).
The guy took my old Pace box so I can't go back and do a head to head. Maybe I'll tell them I need one for another set so I can get it back.