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I want to get DirecTV w/ their 250GB HD-Tivo. I just got a new Sony XBR960, and it seems to me that this is the best option right now for watching and recording HD content.

I have a few concerns before I drop $1000 on the HD-Tivo box:

1. If/when DirecTV switches to the Mpeg-4 format this summer, will this unit still work? Has anybody heard of a plan from DirecTV to upgrade equipment for existing customers? Will it just be a simple firmware upgrade?

2. If DirecTV completely breaks off its relationship with Tivo, will my $1000 piece of equipment still be fully functional in terms of getting program guides/season pass/etc.? Does Tivo rely on a partnership with DirecTV to get that programming information, or does it work some other way? Would I then just have to pay Tivo instead of DirecTV for my program guide subscription?

3. If I record an HD show on this box, and later want to back it up to a DVD, will this box output an SD signal to my DVD Burner?

I'm basically concerned that I might be buying an expensive piece of equipment that might become severely less functional in the next couple years. Any reasons to wait? Any alternatives?

Los Angeles, CA