Great thread. Just bought two of these units off Ebay. One is a 250 and the other is a 500. I was tired of paying Verizon 21 dollars a month for their boxes and there is not much choice other then TIVO which you end up about the same. My impressions so far. These units are big! Original remote really sucks. I have replaced both with two Sony universal remotes. Menu layout is strange and took a bit to figure out. Unit slow on tuning channels. I am using cablecards on both. The Rovi issue is a non factor here in Central Virginia. Verizon does not pass any guide information. All through the router. I also do not think Comcast does either. We had them 5 years ago and I have a Toshiba 47LX196 HDTV which also has TVGOS and I never got a guide. Always received no listings. I just created a account on TVGUIDE.COM and pull up a guide. One units hard drive does not work. The unit boots up and it tries to format then it displays a error code and then a message that the hard drive is bad and to call Sony. I then push Ok and it works fine as a tuner. I did call Sony for kicks and grins and they said all owners are SOL and it is Rovi's fault. I also called Toshiba and they also said the same thing. Sony also told me that the stations have removed their TV GUIDE equipment so it is a mute issue. For the price I paid for these units I am pleased. They will have paid for themselves in 8-10 months. The cost of a lifetime TIVO HD unit would take at least three years to pay for itself.
I just boxed up my 2 250's which I bought over the last 2 years and have never actually used yet!
I am planning on moving soon and all the electronic components are being boxed up and stored in a storage unit until I find that perfect home near my brother and his family, get a mortgage and move in!
Moving sucks, but it is going slowly but steadily. Luckily I kept most of the original boxes and packaging for most of my electronics.