well I gave up on the tivohd flicker issue but do believe tivo will fix it. I had TivoJerry doing some logging of the issue on the last tivohd I had for further investigation.
Anyway while I was out today I actually found a tivo series3 "old model" at frys. It was the last one and had a man date of May 2008. I totally debated paying more for older technology than the tivohd and having to deal with no m-ard support. Well I figured I could return it if flickered like the tivohds since it was a local store.
Bottom line, I plugged in the series3, set it up and I am thrilled! NO Flicker/brightness pumps. Yes I repeat no flicker/brightness shifts. The picture quality is hands down better than the tivohds I tested on Analog and I would say the mpeg decoder is smoother/silkier looking than the mpeg decoder in the tivohD.
I found the tivohd to add a bit of grain to the mpeg decoding of digitals as opposed to the tivo series3 which seems to be a lot sharper/smoother/silkier.
I love this thing, I only regret that I didn't go for the series 3 in the first place, for me picture quality is paramount and passing native resolution to my lumagen hdp video processor looks amazing with the series 3.
Now I can move on to fun stuff like having my home automation computer telnet into the series3 and pause the tivo when the phone rings and automatically un pause it when the phone is hung up
what about stand by mode any of you guys using it at night? I read somewhere that standby uses the same power as being powered on or close to it but I don't know if anyones actually tested it.