Originally Posted by Dan203
The Roamio line is self repairing. You can simply drop in any hard drive and it will automatically format it and install the software. So they've already made repair about as easy as it can get. But I get your point. Allowing a backup would imply that they are OK with self repairs, which they aren't no matter how easy they are.
Please allow me to nitpick. Allowing a backup might lead some customers to infer
that TiVo is OK with self repairs.
A TiVo is pretty much functionally equivalent to a (feature limited) PC. PC (and hard disk) manufacturers require* customers to back up their own data, so that a warranty replacement involves only a swap of hardware, and the vendor isn't responsible for recovering or transferring data from a failed PC or disk. Furthermore, since the internal disk of a TiVo is (with moderate inconvenience) removable, the level of encryption for the internal disk should satisfy whatever DRM requires. If it is good enough for the internal disk, it should also be good enough for an external disk. In the same way that protected content can be archived from a Media Center PC (but only played back through that same PC), it would be reasonable for TiVo to offer an "Archive to e-SATA" option.
With all that said, you were probably correct when you said "Never going to happen, mainly due to copyright concerns." Trying to apply logic where DRM and copyright are concerned is generally an exercise in futility.
*(require ==> as in "if you don't care about your data enough to back it up, we don't either, unless you want to pay us a bunch of extra money. Lots of money. More than you paid for the hardware in the first place.") At least the PC and hard disk companies don't prevent you from making the backups.