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I think the Series 3 Tivo box is encouraging, but after reading the price rumors ($500 - $800), I'm not as hot on the box as I thought I would be. Sure, the HR20 and Comcast Tivo might not have all the cool features (MRV, HMO, etc.) as a standalone Tivo, but if both boxes are "working dual-tuner HD DVRs", and I only have to pay $10/month, it's hard to justify spending $500-800 up-front just to get the "extras". If the Comcast Tivo is any good, I'll probably switch to cable for that. If the HR20 is any good, I may stick with DirecTV for a while (since it will be free).

The way I look at it, renting the DVR from Comcast/DirecTV (or, in my case, getting one free as a replacement for my HR10-250) it will take 4-5 years before I've spent the same as I would spend up-front on a Series 3. During those years I fully expect to go through at least one replacement cycle, with some new box hopefully with better features and more capacity. If I have to buy a "Series 4", that would be even more money out of my pocket. If I'm renting, they'll just swap out the box (or I can switch providers).

With the state of DVRs (fast changes) it makes more sense right now (IMHO) to lease than to purchase a $500-800 box. Maybe this won't be true in the future with full 2-way cable-cards and the competition between Microsoft, Apple and standalone PVRs (like Tivo Series 3).
 
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