This week I became the owner, not leasor, of two HR20s, and was thinking back on all the excitement on the forum 3+ years ago when the HR10 came out. I see a few familiar names from that time; I have not been too active on this forum during the past 3 years.
This forum was extremely active with many of us obsessing while waiting for this unit to be launched. Probably the most active thread was for those of us who put a deposit down with Value Electronics. I got on the list in January or February of 2004 and was within the first 30. Folks provided their number, and a list was maintained on the forum. Forum signatures also included the VE #.
Occasionally, adult forum members would remind us that delays of the unit should not be viewed as life changing disappointments, but it was difficult to get that across. The forum members were already HD and DVR fanatics, but could not get both together prior to the HR10.
It was a fun time. Arguments would occur over opinions of the launch date. A couple members claimed to have early units, and supplied what many believed to be Photoshop-doctored pictures.
Robert from VE went to upstate NY to the distribution center to personally get the first shipments sent off as quickly as possible. As I recall, he made a first trip only to be disappointed when the expected shipment did not arrive as scheduled. On the day they finally arrived at the center, Robert had pictures taken of the boxing process double boxed with a certificate and a purple shirt.
After the early shipments went out (My unit was in the first shipment, still proud to say.), forum signatures had the manufacture date and country of manufacture US at that time. It was only later that the manufacture date was not provided on a label.
It was so much fun that I had to get a second unit. Rationale was to increase disk capacity without modifying a unit, which could be more complicated when needing a replacement via the Protection Plan. Because the VE list was long and there was some uncertainty as to the production rate, and if production would be halted when it was changed from the US to Mexico, that I decided to pursue other sources.
I am on the West Coast, but the only one I could find where I knew someone near the store was in Virginia. I asked the manager to hold it and had a friend go over. But just to be safe, since I could not contact him for a while and heard a store in Orange County, Calif, had some, I rushed down to buy one, and got a second one just in case. My friend did come through, though, so I had the one unit from VE, one from Virginia, and two extra.
I decided to make the two extra available to forum members and coordinated with the store and the first members to contact me, to all meet at the store. I would return them and the other two members would purchase them immediately from the store. One of the members drove 2+ hours from Santa Barbara. He had previously made the trip only to find out the store had run out. I was happy to help out fellow forum members.
Getting these new HR20s seems like closing a chapter on what was an exciting product, but the time comes to move on. I really hope that the future brings another HD TiVo DVR and we can have even more fun obsessing over it.