Your post is accurate. I have the SA HD DVR. IMO, it has the three very important features that TiVo currently doesn't offer on stand alone boxes - two tuners, HD and direct control....minus the awesome TiVo UI.crowfan said:My brother has one. I've seen it in action.
The pluses are that is can record and playback HD, it has 2 tuners, and it doesn't need the IR blaster.
The drawbacks are many. The software is just ugly. It has no keyword search, no WishLists. It has season passes....sorta. You have to search for the show in the guide data (the grid) and record the show, and then you have the option to record the season. It only has like a week of guide data (I'm not sure exactly how much but I remember being kinda surprised at how little it was). It does not have adjustable recording levels, and the hard drive space is small. I am pretty sure that the "season pass" just records by channel/day/time and will not follow the show if it moves. It has none of the other TiVo features, such as networking, Home Media features (music and photos, online games, TiVoToGo, ability to schedule shows online, etc.).
It's OK, but it falls far short of TiVo in the features.