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kilocat said:
Hi, I’m new here and will appreciate all answers
I share home with others and don’t plan to stay in one place for very long, if I buy the Tvo it’s just for my own. I share cable TV/Internet at home but just use cell-phone for myself. Would I get any trouble having the box activate in such condition (I have neither land-phone line nor my name with the cable service)
BTW, I'd like to know more. Does Tivo include these features below?
Has commercial skip
Record premium channels from cable box
Record one channel while watching another
Works all well with analog, digital, HD signals..
How reliable the unit (not trouble prone)? And since will have to pay $300 for lifetime service I’d like to know if Tivo’s going to last, unlikely to become yesterday technique in the not too far future
TiVo doesn't care if you have the cable service in your name, so that won't be an issue.

Because you don't have a land-phone line you should make sure to buy a TiVo where the box specifically states that it can be set up over a network connection. (That just means that it is pre-loaded with the latest software. If you didn't have the latest software you would need to leave the TiVo connected to a land-phone line long enough for it to upgrade to the latest software, then you could connect it over the internet instead).

TiVo's don't automatically skip commercials. You can either fast forward through them at up to 60x, or you can enter a code to toggle the 30 second skip functionality. That would allow you to jump ahead 30 seconds every time you pressed the advance button on the remote.

Record premium channels from cable box: Yes, the TiVo can control a cable box and record from all the premium channels the cable box supports.

Record one channel while watching another: Kind of, depending on how you set it up. Like a VCR the TiVo doesn't have two tuners, but also like a VCR if set up correctly it can pass video signal through to the TV to allow you to watch something using the TV's tuner. (To do this place the TiVo in standby)
This doesn't work well with a cable box, because the cable box only outputs one channel.
(You can of course split the cable before the cable box and run one output directly to the TV allowing you to bypass the cable box and TiVo to watch the analog channels on the TV with the TiVo is busy.

Works all well with analog, digital, HD signals: The TiVo can directly record analog broadcast or analog cable signals (up to channel 99) by connecting the antenna or cable to the coax input of the TiVo.
If you want to record digital channels you will need to use a cable or satellite box, which the TiVo can control.
The TiVo can't record High Definition signals, and doesn't have control codes for high definition receivers, so you can't really use it to record down converted high def either. (Well there is a DirecTV based High Definition TiVo, that can record High Def, but I assume you weren't asking about it as it requires a DirecTV subscription).

How reliable the unit: They seem to be fairly reliable, however the units do have a hard drive, so they aren't as inherently robust as a fully solid state device. That said, it is easy to get a replacement hard drive if necessary (or it you want more recording space) so even if something went wrong you can most likely get the unit repaired, and therefore not lose your lifetime service. (Of alternatively, even dead TiVos with lifetime service retain significant resale value on eBay).
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