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I'd pay a slight premium for a TiVo. Here's why:

- about once a month or so the HR-20 locks up HARD. As in push the red reset button and/or unplug it. Then it takes several minutes to boot up again. My old HR10-250 (the MPEG 2 DirecTiVo HD unit) doesn't do that.

- It loses HDMI sync/handshake/whatever at about the same frequency. Gotta unplug the HDMI cable, turn it off, plug the cable in and turn it back on. I won't say the 10-250 doesn't do this, but it has done it once or twice. The HR-20 does it often enough that it seems "routine" to mess with the cable. It shouldn't be routine.

- Weird software problems. Today I went to record "Fringe". Search by title, enter Fringe, pick the folder that says Fringe [HD], pick out the channel I want (2-1 KTVU over the air) and it says "Searching for programs..." I cancelled after about five minutes. Ultimately I had to poke through the 2-1 channel guide by hand to find Fringe and record it that way. I've never seen that before, and I doubt I'll see that particular bug again soon, but there's a whole class of this "That's weird, I don't know why that just happened" glitches for the HR-20.

The HR-20 isn't as bad as I initially feared, but it's definitely not a reliable as the TiVo software in the 10-250. Of course, we'll have to see how stable some new unit is, but TiVo has a MUCH better track record there than DTV does with their in-house models.

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