My Motorola 6412 DVR (Pioneer software) broke on Friday. It actually started dying on Wednesday, but much plugging/unplugging and rebooting got it to work once more. Friday morning it was dead (permanently downloading new firmware and occasionally rebooting itself). A frustrating call to Cox on Saturday. The rep swore that if I just waited it would fix itself. I got five days to wait for a technician to bring out a box and swap it out (5 minute job). A regular cable box can be swapped at a retail counter -- a DVR cannot.
1) $10/month sure beats Tivo/satellite when things like this happen
2) I'm glad I had my backup Tivo (normally use to tape SD programs)
3) What I missed most were the programs lost. Many could be recovered from Bittorrent. A few (including some top 20 shows) cannot.
4) The technician who came out was the same person who did my original install 3 years ago. An amazingly knowledgable guy who went beyond the book to do a very professional install. He prides himself on never installing a purely HD box. 90%+ he upsells to the extra HD DVR box in his truck. For $5/month an incredibly easy sell. I forgot to ask if he ever installs CableCards.
5) Modern entertainment systems are becoming increasingly hard for big companies to handle. "Can I plug it directly into the TV?" "No" "Why not?" "You won't get any sound -- my TV has no speakers".