It's now four days since Tier 2 Support at DirecTV informed me I'd be getting the software upgrade that will prevent my DirecTV HR20 HD DVR from skipping recording the shows I've asked it to. Turns out that's not a bad thing, as once the software upgrade comes through, I've been warned I'll lose the ability to get help from Customer Support because they won't know how to support the build (why doesn't this bother me more than it does?)
The good news: I've only had to reboot the machine once since then (because the remote decided to stop functioning, even after fresh batteries were installed). And I've found the DBStalk forums for lots of geeky advice on how to work around issues related to the HR20.
The bad news: My progress bar shows that we have only 15% of our hard drive free due to the phantom "new items" that were recorded but I can't get to thanks to the software bug. And I don't have the frickin' time to be trolling the DBStalk forum trying to get this device to work.
When I visited the DirecTV.com web site, I was more than a little surprised to see that "due to unprecedented demand," the DirecTV HD DVR is waitlisted. It's either high demand, or they're still trying to iron out the bugs before shipping more of the units (see what's happening in the DirecTV HD DVR forums).
I see there's a deal over on Costco.com for a new TiVo Series 3 for "only" $649.99. If I get my purchase price refunded from DirecTV for the malfunctioning equipment, the gap closes to something palatable. It's sorely tempting to jettison the DirecTV HD DVR and go back to good old TiVo, but I'll have to read the fine print on the HR20 purchase agreement to see how long I'm shackled to a poorly functioning device... I'm sure the large switching penalties are tucked in there somewhere.