I've been a Tivo addict since the first DirecTivo boxes came out. After getting a big screen TV, the standard definition picture looks pretty bad (especially as it seems that DirecTV compresses the hell out of their signals to make room for more pay-per-view channels.) So we wanted to upgrade to some sort of HD service, but of course Tivo is a must (no third-party DVRs -- no one who has had both a third-party DVR and Tivo has ever said anything good about the third-party DVRs.)
Option 1: DirecTV's HD Tivo. This was released a few years back, but is going to be incompatible with the HD locals that DTV is rolling out, which will be using a different encoding. (Some people have combined this solution with OTA HD, but I have no interest in playing games with antennas.) And DTV has yet to roll out HD locals in this area anyway, and there's little sign they're coming soon. So even if there was HD local channels here, there's no Tivo solution that can record them, only the DirecTV DVR.
Option 2: Digital cable + Series3 Tivo. This seems like the obvious choice, except for the high cost of the Tivo box (600+, plus the increased cost of the Tivo data service which I'd been insulated from since DTV customers were grandfathered in at the low rates). But...no TivoToGo or MRV on the Series3 yet, which means you can't transfer videos to the video iPod. This has to do with content restrictions surrounding their CableCard certification, but annoying it applies not only to protected HD but also to unprotected SD content. Ugh. (As to MRV, if you have two Series3 Tivos with CableCards, why is there a problem moving the content from one Tivo to another?)
Option 3: Comcast DVR with Tivo. Comcast did a deal with Tivo where you can get their Motorola DVR and upgrade to Tivo software as it is rolled out. But its going to be a long time before the rollout reaches here.
MythTV is not an option; you can't put a CableCard in a MythTV box.
So far, no hacks have appeared for the Series3 (other than those that involve reprogramming the PROM and resoldering it) that get around these restrictions.
We're going to bite the bullet and go with Option 2, and hope that eventually Tivo resolves its dispute with CableLabs and reinstates some form of TivoToGo and/or MRV.