This morning I canceled my Tivo service. I bought my first Tivo box, a Philips HDR112, on Ebay a little over 4 years ago. I paid about $120 for the box plus about another $100 for a 120GB hard drive. I loved the service so much that I even bought a second box for my parents. I was the model Tivo customer. I would rave to my friends about how great it was, and converted at least a few of my friends who later bought their own Tivo boxes.
So what happened? Tivo lost its edge. The company stopped innovating, and DVRs became commodities like cd or dvd players. When I called Comcast to order my new cable service, they offered me a dual-tuner integrated DVR/cable box with HDTV support for only $10/month (that's $3/month than Tivo charges, and the hardware is free). I've heard mixed reviews of the Comcast DVRs, but I figured I'd give it a try and see how they work for myself. The good thing about getting a box from my cable operator is that it's easily upgradeable at no cost when a newer/better version comes out should this one fail on me.
The box I have is one of the new ones powered by Microsoft software. Tivo has now established a similar agreement to embed their software in Comcast boxes (or maybe it's the other way around). It'll certainly be interesting to see how this one plays out.
When the Tivo customer service rep asked why I was canceling my service today over the phone, I told her "Well, Comcast is giving me a free new box with 2 tuners and HDTV support, it's all in one box that's half the form factor of my current Tivo, and the monthly fee is $3 less than what I've been paying". She didn't have much to say to that other than offering to cut my Tivo monthly service fees from $13 to $7 a month and telling me I could buy a new Tivo that supports HDTV and 2 tuners. Right.