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Shaw multiroom PVR worth it?

I know this is more of an internet forum but...

I am Looking at getting a PVR.

I have one main TV in the living room that gets used a lot and one in the kitchen that is used when preparing food (IE. never going to need to TIVO anything)

IS the home portal worth it if you are really only going to be PVRing on 1 TV? Is the feature set worth the extra $152 going from just the basic PVR + HD Box? Is it faster, stronger , better?

Can you set recordings from your smart phone?

Are they ever going to enable the router / modem side of this thing?

How is the usability compared to US competitors PVRs? we still getting screwed?

Anything I should know about the total home PVR before I bite the bullet? (complaints, limitations, wait for new hardware / firmware?)

Option 1 HDPVR + HD box = $526
Option 2 Total home + extra portal = $678

Calgary, AB
In the US, there is a monthly fee, to use the PVR, otherwise the feature is disabled, $5-$17 to turn the hard drive on.

Is the multiroom PVR worth it, that is a question you have to decide. The kitchen may never setup a recording, but would it be of value to watch items that had been recorded in the main room.
Yes, I am not employed and looking for IT work. Have passport, will travel.


Richmond, BC
reply to BRD
UI wise, it's the Arris/Moxi UI. Of the UIs, it'll be better than the standard Motorola/Cisco(Scientific Atlanta) DVRs (which everyone pretty much agrees universally suck - PVRs have been around nearly 15 years and they still can't seem to do anything well).

How it compares to say, a TiVo is debatable. But I would consider we're still getting screwed as Shaw doesn't allow much to be done with the Arris. No TiVos (they can't decode anything but analog cable as Shaw does not support CableCARD). Windows Media Center does work if you use a Hauppage HD-PVR or similar with a Shaw HD box, but you're limited to analog inputs (1080i), IR blaster channel changing and general cablebox flakiness (see Motorola/Cisco hatred), again as Shaw does not support CableCARD so you can't use the nice CableCARD tuners.

It's probably the weakest part of Shaw's lineup - the general suckiness of the non-gateway cablebox. Not really Shaw's fault since the Motorola the Cisco boxes universally suck across all providers, though Shaw could bring in nicer boxes (e.g., TiVo Q (Premier), PACE's TiVo boxes, even the Ceton WMC based ones).

Now, the nice thing with the Gateway box is you can get another portal and hook it up to your kitchen TV- you can after all record from any portal and watch what you recorded from any portal.

If you're set on a TiVo-like thing, the Gateway would probably be the least frustrating UI purely because it's by Arris. (I honestly don't believe "web scheduling" should be a nice-to-have. Having used it with TiVos before Shaw went all encrypted digital, I used it a lot).