Sure Tivo dies you lose your recordings. But I have to say I am amazed by the longevity of Tivo hardware. I bought my first generation Tivo in 99 and it ran 24/7 without a hiccup until I replaced it with a Tivo-HD in 07. The Tivo-HD has been running the same. I did have a WD-DVR extender external hard drive fail after three years, but it did not just quit it sort of puttered out. So I managed to transfer my recordings off of it. A year a go I upgraded the Tivo internal drive to a 1TB.
Most of what you call middle ground can already be done with a Tivo and a local network. I can transfer recordings from my Tivo to a computer, remove the Tivo DRM and stream them to any device using streaming software. Also the Slingbox will play recordings right off a Tivo and stream them to any device.
None of this stuff is rocket science, but I guess you would have to want to do it.--
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