I’ve been away from the blog for a while. In July I was heads-down on a super-intense consulting project, and in August I was on the road: New York City, Oregon, Redmond, and then South Bend, IN. I’m finally home for a short while and have a few cycles to spare (but only a few).

Today is the end of an era for the Prosise family. A few years ago we bought a TiVo and it changed our life. I love TiVo, but I’ve resisted upgrading to a Series 2 box because I bought a lifetime subscription for my first box and I hate making monthly payments. TiVo won’t transfer a subscription to a new box, even for a fee. They don’t sell lifetime subscriptions any more at any price. And the monthly fee to download programming information just keeps going up. That really grates on me since I could set up a Windows Media Center Edition PC and download programming info for free.

My TiVo’s hard drive went out, which forced my hand to upgrade my DVR. I considered taking advantage of a pretty good deal TiVo is offering right now on a WiFi-capable dual-tuner Series 2 box, but decided against it for the reasons listed above. I also considered setting up a Windows MCE PC, but decided against that, too, since Vista is just around the corner and I don’t want to buy a new computer right now just to record TV shows. So I ordered a Moxi through my local cable company. The cool thing about Moxi is that it replaces the set-top HD box I currently have. (I’m all about integration; right now there are too many boxes around my TV, too many cables tying them together, and too many remotes needed to drive them all.) It also has dual HD tuners so I can record two HD broadcasts at once and play them back in HD, too. And it only adds a few bucks a month to my cable bill–a fraction of the cost of TiVo service. To be sure, Moxi lacks some of the best features of TiVo and MCE, such as remote access via the Internet. But those features are coming (subject to availability from the cable companies), so Moxi seems like the best all-around fit for my needs right now.

Later today I’ll unplug my TiVo for the last time. It’s sorta sad, but it didn’t have to be this way. If TiVo had provided some kind of upgrade path for early adopters like me, I’d probably still be a loyal TiVo customer. It would have helped if TiVo had jumped on the HD bandwagon earlier, too. But they didn’t. Evidently, they covet new customers more than they value their old ones. Shame, really.