I've got a Panasonic DVR that I'm quite happy with -- the UI suits me, it's got a big hard drive, it makes it trivially easy to burn stuff to DVD, and it doesn't attempt to be smarter than I am. It has only one drawback, but that's a *big* drawback: it only deals with two-digit channel numbers. Given that my cable actually has tons of channels beyond 99 (including all of the premium stations), that's a real limitation on what I can record. This is particularly an issue as I contemplate the second season of Rome, which is going to happen eventually.
So I'm idly curious about whether a TiVo would do better. Specifically, while I think I'd leave the Panasonic in place, I'm thinking of replacing the seldom-used VCR with a TiVo. That would allow me to hard-drive multiple shows at once, which is occasionally necessary. I think it would be worth it *if* it deals with the things that the Panasonic doesn't.
So the questions are:
1) Does TiVo deal properly with three-digit channels? (I suspect the answer is yes.)
2) Will a TiVo control my cable box? This is nearly as important, because the premium channels have to go through the cable box to get decrypted. The VCR (and, indeed, the Panasonic) has a "cable mouse" attachment that will change the channels on the cable box when needed -- does the TiVo have something similar? (This, I'm less sure about.)
Information about these questions (or suggestions of alternative ways I could configure a system that does what I want, including some device other than a TiVo) is solicited from unimind...