Our original TiVo (hacked with web & FTP servers, 100mbps Ethernet, and 120gb hard drive) started showing a scrambled image; this has happened three times in the past, each time requiring drive replacement. The process is sufficiently awkward that when I put in the current 120gb drive, I decided to replace the TiVo entirely next time, rather than the drive -- with a MythTV or something else.

After TiVo's current promo, a TiVo Series 2 Dual Tuner (80gb) cost $80, which is entirely reasonable. I've been watching mostly ripped DVDs on the iPhone lately, so I was less worried about the fact that S2 and later TiVos encrypt the media files on disk, and were significantly harder to hack.

After installing the new TiVo, we discovered the problem is actually our Time Warner Cable signal again. They're supposed to be here this week, and hopefully will be able to fix our problem, although we don't have much confidence. They scramble the analog signal, thus breaking the new TiVo's signature feature (dual tuners -- the second one supports unencrypted analog cable, if we had it).

As it turns out, the new TiVo is a bit faster and much easier to download from; and onscreen UI is more capable and prettier. Unfortunately, it's also crowded with junk (unwanted features) we cannot remove, but they're easy enough to skip over and don't impact the normal TV-watching experience. I've downloaded and watched a bunch of music videos, which is nice since MTV doesn't show music videos any more.

Oh, and getting MPEGs out of the TiVo seems easier too -- tyc was problematic, but tivodecode works, so long as I watch in VLC instead of QuickTime Player (which only shows the first frame, while playing back all the audio).