My frustration with DirecTV’s failure to add AMC HD has really come to a head with the Walking Dead. While I am an avid SundayTicket watcher (and will have DTV service Sept-December as long as they control that service), seriously considering cutting the cord for the remaining eight months of the year. I can’t believe that I’m paying this much $$ to DTV and still can’t watch the few cable shows that I want to watch (Mad Men, Rubicon, and now WD) in HD. Leaving aside the 4 months that I will activate DTV and leaving Sunday Ticket out of the equation, I’m paying aproximatley $67/month to DTV for my basic package, added HD channels, and DVR functionality. That roughs out to $531 a year in savings if I suspend DTV for 8 months of the year. We have a 60” plasma, can definitely see the difference between 1080p and 720p on the set at our seating distance (9’), live in an area where all of the locals broadcast well in HD, and the majority of our viewing consists of network shows that we receive OTA and record via our DTV DVR (we probably watch a total of 7 OTA shows and 3 shows that are only available via DTV). We also watch aproximatley 3 more shows available through DTV and would like to watch the 3 additional AMC shows noted above in HD. Wife and kids are not tech savvy, meaning that we would likely need any replacement box to access all of our content (OTA, streams, online rentals, etc.) through a single, easy to use interface. Given our appreciation for 1080p and the fact that most of what we watch comes in OTA, an OTA DVR is preferred. Just discontinued my Netflix service, as there is a redbox kiosk a couple of blocks from my house and we’re getting our blueray releases from redbox moving forward. Open to renting/streaming shows from Itunes or Amazon if that makes the most sense from a PQ/$ perspective. The question is how best to replicate our viewing experience (all content routed through a single box) with the $531 in play (or a little more) and access AMC HD. I’ve done some basic reading and I’m looking for some advice on available options. Getting the feeling that my hope (a single box that does most things well) isn’t quite there. Mac Mini + eyetv: Pros: Potential single interface that will do everything that I’m asking, including DVR functionality and access to online media not available through the other options without having to incur additional fees (Hulu). Cons: Cost of a decently configured system and eyetv appears likely to exceed my budget ($700+?). Seems to do everything OK but nothing great. Somewhat of a hodgepodge interface that appears to give wives/kids headaches. Will require a fair amount of setup and maintenance. Conclusion: Possible replacement but seems unlikely do to cost/hassle factor AppleTV2: Pros: Cheap, simple box ($99) and UI, will stream 720p fairly easily, great UI that will work for both the wife and kids, ability to rent just about everything that we currently watch OTA via Itunes, cheaper rentals, ability to watch AMC HD shows, roughs out to within budget ($99 for the unit plus another $250 in season passes – see below). Cons: No direct access to OTA shows through the UI, no ability to record OTA through a DVR, increased cost for rentals (meaning that I will have to purchase season passes for the 7 shows we now watch OTA), which I’m roughing out to aproximatley $250/season. No current ability to view 1080p content. Conclusion: Possible replacement, especially if there is some type of hack that will either allow DVR functionality and/or 1080p playback (that would make it a slam dunk). GoogleTV: Pros: Will allow us to access streamed content, a combined interface. Cons: More expensive box ($200+), no current DVR function, increased cost for rentals instead of OTA recordings, 1080p playback. Conclusion: Initial reaction is that it doesn’t seem geared towards my situation right now (a little harder to deal with the APTV2), so probably a no-go for the time being unless there is an integrated DVR function on the horizon (which seems doubtful). Tivo Premiere: Pros: Great UI that will definitely work for the family, DVR functionality for OTA recordings, cost seems within budget ($165-200 for the entry-level unit + $300 for lifetime subscription). Cons: Not entirely clear on how easy/cheap it is to rent shows through amazon, especially compared to Itunes' seamless experience. In a fight between the APTV2 and the Tivo, leaning slightly towards the Tivo due to 1080p and OTA/DVR functionality. Any thoughts/comments, especially about the ability/quality of the HD show rentals via Itunes and Amazon and how they compare on the Tivo/APTV2? Thanks!