We've had quite a few discussions about television here before, but I couldn't find an answer to my question. I am a DirecTV subscriber and am wanting to invest in my first digital video recorder (DVR). The model being sold at Best Buy and Circuit City is a new model put out by DirecTV themselves (Model R15). The cost is $100, but if you'll commit to two more years of service, they'll rebate the cost. (EDIT: As of 3/1/06 the rebate offer applies to new customers only.)
The problem I am having is that all the reviews I have read about the R15 say that it is crap and that I should get an older model that uses the Tivo software if I can get my hands on it. The Philips DSR708 seems to have gotten great reviews since it came out in December 2003. Ebay has some for sale at less than $100, so that shouldn't be a problem.
My question is this: If I buy a Philips DSR708 DVR with Tivo, will I have to pay an extra fee to DirecTV and a monthly subscription fee of about $12 to Tivo, as well? If so, can I avoid the dual fees by just going ahead and buying the R15 that DirecTV is supporting? Will DirecTV even let me subscribe a Philips DSR708 at this point?
One more question: Can I feed the audio and video signals out of a DVR into a DVD Recorder and burn to DVDs? The guys at Best Buy say yes, but I'm not going to put blind faith in what they say.
I know I could get some of these answers by calling DirecTV, but I don't trust them to shoot straight with me on some of this. I suspect they would say things to push me toward their new R15. I'd rather just get my answers here, if possible, so thanks in advance for any insight any of you can give.