I hope you got some good answers. I also wanted to let you know that as a Rogers customer you have free access to Rogers Online On Demand. Once you create your account from your home (takes 5 minutes and you only need to do this once) you can then log on to RODO and watch a huge array of full TV shows from any location... cottage, relatives or a hotel room... all on a laptop or computer, you can even hook it up to a television if your computer has video output.
You can catch reality TV shows, soaps, news and sitcoms on your own schedule. The shows are usually up on the website a day or two after broadcast. As long as the programming is a part of your cable TV package then you can watch it on RODO at no charge.
This might save some PVR hard drive space or help with watching your show sooner than later while you are traveling. You can also watch movies, some of which have a rental fee... but some are free too.
My mother loves using RODO for The Tudors.
How does Rogers Online On Demand become RODO? Shouldn't it be ROOD?
Why is this a secret?
How is watching on a computer screen in any way comparable to watching on my big screen TV?
With RODO, do I have to watch commercials? One of the best features of the PVR is the ability to zip through them. (Though the PVR could unimprove a bit and bring back the feature my VCR had, of jumping forward 30 seconds. Press it 6 times and you're back to the show.)
Capacity is not an issue for me, provided I can continue to record in SD for the once or twice a year I'm out of the country for a month or so. And I think that issue has been answered to my satisfaction. But thanks for the further info. I'll look into it.
Another problem for those of us without an HD TV but with a PVR (which has an HD converter) is that it makes my 36 inch regular TV display only the equivalent of a 26 inch picture, with black borders all the way around. Using a regular converter displays borders top and bottom but fills the screen side to side.
I definitely feel that this is not a "gift" to us but a heavy-handed way to push HD TVs. If Bell doesn't make the same mistake, I may switch just because of this.
I tried the ZOOM and STRETCH options in the Quick settings but that didn't help. The problem is that the programs affected are non-HD programs being displayed through an HD channel. HD programs look fine with a border top and bottom only. Non-HD programming is shrunk into the centre of the screen. I expect this on an HD set but it shouldn't have to happen on a non-HD set.
"It's funny the different things you don't think of when offering a service like this.. The 2 things mentioned in this thread I never would have thought of."
It's not funny, it's incompetent. The capacity issue is the first thing I thought of when I heard about this change. And since I bought my 40 hr machine at Costco and returned my Rogers 20 hr one, I have less of an issue than the many (most?) people who still have the smaller disk. Lots of people have this issue.
As for the black stripe framing, this has been around for some time. I've just worked around it or put up with it, since it doesn't affect very many of my programs.
Only a monopoly could get away with this kind of shoddy service. If I'd ever screwed up like this in the years I wored as a programmer/analyst/consultant, I'd have been fired.
I apologize if I came across kind of snappy. But my career was all about thinking about how anything I did would affect everybody else, i.e., my customers, and as much as possible making things better without making anything worse. If a change will require 4.5x as much space, isn't the first, most obvious question: "Do I have all that extra space?" If you're sending a signal to different kinds of TVs, shouldn't you get hold of representative models to see how things look on those TVs? If you don't do these things, you risk alienating the customers, who might then take their business elsewhere. Oh, wait....
Well, my in-laws bought an HD antenna for very little money and mounted it on the chimney, where you hardly notice it. They get everything one would usually want, without the overlaid Canadian commercials. For free. Once I find a reliable HD recorder off antenna, I'll do the same.