I spoke to Bell today. The ability to add an additional HDD and transform the 6141 into a PVR should be available in 2008, possbility as early as this summer but no guarantees.
You'll be able to add more than one hard drive so you can archive content but only one external drive can be attached at a time. IN other words, you won't be able to daisy chain hard drives.
So do you buy a $299 6141 or a $599 9242.
The 6141 is cheaper but once you add an external hard drive the price differential is not as significant. The primary reason for getting a 9242 vs a 6141 plus a hard drive is the 9242 is dual tuner whereas the 6141 has only one tuner. The 9242 will also be receiving a firmware upgrade in 2008 so you can add external harddrives.
The following is my thoughts and NOT what ExpressVu said.
The sense I got from ExpressVu (and this was just my sense) was they want this badly and would love to announce it tomorrow. The 6141 is a new box that has not been in the U.S. so I think they are being cautious before throwing out all the new features. Better to deal with the initial adoption problems before upgrading the firmware and unleashing more problems.
Lets face it, new firmware means new issues and more phone calls so best to stagger the introduction of new features.
My sense is they genuinely think that the 6141/9242 combination is a terrific offering that outshines the competition.
I haven't felt this postively about Bell's offering since they introduced the 5100 and 6000 quite a few years ago. I owned both those units but I moved from Rogers to Bell a few years ago after the introduction of the SA 8300HD and never regretted the decision. When I first got the 8300HD and up until a few months ago, I felt Rogers was the team to beat.
After testing the 9242 for a month (with its far superior user interface) and now learning about what is coming down the pike from ExpressVu, I think its fair to say that ExpressVu has got its mojo back.
The 6141 is a good entry level machine. You still need to factor in total costs and capabilities. With the 6141 and a $100 external hard drive, you get a single tuner HD PVR for about $400. With the 9242, you get a dual tuner HD PVR with integrated hard drive for $600 and the ability to feed a second TV independently. Do not discount the value of a second tuner or the ability to feed a second TV independently using the same integrated hard drive. IMHO, the 9242 is a better deal, despite the higher cost. With rentals, the equation changes only slightly. Either way, you pay half as much for the 6141 but get half the functionality of the 9200 and must also purchase a hard drive.