well... I probably am "stepping into it" now. Tried another attempt at bell help. Again, they know nothing about the feature even when walking them thru the menu displays. Then they offer to add the "locals" that are on the OTA to my service package. I had to explain to them that some of those "locals" aren't even on their "birds" so that isn't going to help. Then explained that OTA service is a good "compliment" service for rain / snow fade days (minutes) when the sat signal is "compromised" but that the OTA still works fine. Of course, then there was the "oh maybe your sat setup isn't very good, you need a tech to check it". :-) "No, it is fine."
Anyways, the "gambit" will be, is the replacement going to be better or worse than this receiver which was stable except for the OTA feature. Recording / play back / and "counters" were all good especially those wrt the hard drive. My fingers are crossed.