I am an Expressvu SD customer and a Shaw HD customer.
The reason for this is the active Firewire port on the Shaw box. I connect via Firewire to a DVHS VCR and archive any interesting HD programming to tapes. The DVHS VCR outputs via component video. My longer term hope is that a standalone Blu-Ray DVD recorder will become available and I can copy the tapes over to Blu-Ray disks at some point.
The tapes are getting hard to get and I had to order a couple of boxes from NY recently. They cost $8/tape and each tape can hold 2.5 hours of the best quality of programming. (The DVHS VCR is capable of recording at about 28 megabits/second (from memory) and does record 5.1 audio.)
From reading this thread, it appears that a 750-Gig HDD will hold about 100 hours of HD programming, or the equivalent of about 40 tapes and at $8/tape, the total tape cost is over $300.
So clearly the HDD archiving is cheaper.
The tapes, though, don't require formatting and are not locked to any playback device. Shelf space for HDDs would also be less than that required by the appropriate number of tapes.
I wonder what would happen if I archived 3 or 4 HDDs with Expressvu programming on them and then, after a year or so, connected one of the HDDs to a receiver. Presumably within that time period, the receiver's firmware would have been updated. Would the HDDs still be playable, or would a new firmware require a new formatting?
I did stop in a local Bell store and they had no HDDs available and claimed that the only HDD that could be connected had to be purchased from Bell. Clearly, from reading this thread, this claim is untrue.
Also, one question that is not clearly answered in this thread is whether or not parts of recorded programs can be archived. E.g., eliminating commercials or retaining only highlights of sports programs.