bob_p wrote:The annual subscription fee is $150 for each Bolt (or Roamio) that you have, and they include the first year's subscription in the device purchase. If you need "extenders", each Mini costs $150, and there is no annual subscription fee for them.
Not necessarily. Just like with PC based systems, great deals can still be found. My Roamio including lifetime was only $299, and my Minis were only $69. Hardware cost was a wash after I sold all my WMC based hardware (several Echoes, a few tuners and PC parts).
Tivo has more advantages over WMC than the other way around, IMO. I have 4 live buffers that I can record from the beginning, global streaming/TV search, functioning Netflix and other streaming services, excellent comm skip with no effort on my part, logos with no effort and zero maintenance/troubleshooting time (I had to reboot my Ceton based system monthly and constantly fix the guide data). Raid means nothing to me as I couldn't care less if my drive went belly up tomorrow. Most everything I have is no big loss or easily replaceable. I mainly just time shift, watch, delete. Things I really want to keep are stored elsewhere anyway.
EPG123 looks promising, but Rovi is still a mess (from what I gather). I'm glad to be rid of it.
As for the OPs questions,
1. Is TiVo now one fee for a whole home solution?
Bob answered, but to summarize, sort of. You can do Lifetime (All-In) with no recurring fees, $150/yr or $15/mo. 1st year is free. But on a new unit, All-In is insanely expensive ($600) right now. I can't imagine anyone opting for that. For your purposes, look for a couple of OTA units with lifetime included (many were recently bought on Amazon to flip), and add a cable card bracket for cable. You should be able to find them for under $400 each. I just bought a couple more myself as spares.
2. If I have two recorders (one for OTA; one for cable), do they integrate guides at all, or just share recordings?
I don't fully understand the question. They must have distinct guides since the channels would all be different. If you're concerned about online management, you pick a recorder to manage, each with its respective guide.
3. ***Are there any WMC fans that regret their change to TiVo?***
My only regret is that I didn't switch sooner. Check out the Tivocommunity forums for more opinions. Many ex-WMC users have posted there with a wide range of experiences.
4. If I have one recorder, is it easy to reconfigure it for OTA when I drop cable, or vice versa? Do recordings get lost when reconfiguring it?
Very easy. Just pick a different lineup. Nothing is lost. I've done it several times for other family members.
5. Is there any backup solution? My WMC setup is RAID, so that I don't lose anything due to a hard drive crash. If attaching an external drive, can you only transfer recordings, or can you record straight to the external drive?
or Tivo desktop to back up any and everything you like, any time to any place you like. Reuse your raid in your PC if you wish. I mainly use pyTivo to access all my old WMC recordings on Tivo. Only thing I can't watch are my old copy-once recordings (no surprise there), so have to keep WMC around for that. I've never attached an external drive, so I can't advise there. I've only used network shares.