Instead of having 3 big cable boxes at home to record the TV shows, I have it all tucked away in a nice cabinet/technology rack. I also for-go the cable boxes and use a computer running a system called "MYTHTV" that allows me to record what I want and save it for me to watch later, watch on my laptop/ipod/etc... we eliminated the TV in the bedrooms because the mythtv can stream to the laptops to watch TV and recordings there. sick in bed? grab the laptop and watch live tv you can pause, or watch your recordings. in the kitchen? set the laptop down and catch your food tv shows as you cook. It eliminated a lot of equipment and makes TV do what we want instead of doing what it wants.
A mythtv is a high end solution. it takes lots of computer skill and is more expensive than most solutions. but it's the most usable. Any skilled computer shop can build you one for well under $800.00 with 2-3 tuner cards in it by using a easy to install setup called Mythbuntu..
It's not a toaster. it's a complex computer. But it made a HUGE difference in my home. It does things we need that TiVO can not do.