Toshiba's SD-H400 combines an 80GB TiVo digital video recorder and a standard DVD player in one space-saving box. It can save up to 80 hours of TV programming on its internal hard disk, as well as play--but not record--DVDs. The device is listed at $550, but you can find it online for as little as $400.
Upside: Unlike a standalone TiVo, which requires a monthly or lifetime fee, the SD-H400 comes with free TiVo Basic service. You get limited programming guides and recording functions, including cable and satellite control, right out of the box. And since its progressive-scan component outputs work with both DVDs and TiVo-recorded programming, the combo unit offers improved video quality unavailable on a regular TiVo.
Downside: The full panoply of TiVo conveniences, such as 14-day programming guides, Season Pass recording options, and the cool Home Media Option is available only if you upgrade to TiVo Plus service, which costs either $13 per month or $300 for the lifetime of the unit.
Outlook: A DVD player and a TiVo DVR in one console is a great idea, but you might want to hold out for the a model that combines TiVo technology with a DVD recorder. Unlike the SD-H400, Pioneer'sand Toshiba's own can archive your hard-drive recordings on DVD.