In my first reply to this I missed some of what you wrote:
- The cost of the program guides information
- The cost of the TiVo backend infrastructure to support the remote updates of appliance (software and program guide information)
- The cost of them integrating all the above pieces into one "appliance"
This is the part I don't want to pay for, because as far as I am concerned it adds no value.
As far as MythTV goes, I am unaware of any store I can walk into, buy one, take it home, connect it to my TV and I'm ready to go. I could do all of that with a VCR.
Then you're missing the major draw of what the TiVo can do. The draw of the TiVo isn't that it's a fancy VCR that you don't have to put tapes in, it is that you tell the TiVo what kind of programming you like and it GOES OUT AND FINDS IT FOR YOU. That means that it'll chase down your favorite program when the network decides to go hide it in another time slot. It'll look at the programming you like and find similar programs to record in the free space you've got left over (if you don't disable the feature). All these things require a constant source of program data, something that doesn't come free.