I read today that Comcast is going to start rolling out set-top boxes with DVR functionality, and that they’re licensing the DVR software from a company other than Tivo. That’s a disappointment. I have two DVRs, one of which is a Series 2 Tivo that I love unreservedly. The interface is great, its performance is snappy, and it has all the intangibles that make it a joy to use. I used to have a second Tivo, but I gave it away and subscribed to the DVR service from Time Warner Cable instead. Its advantages are that I didn’t have to pay for the hardware, its monthly fee is lower than Tivo’s, and it has two tuners so you can record two things at once or record one thing and watch another live. (It also doubles as a digital cable receiver so I don’t have to use the weird IR hack that I use with my Tivo and my other digital cable box.) The downside is that it’s much more difficult to use than the Tivo is — the interface is less responsive, more confusing, and more cluttered. It has fewer software features than the Tivo does as well. I’d hate to see Tivo killed off by its inferior competitors, but I fear that if they don’t score more licensing deals, that could happen.