Tivo's recording is smart.. for example if your series links clash it'll automatically reschedule another recording for later (the one you want 'now' and the one you want 'later' is settable using priorities).Secondly, Mimar:
It picks up on things you like and suggests other things. You catch a lot of new series that way (I often miss lots of stuff because nobody tells me about it until it's nearly on its last episode, then some says 'have seen zzz.. it's really good' and I've missed the lot. Never happened to me with Tivo - invariably it'd suggested the series before anyone even mentioned it - and I found a load of stuff before anyone else).
Wishlists can be set on individual actors, or genres, or all sorts of other information (it's the rich EPG that allows Tivo to be so smart).
Apps and stuff don't interest me that much, although the Tivo ipad interface sounds pretty nice.
And yes, Tivo is worth it. With a Tivo you view TV in a different way - instead of worrying about things like schedules and channels you can just look at what's available, watch some, thumb them up/down and never have to look at the EPG.. that's Tivo's job.. like a personal butler.
I think its always been difficult to explain the benefits of TiVo in writing but a lot easier to demo to friends, especially after Sky plus was launched and people were a bit more aware.
For me, its always been about the basics plus the advantage of the intelligent system built in.
For example, it allows you to prioritise the programs that you like and will then go out of its way to ensure they are all recorded.
If say House was on at 9pm and Ncis was also on at 9pm and Ncis was higher in your order of preferred shows it would record Ncis . . . . but then it realises Ncis is repeated at 01.00am so it would record House at 9pm and also pick up Ncis at its later time ensuring it avoids the clash but also records both shows. This is of course just an example as twin or triple tuners will allow for most clashes to be avoided but they do still happen and its the way TiVo learns to fix these issues (by itself) that quickly teaches you to have faith in it.
It's great to find it has also recorded a rock documentary (on an obscure channel) that you were unaware was listed but it has picked it up anyway because you watched an Old Grey Whistle Test special four weeks ago.