You could always buy another VCR for $50. A DVD recorder with built in hard drive is an option that would run $300 and up. I have the DVR from Cablevision and love it. The box rental is the same as a regular box, but yes, there is the additional $10 monthly DVR fee. However, if you have HDTV it's a must. It records HDTV, which no other box out there now can do. It also allows you to record two things at the same time. You not shelling out any upfront money and can get rid of it if you don't like it, plus if it breaks you just swap it for a new one free of charge.