I disagree. It's common practice to pay for a cable box or receiver whether or not it's on. The fact that you can only use 3 clients concurrently doesn't mean you can't use 8 clients.
What isn't know yet... is what happens when all the tuners are booked and you turn on a C31. Does it go to the playlist?
Like someone else said, that is nowhere near the same. With 8 cable boxes you could be watching 8 different channels on 8 different TVs at any one time. Just like if you had an HR34 an 8 H25s you could still watch live TV on all 8 H25s at one time if you needed to (while you would still be limited to 3 recordings being streamed. I have no problem with DirecTV charging for all 8 H25s since the programming is still being mirrored to all 8.
With 8 RVU clients you cannot use all 8 at the same time, only 3 at a time. That means you have less functionality, and shouldn't have to pay the same amount.
In my parents case there is absolutely no real advantage to getting the C31 with billing set up this way. They live in an MPEG4 area, so they could get an HR34 and 7 H25s for pretty much the same cost as an HR34 and 7 C31s, and have the same monthly expense with the ability to watch live TV on all 8 TVs (which they don't really need). But it's going to cost DirecTV a lot more money because that means they have to give my parents a SWM 16, H25s instead of C31s, two splitters, different power inserter, more wiring etc instead of a SWM LNB and a normal install. But if it's going to cost my parents the same amount of money an HR34 and 7 H25s makes more sense for them.
If DirecTV only charged $6/month for the first 3 C31s both DirecTV and my parents could save money.
Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, "It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."
-by Jack Handy