I know it has been said around here for quite some time that the only way to guarantee getting an HR44 is to buy one, however, I have one data point where that was not the case: I called and talked to retention to report seriously poor performance with my HR34 and 2 C31 clients and the rep immediately offered to replace all my equipment for free. I replied that would only be acceptable if he could guarantee me and HR44. He insisted that he could, though it required a "special form" to be approved by his sup and then sent to the warehouse. It took quite a while for all that to happen, but at the end of the call he assured me I would be receiving an HR44. I was skeptical, but 2 days later FedEx delivered 2 new/refurbished C31 clients and a refurbished HR44. Interestingly enough, both C31s came with return shipping labels and instructions for returning them (along with threats for not doing so). The HR44 had no such documentation with it. I called and confirmed they did not want the HR34 back. I immediately removed my 2TB drive from the HR34 and placed it into the HR44. At first boot, I checked for a software update, which it needed, and then I needed to call DirecTV to activate it, since the web site activation did not work. After all that, all my Series Links, To Do list, custom Guide lists, Recent Searches and recordings from OTA channels were still valid. Even the extended Guide Data was still there. One final note, since my 2TB drive was full of movies recorded from various free promotions, and we knew I was going to lose them with this swap, the rep gave me 3 free months of HBO, Showtime, CINEMAX, and The Movie Channel which I am now using to "reload" that 2TB drive!!! PS: Before you ask, I do not have the protection plan and received 3 x $19.99 credits for the 3 shipping charges.