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I am curently on DishNetwork with their DVR and HD. I have to run my sound through the surround system because my LG picked up a wierd hiss in the speakers and had to crack that bad boy open and disconnect all the speakers. My DishNetwork is decient but like you I am paying $85+ a month for this an have to use their 'rented' DVR (which has crashed and had to be replaced twice).
We are considering going to broadcast HD local channels and NetFlix on demand and something like Hulu for more recent shows. It would save us a good bit of money but would there is probably programming we will no longer receive.
Good luck in your endevors and let us know if you find a way to cut out "The Man"!