After all that grief it was a bad tuner and a bad configuration change I’d made. A few days ago I figured out that it was a bad idea to set windows display settings to “never off” and then yesterday I received a replacement ATI Digital Cable Tuner and not only did I have it setup in 15 minutes, but it works without ANY issues what so ever.
The occasional bad piece of hardware is a fact of life these days, especially when it’s a problem like I was having where the hardware would work fine for a few hours before it stopped. I mean seriously, how could ATI even test for something like this at the factory? It’s not like they could test the tuner for 24 hours on every tuner that leaves the factory.
I can’t say enough about how great everyone at Microsoft and ATI has been at reaching out to me to make sure my problem was resolved, I really, really, appreciate it. Ironically though, in the end it was a Dell XPS support person who didn’t hesitate to send me a replacement that fixed the problem — which I received in 3 days!
Now that everything is working properly, I have to say I’m really enjoying this setup. VMC has so many more capabilities than my TiVo and although it required more setup, it is well worth it. Of course only time will tell how much maintenance it requires, but for now I’m loving it!
Thanks to everyone who helped me out!