When HBO first became available, the company experienced difficulties in its billing structure and it took several months after signing up for service for an invoice to arrive. The promised feature film line up was HBO’s first viewer drawing card and it worked. It’s expansion to documentary as well as feature films, self-produced shows, major sporting events make it a rich viewing experience. Free of commercial infringement, excepting its own reflexive promotional messages, HBO as an alternative to network TV wins hand down. I agree with ddriscoll that HBO is TV is HBO and interrogators of TV can’t forget that. The Sopranos, derived from the Godfather and Goodfellas movies and borrows from several other older filmic sources, provided strong storytelling and character development over the seasons. Six Feet Under, in my view, was not as strong a show and after a while I lost interest in the characters. However, I catch a Soprano rerun whenever I can. One of the reasons I resist the DVR is that I want TV to remain TV. I want my viewing subject to its schedule so that I am forced to make choices about what I do with my time. If I didn’t have HBO and the other several cable stations, my weekly TV viewing time would be about 80% shorter.