One, as on laptops, where the hard drive would go to sleep, the fan would go off, and the thing would hibernate. That way, one could solve the problem that affects many of us that it produces too much noise in the bedroom and wakes people up or keeping them from going to sleep. It will also allow users to put the unit to sleep (turn off the sounds) when it's disturbing people who are reading or want quiet time in the family or living room.
It would also save electricity, too, and hence be better for the environment.
It would be set up to wake from sleep to record shows.
I can't hear my TiVo at all - ambient noise in my house completely drowns out the tiny whisper of sound my TiVo makes (I can *just* hear it if I put my ear directly over the ventilation holes). Maybe there's something wrong with your TiVo if it actually wakes you up in the night!
I don't think there's anything wrong with the TiVo. We've owned 4 different TiVos and, while they've varied in sound, none is really bedroom perfect... the Human DRT-800 has been the best.
I generally have good hearing, and am sensitive to noises, especially to higher tones and hard drive whines and rattles... I'm not alone as other posts in these forums attest.
Of course, the other possibility is that many other people's hearing is shot! Too many MP3 and Walkman hours, loud stereos, or rock concerts! But the blessing is that they can live more easily with always-on hi-tech gear such as the TiVos!