Buying a cable box/dvr online - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 1Likes
  • 1 Post By Mark12547
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 3 Old 03-16-2016, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Maryland
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Liked: 2
Buying a cable box/dvr online

Does anybody have any experience with buying refurbished cable boxes online?


I'm paying Comcast $35 a month for hardware and I'm looking for a way to reduce that.


Cablebox and modem . com cableboxandmodem.com has older boxes for a reasonable price. I've read a lot about people getting screwed buying from Amazon and ebay. Is this legit?
arcamm is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 3 Old 03-25-2016, 02:03 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Mark12547's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Salem, Oregon, United States, Earth
Posts: 2,112
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 767 Post(s)
Liked: 526
The FAQ reads good. The FAQ makes it clear that you would need to rent a CableCARD (a "M-Card") from your cable provider. This usually is pretty inexpensive.

If you should go that route, if you have non-local HD channels that you watch, be sure to get a box that has MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 capability. Comcast is in the process of converting all non-local HD channels to MPEG-4, and older equipment might not be able to handle it. If your area is not affected by the move to MPEG-4 at this time, at some future date it will be, and you don't want to pay hundreds of dollars for something that won't be fully functional within a year.

There are a couple reasons why I personally would continue to rent a Comcast HD-DVR:
  1. I do a lot of time shifting, a lot of recording two shows at a time, often while watching a recording of a third, so I give the box frequent hard workouts. (Multiple streams being written to/read from the disk means lots of head motion, and it is usually the moving parts that wear out the soonest, though the most recent replacement was actually because of a failing power supply.) When the box dies, I just contact Comcast and I get a replacement. (I could walk into my Xfinity storefront, get a replacement, go home and have it up and running in short order.) Yes, I lose the recordings, but I don't lose the purchase price of the box or do without while the box is shipped out for repairs.
  2. If something isn't working, I call Comcast and, while customer service isn't always the most pleasant experience, I don't get them telling me it is some other vendor's equipment and that vendor telling me it is Comcast's signal. Instead, they come and check it out. I just tell them to fix it and give them as much information as I have if I had been seeing something out of the ordinary.
  3. (Ok, I thought of this later. I really do know how to count up to 3! ) I do make occasional use of video-on-demand (e.g., when there are three shows on at the same time but the HD-DVR I currently use has only two tuners and there isn't a rerun of that title later in the week). V-O-D works with the HD-DVR that I currently rent from Comcast, but V-O-D on third-party equipment might or might not work. If you call them, they might be able to tell you if video-on-demand works.


I know I am paying a pretty penny for having Comcast CPE (customer premises equipment), both with their HD-DVR and their gateway (combination cable modem / router), but I know some people opt to provide their own equipment, typically to save money and sometimes for better functionality.


I would be interested in seeing what others say, too.
arcamm likes this.

My very humble setup:
Spoiler!
Mark12547 is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old 03-30-2016, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Maryland
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Liked: 2
Thank you! Very good information. Of course, I can't find anything from Comcast about when we will be upgraded or how long the rollout will take. My break even point on the MP2 boxes would be 10 months, I can get MP4 boxes, but they are double the price. I wouldn't want to spend the extra now if it will be two years before our area is upgraded.
arcamm is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Digital Recorders (PVRs) General

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off