Comcast Dual Tuner DVR (6412)- A Review after 1 week - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 12-10-2004, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I live in Philadelphia, and I've had the new Motorola 6412 dual tuner HD-DVR for 1 week now. Here is a preliminary review and some thoughts.


Ok, first...Comcast guy TOTALLY f'ed up the install. I can't overstate how carefully I wrote EVERYTHING out and marked everything with SEQUENTIAL post-it notes (I have an elaborate setup)

Nope- he blew it.

Had to pull it all apart and redo. Drives me INSANE that they won't let me hook it up and make the dumb phone call.

Anyway, a few observations
1) The Comcast box actually makes the analog picture WORSE than running cable from wall to set. As I ran a splitter from wall to box/set, it's very easy to swap pictures and see that a bad picture goes to terrible. Way to go Motorola. Comcast doesn’t' get off scott-free- they compress the heck out of their signal to fit in all the pay-per-view and on demand bandwidth hogging crap.

2) Because I use the DVI connection, the analog 4:3 picture is utterly squashed by the Comcast unit. So, I either watch in side-boxed view in the digital channels, or watched the squashed picture. I can't use the Elite to override, because the DVI inputs do no conversation of any kind to keep the digital purity. To watch analog channels, you'll note in point #1 where I pointed out I split the cable in anticipation of this. However, the digital (100+ and up numbering) are still squashed.

3) HBO. HBO is a problem. Why? Because while before when I subscribed to HBO I could get it on all sets- now I only get it through the box. That's bull#@$- I want it for the whole house. They'll be getting a call, for sure.

4) The remote. They gave me the 1-tuner DVR remote. The 2nd tuner doesn't fully function without the new remote, as the controls are on that unit for the swap and the PIP are on the new remote. They'll be getting a call, again....oh, and they did not give me the list of codes to program the remote, so I can't have it control volume on TV. I'll never use the remote anyway once I get the correct one- my home theater remote is 1000x better. But need the correct unit to program it. *UPDATE*- Comcast told me that it is in fact the wrong remote, and they have no ETA's on the correct remotes.

5) The DVR seems to function well enough. The interface is a lot better than the previous generation. The guide moves a LOT faster, and is cleaner. Also there's PIP so you can still watch what's on. You do have the option to record a series. That being said, it doesn't hold a CANDLE to the TiVo interface (I have a modified series 1 and a series 2 unit). One HUGE annoyance is that when you watch a TiVoed program, you can fast forward, and hit play when you show returns. The TiVo buffers 3 seconds on fast forward. So even at high speed, it jumps to the correct starting point. It's brilliant. The Comcast unit doesn't respond as fast as TiVO controls do, and it has NO buffer, so it's a constant rewind deal. FURTHERMORE- you cannot jump ahead in 15 minute increments. You have to fast forward to get to a mid-point. And even on full speed- it's SLOW.

6) Series recording, or selecting a show, is unwieldy at best. It completely lacks TiVo's advanced search functions. Furthermore, the depth of the info the TiVo provides with their season pass functions makes the HD-DVR realize that it's even on the same playing field as its wily foe.

7) Best part of Comcast unit, by FAR (duh), is the fact that you can record high def. It was VERY nice during the Eagles game to watch in glorious HD, and hit pause to get the kid or something. That's pretty much the only reason I got it. Plus, with 2-tuners, you can record and watch something else, or record 2 things at once (even with the wrong remote, it defaults to the tuner not being watched). On Wednesday I recorded Smallville and Lost in HD. No problems.

8) Another nice feature TiVo needs- the DVR tells you what percentage of the hard drive is full.

If we forget the TiVo comparison for a moment, and simply compare this unit to previous Comcast digital STBs (DVR or not), this is easily the best one. That being said, I give the overall interface a B-. Remember, this is compared to previous units.

Compared to TiVo, it rates a D. Caveat, of course, is that it records High Def (which is why we'd get it in the first place, right guys?)

For the record, if/when TiVO gets their CableCard-equipped multi-tuner HD-unit to market, this box is GONEGONEGONE. But, until that point, it's nice to have all the HD channels. No more messing with the antenna!

Post any questions you might have- I'd be happy to contribute!

Fred
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post #2 of 24 Old 12-12-2004, 10:00 AM
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Fred,

Take a look at these threads:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=449214

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=464986
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post #3 of 24 Old 12-15-2004, 10:29 AM
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How do you get the PIP to work on the 6412? My TV has PIP, but you need to split the cable (which leaves you with only the analog channels for the one picture).

When I press the PIP on button nothing happens. I was expecting to see the feed to both tuners displayed.

My DVR is driving me crazy after 1 day. It still hasn't completely downloaded the guide information. Several shows for tonight are still listed as TBA - I thought I was supposed to be able to see a week out.
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post #4 of 24 Old 12-15-2004, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jasahl
How do you get the PIP to work on the 6412? My TV has PIP, but you need to split the cable (which leaves you with only the analog channels for the one picture).

When I press the PIP on button nothing happens. I was expecting to see the feed to both tuners displayed.

My DVR is driving me crazy after 1 day. It still hasn't completely downloaded the guide information. Several shows for tonight are still listed as TBA - I thought I was supposed to be able to see a week out.
Comcast NJ - Union/Verona

You are experiencing two known problems.

PIP will never work on the 6412. The remote indicates it has PIP but the 6412 does not have the ability to display both tuners at the same time.

Check this post for the "TBA" problem:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...72#post4802472
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post #5 of 24 Old 12-15-2004, 11:29 AM
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markjrenna:

Are you saying that this is a deliberate thing? Strange because King of Queens was displayed yesterday for 9:00PM Wednesday (and I set up a series recording for it), but this morning when I brought up the guide, it was showing TBA at 9:00PM Wednesday. Didn't see any 9:01 or anything.
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post #6 of 24 Old 12-15-2004, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jasahl
markjrenna:

Are you saying that this is a deliberate thing? Strange because King of Queens was displayed yesterday for 9:00PM Wednesday (and I set up a series recording for it), but this morning when I brought up the guide, it was showing TBA at 9:00PM Wednesday. Didn't see any 9:01 or anything.
Quote:
Originally posted by jasahl
markjrenna:

Are you saying that this is a deliberate thing? Strange because King of Queens was displayed yesterday for 9:00PM Wednesday (and I set up a series recording for it), but this morning when I brought up the guide, it was showing TBA at 9:00PM Wednesday. Didn't see any 9:01 or anything.
Comcast NJ -- Union/Verona

Based on what that article states, it sure seems deliberate.
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post #7 of 24 Old 12-15-2004, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by markjrenna
Comcast NJ -- Union/Verona

Based on what that article states, it sure seems deliberate.
Here's what I'm wondering then:

Is the reason every single weekly show for the entire week is being displayed as TBA due to the fact that they are not starting or ending on an even half-hour? If this is the case, then I would expect that every single person that has a Motorola 6412 would also be seeing this problem & that recording a series would be impossible.

This doesn't jive though because it seems that most people's guides are displaying the shows fine. They just have to make sure that the DVR is set to record the title regardless of air time.
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post #8 of 24 Old 12-15-2004, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Is the reason every single weekly show for the entire week is being displayed as TBA due to the fact that they are not starting or ending on an even half-hour? If this is the case, then I would expect that every single person that has a Motorola 6412 would also be seeing this problem & that recording a series would be impossible.
Yeah, impossible for our Motorola unit, but not for TiVo. TiVo is aware of the time changes and allows for them in its recording. Heck, they even send you a MESSAGE telling you to beware of time changes AND what shows they are occurring on.

TiVo rules. In my opinion, the most evil thing Comcast has done is have their lackies in the FCC and minions in DC successfully make the implementation of CableCard in their TiVo systems.

Curse you Brian Roberts! In a future life may you be reincarnated as a garden slug!
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post #9 of 24 Old 12-15-2004, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by FreddyW
Yeah, impossible for our Motorola unit, but not for TiVo. TiVo is aware of the time changes and allows for them in its recording. Heck, they even send you a MESSAGE telling you to beware of time changes AND what shows they are occurring on.

TiVo rules. In my opinion, the most evil thing Comcast has done is have their lackies in the FCC and minions in DC successfully make the implementation of CableCard in their TiVo systems.

Curse you Brian Roberts! In a future life may you be reincarnated as a garden slug!
I just got home from work & it appears that the TBA problem has resolved itself - I can view all shows regardless of time. It wasn't a broadcast time problem - apparently the unit was having trouble downloading the schedule. Looks like it got it now.

My wife was watching TV this afternoon & said it didn't power cycle at all or freeze, so I thought that was fixed, but just as I was about to post this, the screen froze & I had to change the channel up & down to get out of it (basically flush the buffer). Has anyone seen this?
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post #10 of 24 Old 12-15-2004, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by FreddyW
Yeah, impossible for our Motorola unit, but not for TiVo.
Comcast NJ - Union/Verona

Not so my friend. The i-Guide, Echo, and FE 1.7 all do continual schedule checks like Tivo and ReplayTV.

Tivo's days are numbered.

The rest of your post is useless and pointless.
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post #11 of 24 Old 12-16-2004, 01:36 AM
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Wh=y didn't you just have the cable guy peroform a basic hookup to make sure it works fine, then once he left, connect everything the way you want it. There is no way I would have any cable/satellite tech messing with my connections for my home theater.

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post #12 of 24 Old 12-16-2004, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Comcast NJ - Union/Verona
Not so my friend. The i-Guide, Echo, and FE 1.7 all do continual schedule checks like Tivo and ReplayTV.

Tivo's days are numbered.

The rest of your post is useless and pointless.
Indeed. I'm glad you're against consumer CHOICE, drone.
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post #13 of 24 Old 12-16-2004, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by FreddyW
Indeed. I'm glad you're against consumer CHOICE, drone.
Comcast NJ - Union/Verona

Wrong again. BTW, grow up.
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post #14 of 24 Old 12-16-2004, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
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So...what from the below is hard for you to understand? The point is- Comcast IS NOT THE HOLY GRAIL. They are a monopoly with nothing to hold them in check.

http://www.skyreport.com/viewskyrepo...ReleaseID=1546
------------------------------------------------------------
DISH Targets Comcast, Cable with FCC Comments

EchoStar took aim at its cable competitors last week, telling the Federal Communications Commission in a letter that Comcast's claim the wired business lacks market power is without merit.

The satellite TV company also told the FCC that there's no basis for easing program access and exclusivity rules, despite pleas from cable companies for relaxation of those regulations. EchoStar further told the commission it should strengthen its enforcement of those rules "to ensure that cable does not abuse its market power."

The EchoStar letter was sent in response to a presentation Comcast recently made at the FCC concerning competition between cable and satellite TV.

"Comcast's claim that cable operators lack market power is simply divorced from marketplace reality, as illustrated by Comcast's recent announcements that it will once again increase its already high prices starting in January," EchoStar said in its FCC letter. "Because cable operators continue to possess significant market power, there is no basis for easing the pro-competitive regulations whose goal is precisely an attempt to constrain the exercise of such power."

EchoStar also said rolling back program exclusivity rules would be "disastrous" for competitors, especially when it comes to access to regional sports channels. "Where cable operators have exclusive carriage of popular regional sports programming, as Comcast does in the Philadelphia market by resorting to the 'terrestrial loophole,' DBS penetration of those markets have been significantly below national average," EchoStar said.

"The commission should not permit a generalization of that problem by allowing exclusivity prohibition to sunset."
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post #15 of 24 Old 12-21-2004, 04:09 PM
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I just called to order this dual tuner dvr from comcast and it will be installed on Thursday. I had been debating on what to do for programming and a dvr and I think this will be my best option for bang for the buck. Is this dual tuner model better than the single tuner one? I could probably get by with a single tuner model but the dual tuner is only 4 cents more per month in the Chicago area so I opted for it hoping that there weren't other problems with this new unit making it a worse choice.

If any of you care to see all I was considering feel free to read the following post and comment here. I'd like to see any recommendations you have.

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...postid=2452138
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post #16 of 24 Old 12-21-2004, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DirtRider If any of you care to see all I was considering feel free to read the following post and comment here. I'd like to see any recommendations you have.[/url] [/b]
Comcast NJ - Union/Verona

Make sure you are getting the 6412 with the new i-Guide. I have it and think it is very good.

The Comcast DVR is not quite Tivo, but it is close. I agree that you should try the Comcast DVR for $9.99. You get two tuners, HD capability, and an all-in-one integrated STB/DVR. The new guide is very good too.

If you go the satellite route then I recommend the DirecTV dual tuner Tivo. That is very nice indeed.

I know Comcast/Motorola are looking into multi room capable STB's in the future. This will be like Tivo's Home Media setup.

Good luck and post back what you like and don't like.

In the mean time. Check out these threads...

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=449214

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=464986
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post #17 of 24 Old 01-28-2005, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jasahl
My wife was watching TV this afternoon & said it didn't power cycle at all or freeze, so I thought that was fixed, but just as I was about to post this, the screen froze & I had to change the channel up & down to get out of it (basically flush the buffer). Has anyone seen this?
I ordered the 6400 and had comcast take it back a week later because the screen kept freezing, making watching TV worthless. And two shows i tried to record only recorded the first 12-14 minutes. When I called comcast, i was told it was a known problem and that they were awaiting a fix from motorola. Just no idea when that would be. Anyone hear of this and if so when the fix will be out? i really would like the box back fixed.
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post #18 of 24 Old 01-28-2005, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by delbruck
I ordered the 6400 and had comcast take it back a week later because the screen kept freezing, making watching TV worthless. And two shows i tried to record only recorded the first 12-14 minutes. When I called comcast, i was told it was a known problem and that they were awaiting a fix from motorola. Just no idea when that would be. Anyone hear of this and if so when the fix will be out? i really would like the box back fixed.
Comcast NJ - Union/Verona

That is a known problem. You seem to have experienced it more than most though. I'd try a new box again.

Please refer to these threads for more information

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=464986

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=449214
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post #19 of 24 Old 01-28-2005, 10:33 PM
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This is a pretty decent box but I still miss my Tivo for one major reason: I hacked it to hold oodles of programs.

Please does anyone out there have any ideas on how to hack the 6412? 10 hours of recording space for HD programming is pretty worthless.

- Eric
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post #20 of 24 Old 01-29-2005, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by markjrenna
Comcast NJ - Union/Verona

You are experiencing two known problems.

PIP will never work on the 6412. The remote indicates it has PIP but the 6412 does not have the ability to display both tuners at the same time.

Check this post for the "TBA" problem:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...72#post4802472
The PIP on the remote is for the TV selection Controls, not the Cable Box. The Controls work my TV / Monitors PIP settings correctly.

---------------------------
Comcast of Lebanon PA.
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post #21 of 24 Old 02-08-2005, 12:21 AM
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Comcast has Downloaded the Firmware update for the DCT-6412! New version of the firmware is now 09.15. This is in the Hershey Pa. Comcast area.

---------------------------
Comcast of Lebanon PA.
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post #22 of 24 Old 02-08-2005, 07:24 PM
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I've had no problem with mine and love it. Performed flawlessly during the SuperBowl. I've never used Tivo - but I can't see any particular reason to now given the lower cost, the easy replacement, the increased functionality, and the ability to record HD. That last one is teh biggest reason I love my new Comcast DVR.
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post #23 of 24 Old 02-08-2005, 07:56 PM
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We had HD before, moved two miles away into an area with no HD (still on A/B system), and were without HD for about a month. As soon as they got HD in our area (a few weeks ago), I went in the next day, picked up a 6412, and installed it myself in the morning. I got back that Friday night, went through all the instructions, and showed my wife how to use it. We're hooked. I'm recording HD movies, and my wife can record all her shows during the day and watch them whenever she wants.

We love it. Granted, we never had any sort of Tivo. But this is great. Of course it would be nice if the hard drive was a little bigger, but I have about 7 movies on there and room for 2 more. Now I just have to watch the 3 Matrix movies from HBO last week and the others that are on there...
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post #24 of 24 Old 05-24-2005, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scanpa
The PIP on the remote is for the TV selection Controls, not the Cable Box. The Controls work my TV / Monitors PIP settings correctly.
I have an HDTV with PIP, but it has never worked since I go through the cable box. I now have the Dual HD DVR thru Comcast. Is there a way I can make the PIP on the remote work for my TV?? I'm new to this...so any info would be great. Thank you much!!

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