Comcast DVR in Boston - Tech Q's - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-12-2005, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm thinking of signing up for Comcast's DVR service, I understand it's new and still has some bugs but I figure it'll be less of a pain in the neck than downloading shows I've missed on the Net.

I don't have HDTV, but is Comcast only offering the Moto 6412? Or is that just the HD model? But I was wondering what the tech specs on it were. I just have a old 27" but just won a new 27" in a raffle that I was thinking of upgrading to a 32" flat screen (tube, not flat panel) for only $200. I'd really like to go up to HD but just can't afford it.

I guess what I'm getting at is, do I have to get HD service (and hence an HD box) to get component outputs (which the 32" I'm looking at has) and digital audio out (to my Onkyo 601)? I have S-Video on my Moto cable box, but only analog audio...wait I just looked and noticed a SPDIF connector on the box, so I should be able to connect that to the digital audio coax connector on my receiver, right? I was always looking for a fiber connection before.

Thanks in advance,
Brian

PS - Sorry for the newbie quesitons.
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-13-2005, 08:24 PM
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It really depends and varies county to county. In my county they offer 3 boxes - both a single and dual tuner SD DVR and a dual tuner HD DVR. I have the Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8000HD and am very pleased with it. Other than it's relatively small hard disk, I find it much much better than my old SA HD box from Comcast. But one county over is Motorola based so like I said.. it really depends.

As far as HD service, here's what I would do... take the 27" you won and sell it. Hopefull you should get $200-300 for it. Then take that a go buy your HD CRT. You can get a nice 30/32" HD CRT set off the auction sites or one of the sponsors for $500-600 delivered.

Or keep the 27 and your money - sell the old 27 and wait til you have $600 burning a hole in your pocket and go HD.

220,221 whatever it takes...
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-14-2005, 07:40 AM
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I have Comcast in Leominster which I imagine is the same as what you are getting out there in Boston. I have the 6205 which has HD and the DVR option. I dont have a HD tv yet but I got it because I cant live without the dvr option. Since i switched from Dish network I am getting a major break on the price.

I only have composite but I found that watching the HD channels downconverted looks really good. The only problem is its really small. I have a 32 in TV and its almost too small to watch that way. It really makes you wish for a mongo HDTV. Alas, I dont have that money burning holes anywhere!

One other thing I noticed as an aside. There is a BIG difference between the signal quality of the dish signals and the comcast signals. Dish network (and probably Directv) severely compress some of their channels. I found that the mpeg artifacting on the local channels was particularly bad. Whenever they panned across the field in a football game it was like watching through a rainy windshield.
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-14-2005, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for both of your inputs. (I'm actually in Lowell, right across from UMass north campus.) I actually ordered the DVR yesterday and they gave me an apt. for today at 1-3, so waiting for the tech to show up right now.

I asked the woman that I placed the order with and she said the unit had both digital video and audio outputs...whether she's right or not or even knew the difference between an analog and digital audio/video output I don't know...but I guess I'll find out in an hour or two.

Thanks,
Brian
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-14-2005, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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The Comcast tech just left a couple hours ago. Wasn't here very long, quick and painless. Works fine, did lock up on me once though but gave me back control after 5-10 minutes...maybe it was in the middle of downloading something. Still hasn't finished downloading the TV schedule, has up to 8PM tonight but nothing after.

One thing I did ask him but forgot to test is the dual tuner feature that allows you to record either two programs at once or rec one while watching another. He said it did, but when I switch channels after recording a program it tells me if I do it'll stop recording. Also on the back, there is only one coax RG58 connection...shouldn't there be two? One the tuner portion of the box there is a sticker that says 'DT' but maybe it doesn't stand for dual tuner.

He told me that it will pick up the HD channels for a better picture which you can tell even on my old 27". But none of the cable box features work while you're viewing an HD channel (Guide, Info, DVR, etc.) because I'm not subscribed. Plugged in a cheap $20 toslink cable I bought a few months ago for the PS2 and it works great. When I plugged it into the PS2 though the audio is constantly on/off ever 1-2 seconds. I figured it was becuase it was a cheap cable and just hadn't returned it yet, but now that I know it works with the 6412, maybe it's the plug on the PS2 then?

I'll call Comcast when I get a chance about the dual tuner issue...unless a kind sole here replies first.

TA,
Brian
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-14-2005, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Called Comcast (twice, disconnected the first time) and evidently I have the old remote. I found the instructions on one of the posts here to program a swap button but maybe I missed one of the steps. She walked me through it and it worked fine. Code 994, then I forgot the 2nd code, 02665 maybe?? Probably wrong.
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-14-2005, 04:03 PM
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If you are close to the regional Comcast office, they will swap boxes and/or remotes. If you call they will say they won't touch HD or DVR equipment, but if you show up they would certainly swap remotes for you.

I refuse to have their techs come out unless I'm having signal issues. It's really hit or miss since they mostly contract their onsite techs. Some are good - some are horrible. I got the HD service the first week it was available - the tech showed up when I was at work and my wife just shook her head when he asked her questions. He proceeded to completely reprogram (read deprogram) my Netcommand setup on my Mitsu 65 and left it in an almost useless state.

I do have a point... I swapped out my HD box and subsequently upgraded to the DT HD DVR just by showing up at the service center.

Once you get the remote try the PIP feature. That's your proof that you have dual tuners. Unless of course they disable that feature in your county :(

220,221 whatever it takes...
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-16-2005, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Now it works fine, dual tuner and everything. I thought the HD would be a little quiter though. I did peek inside and notice it's a 120GB, not sure about make/model though.

I know I'm getting off subject here so I'll post it in the Remote forum...but has anyone got the device code for an Onkyo 601? The instructions that came with the remote says to use either code 0135 or 0842, but one of them will turn it off but not turn it on, and the other is the exact opposite.

Guess this post is done.

Thanks for everyone's input.

Brian
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-16-2005, 04:48 PM
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My swap button works but the PIP function does not. Has anyone else run into this. I am using the Motorola Dual Tuner HD DVR Box.
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-04-2005, 12:39 PM
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I believe that I read on another thread (possibly in a different forum) that the PIP feature of the tuner does not work and that it is incapable of displaying two channels simultaneously. That doesn't necessarily make it true, but it is what I read.
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post #11 of 12 Old 02-07-2005, 08:50 AM
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It's an option that your local operator can choose to enable or disable. It works fine in my county though just basic functionality. Would be nice to have better placement options, resizing, transparency, side by side option, but being able to watch one HD show and have another HD show in a PIP is very nice

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post #12 of 12 Old 02-08-2005, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by FatNoah
I believe that I read on another thread (possibly in a different forum) that the PIP feature of the tuner does not work and that it is incapable of displaying two channels simultaneously. That doesn't necessarily make it true, but it is what I read.
The 6412 used by comcast has NO PIP ability.

The PIP buttons on your remote are for use in TV mode for your TV's PIP ability.

This came from a Sr. Comcast Person, who I had call me for another issue.

---------------------------
Comcast of Lebanon PA.
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