Comcast DVR vs TiVo......what should I do? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 12-23-2006, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Long post.....pls bear w/ me.
As some of you know Im a LCD newb, I bought a 45" LCD last week and upgraded my cable cause analog cable sucks on the new TV.

Today I just got my Comcast Digital/HD Cable box. I currently have TiVo DVD combo, so I did not get the DVR box. Comcast said the DVR box will be an additional 11.95/month and Im paying 13/month for TiVo now.

I was thinking what if I cancel TiVo service and get the Comcast DVR?
I can also move the TiVo box upstairs and I think I can like a VCR w/o the TiVo features. I can then buy a new DVD player w/ HDMI ports so I can use on the TV downstairs.

Ok heres my question: Which is better? DVR or TiVo?
I like to watch one show while I TiVo another. I just turn off the TiVo and watch regular TV. Can I watch TV and record at the same time w/ the DVR box?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 27 Old 12-23-2006, 02:49 PM
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You might be best served by visiting www.tivocommunity.com for your question but as a Series I owner and living with my 4th Comcast HD box I can tell you this, there's no comparison in features between what Tivo gives you and the way the Comcast box works (or pretends to work).

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post #3 of 27 Old 12-24-2006, 03:02 AM
 
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If you're choosing between a TiVo Series 2 and the Comcast DVR, then the Comcast DVR wins, hands down. HD is better than not-HD. Without a doubt. The features are a bit different, and there is nothing so reliable as a TiVo Series 2, but it is still SD, and if you've got an HDTV, then you need an HD DVR AFAIC.

If you're considering switching to the HD TiVo, that's another story. The TiVo Series 3 (the one that supports HD) is far better, when it works for you. (In a very small percentage of cases, the TiVo Series 3 suffers from problems that render it substantially inferior, such as partial recordings and missing channels. These problems continue, for this small minority of customers, months after the Series 3 was introduced.) The Comcast DVRs only advantage is that if it doesn't work, you can repeatedly exchange it for another one, until, eventually you end up with one that works reliably.

Keep in mind that TiVo's pricing has recently changed, and if you leave the TiVo service and then decide to go back, you'll be subject to the new pricing.
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post #4 of 27 Old 01-05-2007, 12:56 PM
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Long time Tivo user here.

I started out with a steam driven Series 1 that had a toasted modem. Got it for a real good price! I upgraded the drive and added network capibility. I really lined my S1 & ended up selling & purchased two series 2's. Had them networked & did the Tivo to go for awhile.

Filed for divorce, Wife took bedroom Tivo & I kept my S2 Tivo. Since wife took most ALL electronics I decided the boys & I needed a new TV. Got my a 50" Sony Wega & upgraded to the comcast DCT3416 DVR. I'm ready to cancel my Tivo subscription now! WOW, what a picture! The software is not as nice as the Tivo SW but I will survive.

Cost me too much to purchase a S3 HD Tivo & then the 19/month subscription.

RM
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post #5 of 27 Old 01-05-2007, 05:44 PM
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Mchero,

I have a few questions about the Comcast box:

1. Does it record two shows at once?

2. Does it have a jump-back feature? (FF through the commercials until you see the show coming on, press play, and it jumps back to just before the show)

3. Any problems with "Season passes" on the Comcast box?

4. If you have more than one of these units, does that $11.95/month go down on the additional one, or is that the price for each?

Thanks.
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post #6 of 27 Old 01-06-2007, 12:26 PM
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Have been using the Comcast/Motorola 3412 DVR for the past few weeks. We have owned a Series 1 Tivo for years (have a Lifetime contract).

IMHO the 3412 DVR is the buggiest device I have ever used. Perhaps we have been spoiled by the quality of the Tivo device and its software but based on what I have read here and elsewhere it's the device not us.

We've had nearly every single problem described by other posters with the 3412. If it weren't cheap to rent it I would return it tomorrow. I'm so disgusted with the bugs in this thing I seroiusly considered paying the $800 for a Tivo S3! Sadly, it's really more like $1,000 for us if we want to transfer our Lifetime subscription. That's just a lot to pay for the relatively few HD broadcasts we will actually record and watch. We're not sports fans so that eliminates a lot of HD programming.

My next plan of attack is to see if we can get Comcast to give us our old digital cable box back and dedicate that to the Tivo. We'll keep the 3412 for the occasional HD show for now. Trying to get the Tivo and the 3412 to share a single cable box source is problematic at best although it will work if you have the patience to work out the scheduling conflicts that will result in contention for channel selection.

In summary, I think that even replacing a Tivo Series 1 device with the current Comcast DVR is a bad trade. If you really love Tivo you may really hate the Comcast 3412 alternative. I think we'll see things start to get sorted out in the next couple of years. For now, buy an Oppo DVD and rent those favorites.

PS- The 3412 we have does not know the difference between new and re-run programs. There are no "wish lists". The Comcast interface is sad by comparison. There just isn't much to like about the 3412 DVR option beyond its price. You get what you pay for and in this case there aren't many alternatives making it all a bit frustrating.

PPS- For SWSPAIN, yes, 3412 will record 2 shows (it has 2 tuners), it jumps back after a FF (although at FFX2 you have to be really paying attention), it does record a series (season pass) but will record all episodes despite settings for "new only".
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post #7 of 27 Old 01-06-2007, 12:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anotherforumid View Post

If it weren't cheap to rent it I would return it tomorrow.

And so you've come full circle. "It's buggy but I'm still going to pay for the privilege of using it."

Yes, it's buggy. However, for most people, it is the best value for the money.

Winston Churchill once defined democracy as the worst form of government with the exception of all the others. The Motorola 3416 is, given all aspects, functionality, reliability and price, the worst DVR of all, with the exception of all the others.
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post #8 of 27 Old 01-06-2007, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

And so you've come full circle. "It's buggy but I'm still going to pay for the privilege of using it."

Exactly! LOL.

$1,000 for Tivo S3 with contract OR $11.95 a month (really $6.95 as it is still $5 a month for Comcast HD content without a DVR). That's an easy choice for me too.

I'm just dissapointed in the DVR. Motorola and Comcast can do better. I hope they do. I'll give them a years worth of rent money and see what happens.
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post #9 of 27 Old 01-06-2007, 09:57 PM
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and it is our responsibility as the early adoptors and/or those with extra $ who care about the future of this DVR government to support the S3 at a cost
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post #10 of 27 Old 01-07-2007, 08:55 AM
 
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Hardly! It is our responsibility to make the purchasing decisions that are best for ourselves.
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post #11 of 27 Old 01-07-2007, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleybang View Post

and it is our responsibility as the early adoptors and/or those with extra $ who care about the future of this DVR government to support the S3 at a cost

I understand what you're thinking, but if we all behaved that way, the S3 would never come down in price. If anything, we should ALL not buy it if we think it's too expensive; that will bring the price down to one we can more readily accept.
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post #12 of 27 Old 01-08-2007, 04:16 AM
 
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Well, I don't think there is any logic in either perspective: Buy or don't buy because it either does or doesn't serve your needs. Don't think of your purchase as way to distort market forces. First, any one of us is too insignificant to have that effect. Second, just doing what is best for you will best represent what the market says should be.
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post #13 of 27 Old 01-08-2007, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swspain View Post

Mchero,

I have a few questions about the Comcast box:

1. Does it record two shows at once?

2. Does it have a jump-back feature? (FF through the commercials until you see the show coming on, press play, and it jumps back to just before the show)

3. Any problems with "Season passes" on the Comcast box?

4. If you have more than one of these units, does that $11.95/month go down on the additional one, or is that the price for each?

Thanks.

1. Yes. It will even record two HD shows at once. I'm pretty sure that while you are recording two shows that you can watch a 3rd HD show previously recorded. Not sure about that though.

2. No jump back feature. I do have it set up for a 30 second skip...which usually takes you through the commerical breaks and right back to the show.

3. I've not experienced any problems with programs I have set up to record.

4. Not sure...we only have it in one room.

It is well worth the $12 IMO. Honestly I don't know what I'd do without it now. Not to mention you don't have to purchase the Moto boxes from Comcast...and there is no rental fees or anything like that. You purchase the DVR from them and you exchange your box for a DVR box. No extra cost. The TiVo Series 3 is about $800...which you have to buy if you want it.
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post #14 of 27 Old 01-09-2007, 03:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swspain View Post

1. Does it record two shows at once?

Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swspain View Post

2. Does it have a jump-back feature? (FF through the commercials until you see the show coming on, press play, and it jumps back to just before the show)

Not automatically. There is a separate button you have to press, after you press play, that will jump back a number of seconds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swspain View Post

3. Any problems with "Season passes" on the Comcast box?

Some issues, but nothing untenable. For shows broadcast multiple times per week, but still each episode labeled "new", you'll get all the broadcasts of that episode rather than just one. Other than that, I haven't had any significant problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swspain View Post

4. If you have more than one of these units, does that $11.95/month go down on the additional one, or is that the price for each?

On the contrary, the price goes UP. Figure that you're already paying for programming for the first one in your service fee, so the $11.95 just reflects the equipment rental. For subsequent units, you pay a higher fee, reflecting both the equipment rental and reception of the programming on an additional unit. (In some areas where DVRs are in short supply, you may not be offered an additional unit, at any price.)
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post #15 of 27 Old 01-09-2007, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

Yes.

Not automatically. There is a separate button you have to press, after you press play, that will jump back a number of seconds.

So you basically just hit (what TiVo calls) the "instant replay" button?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

On the contrary, the price goes UP. Figure that you're already paying for programming for the first one in your service fee, so the $11.95 just reflects the equipment rental. For subsequent units, you pay a higher fee, reflecting both the equipment rental and reception of the programming on an additional unit. (In some areas where DVRs are in short supply, you may not be offered an additional unit, at any price.)

Ouch. Considering I'm looking for 3 of them, that hurts. That's why I won't buy a S3 TiVo. That price for one of them is one thing. That price for 3 of them is a definite deal-breaker for me.
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post #16 of 27 Old 01-09-2007, 01:25 PM
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Actually, it won't be a deal breaker. And, at least in CHicagoland, the price doesn't go up - you pay the same fee for additional devices.

If you have an HD Tivo, you're paying the Tivo fee PLUS Comcast's HD fee, which IIRC is $9 or $10.

So, if you have a Tivo and Comcast HD, you're paying what, $22.

However, if you get the Comcast DVR, Comcast "waives" or whatever you want to call it, the HD fee and you pay only the DVR fee, which right now is $12 or $13.

For the 2nd one, you pay an additional $12 or $13. Etc. etc.

For some reason, Comcast hasn't raised my fee from the old $10/month for the DVR to the new $12 or $13/month (they've hit friends in nearby 'burbs with the new fee).
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post #17 of 27 Old 01-09-2007, 03:54 PM
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The deal-breaker I was referring to is the up-front price of buying the TiVo S3 box. $799 is one thing. $2,397 for 3 of them simply isn't an option.
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post #18 of 27 Old 01-09-2007, 10:45 PM
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i've never used tivo, but have comcast and i'd never recommend it over anything. its a horrible piece of hardware and the software is janky.

tivo or setup your own pvr/htpc. you lose the "on demand" service, but oh well
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post #19 of 27 Old 01-10-2007, 03:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdrone View Post

Actually, it won't be a deal breaker. And, at least in CHicagoland, the price doesn't go up - you pay the same fee for additional devices. ...
For some reason, Comcast hasn't raised my fee from the old $10/month for the DVR to the new $12 or $13/month (they've hit friends in nearby 'burbs with the new fee).

I suspect when your area updates to the latest corporate pricing, new customers will start getting charged extra for extra DVRs.
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post #20 of 27 Old 01-10-2007, 03:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leftheaded View Post

i've never used tivo, but have comcast and i'd never recommend it over anything. its a horrible piece of hardware and the software is janky. tivo or setup your own pvr/htpc. you lose the "on demand" service, but oh well

The S3 is great if you can afford the up-front price, and if it works. It is worth the price, but just barely (which makes sense -- if it was so much of a better deal than the Motorola DVR from Comcast, then TiVo should have charged more for it). If you cannot afford it though, the Motorola DVRs aren't as bad as many people make them out to be. Typically, it seems that the folks who have had the biggest problems with them simply haven't invested the minimum work in swapping the box out until you get a good one. I've never needed to swap the box for any technical reason, but I have swapped boxes three times for other reasons (to switch to the ADS-only box, to switch back to the Motorola DVR from the TiVo Series 3, and to switch from the 120 GB box to the 160 GB box), and it took me about five minutes in the Comcast office each time. No questions asked, no harm, no foul.

Building your own DVR is an unacceptable option for most people who aren't looking for a new time-consuming hobby to spend their precious free time on.
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post #21 of 27 Old 01-14-2007, 02:39 PM
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Comcast has struck a deal with TIVO and a "mutually developed" device is coming SOON...

Quote:


It has been almost two years since Comcast and TiVo announced plans to deliver TiVo software to Comcast customers on existing Motorola hardware and many expected to have then in their homes by now. While a Series 3 will still set you back a good chunk of change, Comcast continues to rent the Motorola DVR to customers for less than TiVo's monthly service fee. This partnership should give Comcast customers some middle ground between what some say is inadequate software and an expensive 3rd party alternative, but they have just now started to test the software don't expect to do market tests until the spring. On top of this they still refuse to give a hard date for the release to the wild, but they are saying "2007". As disappointed as we are that we have to continue to wait, we do understand their challenges. TiVo has to write their software to not only work with the Motorola hardware and Comcast network, but also to integrated with other Comcast services such as VOD and "TV Navigator". To top it all off the software is to be deployed via a download without ever requiring a visit from the cable guy for those who already have a Comcast DVR.

from engadgethd's website....
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post #22 of 27 Old 01-14-2007, 02:59 PM
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Comcast has struck a deal with TIVO and a "mutually developed" device is coming SOON...

Is this exclusive to the software developed for the Motorola STBs?
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post #23 of 27 Old 01-14-2007, 03:04 PM
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As far as I know it will be on a Motorola STB...most likely a DCT3416 or 341X variant...
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post #24 of 27 Old 01-14-2007, 03:34 PM
 
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So far. There are rumors that either a separate port will be done to other boxes or the current port will be deployed onto other boxes. However, for now, it's just the Motorola boxes.
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post #25 of 27 Old 02-11-2007, 09:53 PM
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Hmm... I wonder if I'll get a 64x or 34x variant of the Motorola HD DVR box when I place my order in the next couple of weeks? What are the main differences between these to flavors of Comcast Moto HDDVR boxes and should I 'request' one over the other?
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post #26 of 27 Old 02-19-2007, 05:36 AM
 
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If you have a choice, get the 34xx. It runs cooler, in my experience, and that's a good thing. What determines whether you have the choice is (1) whether ADS is available in your neighborhood, and (2) whether there are 34xx's available.
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post #27 of 27 Old 02-27-2007, 12:34 PM
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If you are not concerned about HD, don't want to pay a subscription charge and have a laptop, there are two solutions.

The two products I have found that allow programmable analog TV recording are the PINNACLE PCTV 100E EXT TV TUNER USB2 and the Cinergy 400 TV mobile MKII.
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