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Old 05-28-2006, 11:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Comcast DCT - 34xx & 64xx series STB w/ TiVo Software.


Lets talk about the upcomming release of the TiVo based software that will be used in Comcast Motorola DCT 34xx & 64xx series STB.

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Old 05-29-2006, 04:28 AM
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When do you expect this software will hit the street?

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Old 05-29-2006, 09:40 AM
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In another thread, scanpa said that beta testing would begin in July.

I for one, can't wait until the TiVo software is available. In particular, the conflict resolution and cancelled recordings "features" of the TiVo s/w are better. I know season passes are more flexible, but the 6412 has been doing an OK job for me in this regard. Wishlists would be nice.

My big question is which feature set are we going to get? Will we get full TiVo functionality or a reduced feature set ala DirecTV? If we get all the features like MRV, online scheduling, and media stuff then I will gladly pay extra for the TiVo s/w. If all we get is season passes and wishlists, then I will be tempted to just stick with iGuide and save $10+ every month.

Also, will the 6412 w/ TiVo be able to do OnDemand? If so, then there will be little reason for me to get the Series 3 box.
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Old 05-29-2006, 11:09 AM
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The big advantage that a good workable Comcast/Tivo would have over a Series 3 Tivo is simply cost. The Series 3 Tivo is expected to be much more expensive per month. Any information on how Comcast will conduct the Beta?
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Old 05-29-2006, 11:51 AM
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I sure hope it supports networking as I use this feature to pipe music from my computer to my HT sound system.
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Old 05-29-2006, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Lambert View Post

The big advantage that a good workable Comcast/Tivo would have over a Series 3 Tivo is simply cost. The Series 3 Tivo is expected to be much more expensive per month.

Much more expensive? I was thinking it might be $3-5/mo difference. The 6412 w/ iGuide is $10/mo and TiVo should be more ($15?). Standalone is $17-$20/mo so that's only a premium of $2-5/mo. Where you could argue it will be more expensive is on the upfront costs since you have to purchase a Series 3.

But still, I'm not sure we're comparing apples to apples here. The Series 3 won't be able to do OnDemand and PPV on cable, but I don't know if the 6412 w/TiVo will have MRV, Online and other networking features. There may be plenty of other trade-offs besides the monthly cost.
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Old 05-29-2006, 03:06 PM
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We have no idea what the monthly cost will be for the Series 3, nor the initial purchase price.

On the other hand, the S3 will do OTA (both NTSC and ATSC); this might be advantageous if one has both cable and an OTA antenna. The S3 will also have a larger hard drive from the sound of things.

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Old 05-29-2006, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheer View Post

We have no idea what the monthly cost will be for the Series 3, nor the initial purchase price.

On the other hand, the S3 will do OTA (both NTSC and ATSC); this might be advantageous if one has both cable and an OTA antenna. The S3 will also have a larger hard drive from the sound of things.

I would bet the S3 will have the same monthly price as the other TiVo's, as the monthly price is applicable to the TiVo SERVICE, not leasing the box, although with TiVo's new pricing structure who knows.

If one has Cable, there isn't much need for OTA unless it is a VERY OLD cable system and they aren't even running networks in HD.
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Old 05-29-2006, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheer View Post

We have no idea what the monthly cost will be for the Series 3, nor the initial purchase price.

But isn't that the purpose of these forums? to endlessly speculate about things we don't know for sure? But more to the point, does anyone think that they will price the monthly service differently?

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On the other hand, the S3 will do OTA (both NTSC and ATSC); this might be advantageous if one has both cable and an OTA antenna. The S3 will also have a larger hard drive from the sound of things.

OTA could be an advantage, but I would guess most cable companies are like mine and offer all the OTA channels with basic service. If your cable company does HD-lite or something, OTA could be a big difference.

The ability to upgrade the series 3 would be huge, especially if the eSATA ports are active for free and the 6412 is still closed (both internal and USB ports off).
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Old 05-29-2006, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weldon View Post

If all we get is season passes and wishlists, then I will be tempted to just stick with iGuide and save $10+ every month.

I hear the difference will be $5/mo. I also recall reading somewhere that it would be the same price as we are currently paying, but if we kept IGuide it would decrease $5; I find this hard to believe, though, as Comcast never lowers prices. I expect Tivo to be $5 more than we are paying now.
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Old 05-29-2006, 04:04 PM
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Count me as one of the folks awaiting the TiVo rollout.

I'm in Harper Woods, MI, which is technically metro Detroit, but I seem to be receiving service from Comcast of Macomb (Macomb County, which is just less than half a mile north). So if any Comcast of Macomb, Oakland, or Detroit folks have heard anything about the TiVo rollout, I'd love to hear about it.

I just moved off of DirecTV (and my old DirecTiVo) to Comcast and their HD service on Friday, and even three and a half days has been enough for me to seriously miss the TiVo's interface. My installer had no clue about the TiVo rollout - he hadn't heard anything about it. However, that may not be too surprising - he admited that he was not very technical when it came to AV connections (we had a discussion about coax vs. composite vs. component where that information came out), etc.

So, if anyone from the metro Detroit area hears anything, give a shout.
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Old 05-29-2006, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QZ1 View Post

I hear the difference will be $5/mo. I also recall reading somewhere that it would be the same price as we are currently paying, but if we kept IGuide it would decrease $5; I find this hard to believe, though, as Comcast never lowers prices. I expect Tivo to be $5 more than we are paying now.

Yes, the upgraded DVR service Tier w/ TiVo will be $14.95 per Month versus the current DVR service fee of $9.95 per Month.

and yes both prices will be going up by end of the year. I would guess after X-mas / Jab 2007 area.

have heard $12.95 for I-GUIDE (Basic DVR service Tier)
and $17.95 for TiVo (Advanced DVR service Tier)

as always STB rental cost not included. Most are now covered in the cost of the Digital Packages.

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Old 05-29-2006, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twitchee3 View Post

I would bet the S3 will have the same monthly price as the other TiVo's, as the monthly price is applicable to the TiVo SERVICE, not leasing the box, although with TiVo's new pricing structure who knows.

Since the new service prices are now, essentially, a hardware subsidy, I don't think we can be certain. But you could be right.
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If one has Cable, there isn't much need for OTA unless it is a VERY OLD cable system and they aren't even running networks in HD.

Does your cable system carry subchannels? Mine does not, and in some cases the subchannels actually have interesting content.

I'm not certain whether cable systems transmit the local HD channels in full quality (both resolution and bitrate) either, but that may not be an issue.

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Old 05-29-2006, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Comcast of Hershey PA does have some of the local HD Ch. subch. available.

Comcast does not change the Bitrate of the Local HD Channels. It is the same as the local OTA feed. but the local Network does lower it down from the network input of 45 to about 10 - 20 output at the local OTA point....

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Old 05-29-2006, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheer View Post

I'm not certain whether cable systems transmit the local HD channels in full quality (both resolution and bitrate) either, but that may not be an issue.

We are still on the old 700 mhz system, which will be upgraded within 2-3 months, and we receive full resolution and bitrate HD network programming, so unless your cable company is on a REALLY old system or is just trying to cram 300 digital channels onto an old 700 mhz system i think the local HD channels should be OTA quality.
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Old 05-29-2006, 05:58 PM
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My little question is will the existing boxes have enough horse power (processor speed, memory) to run TiVo?

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Old 05-29-2006, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twitchee3 View Post

We are still on the old 700 mhz system, which will be upgraded within 2-3 months, and we receive full resolution and bitrate HD network programming, so unless your cable company is on a REALLY old system or is just trying to cram 300 digital channels onto an old 700 mhz system i think the local HD channels should be OTA quality.

Fair enough -- I really had no idea. Plus, D* has conditioned me to downrezzed HD.

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Old 05-29-2006, 06:11 PM
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In general, Comcast passes HD without image reduction. There are exceptions, e.g. some of the old AT&T systems.

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Old 05-29-2006, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

My little question is will the existing boxes have enough horse power (processor speed, memory) to run TiVo?

Yes, the 64xxp3 & 34xxP1 & p2 Have the upgraded CPU, plus a new instruction set will be used and installed via the new Firmware series 14.xx this also will install the OCAP drivers......

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Old 05-29-2006, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scanpa View Post

Yes, the upgraded DVR service Tier w/ TiVo will be $14.95 per Month versus the current DVR service fee of $9.95 per Month.

and yes both prices will be going up by end of the year. I would guess after X-mas / Jab 2007 area.

have heard $12.95 for I-GUIDE (Basic DVR service Tier)
and $17.95 for TiVo (Advanced DVR service Tier)

as always STB rental cost not included. Most are now covered in the cost of the Digital Packages.

Is that set in stone from what you've seen?

Granted, an HD TiVo doesn't exist (except on DirecTV), but TiVo's lowest monthly plan is $16.95 on the new Series 2 box (the dual tuner, 80-hour box) and that's after paying them $30 for the box, which means the $16.95 is hhelping to subsidize the box's purchase price, not the TiVo service. The lowest price per month comes by pre-paying for three years' service in advance (at $469) and that comes in at $13.03/month. So, assuming that it costs TiVo $13.03 every month to supply you with a new S2 and service for three years, that would mean they're breaking even and have no profit at all.

Therefore, I have to assume TiVo makes at least a $1.00 profit off of their subscribers each month and that they're putting a price of $99 on the new S2 boxes (which is just a guess) and comes out to $2.75 a month. So let's assume that the service's cost is actually $9.25/month to TiVo per box (which is being very generous, I think, because that's assuming it costs TiVo the same amount for all the TiVo boxes in a single household on a single account).

So, $9.25 that TiVo passes onto Comcast. Comcast will want some profit, too, so they tack on a "rental" fee for the Moto box ($4.99 and change), bringing us to $14.24. That's awfully close to the rumored $14.95/month, and it give Comcast and TiVo another $0.355 in profit per customer each.

So I can see the argument for a $14.95 price point. But, $17.95 for just the TiVo service, even on an HD Moto box with no S3 boxes to be found, is going to be a hard pill to swallow (even for TiVo lovers) unless Comcast is going to restructure their price points all around (or the S3 boxes are amazingly expensive in comparison). I just can't see the justification for $17.95/month.

Having been a used-and-abused Comcast subscriber in the past, I'm still amazed I was willing to go back to them now. But the price was right (for now, at least) and I'm willing to be proven wrong. Thus far, I've been amazed with the increased customer service reliability, which is helping to prove me wrong. The current DVR interface is not helping to prove me wrong, by the way (the TiVo install cannot get here soon enough).

I guess we'll have to wait and see, but I hesitate to see how Comcast thinks that would be a smart business move. If they do end up pulling that sort of thing, then I will be looking for another provider after 16 months are up.

Maybe I shouldn't take the DirecTV dish off the roof, yet.
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Old 05-29-2006, 11:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galfridus73 View Post

Is that set in stone from what you've seen?

Granted, an HD TiVo doesn't exist (except on DirecTV), but TiVo's lowest monthly plan is $16.95 on the new Series 2 box (the dual tuner, 80-hour box) and that's after paying them $30 for the box, which means the $16.95 is hhelping to subsidize the box's purchase price, not the TiVo service. The lowest price per month comes by pre-paying for three years' service in advance (at $469) and that comes in at $13.03/month. So, assuming that it costs TiVo $13.03 every month to supply you with a new S2 and service for three years, that would mean they're breaking even and have no profit at all.

Therefore, I have to assume TiVo makes at least a $1.00 profit off of their subscribers each month and that they're putting a price of $99 on the new S2 boxes (which is just a guess) and comes out to $2.75 a month. So let's assume that the service's cost is actually $9.25/month to TiVo per box (which is being very generous, I think, because that's assuming it costs TiVo the same amount for all the TiVo boxes in a single household on a single account).

So, $9.25 that TiVo passes onto Comcast. Comcast will want some profit, too, so they tack on a "rental" fee for the Moto box ($4.99 and change), bringing us to $14.24. That's awfully close to the rumored $14.95/month, and it give Comcast and TiVo another $0.355 in profit per customer each.

So I can see the argument for a $14.95 price point. But, $17.95 for just the TiVo service, even on an HD Moto box with no S3 boxes to be found, is going to be a hard pill to swallow (even for TiVo lovers) unless Comcast is going to restructure their price points all around (or the S3 boxes are amazingly expensive in comparison). I just can't see the justification for $17.95/month.

Having been a used-and-abused Comcast subscriber in the past, I'm still amazed I was willing to go back to them now. But the price was right (for now, at least) and I'm willing to be proven wrong. Thus far, I've been amazed with the increased customer service reliability, which is helping to prove me wrong. The current DVR interface is not helping to prove me wrong, by the way (the TiVo install cannot get here soon enough).

I guess we'll have to wait and see, but I hesitate to see how Comcast thinks that would be a smart business move. If they do end up pulling that sort of thing, then I will be looking for another provider after 16 months are up.

Maybe I shouldn't take the DirecTV dish off the roof, yet.

I am not sure that some of you understand. I keep seeing people compare Comcast DVR to TiVo Service.

This is not TiVo Service, this does not have anything to do with the new TiVo DVR S3 due out soon.

What comcast asked TiVo to do, is help code some DVR software for the Moto DCT 34xx & 64xx series STB. Thats it. Your 14.95 per month goes fully to Comcast. There is no service with, provided by or through TiVo..... All they did was help code some software for a DVR IPG program..... It's just another IPG like the Guideworks I-Guide, Pioneer Passport, Microsoft Foundation, and whatever other IPG in use by MSO's.....

But it will have a better design then I-Guide.......

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Old 05-29-2006, 11:35 PM
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Sounds lamer than expected if it will be relying on the substandard listings information that Comcast is currently providing. I was really hoping it might be using some alternate source of listings info.
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Old 05-29-2006, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Sounds lamer than expected if it will be relying on the substandard listings information that Comcast is currently providing. I was really hoping it might be using some alternate source of listings info.

I do not think it is TV Guide. The info provider might be the same one used by TiVo..... But it will be provided just like the TV Guide info, via Cable Data, not by Phone line like the TiVo Service.

We should know more about it within the next 4 weeks.

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Old 05-30-2006, 12:40 AM
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Sounds lamer than expected if it will be relying on the substandard listings information that Comcast is currently providing. I was really hoping it might be using some alternate source of listings info.

The DirecTV HD TiVo's listings are not provided by TiVo either, they are provided by DirecTV via a third party company. Here with Adelphia in SoCal, i believe our listings are provided by Zap2It.
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Old 05-30-2006, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scanpa View Post

What comcast asked TiVo to do, is help code some DVR software for the Moto DCT 34xx & 64xx series STB. Thats it. Your 14.95 per month goes fully to Comcast. There is no service with, provided by or through TiVo..... All they did was help code some software for a DVR IPG program..... It's just another IPG like the Guideworks I-Guide, Pioneer Passport, Microsoft Foundation, and whatever other IPG in use by MSO's.....

I know this isn't tied to the S3. They are, however, related in that they are both TiVo vaporware at this point.

However, I disagree that this is solely TiVo-coded software for the Comcast boxes and nothing more. When you read the Comcast press release from last year, the two companies stated: "This long-term, non-exclusive partnership will provide millions of Comcast customers with the opportunity to choose the TiVo service, including TiVo's award-winning user interface and features like Season Pass(TM) and WishList(TM), as an additional option. In addition, the service will showcase TiVo's home networking, multimedia, and broadband capabilities." (the emphasis is mine). The full press release can be googled with the title "Comcast and TiVo Announce Strategic Partnership" from March 15, 2005 (the forum software won't allow me to make any links until I've posted at least five times... sorry!).

That reads to me like we are going to see HMO and/or MRV (and TTG maybe?) on the TiVo-enabled boxes. I realize that it may not mean that in the end, but it definitely sounds like that's the aim.

TiVo is getting something out of this - it's not a one-time thing. Even if TiVo isn't delivering the channel guide (which I bet they are), they are getting something monetarily out of this on a per-customer, per-month basis, as Mike Ramsey (the former TiVo CEO) states in the press release: "Broad deployment to millions of Comcast homes nationwide will enhance TiVo's recurring revenues" (again, the emphasis is mine). So the money isn't going soley to Comcast - TiVo is going to get something out of it somewhere and their support will be involved somewhere.

The press release makes it sound like we will, essentially, be signing up for TiVo's service without buying their boxes and paying them via Comcast (just as those of us who were on DirecTV did). It's just a question of whether we will be presented with a crippled TiVo service like we saw at DirecTV or if it will be closer to that of the standalone boxes.

I, for one, am hoping for complete TiVo service that will interact with the SA boxes and the computers running TiVo Desktop on the same network.
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Old 05-30-2006, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scanpa View Post

Yes, the upgraded DVR service Tier w/ TiVo will be $14.95 per Month versus the current DVR service fee of $9.95 per Month.

and yes both prices will be going up by end of the year. I would guess after X-mas / Jab 2007 area.

have heard $12.95 for I-GUIDE (Basic DVR service Tier)
and $17.95 for TiVo (Advanced DVR service Tier)

Actually, if you read my post carefully, I heard from one source that IGuide would decrease in price, but I said I highly doubted it, that it would probably stay the same. So, it is news to me that it will be increasing in Jan. (or March in our area). That is quite an increase. Thanks for keeping us informed.
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Old 05-30-2006, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scanpa View Post

Yes, the 64xxp3 & 34xxP1 & p2 Have the upgraded CPU, plus a new instruction set will be used and installed via the new Firmware series 14.xx this also will install the OCAP drivers......

I have a DCT-6412/2005, it was before P3, I think it is a P2 (or P1?); are you sure it can't run Tivo?
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Old 05-30-2006, 01:29 PM
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Just like scanpa said, the Comcast Tivo service is just software on top of the current generation Motorola hardware, regardless of what features are enabled. It is also clear that the support for the service will be provisioned through Comcast (where they provide the guide data, not Tivo, just like the DirecTV arrangement) and Tivo will only get a license fee per box per month. Comcast will have final say in what features are included in the service (just like DirecTV does for their service). The press releases do sound promising though regarding feature set.

The thing that people haven't said when comparing S3 Tivo to Comcast Tivo is that you will have to add your CableCard rental (additional digital outlet charge) fees to the Tivo service fees. As has been discussed before, this digital outlet fee is generally covered in the digital packages for a single STB or CableCard, but if you already have your standard digital STB from Comcast, you will have to pay for the additional cable card(s) required to record premium content from the cable on the S3 Tivo. I don't know what the fee is in my area since I don't currently have Comcast.

- Mike
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Old 05-30-2006, 01:41 PM
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Depending on the cost of the S3, it will be nice not to have to purchase as expensive a programming package from Comcast as you do when you use their STB. I basically use Comcast for my HD local channels, which I could get away with only paying about $15-20 a month, but because I want the DVR my bill ends up being about $70-75 a month because of the programming package requirements.

I doubt the TiVo unit will be inexpensive enough to consider that option initially, but long term, it's a possibility. I figure I'm spending about $600 a year now just for the privilege of using Comcast's DVR so with a Basic sub and even a couple of CCs I should be able to save money by the second year given a $1000(a guess) cost for the TiVo.
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Old 05-30-2006, 01:49 PM
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I know of people who have the Comcast DVR without the programming packages that most CSRs push on you. If I were you, I would try very hard to drop the unwanted programming package and keep the DVR. You should easily be able to get it under $50/mo. I have heard of <$30/mo.

Good Luck,

- Mike
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