Alternative to Comcast DVR? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 15 Old 08-18-2007, 08:41 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
_brad_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
My first post and just want to say great place!

I know this may be old news for many, but I don't like the Comcast DVR. It freezes, glitches, and has to be reset weekly.

What alternatives do I have? I have $400.00 dollars to spend. Of course it has to be compatible with Comcast... Also, one feature I really want is the ability to be able to record more than two shows at once.

Does anyone know what DVR system I can buy other than using the Comcast POS?

51" Hitachi HTDV

Thanks
_brad_ is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 15 Old 08-18-2007, 08:50 PM
Senior Member
 
yunlin12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 221
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Tivo HD: http://www.tivo.com/whatistivo/tivohd/index.html

Dual tuner, works with cable cards for digital cable channels including HD, records OTA HD, also works with analog OTA and cable TV, 160GB HDD, $299.

BTW, the HDD in Tivo is upgradeable by 3d party, http://www.weaknees.com/series-3-hd-tivo.php#g2

Don't know about recording MORE than two shows at a time... Does any DVR do that?
yunlin12 is offline  
post #3 of 15 Old 08-18-2007, 08:51 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
bfdtv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,484
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
One option is the dual-tuner $299 TivoHD, which can be had for $260-$270 from Best Buy and Circuit City.

Note the current TivoHD software has issues with Scientific Atlanta CableCards, so at least for now, I would only recommend that product if your Comcast uses Motorola CableCards. If your Comcast DVR is made by Motorola, then they have Motorola CableCards.

The TivoHD will simultaneously record any two digital SD or HD channels at 100% original quality while you watch a third, previous recording. There are no consumer products with the ability to record three channels at once, but the Tivo is far more 'intelligent' in how it records, so you can record more shows with less effort. For example, if three of your favorite programs are all showing at the same time, the Tivo will record two and then automatically schedule a recording for the next airing of the third program without any user intervention.

The TivoHD has a 160Gb internal drive -- the same size as the Motorola DVR. Unlike the Motorola DVR, you can easily upgrade the internal drive to 500Gb, 750Gb, or 1Tb. The TivoHD also has an eSATA connection; Tivo told reviewers will support storage expansion via eSATA later this year.



Some advantages of the TivoHD over the Comcast DVR:

Quote:


  1. Want to remove channels from your guide? Tivo lets you do that.

  2. Want to expand DVR capacity? The Tivo's internal drive is upgradeable to 1Tb (131 hours HD, 1244 hours SD), and official support for eSATA drive expansion is coming later this year.

  3. Tired of remote lag (and remote 'queuing up') when using DVR functions like instant replay, fast forward, rewind, and 30s skip? No such lag on the Tivo. DVR functions are instantaneous.

  4. Series recordings are neatly organized into folders. Have four episodes of Heroes on your DVR? They're all grouped in a single folder called "Heroes." Within the folder, the recordings are listed by date with the actual episode title. If for some reason, you don't want folders, you can disable them. Screenshot here.

  5. Want buffering on both tuners, so you can switch between two different channels and rewind, or pause one channel, switch to another, and then switch back and resume where you left off? Tivo does that.

  6. Tivo has a "wishlist" feature that will automatically record content based on keyword, genre, actor, director, or virtually any other criteria you can think up...regardless of date, time, and channel...and neatly organize it into folders. This is possible because Tivo offers far more meta data (i.e. program information) than cable providers. Examples:

    • Like to watch westerns, but only want them in HD? You can create a wishlist to automatically record all westerns broadcast in HD -- regardless of date, time, and channel -- and the Tivo will group them all in a "Westerns / HD" folder, with the contents listed by recording date with the title.

    • Only want westerns directed by Clint Eastwood? You can set it the Tivo to record all westerns directed by Clint Eastwood that are broadcast in HD and it will group those in their own "Westerns / Clint Eastwood / HD" folder.

    • Obsessed with Paris Hilton? You can set the Tivo to record every Paris Hilton interview shown on TV, regardless of date, time, and channel, and all will be neatly organized into a "Paris Hilton Interviews" folder.

    • Looking for a specific episode of Seinfeld (or any other show)? You can create a wishlist to record that.

    • Looking for an old episode of Oprah with a certain guest? You can create a wishlist to record that.

    • Interested in World War II weaponry? You can create a wishlist to record all programs about that topic, regardless of date, time, and channel, with all neatly grouped into a folder.

  7. Just want to find a program? Tivo makes it simple to search the next 14 days of listings. When searching by title, the results update dynamically as you type in each letter using the on-screen keyboard.

  8. Want to receive OTA channels? The Tivo will combine analog and digital broadcasts from both cable and OTA into the same guide. As before, you pick and choose what channels you want to show up in the guide.

  9. Want to avoid re-recordings of episodes you've already seen? The Tivo keeps a record of the last 28 days of recordings and deletions, so it knows not to record episodes that you've already watched and deleted.

  10. Tired of missing new episodes because your cable provider improperly flagged new episodes as repeats? Tivo actually makes the effort to get their guide information right. It's not always perfect, but no one offers higher reliability. If there is a last minute programming change to one of the programs you've set to record, they send a message to your box.

  11. Did your cable company remove the 30sec skip function? The Tivo remote has a button for that.

  12. Want an "all native" output mode to output 480i channels as 480i, 720p channels as 720p, and 1080i as 1080i without lossy conversion from one format to another? Tivo has that.

  13. Want built-in pillarbox, stretch, zoom modes for SD channels with the ability to change between them by pressing a button on the remote? Tivo has that.

  14. Want to extend recordings in progress, such as sports that are running over? Tivo makes it easy and fast.

  15. Want to schedule recordings over the web or from your cell phone? Tivo does that.

  16. Have three programs you want to record, all showing at the same time, but only have two tuners? The Tivo records the two programs you've defined with the highest priority, and then automatically schedules a recording for the next available showing of the program you missed. You don't have to do anything to schedule a recording for the third program.

  17. Tired of missing a 9pm recording because some network ran their 8pm program a few minutes over? Tivo eliminates that with overlap protection.

  18. Want to listen to Podcasts on your DVR? Tivo does that.

  19. Want Internet videocasts like CrankyGeeks, DLTV, The Onion, Cnet, and Rocketboom to automatically show up on your list of recorded programs every week just like television shows? The Tivo does that.

  20. Want to purchase movies -- streamed direct to your DVR -- from Amazon Unbox without a PC? Tivo does that.

  21. Want to view pictures stored on your PC on your DVR? Tivo lets you do that.

  22. Want to listen to music stored on your PC with your DVR? Tivo lets you do that.

  23. Have a Rhapsody music subscription and want to access all your Rhapsody songs, playlists, and channels without a computer? That feature is coming to the Tivo with an update later this summer.

  24. Want to stream high-def recordings from the Tivo in your living room to the Tivo in your bedroom? Tivo has said an update to enable that feature is coming later this year.

  25. Want to copy high-def recordings (on channels flagged 'copy freely') from the Tivo to your PC using a wired or wireless network? Tivo has also said the update to enable that feature is coming later this year.

bfdtv is offline  
post #4 of 15 Old 08-20-2007, 09:08 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jwebb1970's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Visalia, CA
Posts: 8,336
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 34
However, if you wish to utilize Comcast's OnDemand....Tivo w/ CableCard will not allow it.

Money does not buy happiness. It can, however, buy you a giant boat that you can pull up alongside happiness. - David Lee Roth

jwebb1970 is online now  
post #5 of 15 Old 08-20-2007, 09:35 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Lee Bailey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Central California,USA
Posts: 1,817
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by _brad_ View Post

My first post and just want to say great place!

I know this may be old news for many, but I don't like the Comcast DVR. It freezes, glitches, and has to be reset weekly.

What alternatives do I have? I have $400.00 dollars to spend. Of course it has to be compatible with Comcast... Also, one feature I really want is the ability to be able to record more than two shows at once.

Does anyone know what DVR system I can buy other than using the Comcast POS?

51" Hitachi HTDV

Thanks

On your current DVR, be sure to get plenty of ventilation for it. Those unit generate a lot of heat. You can a laptop cooler on top, if you can't move it to a better spot.
Lee Bailey is offline  
post #6 of 15 Old 08-20-2007, 09:50 AM
Senior Member
 
vstream's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Francisco bay area
Posts: 289
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by _brad_ View Post

My first post and just want to say great place!

I know this may be old news for many, but I don't like the Comcast DVR. It freezes, glitches, and has to be reset weekly.

What alternatives do I have? I have $400.00 dollars to spend. Of course it has to be compatible with Comcast... Also, one feature I really want is the ability to be able to record more than two shows at once.

Does anyone know what DVR system I can buy other than using the Comcast POS?

51" Hitachi HTDV

Thanks

Don't know what model Comcast DVR you have, but I recently got a Motorola DCH3416 to replace a DCT3416, and the new box has been very stable. The biggest issue I had with the DCT was remote lag. So far, so good with the DCH. Try getting a DCH.

I've had a TiVo (series 2) for nearly 6 years, and got the TiVo HD a few weeks ago, but it has issues with macroblocking & very slow menu navigation. I love TiVo and was looking forward to getting rid of the Comcast DVR, but the viewing experience was just unacceptable, even after a SW update. I returned the unit and will wait until they fix the issue (tivocommunity.com has lots of threads on this issue).
vstream is offline  
post #7 of 15 Old 08-20-2007, 10:18 AM
Senior Member
 
yunlin12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 221
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
vstream, when did you return your unit. Tivo came out with another software fix last Thur, it apparently fixed most of the Motorola cable card pixelation issue, those with SA cards still have problems. If you have Moto DVR boxes, I'm guessing you were using Moto cable cards. Just an FYI.
Here's the latest poll on tivo community
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...ts&pollid=5757
yunlin12 is offline  
post #8 of 15 Old 08-20-2007, 10:23 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
bfdtv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,484
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
The update released last Thursday night eliminated pixelization with Motorola CableCards.

It didn't do much, if anything, for Scientific Atlanta CableCards. Tivo is still working on that.

Menu navigation is always slow for the first 48-72 hours while the box indexes guide data. The TivoHD also has the older 8.1.x software branch which doesn't have the performance improvements found in 8.3.x on the Tivo Series3. But it will get that within the next few months. More information on that:
Quote:


With 8.1.x, the Tivo indexes the guide data for all channels offered by your cable provider (and OTA if you have that setup). It doesn't matter what channels you actually receive or what channels you've removed from the channel list, it still indexes them all. Whenever you display the guide or perform any kind of search, the Tivo searches that entire index for all results, then hides the results for the channels you have unchecked. If your cable provider has 400 channels and you only subscribe to (or care about) 100, then the Tivo is processing a lot of unnecessary data, slowing responsiveness.

With 8.3.x, the Tivo only indexes and searches the information for channels that you have actually checked in your channel list. In other words, if you have 100 channels checked, it only processes those 100. Searches are significantly faster as a result. The same goes for the menus and guide; rather than processing the data for every possible channel and then hiding the channels you have unchecked, it only processes the information for the channels you've checked.

bfdtv is offline  
post #9 of 15 Old 08-20-2007, 11:22 AM
Senior Member
 
vstream's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Francisco bay area
Posts: 289
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by yunlin12 View Post

vstream, when did you return your unit. Tivo came out with another software fix last Thur, it apparently fixed most of the Motorola cable card pixelation issue, those with SA cards still have problems. If you have Moto DVR boxes, I'm guessing you were using Moto cable cards. Just an FYI.
Here's the latest poll on tivo community
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...ts&pollid=5757

I returned it before the "b2" update last week. It does appear it fixed a lot of the Moto CC issues, but not all. In the poll, 24 w/ Moto CCs say it fixed, 5 didn't fix--admittedly a small sample size, but around 1/5 of those who responded w/ Moto CCs still have issue. Clearly better than the SA CCs, but I'm going to wait on the sidelines for a while to see how things shake out. Or until I get tired of having to delete duplicate episodes from the Comcast DVR. Plus there's the SDV issue.
vstream is offline  
post #10 of 15 Old 08-20-2007, 11:37 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
bfdtv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,484
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by vstream View Post

I returned it before the "b2" update last week. It does appear it fixed a lot of the Moto CC issues, but not all. In the poll, 24 w/ Moto CCs say it fixed, 5 didn't fix--admittedly a small sample size, but around 1/5 of those who responded w/ Moto CCs still have issue. Clearly better than the SA CCs, but I'm going to wait on the sidelines for a while to see how things shake out. Or until I get tired of having to delete duplicate episodes from the Comcast DVR. Plus there's the SDV issue.

Some of those people voted before they actually had the new update. Two people mistook the original update for the new one and at least one other person voted based on playback tests with past recordings -- the update only eliminated the problem on new recordings. I know because I messaged a few posters and asked them about their problem.

The few others are probably signal related (i.e. signal is too strong or too low).
bfdtv is offline  
post #11 of 15 Old 08-20-2007, 12:50 PM
Senior Member
 
vstream's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Francisco bay area
Posts: 289
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

Some of those people voted before they actually had the new update. Two people mistook the original update for the new one and at least one other person voted based on playback tests with past recordings -- the update only eliminated the problem on new recordings. I know because I messaged a few posters and asked them about their problem.

The few others are probably signal related (i.e. signal is too strong or too low).

Hmmmm... Why do you tempt me like this.... I really do love TiVo, and hate the Comcast DVR...

Just curious--do you have a TiVo HD? If so, which cable company & cablecard brand? Any issues?
vstream is offline  
post #12 of 15 Old 08-20-2007, 01:47 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
bfdtv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,484
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by vstream View Post

Hmmmm... Why do you tempt me like this.... I really do love TiVo, and hate the Comcast DVR...

Just curious--do you have a TiVo HD? If so, which cable company & cablecard brand? Any issues?

I'm using the TivoHD with Verizon FiOS. FiOS uses Motorola CableCards.

I had intermittent pixelization until the last software update. Since the software update last Thursday night, I have not seen any pixelization on any channel.

If the menu responsiveness is a big deal for you, then you may want to wait this fall for the 8.3.x (or newer) update I described above. However, all picture glitches are gone with the latest update, provided your cable system uses Motorola CableCards.
bfdtv is offline  
post #13 of 15 Old 08-22-2007, 09:12 AM
Member
 
Wile-E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 159
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
First off, let me say that I had a Moto DCT 6412 with Comcast and thought it worked very well (for $10/mo, I thought it was at a better price/performance ratio than Tivo S2).

I moved and had to switch to RCN which gave me the DCT 6416 III. I went though three units within 2 1/2 weeks (all defective in one way or another). When I found out that RCN was charging me $20/mo for the unit, I switched to the Tivo HD.

Generally happy with it. Picture quality is very good. Great Tivo functions. Downsides: slow menus (hopefully they fix this soon - it's very annoying) and no video-on-demand (I don't use this feature, so it doesn't matter to me).

If you buy one, order directly from Tivo - they give you a full three year warranty (rather than the standard 90 day/1 year).
Wile-E is offline  
post #14 of 15 Old 08-22-2007, 01:10 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jerndl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 2,665
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

The TivoHD will simultaneously record any two digital SD or HD channels at 100% original quality while you watch a third, previous recording. There are no consumer products with the ability to record three channels at once, but the Tivo is far more 'intelligent' in how it records, so you can record more shows with less effort.

Not trying to be a smart alec or anything but since I just recently discovered this info I'll pass it along. The Dish 622/722 DVR does record 3 channels at once, (2) satellite and (1) OTA. I know it doesn't help the OP since he wants something compatible with Comcast. It might help out someone else who wants to record 3 channels at once and doesn't mind satellite.

Jay
jerndl is offline  
post #15 of 15 Old 08-23-2007, 02:07 AM
Senior Member
 
yunlin12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 221
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Yeah, Dish 622 looks fine. It can record 3 HD feeds at a time, but if you need to record 2 OTA at the same time you are out of luck since it only has 1 OTA tuner. Tivo HD has integrated 2X OTA/digital cable tuner, you can only record 2 HD channels at a time, but you can record 2 OTA channels at the same time. I think either way it's enough HD goodness for most people
yunlin12 is offline  
Reply HDTV Recorders

User Tag List

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