Need HD DVR box to replace Comcast box - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 12-01-2007, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys,
as you know, Comcast rents out those HDTV DVR boxes for 20 bucks a month. Here's my problem.. we have 4 of them - That's $80 bucks a months just for boxes, plus the DVR service (another $10 but only 1 charge per month), and then the cost for the actual cable.

What I'm looking for is something to replace my boxes so I can return these rented ones. I still plan on keeping the DVR service (it's only 10 bucks a month, but not paying this extra $80 a month for 4 boxes would be great. I realize at the beginning I'd obviously be spending more, having to buy 4 boxes, but over time it'll be worth it.

The question... What should I buy? I want to retain all the same functionality, I just want to own the box. Basically just needs to be an HD DVR - don't even need to be able to burn the programs to DVD, although transferring them to the PC would be nice, but not necessary.

Any suggestions? My current Comcast model is the motorola DCT6412 w/ HDMI output (you know, the one with that really crappy lag time between commands that sometimes lasts minutes).

Thanks guys!
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-01-2007, 12:57 PM
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Sure about what you are paying? My understanding is that Comcast charges $11.99-$12.99/mo per DVR. Not $20.

High-definition DVR technology is expensive.

You cannot buy Motorola DVRs on Ebay. Motorola DVRs are only sold direct to cable companies in the United States, and thus any on ebay in the U.S. are stolen. Cable companies will not activate stolen DVRs.

Your only alternative for a standalone, dual-tuner HDTV DVR is the TiVoHD / Series3. The TivoHD will cost you $250 + ~$10/mo per box. If you want to avoid the monthly fee, you can buy each box with a lifetime subscription for $699. This is the only HDTV DVR that lets you download recordings to your PC / Mac.

If you don't mind giving up dual-tuners (i.e. the ability to record two different programs at once, or watch one program while you record another) then you can buy [used] single-tuner Sony DHG-HDD250 DVRs on ebay for about $500/ea. You can't find these new anymore because they were discontinued over a year ago.
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post #3 of 11 Old 12-01-2007, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help bfdtv.

I thought Tivo did away with the lifetime subscription? and they charge 12.95 for the first one and 10 for each after that. Seems it won't even be saving me that much until after a while, as I'd have to spend about 1000 on all the boxes, and then still pay 43 per month. Better than 90, but 1000 up front hurts :P
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post #4 of 11 Old 12-01-2007, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJMerlina View Post

Thanks for the help bfdtv.

I thought Tivo did away with the lifetime subscription? and they charge 12.95 for the first one and 10 for each after that. Seems it won't even be saving me that much until after a while, as I'd have to spend about 1000 on all the boxes, and then still pay 43 per month. Better than 90, but 1000 up front hurts :P

They've brought back lifetime, at least for the holiday season.

TiVo newsletter with information about lifetime

The first TiVo is $250 from Amazon, plus $12.95/mo month-to-month, $129 prepaid for one year, $299 prepaid for three years, or $399 prepaid for lifetime.

If you don't mind limiting yourself to local HD channels, there are other home server possibilities you could consider. For example, you could have a PC with SageTV Media Center and a dual-tuner HDHomerun ($170) do all of your recording, and then stick a SageTV HD Extender ($199) in every room to access and schedule recordings. Another alternative is Windows Media Center; the Xbox360 will act as an HD extender for that, and other "HD Extenders" should be out supporting WMC in a few months.
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post #5 of 11 Old 12-02-2007, 04:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

They've brought back lifetime, at least for the holiday season.

TiVo newsletter with information about lifetime

The first TiVo is $250 from Amazon, plus $12.95/mo month-to-month, $129 prepaid for one year, $299 prepaid for three years, or $399 prepaid for lifetime.

If you don't mind limiting yourself to local HD channels, there are other home server possibilities you could consider. For example, you could have a PC with SageTV Media Center and a dual-tuner HDHomerun ($170) do all of your recording, and then stick a SageTV HD Extender ($199) in every room to access and schedule recordings. Another alternative is Windows Media Center; the Xbox360 will act as an HD extender for that, and other "HD Extenders" should be out supporting WMC in a few months.

I thought that I had to get someone who already owns a Tivo to buy the HD Tivo and the lifetime subscription for $698.99 from TIVO.

How do I buy the Tivo from Amazon and still get the lifetime subscription. Also, what about switched digital video? Apparently I would need a Cable Adapter if Comcast changes over to switched digital video. Would I have to buy a Cable Adapter, and would I attach the cable adapter to the Tivo? Cable companies are supposed to start using Switched Digital Video in the second quarter of 2008.

Thanks in Advance
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post #6 of 11 Old 12-02-2007, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

I thought that I had to get someone who already owns a Tivo to buy the HD Tivo and the lifetime subscription for $698.99 from TIVO.

That's right. But surely as an AVS member, you must know someone with TiVo? All you need is their 15-digit service number.

If you need help with this, send me a pm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

How do I buy the Tivo from Amazon and still get the lifetime subscription.

I'm not sure about this.

I don't think you can separately activate lifetime ($399) on a unit from Amazon unless you already have another Tivo on your account. The gift offer is unique in that you can buy a TiVo with lifetime without activating it or adding it to your account.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

Also, what about switched digital video? Apparently I would need a Cable Adapter if Comcast changes over to switched digital video. Would I have to buy a Cable Adapter, and would I attach the cable adapter to the Tivo? Cable companies are supposed to start using Switched Digital Video in the second quarter of 2008.

TiVo has said a SDV resolver is coming in 2Q 2008. You'll plug this into the USB slot on the TiVo and it will add full support for SDV channels.
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post #7 of 11 Old 12-03-2007, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

That's right. But surely as an AVS member, you must know someone with TiVo? All you need is their 15-digit service number.

If you need help with this, send me a pm.

I'm not sure about this.

I don't think you can separately activate lifetime ($399) on a unit from Amazon unless you already have another Tivo on your account. The gift offer is unique in that you can buy a TiVo with lifetime without activating it or adding it to your account.

TiVo has said a SDV resolver is coming in 2Q 2008. You'll plug this into the USB slot on the TiVo and it will add full support for SDV channels.

Would I have to pay extra for the TIVO SDV resolver? I thought that Comcast is going to charge ~$2 per month for the resolver. If I am wrong about Comcast charging for the TIVO SDV resolver, I will probably get the TIVO package.

My sister is willing to buy the TIVO package as long as I pay her to buy it for me. Thanks for your help.
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post #8 of 11 Old 12-13-2007, 10:34 AM
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ref bfdtv comment:
eBay is full of Motorola DVRs and reception-set-top boxes. Motorola MAY not sell them to individuals, but i seriously doubt that all of them on eBay are stolen. could you provide us with a source for your assertion?
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post #9 of 11 Old 12-13-2007, 11:04 AM
 
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It's academic. US cable companies are not required to and are generally not inclined to activate them.
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post #10 of 11 Old 12-13-2007, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmbtv View Post

ref bfdtv comment:
eBay is full of Motorola DVRs and reception-set-top boxes. Motorola MAY not sell them to individuals, but i seriously doubt that all of them on eBay are stolen. could you provide us with a source for your assertion?

It's common sense.

Motorola only sells STBs and DVRs to cable companies in the United States. That given, how would U.S. residents legally obtain them for sale on ebay?

Motorola STBs and DVRs are sold to consumers in Canada, and many of those find their way onto ebay, but as noted above, that doesn't really matter, since U.S. cable companies [for the most part] won't activate them.
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post #11 of 11 Old 12-13-2007, 01:45 PM
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"Who is going to give out these "reasonable fixed rate loans" for amounts that are greater than the house is worth? Would you? So why should the banks? Would you want a bank that you owned stock in to do this?"

The cable companies have not announced a price tag for this solution, but even if it were $2 per month, would that really stop you from buying it? $2 bucks a month? Thats like 1 bottle of water a month.
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