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Comcast DVR *requires* digital cable?  

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm in an area where Comcast will be using the Motorola DVR's.

If I want a DVR, will I *have* to subscribe to DIGITAL cable? Can I get a DVR with analog cable only, and only record the "analog" tier? Can I get it with BASIC cable and only record channels 2-20?

- Bob
post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Lafleur
If I want a DVR, will I *have* to subscribe to DIGITAL cable?
That depends on your cable company and what pricing models they have in place. Yes, most are requiring 'digital' cable along with their own DVR service ... but a few aren't.

A standalone DVR from Tivo, Replay, etc. will record all of your cable company's basic analog channels just fine without 'digital' service from your cable company ...
post #3 of 16
Comcast DVR service requires digital cable. You can't buy their $10/mo DVR service unless you subscribe to digital cable.

If you just want basic or extended basic cable service with a DVR, then you need to buy a Tivo or ReplayTV. Best Buy now has Tivos on sale for $0 after rebate. As with the Comcast DVR, there is a monthly fee to use it, but the Tivo offers superior usability and functionality compared to the Comcast DVR.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by dt_dc
A standalone DVR from Tivo, Replay, etc. will record all of your cable company's basic analog channels just fine without 'digital' service from your cable company ...
Unfortunately, with a loss in quality. I guess I'd be looking at a quality loss with a Comcast PVR anyway, if all I'm going to record are the "analog" channels.

- Bob
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
I guess I'll look into a Tivo, especially if they are free after rebate.

I currently have Comcast BASIC service for $7.50/month. I'm happy with that. I don't want to have to pay >$55/month just for digital cable so that I can add the Comcast DVR.

Thanks for your help.

- Bob
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Lafleur
I guess I'd be looking at a quality loss with a Comcast PVR anyway, if all I'm going to record are the "analog" channels.
Exactly ...

For digital channels (digital cable, dbs, etc) an 'integrated' box that's able to capture the digital straight to hard drive (cable company DVR, DirecTivo, etc.) ... it's a big improvement over a standalone box.

But for analog channels ... a standalong is doing the exact same thing as an integrated box (MPEG encoding on the fly).

My SciAtl 8000 from the cable company gives very similar results for analog channels as my standalone Tivo (it's a little better than the Tivo when set at 'High' recording quality ... but not quite as good as when the Tivo is set to 'Best').

Note: The 'free after rebate' Tivo deal no longer exists that I know of. However ... in your case ... it still sounds like it's going to be cost-beneficial over the cable company DVR very quickly!
post #7 of 16
I do have digital cable from Comcast. Is there a PVR that i can buy and use without paying the $10 a month extra? Or do i have to get the PVR through comcast? :confused:
post #8 of 16
Crazy,

You could buy the Toshiba SD-H400 with the free Tivo Basic service, but this would control the digital channels through your Comcast set-top box with an IR or serial connection. WIth this solution, you'd have no DVR fee, but you would have lower picture quality on the digital channels, and there would be some added delay when switching between digital channels. The only way to record at full picture quality for digital channels and with full channel-changing speed is to use the Comcast DVR.

In November, there will be one alternative. Sony will have a CableCard HDTV DVR at $799 in November, if you'd rather pay that instead of $10/mo. You'd need to use it for about seven years before you'd break even, though. In that time, Comcast will have gone through several DVR generations ($20 swapout of old model), and they'll be far more advanced and more capable than anything you can buy this year.
post #9 of 16
So my best bet is going with comcast DVR? :)
post #10 of 16
Crazy,

That depends....Do you have a HDTV? Does your Comcast use Motorola or Scientific Atlanta equipment?
post #11 of 16
I dont have HDTV and my comcast box is a motorola.
post #12 of 16
Bob,

the $0 thing was a error on Best Buy's website that has been fixed.

You can get a 40-hr ReplayTV 5504 for about $63 (plus monthly or annual fee) from Amazon.com or Buy.com if you buy by 9/30 (the last day for Replay's rebates).
post #13 of 16
Does that hook up directly into the comcast box?
post #14 of 16
Crazy,

I would probably go with the Tivo for $79 after rebate. Yes, it would connect to your comcast box. If your Comcast box is a Motorola series 2xxx, then there's a good chance the Tivo can control it by serial connection (serial cable included) instead of IR.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Lafleur
I guess I'll look into a Tivo, especially if they are free after rebate.

I currently have Comcast BASIC service for $7.50/month. I'm happy with that. I don't want to have to pay >$55/month just for digital cable so that I can add the Comcast DVR.

Thanks for your help.

- Bob
I was able to add digital cable to my basic $15 cable for about $10 or so (don't have the bill handy now). Apparently you do not necessarily have to get the extended analog cable (ESPN, MTV ,etc.) in order to get digital cable. You may want to call Comcast and ask about adding just the digital cable. I don't know if this is available everywhere, but it is worth a call (I'm in NJ).
post #16 of 16
If you have basic cable, you would pay $9.95 for the DVR service and 5.99 for the level of digital called DIGITAL ACCESS. You would technically have "digital cable" without having any additional channels and would get access to DVR, VOD, PPV, on screen program guide, etc.
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