Have Comcast -San Francisco Bay Area/Concord & want to purchase my own HD Box or DVR - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-04-2015, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Have Comcast -San Francisco Bay Area/Concord & want to purchase my own HD Box or DVR

Hello -

Sorry if this has been asked before - I have used the search feature as well as Google.

I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area and use Comcast.

I am thinking of upgrading from 2006 era CableCard TV that utilizes a single stream card.

Since CableCard accepting TV's aren't manufactured, I would want to purchase my own HD Set Top Box to avoid box rental fees.

I do not buy movies or sporting events from Comcast, so no worries about "losing" that capability.

Also, a DVR feature isn't necessary since I can replay missed programming utilizing my laptop and the replay feature offered by Comcast. BUT, if a better quality box (receiver) is for sale that has DVR option, I'm open to it.

Can anybody lead me to a good thread or info regarding this?

What are the HD boxes currently used by Comcast in the SF Bay Area?

I have found this article, but that's it:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenkam/2...and-att-bills/

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-04-2015, 03:52 PM
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Not too many choices here in the US. Samsung makes a for sale cable box that uses a CableCard (no guide, I believe). Tivo sells a DVR that uses CableCard and needs a subscription to use. Finally there's Windows Media Center and a CableCard tuner. WMC on Windows 7 seems the easiest to setup and use, although it is available for Win 8 too.

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post #3 of 8 Old 10-04-2015, 04:02 PM
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Buying your own cable modem is definitely worth it. They are cheap.

The DVR box, I'm not so sure. Comcast will give you a X1 DVR box for free, you pay a HD fee of $15/month or $180/year, which gives you a 500GB DVR that can record 4-5 shows at once + on-demand. To do the same you'd need at the bare minimum a tv tuner like SiliconDust, a HTPC to record and manage content, and cable cards's from Comcast. Or cablecard + Tivo. All of this will be much more expensive, you won't break even for at least 4 years.

Technically you don't need Comcast's cable boxes if you can use a cablecard somewhere.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-04-2015, 04:14 PM
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I just saw this - http://smile.amazon.com/TiVo-Roamio-.../dp/B0148ZRFVO

This is a very good price for a Tivo.
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-04-2015, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
I just saw this - http://smile.amazon.com/TiVo-Roamio-.../dp/B0148ZRFVO

This is a very good price for a Tivo.


This is the "OTA" model, which is short for Over The Air. That means it's setup as antenna ONLY, and the cablecard connector has been stripped out. So, even though the slot for the card is there, there's no way to plug it in.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-04-2015, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Primestar31 View Post
This is the "OTA" model, which is short for Over The Air. That means it's setup as antenna ONLY, and the cablecard connector has been stripped out. So, even though the slot for the card is there, there's no way to plug it in.
Ah, that's pretty critical. Missed that completely.
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-04-2015, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
Ah, that's pretty critical. Missed that completely.


However, it has been proven (at the Tivocommunity forum) that once you install a cablecard connector header (maybe from a smoked Roamio?) the OTA model has the same firmware, and is fully capable of doing Cable OR Ota (not both at the same time).

So, it could do it if you are a little bit technically savvy, but it takes getting your hands on that card connector and installing it.
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-04-2015, 05:47 PM
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Actually there are lots of 'off lease' PCs out there with Win7 that could work for a HTPC. Just make sure there's an HDMI out and that the processor is at least an i3 or that it will take a video card. You should find one for about $200. A HDHomeRun Prime tuner adds $100 or so when they're on sale. Gets you a 3 channel DVR for about $300, no additional subscription needed.

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