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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of making a switch to Comcast due to their better HD offerings. I am a TiVo user (D*TiVo, not a STB unit). If I make the switch, I have a few questions:


1. I would buy a TiVo STB to work with the digital cable box. Are there any connection issues I should know about that would prevent me from making the proper connections to get HD programming on my TV and still connect the cable box to the TiVo for recording (i.e., can I still use my component video cables to my TV and digital audio cable to my A/V receiver)?


2. Will the TiVo recognize the cable HD channels?


3. If so, will it be able to record them, albeit in SD?


Thanks in advance.
 

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The first question I have is, what HD programming are you looking for? Is it only locals, or do you also want ESPN HD/HBO HD/Showtime HD/INHD? If it's really just for your local channels do what I did.


I have a D*TiVo and love it to death, but I also want HD, but really only care about the local stations. Seeing as I already have a Comcast cable modem, and I have their el-cheapo sub-$10 basic service which I got only to save a few bucks on the bill as a whole (basically they charge you less to not have to put a trap on your line and just let thru the basic channels) I learned for an additional $10/month I can get their STB and my local HD channels (CBS/NBC/Fox currently). IMHO SD over D* is much nicer then SD over Digital Cable. Not to mention the fact that I'd rather record the mpeg stream along with 5.1 sound sent from D* to my TiVo then to encode it locally on a SA TiVo (I tend to think D* has much nicer mpeg encoding equipment then a $200 TiVo, not to mention going from digitally compressed image to analog, back to a digitally compressed image does not sound like the quality I really want). So, I get the SD image I love, my TiVo, and I can now watch the Daytona 500 in HD. Not to mention that hooking up a SA TiVo to your Comcast STB you'll lose the ability to record two channels at once. If you're like me, you're always flipping between two tuners using the recorded content to watch two shows at once time-shifted (nothing like watching three hours of primetime TV in around 2 hours and still watch the news on time). I don't think I could go back to watching TV any other way.


Brian
 

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I have comcast and a standalone tivo, and have it set up as you described (component to my tv, digital audio to my receiver, and then svideo and stereo audio to my tivo). Everything works as you would expect, you can switch your tv and/or receiver input to watch HD, and switch back to the tivo to watch recorded content.


Tivo does know about the HD content. It shows up in my guide data just like any other channel.


The HD programs do record in SD, but they look terrible, much worse than the same show on the regular SD station. This is the biggest problem with the setup. I have season passes on the SD stations, but if i'm home and planning on watching HD live, i tell tivo to record the show on the HD station, then i switch to HD and don't worry about tivo changing the channel out from under me (this is an issue when watching live tv in HD, since you don't see the "tivo wants to record blah, should i change the channel?" prompt).


Everything is pretty good, except standalone tivo quality is a lot worse than directivo quality. I'm toying with the idea of switching to directv and buying an HD direct tivo when they come out in a few months. However, if Comcast provides the 6802 HD PVR, I'm going to see how much I still need a tivo, and if i can get away with using the two together successfully.
 

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Another thing to consider is that you could split the cable coming into the house and send one cable to the TiVo and the other to the HDTV set top box. You obviously won't be able to record any of the digital channels on your TiVo (including the S-Video out versions of the HDTV channels), but it would allow you to time-shift analog channels with the TiVo and watch live HDTV content from a different channel.


FYI, I just got my Comcast 6200 installed and have my Windows XP MCE PC connected to it via S-Video. I'm also a standalone TiVo owner. I'm finding the PQ of PVR on MCE (that's a lot of abbreviations, eh?) to be pretty bad compared to the TiVo so I'm struggling with what to do. I was really hoping to use the MCE as an HTPC, plus I'd save the $13/month TiVo charge, and get much more storage capacity (120MB HD in the MCE vs 14 hour drive in my old TiVo).


I'm not liking what I'm hearing about the PVR functionality of the upcoming Comcast HDTV DVR boxes, but I suppose any time-shifting is better than nothing and it sure would be nice to be able to time-shift HDTV content.


Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Chorizo-

Thanks for the info. Another question for you. I'm sure it depends on the cable box, but assuming it does BOTH HD and SD output simultaneously, is it possible to hookup something that will NOT require me to switch inputs on the TV to watch HD? I think I know the answer, but can everything run through a single input on the TV and have it autonegotiate whether to show HD or SD?
 
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