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Comcast DVR option

Discussion in 'Digital TV - United States & Canada' started by charliec, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. charliec

    charliec Member

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    Has anyone out there had experience with Comcast's DVR offering? They recently announced it in my area (Chicago suburbs). I have Comcast's HDTV option and would like to record in hi-def. I don't want to go "satellite dish". In surfing the 'net, I get mixed reviews on Comcast's DVR. It seems like they're using different units in different regions.
     
  2. erock63

    erock63 Member

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    Well, after using the Ultimate Box(DirecTV) I was very disappointed with Comcast's DVR solution. The unit I had only had a single tuner(you cannot record 2 shows at the same time), and you cannot record series regardless of when it came on. This unit, in my opinion, was just a digital VCR. If Comcast does not provide a unit that gives you TiVo or UltimateTV like qualites, I would suggest you stay away from their units.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. dcon

    dcon Member

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    I just got my Comcast DVR today (Des Plaines, IL). Ok.. here is my story.

    Installed at 8am, 12 hours later still not working. I can watch stuff, pause, rewind, and manually record.. but for whatever reason my box isn't downloading listings and the actual DVR program. So at this point it is just an advanced digital box.

    Now, without having a "working" box I can't really recommend it or not.. but here are my initial thoughts.

    I was lucky to get a dual tuner box and given that these can record HD.. it is almost a must have regardless of problems. To be able to record something and watch Sunday night football in HDTV is a beautiful thing.

    What is not beautiful, is the crappy design of the DVR. I won't go into specifics, especially becuase my box is not fully functional, but overall the design, layout, and ease of use sucks. TiVo blows it away. But then again, TiVo doesn't have dual tuners and HDTV. So again, if you actually need/care about dual tuners or recording HDTV.. then go for it it's only 4.99 more a month. If you already have TiVo paid for.. I would say just stick with it until this system gets better.. or TiVo steps up to the plate and offers what it should have a year ago.

    Good luck.
     
  4. erock63

    erock63 Member

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    Actually Dcon, TiVo does make a unit with dual tuner and HDTV. All for the low, low price of $999.00.

    I guess I'll be waiting awhile b4 getting that box :)
     
  5. charliec

    charliec Member

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    Dcon, I will be interested to hear how you eventually made out with your box. I've seen reports elsewhere that the non-digital channels (2 thru 96) are actually WORSE with the DVR box than with a regular box. They look fine with my (HD) box, so I'd like to hear how they are with your DVR box (when it's working).

    When I had HDTV service installed a couple of months ago, Comcast had to bring out a replacement box 'cause the first HD box was breaking up the picture on any HD channel I selected. I guess their quality control isn't too good.

    BTW, when you say you were "lucky" to get a dual-tuner box, is there anything you can do to "insure" that's what you get, or are you at the mercy of whatever the cable guy brings. I've heard that with the single-tuner boxes, you can't watch one channel and record a different channel.

    Not ever having had (or seen) a Tivo box, I guess I won't be disappointed about lack of features since I won't know what I'm missing.
     
  6. dcon

    dcon Member

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    Well here is an update.. I am on my second Dual Tuner HDTV DVR box from Comcast. It still is not "downloading" the listings even after 5 hours. So they are sending out another tech. So besides not being able to see what is on and schedule recordings.. everything else works.

    The picture is not so great.. at least on the analog channels. The HDTV channels are great, and the regular digital channels are fine as well. With analog, I would say that the quality is definitely worse than with a regualar box (due to conversion to MPEG) but also unfortunately not as good as TiVo's quality.

    I'll live with it.. because the dual tuners will come in handy, and being able to record and pause HD is at a premium these days. For only 4.99/mo., I'll take it.

    I just hope they can figure this guide data stuff out soon. Does anybody have any experience with this?? I'm losing patience.
     
  7. charliec

    charliec Member

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    Did you ever get the listings downloaded? If you did, how well do they work?

    When you say that the analog channels are "worse", is that just when you are viewing a program that you recorded, or is it also when you are viewing a program "live"? Is there a way to "bypass" the DVR with a second cable into your television for viewing the analog channels "live"?
     
  8. dcon

    dcon Member

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    yeah, it finally got fixed.. I guess there was a problem with the signal in my area that gives the box it's data. So all of a sudden it just started working. Pretty much everything is expected.. not the most user friendly, louder than TiVo, quality not as good as TiVo.. but a great option for those who want dual tuner and/or HDTV support.

    As far as the quality, live/recorded is the same thing because it's always recording and playing back what it recorded. I guess if you wanted.. you could just split your cable before the box and run it into a second input on your TV and watch TV that way.. but that defeats the whole point of being able to pause live TV, use the guide etc.. And maybe it's just the analog signal in my area isn't that great or maybe it's just that I stretch my picture so it fills up my whole widescreen TV.. but in general the quality is not great.. but after awhile you don't notice.

    I just wish all the channels and shows would hurry up and support HDTV.. I long for the day when there is only one channel for each station and it's HDTV.

    Good luck.
     
  9. capecomm

    capecomm Guest

    Is there anyway to "dump" recorded/saved video from the Comcast DVR onto your PC for burning onto a DVD?
     
  10. dcon

    dcon Member

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    Not officially supported or legally at least.. I'm sure if you wanted to hack the box it would be pretty simple. I don't think Comcast would like that though since you are renting it from them and not buying it from them.
     
  11. beerlover

    beerlover Member

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    Anyone figure out how to do this yet? Pull recorded files off the box onto a computer.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2004
  12. capecomm

    capecomm Guest

    I just got my comcast DVR dual HD tuner about 2 weeks ago... love the thing...

    but i VERY MUCH want to be able to "dump" to DVD...

    a good friend of mine works for comcast - but he doesn't know ANYTHING!! guy who installed said USB port on front was there for future retro-fitting... we'll see about that!

     
  13. beerlover

    beerlover Member

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    Keep me posted. I'm debating on getting the DVR and will only do so if I can later burn stuff to DVD.

    There is a guy on a simular forum who is on the up and up with tech stuff who works for comcast. I'm going to ask him after I clear registration of that site (takes 2 days). I basically joined the site to ask him the question. I like this site much better.
     
  14. ag22

    ag22 Regular member

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    I have Comcast DVR with HD. 2 words... get TiVo. in january Tivo is coming out with TiVo2gO. its software that will able you to transfer files to your CPU and burn them to DVD. simple to use software from what i hear. This Comcast DVD thing is killing me. BTW I was having problems like the earlier post, but it 2 days later it was up and running.
     
  15. dcon

    dcon Member

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    Ok.. I don't understand this last post. Sure TiVo is coming out with transfer to DVD compatibility.. but TiVo is way more expensives ($200 for box, $200 for service) and still doesn not offer HDTV or dual tuners in this price range. For $10 a month, why wouldn't you get the Comcast DVR?? Dual tuners, HDTV.. who really cares at this point if you can't transfer to DVD??
     
  16. ag22

    ag22 Regular member

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    Me for one. I could care less if its in HD since, Comcast offers a measly 10 channels in HD, and the max content you can store is 15 hours (in HD). Thats 30 Seinfelds, or a seasons worth of Sopranos. Pathetic. DVRs are supposed to replace VCRs. Instead of DVRing to Comcast I have to spend $200 for a DVDRecorder that takes forever, so I can play SpongeBob Squarepants in the MDXs DVD player. Thats why I want a DVDR. Plus Comcast DVR isnt free, you pay $5 a month or something. You cant network it to other DVRs in the house, and there are no hacks to increase HD capacity. I should have bought 2 TiVos for $200, paid $350 for the service total, and couldnt be happier. Both of my boxes are upgraded, and both are hacked to my CPUs DVDR.$550 for happiness. If you havve the $$$ do it. If you dont settle for 2nd best.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2004
  17. dcon

    dcon Member

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    Hey.. if you are rich, an experienced linux hacker, and don't care that you can't watch and record 2 different shows, or record HD.. then sure shell out $400-500 just so you can copy to DVD. Otherwise, take from this thread what you are supposed to.. the additional $5/month for the comcast DVR is worth it. Period.
     
  18. beerlover

    beerlover Member

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    Hey, I think I've found something. I just found this on Motorola's website (look under faqs). This is one of the boxes comcast uses. Just found this and haven't read it through but it says its possible to back up your comcast dvr files to your computer.


    http://broadband.motorola.com/dvr/news_faq.asp#archive
    How do I transfer digital recordings to my PC?
    The IEEE1394 (firewire) port can be used for transferring digital video to a PC for archiving, but it is limited by the copy protection coding that programming providers embedded in the data with the digital video. The digital video is not accessible for transfer through the built in software yet. Software companies who provide the interactive program guides and DVR Menu systems have not yet supplied the functionality to transfer your digital recordings, but some people on their own have devised a way to access digital recordings on the DCT6208 or DCT6412 and offload them to a PC hard drive or Digital High Def VCR.
    When transferring digital video by the method referred to above, copy protection restriction will apply. The recordings will play from the other device only if the programming provider has not encoded the digital content with a "copy never" command. Some programming sources encode them with a "copy once" command which allows you to transfer it once but if you try to transfer it again the content becomes unplayable. Of course, since the method for transferring digital video described above is in the public domain and not authored or controlled by Motorola or the software providers described above, Motorola makes no warranty that it that the method will work. Motorola will also not be liable for any loss or damage resulting from your use of such methods.
    Here's how to transfer non-copy protected recordings via IEEE1394/Firewire: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?postid=3818890#post3818890
     
  19. exile1mk

    exile1mk Member

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    I for one have used both tivo and comcast dvr and in my opinion the functionality of the dvr is awesome. Especially when you take price into consideration. Sure I have the money to spend to use Tivo but whats the pointy. Basically all the tech had to do was come out and plug it in. I had this thing up and running in an hour because thats how long it took to download the menu data. My only complaint as of now is the fact that I cant copy the shows I record to my comp. if anyone can provide some detailed insight to this I would greatly appreciate it.
     
  20. beerlover

    beerlover Member

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    Click on the thread to learn how backup your comcast dvr files
     

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