Comcast DVR with TiVo

Fios TV is still not available in Stoughton, even though I have the internets. So when I got my HD tv, I went with Comcast DVR with TiVo service. I oft times have this discussion with the geeks at work, which is the better route to take, Buy the expensive hardware and pay smaller monthly fee to TiVo, with better functionality, or take less functionality and a slightly higher monthly cost, but on leased equipment.

First, new TiVo:

Pros: Work awesome, best DVR their is. Integration with new cable cards should make things seamless. Expandable with somewhat expensive external hard drive. Plays well with other TiVos, great features. 7/10 on the updates scale, come often and usually have something useful, ok at QA it first. Never had a TiVo fail on the software layer outside of annoying bugs.

Cons: Costs a boatload, higher monthly fees. You own it, so any future upgraded hardware, you have to buy new hardware. Worry about dropping $600 on a setup to find it won’t work with your next tv service option.

Comcast DVR:

Pros: Leased equipment. When it breaks, Comcast is there with a replacement or service call inside 48 hours. Best integration with on demand.Next Gen hardware means you call and get the new hardware (may have some wait time) for the same or close to same monthly fee. Decent DVR software. Leaves a little tv window when going through the guides, etc…, like Picture in Picture.

Cons: Bunches of features inherit to the hardware locked out. No hooks into system, so no 3rd party development. Not nearly as feature rich. No moving shows back and forth across different DVRs. Can’t eliminate channels from lineup so guide is way bloated.

Comcast DVR w/TiVo service:

Should be the best of both worlds. A lot TiVo’s features, familiar guide, record suggestions, channel lineup, etc for $3 more than the hardware you are going to get anyways. What could go wrong?

How about, uhm, QA’ing it before you send it out. Comcast has to come out to enable it on your box, you can  not pick up one from the Comcast storefront. I am on my 4th box. The first one they installed would not play ESPN in Hi def. They pulled that and put in another. That lasted for a little while, until an update was sent out that fried the box. The tv was on in the background but the TiVo starting up was blocking it at 4×3 over the 16×9. No saving that box, put in a new one. Setup channels, season passes, etc all over again.

Then we had the infinite reboot issue. They say there was no update, but somehow the box rebooted itself and just would not start up fully. Think windows blue screening before it loads all the way, over and over again. No saving that box, put in a new one. Setup channels, season passes, etc all over again.

Also, standard def channels sometimes turn completely green until you blindly find an HD channel. Oh yeah, and setting a season pass can sometimes take up to 10 minutes to work it’s way through and return to the normal screen.

It is quite apparent the TiVo software is thrown on top of the Comcast software. It does not have direct access to the guide, and is not properly tested. I’ll see how long this box lasts, but then comes the decision…

Do I go with straight  Comcast DVR, or lay out the cake for an HD-TiVo? Either way – I recommend no one get the Comcast DVR w/TiVo service

~ by kinshay on 2008-04-08.

No Responses Yet to “Comcast DVR with TiVo”

  1. I went with the “lay out the cake” option with no regrets as of yet.
    I really dig on real-TiVo-only features like Amazon Unbox.

  2. Here’s another con for Comcast in general. 🙂

  3. Hello,DVRs are now used for other purposes besides personal recording. Interestingly enough, they’ve been employed as a security measure. DVRs have been used for police surveillance. They’re also used to record signals from closed circuit TV cameras.

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