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tjmax

@comcast.net

Comcast HD DVR - is there any substitute?

I have (2) of the Cisco RNG200. Rather than pay Comcast $14.95/month PER BOX, I rather spend up front money and purchase boxes that I own and not have to pay a monthly rental fee. Thanks for your help


Caddyroger
Premium
join:2001-06-11
To the west
Only TiVo and moxie are the only box that you can buy to work with comcast at this moment. Boxes off Ebay Comcast will not activate because they are stolen.
--
Caddy


beachintech
There's sand in my tool bag
Premium
join:2008-01-06
kudos:5

1 edit
reply to tjmax
Don't forget there is still going to be the couple bucks a month per cable card rental fee if you purchase your own boxes. You also won't have on demand / PPV on those boxes. (until Tru2Way is released everywhere, and hopefully those boxes you plunked down the $$ on support it when the final version is released).
--
Tech at the Beach.

ckjonny

join:2002-02-01
Redwood City, CA
reply to tjmax
I have a TiVo HD. Here is the real cost for the box.

The box is $300
TiVo service is Monthly $12.95
Annual up front $129.00 (Avg $10.75/month)
3-year service up front $299.00 (Avg $8.31/month)
Product Lifetime service One payment $399 lasts the life of your DVR!

The bottom line is if all you want to do is quit paying Comcast's $14.95 okay. But if you only want to save money it's not there.

Why did I buy the box? I got Best Buy Gifts Cards from my kids.

John

andyross
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-04
Schaumburg, IL

1 edit
There may be CableCard rental costs, too. By me, the first card PER DEVICE is free. A second one has a small charge. I believe the TivoHD supports 2 regular cards or one M-Card. So if you can get one M-Card, you can avoid a fee. Otherwise, you will pay a rental fee for the second card.

The need for dual cards or one M-Card (M=Multistream) is because the TivoHD has 2 cable tuners.

And, of course, no OnDemand support. Maybe not PPV?


TJMAX

@swbell.net
The other issue with Comcast Box is if the cable service is down, you cannot watch any content saved or impossible to expert the video to another portable drive. With the Tivo HD, how many recordings can I have at the same time?

jacktaw

join:2003-01-03
Derry, NH
said by TJMAX :

The other issue with Comcast Box is if the cable service is down, you cannot watch any content saved or impossible to expert the video to another portable drive. With the Tivo HD, how many recordings can I have at the same time?
The TivoHD will allow about 20 hours of HD programming (or 180 hours of SD).

You can get the WD My DVR Expander which will add 60 or 120 hours depending on which model you get (500GB or 1TB).

-Kevin

jacktaw

join:2003-01-03
Derry, NH
reply to andyross
said by andyross:

There may be CableCard rental costs, too. By me, the first card PER DEVICE is free. A second one has a small charge. I believe the TivoHD supports 2 regular cards or one M-Card. So if you can get one M-Card, you can avoid a fee. Otherwise, you will pay a rental fee for the second card.

The need for dual cards or one M-Card (M=Multistream) is because the TivoHD has 2 cable tuners.

And, of course, no OnDemand support. Maybe not PPV?
Most areas the first Cablecard on each outlet is free. So if you are able to get a M-Card, you pay nothing for it (although it varies from area to area).

Comcast will get you if you have a 2nd TiVo. Just to run service to it, they'll charge a digital outlet fee. I think it's around $6.95. The first CC on that outlet is free as well I believe.

My parents have 2 TiVoHDs in their house, both with a single M-Card. As far as I know they pay:

$12.95 for the first Tivo's service
$0.00 for the M-Card in the first Tivo

$6.95 for the second Tivo's service
$0.00 for the M-Card in the second Tivo
$6.95 for the Digital Outlet fee from Comcast

The benefit is that they have their Tivo's networked to transfer recordings back and forth, as well as to the PC. Note though that most HD recordings from premium channels like HBO are copy protected and can't be transferred off the Tivo that recorded it.

-Kevin

bicker

join:2007-05-10
Burlington, MA
If you have two TiVos, like that, and you don't ever need three or four tuners, then you may not need the second digital outlet. You can just record everything on one TiVo and then use MRV to watch programs on the other. There are minor inconveniences (i.e., having to wait for the transfer), but for $13.90 per month, they might be worth it.

KenAF

join:2006-01-23
Arlington, VA

4 edits
Suggested for Comcast FAQ...

When you get digital cable, you have several choices for service. Today, those choices consist of the (1) Comcast STB or DVR and (2) existing one-way CableCard devices like TVs, the TivoHD, and Moxi. By mid-2010, you'll also have option of (3) CableCard devices with true2way. There are advantages and disadvantages to each solution.

With a Comcast STB/DVR, you receive all the SD and HD programming that you pay for, plus access to Comcast's On Demand and PPV services. By using the Comcast STB/DVR, you are limited to whatever software and capabilities that Comcast offers in your area. Comcast's Motorola DVRs do not support storage expansion beyond the built-in 20-30 HD hour capacity. With the Comcast DVR software, you cannot remotely schedule recordings, you cannot download recordings to your computer, and you cannot remotely access the recordings stored on other DVRs in your home. The cost is approximately $8.95 per digital outlet, which includes a SD set top box. HD is an additional $6-8, with DVR $14 or more depending on the area. Contact your local office for more information.

Existing CableCard devices like the TivoHD and Moxi receive all the SD and HD programming that you pay for, but they do not support Comcast's On Demand services or IPG. The TivoHD and Moxi provide their own program guide with 14-days of program information; they download this guide information from their servers used a wired or wireless connection to your home network. Advantages of the TivoHD and Moxi DVRs include superior DVR functionality, usability (ex: no remote lag, improved commercial skipping), up to six times the capacity (157 HD hours), support for external hard drives (up to 300+ HD hours), remote scheduling, and PC/Mac integration. Other TiVo features include multi-room viewing and the ability to download SD and HD recordings to your computer.

CableCards are essentially access cards; they plug into the device and authorize all of the channels you pay for. The TivoHD and Moxi both support dual tuners with a single CableCard (M-CARD). Comcast will provide one free CableCard as part of digital service, but additional CableCards will cost $1.50-$2.50/ea. If you have another Comcast STB/DVR in your home, or buy a second TivoHD, you may be assessed an additional "outlet fee."

You do not pay Comcast STB or DVR fees for CableCard devices. That said, TivoHD and Moxi DVRs are still more expensive than the Comcast boxes when you account for the initial purchase price and the monthly, yearly, or lifetime subscription. People who buy a TiVo and Moxi typically do so because they want the improved DVR functionality, usability, and storage capacity.

TivoHD

    The TivoHD DVR is available in 160GB (21 HD hours) and 1TB (157 HD hours) versions; it also supports 500GB and 1TB external drives. The 160GB and 1TB versions are $250 and $480, respectively, from Amazon.com. One of the following subscriptions is required for the first TiVo: $12.99/mo, $129/yr, $299/3yrs, or a one-time payment of $399. Subscriptions are discounted for each additional DVR. TiVo essentially gives you two options; you can (1) buy the box below cost at $250 and pay monthly or yearly subscription fees, or (2) pay $250+$399=$649 upfront and never have to worry about fees again.

    You can see high-definition video demos of the TivoHD here:

    Youtube: Basic TiVo functionality
    Youtube: Viewing Computer Videos on TiVo
    Youtube: Netflix, Youtube, Video Podcasts on TiVo
    Youtube: TiVo Internet Search Beta

    Features:
    • dual ATSC (OTA) / QAM (digital cable) / analog tuners

    • support for MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC (H.264), and VC1

    • program guide with filters, favorites, and fully customizable channel list

    • 14-days of program information available on all channels (except ClearQAM channels), downloaded using your choice of ethernet, wireless, or a phone line.

    • pause and rewind liveTV on both SD and HD channels

    • record high-definition at 100% original quality

    • record one HD channel while you watch another HD channel on the same box

    • record two different HD channels simultaneously, while you watch a third, previously recorded show

    • separate coax inputs for antenna and cable (split internally), with direct support for all digital cable channels without a cable box (using CableCard); will integrate cable and OTA in a single guide

    • highly responsive "trickplay" functions (pause, replay, rewind, ffw, rew, 30sec skip, slow mo, etc) with no lag

    • simple commercial skipping with 30sec skip (or 60x FF)

    • name-based recording (aka "set it and forget it" recording), with ability to record only new episodes and ignore repeats

    • always buffers both tuners (30 minutes each), so you can pause one live TV channel at a commercial, switch to another channel to watch for awhile, pause that, and then switch back to the first channel to resume where you left off, skipping commercials as you go

    • when watching a liveTV program on either tuner, pressing record will save it from the beginning

    • remembers where you left off in every recording, so you can resume watching from where you left off at any time

    • conflict management with automatic rescheduling so programs missed due to three-way conflicts are automatically recorded the next time they air

    • overlap protection to eliminate conflicts when three or more programs overlap by up to five minutes

    • recorded history to tell you when a series program did not record and why (ex: because it was a repeat, because there was a conflict, etc)

    • simple search by title (searches 14 days of listings)

    • advanced search options with boolean operators, including the ability to automatically record all future programs matching a search

    • multiple episodes of the same program are grouped into folders to reduce clutter and simplify navigation

    • separate recorded lists and channel lists for adults and children (four-digit passcode required to switch from child list to adult list)

    • undelete through a "Recently Deleted" folder at the bottom of the recorded list

    • external drive expansion (with select 500GB and 1TB external drives)

    • ability to download SD and HD recordings from the DVR to your computer in MPG format

    • ability to view DVD rips and PC videos from your computer

    • multi-room SD and HD viewing with another TiVo

    • remote scheduling via the web and mobile phone

    • variety of output modes, including "native" to output all formats as is without conversion

    • 16:9 anamorphic SD output through s-video and composite outputs

    • all SD and HD outputs active simultaneously

    • support for internet videos / podcasts; and

    • Netflix SD/HD streaming and Amazon Unbox SD/HD PPV


    TiVo recently announced plans to support On Demand with cable providers that use VOD systems from SeaChange. This capability is coming to the TivoHD later this year, although no further details are available, beyond what is mentioned in the press release. Comcast uses SeaChange to deliver its On Demand, although it has not indicated whether it will support this upcoming functionality on TiVo.

    If you would like to learn more about the TiVo, or are a new TiVo owner, see the AVS TivoHD FAQ.


Moxi
    The Moxi DVR includes a 500GB drive (75 HD hours); it also supports external drives up to 2TB. It costs $799 from Amazon.com, but that price includes a lifetime subscription for guide data and updates, so there are no future fees.

    You can see a video demo of the Moxi here: »www.viddler.com/explore/engadget···84/6.792

    Moxi advantages compared to the TivoHD:

    • 16:9 HD menus with crisper, sharper, text and graphics

    • 1.5 hour HD buffer per tuner (compared to 30min HD buffer per tuner on TiVo)

    • Can record three cable channels at the same time (two digital, one analog) when the free WinTV-HVR-1950 USB tuner is connected.

    • Clear QAM channel mapping through a web interface to fully support HD locals on cable -- with program information-- without the need for a CableCard.

    • DLNA 1.0 client support allows access to music, photos, and videos on computers, network attached storage, mobile phones, and other devices without proprietary software.

    • Conflict management allows you to choose which of the two conflicting programs you would like to skip. You aren't limited to skipping the lower priority program.

    • No advertising whatsoever in the UI.

    • Storage expansion works with any external eSATA drive up to 2.0TB, not just the My DVR Expander (500GB, 1TB).

    • External drives can be added and removed at will to archive recordings; recordings are not split across internal and external drives, so recordings are not lost when a drive is removed.

    • Adjustable duration on skip button (30 seconds, 3 minutes, etc).

    • Ability to display a small guide at bottom of the screen.

    • Picture window on every menu screen that shows the current liveTV channel and/or current recording.

    • On-screen widgets for weather, sports scores, stock quotes, etc, updated in real time.

    • Online scheduling with real time conflict resolution and the ability to edit/delete recordings online

    • Includes backlit remote (included with 1TB TivoHD XL, but a $50 option on the standard TivoHD)

    Moxi disadvantages compared to the TivoHD:

    • $799 @ Amazon.com with lifetime service and 500GB drive; there is no option to purchase for less with monthly or yearly fees

    • No ATSC (OTA) support; the Moxi is cable only;

    • No built-in support for analog channels; customers must request a free USB device to add a single analog tuner to the box;

    • Cannot download or transfer recordings to a computer; cannot view DVR recordings on a computer;

    • No support for multi-room viewing (Moxi plans to add this feature later this year)

    • No wishlists or comparable functionality (can't record based on search);

    • No overlap protection, so 1-2 minute program overlaps cause conflicts that can result in missed recordings;

    • Does not keep a record of recorded programs to prevent re-recording the same programs after they are deleted from the DVR;

    • No display of recorded history or missed programs due to conflicts; if a program is not recorded due to a conflict, there is no record of that on the Moxi;
    • Lacks "traditional" grid-based program guide and shows less program information on screen than TiVo;

    • No manual recording screen. You can only create recordings from the program guide or by selecting a search result.

    • When you stop or finish a recording, the Moxi always displays a liveTV window, even when that is a recording-in-progress (such as a sporting event); there is no way to exit a recording without seeing the liveTV window;

    • No option to use a phone line for guide downloads; a network connection is required, using a direct run of ethernet cable, a wireless bridge, a powerline adapter, or a MoCA adapter.

    • No support for Netflix's HD; only supports Netflix SD, and only does so when a Windows PC is on and running the PlayOn software;

    • No support for Amazon Unbox's HDTV VOD service with series and movies downloads in 1080p24 with DD5.1 ($4.99 per HD movie, $2.99 per HD episode).

    • Auto-correction on FF / REW not as accurate as TiVo (subjective)

    • Interface not as intuitive (subjective)

    If you would like to learn more about the Moxi, see the Moxi web site.

Moxi and TiVo have different design philosophies. Moxi provides more features and options for liveTV viewing and display, whereas TiVo provides more features and options for recording. If you watch 60% liveTV and 40% recorded, you'll probably be happier with Moxi; if you watch 20% liveTV and 80% recorded, then you'll probably be happier with TiVo.

True2way devices require and use the same CableCards as the TivoHD and Moxi, but they also incorporate a bidirectional hardware receiver and a Java virtual machine. True2way devices download and run a Java version of the cable company's STB/DVR software. This allows the cable company to provide their own interface, guide, and VOD on customer-owned hardware. In 2010, users should be able to purchase true2way DVRs for under $400 with much greater capacity and support for external storage.

The obvious disadvantage of true2way is that functionality is limited to whatever your Comcast system offers. There is no way to choose your interface or how it is displayed; Comcast controls that. If the Comcast STB/DVR software is chock full of advertisements, or it limits how you can skip commercials, then that is what you will get on the true2way box. At this time, it is unknown whether customers will be able to eliminate their DVR service fees with the purchase of a true2way box. True2way equipment still needs Comcast software to function, and there is nothing that says that software must be free.

andyross
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-04
Schaumburg, IL
reply to tjmax
tru2way is available in some areas already. The TV's and service are available in at least parts of Chicago. Abt was one of the first stores to carry the TV's.

miscDude

join:2005-03-24
Kissimmee, FL

1 recommendation

reply to KenAF
Not bad, But I would recommend a couple of additions/modifications.

One General recommendation might be to remove or disclaim any pricing information since pricing can vary WILDLY between different markets.

said by KenAF:

With the Comcast DVR software, you cannot remotely schedule recordings, you cannot download recordings to your computer, and you cannot remotely access the recordings stored on other DVRs in your home. The cost is approximately $8.95 per digital outlet, which includes a SD set top box. HD is an additional $6-8, with DVR $14 or more depending on the area. Contact your local office for more information.
I would make a note stating something along "At this time..." Comcast has commented that they are looking to add remote-scheduling capabilities to their DVR's. ( »www.comcastvoices.com/2009/03/in···cim.html ), plus there are other new features being added to their guide all the time. I think that the ITV functionality of A25 will also allow better integration of "plug-ins" that add functionality allowing quicker deployment of new features when compared to the full-release requirements of the past.

Another item that might be worth mentioning in a FAQ for the general public is that renting a Comcast DVR/STB would mean they are responsible for troubleshooting the issue and replacing dead/defective hardware. With a 3rd party device (Tivo/Moxi/future Tru2Way) you would be responsible for replacing defective hardware (in or out of warranty), and the support demarcation lines for troubleshooting can sometimes be fuzzy (device issue vs provider issue).

said by KenAF:

connection to your home network. Advantages of the TivoHD and Moxi DVRs include superior DVR functionality, usability (ex: no remote lag, improved commercial skipping), up to six times the capacity (157 HD hours), support for external hard drives (up to 300+ HD hours), remote scheduling, and PC/Mac integration. Other TiVo features include multi-room viewing and the ability to download SD and HD recordings to your computer.
Currently Scientific Atlanta hardware supports External SATA drives to expand your DVR capacity. Sadly the lack of DVR expandibility support appears to be a Moto/Iguide issue.

(Even though a majority of Comcast markets are Motorola, it never hurts to keep the SA systems in mind when writing a FAQ targeted at the entire company, even if it's differences are footnoted)

Also, The ability to copy content off your TiVO is dependent upon the DRM flags within the original content. Some content (such as Premium channel or PPV content) may be recorded to the TiVO, but you are unable to copy to a PC/other device.

said by KenAF:

Comcast uses SeaChange to deliver its On Demand, although it has not indicated whether it will support this upcoming functionality on TiVo.
Another broad generalization that should be footnoted or clarified. While Seachange may be Comcast's prefered/primary VoD vendor, they do have systems using other VOD systems developed by Tandberg/BigBend, etc. As Comcast has aquired many different systems from various sources, it usually will build off the existing architecture present from the original MSO rather than remove and rebuild the system to utilize their "prefered" vendors.

said by KenAF:

The obvious disadvantage of true2way is that functionality is limited to whatever your Comcast system offers. There is no way to choose your interface or how it is displayed; Comcast controls that. If the Comcast STB/DVR software is chock full of advertisements, or it limits how you can skip commercials, then that is what you will get on the true2way box. At this time, it is unknown whether customers will be able to eliminate their DVR service fees with the purchase of a true2way box. True2way equipment still needs Comcast software to function, and there is nothing that says that software must be free.
It might be worth rewording this to state that "Your Options are limited to whatever interface options Comcast (your MSO) offer in your market." As the system is still relatively new, it hasn't yet been determined if Comcast or other MSO's will be capable or willing to provide "Premium" Guide interfaces within the tru2way system. Theoretically it could be possible, and Comcast does have experience (in limited markets) with providing/supporting "premium" guide options to customers, such as the Moto-Tivo.

It is likely that a "standard" guide, such as the evolution of the Iguide will be free with your subscription. (Can't really access the service, or the VOD options they would love to sell you, without a guide), however it is not without reason to believe that premium guides may become available as well in the future for an additional cost. We'll have to see how the system evolves once it's mass-deployment occurs.

I couldn't locate the spots it was mentioned in the original text above, but there were also numerous mentions that PPV was not available with a TiVO or Moxi (or "standard one-way cablecard device"). That is not exactly true. IMPULSE PPV is not available due to the devices having no way to request the purchase of the event, however you can usually still call into the call center and purchase the event over the phone. This is similar to the old-school method used in the old days, and from a techincal standpoint isn't much different than calling to order HBO and having them send the authorization to your box. (Instead of a 24/7 channel being authorized, it's a 2-6hr movie/special event being authorized)

KenAF

join:2006-01-23
Arlington, VA

4 edits
Thanks for the feedback. Here's a revised version.

When you get digital cable, you have several choices for service. Today, those choices consist of the (1) Comcast STB or DVR and (2) existing one-way CableCard devices like TVs, the TivoHD, and Moxi. Next year, customers in most markets will have another option: (3) CableCard devices with true2way. There are advantages and disadvantages to each solution.

With a Comcast STB/DVR, you receive all the SD and HD programming that you pay for, plus access to Comcast's On Demand and PPV services. Comcast is responsible for troubleshooting problems and replacing dead/defective equipment. Cost varies by market, but the typical premium over basic cable is $6 to $9 per digital outlet (includes one STB). HD adds $5-8, and the DVR adds another $13-$15 on top of that. Contact your local office for more information.

By using the Comcast STB/DVR, you are limited to whatever software and hardware capabilities that Comcast offers in your area. With the Comcast DVR software, you cannot remotely schedule recordings, you cannot download recordings to your computer, and you cannot remotely access the recordings stored on other DVRs in your home. Comcast does expect to add remote scheduling to their DVRs before the end of the year. In most markets, Comcast uses Motorola DVRs that do not support storage expansion beyond the built-in 20-30 HD hour capacity. In some markets, Comcast uses Scientific Atlanta DVRs that unofficially support external expansion with eSATA drives.

Existing CableCard devices like the TivoHD and Moxi receive all the SD and HD programming that you pay for, but they do not support Comcast's On Demand services or IPG; furthermore, some Comcast PPV content must be ordered over the phone. The TivoHD and Moxi provide their own program guide with 14-days of program information; they download this guide information from their servers using a wired or wireless connection to your home network. Advantages of the TivoHD and Moxi DVRs include superior DVR functionality, usability (ex: no remote lag, improved commercial skipping), up to six times the capacity (157 HD hours), support for external hard drives (up to 300+ HD hours), remote scheduling, and PC/Mac integration. Other TiVo features include multi-room viewing and the ability to download SD and HD recordings to your computer.

CableCards are essentially access cards; they plug into the device and authorize all of the channels you pay for. The TivoHD and Moxi both support dual tuners with a single CableCard (M-CARD). Comcast will provide one free CableCard as part of digital service, but additional CableCards will cost $1.50-$2.50/ea. If you have another Comcast STB/DVR in your home, or buy a second TiVo/Moxi, you may be assessed an additional "outlet fee."

You do not pay Comcast STB or DVR fees to use CableCard devices like the TivoHD and Moxi. The purchase of a TiVo or Moxi DVR typically results in lower monthly fees, but it takes years for that savings to offset the purchase price. People who buy a TiVo or Moxi typically do so because they want the improved DVR functionality, usability, and storage capacity. If you decide to buy a TiVo or Moxi, do so with the knowledge that Comcast is not responsible for replacing dead/defective equipment (with exception to the CableCard).

TivoHD

    The TivoHD DVR is available in 160GB (21 HD hours) and 1TB (157 HD hours) versions; it also supports 500GB and 1TB external drives. The 160GB and 1TB versions are $250 and $480, respectively, from Amazon.com. One of the following subscriptions is required for the first TiVo: $12.99/mo, $129/yr, $299/3yrs, or a one-time payment of $399. Subscriptions are discounted for each additional DVR. TiVo essentially gives you two options; you can (1) buy the box below cost at $250 and pay monthly or yearly subscription fees, or (2) pay $250+$399=$649 upfront and never have to worry about fees again.

    Video Demos of TivoHD: Basic functionality | Netflix, Youtube, Video Podcasts | Viewing Computer Videos

    Features:
    • dual ATSC (OTA) / QAM (digital cable) / analog tuners

    • support for MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC (H.264), and VC1

    • program guide with filters, favorites, and fully customizable channel list

    • 14-days of program information available on all channels (except ClearQAM channels), downloaded using your choice of ethernet, wireless, or a phone line.

    • pause and rewind liveTV on both SD and HD channels

    • record high-definition at 100% original quality

    • record one HD channel while you watch another HD channel on the same box

    • record two different HD channels simultaneously, while you watch a third, previously recorded show

    • separate coax inputs for antenna and cable (split internally), with direct support for all digital cable channels without a cable box (using CableCard); will integrate cable and OTA in a single guide

    • highly responsive "trickplay" functions (pause, replay, rewind, ffw, rew, 30sec skip, slow mo, etc) with no lag

    • simple commercial skipping with 30sec skip (or 60x FF)

    • name-based recording (aka "set it and forget it" recording), with ability to record only new episodes and ignore repeats

    • always buffers both tuners (30 minutes each), so you can pause one live TV channel at a commercial, switch to another channel to watch for awhile, pause that, and then switch back to the first channel to resume where you left off, skipping commercials as you go

    • when watching a liveTV program on either tuner, pressing record will save it from the beginning

    • remembers where you left off in every recording, so you can resume watching from where you left off at any time

    • conflict management with automatic rescheduling so programs missed due to three-way conflicts are automatically recorded the next time they air

    • overlap protection to eliminate conflicts when three or more programs overlap by up to five minutes

    • recorded history to tell you when a series program did not record and why (ex: because it was a repeat, because there was a conflict, etc)

    • simple search by title (searches 14 days of listings)

    • advanced search options with boolean operators, including the ability to automatically record all future programs matching a search

    • multiple episodes of the same program are grouped into folders to reduce clutter and simplify navigation

    • separate recorded lists and channel lists for adults and children (four-digit passcode required to switch from child list to adult list)

    • undelete through a "Recently Deleted" folder at the bottom of the recorded list

    • external drive expansion (with select 500GB and 1TB external drives)

    • ability to download SD and HD recordings from the DVR to your computer in MPG format (note copy-protected recordings from premium movie channels cannot be downloaded)

    • ability to view DVD rips and PC videos from your computer

    • multi-room SD and HD viewing with another TiVo

    • remote scheduling via the web and mobile phone

    • variety of output modes, including "native" to output all formats as is without conversion

    • 16:9 anamorphic SD output through s-video and composite outputs

    • all SD and HD outputs active simultaneously

    • support for internet videos / podcasts; and

    • Netflix SD/HD streaming and Amazon Unbox SD/HD PPV


    TiVo recently announced plans to support On Demand with cable providers that use VOD systems from SeaChange. This capability is coming to the TivoHD later this year, although no further details are available, beyond what is mentioned in the press release. Comcast uses SeaChange to deliver its On Demand in most, but not all, markets. Comcast has not yet said whether it will support On Demand functionality with TiVo in markets that use VOD systems from SeaChange.

    If you would like to learn more about the TiVo, or are a new TiVo owner, see the AVS TivoHD FAQ.


Moxi
    The Moxi DVR includes a 500GB drive (75 HD hours); it also supports external drives up to 2TB. It costs $799 from Amazon.com, but that price includes a lifetime subscription for guide data and updates, so there are no future fees.

    Video Demos of Moxi: Demo for Engadget | CrunchGear

    Moxi advantages compared to the TivoHD:

    • 16:9 HD menus with crisper, sharper, text and graphics

    • Picture window on every menu screen that shows the current liveTV channel and/or current recording.

    • 1.5 hour HD buffer per tuner (compared to 30min HD buffer per tuner on TiVo)

    • Can record three cable channels at the same time (two digital, one analog) when the free WinTV-HVR-1950 USB tuner is connected.

    • Clear QAM channel mapping through a web interface to fully support HD locals on cable -- with program information-- without the need for a CableCard.

    • DLNA 1.0 client support allows access to music, photos, and videos on computers, network attached storage, mobile phones, and other devices without proprietary software.

    • Conflict management allows you to choose which of the two conflicting programs you would like to skip. You aren't limited to skipping the lower priority program.

    • No advertising whatsoever in the UI.

    • Storage expansion works with any external eSATA drive up to 2.0TB, not just the My DVR Expander (500GB, 1TB).

    • External drives can be added and removed at will to archive recordings; recordings are not split across internal and external drives, so recordings are not lost when a drive is removed.

    • Adjustable duration on skip button (30 seconds, 3 minutes, etc).

    • Ability to display a small guide at bottom of the screen.

    • On-screen widgets for weather, sports scores, stock quotes, etc, updated in real time.

    • Online scheduling with real time conflict resolution and the ability to edit/delete recordings online

    • Includes backlit remote (included with 1TB TivoHD XL, but a $50 option on the standard TivoHD)

    Moxi disadvantages compared to the TivoHD:

    • $799 @ Amazon.com with lifetime service and 500GB drive; there is no option to purchase for less with monthly or yearly fees

    • No ATSC (OTA) support; the Moxi is cable only.

    • No built-in support for analog channels; customers must request a free USB device to add a single analog tuner to the box.

    • Cannot download or transfer recordings to a computer; cannot view DVR recordings on a computer.

    • No support for multi-room viewing (Moxi plans to add this feature later this year).

    • No wishlists or comparable functionality (can't record based on search).

    • No overlap protection, so 1-2 minute program overlaps cause conflicts that can result in missed recordings.

    • Does not keep a record of recorded programs to prevent re-recording the same programs after they are deleted from the DVR.

    • No display of recorded history or missed programs due to conflicts; if a program is not recorded due to a conflict, there is no record of that on the Moxi.
    • Lacks "traditional" grid-based program guide and shows less program information on screen than TiVo.

    • No manual recording screen. You can only create recordings from the program guide or by selecting a search result.

    • When you stop or finish a recording, the Moxi always displays a liveTV window, even when that is a recording-in-progress (such as a sporting event); there is no way to exit a recording without seeing the liveTV window.

    • No option to use a phone line for guide downloads; a network connection is required, using a direct run of ethernet cable, a wireless bridge, a powerline adapter, or a MoCA adapter.

    • No support for Netflix's HD; only supports Netflix SD, and only does so when a Windows PC is on and running the PlayOn software.

    • No support for Amazon Unbox's HDTV VOD service with series and movies downloads in 1080p24 with DD5.1 ($4.99 per HD movie, $2.99 per HD episode).

    • Auto-correction on FF / REW not as accurate as TiVo (subjective)

    • Interface not as intuitive (subjective)

    If you would like to learn more about the Moxi, see the Moxi web site.

Moxi and TiVo have different design philosophies. Moxi provides more features and options for liveTV viewing and display, whereas TiVo provides more features and options for recording. If you watch 60% liveTV and 40% recorded, you'll probably be happier with Moxi; if you watch 20% liveTV and 80% recorded, then you'll probably be happier with TiVo.

True2way devices require and use the same CableCards as the TivoHD and Moxi, but they also integrate a bidirectional receiver and a Java virtual machine. True2way devices download and run a Java version of the cable company's STB/DVR software. This allows the cable company to provide their own interface, guide, and VOD on customer-owned hardware. In 2010, users should be able to purchase true2way DVRs for under $400 with greater capacity and support for external storage.

The obvious disadvantage of true2way is that functionality is limited to whatever Comcast offers in your particular market. With true2way DVRs, Comcast retains exclusive control over what options you have for the software and interface. If the Comcast STB/DVR software is chock full of advertisements, or it limits how you can skip commercials, then that is what you get on the true2way box. At this time, it is unknown whether customers will be able to eliminate their DVR service fees with the purchase of a true2way box. True2way equipment still needs Comcast software to function, and there is nothing that says that software must be free.

tommyBoythec

join:2009-06-27
reply to tjmax
there is an answer to your question. you can still enjoy recording your television shows from your HD DVR without paying the $14.95 monthly fee and you do NOT need moxi or tivo service to achieve it.

you will need a new dvr, any dvr will do. i personally prefer the tristar mx dvr by newelectronx. very easy to use and simple to set up.

connect the dvr to your satellite box, fta box, or cable box - once done record your shows for free and save yourself $14.95 per month. hope this information helps and good luck.

bobdole3696

join:2004-12-07
Fort Lauderdale, FL
reply to tjmax
With the Tivo HD, how many recordings can I have at the same time?

HD Tivo's have 2 tuners. - standard HD is 20 hours of pure HD, 180 hours of SD. You can also add the WD DVR expanders for 500GB -1TB more.

HOWEVER. If you are even a little bit mechanically inclined you can increase the internal drive to a 1TB and get about 140 hours of HD programming (a freaking unbelievable 1300 hours on SD).

To put it in perspective, my SD tivo has a 120GB drive and can handle about 130 hours of SD. I have NEVER run out of TV to watch, and I frequently have stuff fall off. I can't possibly imagine having 1300 hours at my disposal.

bobdole3696

join:2004-12-07
Fort Lauderdale, FL

connect the dvr to your satellite box, fta box, or cable box - once done record your shows for free and save yourself $14.95 per month. hope this information helps and good luck.

The reason TiVO wins is that its software is highly superior to anything I've seen. Suggestions, wishlists, it automatically records shows you might want to watch with unused space, Youtube, Amazon on demand, Music streamed from live365, You can jukebox movies (from your DVD collection or from nefarious sources) - and "stream" them in almost realtime (i.e. start transferrign, wait 5 minutes, then watch the whole movie uninterrupted) - It can get access to your photo and music collection on your networked PC's and stream that too. You can set programs to record from your office, and most importantly - you can archive programming on your PC, and store it - to jukebox back later if you like.


gar187er
I do this for a living

join:2006-06-24
Dover, DE
kudos:4
tive doesnt win for me....price is wayy too much upfront....

bicker

join:2007-05-10
Burlington, MA
Indeed, anything that is going to save you money each month is going to cost a good bit up-front.

DDR4040

join:2006-12-25
Maple Shade, NJ
reply to KenAF
said by KenAF:

Thanks for the feedback. Here's a revised version.

You do not pay Comcast STB or DVR fees to use CableCard devices like the TivoHD and Moxi. The purchase of a TiVo or Moxi DVR typically results in lower monthly fees, but it takes years for that savings to offset the purchase price. People who buy a TiVo or Moxi typically do so because they want the improved DVR functionality, usability, and storage capacity. If you decide to buy a TiVo or Moxi, do so with the knowledge that Comcast is not responsible for replacing dead/defective equipment (with exception to the CableCard).

You might also want to mention that Comcast is now charging a $6.00 HD converter fee for each Cablecard you rent. They also consider each card to be its own separate outlet. So if you rent more than one card, each additional card adds either $4.95 or $8.95 fee to your monthly bill, depending on your package. Of course no Comcast CSR ever mentions these added fees when you inquire about cablecard rates. They just quote you "first one is free, and $1.50 for each additional card".

I just went through this today. I had a single outlet subscription with Digital Starter for $58.95 and a Comcast DVR for $21.95($15.95+$6 HD converter fee). Since I don't particularly care to spend $22 a month indefinitely for a box I will never own, I decided to give Moxi a shot.

The Moxi arrived this week. I called to schedule a cablecard install and asked how much it would cost to get a second cablecard for my cablecard enabled TV. I was given the "first one free, second one $1.50" line, so I authorized them to send a 2nd card for the TV. Now maybe it was a bad assumption on my part, but based on my conversation with the CSR, I thought my new monthly bill would be $60.45. I figured my package was $58.95 and the 2 cards would just add $1.50 to it. I was dead wrong. My new monthly total is now $77.40. The second card wound up adding $18.45, not $1.50. Here's how it actually broke down:

Digital Starter Package: $58.95
Cablecard for TV: $0.00
Cablecard HD converter fee for TV: $6.00
Cablecard for Moxi: $1.50
Cablecards HD converter fee for Moxi: $6.00
Additional Outlet fee for Moxi: $4.95
Grand Total: $77.40

Naturally, I wasn't very pleased when I found out about this. I realize now that I was partly to blame for assuming one TV equaled one outlet, but I am pretty ticked off that no one ever mentioned the $6 converter fee and that it applied to each individual card. Obviously, I am getting rid of the card in the TV, but I am still cranky about the whole episode, and just wanted to vent about it..


gar187er
I do this for a living

join:2006-06-24
Dover, DE
kudos:4
quote:
You might also want to mention that Comcast is now charging a $6.00 HD converter fee for each Cablecard you rent
they do not charge 6 bucks for a cable card....you sure the $6 isnt for your hd package?

DDR4040

join:2006-12-25
Maple Shade, NJ
said by gar187er:

quote:
You might also want to mention that Comcast is now charging a $6.00 HD converter fee for each Cablecard you rent
they do not charge 6 bucks for a cable card....you sure the $6 isnt for your hd package?
It may be different in your state, but here in NJ you pay the rental fee plus $6 for every CableCard you rent. I had 2 CableCards installed today and got hit with the $6 HD converter box fee twice, on top of the actual card rental fee. If I add another card tomorrow, my bill will go up another $7.50 (plus additional outlet fees). If it was just tied to my HD package, I would only have a single $6 fee on my monthly bill, no matter how many cards I rent. If I can't rent a card without paying the $6 fee, and I pay the fee for every card I rent, then I'm sorry, I call that cablecard fee.

bicker

join:2007-05-10
Burlington, MA
reply to DDR4040
Here in MA, I'm not paying $6 for my extra CableCARD (only $1.50 I think) and I am not paying anything extra for HD channels.


gar187er
I do this for a living

join:2006-06-24
Dover, DE
kudos:4
reply to DDR4040
call back, cause thats wrong man....your gettin hosed...


mistyp

@comcast.net
reply to tommyBoythec
Comcast told me that there weren't any over the counter DVRs that would work. If I wanted to be able to easily record things I pretty much had to rent their DVR.

tommyBoythec - you have Comcast and this DVR you mentions works just fine? You can record one show while watching another? You can set it up to record while you are gone; even for several days?

bobdole3696

join:2004-12-07
Fort Lauderdale, FL
reply to tjmax
Comcast told me that there weren't any over the counter DVRs that would work. If I wanted to be able to easily record things I pretty much had to rent their DVR.
Just ordered new install at my apt moving on the 1st. Comcast gave me a hard sell on the DVR, but I would never part with the Tivo.

Said things that I know were false - such as "You'll only be able to record channels 1-70 the analogs" and "Premium channels won't be able to get recorded", and "The comcast DVR is the best DVR available". LOL at them, I've been doing all the above with an SD digital box for years now.