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lorennerol
Premium
join:2003-10-29
Seattle, WA

1 edit

[DVR] Trying to get an HDMI DVR...insanity realized

Paid for a truck roll to install a new jack because I didn't understand how the house is wired (all in the walls and many coax runs). The install tech hassles me about fishing walls, which didn't have to be done...he just didn't understand what I was telling him. After it's done he remarks that he didn't have to fish any walls. Yeah, like I said.

All he has on his truck are the ancient (10 years now?) silver DVRs without HDMI. I just finished wiring the media room and didn't run any component cables, just Cat5e and HDMI.

Off to the Comcast store.

"We don't give out the 3501M for stand-alone DVR use and never have them in the store."

"Okay, I'll take a 3400."

"We don't have any of those, either."

"The guy in front of me just returned one."

"We can't give that out."

"How do I get a HD DVR that will work in my room?"

"Come back another day. We might have one. It could be a day, a week, or a year before we get one."

"It's a 45 minute drive, one-way, and a minimum 30 minute wait in line. Can't I call in advance?"

"No."

I leave and call Comcast, where I'm connected with "Advanced Customer Care". This lady informs me that they have no inventory system, so they don't know what's in the stores, when the store will get 3400s, or anything useful, for that matter.

She offers to schedule another truck roll. "It's possible that the tech would have one in his truck."

"Or we could just send you one."

"Then just send one. That would be fine."

"Well, there's no guarantee that you'll get the box you want. I can't request a specific HD DVR."

"This is insane. Can you imagine ordering something from Target and having them tell you that you might get what you want, and you also might get something else? And that you can try a local store if you don't like those odds, but there's no way to find out what's available in the store without going and standing in line?"

"We aren't Target. We don't have an inventory system."

This last statement got me. There is simply NO way that a company like Comcast doesn't have an inventory system or any idea what's going to be shipped to/received by their stores.

Blech. So is there some trick to getting a 3400 series DVR? Or a special customer care number staffed by people who can actually solve customer problems?

Or maybe DISH or DirectTV is a better solution? They might not be perfect, but this situation with Comcast is like something out of a "How not to take care of your customers" book.


mariod

join:2009-06-16

Re: Trying to get an HDMI DVR...insanity realized

Your comparison is wildly off target.

You're paying for services, not the devices that provide them. There's no indication that the services you get from Comcast are anything but what you've asked for.

Everyone pays the same price for the same services. Therefore, it is only equitable that the equipment be shipped out blindly.


mogamer

join:2011-04-20
Royal Oak, MI

said by mariod:

Your comparison is wildly off target.

You're paying for services, not the devices that provide them. There's no indication that the services you get from Comcast are anything but what you've asked for.

Everyone pays the same price for the same services. Therefore, it is only equitable that the equipment be shipped out blindly.

Doing things blindly is a terrible business model. Only a company with limited competition can get away with that.

Every warehouse has an inventory system. It's just that Comcast didn't want to take the time and money to implement one that tied all of their warehouses together into a central system.

I ran a warehouse for a manufacturer for 22 years. Believe me, we knew how many rolls of toilet paper there was in the place. Much less how much product we had and even how much product was in our other warehouses around the world.

mariod

join:2009-06-16

It's an efficient and just business model.


lorennerol
Premium
join:2003-10-29
Seattle, WA

said by mariod:

It's an efficient and just business model.

You sound like both Comcast people who failed to help me today. History is littered with companies that no longer exist due to just this sort of arrogance.


DrDrew
That others may surf
Premium
join:2009-01-28
SoCal
kudos:15
reply to lorennerol

Comcast, as do all cable companies, has a inventory system which will keep track of boxes down to the specific model and serial number. They have records that say which offices were issued and have exactly which boxes.

The problem is the people that use the system and services offered aren't centered around tracking or supporting model numbers, but a more generic non-HD, HD, DVR, MR-DVR model scheme.

So if you're looking for a particular model box or a box with a particular port, that's tough to get. If you want a HD box or DVR, they've got that.
--
If it's important, back it up... twice. Even 99.999% availability isn't enough sometimes.


dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL
reply to lorennerol

said by lorennerol:

Or maybe DISH or DirectTV is a better solution?

Or maybe NOT...they both do the very SAME thing.
An HD DVR is an HD DVR, & an SD receiver is an SD receiver.

On DirecTV, you might have started out with a shiny, latest new HR24...& if it crashes, end up getting shipped a POS HR21 as a replacement!

I agree none of these situations is good, but that's what we're all stuck with now, since both DBS providers decided to go with the "cable lease" model...


trythisfirst

@comcast.net
reply to lorennerol

It's the end of the year, start of the new business year. Inventory is always low this time of year although in my area we are doing ok, the new stuff goes straight out and doesn't always come back.



bryank

join:2000-03-23
Plainfield, IL
reply to lorennerol

LOL, you might be better off just going to friends/relatives house and stealing theirs.


mariod

join:2009-06-16

1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to lorennerol

Arrogant treating people equally?



joako
Premium
join:2000-09-07
/dev/null
kudos:6
reply to lorennerol

Yes they can't guarantee anything but just have them schedule a free truck roll to bring the box you need. If they don't have the box you need they will need to keep on scheduling free truck rolls until someone does and that costs them money.

There is no way they can honor your request for a specific model, but they should have no problem with honoring a basic reasonable request for a DVR with HDMI.
--
PRescott7-2097



mistook

@comcast.net

said by joako:

Yes they can't guarantee anything but just have them schedule a free truck roll to bring the box you need. If they don't have the box you need they will need to keep on scheduling free truck rolls until someone does and that costs them money.

There is no way they can honor your request for a specific model, but they should have no problem with honoring a basic reasonable request for a DVR with HDMI.

You're sadly mistaken if you think that a truck roll is free. It's not. As has been said, the only way to get a SPECIFIC box is to go into the local office and request it. If they have it they'll give it to you. If not, try again. All HD-DVR's put out 1080i regardless as to if it's HDMI or component, commitment met by the company.


djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO
reply to lorennerol

DirecTV is sort of like that - if you exchange your leased hardware they can't guarantee what you'll receive. The only workaround is to demand a service credit so you can go "purchase" the particular receiver you want from a third party retailer.

However, their HD receivers all at least have HDMI.
--
AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011
Rethink Billable.



joako
Premium
join:2000-09-07
/dev/null
kudos:6
reply to mistook

said by mistook :

said by joako:

Yes they can't guarantee anything but just have them schedule a free truck roll to bring the box you need. If they don't have the box you need they will need to keep on scheduling free truck rolls until someone does and that costs them money.

There is no way they can honor your request for a specific model, but they should have no problem with honoring a basic reasonable request for a DVR with HDMI.

You're sadly mistaken if you think that a truck roll is free. It's not. As has been said, the only way to get a SPECIFIC box is to go into the local office and request it. If they have it they'll give it to you. If not, try again. All HD-DVR's put out 1080i regardless as to if it's HDMI or component, commitment met by the company.

In this case there should be no charge. The customer has done everything to get the proper equipment and Comcast has been unable to provide it. The customer has already paid for 1 installation appointment and also waited in line at the service center. Had Comcast sent out a properly equipped tech on the first visit none of this should have been necessary. I am sure if the customer pushes the matter Comcast will offer a service credit or refund the original installation charge.

Last time I was in this situation I went to the Comast office, no HDMI DVR I called 800-COMCAST and they sent someone to my home the next day with the correct equipment and of course there was no charge.
--
PRescott7-2097


newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·Comcast
reply to mistook

said by mistook :

All HD-DVR's put out 1080i regardless as to if it's HDMI or component, commitment met by the company.

I spent Saturday morning re-wiring my parent's crappy Comcast install where their Scientific Atlanta Explorer 3250HD was cabled via component connections. This so-called HD box did not even have an HDMI out connection (what the hell is THAT about?!) ... I had to use the DVI out and use a DVI-to-HDMI adapter. The resulting picture was 100% better. In this case the commitment was to Comcast's bottom line ... NOT to the customer. It's a crappy box and purposely installed the least expensive way ... typical Comcast.

rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA

The least expensive would be hdmi not component.



DrDrew
That others may surf
Premium
join:2009-01-28
SoCal
kudos:15
reply to newview

said by newview:

This so-called HD box did not even have an HDMI out connection (what the hell is THAT about?!) ... I had to use the DVI out and use a DVI-to-HDMI adapter.

Funny thing is for quite a while many purposely avoided HDMI and wanted boxes without it because of the many issues HDCP was causing...

I think most cable companies, including Verizon, commonly hookup HD boxes with component to avoid the random issues that HDMI has caused by HDCP on some TVs and other devices. HDMI is done on request though...
--
If it's important, back it up... twice. Even 99.999% availability isn't enough sometimes.

mariod

join:2009-06-16
reply to newview

said by newview:

I had to use the DVI out and use a DVI-to-HDMI adapter. The resulting picture was 100% better.

The picture from a DVI-HDMI connection was "100% better" than a component connection??

That statement defies science and logic.

lorennerol
Premium
join:2003-10-29
Seattle, WA
reply to lorennerol

The silver HD DVR boxes are in the neighborhood of 10 years old. They do not have HDMI out and if the demand for HDMI is as great as the reps who didn't help me today claim, most or all of those boxes should be retired. They've long since been fully depreciated.

To be clear: This install is for a ceiling-mounted projector. I just spent months tearing apart, wiring the rooms (speakers, video, contol, etc), repairing sheetrock, and painting. I did not run any component cables, so using one of the aforementioned ancient HD DVRs is not possible without tearing the ceiling apart again.

Most people don't know the difference between the boxes or don't care. The guy in front of me who returned the 3400 said he wanted a DVR with a clock "like the one I used to have". So he'd rather have a clock than HDMI. So for people who do know the difference, I think Comcast would be well served to have a system that allows customers to get what they want...without effectively playing the lottery by paying for a truck roll, wasting gas and time going to a store, or waiting 7-10 business days and paying shipping charges. These are the three choices, none of which is guaranteed to satisfy the customer. What a phenomenal waste of time, energy, and customer goodwill. And it's all easily avoided.



Master Wolfe

join:2009-04-04
Panama City Beach, FL

Click for full size
My "silver HD DVR box" (RNG200) does have HDMI. Don't know or care how old it is, but it works.


newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·Comcast
reply to mariod

said by mariod:

said by newview:

I had to use the DVI out and use a DVI-to-HDMI adapter. The resulting picture was 100% better.

The picture from a DVI-HDMI connection was "100% better" than a component connection??

That statement defies science and logic.

Regardless of what YOU think ... three other people in the room (besides myself) viewing the resulting picture said the same thing.


Floppy

join:2002-07-03

said by newview:

said by mariod:

said by newview:

I had to use the DVI out and use a DVI-to-HDMI adapter. The resulting picture was 100% better.

The picture from a DVI-HDMI connection was "100% better" than a component connection??

That statement defies science and logic.

Regardless of what YOU think ... three other people in the room (besides myself) viewing the resulting picture said the same thing.

I agree with Mariod, but I guess in your case perception is 9/10s of the law.


OSUGoose

join:2007-12-27
Columbus, OH
reply to mogamer

Oh they know what they have just no one but the warehouse probally uses it, or knows how to access it.



airwavz
Always the green wire

join:2011-09-11
Mount Juliet, TN
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to mariod

You can rest assured that a DVI (Digital Video Interface) connection is FAR superior to a component (analog) connection, assuming a relatively new digital TV. To state otherwise "defies science and logic".

100% better may not be technically 'correct', but it is a common expression and conveys the poster's perception of the degree of improvement.



Master Wolfe

join:2009-04-04
Panama City Beach, FL

Not trying to get into the middle of this, but found this here.

»www.ecoustics.com/electronics/pr···868.html

Isn't Digital Just Better?

It is often supposed by writers on this subject that "digital is better." Digital signal transfer, it is assumed, is error-free, while analog signals are always subject to some amount of degradation and information loss. There is an element of truth to this argument, but it tends to fly in the face of real-world considerations. First, there is no reason why any perceptible degradation of an analog component video signal should occur even over rather substantial distances; the maximum runs in home theater installations do not present a challenge for analog cabling built to professional standards. Second, it is a flawed assumption to suppose that digital signal handling is always error-free. DVI and HDMI signals aren't subject to error correction; once information is lost, it's lost for good. That is not a consideration with well-made cable over short distances, but can easily become a factor at distance.



newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·Comcast
reply to airwavz

said by airwavz:

You can rest assured that a DVI (Digital Video Interface) connection is FAR superior to a component (analog) connection, assuming a relatively new digital TV. To state otherwise "defies science and logic".

C/Net Agrees ...

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAHpt-A2h5E

mariod

join:2009-06-16

1 recommendation

reply to airwavz

said by newview:

Regardless of what YOU think ... three other people in the room (besides myself) viewing the resulting picture said the same thing.

said by airwavz:

You can rest assured that a DVI (Digital Video Interface) connection is FAR superior to a component (analog) connection, assuming a relatively new digital TV. To state otherwise "defies science and logic".

100% better may not be technically 'correct', but it is a common expression and conveys the poster's perception of the degree of improvement.

That may be the perception, but its wrong.

The ONLY non-3d (because that utilizes two way communication) benefit of HDMI is simplification of wires. It turns four cords (3 component and an audio) into one cord. HDMI provides ABSOLUTELY ZERO improvement on audio or video quality over component and optical cables.

The only real world possibly is that the component jack out of the STB, or into the TV/Receiver, is degraded/dirty while the DVI/HDMI jack is not.

Barring that, your 100% improvement is pure placebo effect.


airwavz
Always the green wire

join:2011-09-11
Mount Juliet, TN
kudos:1

1 recommendation

said by mariod:

The ONLY non-3d benefit of HDMI is simplification of wires. It turns four cords (3 component and an audio) into one cord. HDMI provides ABSOLUTELY ZERO improvement on audio or video quality over component and optical cables.

The only real world possibly is that the component jack out of the STB, or into the TV/Receiver, is degraded/dirty while the DVI/HDMI jack is not.

Barring that, your 100% improvement is pure placebo effect.

A Digital connection provides many benefits in addition to the reduction of cables - an analog signal is subject to noise, electrical interference, phase degradation, capacitance of the cable causing high frequency distortion/loss, etc. while a digital connection is virtually immune to all but the strongest of electrical interference and suffers no phase or capacitance anomalies. It's not about the cable, it's the format of the signal. The results are scientifically demonstrable.

Now perception is a personal matter, as I still prefer a quality analog audio recording over a typical digital one, but it can be shown on an oscilloscope or spectrum analyzer that the digital recording is much more accurate when compared to the original. Whether recording medium or transmission medium, digital is more 'accurate' than analog. You may see "ABSOLUTELY ZERO improvement" with HDMI or DVI, but the reality is that a digital connection conveys the HD video signal far more accurately than ANY analog connection is capable of. It's not my opinion, it is a fact - which any electrical engineer with experience in both mediums will gladly confirm. As a veteran of the broadcast industry of OVER 30 YEARS, I can assure you I've dealt with multitudes of both analog and digital connections, and digital is ALWAYS the most accurate connection/transport method.
I can also add that I too started with a component connection from my STB to my HDTV - swapping the box for a different model with HDMI improved MY picture "100%" -

It's not rocket science, but it IS science...

CTMustang
Premium
join:2007-09-10
France
reply to mariod

said by mariod:

said by newview:

Regardless of what YOU think ... three other people in the room (besides myself) viewing the resulting picture said the same thing.

said by airwavz:

You can rest assured that a DVI (Digital Video Interface) connection is FAR superior to a component (analog) connection, assuming a relatively new digital TV. To state otherwise "defies science and logic".

100% better may not be technically 'correct', but it is a common expression and conveys the poster's perception of the degree of improvement.

That may be the perception, but its wrong.

The ONLY non-3d (because that utilizes two way communication) benefit of HDMI is simplification of wires. It turns four cords (3 component and an audio) into one cord. HDMI provides ABSOLUTELY ZERO improvement on audio or video quality over component and optical cables.

The only real world possibly is that the component jack out of the STB, or into the TV/Receiver, is degraded/dirty while the DVI/HDMI jack is not.

Barring that, your 100% improvement is pure placebo effect.

HDMI VS Component, you can clearly see a difference in my home. I have no idea if the cause is because the wires run real close to two subwoofers, or through the closet that houses all my security/internet/audio stuff but there is a CLEAR difference and HDMI is the winner.

miscDude

join:2005-03-24
Hendersonville, NC

1 recommendation

reply to lorennerol

Unless you are looking at cheap as hell cables, bad connections, an above average cable run, or an EXTREMELY noisy environment, It's highly unlikely that you will notice any major difference from a signal sent from a cable STB to a TV via HDMI or Component cabling. With a typical 3ft-6ft cable, That's just not enough length for the digital vs. analog signal degradation to really become a factor.

Keep in mind, this is talking about a Cable STB signal. HD video from cable providers is only sent at 720p or 1080i, which a Component cable is perfectly cable of sending. Other HDVideo Sources (such as BluRay Players) can be capable of 1080p and increased frame rates, in which case HDMI is the only way to go. You are also talking about a source video sent via RF and compressed, so the source Video is going to be impacted long before your little 6ft component cable has any chance to impact the video signal.

Now, There COULD be other factors that can impact the Component vs. HDMI Image quality beyond simple subjectivity of the viewer, but these have nothing to do with the quality of the input signal and EVERYTHING to do with the display device. Specifically:

* Most modern monitors will have different video settings for each input. Your HDMI input could very well have better tuned Noise Correction, contrast, color quality, sharpness, or GAMMA settings for your environment. Remember that the "factory Default" settings are often tuned for under florescent lighting on a store's sale floor and not typical lighting for home viewing.

* Monitor's Signal processors. You Monitor needs to convert whatever incoming signal into the picture. depending on the quality of those processors, there is always a chance that it might handle some signal types better than others. It could also automatically add additional processing to some input types to sharpen or "correct" an image.