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signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
kudos:5

[DVR] Questions about DVR service

I called Comcast tonight and asked them what it would cost for a DVR and service and was told it is 7 bucks, so I ordered it (I start my workdays waking up at 4:30 AM so I need a DVR to catch my shows). Is that really what it costs a month and are the DVRs like Optimum Online, where you have to deal with the annoying remote site storage, with the lag, or does the DVR have a hard drive in it?

How much will I be able to store on it? How good is DVR service? I am in CT.
--
Join Teams Helix and Discovery. Rest in Peace, Leonard David Smith, my best friend, you are missed badly! Rest in peace, Pop, glad our last years were good. Please pray for Colin, he has ependymoma, a brain cancer, donate to a children's Hospital.

yhp

join:2006-12-27
Philadelphia, PA
Comcast DVR does mean you have a hard drive in the house, and $7/mo is really the going rate, although some customers might be required to subscribe to a certain minimum tier of TV service and equipment rental before becoming eligible for DVR service. Sounds like you don't have that problem and are already meeting the minimum requirement.

But DVR service is just that - service. The cable box "phones home" to make sure you are a DVR customer before allowing any DVR functionality - including recording and playing. If there's a complete cable service failure to your home, for example, you won't be able to watch the recorded programs on the hard drive in your living room until cable service is restored and you are again verified as a DVR customer.

Finally, the DVR-recorded programs are not streamed from the home office and susceptible to network lags - the raw data is on the hard drive.

Russ6

join:2011-03-17
Houston, TX
kudos:1
reply to signmeuptoo
said by signmeuptoo:

I called Comcast tonight and asked them what it would cost for a DVR and service and was told it is 7 bucks, so I ordered it (I start my workdays waking up at 4:30 AM so I need a DVR to catch my shows). Is that really what it costs a month and are the DVRs like Optimum Online, where you have to deal with the annoying remote site storage, with the lag, or does the DVR have a hard drive in it?

How much will I be able to store on it? How good is DVR service? I am in CT.

The DVR costs vary between Comcast areas and additional charges may be added such as HD technology fee or Additional Outlet fee depending on what equipment you get. The DVR has a hard drive in it so there is no lag.

A Comcast area will use either Motorola DVRs or Cisco/Scientific Atlanta DVRs. Some areas may also use DVRs from second source companies. Comcast has introduced the X1 Pace Gateway (DVR) in a few markets. The DVR Guide software varies based on the three main companies. The interface for both Motorola and Cisco/Scientific Atlanta DVRs looks like it is from the 90s, but it usually records your scheduled shows. The X1 Pace Gateway (DVR) has a more modern interface but there are reports that it has more bugs.

The storage varies based on the size of the hard drive which varies between models. I have seen drive sizes from 80 GB (older standard definition DVR) to 500 GB (newer high definition AnyRoom DVR). With Cisco/Scientific Atlanta DVRs, you can add an external hard drive to increase the amount of storage. Also, it takes more storage to record shows in High Definition.
--
SA 8300 HD DVRs with Patched S25 Guide
Links:
'S25 Guide Blog' 'Schedule' 'Info' 'Patch Thread'


FifthE1ement
Tech Nut

join:2005-03-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
reply to yhp
said by yhp:

Comcast DVR does mean you have a hard drive in the house, and $7/mo is really the going rate, although some customers might be required to subscribe to a certain minimum tier of TV service and equipment rental before becoming eligible for DVR service. Sounds like you don't have that problem and are already meeting the minimum requirement.

But DVR service is just that - service. The cable box "phones home" to make sure you are a DVR customer before allowing any DVR functionality - including recording and playing. If there's a complete cable service failure to your home, for example, you won't be able to watch the recorded programs on the hard drive in your living room until cable service is restored and you are again verified as a DVR customer.

Finally, the DVR-recorded programs are not streamed from the home office and susceptible to network lags - the raw data is on the hard drive.

First I've never heard of Comcast turning down the DVR for any fee as long as you have TV service at all.

Secondly the DVR service NEVER phones home (at least in Motorola markets)! It does authorize on first use but I've used my DVR after hurricanes! Power was back but TV service was not so we watched everything on the DVR to kill time. Recently the cable went out (as did net) for 3 hours and I watched the DVR! My box, even if not connected, still allows for DVR to work on power-on.

Third, Comcast offers OnDemand, which is similar to network DVR's but like the OG OP said it's laggy and control prone. But yes, unless your in the pilot program, DVR's drive is in your home (network DVR with whole-home DVR too).

5th
--
"The relationship between what we see and what we know is never settled..."

dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL
said by FifthE1ement:

Secondly the DVR service NEVER phones home (at least in Motorola markets)! It does authorize on first use but I've used my DVR after hurricanes! Power was back but TV service was not so we watched everything on the DVR to kill time. Recently the cable went out (as did net) for 3 hours and I watched the DVR! My box, even if not connected, still allows for DVR to work on power-on.

But if the power (to the DVR box) goes out, (& your cable service is STILL out) I believe it will NOT be able to come back up at all for any functions - including watching DVR'd shows...


jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1
My moto dcx3400 plays previously recorded content perfectly without being connected to the cable feed.

dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL
said by jack b:

My moto dcx3400 plays previously recorded content perfectly without being connected to the cable feed.

Again, what if the power goes out while you don't have a cable feed? IOW, have you tried disconnecting the cable feed to the DVR, THEN unplugging it from the power? I'd be willing to bet it will NOT come back up, for you to watch ANY pre-recorded shows...


FifthE1ement
Tech Nut

join:2005-03-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
said by dishrich:

said by jack b:

My moto dcx3400 plays previously recorded content perfectly without being connected to the cable feed.

Again, what if the power goes out while you don't have a cable feed? IOW, have you tried disconnecting the cable feed to the DVR, THEN unplugging it from the power? I'd be willing to bet it will NOT come back up, for you to watch ANY pre-recorded shows...

On my Moto DCX3400 I just tested it and the DVR works fine after I first unplugged the cable and then pulled the power. When the box starts pressing the DVR button brings up the recordings and it works fine. Now my area uses mainly Motorola boxes and recently the newer Pace boxes too so I'm not sure about other areas and systems?
--
"The relationship between what we see and what we know is never settled..."

andyross
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-04
Schaumburg, IL
I have noticed that on a reboot, the Motorola box starts with the 'stock' iGuide. MyDVR goes directly to your recordings for example. After a few minutes, it starts downloading the customized menus. Recently, that has caused the DVR functions to disappear for awhile. It can take 20-30 minutes before it finishes downloading the menus and everything is back to normal.

yhp

join:2006-12-27
Philadelphia, PA

I have noticed that on a reboot, the Motorola box starts with the 'stock' iGuide. MyDVR goes directly to your recordings for example. After a few minutes, it starts downloading the customized menus. Recently, that has caused the DVR functions to disappear for awhile. It can take 20-30 minutes before it finishes downloading the menus and everything is back to normal.

That's pretty much all I was trying to say. I knew it would result in a flurry of ZOMG!!1! THIS NEVER HAPPENS posts.

After a power-out or unexplained/unexpected reset to the box as happened last weekend to our DCX3400, full DVR functionality is MIA for about 20-30 minutes while the full menu set is restored, as andyross indicates.

However, I HAVE noticed that if the box reset/software/service reload interrupts a live recording, the box actually pretty quickly resumes that recording even though you can't get to pretty much any function, even MENU. Apparently recording resumption is prioritized and it is pretty much the only robust thing about our service, IMHO.


FifthE1ement
Tech Nut

join:2005-03-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
I just tested it again and I don't know what you guys are talking about? Yeah normally when you press the dvr button it takes you to my recordings, set a recoding, manage my dvr, etc but after the power goes out and the cable is out pressing the dvr button simply takes you to directly to my recordings. I couldn't make any new recordings or change any settings but I could still watch anything I already had recorded with no loss of service. I consider that 100% functionality, as I don't care about changing settings when all I want to do is watch what I already have? AndyRoss, you lose complete control of watching any previously recorded items for 20 mins? My box also goes back to stock iGuide and then starts loading all the menus and guide info back but I never lose the ability to watch my DVR recordings. Sometimes when the box first starts it will say DVR not available but then you quickly press the DVR button again and it goes away. I'm not saying that the DVR function doesn't disappear in other markets or other boxes but not on mine or any other DCT/DCH/DCX boxes I've used in the past.
--
"The relationship between what we see and what we know is never settled..."

andyross
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-04
Schaumburg, IL
I noticed it the past few reboots, when I forced it. Most reboots tend to occur overnight and so everything is working.

It is a bit scary, as you cannot access any DVR recordings or even the schedule. All you can access is a few DVR settings in the menus. I guess it may depend on just how customized your area is, and maybe just when you check. If the OOB isn't too busy, or you hit it at the right time, it may go faster. I'm not certain if the box requests the menus, or if it's one of those looped data things that it just has to sit and wait for.

I'm not certain what the data rate for the OOB channel is, but I think it's getting saturated. Between the huge amount of guide data given the number of channels, the network control, VOD control and menus, etc...