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jesoma

join:2012-07-09
Westborough, MA

[CATV] new set top boxes anytime soon

Anybody have any news when Charter may update/upgrade our cable boxes. I am seriously thinking of moving on to either Directv or Dish. They seem to roll new versions every 6 months or so and we are stuck with our Model T's.


curious12345

@charter.com
What model type do you have? Charter has like 10 different boxes now.

mdavej

join:2004-06-09
united state
It doesn't matter how many they have. All Charter's DVR's are laughably antiquated. Satellite boxes are far more advanced.

However, you can upgrade to windows media center with a cable card tuner today and keep Charter, save a ton of money and get a better DVR than any other cable or satellite service. I did this last year and couldn't be happier.

Besides the huge difference in price, here's what media center has over DirecTV: 11 line guide with channel icons, 2 hr live buffer, netflix and hulu integration, no fee for server or client boxes (besides cable card), streaming recordings to any client anywhere (not just inside home), remote recording management, and far lower power consumption. It's a similar story with Dish. Realize also that Dish is missing the HD ABC/Disney networks. And although Dish has auto commercial skipping on network recordings, you can accomplish something similar on media center with a few add-on programs.

jesoma

join:2012-07-09
Westborough, MA
From what I understand I would only save $25, what it costs for two dvr boxes. I still would have to pay for my silver package plus cable card. I guess $25 is $25 though. What's your setup tuner card, etc?
Thanks.

mdavej

join:2004-06-09
united state
I put about $150 worth of upgrades into an old PC (new 2TB drive $90, new video card $15, more memory $40), added a Ceton PCIe InfiniTV ($100 used), and picked up a couple of xbox 360 slim's on craigslist for $100 each as extenders. If you need more than 4 tuners, you can get a second Ceton. Also need a $15 MCE remote and IR dongle which I use with a universal remote. All paid for itself in about 10 months, the rest is gravy. The only reason I do it is for the cost savings. If money wasn't a concern, I'd just go back to satellite.

One drawback is you lose On Demand. If that's important, you should keep your DVRs.


anon anon

@charter.com
said by mdavej:

I put about $150 worth of upgrades into an old PC (new 2TB drive $90, new video card $15, more memory $40), added a Ceton PCIe InfiniTV ($100 used), and picked up a couple of xbox 360 slim's on craigslist for $100 each as extenders. If you need more than 4 tuners, you can get a second Ceton. Also need a $15 MCE remote and IR dongle which I use with a universal remote. All paid for itself in about 10 months, the rest is gravy. The only reason I do it is for the cost savings. If money wasn't a concern, I'd just go back to satellite.

All that adds up to $450. Also what kind of video card can you get for $15? And I'm not getting the XBOXes as extenders thing?

desarollo

join:2011-10-01
Monroe, MI
reply to jesoma
He is using XBOX systems on other TVs as opposed to making up another PC to replace a cable box. Windows Media center will permit you to watch TV with your XBOX as long as the content is managed via Windows on a PC somewhere on your network.

A better cable tuner is the HD Homerun which has beta DLNA firmware. It works, and it is a dream if you want to run MythTV.

Disadvantage of Myth though is any content flagged no copy or copy once won't work; which as of today is only premium channels on Charter.

mdavej

join:2004-06-09
united state
reply to anon anon
I think the card was a Radeon HD6450 on clearance with rebates and all that jazz. You may not even need a card if your PC is fairly new. I just had dropped frames at times, so needed a little more horsepower. Whether you need a new video card or not will be immediately obvious to you the first time you watch TV.

If you are familiar with Dish or DirecTV, Xboxes are equivalent to Joeys or C31s. They interface with your main DVR (PC) for viewing live and recorded TV. The Ceton Echo is another good alternative to Xbox, but is more expensive. There are other ways, but extenders are the simplest.

Myth and HD HomeRun Primes are certainly good options. The copy protection issue is the only thing keep me from doing something like that.

When considering my payback period, I was thinking my former 4 cable box system was around $40, plus some of the parts I already owned for reasons unrelated to cable TV. But you are correct the initial cost can be a little steep and isn't for everyone.