Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I've had it with this POS DVR from Comcast

I've lived in a Comcast market ever since I moved to Eagan in 2002. Since 2005, I had a Motorola DVR box. It wasn't the greatest, but it did what I needed it to do and it was passable. It had its quirks, like it would inepxplicably freeze on a screen for a bit and queue up remote commands and then unleash them all at once. But once you got used to that, it was a minor annoyance more than anything.

I transferred this box to our apartment in Eagan for the few months that we lived there, but when we bought a place in Minneapolis, I was told I'd have to get a new box since the Motorola boxes were not compatible with the Minneapolis market (it's an old Time-Warner market that had flip flopped with comcast, and they use Cisco (Scientific Atlanta) equipment).

Well, the Cisco box that I have now is an utter piece of crap compared to even the Motorola box. It can't do series priority at all, and my wife likes to record a lot of shit on HGTV and stuff like that which is on multiple times per day. What ends up happening is that the box stops recording other things I want to record randomly, and I don't figure it out till I realize it hasn't recorded. It's maddening. The Motorola DVR also had the (undocumented) ability to program a skip button. No such luck on this thing. There's a lot of other things about this Cisco box that just plain suck but those are the two most glaring weaknesses.

On the suggestion of more than one person on the various AV forums, I started checking out the Tivo HD DVR. When I last checked out Tivo a few years ago, the Series III was just coming out. It was really what I would have wanted, but the pricetag, north of 750 if I recall, was out of the question, especially compared to the serviceable motorola dvr I already had.

Flash forward to now, and Comcast is charging me 15.99/month for this piece of shit box that's far inferior to the Moto box I had before (for the same price). Tivo's 12.99 per month (and can get even cheaper if I pre-pay) and the box is only 250. Seems like a no brainer. Comcast will even provide the cable card the box uses for free.

The Tivo box can also do a lot of other stuff, like watch netflix on demand movies and access Amazon's movie library as well. My wife will dig that.

Gonna make the leap. Comcast can take this DVR and shove it...