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Old 06-23-2013, 09:06 AM   #1
gothaggis
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Comcast X1 vs Tivo

Has anyone used the 'new' (to my area) comcast x1 dvr? i'm wondering how it compares to tivo and if it may be worth changing from using a tivo premier to the x1
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:36 PM   #2
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I'm curious too.

Actually, I got a flier in the mail, which is the first I've heard of it but it's not clear that it's actually available in my area.

But reading around in the broadbandreports.com forums, I learned that Comcast is already talking about X2 and X3 and "cloud DVR" service, which would be tuner-less DVRs.

Curious about the speed of the interface and how it connects with mobile devices.

The flier says Triple Play with X1 DVR for $99 for the first year. It's not clear which level of digital package that includes. HBO for only 3 months and the DVR service is only for the first 6 months and costs $20 a month thereafter.

But maybe this DVR is actually worth $20 a month compared to the crappy old Motorolas for which they charged $16.95 a month. X1 is suppose to be whole home and have some kinds of set top boxes.

It's a little absurd that Comcast is talking about newer models when very few people have the X1 apparently. It's only being offered to new Triple Play customers.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:18 AM   #3
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I enjoy reading the terror that is the x1 over in their support forum.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:11 AM   #4
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It's a little absurd that Comcast is talking about newer models when very few people have the X1 apparently.
I think they are referring to the X series as more than just the hardware box. From what I can tell, the X2 and X3 could even just be SW updates.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:07 PM   #5
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I signed up for the top tier triple play and Comcast went into a hard sell on why the X1 is better than my TiVos. They stated it has 5 tuners, but after some research, I found that it has four plus the ablity to watch a prerecorded program, just like the Elite. They also said it would be "free" for me, but knowing Comcast, I suspect that would change after I became used to it. Their sales pitch seemed to me to largely be why the X1 is better than their old "crummy" Motorola boxes (crummy was their word--and I can't agree more relative to the old box) In any case, "free" doesn't exist for me with having to pay $.41/kw hour as I do in California so I didn't bother to take them up on their free offer. Apparently the "On Demand" is better in the X1, but I rarely use it in any case--I like being able to skip commercials.
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:35 PM   #6
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Arrow

I was tempted by the X1, since it does look pretty... but there's still one or two bugs they're working on:

-No record light. (For like a year+ they've been trying to fix this!)
-clock sometimes works, sometimes doesn't show
-Borken conflict notification/resolution system.. What gets recorded is a surprise! ... There used to be none at all, so it's somewhat of an upgrade!
-Shows being recorded can take up to 45 minutes to show up in your list... So you never know if its recording your shows
-sometimes simply doesn't record for unknown reasons
-Only 2 tuners available for recording, and one dedicated to live tv- 4 keeps being promised
-X1 non-dvr boxes are supposed to stream recordings from the main box, but they don't tell you that its not working yet till you've got em installed
-the back end has gone down more than once for days and you're totally SOL
-no way to jump ahead in the guide. If you click show by show days ahead to find a show, when you return to the guide you have to click all the way back
-recorded shows disappear and (sometimes) reappear
-free space gets gobbled up for no reason
-crashy/ many errors that require reboots
-reboots can take up to 15 minutes!
-boxes refuse to select or stay in the right resolution and/or sound mode
-can only add 5 minutes on end of recording to buffer
- no 'input select' button on remote (only a problem for some)
-pairing between remote and box can get screwy
-few buttons on remote, have to do many functions (some folks hate this)
-features/functions stop and start working irregardless of user or comcasts troubleshooting efforts
-apps they advertise not on non-dvr boxes

Just a couple of the issues I can recall offhand. Comcast keeps consolidating, and then closing the threads in the support forum with most problems just continuing on
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:41 PM   #7
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Looking to switch to Comcast, take some promo deal which would save me about 1/3 per month.

But the choices are to get Tivo and Tivo Mini now or build a WMC and get an Xbox 360 as an extender.

Really rotten choices, given that Tivo is due for an upgrade and Xbox 360 should be price cut by the holiday season.

So I was hoping I could get this X1 for about a year but it sounds like it simply is broken, if the forums are indicative.

It's really a sad comment on the state of DVRs in this country. Americans pay more for less. Tivo may work but you pay through the nose for really antiquated hardware.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:39 AM   #8
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So I was hoping I could get this X1 for about a year but it sounds like it simply is broken, if the forums are indicative.
You always have to be careful with assuming that any forum site is indicative.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:31 PM   #9
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You always have to be careful with assuming that any forum site is indicative.
I would normally agree with you, but they have reps in their forum who actively monitor the threads and have agreed that most of the issues I listed are real and/or ongoing ones.. Including system-wide multi day outages, or another time when everyones recordings all disappeared for days, no record light ever working, no multi-room viewing, only two recording tuners despite advertising four, etc. Their fix is to close threads after a while, and when someone notes one of the ongoing issues in the new thread they put a standard "thank you, we have now notified the developers" message.

You can even enjoy people over time go from "gosh it's pretty" to "gosh it's broken". One comment was "it's like a supermodel... all looks, no brains"

Some things have gotten better. It used to have no recording conflict notification whatsoever. It would just record the latest two shows it was asked to. Now it sometimes tells you of a recording conflict... And In some cases, Even if there isn't actually one.

I Desperately want it to work... Competition might put a fire under tivo's butt, or give us a good alternative...

Edit to add: and this was supposed to be cloud-based, and a year later it still isn't! I will be quiet now....


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Old 07-03-2013, 03:47 PM   #10
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Tivo must want too much for Comcast to be rolling their own.
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:57 PM   #11
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I like owning my own hardware, thank you very much. Comcast doesn't even have multi-room DVR in my area LOL. Every other area seems to have it, and for some reason, even though the Cisco hardware support it, they don't support it.

Cable is only worth it if you use it with CableCard (TiVo). Otherwise, DirecTV is the way to go.
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:51 AM   #12
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I Desperately want it to work... Competition might put a fire under tivo's butt, or give us a good alternative...
One really wonders why the programmers behind DVRs are so piss-poor.

Then again, it's probably because a cablebox DVR is a "don't care" situation. As long as it records, ship it. Anything more costs money.

TiVo though has to earn your money - if they released crap like a cablebox DVR, no one would buy a TiVo or pay for service.

So there's already a reason for TiVo to at least try to do a decent job - their butts are on the line. Of course, there's huge problems with TiVo, but the basic functionality seems to just work and do the right thing.
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:19 PM   #13
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One really wonders why the programmers behind DVRs are so piss-poor.

Then again, it's probably because a cablebox DVR is a "don't care" situation. As long as it records, ship it. Anything more costs money.

TiVo though has to earn your money - if they released crap like a cablebox DVR, no one would buy a TiVo or pay for service.

So there's already a reason for TiVo to at least try to do a decent job - their butts are on the line. Of course, there's huge problems with TiVo, but the basic functionality seems to just work and do the right thing.
The problem is that they're currently so far beyond what the cable companies put out, and they don't have any direct competition, so they don't have a fire under their butt as much as they should. And there likely won't be another competitor because so few people choose to use CableCard.
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Old 07-23-2013, 03:09 PM   #14
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I've been a long time Comcast customer, and I have Tivo's on 2 TVs. Comcast just offered me a new package which will cost me about $40 less per month for more premium channels plus a free DVR. First, she told me they were going to give me an X1 box and send out an installer because the X1 requires special installation. Then she came back and said they can't give me the X1 it will conflict with my Tivo's, so they're sending me whatever their last version of an HD DVR box is instead. Does anyone know why an X1 box hooked up to one TV would cause conflicts with Tivo boxes hooked up to different TVs? This doesn't make sense, but I'm no electronics expert.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:56 PM   #15
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I've been a long time Comcast customer, and I have Tivo's on 2 TVs. Comcast just offered me a new package which will cost me about $40 less per month for more premium channels plus a free DVR. First, she told me they were going to give me an X1 box and send out an installer because the X1 requires special installation. Then she came back and said they can't give me the X1 it will conflict with my Tivo's, so they're sending me whatever their last version of an HD DVR box is instead. Does anyone know why an X1 box hooked up to one TV would cause conflicts with Tivo boxes hooked up to different TVs? This doesn't make sense, but I'm no electronics expert.
Only if the X1 is trying to use the same MoCA network as the TiVos, but even then you could password protect one, and run them on different channels...
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:59 AM   #16
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I've been a long time Comcast customer, and I have Tivo's on 2 TVs. Comcast just offered me a new package which will cost me about $40 less per month for more premium channels plus a free DVR. First, she told me they were going to give me an X1 box and send out an installer because the X1 requires special installation. Then she came back and said they can't give me the X1 it will conflict with my Tivo's, so they're sending me whatever their last version of an HD DVR box is instead. Does anyone know why an X1 box hooked up to one TV would cause conflicts with Tivo boxes hooked up to different TVs? This doesn't make sense, but I'm no electronics expert.
I have a TiVo premiere and a X1 DVR hooked up in the same house and I haven't run into any problems or conflicts.
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Old 07-24-2013, 11:04 AM   #17
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I've been a long time Comcast customer, and I have Tivo's on 2 TVs. Comcast just offered me a new package which will cost me about $40 less per month for more premium channels plus a free DVR. First, she told me they were going to give me an X1 box and send out an installer because the X1 requires special installation. Then she came back and said they can't give me the X1 it will conflict with my Tivo's, so they're sending me whatever their last version of an HD DVR box is instead. Does anyone know why an X1 box hooked up to one TV would cause conflicts with Tivo boxes hooked up to different TVs? This doesn't make sense, but I'm no electronics expert.
I have a Tivo Premiere and a Tivo HD box along with the X1 and I have no conflicts. The X1 was originally pretty buggy, but has been working fine after a couple of SW updates.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:46 AM   #18
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I don't want anything that might be turned into a "cloud based" system. In this context "cloud" is just a fancy word meaning "We won't let you skip over the commercials" (at least not the ones comcast inserted in the stream).
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:08 PM   #19
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I too have been a long-time Comcast customer and a Tivo user for many years as well. I've been investigating the X1 Xfinity box and find it very apples/oranges compared to a Tivo. The Xfinity X1 box could well be an nice upgrade to the existing older 2-tuner Motorola DVRs that Comcast packages with it's HD Services. I have one coming tomorrow for just that purpose and will see how it shakes out.

But comparing the Xfinity X1 "Any Room" solution to a Tivo (at this point) has some significant limitations in my mind.
  1. If you have two or more X1 DVRs, they do not share programs between them as Tivos already do. Only the DVR-less X1 Expander units can see/access what has been recorded on the X1 DVR.
  2. The X1 "Expander" units (which have no recording ability) don't allow you to pause a live program. You can pause a previously recorded program that is being watched from an X1 DVR, but cannot pause live TV on an Expander.
  3. X1 DVR recording storage is 500GB and you can't hang any external drives off the rear eSATA Disk port. Xfinity plans to launch what they call "the Cloud" sometime in the future to allow storing more saved programs, but that feature is not available yet.
  4. I can lower my monthly costs vs Tivo by switching to the Xfinity X1 solution, but with that would come a loss in capability and certainly a loss in storage.
  5. I've always disliked the "red headed stepchild" treatment that I get from using a Tivo with a CableCard and Comcast. If you call Tivo with a CableCard problem, they tell you to call Comcast. Calling Comcast will get you help, but they are certainly aware that a 3rd party device (my Tivo) is in the mix and can bring its own issues. The X1 has had its issues too and is still working out some of the bugs. So, as much as I dislike the occasional "software update induced issues" from Tivo, the Xfinity X1 is not free from those kinds of issues either. I've heard about the X1 issues from actual Comcast employees who are using the X1 units in their homes, although most are now saying that the bugs have mostly been ironed out lately.

Thought I'd share what I've found so far in looking at the Xfinity X1 solution. There could come a day when they can persuade me to exit my Tivos, but that day is not here right now.

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Old 08-05-2013, 06:33 PM   #20
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Thing keeping me from trying the X1 is that they seem to only want to get it out to Triple Play customers so you're forced to pay for Voice even if you don't need or want it.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:48 PM   #21
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  1. I can lower my monthly costs vs Tivo by switching to the Xfinity X1 solution, but with that would come a loss in capability and certainly a loss in storage.
  2. I've always disliked the "red headed stepchild" treatment that I get from using a Tivo with a CableCard and Comcast. If you call Tivo with a CableCard problem, they tell you to call Comcast. Calling Comcast will get you help, but they are certainly aware that a 3rd party device (my Tivo) is in the mix and can bring its own issues. The X1 has had its issues too and is still working out some of the bugs. So, as much as I dislike the occasional "software update induced issues" from Tivo, the Xfinity X1 is not free from those kinds of issues either. I've heard about the X1 issues from actual Comcast employees who are using the X1 units in their homes, although most are now saying that the bugs have mostly been ironed out lately.
In the not-too-long run, you can actually SAVE money with Tivo if you get a lifetime subscription.

Also, there is a specific CableCard line, not the regular Comcast number. They're WAY more helpful.

argh, it didn't let me leave the 'empty' items in there to keep the #s the same..
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:52 AM   #22
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In the not-too-long run, you can actually SAVE money with Tivo if you get a lifetime subscription.

Also, there is a specific CableCard line, not the regular Comcast number. They're WAY more helpful.

argh, it didn't let me leave the 'empty' items in there to keep the #s the same..
Yep, I'm aware of the Tivo Lifetime plan, but haven't felt (in my case) that it would have been a good choice. I pay $12.99/mo for my Tivos, so that means my units have to live over 38mos (over 3yrs) to break even on that $500 nut for the lifetime plan. My other dislike with lifetime is that it is connected to the Tivo box and dies with the box when it dies. I've already had 2 Tivos that did not survive past 3yrs. So, the Lifetime deal would not have benefited me and would have cost slightly more.

If Tivo would allow that Lifetime Plan to be connected to my membership/ownership of a Tivo (regardless of the box serial number), then I'd go for it. But having the ~$500 investment in the lifetime plan dissolve when the box dies doesn't work for me. I'm sure "mileages vary" on this stuff, but in my case it would not have been a good idea to have invested in it for every Tivo that I've owned.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:41 AM   #23
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That is a bit silly- you are discounting the fact that in addition to a simple payback you'll have an asset that is likely worth half of the value of the lifetime (trends holding true). In addition, the other tivos get discounted lifetime of $400.

You are using bad luck as evidence against all actual trends for tivo boxes- they are very reliable and hard drives are relatively easy to replace. Finally, replacement lifetime boxes are normally discounted, even if there is a problem. Did you check in here to see about repairing your old box?
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:12 AM   #24
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That is a bit silly- you are discounting the fact that in addition to a simple payback you'll have an asset that is likely worth half of the value of the lifetime (trends holding true). In addition, the other tivos get discounted lifetime of $400.

You are using bad luck as evidence against all actual trends for tivo boxes- they are very reliable and hard drives are relatively easy to replace. Finally, replacement lifetime boxes are normally discounted, even if there is a problem. Did you check in here to see about repairing your old box?
I really don't care what you deem as "silly", and certainly am not interested in your opinion when you start of with a comment like that one. I have my experiences and analysis and you have yours. I don't feel that it is a good investment (for me, which I stated). There is no need to defend the Lifetime plan choice just because someone else doesn't feel that it is right for them.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:33 AM   #25
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Back on topic, Xfinity came out today to install the X1 DVR (replacing my existing Comcast Motorola DVR). Long story short, the installation didn't happen. The Tech said they've had lots of issues with the X1 boxes unless they are installed in a "HomeRun" configuration (single cable from Cable inlet splitter to the X1 with no additional splitters). My home is not configured that way and it would require running new cable from the Cable inlet to each room/device.

The Tech was sharing that the X1 is very sensitive to having a clean signal going back to Comcast without any existing splitters or other equipment (like my Tivos) being involved. I have a couple of splitters that Comcast installed themselves, but any splitter (beyond what it takes to split at the home entrance) is an issue for the X1 according to the Xfinity Tech.

He wasn't trying to sell me a service, just speaking from lots of issues that he has seen installing the X1 into an existing older environment. I decided to just hold for now and use what is already working for me. To do a bunch of new cabling work solely to replace that one older Comcast DVR just isn't worth the effort right now. Good luck to those that move ahead with X1 too.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:05 PM   #26
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I really don't care what you deem as "silly", and certainly am not interested in your opinion when you start of with a comment like that one. I have my experiences and analysis and you have yours. I don't feel that it is a good investment (for me, which I stated). There is no need to defend the Lifetime plan choice just because someone else doesn't feel that it is right for them.
One thing about Lifetime, that I have had from my first TiVo in 2002 to now, is that my total cost over the time has been very low as I use E-Bay to sell my used TiVos, I have had as many as 6 TiVos in my home at one time (Series 2) and I am now down to 3 TP-4s + one Mini, all lifetime, in some cases I got more for my used TiVo than the total cost of the new TiVo, as we all save $100 on Lifetime and there have been deals for Lifetime at $199 for a new TP for good customers. If I sold out all my TiVos I now have my total cost per month per TiVo over the years has been less than $2.5/month. At one time Lifetime break even was less than 2 years not counting the re-sale value of the Lifetime TiVo. (I could purchase a Series 2 for $100 + $300 lifetime - $150 TiVo rebate -$30 TiVo reward program= 22 months at $10/month, back then I had the Series 2 from 2004 to 2007 or three years, then sold them for about $290 each on E-Bay) But I do agree each to their own, just giving some information about why I use Lifetime.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:28 PM   #27
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Yep, I'm aware of the Tivo Lifetime plan, but haven't felt (in my case) that it would have been a good choice. I pay $12.99/mo for my Tivos, so that means my units have to live over 38mos (over 3yrs) to break even on that $500 nut for the lifetime plan. My other dislike with lifetime is that it is connected to the Tivo box and dies with the box when it dies. I've already had 2 Tivos that did not survive past 3yrs. So, the Lifetime deal would not have benefited me and would have cost slightly more.
I don't know how many Tivos you currently have, but if it's 2, you would optimally have saved $100 on one of the lifetimes (as a current subscriber), knocking off over 7.5 months to breakeven.

I too have had a Tivo die (and mine was WAY more expensive, it was an original OLED S3), but it still lasted _about_ to the breakeven point. (I even spent a bit of money on a replacement OLED S3, hoping it was just the power supply, but it wasn't.. and if I ever get un-lazy and try to revive the drive that _also_ died which has shows on it, I may end up paying someone to transfer the crypto chip in the dead S3 to see if it can be revived).

Even after that, I lifetimed my Tivo HD (though I bought that during the time the OLED S3 was working), and the day after my cable company went ALL digital, I got a Premiere 4, lifetimed. (Though I admit I ended up paying for the vast majority of the hardware cost of that via Viggle, which was much easier to earn Best Buy gift certificates with around a year ago.)
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:48 PM   #28
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A few weeks ago I switched from DirecTV back to Comcast, and after a couple of days with the standard DVR I bought a TiVO Premiere XL4. Well, X1 has launched now in Indianapolis and today is the last day I can return my TiVO to Best Buy.

For those who have both, which one do you like the most? I enjoy the TiVO enough, but X1 looks really cool. I'd appreciate any (quick) responses - I have 4 hours left!
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:28 PM   #29
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Will Comcast even let you add the X1 to your account?

Out here in CA, they only offer it as part of Triple Play packages with a 2-year contract.

Tivo is suppose to come out with new models this fall so I don't know about spending a lot of money on current models either.

However, my understanding is the X1 is very rough around the edges.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:29 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDoodle View Post
I really don't care what you deem as "silly", and certainly am not interested in your opinion when you start of with a comment like that one. I have my experiences and analysis and you have yours. I don't feel that it is a good investment (for me, which I stated). There is no need to defend the Lifetime plan choice just because someone else doesn't feel that it is right for them.
The problem here is that your analysis of Tivo cost vs. X1 is faulty, as jtroo pointed out (for a number of reasons) - lifetime is $400 not $500, ignoring resale value of lifetime Tivos, failing to mention that you have to have Triple Play to get the X1, ignoring or not understanding the ease of simply replacing a bad Tivo hard drive, etc.

Triple Play requirement in particular is a non-starter, I haven't paid for landline service in over 2 years and it's very easy to get a Double Play pkg from Comcast at significant savings. And there's no way a 500GB drive is enough for whole-home usage here, it's the usual Comcast cheaping out on their DVRs.
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