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Old 11-07-2014, 11:28 AM   #1
chiguy50
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New Mini Owner: TiVo Wins, Comcast Loses

I've been using TiVo for the past five years, first with two Series3HD's and then two Premieres (Elite and basic). I've always had two multi-stream CableCARDs from Comcast, for which I was paying a grand total of $1.50 p.m.; together with the two customer-owned equipment (COE) credits of $2.50 each, I was actually accumulating a balance in my account of about $4.00 p.m. (including tax and fee credits). Since I get my service via my HOA's bulk services agreement, there were no other charges on my account.

Then, in July 2012, Comcast changed my billing by removing the CableCARD line items and substituting a "Digital Service" charge of $9.95. Even though, with the COE credits, I was still only paying about $5.00 p.m. (the IMHO quite reasonable equivalent of $2.50 per CableCARD), the duplicitous manner in which Comcast had rewickered the billing just stuck in my craw. Instead of having the honesty to list the actual equipment I was renting and the per-item charges, they were pretending that there was no accounting or assessment for the CableCARDs but that I was liable for "digital service" charges of $9.95 for each digital device on my account after the first one. As we all know, this was done to allow them to charge us $10 a pop for each additional digital device running off of a CableCARD, while circumventing any FCC challenges regarding unfair card fees. Thus, customers who had three or four cards could be billed as much as $25 more p.m. without any change in equipment or services.

By complaining and negotiating offsets plus additional free services (HBO/SHO), I was able to avoid actually paying these charges until this last August when I finally used up the accrual in my account. So in September I took advantage of the new inclusion of product lifetime service (PLS) in the TiVo Mini pricing and picked one up at Best Buy for only $82.60 (including tax). Yesterday--having had time to test out the Mini and satisfy myself that it would substitute admirably for the seldom used Premiere in my bedroom--I sold my basic Premiere w/PLS for $375 and returned the second CableCARD to Comcast (very friendly and competent CSR in the retail store, BTW). Now I'm back to running a monthly accrual of about $3.00 on my Comcast account, and TiVo gets an additional box in service. The basic Premiere, which I purchased in March 2012 for $459 (w/PLS), wound up costing me the equivalent of $2.80 p.m. to "rent" (exclusive of the new "digital service" fee)--not a bad investment compared to Comcast's $15 to $20 DVR rental charges.

Ironically, I would have been glad to give my money to Comcast if they had just been aboveboard with their billing. I am happy with the cable TV service (in fact, I was the one who arranged for my HOA's 10-year contract with them) but their DVR is inferior to TiVo and not worth what they're charging for it. IMHO Comcast has done a great job in the past several years improving customer service, but their consumer ratings will remain below par until they make their billing services more uniform, transparent, and reliably honest.

TiVo has been a great product for me and my wife and I can't recommend it highly enough. Even at the current MSRP pricing of $150 (w/PLS), the Mini is a handy and (thanks to MSO greed) cost-effective DVR extender. Paired with a Roamio Pro (which I can see myself upgrading to at some point), it should satisfy most consumer demands.
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Old 11-07-2014, 12:47 PM   #2
jrtroo
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If you rent a cable modem from Comcast you can give your bill another punch by buying a compatible model at best buy. Last time I saw the rental had increased to $7/mo.
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Old 11-07-2014, 01:57 PM   #3
scottfll954
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Comcast is the worst...

they now charge you a 2.99 fee for change of service

Ex: you wait on line to get a or replace a cable or add/change a channel line up you get dinged 2.99

so you wait on line in person and get the worst customer service and you have to 2.99

nothing can stop the greed and stupidity
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Old 11-07-2014, 02:46 PM   #4
DeltaOne
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Have you heard about the Comcast outage the past few days? They updated the X1 software and caused a massive outage.

http://forums.comcast.com/t5/X1/X1-I...4/td-p/2388191

And read the first post in this thread from RickGr4. This guy has been an X1 advocate, but in reading the forums over the past month he's slowly been changing his attitude. Now he recommends scrapping the entire X1 system. His post #6 is good too.

http://forums.comcast.com/t5/X1/A-Su...t/td-p/2383799

And just read a post where folks are complaining about delays when changing channels on X1. One guy says that when you change a channel on X1 the command is sent to the X1 "cloud" and then back down to your DVR. Whoa.
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Old 11-07-2014, 04:34 PM   #5
chiguy50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrtroo View Post
If you rent a cable modem from Comcast you can give your bill another punch by buying a compatible model at best buy. Last time I saw the rental had increased to $7/mo.
There are very few scenarios where it would make economic sense to rent a modem--or any other piece of equipment (like a DVR)--when you can amortize the acquisition costs in one or two years. And it would make even less sense to buy a TiVo and then turn around and rent the cable modem.

If you can't afford the purchase price, or you only need it for a short period of time, or if you need/want to rely on the provider to maintain and service the equipment, that's a different matter.
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:01 PM   #6
steve_togo
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Hi I have a general question about a Mini, I was thinking about putting my Roamio in my home theatre and use my mini in my living zoom. Is it fast and responsive to use it as a main viewing device versus a Roamio.
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Old 11-11-2014, 08:11 AM   #7
chiguy50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve_togo View Post
Hi I have a general question about a Mini, I was thinking about putting my Roamio in my home theatre and use my mini in my living zoom. Is it fast and responsive to use it as a main viewing device versus a Roamio.
In my limited experience, the answer is decisively yes.

Other than having to borrow and then remember to release the tuner of the host, the user experience with the Mini is pretty much identical to using the Roamio or Premiere.
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Old 11-11-2014, 11:37 AM   #8
steve_togo
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Thank You, I was mainly concerned about the response. TiVo beauty is so fast and responsive when compared to that crap cast DVR.
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Old 11-11-2014, 08:34 PM   #9
lgnad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve_togo View Post
Hi I have a general question about a Mini, I was thinking about putting my Roamio in my home theatre and use my mini in my living zoom. Is it fast and responsive to use it as a main viewing device versus a Roamio.
Channel changing with live tv is a little slower, and you cant hop back and forth between two tuners on live tv, because the mini just grabs one tuner. If you record 99% of what you watch, this wont matter of course.

There is a short pause (like 2 seconds)when you play a show from the host or another tivo, but everything else is as quick as on the host, such as trick play (ff/rewind/skip etc), management of shows, etc
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Old 11-12-2014, 07:19 AM   #10
slowbiscuit
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There is a slight lag with skip due to network latency, but it's not bad. For the UI speed-wise it's just like sitting in front of the host Tivo.
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:19 AM   #11
steve_togo
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0K Thank you. The
reason I was thinking is because my hostTIVO does not have an ethernet and I need to use a Moca adapter in my living room for it.

I thought I wear be able to skip it.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:40 PM   #12
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Comcast should be glad that I have TiVo. If it weren't for them, I would have gotten the other cable company for internet, and DirecTV for TV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lgnad View Post
Channel changing with live tv is a little slower, and you cant hop back and forth between two tuners on live tv, because the mini just grabs one tuner.
That would suck for March Madness, so put your main TiVo wherever you watch March Madness!!
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