Comcast, HD, and TiVo

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by judzillah, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. judzillah

    judzillah New Member

    Jun 9, 2004


    I was the lucky recipient of an HDTV monitor for Christmas. So I am now interested in getting HDTV channels for it. I currently have digital comcast service and a series 2 standalone TiVo. What I would like to do is keep the TiVo and add comcast's HD service. Switching from Comcast is not currently an option, and I would like to keep my TiVo, and not switch to the Comcast DVR. I do not want to record in HD, I will be happy if I can watch shows in HD without a DVR, but I want to be able to record all of the exisiting digital channels with the TiVo. I am thinking my best option right now is to keep my existing cable box and leave it hookedup to the tivo, and then lease a 2nd HD cable box and connect that directly to the TV using component outputs. I am not thrilled about having to lease 2 cable boxes, but that appears to be the only solution at present. Is there a way I can accomplish all this without 2 cable boxes, or is that the way to go? Thanks!
  2. bidger

    bidger Active Member

    Mar 30, 2001
    Elmira, NY
    Does your new TV have a Cable Card slot? If so, that would be another option. They can leased for $3 or less monthly from your cable co. and, while it would limit you as far as On Demand and PPV at this point, it would allow you to access the digital tier and HD channels without another STB.
  3. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    You also will most like get the HD network channels with no box.. i.e. plug the cable directly into your TV.
  4. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    Most likely the HD cable box would simultaneously output from the S-video as well, which you could hook up to the TiVo. You might have to split the RCA audio out to the TV and TiVo, but if you use the digital out to the TV (or get audio and video from the HDMI out to the TV) the RCA audio out is free to go to the TiVo only.

    One HD box. Done.
  5. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Well-Known Member

    May 10, 1999


    ??? I really doubt you would be happy for very long watching HD shows without a DVR after being used to a Tivo. It is very annoying not being able to start shows when you want & pause/skip commercials/select other shows at a whim. It is also annoying to watch a show on Tivo in standard def when you know it looks & sounds 4x better in HD. I know this from personal experience, using Tivo w/ HD STB for about a year until the Comcast DVR came out. The Comcast DVR is only $5/month more than renting their HD box. If you are thinking of renting two cable boxes, then there is almost no price difference vs. just having one Comcast DVR & using Tivo for analog recording.

    The Comcast DVR software is not as good as Tivo's, but it is good enough. Being able to record two HD shows simultaneously is a big win. I keep my Tivo for analog channel recording only. The only thing you would miss is being able to do wishlist searches/recordings on the digital channels.

    Get the DVR, it is not worth it to subject yourself to DVR-less HD viewing especially when it wouldn't save much money if any over the alternative.

    Using only one STB as HDTivo suggests would leave you unable to Tivo something else while watching something live in HD.
  6. mportuesi

    mportuesi As seen on TV

    Nov 10, 2002
    Agreed. I have a digital TV tuner box that lets me watch HD over-the-air with an antenna. It's nice because I don't have to pay the cable company a monthly fee, but I can't record or do any of the things I'm accustomed to doing with TiVo.

    On the other hand, the Comcast HD lineup in my area is pretty meager. Out of the HD channels I care about, I'd gain only NBC (reception issues with my antenna) and Discovery HD. (I don't subscribe to any premium channels). So I would be getting HD from Comcast mainly for the DVR, which doesn't seem worth a $20/month increase in my cable bill by the time it's all over. Feh.
  7. Stu_Bee

    Stu_Bee New Member

    Jan 14, 2002
    The above suggestion, is what has been recently making me think I have my setup incorrect.

    Currently I have
    1) Wall -> Splitter -> TV w/CableCard
    2) Wall -> Splitter -> Digital Cable Box (non-hd) -> Tivo -> TV

    I think HDTivo's suggestion of
    2) Wall -> Splitter -> HD CableBox --svideo--> Tivo -> TV
    may render a better picture on all channels.
    I guess it comes down to
    -Is the Comcast HD Cable Box better at rendering SD reception for Tivo, than the Digital Comcast Box?
  8. bubba451

    bubba451 New Member

    Aug 1, 2003
    I'll concur with what others have said here: once you start watching shows in HD, you're really going to want to time shift them. The Comcast boxes aren't as good as TiVo, but they can record two channels of HD simultaneously. And if you're paying the HD tax anyway, the DVR is only an extra $5 per month.

    If you don't want to give up your TiVo, I say use it as a backup. The Motorola boxes have an RF out on them that you can send straight to your TiVo. Anything in analog, you can record on your TiVo. Anything in digital, you'll want to record on the Comcast box anyway (it will look much better, even if it's not in HD).

    Then just wait it out until the Comcast/TiVo package comes to fruition.
  9. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Well-Known Member

    May 10, 1999
    No, it won't. The HD box isn't going to perform any better than the normal cable box on any of the standard digital/analog channels. The only thing better is the downconverted HD channels, and after the downconversion, letterboxing (lose 25% vertical resolution, like non-16:9 enhanced DVDs), and Tivo MPEG reencoding there is little gain.

    No. But Comcast DVR AV quality >>>>> Tivo AV quality, for SD & HD digital. (Not analog, I still prefer Tivo for analog). Get the DVR! I watch about 4x more stuff in HD than before I had the DVR; it is far too inconvenient to have to be home in time to watch shows live in HD. Spending a lot on a nice HDTV then watching mostly SD feels like a waste. If you already have digital cable it is only $5/month more, this is quite reasonable to pay until Comcast+Tivo box or Tivo series 3 is available.
  10. gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

    Oct 31, 2003
    Potato and pen.

    How can you have a Digital Cable box that's not producing at least some HD channels?
  11. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    A Digital Cable Box gives you access to digital SD cable channels and outputs SD.

    An HD Cable Box gives you access to HD channels and outputs HD in addition.
  12. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

    Mar 3, 2002
    Yeah, *most* digital cable boxes in the field don't do HD at all, only SD. HD is a small minority of the market.

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