Questions about setting up service with Comcast Cable

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by TivoFan, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. TivoFan

    TivoFan Member

    593
    0
    Feb 22, 2000
    Northampton, MA

    Advertisements

    Apologies if this is the wrong forum to post this in...

    We're buying a house and setting up our cable service and I am trying to make sure that we get everything set up to work with the Tivos correctly. We have two Series 2 units.

    Question 1: Is there anything I need to know about setting up Comcast with my Tivos?

    Question 2: Some of their packages include a "high-def box". Will I need any special equipment to make this work with our Tivos?

    Question 3: One of the packages that Comcast has offered me includes their HD DVR, which I don't think we need, but it is somewhat attractive as it includes all the premium channels... The sales rep I spoke to said it would still work with our Tivo as it would function just like a high-def box. Is this true? Is there any issue I need to be aware of?


    Thanks for any help guys!
     
  2. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    5,095
    322
    Feb 4, 2008
    Chicagoland
    Who is your provider now? The S2 will need a Comcast box in order to work in most of their systems (and will only have one working tuner). Moving may be a great excuse to up the ante to a digital box, and thus able to enjoy the HD you are likely going to be paying for.
     
  3. eboydog

    eboydog Just TiVo'ing.....

    904
    0
    Mar 23, 2006
    Not a Comcast customer but personally believe you would be in better shape renting cable cards and upgrading to a Roamio and have Minis for other rooms. Since you are just moving in, invest in ethernet wiring (which isn't expensive) and have a solid system.

    As it appears you understand and value your series 2 TiVos but, the newest series 5 Roamio is many times better than anything Comcast can offer and in the long run, cheaper. The solution you describe is hang the old series 2 off Comcast tuner boxes, you won't be able to enjoy TiVo in HD or enjoyed the freedom of having 6 tuners on the Roamio Plus /Pro not to mention the addtional TiVo Stream or if you can't run ethernet, you can use the existing coax to network by Moca.

    Only downside might be that tuner adapters might be required but with the right contacts, if there's a problem, most seem to be able to overcome such. Comcasters will have to chime in on that.
     
  4. TivoFan

    TivoFan Member

    593
    0
    Feb 22, 2000
    Northampton, MA
    Probably not an option right now. We currently network over the powerline using some plug in adapters, and I think we'll just bring those along with us.

    Which would require purchasing a Roamio, a mini, and paying the Tivo monthly fee. Seems a little pricey as I already have Tivos with lifetime service.

    HD isn't a concern for me... I don't actually have a TV capable of displaying HD, nor do I think it would really make much of a difference to me. Six tuners would be a much more attractive draw, but again that requires buying a new unit, and I don't think that's in the budget right now. I had to Google Tivo Stream to figure out what that was, but it apparently is another device I'd have to buy.

    MY main concern right now is just to get our existing equipment up and running under Comcast. Getting a newer model is something we're not looking at right now. I just want to make sure I don't choose a package that won't work with Tivo or that I know ahead of time any equipment that might be required to make Tivo work with Comcast.

    Thanks
     
  5. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    5,095
    322
    Feb 4, 2008
    Chicagoland

    Advertisements

    FYI:

    Depending on your S2s, you will likely be going from 4 tuners down to two. Picking up a used [lifetime] S3 or THD for a few hundred dollars will allow you to retain your tuner count and avoid renting those comcast boxes. If a box is included in a package, you'll get a credit.
     
  6. TivoFan

    TivoFan Member

    593
    0
    Feb 22, 2000
    Northampton, MA
    I'm not sure what THD is... But if I buy a series 3 unit to avoid the rental fee on the Comcast box, I lose my current lifetime plan on my series 2 unit, and have to pay a monthly Tivo fee on the series 3 unit. And the monthly rental on the comcast box is less than the monthly Tivo fee.
     
  7. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    5,095
    322
    Feb 4, 2008
    Chicagoland
    It is a flavor of the S3 line. Lifetime on a S2 is not worth that much anymore, so not a lot of loss there, though you could certainly find a buyer to offset the cost of a newer box. Note: I meant a lifetime S3 is a few hundred, I revised to be more clear.

    Have you used a comcast dvr? Pain.
     
  8. eboydog

    eboydog Just TiVo'ing.....

    904
    0
    Mar 23, 2006
    I have to agree that the TiVo hardware is too expensive, while it's part of their income plan it would seem to me there is a cosiderable markup and profit as I'm sure the cost of a Roamio Plus is many time less than it's retail price.

    Given monthly or lifetime service fees, TiVo would attract more new subscribers if they priced the initial hardware better. TiVo is it's worst enemy to its self.
     
  9. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Well-Known Member

    6,239
    60
    Apr 27, 2002
    AR
    Definitely move to a DVR with a digital tuner, either one provided by Comcast or a TiVo. The TiVoHD TCD652160 with lifetime service can be purchased used for around $200 shipped now, eBay is a pretty good place to buy since eBay guarantees you get what is described. A used TiVo Premiere is probably a better idea and a bit more expensive but either should work well enough.
     
  10. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

    4,348
    592
    Jan 12, 2014
    Raleigh, NC
    TiVo's profit margin on hardware sales last quarter was only around 6%.
     
  11. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Well-Known Member

    6,239
    60
    Apr 27, 2002
    AR
    TiVo has historically lost money on the hardware, attempting to recoup the loss and make a profit with services and ads. I haven't paid any attention to Roamio Plus and Pro prices but feel certain that your statement "the cost of a Roamio Plus is many time less than it's retail price" is not accurate. I did pay attention to previous models, manufacturing cost and sales prices, and know TiVo lost money on hardware sales.

    I understand as a general concept, TiVo is trying to break even on the hardware now, probably a good business decision since profits from operations for TiVo have been very rare.
     
  12. eboydog

    eboydog Just TiVo'ing.....

    904
    0
    Mar 23, 2006
    Actually, even premieres with lifetime can be found for just a little over $200 plus shipping. With more used Roamios hitting the market , lifetime premieres are getting much cheaper. You have to be patient but goods deals are out there.
     
  13. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

    9,461
    299
    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    Do not get an HD box unless you want to pay the monthly "HD Technolog" fee.

    One full SD box is probably included in your package. Use that for one of the TiVos. You should investigate to see if a DTA will give you access to all of the channels you want and if it does, use it for the other TiVo.

    You'll need some way to control the box. For the full box either an IR blaster or. if you can get the right model (it's an older Motorola but I don't remember the exact model #), you may be able to use the serial connection.

    For the DTA, there is a cable available to connect the IR out of the TiVo to the IR in of the DTA.
     
  14. 9300170

    9300170 Member

    191
    0
    Feb 20, 2003
    Tempe, AZ
    I agree with everyone that upgrading to a new TiVo would give you the best TV experience, but if you decide to stick with your two Series 2 TiVo's, here's what you'll need from Comcast:
    1. A standard definition receiver or DTA for each TiVo.
    2. Working IR blasers for the TiVos.
    3. After Comcast installs the cable boxes, youll need to set up the TiVo's, run guided setup, and choose control of cable box options.

    It'll work, but it is kind of a pain.
     
  15. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

    7,473
    835
    Oct 30, 2003
    Hartford-...
    This thread is a soup of good advice and misinformation!

    I am a Comcast subscriber in CT with a TiVo, and I have also set up and used a Series 2 TiVo (2004-2011 pre digital conversion), Motorola Comcast DVR with Multiroom DVR, and Windows Media Center Edition.

    You're mostly right on. IMHO, the OP probably doesn't need to pull CAT-6. I'm a huge proponent of anyone doing so, but for TiVos, it not needed at all. MoCA is more than enough for TiVo. For computer, Ethernet is the way to go, but that's out of the scope of this discussion.

    Comcast does NOT use TAs, and most, if not all areas by now, support Xfinity On Demand. I could list many reasons I hate Comcast, but their TiVo support is excellent in the whole scheme of things.

    I have a pair of them running, and they SUCK. Soon as I move, they are going away in favor of something more robust (hopefully I will own a house, in which case, I will be buying a few thousand feet of CAT-6 for my computer network, and sticking with MoCA for the TiVos, but that's neither here nor there).

    The 4-tuner Premieres, Roamio Plus/Pros, and Minis have MoCA, which is a much better way to go, and it's a lot more reliable than powerline. And older 2-tuner units, as well as Roamio Basics can have it added via MoCA adapters.

    Lifetime is available for the Roamios and Minis. I have 3 Minis and a Premiere XL4 all on Lifetime. I also own my modem and router. No equipment fees on Comcast, just the Double Play package I subscribe to.

    TiVo Stream is totally irrelevant to this discussion, as it's not required for a functional setup of anything, and the Roamio Plus/Pro have it built in anyways.

    HD is the standard, and it has been for several years now. If you care that little about TV, don't waste your $80/mo+ for cable in the first place. Or get an HDTV.

    The bottom line is that Series 2 TiVos were pretty much obsoleted when Comcast finally killed off analog somewhere in the 2008-2011 timeframe (depending on market, it might have been '09 or '10 before they started in Philly). Yes, you can theoretically blast a box, and hopefully have it work semi-reliably or you might get really lucky and be able to have your local cable office find some ancient box in a dark corner of their warehouse that still has RS-232C serial control. However, you'd still be stuck with single-tuner SD boxes with limited capabilities compared to what's out there today.

    Thus, I couldn't recommend such a bubble gum and shoe-string kludge to anyone in this day in age when HD 4-, 5-, and 6-tuner DVRs with multiroom capability are the norm. Even for a very light TV user who only wants OTA, something like Simple.TV or Tablo would work a lot better, and support HD.

    I'd recommend a Roamio Pro/Mini setup with Lifetime, which is the ultimate DVR combo, and has no extra monthly fees. Used S3's or Premieres would be a second, but then you lose the seamless MRV (although you'd have the ability to transfer unprotected channels, and be able to stream everything on the Premieres), and you'd have to start paying $7/mo for each additional CableCard, which adds up quickly after buying a bunch of dual-tuner boxes.

    Yup. Definitely move to something with QAM tuners!

    Is that with or without service? If it's without service, then that's great, since the device costs $400-$500 more once you add the required service package, on top of a DVR that "costs" somewhere in the $200-$600 range... And it gets even better for TiVo with the Minis, where they "cost" $99, and it costs another $150 just to get the required service for them.

    An HD TiVo may or may not be charged the extra HD fee, depending on the location. In some areas, the fee is an equipment fee (not changed to TiVo users), and in some areas, it is a programming fee (charged to TiVo users).

    That's terrible advice at this point. The OP should get TiVo(s) with built-in QAM tuners.
     
  16. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

    4,348
    592
    Jan 12, 2014
    Raleigh, NC
    That's without service, so yeah it's pretty good. It looks like their gross margins on service fees is around 62%.
     
  17. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

    9,461
    299
    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    :rolleyes: I take it you don't care about the actual content as long as it looks nice. You apparently cannot grasp the concept of people who have enough monthly income to afford cable but cannot currently afford to buy new equipment.

    The OP mentioned getting an HD box from Comcast.

    I was addressing the OP's desire to continue to use his current TiVo 2s on Comcast and I told him the least expensive way to do that. I wasn't "advising" him on anything. You OTOH, more or less "advised" him to "do it MY way or don't do it at all".
     
  18. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

    7,473
    835
    Oct 30, 2003
    Hartford-...
    WOW. Those are amazing margins! And here I was, thinking they were losing money on the hardware. Silly me. Their margins, without subscriptions, are double that of some consumer electronics!

    I do care about content, but if it looks like total crap, then it's not worth watching. If someone can't afford a couple of TiVo boxes, they shouldn't be shelling out the big bucks for cable.

    The OP mentioned TiVos as well. In the case of an HD box from Comcast, yes, one way or another, there is the HD fee there.

    It's pretty clear that analog and SD are dead technologies at this point. Yes, you can keep legacy hardware working, in a strict sense of working, but it's not going to work well, or create an outcome that makes any sense given the technological landscape today.
     
  19. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

    7,473
    835
    Oct 30, 2003
    Hartford-...
    I also answered the OP's question about how it is technically possible to run a Series 2, and explained why it was the wrong question to be asking in the first place. It is an incomplete, and almost inaccurate answer to not explain why running a Series 2 TiVo is a bad idea at this point in the game. Although that should be obvious from the get-go...
     
  20. dbattaglia001

    dbattaglia001 Member

    118
    6
    Feb 9, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    And that service gross margin, while looking relatively high, needs to cover marketing, G&A, and R&D activities to allow for periodic software updates to the boxes. Without the legal settlements, they'd be losing money as a whole.
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements