TIVO - HDTV - Comcast

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by kevinmac200, Jan 8, 2006.

  1. kevinmac200

    kevinmac200 New Member

    Jan 8, 2006


    Excuse me if this has already been answered before many times. In fact let me know if it has and I will search it out. But if it hasn't here goes:
    We subscribe to Comcast with Digital Cable and have used a series 1 TIVO for a couple of years now. We'd like to get an HDTV monitor to make use of the Digital Cable specifically for HDTV reception. My understanding is that since we have Digital Cable we will only need to purchase a monitor and will not need a tuner. However I will not spend the $$ on an HDTV monitor until I can make use of TIVO in using it. I don't care to have HDTV yet if we cannot use it with TIVO. And I am so sold on TIVO's interface, ease of use and my familiarity with it that I'm not likely to try another brand of DVR unless we have to.
    I assume that our current TIVO would be useless in recording HDTV signals. If that is true is there currently a model of TIVO that will record HiDef signals like it does with std signals from our cable box? If not, is that what the noise is about Series 3 I've been reading this week? And if so, would it pay at this point to wait for Series 3 as it seems likely to be released in partnership with Comcast later this year?

    Any answers are greatly appreciated or just point me where to go.

  2. Guindalf

    Guindalf Now with added dalf

    Jun 13, 2001
    There is no standalone HD TiVo as yet and the Series 3 has just been announced at CES. We do not know when it will be available for sure, although there is speculation.

    In simple terms, There currently is no way to record an HD signal with a TiVo apart from the HR10-250 DirectTV DVR with TiVo service, which will only work with D* service (and OTA HD (or some locals with waivers)).

    D* are due to have an HD DVR (non-TiVo) available in Q2 2006, but this, as with everything else, is pure speculation.

    There has been a number of discussions on this board covering all of your questions - and without a doubt a lot better than my explanations. Try searching on HD TiVo, HD recording and other related topics using the "Search" button at the top of the page.
  3. Aquatic

    Aquatic New Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    JCP -...
    I would also do a little more research into the HDTV display question you present. Many people do purchase display without Tuners and add in other inputs for External tuner boxes (STBs) like a digital cable box, etc. There is an emerging standard out there called "Cable Card", you likely want to ensure your display is compatible with Cable Cards.

    Personally? I would get the tuner in the display. It allows you some variations you might find useful--PIP, OTA with an antenna, and maybe a few others. I would also ensure that it has HDMI connectors (at least 1), component in (at least 2) and the usual other inputs--perhaps an S-video or PC connection.

    Check out avsforum.com as well--the displays section. Excellent info in the FAQs and quite likely some good info about the display that you are pondering.
  4. newsposter

    newsposter Poster of News

    Aug 18, 2002
    SE PA
    for those who care about when tuners are required etc


    Digital Receiver Availability and FCC Tuner Requirements

    Remember, even with a converter, your current analog television will not display the full picture quality of DTV. To enjoy the full picture quality, you must have a DTV set. The FCC requires that new television receivers include the capability to receive digital TV signals. By March 2007, all TVs are required to have digital tuners built in and eventually manufacturers will stop making television sets with analog tuners.
  5. kjmcdonald

    kjmcdonald New Member

    Sep 8, 2003
    Boston, MA


    To view an HDTV signal from comcast on an HDTV unit, you will need to trade your digital cable box into comcast for an HD digital cable box. This will (in MA anyway) give you about 20 channels in the 800 range that are HD digital chanels.

    A S1 or S2 Tivo can be made to work in this situation easily, with some trade offs.

    1.You can connect the HD cable box to the HDTV directly, and then you can connect the Tivo to the cable line directly, and then to an AV input on the HDTV. This will allow you to watch but not record the 800 range channels on the HDTV in full HD picture quality. Down side is the Tivo will only be able to record the non-digital channels less than 100.

    2.Same as #1 but you can keep your digital cable box, and connect the Tivo to cable through that. The HDTV will still be able to display chaannels in the 800 range in full quality, the Tivo now can record nearly any channel comcast offers (all but the 800 ones) that you pay for. The down side is you are now paying comcast for 2 cable boxes.

    3. Connect the Tivo to the HD Cable box using one of the non HD connectors. It's a less-known fact that the Comcast HD cable box puts out the full wide screen HD digital picture (letterboxed and lower quality) on the RF, Composite, and Svideo connectors. While this isn't the best picture available, it is *digital* and it is wide screen if that matters to you (I did this on my non-HD 32" 4:3 Tv for a while.) and the picture for ABC, NBC, etc will be much better than the matching analog cable channel. The Tivo can now record this picture though that may drop the quality further.

    In the 3rd scenario you have several options to connect the TV to cable when you're not using the Tivo. Direct connect the cable (on a HDTV with only an NTSC tuner) and only get channels below 100, Direct connect the cable (on a HDTV with CableCard tuner) and get every channel, or rent a second HD cable box (on a HDTV with no HD tuner) and get every channel.

    Or you can even do what I was doing and get the HD cable box from Comcast and connect it to the current Tivo like in option 3, and keep your older Non-HD TV for a little while. I liked getting 'Lost' in digital widescreen, even through the Tivo, and even though it wasn't as high quality as it could have been, I thought the experience was still better than the 4:3 analog cable picture I had before.

    Of course, with all 3 options, the only output a S1 or S2 SA Tivo has will be non HD and therefor on a nice HDTV screen (especially a large one) the lower quality may be more visible than it it today. Especially if you record on 'basic'. But the Tivo will work, and you will be able to watch your shows when you want. Then when a Series 3 is available you can swap it in, go.


    MEGAMACE New Member

    Jan 16, 2006
    Los Angeles
    I have two TV sets and two TIVO's. I just upgraded my main TV to a 16x9 HD set and LOVE IT - the HD signals are amazing but I had to get Comcast digital DVR - cool thing is it didn't cost anything - bad thing is it's no where near as easy or cool to use as TIVO. I can't wait for Series 3 to come out. So I record some things on my Tivo bedroom set and others in HD on my Comcast inferior DVR until the day a series 3 is released.

    I hope that helps. :up:

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