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· Registered
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so I've been with TiVo from the giddy-up. Still got a Series 1 with lifetime. Very happy in general with my DirectTiVos. Got the 250 in a closet in the basement distributed throughout the house with hdmi and room-by-room audio (along with a 160 AppleTV which is great for ripped DVDs of cartoons for my kid and such), and two room-specific series 2 boxes. Very happy with all that.

Eventually DirectTV will screw me and try to make me leave my HD DirectTivo in order to get their newer HD channels. I haven't worried TOO much about that because most of my HD viewing is OTA... but that's not completely true, and, in fact, I'm watching more and more from non-OTA HD channels.

So, I'm thinking about going S3 + 2 HD TiVos. There are several problems. First, I hate Comcast. Deeply. I went to sat to get away from the bastards in the first place. Second, reading threads on troubles with cablecards, and such, makes me unhappy. I've gotten too old to deal with that sort of crap. Third, I really do hate Comcast.

I suppose one option would be to get an HD TiVo, use it to record OTA and use a combination of DVDs and iTunes to get the few other shows (Monk, Burn Notice, things like that) I watch through cable (though that doesn't solve a few other problems I have: Burn Notice isn't on iTunes, for example).

So, help me out here. Is it worth all the trouble to move to Comcast? How long am I going to have to wait for all this to work out? I don't want to deal with this in the middle of the TV season and miss some TV show I actually pay attention to. Has DirectTV become as evil as Comcast? Is that even possible?

I'm in Atlanta, BTW, if that helps.

· BaDoop BaDoop BaDoop
861 Posts
Well, I have two S3's and a new HD. I left DTV over the whole TiVo issue less than a year ago. So I know what you are saying. Sorry if my comments are long:

I live in Houston. In the past year, Comcast has taken over TWC in our area.

I experienced some issues early on with the S3's that I thought was cablecard related. Tiling, pixelating issues on certain channels. But I also had these same issues on a TV using a cablecard (no TiVo connected at all). I swapped cards out several times, had line techs out here to check signal strength, it was a couple weeks of pure frustration. They made sure my connections and strength were OK, but I still experienced problems.

Then I did some research and found that what might be the issue is that Comcast was 'cramming' certain channels into particular frequencies. Some frequencies were carrying many, many more channels than others. Those were the problem channels for me. And certain device/cablecard combinations dealt with the issue better than others. In fact, the S3's 'handled' the issue better than the cablecard TV. But the experience was still not acceptable to me.

So I called Comcast, and I told them what I thought was the problem. I told them that no matter what the problem really was, if it did not clear up by my next billing, I was cancelling. I meant it. I had OTA, and I figured that Amazon Unbox TV downloads might fill in the rest (or at least help).

Well, my problems cleared up. I'm not saying it was my phone call, and I'm not sure what the problem really was. But it was not with my stuff, or my cablecards. It was something coming from their end because it cleared up without me doing anything else.

Since then, everything has been fine. No problems. I recently added a TiVo HD, and from the start there have been no problems with it.

Comcast in Houston uses Motorola cablecards. A lot of information here, and from TiVo, point to Scientific Atlanta cablecards as being problematic. But TiVo is pushing out updates fairly quickly. If Comcast in Atlanta uses Motorola cards, I would have confidence in going forward with your thoughts. If they use Scientific Atlanta, I might still be hesitant. But there is supposed to be another update to the TiVo HD in the coming weeks (I think that will be three updates just for the SA cards). I don't know if the S3's experience any problems with SA cards as opposed to Motorola. Again, all my units work perfectly.

As a backup, you might want to browse Amazon Unbox to see what kind of content they have. They keep adding stuff. I say that because along with OTA, Unbox might be a fill-in for content if you have any problems with Comcast and the new TiVo's. That was my plan before things 'fixed' themselves.

Also, I should mention that there is a fair amount of speculation that DTV and TiVo will get back in bed together. That could mean a new MPEG4 DTV/Tivo in the future. Nothing concrete, but something to keep in mind. Whatever you do, keep in mind that DTV is locking folks into a 2 year agreement if they take one of their HR20's.

Good luck, hope things work out.
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