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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. Myself and my wife are TiVo followers who have loved the service for the last couple of years. Until now, we have had two of the DirectV tivos and they have been flawless since day one. No problems! We love the service, but I am thinking about switching to cable and am not sure what to do. As far as I know, the (Hughes) satellite tivos won't work with cable, will they? That brings us to the question - does anyone here have any experience with the cable DVRs? I would be getting the ones from Cablevision (of Woodbury I guess) in New York. I have heard everything from people saying that they are actually better than my older TiVos, to people saying that they don't have anywhere near as many features. I am hoping that someone with some experience with both systems can lend an opinion. From what I had heard, the cable DVRs do not use their empty space to record any "suggestions". I also don't know what the differences are between the two types of unit. Any advice or opinions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
 

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Math is our Friend
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It all depends on which one your cable company offers. I have a Moxi box from Charter and I'm very happy with it. It's very TiVo-like and has always functioned just as it should. Only downside is size of the harddrive. When I finally do switch to HD, it won't hold very many hours of programming. Hope that helps.
 

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Along the same lines the other problem with cable DVRs is that you don't own them. You can't upgrade the drive. The other semi-issue is that if you move you will loose all your recordedings. Not a huge deal but the same would hold true if the cable company wants to switch from one DVR model to another.
 

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I can't explain
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Actually cablevision is a smaller cable co. and I think they will offer you an SA TiVo. I do not live in NY so check around on this but I think they are part of a group tha tdoes that. Hopefully someone from the area can come along and post. Cable Company DVRs range from Sci Atl. boxes that barely work up to Moxi that is neck and neck with TiVo.
 

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Mostly Harmless
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Riverdome said:
Along the same lines the other problem with cable DVRs is that you don't own them. You can't upgrade the drive.
Many of the cable DVRs support adding an external drive ...

My cable DVR came with a 160GB internal hard drive and I've added a 300GB external one.

To the OP ... as noted above, cable DVRs vary greatly. If possible ... you may want to find out the exact model / software your cable company is using. That may get more usefull responses.
 

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dt_dc said:
Many of the cable DVRs support adding an external drive ...

My cable DVR came with a 160GB internal hard drive and I've added a 300GB external one.

To the OP ... as noted above, cable DVRs vary greatly. If possible ... you may want to find out the exact model / software your cable company is using. That may get more usefull responses.
Moxi doesn't support this yet. They probably could, but I am guessing the cable companies aren't to happy with the idea. And since the cable companies control the software features that are included, it hasn't happened yet.
 

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The Dude abides
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My brother has one. I've seen it in action.

The pluses are that is can record and playback HD, it has 2 tuners, and it doesn't need the IR blaster.

The drawbacks are many. The software is just ugly. It has no keyword search, no WishLists. It has season passes....sorta. You have to search for the show in the guide data (the grid) and record the show, and then you have the option to record the season. It only has like a week of guide data (I'm not sure exactly how much but I remember being kinda surprised at how little it was). It does not have adjustable recording levels, and the hard drive space is small. I am pretty sure that the "season pass" just records by channel/day/time and will not follow the show if it moves. It has none of the other TiVo features, such as networking, Home Media features (music and photos, online games, TiVoToGo, ability to schedule shows online, etc.).

It's OK, but it falls far short of TiVo in the features.
 

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crowfan said:
My brother has one. I've seen it in action.

The pluses are that is can record and playback HD, it has 2 tuners, and it doesn't need the IR blaster.

The drawbacks are many. The software is just ugly. It has no keyword search, no WishLists. It has season passes....sorta. You have to search for the show in the guide data (the grid) and record the show, and then you have the option to record the season. It only has like a week of guide data (I'm not sure exactly how much but I remember being kinda surprised at how little it was). It does not have adjustable recording levels, and the hard drive space is small. I am pretty sure that the "season pass" just records by channel/day/time and will not follow the show if it moves. It has none of the other TiVo features, such as networking, Home Media features (music and photos, online games, TiVoToGo, ability to schedule shows online, etc.).

It's OK, but it falls far short of TiVo in the features.
Your post is accurate. I have the SA HD DVR. IMO, it has the three very important features that TiVo currently doesn't offer on stand alone boxes - two tuners, HD and direct control....minus the awesome TiVo UI.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the feedback. After some further research, it appears that my cable provider (Cablevision of Woodbury) would be giving me SA boxes. It looks like it lacks a lot of the features of the Tivo - most notably the wishlists and Tivo suggests, etc. I plan on stopping at one of their "stores" this afternoon to play with it for a while and see how it stacks up.

Another question I have is this - does anyone know if the Directv units work with cable? I think my units are "HDVR2"s by Huges, but I was not sure if they could take a regular cable signal since they were hybrid tivos. My ideal would be if I could just keep my dual tuner Hughes boxes and use them with the cable feed, but I was unsure if they were compatible (I have a sneaking suspicion they are not...). I guess I could always buy stand alone units to use with my cable - I just hate to have to spend more than I have to since I already bought these...

Thanks again for all the feedback!
 

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bidger said:
If you don't mind my asking, who's your provider?
Cox Fairfax. They are using Scientific Atlanta equipment running SARA software. The Scientific Atlanta 8300HD and 8300 both have external SATA ports that an external drive can be hooked up to (if you have recent enough firmware).
 

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I just switched from DirecTV to Cablevision because I went with the internet/cableTV/phone package.

OMG, does their DVR software suck big time. As mentioned above, you have to find your show on the guide to set up a "season pass", no folders, no episode titles. It is so bad we're thinking of going back to DirecTv.
 

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mistrella said:
I just switched from DirecTV to Cablevision because I went with the internet/cableTV/phone package.

OMG, does their DVR software suck big time. As mentioned above, you have to find your show on the guide to set up a "season pass", no folders, no episode titles. It is so bad we're thinking of going back to DirecTv.
Before going back to DirecTV I'd wait and see what their non-TiVo DVR looks like. I haven't been blown away with the few reviews of the non-HD DVR DirecTV now offers, and I'm waiting for CES and MacWorld to finish before deciding what to do next.

I have an HD-TiVo and will either keep that and wait for the new DirecTV DVR that does HD, move to digital cable and get a CableCard HDTiVo (assuming a ship date is announced at CES), get the rumored Apple DVR (if it's announced at MacWorld), or build a MythTV box.
 

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Thank you for your suggestions. You prompted me to call my cablevision people and ask about alternatives. I can stop their DVR service, which costs $9.95/month plus about $5 for the box rental. I can then purchase a TiVo box, and pay $12.95/month, and hook it up to my cablevision. Does that sound like a good alternative? We really can't stand this DVR service.
 

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The Dude abides
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mistrella said:
Thank you for your suggestions. You prompted me to call my cablevision people and ask about alternatives. I can stop their DVR service, which costs $9.95/month plus about $5 for the box rental. I can then purchase a TiVo box, and pay $12.95/month, and hook it up to my cablevision. Does that sound like a good alternative? We really can't stand this DVR service.
I think you will be very happy. That's the steup I have and I wouldn't change it. :up:
 
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