Originally Posted by Wiggin
Well let's see...Comcast charges me $14/month to rent their crappy DVR. I can get TiVo service for around $8-9/month (yes, that requires a 3-year contract). Over the 36 months, that's a monthly subcription savings of about $200 with the TiVo. You can get the TiVo HD on Amazon for $250.
So if you can get past the 3-year contract, that "kickass" you saw on your buddy's TiVo will only cost you about $50. That gets you a vastly superior interface. A much better program listing (TV GUIDE that Comcast uses is not as accurate or as informative as TiVo's guide), no more calls to Comcast to have them reset my box when things go wrong (3 calls in the last 2 months, which also wipes out the guide info because the box isn't smart enough to save it) and the ability to record OTA signals (better quality than cable).
You also get a box that can rent HD movies from Amazon over the internet, browse the media content on your computer, view online photo albums, and later this year be able to browse YouTube videos...hmm, sounds an awful lot like AppleTV, doesn't it (it just can't play your DRM'd content).
My Comcast DVR costs about $5 more a month than the digital HD box I have to have to watch the premium subscription channels (HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, etc.) and all HD content. The included OnDemand service at that tier provides hundreds more hours of programming (unfortunately not always something I want to watch, but tastes vary) in both SD and HD.
The Comcast guide is accurate 99% of the time that I'm using it -- only once did something different than what I told it to end up being recorded at that time, and I've seen lots of mistakes in the TV Guide (R) as to program listings.
The interface is a bit clunky, I'll give you that. I never had Tivo, so can't speak to how much worse Comcast is compared to Tivo. But don't you still have to subscribe to a method (cable, satellite, etc) to get the content that gets recorded by Tivo? That's TWO subscriptions to keep up with. I understand Tivo can let you record shows by actor/director which would be nice. I understand there's some training that must be done with the device to optimize your recording preferences.
Comcast has been completely willing to let me purchase the cable/DVR box and not pay equipment fees. But I don't want to own something that gets updated annually. I usually just go down and trade it in for the latest model every year or so.
Don't get me wrong - -there's a lot to dislike about Comcast service, but for me, the DVR has been dependable and enjoyable. Just pausing live TV and recording while you watch something else, or when you're asleep and the good shows are on, is worth the price alone.
Oh BTW, Comcast cablecards didn't use to provide the OnDemand content, and maybe not even the interactive guide, I believe (I could be wrong about the Guide.)