HD-DVR from Cox...how is it compared to TIVO?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by AndrewVital, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. AndrewVital

    AndrewVital Agent

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    Hey guys
    I was looking for a Tivo/DVDR and then doing research i foudn out it wont' record HD, and the HD-DVD or BlueRay will be out in a year or 2, so i'll wait for that. So then i saw that cox charges the same 9.99 I pay for my HD box for their HD-DVR. So thats a no brainer (and the service fee is only 4.95, much cheaper then Tivo)

    my ? is how does it compare to Tivo... is it missing any key features?

    Thanks,
    - Andrew
     
  2. Chris Wittry

    Chris Wittry Stunt Coordinator

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    Andrew,

    I'm in Omaha and have had the Cox HD-DVR for about 2 months now. It works ok, but the interface is nowhere near as good as Tivo. There are season passes in a limited way, but it doesn't do wish lists, can't search for programs by title, and occasionally runs into hiccups, which require rebooting of the unit. However, for the price you can't beat the fact that it can record in HD. My plan is to stick with this box unless Tivo comes out with a standalone HD unit. [​IMG]
     
  3. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    How limited is the season pass feature? Also, if you can't search by title, how do you do "season passes"? I've currently got an 80 hour tivo but when I move I'll be getting an HD set and HD service from Cox. I'm wondering if I should keep my Tivo or just go with Cox's DVR service.
     
  4. Allen Hirsch

    Allen Hirsch Supporting Actor

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    I'm assuming the Cox DVR is the same Motorola 6412 DVR/tuner that Comcast just unveiled in the SF Bay Area, and other cable companies have been rolling out the past few months.

    My research uncovered the following comments (mostly from perusing 45 pages of postings at the AVS Forum!):

    - the 6412 gets everything from cable provider via digital cable channels, so no network or phone connection is needed.

    -Time bar much smarter than tivo's!

    •red=recording in progress
    •green=buffer or recorded playback
    •white=buffer from a program that ended
    •black line=separates start or end of recorded program and pad you manually added (impressive!)

    -One trick I recently discovered I really like. I was watching something from the DVR and wanted to check on a football game. So I put in the channel, it stopped the recording, and I checked the score. Then I absent-mindedly hit `last' and I was right back in my recorded program! I had been doing the DVR/select program/hit resume deal, and this (hitting LAST) worked like a charm, back and forth from my recorded program to the live channel, over and over. I have a Tivo and I really don't think you can do that with only one button push. Cool.

    -You can set up series recordings just like on the Tivo, and search by topics as well as titles so you won't miss your favorite shows. Most people, me included, save a healthy mix of SD and HD, and you can set priorities on how many episodes of a series get saved and what gets overwritten first when you run out of room.

    - the 120 GB hard drive only gives you about 15 hours of HD recording; in SD, that same capacity gives you 60 hours of program recording.

    -I've had the new box for just over a week now and we're doing a month of "parallel testing" between it and the DirecTivo, of which I've had for two years.
    So far, while the HD DVR doesn't have all the features I'd like, it's basically going to replace the DirecTivo. The one feature that I'd actually want to have added is the search by title. Adding in shows for the series recording was a bit awkward in having to go find them and then set them up but it got done.
    Since I've got two young children, we record a lot of kids shows during the day. Still haven't gone over 50% in filling up the drive between that and the couple of primetime HD shows we watch. Those who watch a ton of stuff may have problems or record a lot of movies (I'm big on DVD as is) but for me this box is a winner.


    On balance, the 6412 is getting good reviews, though it doesn't do everything the Tivo does. For $1000 less than the HD Tivo, it comes close - close enough to be worth a try before going the Tivo route, in my case, at least.
     
  5. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    Cool thanks for the comments.
    so say i wanted to do a season pass of "Lost". I would just go and find it in the program guide and then select "season pass"?Is the DVR smart enough to know that if there's an episode being aired at a non regular time to record it? Also, can it distinguish between repeats and new episodes?
    Depending on the answers to some of these questions, I think Tivo may be going the way of the dodo in my setup.
     
  6. Allen Hirsch

    Allen Hirsch Supporting Actor

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    I don't have it yet (install is supposed to be this Wed.), but from what I've read on the other forums, yes - you search and find the name of the show, then select the equivalent of a "season pass" to record the series all season. The DVR is dependent on the "flags" that the cable guide provides (iGuide, in the case of Comcast) to distinguish between re-runs and new episodes - some guide programs and/or networks are better at providing that than others, as I understand it (so it's not foolproof that you are getting only new episodes).
     
  7. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    Allen,
    So has your Cox DVR been installed yet? Any initial impressions you can share with us?
     
  8. AndrewVital

    AndrewVital Agent

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    I've had my COX DVR in for about a month but with holidays i haven't had a change to post, sorry.

    This thing is awesome!!! You can record 2 shows at once as long as you are watching one of them, so you can schedle one and then navigate to another and hit record and it'll record em both.

    Also when you hit guide the screen shrinks so you see what you are watchingin the upper righthand corner as you navigate, my other digital box didn't do that so thats cool.

    As for season passes, I love the simpsons, so what i did is go to the record menu, schedule a new recording, and then you can search by time, or by title. So i typed in the simpsons, and it shows all times it playing. I chose Fox and then selected the record new episodes option, and selected anytime.
    So the DVR will record any first-time-aired episode of the simpsons that airs anytime on fox. but not re-runs! Awesome [​IMG]

    What i also like is it's one box, easy setup (the cox guy did it for free, though it was only 2 cables) the DVI works in this box (my other Cox HD box didn't have the DVI plug active) ( though I use the DVI for my dvd player and component for my dig cable with no noticible difference. )

    I think Cox ( and motorola) has a real winner here. for 5 bucks a month for the service and the box being the same price as my reg HD box, this is definately worth it!

    Get one, you'll never miss your Tivo

    Woo-hoo, Doh!
    - Andrew
     
  9. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    We have Cox cable here in Fairfax county, Va. My wife has a DVR box on the bedroom TV and likes it. $10.00 a month for the DVR service and $3.00 a month for the box rental.

    They do have the HD-DVR but they charge $10.00 a month for box rental and another $10 for the DVR service. Not worth it for me.

    Jeff
     
  10. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the mini review Andrew!
    I think this seals it, Tivo will be going bye bye once I move and get my new TV.
    Anyone interested in an 80 hour Tivo [​IMG] ?
     
  11. David WS

    David WS Stunt Coordinator

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    I just ordered a HD PVR for my "family" system (as well as a HD tuner for my theater in the basement) from Comcast. I've been using a DirecTivo for the last 4 years or so. I love it but with three HD ready systems I wanted more HD options. I have a used Samsung SIR T150 STB that works great when it can lock into my local channels. I couldn't watch the AFC championship in HD because the audio kept dropping out. My hope is that the Comcast DVR will provide enough quality HD video to make up for the lower quality interface (Compared to my DirecTivo).

    My Questions: Does anyone know if the Comcast HD PVR is in fact the same as the Cox moto (At least in the Twin Cities area)? If it is, does it have DVI, component video or both? What about the Digital Audio connections. I'm going to have do a bit of re-work on my family system to remove the DirectTivo and would like to prepare for the Comcast PVR while everything is torn apart.
     
  12. AndrewVital

    AndrewVital Agent

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    Yeah, they are all the same moto box. My friend in boston has comcast and hes got the same moto box I have.

    The box has DVI, component, as well as composite outs. The only thing it doesn't have is a Coax out (not that anyone wants to run it through yoru VCR because you have a DVR ! lol).

    It's got coax and optical digital audio out as well as USB ( dunno what thats for but it's there lol) .

    If you have any questions let me know.

    Just to let ya knwo how I have it set up.

    Cable comes in, I use Component out to go to my NEC HT1000 projector, then the digital optical out to go to my Pioneer Elite 7.1 receiver. That's it. works liek a champ and not complicated to set up at all. I dont' use the DVI because my dvd player uses the DVI and it only upscales with DVI not over component but i couldnt' notice a difference between the DVR's DVI and Component outputs anyway.

    Let me know how you make out

    Andrew
     
  13. David WS

    David WS Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the response Andrew!

    Since my kids have basically taken over my DirecTivo with copies of The wiggles, oobi, sesame street, power rangers and pokemon, I'll probably end up upgrading the HD reciever connected to my PJ to a HD dvr once I decide if I like the comcast HD DVR. [​IMG]

    I put a larger drive in my DirecTivo when the original drive failed so going back to a smaller HD size may become an issue, especially with HD recordings. I'm really looking forward to HD recordings, I never get to sit and watch Law and Order in HD because of family stuff.
     

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