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Comcast DVR-any aftermarket boxes available?

Deal?Where? 56 November 19, 2009 at 05:44 AM
Do I have to rent the Comcast Scientific Atlanta DVR box, or can I purchase an aftermarket one to work with Comcast?
I would assume that I could buy my own instead or renting it every month-that is rediculous.....
Can anyone help me out? Thanks!
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22 Comments

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#2
First, ask Comcast to see if they allow you to use your own box.
If yes, check eBay, I often see people sell Comcast DVR there.

Don't expect Comcast give you any support if you running into tech problem... Good luck.
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#3
i would be very suspicious of people selling cable-company branded equipment.
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#4
If you decide to go with eBay, make sure you ask the seller for serial # and model and call Comcast to make sure that box is ok to activate before you buy it.

I believe Comcast are the owner of all their boxes (doesn't matter how/where you get it from, it belongs to them) and they prop. will ask for it back when you terminated the service. DirecTV did asked for all the HD boxes that I purchased from eBay when I left them.
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#5
You could use a Tivo S3/HD with a cable card. You still have a monthly charge for the DVR but you get a WAY better DVR.
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#6
How is the Tivo better than the Comcast DVR? Is there a specific model for HD?

I'm in the same boat - I want another DVR but I'd prefer not to pay any more to Comcast than I have to!
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#7
i have a media center hp computer. it has a tv card in it. works perfect
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#8
Quote from Jeffbx View Post :
How is the Tivo better than the Comcast DVR? Is there a specific model for HD?
The Series 3, HD and HDXL are all HD boxes. Series2 and prior are not. The HD/S3 boxes use a cable card to get all the digital channels you subscribe to w/out an extra box from the cable co. The HD/S3 boxes can also receive local broadcast digital stations.

Tivo has:
Netflix streaming
Amazon and Blockbuster movie rentals
The ability to download shows to your PC/Mobile (Zune, iPod, etc)
-Downloading to mobile devices requires Tivo Desktop Plus for $24.95
Stream video and audio and display photos from your PC
Season Pass automatically tracks changes in schedule, etc for your favorite shows.
Kidzone only allows your kids to see what you want them to.
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#9
Plus be wary of any of the Scientific Atlanta / Cisco or Motorola boxes you might find on Craig's List or eBay. Since you can't really go out and buy them unless you are a MSO, good chance they are un-returned or stolen. which probably means bricked.
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#10
All the previous posters are correct:
1) If someone is selling a box online, it is likely stolen and unusable. It's not possible for a customer to own their own video equipment.
2) If you are interested in eliminating the fee, a cable card would likely be your only route.

Cable cards were designed because of the monopoly created because a typical customer does not have the option to own their own digital boxes. Motorola and SA are the two biggest manufacturers of set tops. In order to break up that monopoly, the physical device (host) and security/authorization (cable card) pieces were split up, to allow the consumer to purchase their own hardware.
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#11
You could buy a Moxi, Comcast may want to check it out before you use to verify that it is compatible with their system.

http://moxi.com/us/home.html These things are expensive though.
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#12
You can also upgrade the hard drive on Tivo HD(involves some reading and opening the box, violating the warranty. You can get a refurb unit for cheap, about $200). I currently have a 1TB drive in it which holds about 150hrs HD content. Pretty sweet.
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#13
Quote from bil View Post :
You can also upgrade the hard drive on Tivo HD(involves some reading and opening the box, violating the warranty. You can get a refurb unit for cheap, about $200). I currently have a 1TB drive in it which holds about 150hrs HD content. Pretty sweet.
I did just that... Picked up an HD Tivo from CL for $100 and they threw in a Series2. I upgraded the HD with a 1TB drive and since I don't record much HD (Haven't got an HDTV yet) It holds close to 1000 hours!!! When I get an HD TV I will probably add an external 1GB drive to take me to the maximum storage on the HD Tivo at this point.
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#14
Quote from wperry1 View Post :
The Series 3, HD and HDXL are all HD boxes. Series2 and prior are not. The HD/S3 boxes use a cable card to get all the digital channels you subscribe to w/out an extra box from the cable co. The HD/S3 boxes can also receive local broadcast digital stations.

Tivo has:
Netflix streaming
Amazon and Blockbuster movie rentals
The ability to download shows to your PC/Mobile (Zune, iPod, etc)
-Downloading to mobile devices requires Tivo Desktop Plus for $24.95
Stream video and audio and display photos from your PC
Season Pass automatically tracks changes in schedule, etc for your favorite shows.
Kidzone only allows your kids to see what you want them to.
In addition to this, Tivo just works better than the Comcast DVR. I am so frustrated with the Comcast DVR. I can handle the ugly interface but the performance is unacceptable for the monthly price you have to pay, which is more than Tivo.

I can't tell you how many times I've tried to fast forward through some commercials only to have the ffwd mechanism (for lack of a better term) become laggy and then just put me at the end of my program.
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Cheap Ass
56 Reputation
Original Poster
#15
I just don't understand why you have to "rent" their equipment if you NEED it to get the HD channels. Sounds a little silly to me.....I haven't checked lately (wife pays the bill) but I think it's between $10-$15/month to RENT the Comcast box. It seems like a bit of a monopoly to me-oops I just realized that's what Comcast is-a monopoly...
You should be able to use other boxes to be able to get comcast services.
Kind of like subscribing for telephone service and having to use THEIR phone and being charged to rent it monthly. Silly. Does anyone else feel me here?
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