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After being a Tivo user for the past 5 years, I always thought other DVRs worked similarly. I was wrong. I recently started using Comcast’s HD-DVR and so far I am not impressed with the interface. To show that I’m not totally one-sided, there is one good feature that the Comcast DVR has; in that it shows a small screen of your TV show when perusing the schedule. I like being able to still watch the show while looking at the TV listings. Now let’s get to the things that make the Tivo better than the Comcast DVR.
- The Tivo dual tuner lets you cache 2 different shows, so you can flip back and forth between them and miss the commercials. The Comcast DVR has dual tuners, but it only caches 1 tuner. The other tuner is used ONLY for recording purposes. So if you’re flipping back and forth between 2 shows, you lose your cached memory each time you switch channels.
- When recording a series on the Comcast DVR, the default setting only records the show at THAT particular time. Example, if you want to record all new episodes of Heroes, it will only record episodes that start at 10pm (since the first episode on the list starts at 10pm). This is bad, since if NBC moves Heroes to 9pm one week, the Comcast DVR won’t find it. Tivo’s Season Pass WILL find all episodes of Heroes, no matter when it plays. You can manually change the Comcast DVR to record Heroes “anytime” a new episode plays, but shouldn’t that be the default setting?
- The Comcast DVR uses only part of the screen for showing TV listings and DVR listings. This limits what can be seen on 1 page. Too much remote surfing required.
- It seems like the Tivo has a quicker response to remote functions. The Comcast remote either takes longer to process or something…. since it’s driving me crazy when I hit the down button 5 times and it only goes down 2 spots.
These are just the few things that have made me wish I still had a Tivo. I’m sure as I use my Comcast DVR more, I’ll get used to this inferior product. But if you have the choice between your cable company’s DVR and a Tivo, and if you can afford the higher cost of the Tivo ($700 for the Series-3 HD version), the Tivo is the way to go, hands down.