Comcast is evil… what do I do now?

Basically, after having the new big ass TV for a few days, I started to regret my purchase; the picture looked like crap. Even on DVDs. Then, I found out that the cable that you connect shit to your TV with makes a difference. So I got component cables. Problem solved. Now, how does Comcast fit in here? Why let me tell you!

First of all, on Saturday, I had to wait 7 hours for them to show up, with them pushing their arrival back by hours at a time every time they reached their “absolutely no later than” time. I got in a fight with the woman in customer service. They didn’t care. I told her it was bullshit. She said she would terminate the call if I used anymore harsh language. Fuck. I got nowhere with that. All in all, we were successfully “upgraded” the the new Comcast DVR receiver, which means, you guessed it… “no more need” for Tivo. Ah Tivo, you have been so good to me all these years; and now I know why I loved you so much. Comcast DVR SUCKS!!! No seriously, Hoover, Dyson, they got nothing on Comcast DVR. The user interface is like taking pieces of construction paper and writing down names of shows, and then making a crappy looking graph out of them for you to browse with your horrible remote. Okay, that was an exaggeration, but it seriously, seriously sucks. I would give ANYTHING to get my Tivo back.

And to make it worse, I have a huge dilemma with just going back to Tivo… Tivo doesn’t support HD. That’s right, our new snazzy HDTV won’t work with Tivo. Well, it will, but it won’t use the HD channels. The dilemma continues; I cannot continue with the Comcast DVR. It is just too horrible. And you know what, I think that I am willing to give up the 10 channels that are actually HD, in order to get Tivo back, but I have some questions. Nerds, my fellow brethren, listen up, and please help:

1) If you hook up Tivo with S-video, does it look half as good as a component connection? Reason being, before I got the component connection, it looked like re-fried shit (I was using the composite connections through my receiver). I wouldn’t watch that crap now that I have seen the light. I would rather have my small ass TV back than have that. Also, what is the solution if S-video doesn’t compare? Tivo doesn’t offer component connections! Help!!!
2) Should I suck it up and order DirectTV? Is their DVR better? I know they offer a Tivo powered HD DVR, but $400 is a little, fuck that, A LOT out of my price range. That’s the ideal, but we really can’t afford that. But I have heard great things about DirectTV, i.e., them being WAY better than Comcast. I would even transfer on principle because Comcast’s customer service has a “fuck off” policy. Thoughts on DirectTV?
3) Is there a way that I could just use the Tivo that I have (I think it is series one), and still get a pretty good picture on the TV (assuming it is connected with S-video, since nothing else seems to be available)? Is anyone doing this? I am willing to upgrade to a new Tivo (more hours!), since it is free, and if this is the best solution.
4) When you connect Tivo to a TV that is CableCARD compliant, does it work like it does if you use the box? My TV is CableCARD compliant, but I would still only be able to connect Tivo to the TV with S-video; would it look good? If so, I can get the CableCARD from Comcast.

Any and all comments are very much appreciated. I am having a difficult time finding information about this stuff online; but the chances that I am just missing it are possible. This is all new to me. Who knew that I would get a TV that would outpace the current technology (Tivo HD isn’t out yet), and yet, I feel like I am behind the HD game? HELP!!!!!! No seriously… HELP!!!!

21 comments for “Comcast is evil… what do I do now?

  1. kat
    May 24, 2006 at 11:52 am

    i don’t know anything about the tv stuff, but if you send comcast a relatively nice email about your problems with the appointment time then they’ll give you a service credit. i’ve probably done this about half a dozen times.

    that i’ve HAD to do this half a dozen times is a rant in and of itself…

  2. May 24, 2006 at 12:05 pm

    Suck it up and get the HD with Direct TV, it is the bomb diggity!!! Just charge it, remember, it is free if you charge it!!!

  3. May 24, 2006 at 12:07 pm

    Dish Network is always an option AND you’ll be helping me pay my mortgage. :)

  4. May 24, 2006 at 12:12 pm

    Comcast doesn’t and probably won’t ever offer cable card because they want you to use their box(es).

    Can you wait until the end of the year? Tivo Series 3 looks like it’s going to be sweet.

  5. Joe
    May 24, 2006 at 12:13 pm

    Remember when you said, Buying things makes you happy? Ha ha ha.

    Money and aquiring things are are the same to happiness as a candy bar is to energy.

  6. May 24, 2006 at 12:59 pm

    I don’t know much about tivo but I love love LOVE my DVR but then again I never had tivo.

  7. May 24, 2006 at 1:16 pm

    I’m not sure what happened to my second comment, but I think I’m wrong about CableCARD.

  8. May 24, 2006 at 1:40 pm

    John, Comcast is actually offering the CableCARD free. That is why I am thinking about it; but, I don’t know anything about it, and the fee to have it installed is the same as a new Tivo… I don’t want to act until I know it will work with Tivo.

    Anyone know anything about the S-video?

  9. dpb
    May 24, 2006 at 2:06 pm

    S-Video will definitely look better than your standard connections and if you get the macdaddy Monster cable it will be as best as it can. As far as how it compares to composite cables … it’s better than your standard coax.

    I’m in the same dilemna as you. I have the Adelphia HD DVR and it blows chunks… and not even in the good way. Because of this, I’ve kept my DirecTV Tivo box connected and use it for 90% of my viewing. Anything I want to watch in HD, I use the Adelphia box. Pretty much, we call it the Football DVR because that’s pretty much all it is used for… save 24 and couple other shows. Anyways, I’m sporting a hefty cable/satellite bill because of this… In the long run, it would just be cheaper to do the DirecTV HD Tivo but the installers tell me I can’t get the HD signal because this lame ass Charlie Brown Christmas Tree is 1 inch too far over and in the way. Fuckers…

    Anyways, from what I’ve heard, as TiFaux (love that ming) boxes go, the DirecTV DVR is supposed to be the 2nd best in comparisson to Tivo.

    Finally, if you can suck it up for a while, you’ll be in luck. Comcast signed a deal with Tivo about a year ago to develop a Tivo Lite software that they will push down to their customer’s existing DVR boxes thereby basically making everyone a Tivo user overnight. I’m not sure when this push is supposed to take place or what they mean by “Lite.”

    So there go…

  10. May 24, 2006 at 2:25 pm

    I MAY have found my answer… I will let you guys know if any of these solutions work: . Here’s hoping they do… apparently, it sounds like S-video ain’t so bad.

  11. Jeffrey
    May 24, 2006 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Duane,
    My partner and I did the same thing and went with the Time Warner DVR-HD after having TIVO for years. I missed my TIVO very much, the TW DVR did not appeal to me (I wanted my TIVO sound effects back!!). I am not sure if this will help you or if you are already doing this, but we have a SONY HD DLP Widescreen and we still use the TIVO for recording. We use it on one input and use the TW DVR on another input for the HD viewing and recording of shows and movies, the HD picture is fabulous.

  12. Dave in DC
    May 24, 2006 at 4:28 pm

    Oh, my poor, lost friend. I really do need to check your website out more than once a year.

    Congrats on the new TV! Do not get rid of it. I don’t know anything about Tivo, but do upgrade your Tivo box with one that has a component connection. S-video is so early-1990’s. And never, ever, ever use composite. I think that’s left over from the ’80’s. Go with component at the minimum, and if you can find a Tivo with an HDMI-out, buy that! ‘course, that will most likely only be found on hi-def receivers, as there is no reason to have it for an SD or analog connection. Your TV has an HDMI input.

    Is there a way you can just grab your HD channels for free OTA (that’s over-the-air, i.e., via a rooftop antenna)? That’s how I get my HD content. Granted that’s only for the major networks, but I don’t have time for anything else. I needed a separate set-top box to get the locals, but your TV has a built-in HD terrestrial tuner. Pick up a Silver Sensor antenna from your local BB/CC/Radio Shack and hook that up to see what you can get locally.

    Good luck. And hang in there. Once you get used to hi-def, your eyes will bleed trying to watch anything less.

  13. May 25, 2006 at 10:03 am

    Dave, the problem is, that there are no Tivos that have component outputs!!! ARGH! I have no choice but to go with S-video; and I can’t get that to work yet! Frustration!

  14. Jay
    May 26, 2006 at 12:46 pm

    Ok dude, here is the deal, I can see that there are alot of nice people here who don’t have a lot of experiance with both cable and Tivo. If you want HD Tivo now, then ditch comcast, and get a HD Direct TV DVR with Tivo, that will give you all that you are lookin for Now! If you can wait about eight months, there will be comcast DVR’s toward the end of the year featuring Tivo software, which will fix your problem. S-Video and Composite are about the same, and the quality of the cable does not make that big a difference. Anything with HD output IE your Comcast DVR or HD Tivo reciever has them, so that is always the best option. There is something new called HDMI, which is the best in most cases its Digital Video and Audio in One cable. However many devices don’t yest have it, however your new TV might if it has cabel card capabiility. Cabel card is just a way for you to use the tuner built into the TV with the cabel companys controls, so you don’t need an external box. I am an Installer who has lots of experiance with these things. An for the record, Comcast current DVR’s do suck and, anyone who disagree’s simply does not know the joy of TIVO, and as fras as Comcast customer support one hung up on me yesterday, because I called her “Stupid” (I know , it was not nice but trust me she was stupid”) So good luck, and feel free to contact me with any questions. Note: Costco has the best prices on HD DirecTV Tivo’s

  15. May 26, 2006 at 8:53 pm

    Just so you know, all of the DVD TiVos have component video output. So the Pioneer DVR-57H & DVR-810H, Toshiba SD-H400, RS-TX20, and RS-TX60, and the Humax DRT400 and DRT800. So if you really need component output, any one of those will cover you. They also record in higher resolutions at High and Best because they record DVD compliant (except for the SD-H400, that’s the same as other S2s – it isn’t a burner, just a player). Instead of 480×480 they’re 720×480 and higher bitrates, especially at Best.

    Personally I’ve always used Best on non-DVD units and High on DVD units and found them to be about the same.

    I would NOT go with DirecTV. They are actively phasing out the TiVo, and the HD TiVo is still offered only because the non-TiVo model is behind schedule. They’re phasing in MPEG4 for HD content and the TiVo model will NOT support that, only the current MPEG2 channels for as long as they exist. Plus you will not have all the features you love about TiVo – no networking, no undelete, etc. Some of the features can be added with hacking, but not all, and then you have the hassle of hacking.

    Personally I’d probably just live with S-Video and recording at Best until the fall when the S3 is out. If you feed the TiVo with S-Video from the cable box, then use S-Video output, the picture is pretty good.

    S-Video is superior to composite, and not as good as component. Composite mixes chroma and luma signals, S-Video carries them separately for more picture information. It was originally developed to handle the higher resolution of S-VHS, and then saw used on Laserdisc for the same reason. S-Video was the videophiles choice until component became more common. Now HDMI is the top end, besting component. The Series3 will have HDMI.

  16. May 26, 2006 at 9:04 pm

    Oh, and for your specific questions:

    1) If you hook up Tivo with S-video, does it look half as good as a component connection?

    That’s subjective. I think so, others disagree. It depends on many variables, like the quality of the source material, the display device and how it handles the respective input, etc. S-Video falls between composite and component on the scale. It is basically:

    RF (coax) -> composite (RCA) -> S-Video -> component -> DVI/HDMI

    The quality level you record at on the TiVo matters the most really. As I said in my first comment, TiVo does offer component.

    2) Should I suck it up and order DirectTV? Is their DVR better?

    As I said, no. And their non-TiVo DVR is terrible. If you Google around you will find many reviews slamming it for the terrible UI and flakiness. Especially from anyone who tried the TiVo version first, it is a big step down – like your cable DVR is. Since DirecTV has refused to enable any advanced TiVo features on their TiVo DVRs, I wouldn’t use them.

    3) Is there a way that I could just use the Tivo that I have (I think it is series one), and still get a pretty good picture on the TV (assuming it is connected with S-video, since nothing else seems to be available)?

    I don’t understand why you have a problem using S-Video. I can’t imagine any new TV *doesn’t* have S-Video input, especially an HD set. And nearly every cable box made has S-Video output. So all you need are two cables – one to feed into the TiVo, one to feed out of the TiVo.

    A lot of people will connect the S-Video out of the cable box to their TiVo, and connect the HDMI or component output to their TV directly. Then they can watch HD content ‘live’ if they happen to be there, and the TiVo isn’t recording something, while the TiVo can keep recording. And most HD cable boxes will downconvert HD to SD for output on the S-Video jack. It still looks better than standard SD.

    4) When you connect Tivo to a TV that is CableCARD compliant, does it work like it does if you use the box?

    Unrelated. CableCARD is simply an access card that allows you to decrypt protected digital cable content. You can’t feed the signal *out* from the TV’s internal CC tuner unto the TiVo to use the TV as a cable box. If your TV has CC then you could get a card AND a cable box. Connect the TiVo to the cable box, and leave it be. Then if you want to watch HD content live, without TiVo, you can use the tuner in the TV via the CableCARD.

  17. Andysan
    June 2, 2006 at 10:53 pm

    yo. i hear ya on the TiVo. i lent mine to some friends while i was in iraq since i have that sweet lifetime subscription. well, it has been kidnapped and i got that stupid time warner cable box. i would rather have my old TiVo eventhough i can record 2 shows on this TWC box. i can’t wait for TiVo 3 to come out too. i just was spoiled with TiVo. you know, my lifetime subscription is only good for the original box and won’t work for TiVo 3. how bogus is that.

  18. June 3, 2006 at 4:55 pm

    I would subscribe to dish network. They have great programming, all of the channels are digital and crystal clear, they offer a hd dvr reciever with 150 hours of record time, and they are much cheaper than cable.

  19. Mark
    October 19, 2006 at 2:50 pm

    Ah. Well, having become a DirecTiVo pioneer *precisely* because Comcast is evil, and I would never, never, *NEVER* have one of their infernal pieces of equipment, I have to admit, well, that I am now a (quite happy) Comcast customer. There is a simple but key requirement to this happiness. It’s called a TiVo Series3 DVR, and it got its CableCards installed last night. Totally sweet. What was wrong with the Comcast HD service was the absolute, total PIECE OF CRAP Motorola 6412 DVR. The nightmares associated with this pile of junk have even made it onto Wikipedia at this point, so I won’t belabor them here.

    A few comments. First, S-Video just doesn’t cut it, and don’t stop with Component. You *must* use either DVI or HDMI to get an honest-to-God *digital* signal into your HD TV.

    Second, get the HD Series3 TiVo. You can transfer a lifetime subscription from an older TiVo to the new one for $199 (regardless of where you buy the new TiVo, no matter what other folks are saying).

    The downside? We can’t use “On Demand” or “Pay-per View”. We never did, so we don’t care. The upside? TiVo UI. Automagic “back-up” when you hit play during fast-forward. Simple Season Passes. A remote that doesn’t need a calendar to log its response time. The TiVo UI. Access to all your MP3s and photos from a single unit. Twice the capacity of the 6412 straight out of the box. An eSATA connector on back that will be enabled in a few months, allowing disk expansion without requiring so much as a screwdriver. The TiVo UI. *Run* to buy one of these.

  20. November 9, 2006 at 9:36 am

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  21. Danielle
    February 10, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    At one point in time, I was a Comcast subscriber and the only thing that I liked about it was the OnDemand content. Soon after, I started working at DISH Network and I tried their service and loved it. DISH Network has Free HD for Life and Comcast and has beat Comcast in customer satisfaction 10 years in a row according to the ACSI. I wouldn’t got back to cable because I know that DISH Network gives me the best value for my money! I invite people to come and explore the endless possibilities with DISH Network.


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