Which DVR Works With Comcast?
By Patrick Nelson
Comcast markets an optional digital video recorder service as an add-on to its Xfinity-branded cable television offerings. The devices allow you to record movies, a single TV episode or a complete series. Other benefits include controlling live television, with the ability to pause and replay action. High definition and standard definition DVR services are available. Comcast also has a whole-house DVR option that permits DVR programming available across multiple TVs within a household. Plus, a computer interface allows you to schedule recordings via the Internet. Other non-Comcast provided DVR solutions, like TiVo are available too and are compatible with Comcast service.
Comcast DVR Options
DVRs from Comcast can provide up to 500 gigabytes of storage, which allow for 300 hours of standard definition programming, or 60 hours of high definition programming. HD models have multiple-channel surround sound. Standard definition boxes store up to 45 hours of programming with 80 GB of storage.
Comcast as a Supplier
Comcast supplies DVRs with no up-front equipment cost, but adds a service fee to your cable subscription. Sometimes a deposit is required -- if you've missed previous payments to Comcast, for example. Whole-house installations and initial setup programming will be performed by Comcast technicians.
TiVo boxes aren't cable television provider-dependent, so if you move a lot, you can take the DVR, and its programming with you. You can also connect the DVR to the Internet and download television programming unrelated to Comcast, like huluPlus's instant streaming access to recent TV seasons. There is an up-front cost for the box as well as a monthly service charge. Non-Comcast DVRs have storage comparable to Comcast boxes.
Which Boxes Work
As of 2011, Comcast-supplied DVRs include the Motorola DCH3416, DCH6416, DCT3400, DCT6208, DCT6412, DCX3400 and the Pace TDC757D. The Comcast DVRs have all the same specifications and are installed based on supply and manufacturing availability. All Comcast DVRs will work with Comcast services. All TiVos, including TiVo's Premiere and Premiere XL units, are compatible with Comcast service.
Patrick Nelson has been a professional writer since 1992. He was editor and publisher of the music industry trade publication "Producer Report" and has written for a number of technology blogs. Nelson studied design at Hornsey Art School.