Which HD Cable Boxes Does Comcast Use?
By Darrin Meyer
Comcast is the largest cable TV provider in the U.S., with 23 million subscribers as of the first quarter 2011. The company's XFINITY TV offers different options when it comes to selecting a programming package, including access to high-definition (HD) channels. With most TVs, a set-top receiver box or DVR will be needed to view the HD channels in Comcast's digital service, and Comcast uses boxes from different manufacturers, with the majority coming from Motorola.
When subscribing to digital cable from Comcast or any other provider, the type of set-top box you receive is dependent on the channels selected and the level of service desired. When choosing the HD channel package, you receive an HD-capable receiver, and if you add the DVR service the box has an integrated DVR. Comcast relies on the same manufacturers for each type of box, and the main difference between standard and HD receivers/DVRs will be the HD capability and the necessary video outputs (HDMI and component video) to relay the HD resolution video to an HDTV.
Comcast uses a variety of HD receivers, which may vary by individual market or region, and exact model numbers will change as newer versions are introduced. One of the primary manufacturers is Motorola. As of July 2011, Comcast's Motorola non-DVR receivers include the DCH3200 and 6200, DCT 5100 and 6200/6208 and DCX3200. In addition, its DCX3200M is also produced and marketed as the Page/Cisco RNG150N. Other brands used for the HD receivers are Cisco, with the RNG150 and RNG150N, and Scientific Atlanta's 4240/4250HDC.
The model numbers for the HD DVRs used by Comcast are nearly identical to those of the non-DVR receivers, as the primary difference between the two is simply the DVR capability. Once again, the majority of the models are from Motorola, with models used, as of July 2011, being the DCH3416 and 6416, DCT 3400 and 6400/6412 and DCX 3400M. Other makes and models are the Cisco RNG200N and the Scientific Atlanta 8300HD/HDC DVR.
Households with multiple TVs and viewers may decide to opt for Comcast's AnyRoom DVR service. This service networks the primary HD DVR with up to three non-DVR receivers to provide access to the DVR from each connected receiver and TV. Comcast uses the Motorola DCX 3400M as the primary, or "hub," DVR and the DCX 3200M as the secondary or "terminal" receivers with this service. Contact your local Comcast office to find out if this service is offered in your area.
Darrin Meyer has been writing since 2009. In addition to being a frequent blogger, his articles appear on eHow, Answerbag and other Web sites. Meyer has a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.