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November 3, 2006 12:59 PM

Broken: John Battelle's Searchblog: Rant: The Comcast HD DVR Is Simply, Terribly Awful

A good rant from John Battelle comparing TiVo and his Comcast DVR. From The Comcast HD DVR Is Simply, Terribly Awful:

I love Tivo. I have written about it here many times. I love its approach to user interface, I love its corporate attitude (I know it can't keep it up given the reality of the market), and I even love its shortcomings. It's the Macintosh of television.

And Comcast, Lord knows, is the Windows. And not Windows 3.1. Windows 1.0. Or worse, if there is such a thing.

Also see: Study in Comcast branding

(Thanks, bb)


What's broken is his rant. He has no clue how the hardware works:

" Turns out, the f*cking Comcast HD DVR *does not have a hard drive.*"

This is completely wrong.

On top of that, I've lost power a couple of times and never lost my recorded programs on my own Comcast HD DVR.

Posted by: Michael at November 3, 2006 02:42 PM

I have a hard time believing a DVR would use only RAM, unless it had only a tiny amount of storage. I mean, RAM is a couple orders of magnitude more expensive per gigabyte than hard drive space. I just paid $90 for a 400GB HD; for the same amount, I could get 1 GB of RAM.

Posted by: Maurs at November 3, 2006 02:53 PM

Also I've seen the remote. It doesn't look THAT bad. Every universal remote has alot of buttons, this one is no exception.

And a flash drive for a hard drive? he never said anything about a Flash drive in there. And the guide... ahh it is a bit clunky but not that broken

He might have gotten an Explorer 8000HD. I've heard that those had been breaking down alot recently (We had to switch to a newer, sleeker model the 8300HD. That has a HDMI.)

Posted by: st33med at November 3, 2006 03:14 PM

Did I mention you could also hook another external hard drive to any DVR? DVRs usually have 150 GB of space. That is really not enough for HD programs.

Posted by: st33med at November 3, 2006 03:17 PM

I also just read "The Comcast HD DVR Is Simply, Terribly Awful" and "Study in Comcast Branding." Once again, low customer expectations = high customer satisfaction. So, keep it real, people. Don't expect response, do your own trouble shooting, config your own systems, add your own gizmos, RTFM, and you too can be a happy customer.

Posted by: tartan at November 3, 2006 05:26 PM

Haven't read the article yet, but even compressed HD runs approximately 19.2 Mbps, or 8 Gb per hour of video. 8 gig of flash RAM would cost a bloody fortune, and unless there's been some radical revolution in the technology, the data transfer rates for flash memory wouldn't come close to meeting the requirements. Generally speaking, HD DVRs start with 250 Gb drives and go up from there.

So, yeah, his credibility is somewhat questionable at least from a technological standpoint.

Now to actually read the article....

Posted by: Erich at November 4, 2006 05:07 PM

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