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Thank God for my HR20 compared to Comcast's motorola DCH-3416

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by rajeshh, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. rajeshh

    rajeshh Godfather

    Sep 11, 2007
    I was at my neighbor's place who are new to DVRs and had just gotten a new comcast dvr. I was trying to show them the features etc, and in the process realized how good the HR-20 100 that I have has been compared to the comcast dvr. That dvr was so sluggish, and the interface was so kludgy.

    I have had 2 HR-20's since September 2007. One of them has already filled 1 external drive 750G, and has 15% free on its 2nd 1 TB drive.

    Just wanted to express that you don't realize how good you have it till you try something else that isn't.

    p.s: I know people have had issues with the directv hardware as well, but I have been lucky to not have had any issues.
  2. Matman

    Matman Legend

    Mar 24, 2008
    +1. I die every time I am at my brother in laws and use his comcast DVR..... I miss my HR21 the whole time I am there.
  3. dennisj00

    dennisj00 Hall Of Fame

    Sep 27, 2007
    Lake Norman, NC
    I had a similar experience at a friends with HD cable and a SA 8000-something. The GUI looked worse than most Commodore 64 screens and the football game on a 46" Samsung looked like crap (ESPNHD) Stair stepped yard lines, lots of blocking intermittently.

    Glad to come back home to HRs and Sonys!
  4. linger

    linger Legend

    Nov 5, 2005
    I totally agree. I miss my DirecTV equipment when I am at a friends house who has comcast...I kind of feel bad for them.
  5. dvdmth

    dvdmth Icon

    Jul 24, 2008
    Denver, CO
    We subscribe to both Comcast and DirecTV and have an HD-DVR with both. The Comcast box is a Motorola DCT3416, which is a couple of years old. The DirecTV box is an HR21-100 installed this past July. I regularly use both DVR's, though I generally record on the HR21 except when there's a conflict.

    There are actually a few things I like about the DCT3416, especially after the recent a25 software update:

    1. In my experience, the Motorola box is more responsive to the remote, particularly in the guide, than the HR21. There used to be a remote lag issue where it wouldn't respond to remote commands for several seconds, then suddenly respond to everything that was pressed during that time period - this problem appears to be gone completely after the recent update.

    2. The DCT3416 will automatically clip up to five minutes from the start of a recording if it prevents a schedule conflict. Comes in handy when a show on one channel overlaps a show on another channel by one or two minutes.

    3. The page up/page down buttons on the Comcast remote jump forward and backward five minutes at a time. Really nice for skipping through halftime shows and what not.

    4. The replay button goes back 15 seconds instead of the measly six seconds on the HR21.

    5. Much, much faster channel tuning. Takes maybe two seconds to change channels on the cable box, at worst.

    All that being said, the HR21 is still WAY better than the Motorola box. Advantages include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

    1. A 30-second skip button on the remote. The functionality exists on the Motorola box, but the remote issued by Comcast lacks the button. At least there's a way to program the function to a remote button through the setup code 9-9-4 (the Comcast remote is one of those JP1-type remotes). The Motorola DVR wiki gives instructions for programming 30-second skip.

    2. Much better capacity. I can only get 15-20 hours of HD on the 160GB drive in the cable box. The HR21 has twice the capacity, plus HD channels are MPEG4, so I can easily get 40-50 hours on it. Further, the HR21 has a working eSATA port, while Motorola doesn't (the port is there, but it's disabled due to DRM issues).

    3. There is no native mode on the DCT3416. You can choose 720p or 1080i, but not both. There is a 4:3 override which allows SD channels to be in 480i or stretched, but that's all the choices you have. What's worse is you have to turn the box OFF, then hit Menu to access these settings (not to mention Closed Captioning), and the DVR will NOT record when it's turned off!

    4. The HR21's search capabilities are a thousand times better than Motorola.

    5. After a re-boot, the Motorola box takes at least 24 hours to populate the guide, and I have once missed a show because of this (ugh!). At least the box only takes a minute or so to bring up live TV (though it takes several more minutes for menus to be accessible).

    6. The Motorola box software is updated maybe once a year, it you're lucky, and each update gives very little in terms of new features or even bug fixes. Since I got the box it was updated only twice, while the HR21 (which I had for about a quarter of the time) has been updated three times already.

    7. The only way to reboot the cable box is to pull the plug. No menu reset. No red button. I've had to pull the plug numerous times to resolve lockups. Really annoying.

    Think that's enough?
  6. dstankus

    dstankus New Member

    Mar 7, 2008
    I now have DTV with two HR20's and switched from Comcast (with their DVR) in early 2008.

    [smart@ss mode on]

    It's good that the DTV boxes reboot more quickly than the Comcast boxes, since I find myself rebooting much more often.

    I'd have to go through the unplug-wait-replug thing with the Comcast DVRs maybe once or twice a year, but it's an every two or three day thing with one of my HR20's; maybe once every week or two with the other.

    [smart@ass mode off]

    All things considered, however, I'm very glad I switched!
  7. RACJ2

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

    Aug 2, 2008
    The only nice things you missed about the Comcast Motorola DVR is the DLB and that the VOD is already on the DVR, no downloading.
  8. dvdmth

    dvdmth Icon

    Jul 24, 2008
    Denver, CO
    Yes, VOD is an advantage cable has (and will always have) over satellite - you don't even need a DVR for that. As for DLB, yes the Motorola boxes have it, but on HD channels the buffer only goes for 20 minutes or so. If you are always within 20 minutes of live TV, then fine. If not, you have to make full recordings of the shows, at which point you're pretty much at the same level as the HR's. (Yes, I have occasionally been tripped up by the short HD live buffer, which is why I now always set recordings when I buffer between two shows.)

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