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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Southern Pines, NC

    TWC DVRs, Signature Service, etc.

    This thread has caught my attention, and is prompting me to learn more about how something like Dropbox could be useful to me. At the same time I have been looking to improve the services that I get from my cable company, TWC. I'll get to that in a minute.

    In checking out some of the info offered here I stumbled upon these two websites for Skydrive and Windows Live Mesh at Microsoft. I am in the early stages of studying these sites, and I am imagining several interesting ideas. For example, I am frequently sending documents and pictures to friends and family. With these MS products, all I need to send is the link to them on Skydrive, or Dropbox, or whatever. Another use would be posting pictures here. Now I have to upload them to DBR, but with Skydrive all I need to do is just post a Skydrive link.

    Of course if I really get rolling on this, I would need more uploading speed from TWC. They must be shadowing my online activity, because I just received from them a flyer on a new service of theirs called Signature Homeô that would replace my present cable, digital phone, and internet that I get from them. It includes cable TV with whole house DVR with 150 hours of HD (21 hours a day of TV watching in one week), digital phone with computer access (?), their fastest internet speed, and full house wireless that connects TVs, DVRs, computers, printers, stereo, gaming, and mobile phones. It also includes 24/7 dedicated service that supposedly provides on site response. That last thing makes it very attractive, if you can believe it. The norm around here when you call for service is an appointment the end of next week.

    Is anybody familiar with this new TWC product? I'd like to know if this is too good to be true. My current wireless is Linksys, but I have not yet networked our printers. Oh yeah, the cost. They are advertising $199.99 per month plus tax and fees. It's a promotional price, but it is pretty close to what I am now paying. The apparent advantages are inviting, but...

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Jarhead View Post
    This thread has caught my attention, and is prompting me to learn more about how something like Dropbox could be useful to me. At the same time I have been looking to improve the services that I get from my cable company, TWC. I'll get to that in a minute.

    In checking out some of the info offered here I stumbled upon these two websites for Skydrive and Windows Live Mesh at Microsoft. I am in the early stages of studying these sites, and I am imagining several interesting ideas. For example, I am frequently sending documents and pictures to friends and family. With these MS products, all I need to send is the link to them on Skydrive, or Dropbox, or whatever. Another use would be posting pictures here. Now I have to upload them to DBR, but with Skydrive all I need to do is just post a Skydrive link.

    Of course if I really get rolling on this, I would need more uploading speed from TWC. They must be shadowing my online activity, because I just received from them a flyer on a new service of theirs called Signature Homeô that would replace my present cable, digital phone, and internet that I get from them. It includes cable TV with whole house DVR with 150 hours of HD (21 hours a day of TV watching in one week), digital phone with computer access (?), their fastest internet speed, and full house wireless that connects TVs, DVRs, computers, printers, stereo, gaming, and mobile phones. It also includes 24/7 dedicated service that supposedly provides on site response. That last thing makes it very attractive, if you can believe it. The norm around here when you call for service is an appointment the end of next week.

    Is anybody familiar with this new TWC product? I'd like to know if this is too good to be true. My current wireless is Linksys, but I have not yet networked our printers. Oh yeah, the cost. They are advertising $199.99 per month plus tax and fees. It's a promotional price, but it is pretty close to what I am now paying. The apparent advantages are inviting, but...
    I know nothing about it but the question that occurs to me is what is the post-promotional price?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Southern Pines, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Indoor66 View Post
    I know nothing about it but the question that occurs to me is what is the post-promotional price?
    The $199.99 price is for one year only, but for years, every time one these promotional prices from TWC was about to expire, I'd simply call up to cancel some feature, and they'd extend the promotional price if I didn't cancel, or something like that.

    Mods, I didn't intend to hi-jack the thread. I was thinking of my post as two parts of the same problem.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Watching carolina Go To HELL!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jarhead View Post
    The $199.99 price is for one year only, but for years, every time one these promotional prices from TWC was about to expire, I'd simply call up to cancel some feature, and they'd extend the promotional price if I didn't cancel, or something like that.

    Mods, I didn't intend to hi-jack the thread. I was thinking of my post as two parts of the same problem.
    Jarhead, this is the OT board. I don't think the mods get quite as persnickety here as they do on the EK board...

    That's double the price of their promotional price for the three services currently being advertised for new 3 service customers, but not with all the bells and whistles your new service would include. 150 hours of HD recording. Wow. My new Cisco box does 50, and I'm quite happy with it, BTW. The anywhere DVR sounds intriguing.
    Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!

    Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
    9F 9F 9F
    http://www.EGLEW.com


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by OZZIE4DUKE View Post
    Jarhead, this is the OT board. I don't think the mods get quite as persnickety here as they do on the EK board...

    That's double the price of their promotional price for the three services currently being advertised for new 3 service customers, but not with all the bells and whistles your new service would include. 150 hours of HD recording. Wow. My new Cisco box does 50, and I'm quite happy with it, BTW. The anywhere DVR sounds intriguing.
    You raise an issue I have questions about. I have a Comcast DVR and have very limited storage capacity - especially with HD BB games. Any suggestions for increasing storage capacity?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Mods,
    Can we split off a separate thread for the DVR/TWC stuff?
    I'm very interested in the topic, but it could probably use its own thread.
    Thanks.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Indoor66 View Post
    You raise an issue I have questions about. I have a Comcast DVR and have very limited storage capacity - especially with HD BB games. Any suggestions for increasing storage capacity?
    You can buy an upgrade kit/new hard drive for your unit. Something like this:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Comcast-TW-DCH34...item3cb3f0bb61

    Comcast TW DCH3416 DCX3400 DVR Hard Drive Upgrade Kit
    Replace your existing drive with a new 500GB HDD! 75 hr

    (I don't know anything about that particular item for sale, so I'm not endorsing it. It's just for illustrative purposes).

    I don't know how difficult it is to replace the hard drive on Comcast DVRs from an installation standpoint; I know people who have done it with Tivos before though, and they didn't make it sound all that difficult. I personally have a Tivo HD XL, which holds 150 hours of HD (1 TB hard drive). It's pretty sweet! It's actually considerably cheaper than the Comcast DVR on a monthly basis since I don't have to pay for an HD box, nor the DVR service, and the cablecard is free (of course, there was an upfront cost of the box, which I got via ebay for like $200). Comcast was like $15 a month for the HD DVR box, Tivo costs me $8/month due to multiple Tivo discount. So, the breakeven point is about 28 months, but I greatly prefer the Tivo box (and it has WAAAAY more storage) as stated.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by 94duke View Post
    Mods,
    Can we split off a separate thread for the DVR/TWC stuff?
    I'm very interested in the topic, but it could probably use its own thread.
    Thanks.
    Sounds like a good idea.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Southern Pines, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by OZZIE4DUKE View Post
    Jarhead, this is the OT board. I don't think the mods get quite as persnickety here as they do on the EK board...

    That's double the price of their promotional price for the three services currently being advertised for new 3 service customers, but not with all the bells and whistles your new service would include. 150 hours of HD recording. Wow. My new Cisco box does 50, and I'm quite happy with it, BTW. The anywhere DVR sounds intriguing.
    Ozzie, I think that the difference here is that the replacement box (don't know if it is a Cisco) has a larger hard drive plus a wireless capability. Your home computers would interface with the cable box as would as would your digital phone (if it is TWC digital), and I suppose even your mobile phone, also. There appears to be some capability to have some measure of control over the cable box via computer or telephone. Oh, yeah, the Internet connection is the fastest they offer.

    A separate cable box would be required for each TV set since there is no mention of wireless connection there. On the other hand, the boxes would be wireless accessible. Of course, the TWC software for the box would have to handle all of these things, so I wonder about the effectiveness of such a setup. This is going to take me a while to digest, so I'll work on that. It's complicated.

    While I'm thinking of it, I wonder if there would be some way to send recorded programming to external hard drives via the networked computers. That would be sweet. TWC, though, would probably block that. I haven't heard of anything that TWC might do to allow attaching of expansion drives. Comcast appears to be that doing using a Motorola add on of some sort. Hmm, is cable making it difficult for Tivo?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham-- 2 miles from Cameron, baby!
    Quote Originally Posted by Indoor66 View Post
    You raise an issue I have questions about. I have a Comcast DVR and have very limited storage capacity - especially with HD BB games. Any suggestions for increasing storage capacity?
    Check the PVR for an eSATA port. If it's got one, it may be as simple as just plugging in an eSATA-connected hard drive. You can get one with a terabyte for 80 bucks online.

    If it's like Tivo, it'll take awhile to format the drive before it works. Look up the specifics of your dvr online before getting started, or post your dvr make and model number and I'll look it up next time I'm here.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by alteran View Post
    Check the PVR for an eSATA port. If it's got one, it may be as simple as just plugging in an eSATA-connected hard drive. You can get one with a terabyte for 80 bucks online.

    If it's like Tivo, it'll take awhile to format the drive before it works. Look up the specifics of your dvr online before getting started, or post your dvr make and model number and I'll look it up next time I'm here.
    From what I've heard from a buddy of mine, regular eSATA drives aren't the best for DVR expansion. They are not designed to spin indefinitely. Look for a drive that is designed to spin constantly. I have seen them called DVR Expansion Drives. They are a little more expensive, but they are designed to work with your DVR.

    Something like this:
    http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digita.../dp/B001UHOR88

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham-- 2 miles from Cameron, baby!
    Quote Originally Posted by 94duke View Post
    From what I've heard from a buddy of mine, regular eSATA drives aren't the best for DVR expansion. They are not designed to spin indefinitely. Look for a drive that is designed to spin constantly. I have seen them called DVR Expansion Drives. They are a little more expensive, but they are designed to work with your DVR.

    Something like this:
    http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digita.../dp/B001UHOR88
    All hard disks are designed for 24/7 operation, a high percentage are used that way. Some are better than others.

    Is your friend saying the hard disk for this product is PARTICULARLY designed for 24/7 pvr use? I guess that's possible, but the cynic in me smells more marketecture than architecture to that advertising claim.

    But hey-- it's not my TV shows on the line here. The difference is 35-45 bucks, or something like 50%. You pays your money and you takes your chances.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by alteran View Post
    All hard disks are designed for 24/7 operation, a high percentage are used that way. Some are better than others.

    Is your friend saying the hard disk for this product is PARTICULARLY designed for 24/7 pvr use? I guess that's possible, but the cynic in me smells more marketecture than architecture to that advertising claim.

    But hey-- it's not my TV shows on the line here. The difference is 35-45 bucks, or something like 50%. You pays your money and you takes your chances.
    Actually, my friend had a "regular" hard disk initially attached to his DVR. It died after a couple of months. He may have had a second one die, but I do not remember.
    I doubt that all hard drives are designed for 24/7 usage. Most are designed to shut down when not in use, to save energy and not wear on the drive.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by alteran View Post
    Check the PVR for an eSATA port. If it's got one, it may be as simple as just plugging in an eSATA-connected hard drive. You can get one with a terabyte for 80 bucks online.

    If it's like Tivo, it'll take awhile to format the drive before it works. Look up the specifics of your dvr online before getting started, or post your dvr make and model number and I'll look it up next time I'm here.
    I have both USB and eSATA ports on the Motorola DVR I lease from Comcast. Any data compatability questions or software issues?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Watching carolina Go To HELL!
    Quote Originally Posted by alteran View Post
    Check the PVR for an eSATA port. If it's got one, it may be as simple as just plugging in an eSATA-connected hard drive. You can get one with a terabyte for 80 bucks online.

    If it's like Tivo, it'll take awhile to format the drive before it works. Look up the specifics of your dvr online before getting started, or post your dvr make and model number and I'll look it up next time I'm here.
    I would be very surprised, flabbergasted actually, if you were able to connect an external hard drive to a cable company's DVR to expand program storage capacity. TWC won't even activate the computer connection ports on their units. They are very protective of THEIR technology/property.
    Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!

    Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
    9F 9F 9F
    http://www.EGLEW.com


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Southern Pines, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by OZZIE4DUKE View Post
    I would be very surprised, flabbergasted actually, if you were able to connect an external hard drive to a cable company's DVR to expand program storage capacity. TWC won't even activate the computer connection ports on their units. They are very protective of THEIR technology/property.
    That's right Oz. They do not even have the HDMI port on their box activated. At least they didn't when I last checked. I was hoping that, if I decide to sign up for their Signature Home service, having their DVR box on the same home network with my computer may somehow give it access to the DVR.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Indoor66 View Post
    I have both USB and eSATA ports on the Motorola DVR I lease from Comcast. Any data compatability questions or software issues?
    I'd check over on DSLReports.com in the Comcast cable TV forums before investing in any equipment. From what I know, you can't expand the storage capacity on their boxes. I think you're best bet for more storage is to get a Tivo or switch to DirecTV. BTW, FiOS TV is going to soon have this ability to plug in an external drive for expanded storage.
    "Something in my vicinity is Carolina blue and this offends me." - HPR

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by HaveFunExpectToWin View Post
    I'd check over on DSLReports.com in the Comcast cable TV forums before investing in any equipment. From what I know, you can't expand the storage capacity on their boxes. I think you're best bet for more storage is to get a Tivo or switch to DirecTV. BTW, FiOS TV is going to soon have this ability to plug in an external drive for expanded storage.
    Yes, I was under the impression that you could not expand the Comcast DVR storage. Unfortunately I cannot go to DirectTV (Condo issues). Maybe Tivo is the answer. I will have to look into that. Until then I will have to delete to add.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Indoor66 View Post
    Yes, I was under the impression that you could not expand the Comcast DVR storage. Unfortunately I cannot go to DirectTV (Condo issues). Maybe Tivo is the answer. I will have to look into that. Until then I will have to delete to add.
    I'm in the same boat in that my DVR is pretty much constantly at 99% used. I've learned to watch stuff quickly and supplement it with On Demand when necessary. It's pretty irritating.
    "Something in my vicinity is Carolina blue and this offends me." - HPR

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by HaveFunExpectToWin View Post
    I'm in the same boat in that my DVR is pretty much constantly at 99% used. I've learned to watch stuff quickly and supplement it with On Demand when necessary. It's pretty irritating.
    I spoke to Comcast and one cannot add memory. In order to get more memory in a DVR I must have their replay in another room service - and that requires a 2nd DVR. In order to go to Tivo I have to have the Comcast M-card installed by a Comcast installer.

    Maybe I'll watch and erase quickly!

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