Stupid Comcast DVR Spoils Lost

12 Comments


Dear Comcast,

Thank you for spoiling last night’s season finale of Lost. Because of the key queuing issue with your set top boxes, two separate plot points from the show were ruined. It’s the same problem we’ve written about before, and it’s getting worse.

I pushed fast-forward to skip ahead through the commercials (Tom Rogers was right about the death of the 30-second spot), when the all-too familiar problem kicked in. At first nothing happened, so I pushed fast-forward again. Still nothing. Then suddenly the box kicked into overdrive, blasting through commercials and then through the show itself.

Play, stop and rewind buttons were furiously mashed in a vain attempt to get the box to slow down. Expletives were shouted, but it kept plowing through. Characters were killed in silent super speed before I could find out why.

Comcast, I know we’ve had our differences in the past, but please, please, please fix this problem. Don’t spoil what little good TV there is left.

Your customer because there is really no other option yet,
Chris

12 Comments

Phil Dewey

This is the same thing Tivo early adopters went through 10 years ago. The faults lie in both parts of the system, the DVR does not handle network delays well and the network itself is far from stable.

Having worked on a DVR project for several years I can confirm that it’s not as easy as it looks! The Tivo box and network is truly a miracle of engineering.

lastmilemktg

Your beef is with the set-top box maker and their DVR code/firmware – not the cable system operator. Motorola manufactures most of the set-top boxes for Comcast. Scientific Atlanta (now part of Cisco) is the primary manufacturer for Time-Warner. Pace also provides set-top boxes for both cable companies. Comcast and TimeWarner periodically go on set-top box design adventures but rarely bring the results to market. Newer digital TVs have a CableCard slot (now called Tru2way) as does the TiVo HD box. The CableCard (you get it from the cable operator or a retailer) replaces the set-top box. The CableCard is needed to support the specific conditional access system (encryption) used by each cable operator. The most likely outcome of a complaint to Comcast is that a service truck will arrive and replace the set-top box that is causing problems. There are at least two generations of the Motorola DVR in use. The newer version is a major improvement over the first generation box.

Matt_

Chris You need to tell @comcastcares on Twitter aka Frank Eliason from Comcast Customer Outreach it worked for Mike Arlington and its even worked for me .

rob friedman

Really it’s funny how things have become non-linear, and people are forced to use technology like it’s linear.

Why don’t they just put a damn jog shuttle on the DVR remotes like the days of the VCR.

I got my TiVo HD at the begining of the year and splurged for the 3 year plan. Now that TiVo has the lifetime plan back, I’m feeling a little miffed.

The 30 Second skip that you can enable on TiVo’s makes them soo much better than the bastardized DVRs cable companies provide, but it certainly doesn’t make it perfect. Say for commercials which are less or greater than 30 seconds. Sure some shows I don’t mind blowing through 15-30 seconds of a program, others I will skip back 15 seconds a few times to not miss a word. Due to the time differential, I’ve just become a custom to spoilers and I try to not let it destroy the experience.

Jonathan

Seriously, buy a TiVo HD. They are dirt cheap now through Amazon, and you can get them really cheap refurbished. It’ll cost you about the same or less in the long run, and you won’t have to deal with the crappy Comcast DVR anymore.

I have one, and I love it.

Spytap

This isn’t just Comcast, my Time Warner DVR (I’m assuming the same model and guide) does the exact same thing.

Thanks for simultaneously making it more difficult for Tivo to be my all-in-one box while foisting your crap model upon me TWC. Oh, and raising prices by 20% while cutting programming. I’m already looking for a replacement.

theshadowfan

It’s not like any other cable service is top-notch quality. Lost was awesome!

Comments are closed.