I live in Colorado Springs CO. I would love it if someone would list the up to date HD DVR boxes available to us. What are the differences, how much DVR space is available on each of them. When I go to the Colorado Springs office, they claim that they have no idea what they have. That they are just delivered whatever Comcast feels like delivering them and are limited to what Comcast has provided to their inventory at any moment. Somewhere, someone at Comcast knows what the choices are and their specs. The Comcast office claims ignorance. Thank you in advance. I also am aware that this is is probably a moving target.
That all depends on your market. Comcast is split into two, motorola, and Cisco, SA. Most are motorola. The motorola market has a more up to date guide in most instances. The only real differences are hard drive size and maybe a slightly processor. Even if you know the "best" you're odds of getting them are not good. As what the office tells them is what it is. You can easily search the forum in the searh box above and get more links like the below one, this question is asked often.
There are only a handful of choices and they boil down to the series of Motorola DVR's acquired over the years.
Basically the DCX series is the newest and first came out in 2008. There's the DCX3400 older ones came with a 250gb drive, then they started coming with a 320gb drive. There are stickers on the bottom of the DVR showing the drive size and the drive size is also available in the diag menu. Then the AnyRoom DVR came out, first on a DCX3400 with a 500gb drive, then the DCX3501 (also branded as a Motorola RNG200N) came out last year with a 500gb drive. These 2 models are mostly for AnyRoom DVR subs, but these boxes have been given out for DVR subs when that is all the local office has in stock at the moment. All these DVR's are considered the "black DVR" and that is what you should ask for at the local office.
Older DVR's were the DCH series and older yet are the DCT series. These all have 120 or 160gb drives in them. The model shows the drive size, a 3412 / 6412 is a 120gb drive, the 3416 / 6416 are 160gb drives.
These DVR's all run the same software load from Comcast. The newer boxes run slightly faster. The office is correct, the stock they get from the warehouse varies widely day to day. The guy in front of you might get the last black DVR for the day or week. These DVR's last forever, and are cleaned up and recycled. That's why there are so many old boxes still running.
To Rog: As long as I know the choices, I can handle getting the most appropriate one. I'll worry about the odds. I need information. Especially the differences about in the disk size on the DVR. I wonder if there are also differences in RPMs and cache. To Jay: I am ignorant on what AnyRoom DVR is. Can you help with this. I have seen the Motorola RNG200N in the store. It might have been labeled as a different vendor.
Comcast has branded the latest DVR as a RNG200N. For Scientific Atlanta / Cisco equipped systems, it is built by Cisco. For Motorola systems, it is a DCX3501 model. Cisco and Motorola equipment are not interchangeable, they are specific for only their matching headend equipment.
The AnyRoom DVR is a recent product that has one master 2 tuner DVR with a 500gb drive, and several slave boxes, which are full HD cable boxes that also can stream recordings from the Master DVR. This product must have a tech install as the splitters and MOCA filter must be installed properly. There are limitations with this product, you can't setup recordings from the slave boxes or delete recordings. The slave boxes are regular full HD boxes for normal functions, the only thing special is the ability to watch recordings from the master DVR. This is the first version of the AnyRoom software and we can only hope there are improved versions coming. The AnyRoom product has more details HERE. This is available in most Motorola equipped systems, and just coming out to Cisco equipped systems in a handful of market areas.
We are sorry that no one here can help get you specific equipment, at a specific location. Getting the newest is a challenge for many subscribers.
I updated my message too soon by mistake. The disk space issue is important to me, as some of the boxes have esata ports that are disabled, as well as USB ports that are disabled. This is a case where I don't think the software matters, but how well the DVR functions depends on the hardware. The capacity, speed and cache of the drives as well as the allowing of expansion by the activation of the esata and USB ports. The quality of the audio & video also depends and the hardware limitations of the graphics cards that are inside. I do find the size embarrassingly large and it's size is an eyesore. When I go to my son's condo, he has a dish and the box is considerably better and his picture is much better. I think for all Comcast customer's we will can get more out of our service coming to them as a knowledgeable consumer. Another reason for my post is certainly not to whine or complain, but the hope that if Comcast customers become more educated and aware. maybe we can have Comcast take some of the millions spent on marketing and put it in upgrading their hardware & R&D. I think the more that people ask Comcast for specifics on their hardware, it can be made a larger priority for them.
Thanks, please add more information. I think it would be great to have an area that keeps updated specs of all of the available set top boxes.
Rumors are the esata ports will be enabled this year on Motorola DVR's. It would be expected for those ports only to work with a Western Digital Drive Expander external drive designed for severe AV service.
The DCX series black DVR are much smaller and run cooler than the DCT and DCH "pizza box" DVR's.
As with many large companies, the money is always spent in the wrong places.