Recent Comcast DVR upgrade didn’t fix much

After the most recent Comcast DVR upgrade took place I had some hope that many of the issues customers had seen would be fixed. For awhile the most recent upgrade seemed to run fairly smooth. But then all those problems that are very well known started to creep back in. It was my understand that the DVR history was supposed to resolve most of the common recording issues. Unfortunately that is far from the truth. There are many popular shows that are no longer new that continue to try and re-record. Comcast will of course blame this on their guide information provider.

The re-record issue will be blamed on the guide data not having the proper tags. Honestly if the provider of this information can’t get the job done right they should be fired. This has been a continual problem that has plagued customers for a number of years. There is a popular online forum that discusses Comcast cable television with a thread related to this latest “upgrade”. Of course users are being asked to provide information on which shows are having issues etc. Personally I don’t feel it is my job to resolve problems created by bad data or hardware.

I can tell you that this latest upgrade has done nothing to improve the customer experience. Honestly all it really did was add more clutter. Hardware performance with the Motorola DCT6412 III is just as bad. There has been no improvement in overall performance – lag is still a problem. I always wonder who beta test these upgrades. I’ve heard that Comcast employees supposedly do testing. I can’t see how they wouldn’t run into the same problems I’m seeing.

When fast forwarding, rewinding, pausing or playing the DVR will freeze at times. Only when you hit your chosen option button again ( sometimes a few times ) will the unit become responsive and perform the task you told it to. A new “feature” is that when you fast forward then stop the DVR decides what part of the program to start at. It does a kick back using a time code I’d assume. This is done to place you at the beginning of the program. Why is this annoying? Because many shows repeat a few minutes of the show segment that just ended when the new one starts. You used to be able to fast forward past that garbage. Granted you still can – you just need to fast forward even further into the show so that the kick back will place you where you want to be. This is not a feature but an added annoyance to a product that doesn’t work smoothly to begin with.

The Comcast DVR still has a mind of it’s own and won’t do what it is told. Last night I set the DVR to not record an episode of the World Series of Poker so that Poker After Dark would tape. Reviewed that this was set properly before I went to bed. Wakeup to no Poker After Dark – DVR decided to record the show I told it not to. Pawn Stars and Ice Road Truckers want to constantly record repeats even though the series recording is setup not to do so. I’ve seen the old issue of series recordings set to record HD record the the analog channel for that show. This happened last night with Flipping Out. The Bravo channel has had this problem for years now ( technically Bravo in my area is SD no Bravo HD here). Then again Pawn Stars & Ice Road Truckers have had the same behavior for just as long. There were other shows that wouldn’t play nice in the past. So I guess Comcast will see this as improvement since the troublemakers have been slightly reduced.

If it wasn’t such a pain to get an alternative DVR setup on Comcast I would have done it by now. I don’t order Pay Per View or use Video On Demand that often. So not having these isn’t going to be that upsetting to me. I haven’t explored the performance of the popular alternatives in awhile. It looks like it might be time to have a look once again at those options and read some reviews.

Update 9/16/2010

Poker After Dark was set to record last night but must have canceled out somehow. Because this mornings episode didn’t record. This is a show that doesn’t repeat so it’s one shot only. Use to be this program would have duplicate entries. If you didn’t tune to that channel beforehand the recording would then cancel itself out. If I remember correctly this was a known issue with this model Motorola DVR. That doesn’t seem to be the issue now. I haven’t seen any dupe listings since the upgrade. So I’m not sure what is stopping this show from being recorded. No other programs were listed to record that would have conflicted.

If myself and other customers are going to have to be Comcast beta testers then we should get paid or at least have or at least be given a service credit.

Update 9/20/2010

American Pickers, Top Gear and Pawn Stars continue wanting to record repeats when series recording is set not to. It’s interesting because not every repeat gets set for recording. The glitch is hit and miss. Many times when you manually correct this the DVR unit resets your choice and records the program anyway. Basically behavior the update should have fixed since this has been occurring for several years now.

Update 9/23/2010

Gene Simmons Family Jewels is now wanting to record repeats. The series recording is set to record only new episodes. I saw the well known whack the mole issue show back up a few days ago as well. There are a few other shows recording either repeats or the analog version when set to record digital channel.

Buy a Digital Video Recorder DVR

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Western Digital WD 1TB My Book AV DVR Expander External Hard Drive – USB 2.0 – WDBABT0010HBK-NESN

Motorola DCX3400 HD / DVR Set Top Cable Box with Standard 320GB Dual Tuner Hard Drive

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Western Digital My Book AV DVR Expander

Motorola DCX3400 HD DVR dual tuner

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Comcast Digital Cable DVR Self Install Kit

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Can you build your own Digital Video Recorder

I nuked my Motorola DCT6412 III

I-Guide A28 Maintenance Release

DVR recording scheduled wiped out

SA DVR iGuide York PA

Official Comcast blog about new SA guide

New Guide for Scientific Atlanta Cable Boxes Comcast Voices The Official Comcast Blog

[TiVo] Cable Card not authorized after Tivo clear and delete

How to use a Motorola DVR/Using i-Guide/User Setup

DVR Transport Failure video

That video shows play fast forward rewind frozen.

DVR records in SD when you’ve set it to an HD channel

Series recording does not work right, especially for non-network daily shows

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