Comcast, Allow Me To Kvetch About Your DVR

An admission before I start. I fully concede I’m about to kvetch because one of life’s little unnecessary luxuries isn’t luxurious enough. Guilty. Get over it.

We have a very nice HD TV in the family room. It is connected to a Comcast supplied Cisco RNG200 DVR. Notice I used nice for the TV, not the DVR.

Nearly every operation on this DVR makes you think development stopped as soon as a feature worked. No one ever considered whether it worked well.

With football season underway I’ve got two games on the TV at once. The Phils/Mets take up most of the screen with the Giants/Panthers in a small window.

If you were designing this system you’d put the smaller window in a corner. It’s much less likely to intrude if tucked away.

Not on the RNG200! The inset window is where the screen’s corner would be if I was watching old school 4:3 standard def not 16:9 high def. This might be understandable if not for the fact the RNG200 knows I’m watching in HD!

I use an HDMI cable between the TV and DVR. That’s a ‘smart’ system which sends data in both directions. The DVR sees where its signal goes and knows the screen resolution.

With this system the out-of-the-way window ends up being near the middle of the action blocking things I want to see.

This is just one in a long series of almost complete and poorly enabled features.

  • On-Demand is clumsy and excruciatingly slow.
  • Scheduling a recording can take dozens of button presses just to find a show.
  • The on screen program summary is often edited as if it isn’t meant to be read.
  • Standard def duplicates of high def channels clutter things up even though as mentioned earlier the box should know I’m not interested in seeing them in 4:3.

When you see what’s available with a TiVo or even my homebuilt MythTV this seems more-and-more unnecessarily irksome. How Comcast does this in light of the competition from U-verse and the satellite providers is beyond me.

3 Responses to “Comcast, Allow Me To Kvetch About Your DVR”

  1. meredith says:

    They’re not called “Comcrap” in our household for nothing. The day I punted them for U-Verse was the most joyous phone call I’ve ever made.

  2. MrKabin says:

    They exist because Richard Blumenthal filed a suit to stop U-verse from expanding as quickly as the consumers would like! There is a U-verse node 1/2 mile from my house but they can’t connect me because of the injunction. I would drop Charter in a second if U-verse was available……….

  3. Becky says:

    It’s the same thing with Cablevision. Totally sucks. We had to downgrade to the Cablevision DVR from Tivo when they changed to all digital channels. We could no longer record one thing and watch another without buying the new Tivo (too expensive) and paying for lifetime service again or a monthly fee.

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