So Brad had a rule that whenever he got confused in his work, and things didn’t make sense anymore, it was time to go to lunch. After the lunch conversation got confusing, and things didn’t make sense anymore, it was time to go back to work.
A couple months ago I moved from a Time Warner city to a Comcast city. While TW is no choir of angels, Comcast manages to be even worse.
There is one nice feature of the Comcast DVR that I like. You can use the “previous channel” button to toggle between a live broadcast and a show that has been recorded. I don’t recall the Time Warner box working this way.
Now on to why the DVR sucks:
Channel input: It’s necessary to push all 3 digits to enter a channel, even 2 digit channels. So if I want to go to channel 8, I have to press 0-0-8. If I just press 8, it waits a moment and then ignores me. Pain in the ass.
I have to change my TV aspect ratio settings when I change from an HD to SD channel or vice versa. Time Warner properly formatted SD channels to the center portion of the HD aspect ratio. Some people might complain that TW doesn’t allow you to stretch your SD channel to fill your screen, but 1) they’re idiots and 2) it should be an option in the box, not something I have to change on my television, so in that respect Comcast and TW both got it wrong, but at least TW gets in wrong the way I like.
When you press the DVR button you get a menu and you can select to see a list of your recorded shows, future recordings, or series recordings. Once you select one of these options, there’s no way to get back to the menu. You have to fully exit DVR and press the button again to get back to the menu. Ok, it really only amounts to one extra button press, but the darn box is so slow it feels like an eternity waiting to go from one screen to the other (probably has to do with the fact that a small image of the current channel is displayed in DVR mode and it has to toggle between this and the full image).
If you attempt to turn the DVR off while it’s recording a show you get a warning that this will cancel your current recording. This is lame. What happens when I’m recording a show at night and want to go to bed? The box stays on all night. In reality the only difference between the box being on or off is whether the output is active, since it is always buffering the current channel. This brings me to my next gripe:
The box is always buffering the current channel. At one time in my life I thought this was nice in case you’re a little late turning the TV on, you can rewind and not miss anything. I’ve changed my mind. This is a colossal waste of energy, and more importantly, it heats the crap out of my bedroom. No joke, it is several degrees warmer in my room than the rest of the house. And who wants the cooling fan on their cable box coming on when you’re trying to sleep.
The list of recorded shows on the DVR doesn’t display how much longer until a show will be automatically erased. Instead they decided to list as a percentage how full the disk is. That might roughly let me know how long a show has (if I could easily see my scheduled recordings, which I can’t [see above]), but it’s generally useless. Point for Time Warner on this one.
This entry was posted on Monday, October 15th, 2007 at 4:31 pm and is filed under television. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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