Comcast DVR vs. Tivo

TiVo is the company responsible for spearheading the digital video recording (DVR) industry. TiVo is literally a household name that has become synonymous with home movie digital recording. Comcast Corp. also offers DVR service, but it's not of the same extent or caliber as TiVo, the pioneers of the technology.

  1. History

    • Comcast is the biggest cable service provider in the country. It delivers a variety of home entertainment to consumers. The company was founded in 1963, when it offered only cable service. Today, it also offers telephone, Internet and other services, including DVR.
      TiVo has been around only since 1997, but it is a leader in its own right by developing the very first digital video recorder. This revolutionized how consumers access, manipulate and view entertainment in their homes.


    • Basic digital video recording functions include 80 GB of storage and the ability to store up to 45 hours when recording standard definition programming. Standard features are the ability to watch one show while recording another and rewinding and fast-forwarding live programs.

      Comcast uses a cable box that has DVR functionality. This eliminates the need for a second equipment box. The amount of the deposit it may request for the box can vary.

      TiVo DVR service requires a DVR box, aside from the TiVo service box. Customers can purchase TiVo's DVR box that uses CableCARD technology instead of a cable box. The TiVo DVR boxes range from $150 to $500.

    Comcast DVR

    • Comcast offers a large selection of live broadcasts and has a large library of movies and special programming. Customers receive a company remote control and cable box that enables them to select viewing choices. The technology is relatively easy to master, and Comcast provides guides as well as television access to programming information. DVR service has been advertised for as low as $10 a month in addition to the cable bill, but restrictions and costs vary and can be affected by availability of hardware and location.


    • DVR technology allows viewers to catalog and maintain a library of programs. TiVo makes recording, pausing, instantly replaying and other program manipulation easy for viewers. Based on past scheduling, TiVo organizes and anticipates customers' viewing schedules and even viewing habits. Because it doesn't provide cable service, TiVo accesses the library and broadcast choices made available to consumers by companies like Comcast. TiVo's $12.95 standard monthly service fee does not include the monthly CableCARD cost, typically $2 for each card.

    Comcast, TiVo Team Up

    • Comcast and TiVo recently teamed up to offer consumers a combination of various DVR features. This provides an incentive for existing and new customers who don't already have specific services. One of the advantages of the partnership includes the Comcast video on demand (VOD) library. According to a Comcast spokesperson, VOD features more than 10,000 titles every month. Another advantage is TiVo's online scheduler. This feature lets customers manipulate their programs from any PC with an Internet connection.

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  • Photo Credit Image by, courtesy of Rick Audet

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