Comcast DVR vs TiVo

I have both a Comcast DVR and a TiVo HD. I was having difficulty one day getting my Comcast DVR to do what I wanted it to do, so I decided to do a comparison between it and the TiVo, the result is the following chart. The one plus that Comcast has over TiVo at this point is cost. You have to buy a TiVo, which depending on the model can run anywhere from $149 up to $499. Comcast DVR comes with the service so is free other then the rental fee. To be honest though I am more then willing to pay for the TiVo, it is just an all around better user experience. What do you think, do you prefer TiVo or your cable or satellite company’s DVR, please let me know.


Comcast DVR



$8.95 monthly for renting the box

$12.95, plus 3.50 for 2 cable cards monthly

Hard drive Size

90 hr SD or 20 HD

up to 150 hrs of HD on TiVo HD XL (1)

Netflix Streaming






Web Video



Saving to a Computer

Possible, but extremely difficult (2)

Yes with TiVo Plus

Special Recording (3)

Records by Time

Records by Show

Recording a Series (4)

Confusing and Frustrating

Easy to setup and use

Scheduling recording

Can only schedule reminder on a computer

Can schedule or change recording from TiVo Web site

Wish list



1. TiVo Series 2 handles up to 80 hours of SD, TiVo HD 90 hours SD or 20 hours HD. They are both expandable with the addition of an external hard drive

2. It is possible to save to a computer using the analog hole or fire wire, but it takes so much time and effort that only the most dedicated person will do it. The results are often subpar.

3. TiVo records by show, so if a show for some reason appears at a different time then originally schedule, TiVo will make the adjustment. Comcast records by time and makes no adjustment if the show changes schedule

4. It is easy to record a series on TiVo simply choose if you want to record new, new and repeat, or all. If you choose new TiVo will record the show only once, no matter how many channels the show is played on. Comcast will record a show multiple times if it appears on multiple channels. A good example is Inside the NFL on Showtime. If you set up a series recording for it on TiVo it will record each show only once no matter how many Showtime channels it appears on. Comcast DVR will record it every time it appears on any channel, if its new to that channel

5 thoughts on “Comcast DVR vs TiVo

  1. “myDVR Manager is not currently available in your area.”

    Now, there’s a surprise. I’m sure we’ll have it in 5 years or so …

    Pardon my sarcasm but the whole Comcast DVR program guide is so weak and underscoring that weakness is the fact that we get a significant ‘upgrade’ about every 5 years. I’m sure they are foot dragging so they can eventually charge extra for a Tivo add-on ‘upgrade’ programming guide.

    On the plus side for Comcast, our cable signal and internet access are now top notch.

  2. Have the same configuration as you (1 comcast dvr & 1 tivo hd) and agree 100%. Thanks for the comparison. Bums me out that we have to pay for 2 cable cards a month!

  3. You can transfer shows from the TiVo to your computer for free. You only need TiVo plus if you want to transcode random video files to the TiVo or transcode TiVo files to another device like a iPhone.

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