A Free Upgrade from Comcast

Two weeks ago I bought an HDTV and a Blu-Ray player for the living room and used that as an excused to replace the 20 year-old stereo with a nice 7.1 home-theatre receiver. Then I went to the local Comcast store to get one of their HD DVRs. The DVR had only a DVI or component-video output, no HDMI. To get Dolby Digital audio, I used a fiber-optic link. It all worked, but I had an awful lot of cables. After researching the issue online, I learned that Comcast does offer an HDMI cable box — you just have to ask for it.

So today I went back to Comcast with the DVR under my arm. With very little hesitation, the woman at the desk swapped it out for a brand new Motorla DCH3416. The advantages of the DCH include:

  • It’s based on CableCARD technology.
  • 160GB disk (as opposed to 120GB in the older box).
  • It looks much better (for those who care).
  • HDMI (one cable instead of four or five, depending on your previous audio config).

I *think* the 1080i video looks a bit better on my 1080p screen than the old box. In particular, I think the motion artifacts are somewhat less noticeable, but without the old one for an A/B comparison it’s hard to tell. Good tests tonight: ’24’ on Fox and ‘India’ on PBS.


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