A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cablevision DVR Ain't Tivo

We recently switched from Verizon's FIOS to Cablevision. While the speed of the Internet connection is far superior on Cablevision and the picture no longer breaks up, the Cablevision DVR's capabilities are in the Dark Ages. I prefer Tivo -- I have one upstairs -- but I've been using the Cablevision DVR because it will record two shows at once. I have an old Tivo in mothballs but it can only record one show at a time. I'll have to wait for Christmas in July to buy a new dual Tivo device -- or maybe President Obama will bail me out?

I've been using the Cablevision DVR and its remote for weeks now, and I'm a heavy user, so I'm as qualified as most -- especially since the manual didn't say much about the DVR's features, such as they are.
  • If you want to search for a show to record, you need to know what day it is on because the system only searches shows within a particular day's listings.
  • If you can figure out what day your show is on, then you have to search through a whole day's worth of listings sorted only by the first letter of the show's name.
  • As you mindlessly click show after show, the remote builds up a memory of your clicks and won't stop advancing the listings when you finally reach the one you want.
  • There is no master list of shows you routinely watch, so managing your shows means you have to find them in the queue of upcoming shows and toy with them there.
  • I think I'm getting repetititive stress from all the clicking.The remote isn't exactly user friendly. Arrows are placed near one another so you can suddenly shift up the channels page in the Channel Guide when you meant to move an hour ahead or back in programming selections.
  • The Verizon DVR was much better than the Cablevision device, but both pale in comparison to Tivo technology.
I don't understand how Cablevision could be so behind in DVR tech? Maybe Cablevision is waiting for a decision from the US Supreme Court on whether they can begin offering DVR services remotely? Maybe they've seen no point in updating their DVR because they've put all their advancement eggs in the remote DVR basket? See Zonkio's cyberlaw year in review for the latest summary. For some history, see Freedom to Tinker and its 2007 article about a lower court decision that went against Cablevision.

BTW, I'm so glad to be rid of the Verizon FIOS modem, which served double duty as a wireless router. The signal was pitiful, so my household is elated to be back to the Linksys wireless router we used to use. OMG is our signal better!


  1. Tivo ROCKS. Cable Vision Sucks....

  2. How can people survive with these moronic DVRs? Maybe people don't know what they're missing by not using Tivo? I'm struggling with the Cablevision DVR for the moment because it allows me to record two shows at once. I have to buy a new Tivo to get that feature -- my old one will only record one channel at a time.

  3. Can you use TiVo with cable vision?

  4. I have a fancy Cablevision DVR and a basic Cablevision cablebox. The fancy DVR is in the livingroom, while the basic box is hooked up to Tivo and joyously recording shows upstairs for my wife and daughter, neither of whom can stand the Cablevision DVR downstairs. They thought the Verizon FiOS DVR was bad but they had no idea! The Cablevision DVR is absolutely awful and I'm stuck with it. For example, you can only use the search feature to find a show if you know what day it is on, otherwise you have to traipse through the Guide to find it. There is no master list of the "Season Pass" kind of shows that you regularly record; there's only a list of shows that are scheduled to record in the next week or so. There is no way to delete a single showing from a regularly recorded show without deleting the entire series. So, if you record new episodes of Nova, and you see that a duplicate is scheduled to record next Tuesday, you have to let it record the duplicate. There are tons of things wrong with their DVR -- too many to mention here. I have to get a livingroom Tivo soon or I'll go mad.