Comcast is one of several cable TV service providers in the United States, its competition being cable communication companies like RCN, Charter, FiOS and U-verse. Comcast is only available in select regions of the U.S. And there are only a total of 27 cable box models that are compatible with Comcast TV service as of 2011. Of the 27, seven are combination cable box/digital video recorders. Most of the Comcast DVR boxes are manufactured by Motorola, with one exception. In lieu of using a Comcast branded DVR you can also use a TiVo DVR with Comcast CableCARD.
All but one of Comcast's DVR boxes is manufactured by Motorola. The Motorola DCH3416, DCH6416, DCT3400, DCT6208, DCT6412 and DCX3400 are all compatible with Comcast TV service. Each of the Motorola DVR models can be use with either a standard-definition or high-definition TV set. For connecting the DVR to an HDTV, the Motorola DCH3416, DCH6416 and DCT3400 are each equipped with HDMI and component video connectors. The DCT6208, DCT6412 and the DCX3400 are each equipped with DVI and component video connectors. You can connect all of these DVRs to an SDTV set via a coaxial, S-video and AV cable connection.
The only cable/DVR box compatible with Comcast TV service that's not manufactured by Motorola is the Pace TDC757D. As with the Motorola DVRs, you can use the Pace TDC757D with either an SD or HDTV set. However, as far as an HD connection goes, the TDC757D is equipped with only component video connectors.
Installing a Comcast CableCARD into the TiVo Premier DVR allows you to substitute a Comcast DVR with the TiVo Premier. Almost everything you could do with a Comcast DVR you can do with the TiVo Premier. For example, with both DVR brands you can record and pause live TV, and capture every episode of a selected show using the DVR's Season Pass feature. You don't have access to Comcast Video On Demand with the TiVo Premier, however. On the flip-side, you can use TiVo Premier with a subscription to Netflix or Hulu Plus, which streams movies and TV shows to the DVR. You can also use the TiVo Premier with YouTube, Amazon Instant Video and Blockbuster On Demand. None of these services are available with a Comcast DVR.
Other Comcast Cable Boxes
Not all Comcast cable boxes are combination DVRs. For example, each of the following Comcast cable boxes are just cable set-top boxes without DVR functionality: the Motorola DCT1800, DCT2000, DCT2500, DCH70, DCH100, DCH3200, DCH6200, DCT5100, DCT6200, DCX3200 or DCX3200M. So are the Scientific Atlanta 4250 and 8300, the Cisco RNG100, RNG150, RNG150N, RNG200 and RNG200N.
- Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images