Tuesday, September 25, 2007

First impressions on the Moto 3416 DCT I

And by first impressions, let me specify, I mean first impressions using this particular device. I have used the Motorola 3412, 6412 and the Pace Vegas TDC-575D dual tuner DVRs on Comcast cable before. So I am painfully very familiar with the user interface and such.

I switched to the Moto 3416 from the Pace Vegas which had a very nasty bug in that it randomly froze/crashed at the end of playback of previously recorded programs. Comcast/Pace denial aside, this looked like a sneaky file system bug. But what do I know? I'm just a dumb user :-)

The Motorolas look and feel the same. The Pace Vegas is a different pizza box, but only slightly smaller. They have some differences in features and interface, hightlighted in the Pace Vegas blog.

My experience so far has been as expected. The extra hard disk space (160gb) is a nice boost going from 80gb but also a nice boost going from 120gb (33% more). It was so exciting to be able to stop playback without having to cross my fingers hoping it wouldn't crash this time (with the Pace Vegas).

At times it has the notorious remote delay, although so far it seems to have been better than the 3412/6412. But then again, I just got this one and the hard disk is barely 20% full. So I should give it some time before making any general comments on this.

No issues with On-Demand so far. Each time I was able to quickly get to On-Demand, watch or browse around and exit gracefully. Be sure to check out On-Demand, a number of series premieres are available there such as the new reimagined Bionic Woman and Journeyman. Also for SciFi fans, there are two 15-minute features on BBC America's Torchwood, along with the already aired episodes.

I noticed a couple of minor issues, twice the audio disappeared from the live tuner, but changing the channel brought it back. I believe this is a known Moto issue and it's not a big deal because I believe the recorded program has the audio intact.

The other issue I noticed was last night when watching a recording of Heroes from NBC-HD, the signal got pixelized and some fractions of a second were lost. Not sure if this was my connections, the signal, the DVR, the local station, etc, etc. I'll check with other HD programs first.

I am also going to be starting two posts that will be updated throughtout. One of them will be a daily update blog log of any issues or other observations or gossips :) The second post will be a list of how much disk space programs from different channels takeup. This will be a good reference so you can plan ahead your recordings.

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