Boston: Comcast's TiVo boxes already having trouble?


Comcast is busy installing TiVo-equipped boxes here in the Boston area today. I’ve been waiting patiently since 11:30. It’s now a little after 1:30 and this screen’s been up for the past hour with no end in sight. Come on, TiVo! You can do it, buddy!

For those of you in this area that are planning to switch, here’s the skinny. The box is one of the newer Motorola boxes, either the 3416 or the 3412. It’s not an actual TiVo box (that’s not new information, just reiterating). If you already have a DVR box, the tech might call you about 45 minutes before he’s supposed to show up and start the updating process. The software is downloaded to the box over the cable lines.

So can you just call in and get the software pushed out to your existing DVR box? No, you have to have a technician come to your house. You also can’t go into a nearby store and pick up a TiVo-equipped box. Everything must be done via a technician’s visit. But basically all they have to do is initiate the new software to be downloaded to the box and then show up to make sure everything’s gone through okay.

However, we’ve hit several snags already today. First, the tech that brought the box to my house called it in to get the software pushed and the tech on the other end of the phone told him that the box can’t be hooked up first because the system will think it’s a regular DVR box and block the update. Weird. So he had to go down to the truck, get a different box, call in the update, and then hook it up to the cable and power.

After that’s done, it takes about 45 minutes to download the TiVo software. So the tech had to wait around in my living room. I would have offered for him to watch some TV but, well, you know. Then after all was said and done, the TV turned on, with a cable signal, but no TiVo at first. Now we’re at this welcome screen after randomly flipping the box on and off and the tech’s back on hold for another Comcast over-the-phone technician.

I’ll keep everyone posted.

UPDATE: It works. Here’s a first look video.