Monday, March 5, 2012

Cable Info: Who's got the best DVR Service in Cleveland?

DVR Service...where would we be these days without it?  Record all your favorite shows and watch them whenever you want and fast forward through the commercials.  Easy enough.  But who has the best DVR Service?  Isn't it all the same?  Sure, record stuff!  But, some providers let you record 4 shows at once, some 6 shows...some 2.  Then there's storage space.  Then price...although that can get complicated, so I'm not going to get into pricing too much here.  So who are the players in Cleveland?  Basically, it's Time Warner Cable (TWC), Cox Communications, Wide Open West (WOW) and AT&T U-verse...not to mention Dish Network and DirecTV.  I've got AT&T U-verse and love it.  I've had Cox (and used to work there) so I know the most about those two.  Information on TWC and WOW is coming from their websites.

First, for the number of shows you can record at one time, WOW's new Ultra TV tops the list with 6 shows at once!  DirecTV allows 5 shows at once.  U-verse lets you record 4 shows at once,while TWC and Cox limp in at 2 shows at once.  Dish Network’s new Hopper Whole Home DVR service is still coming soon, but will offer recording on up to 6 shows at once.  So, do you need to record 6 shows at once?  I had the same thought for 4 when U-verse came out. I’ve had plenty of times where 4 shows were recording at the same time, so I’m sure if given the ability, I’d be able to find a couple more shows that I need to record too.

Next, storage space is the amount of room on the DVR box hard drive.  HD shows take up a lot more space than a standard definition show.  So, if you’re looking to make the most of your recording space, consider recording shows in standard def instead of HD.  Here’s a comparison of the options:

Standard Def Storage
HD Storage
AT&T U-verse
233 hours
65 hours
300 hours
75 hours
Cox Communications
280 hours
80 hours
Time Warner Cable
200 hours
75 hours
800 hours
200 hours
Dish Network
250 hours

In looking at price, after all is said and done, most are pretty comparable once you factor in all of the prerequisites and everything required.  If anyone wants me to dig deeper into the details, let me know and I will.  Suffice it to say, you’re going to pay for the service and most require higher end packages.

There are also some miscellaneous services that most offer such as the usual fast forward and pause live TV.  Most offer remote scheduling through your computer and/or smart phone.  

Some have stipulations on availability of their whole home DVR service and the maximum features.  Dish Network is not available yet. DirecTV is currently only available to new customers (current customers later in the year).  I can’t tell if Cox’s Whole Home DVR service is available in Cleveland yet.  It was supposed to be available in late 2010/early 2011, but its website is unclear if it’s actually available here.  It’s unavailable for online ordering, but maybe by calling?

I can only tell you what I’ve actually used which is U-verse and Cox.  U-verse has a much better DVR service than Cox (sorry, guys). I will say that I’m intrigued by the WOW Ultra TV service though.  Once our stock of recorded shows is down quite a bit, I may have to try it out.  I’ve never used WOW, but I’ve heard mostly good things about their service overall.  The biggest complaint had been their HD channel selection, but it looks like they’ve launched quite a few channels recently.  I won’t be going to satellite or Time Warner anytime soon. 

I hope this is helpful.  As always, feel free to leave your comments and questions.  If you have any of the services, I’d love to hear if you’re happy with it or not and the good and the bad.  Thanks! 


  1. Wow...wouldn't you know it. Murphy's law...almost as soon as I hit Publish, I start having issues with the U-verse DVR. Long story short, I lost ALL of my recorded programs! So far, the customer service has been BEYOND AWFUL! I'm very close to switching service and trying out the WOW Ultra TV. I'll blog the whole experience and let you know what I decide to do.

  2. Yikes! Sorry to hear about your DVR mishap. I really enjoyed your read though…so I wanted to thank you for all the information. I subscribe to DISH and have the Hopper and Joey system and think (in my opinion), it’s definitely the best in the DVR world right now. My favorite feature of the entire system is PrimeTime Anytime because with it, everything automatically records from ABC, NBC, FOX and CBS during primetime hours (only using one tuner) and stores them up to 8 days. It’s been a huge benefit for my husband and I because those channels were the main ones we typically had recording conflicts with. I am very happy with the product and services and definitely recommend it. One of my co-workers at DISH told me new customers can get the entire system free with qualified programming, so that right there is an awesome deal! I am curious though…what did you end up doing; are you still with AT&T or did you make the switch over to WOW? :)

    1. Hi Kaylah,

      Thanks for reading and responding. Feel free to follow my blog. Am I reading that right that you work for Dish? I'm curious about the Hopper and if it works well. The PrimeTime Anytime sounds interesting and a good alternative to PrimeTime On Demand shows with Cable and U-verse.

      For my situation with AT&T, it was finally resolved today. I'll be putting together a blog entry about it, but I'm happy to say that they went out of their way to take care of me. More to come on that shortly. As far as WOW, I didn't make the switch, but was very close as their Ultra TV is very tempting.


  3. Hey Jeremy,
    I'm so glad to hear AT&T took care of you! Also, yes I actually work in one of DISH's call centers, so the Hopper was something I was excited for way before its actual release. I've had mine installed for a little while now and really enjoy what it offers. I haven't had any problems with it and agree the PrimeTime Anytime feature is an excellent alternative to PrimeTime On Demand shows. It’s been great! If you have any questions about the Hopper definitely feel free to ask me. Thanks for the reply! :)