Comcast DVR question

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MaxTek's picture
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Comcast DVR question

I picked up a Comcast DVR from the electronics recycling dumpster in my area. I originally grabbed it because I wanted the internal hard drive but decided to hook it up to my tv and see if it worked.

Well it worked fine. It has some movies already on it and the HBO and Cinemax channels are coming in. The only problem is, it is still on Eastern Standard Time not Daylight Savings Time.

I have read to fix the time I would have to call Comcast to "hit" the DVR to update it. I have also read that Comcast has to activate the DVR for it to work at all.

My question is why is it working (I tested it by setting it to record a show the next day) and why are those premium channels coming in?

Anyone have any insight. Should I unhook it and just use the drive or what?

THanks.

TheUltimateMacUser's picture
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Well,

At some point, it was obviously 'activated' and via a fluke, hasn't been deactivated yet. That being said, by continuing to use it without paying for the service, you are stealing that service. As well, it is very likely that the previous owner just rented the box from Comcast (they charge a per box rental fee. Purchasing one of those things outright is rather expensive). If that is the case, the box is property of Comcast, and they would consider it stolen (If you were to call them about it, it is very likely they would thank you for finding their missing property and ask you to return it at some point).

That being said... If i were you, i'd yank the drive, then do something interesting with the case (build a small computer into it or something). Don't continue to use it to receive television.

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Re: Well,

TheUltimateMacUser wrote:
At some point, it was obviously 'activated' and via a fluke, hasn't been deactivated yet. That being said, by continuing to use it without paying for the service, you are stealing that service. As well, it is very likely that the previous owner just rented the box from Comcast (they charge a per box rental fee. Purchasing one of those things outright is rather expensive). If that is the case, the box is property of Comcast, and they would consider it stolen (If you were to call them about it, it is very likely they would thank you for finding their missing property and ask you to return it at some point).

That being said... If i were you, i'd yank the drive, then do something interesting with the case (build a small computer into it or something). Don't continue to use it to receive television.

Yesterday afternoon Daylight Savings Time finally kicked in (or Comcast kicked it in), than around 10PM Eastern time I lost HBO and Cinemax.

I would really like to know how Comcast knew this DVR had HBO and Cinemax unlocked. It's really hard to believe that at 10PM someone was actually working hard and checking the system...makes me believe it is some kind of automated system that checks these things.

Which brings up a thought...why doesn't Comcast crack down on the DVR's being sold on Ebay? I picked one auction out last night and asked the seller if it was legal to sell it, wasn't it the property of Comcast. This morning his reply was:

"these units are found in storage units what my business cleans out for public stoarge. if you had comcast these boxes are upgrades for more channels and hd tv."

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Re: Well,

MaxTek wrote:
I would really like to know how Comcast knew this DVR had HBO and Cinemax unlocked. It's really hard to believe that at 10PM someone was actually working hard and checking the system...makes me believe it is some kind of automated system that checks these things.

Undoubtedly an automated system. Probably part of the system that handles programming changes for customers (i.e. package upgrades / downgrades and such), and software updates for the boxes.

MaxTek wrote:
Which brings up a thought...why doesn't Comcast crack down on the DVR's being sold on Ebay?

They do. By blacklisting stolen (read: missing / unreturned) hardware, and deactivating it. It doesn't do you any good to buy it to use as a cable box, seeing as they won't activate it.

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