Sunday, July 1, 2007

First Impressions!



About the Pace Vegas TDC575D

  • This is the Pace TDC575D, affectionately(?) called "Vegas".
  • It is a dual-tuner standard-definition DVR with an 80gb hard disk
  • The manufacturer's page along with three PDF user guides/manuals at Page Micro. Please note that these PDF user manuals only cover the device/hardware aspects. The DVR user interface and such are determined by your cable provider, so you will need their user manuals to read about those features/functions.
  • This is a digital-tuner only model and is only available in areas with ADS/rebuilt cable systems.
  • There is another model from Pace called "Tahoe" which is a HD DVR. That is a different model from the one I have.
  • It has a cable card slot
  • The one I have is Made in China, November 2006
  • It has a label that says "Warranty void if broken or removed". It seems they really don't want anyone to be opening them up :)
  • It has One Component video out, One S-Video, one yellow RCA, one red/white Audio output, one RF output, one orange digital audio out and a couple more that I don't know if they are active or what there function is.






    Getting it
  • Why did I get it? Because there is a promotion of $1 per month for 12 months. This promotion appears to be independent of other promotions. My previous DVR was $13/mo. Since I do not have an HDTV, I went for it for the savings (yes, I am cheap!) and the chance to play with a new model :-)
  • I previously had a Motorola dual-tuner HD DVR box. More on the differences between the Pace and the Motorola 641x/341x in this post
  • I went to my local Comcast office and switched the boxes.
  • If you want them to come to your house and switch them (instead of doing a self-install) there is a fee of around $20 or so...
  • I do not know what the fees are for new customers or new DVR users. They may be different from existing/switching customers.
  • I do not know if you need a digital cable package in order to get the DVR. Check with your provider to be sure.



    Turning it on
  • I have Comcast digital cable.
  • During activation of the new box with the help of a telephonic (is that even a word?) customer service representative (CSR), the Comcast CSR told me to temporarily remove the splitter. This is the first time I was told this. I do not know if this has to happen for this box only or I just happened to get a detail-oriented CSR who goes by the book. The CSR did sound very process-oriented and thorough... After the first 45 minutes of activation, then I could re-insert the splitter.
  • Just like other DVRs (eg Motorola) they are designed to be kept on all the time





    First Look
  • It does not have any buttons on the front of the unit. You can only control it with the remote control. There is no power off button on the device.
  • Since this is a standard definition box, you cannot watch high definition channels with it even if they are included in your package. Instead you get a blank screen, but you can hear the audio (if that's any consolation).
  • It has the same user interface as the Motorola DVRs (341x/641x) from Comcast.






  • For day to day operations, problems, issues and such, please check the day to day operations post
  • For more technically oriented topics please check the Advanced Users post
  • For those switching from the Motorola 341x/641x to the Pace Vegas, check the differences in this post
  • If you have any questions or answers, please leave them as comments!

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    3 comments:

    Carole said...

    Hi,
    I just rented a Pace also last month. It's my first DVR. Mine a couple of time has registered 100% full, even if there are only a couple of hours stored on it. It will immediately jump from say 4% to 100% and will not record something I have asked it to record. The only way around it is to reboot. Sometimes you have to reboot 4 or 5 times to fix the percentage of disk used to get it back to the correct reading. Hope you do not encounter this error.
    ~Carole

    High Tech User Reviews said...

    Thank you for your comments! I read about the 100% full bug in the AVS forums for both the Pace and the Motorolas but I haven't run into that particular bug (yet). Perhaps it's caused by a specific software/firmware version?

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