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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    Carole said...

    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.

    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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