OK the comcast dude dropped by and installed today. (A moment of hilarity as he insisted checking to see if my cable was properly grounded or not — a 10 minute tour of my wiring closet with both DirecTV and Comcast feeds in, and many feeds out, convinced him that he didn’t really want to dig into the grounding issue.)
First reactions — the UI is slightly cleaner than the older Comcast box I had. It is nice that they have hoisted HDTV content upto the main menu, it is way easier finding that content now. That is probably the biggest plus I’ve noticed so far. I can’t comment yet on season pass and other record functionality as I am waiting for the program guide to populate — why does it take so much longer than DirecTV.
The UI style is not very exciting — my 3 year old Tivo box still has a more compelling UI. Is this Comcast’s or Microsoft’s hand?
Setting the TV/Audio out settings requires you to enter a weird bios-like mode, totally outside of the normal ui and control environment, that is weird, and I had to do this as the box didn’t seem to default to reasonable HDTV settings.
Of course the huge feature is going to be recording of HD content.