Spectrum 200 vs 201 HD-DVRs, differences? Other HD-DVR rent options?

CVSprungl Posts: 3 Spectator
edited January 19 in Watch TV 2023 Archive

I just recently picked up a refurb Spectrum 200 model HD-DVR from a local Spectrum store and will likely return my old Cisco DVR that is starting to fail.  The staff in store was clueless on model types and functionality differences.

Main question I have is that I'm wondering what is different between a 200 and the 201 model and if there is a difference that matters to me, can I call into Spectrum Support and order a brand new 201 to be shipped, not receive a refurb model?

Secondly, do you offer any other non-Spectrum branded DVRs that have a front display that shows the time and/or channel? If yes, what brands and models are available to rent as I don't have a desire to purchase a 3rd-party DVR and use a CableCard nor use CloudDVR.


  • Jaleesa_F
    Jaleesa_F Posts: 379 ✅ Verified Employee Moderator

    Hello @CVSprungl!

    Welcome to Community Forums! I am happy to assist with your equipment inquiries. What is the specific model number of the cable box that you picked up? We do offer a 2 different models of the Spectrum-201 box. However, the only difference in the two is the manufacturer. They carry the same guide type and features.

    Although you always have the option of swapping your box, we cannot guarantee any specific equipment models when doing so. We also cannot guarantee that whether the equipment will be new or used as this based on inventory at the local stores.

    Your local office may have older model cable boxes with the time display. However, I cannot say with certainty as I do not have access to local office inventory.

  • CVSprungl
    CVSprungl Posts: 3 Spectator

    I already noted in my original post that my account shows that it appears I currently have the 200, not the 201 nor the 210. I also believe the DVR I currently have is a refurb (judging by the outer case condition once I took off the plastic wrap). If I have the 201 or 210 wouldn't it show up under my account as one of those specific model types versus just saying '200'? And just to confirm your reply, you're also saying there is absolutely no functionality difference at all between the 200, 201 and 210 DVRs?, just the manufacturer?

    To state I and Spectrum have no control over what model I can receive in store or ordering by calling into Spectrum .... or if it is new or a refurb is rather ridiculous in this day and age. With all due respect, how can that be justified?

  • HT_Greenfield
    HT_Greenfield Posts: 735 Contributor

    "200" means it's either a 210 or a 201, either of which should be apparent on the mfg FCC ID label on the bottom as well as via Account Overview in the Settings & Support sub-menu of the thing. Not aware of any differences and if it's a 210, who cares.

  • William_M
    William_M Posts: 1,116 ✅ Verified Employee Moderator
    edited October 2023

    @CVSprungl Cable receivers can often last 10+ years and are not as prone to obsolescence as other electronics. It would be exorbitant to give every customer a brand new receiver, some don't even keep the service for a year. We get new receivers as needed to replenish inventory but refurbish and reuse receivers as long as possible which is the standard practice for every cable provider. Store inventory can change day to day, so we can't guarantee they will have any specific model available when you go in. What we can guarantee is a cable receiver which will deliver the service and features you are subscribed to. There are no meaningful differences between models except some are DVRs, and some very old models run older guide versions. Are you having a problem with your current receiver, or missing a feature you were expecting?

  • CVSprungl
    CVSprungl Posts: 3 Spectator

    Thank you to @Jaleesa_F and @HT_Greenfield and @William_M for your responses. I appreciate your quick replies and candidness.

    I'm replacing my existing Cisco 8742HDC (which I believe I've had for about 6yrs) with the newer Spectrum HD-DVR. Either the Cisco STB harddrive is failing and/or software/firmware is corrupted to the point that recordings hang while watching and I also get excessive jitter/video-breakup (temp resolved by power-off/on of the STB) while watching broadcast television. So far the newer STB is behaving well enough to keep and I plan to return the old Cisco STB.

    I questioned the model type (200/201/210) I received only because I cannot find any information whatsoever on whether there are any meaningful differences (manufactured age, number of tuners, features, etc.). If I'm to have no choice in refurb vs new nor the model type, I would really appreciate getting a newer box that has had none to minimal use of the harddrive as they definitely degrade. I'd never keep a drive (HDD or SSD) in my personally custom-built PCs for your stated possible 10+ yrs STB viability without swapping and I'm sure my PC drives are of much higher quality than used in the Spectrum HD-DVRs. Since customers are unable to transfer stored content from old to new STB, harddrive life is important to me as you will lose everything saved when replacing ... and there are still too many limitations with eCloud to convert to that service vs locally STB-stored.

    With refurb STBs, can you please tell me if harddrives are replaced 100% of the time prior to reuse? Are you able to state what is actually performed during a refurb? ...wipe/reload software and firmware?, replace harddrive?, clean internals and chassis?, specific diagnostics performed? If harddrives were always replaced, I'd likely not be quite as concerned with receiving a refurb.

    I've been a Time Warner/Spectrum customer for roughly 24yrs and have gone through a number of STB swapouts. I currently have all of Spectrum's offerings (internet, TV, mobile, Home VOIP). Generally I'm quite satisfied with the services provided. But I also have certain expectations that I'd love to see met when walking into a local Spectrum store. Unfortunately in my specific case, there has never been anybody on staff that has much, if any, technical knowledge. Fortunately though there are other avenues such as calling in to tech support or posting online like this where more info can be obtained and again, I appreciate that.

  • jwboyes1949
    jwboyes1949 Posts: 3 Spectator

    I must have had some sort of update on Friday night. When I display recordings by date it now separates the same program with multiple recordings so they are not together on the listing. This stinks for me although I can see how some might like the additional description which hogs the right side of the screen. Has anyone else had this happen and what do you think of the new format?

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