Comcast Catch-22: recording vs. DVR handshake (1 Viewer)


Thread Starter
New Member
Dec 11, 2009
I have a Comcast/Motorola DCX3400 DVR with two tuners and a Sharp Aquos TV. Sometimes I get into a bind. Consider these two facts:

1. If the DVR is turned on before the TV, then the DVR doesn't know about the TV. This seems to be a "feature". The result is that "graphics" (which includes "My DVR", "Menu" and "Guide" displays) are disabled.
At first I thought this was due to missing the HDCP handshake, but it fails the same with with HDMI and component video. (Yes, I disconnected HDMI while testing component.)

2. If the DVR is in the process of making a recording, the recording will be terminated if the DVR is shut off. As a former TiVO user, I'm outraged at this "feature", but that's an issue for another time.

Things go bad when I come home and want to watch a recorded program while the DVR is making a recording. I turn on the TV and fact #1 comes into play. I can't use the My DVR button to play the recording. I could fix that by turning the DVR on and off, but then fact #2 comes up. It would kill my recording if I did that. The only cure seems to be to turn off the TV and read a book until the recording is done.

By the way, the double-arrow icon on the DVR front panel has been flashing for a couple of months. I haven't seen anything which explains what that means. Could that be related?


Press On Regardless
Supporting Founder
Sep 29, 2003
Sheboygan, WI
I certainly have my share of issues with my DCH-6416, but your #1 issue is not one of them. #2 seems to be a Motorola "feature"

If you turn it all on, get everything working, and then turn the TV off and then on again, is the guide broken? If not, the solution may be as simple as simply leaving the DVR on all the time. In reality there isn't much in the way of power savings, but there are a number of known bugs that seem to relate to power cycle, such as lost timers.

The remote button turns off everything by default, but there is a way to disable the power button. It is described in a Wikipedia article that contains a ton of good information. Reference: How to use a Motorola DVR - Wikibooks, collection of open-content textbooks

If this doesn't work, I am a little confused that the component outputs work as you described. The HDMI port does have a handshake and generally it is the TV that gets confused, but the component output is analog and really doesn't know what it is connected to, if anything.

I suspect you have a defective unit. Try swapping it out for another one and see if that fixes it.

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