So, I'd like to get rid of my cable company DVR and purchase one that I can connect from a cable company HD tuner. I'm aware the cost cutting connecting an OTA but want more than just network channels. I'm also aware of encrypted signals from the cable companies wall connection. Is this possible or practical? I've seen the ChannelMaster and have noticed this is about the most recommended one. Thanks for all replies and Happy Holidays!
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The first thing that you need to understand is that it isn't possible to buy a third-party HD recording device that you can simply connect to a cable box and afterwards enjoy the same kind of convenience that your cable DVR provides. Current stand-alone recorders cannot change the channels on the cable box. They will be limited to recording whatever channel the cable box is tuning at that time and recordings are scheduled using timers, like a VCR. Also, you won't be able to watch a different channel than the one being recorded as you could with your cable DVR. There are not many of these devices to choose from, and some only have one event timer. They do not include storage, so you must purchase an external HDD to use with them.
Which brings us to home theater PCs, or HTPCs for short. You can build or re-purpose a PC to record TV. With the right devices and software, the PC can control a cable box and record TV in high definition. You will need an HD capture device to record from a cable box and you will need an IR receiver/IR blaster to control the cable box. (There are other ways to change channels, but those methods do not work with all cable boxes.) You will also need PVR software to handle recording and change channels. After you get all that set up and working, you will have a new hobby, which you may or may not enjoy, and which may turn out to be fairly expensive in the long run.
The ChannelMaster DVR+ only records over-the-air broadcast TV from an antenna. It won't record cable TV.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 22nd Dec 2015 at 15:37.
Thanks for the info. Was pleased you explained this to me. Have a Happy Holiday.