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Cable Company's DVR is Junk; need replacement

post #1 of 9
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Only 160GB of space with tamper-proof seals and rivets. I've had it with this thing!

I've almost finished collecting parts for my HTPC, and all I have left to purchase is a TV-Tuner!

Now, I've read the stickies in this forum, and researched it online. From what I understand, I cannot receive all the HD programming available through the cable (I am not talking about OTA channels) without paying some type of fee.

From here, I have concluded that the best solution is a Win 7 PC-compatible cable box, such as the Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650.

I am correct in this assumption? I am aware that my cable provider (Cox Communications) will charge a fee.

My questions are:
-How much is this fee (if no one knows I guess I could just call them)?
-Is my selection for the cable box the best one under ~$150? (I can extend my budget if need be)
-Is there actually a [reliable] way to receive HD programming through the cable without this cable box so I only have to use a standard tuner?

Thanks
Edited by karmuhhhh - 10/22/11 at 1:47am
    
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post #2 of 9
You need to call your cable company and ask about Cablecards, which are usually about 10-15 a month. This will allow you to get full function out of your HTPC with the ability to decrypt all of your premium HD programming.
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post #3 of 9
I believe cable card costs are more in the range of 6-10, but I suppose it can vary widely be provider. I went from a DVR +1 HD box down to just the cable card and the card itself was free as it counted for the one box I normally would get with my subscription. I then used an Xbox 360 as an extender to use one of the tuners as needed and watch live and recorded TV as well, essentially turning the HTPC into a multi-room DVR. I personally use a Ceton 4 stream tuner but at $300 its rather far out of your budget. It has not come without its technical difficulties at times but it is a year old and drivers have matured so it works relatively flawless now. I cannot speak to how well the Hauppauge will work, I would read some reviews. Without a cable card tuner you could only get OTA channels or if you had a QAM tuner with it possibly some of the cable channels, but I highly doubt many if any of the HD cable channels will be unencrypted and receivable by the QAM tuner. ( I hope I got that last statement right, I haven't looked at normal tuners in several year but that is what I remember)

Good luck with the build.
    
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post #4 of 9

Some cable companies provide CableCARD for free, some charge lease fee. Uusally lease fee cost around $5 to $10 per month. Remember to return your DVR so that its lease fee can now covers your CableCARD. For $150 it is the best since Hauppauge has very good quality.

There is an internal CableCARD tuner,


It has 4 tuners inside. It is very pricy though.
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post #5 of 9
Tv tuner selection is good.
Cox in Omaha is $3 for a card, remember you still have to pay for cable + the card, not just a couple dollar fee.
Another option is the Hauppauge Colossus, you would keep your existing cable box and add this to it. <--- would be pretty ghetto.
Edited by hick - 10/22/11 at 9:19am
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post #6 of 9
WOW you're all getting raped on Cable Card fee's I pay $1.10 for mine through Comcast in Washington State.

To the OP, you'll most likely need a cable card no matter once as most cable companies have chosen to encrypt all digital channels to require a secure tuner. This is also part of fcc mandates requiring "seperable security" hence why you'll notice newer cable boxes supplied by the cable company have a cable card in them. If you have no other box on the account and you return your current box they should not charge you for the Cable Card as it will count as your primary box normally included in your package price. Best thing is to call them and find out.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the replies every. I read about the cable cards and I will have to call Cox to find out more about the fee. I have two boxes, one normal one DVR. The DVR will be going back so I will try to see if I can just replace the DVR fee with a Cable Card fee, or maybe even pay less! Thanks to all and +rep
    
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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quick question:

Will the Avermedia AverTV HD USB DVR TV Tuner work in conjunction with my existing cable box? So I don't have to worry about a Cable Card?

Example:
Cable Box-->AverTV DVR-->HTPC-->TV

If so, I think this would be my best bet! I could return the DVR I have, get a normal cable box, and forgo any monthly fees!
    
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post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by karmuhhhh View Post
Quick question:

Will the Avermedia AverTV HD USB DVR TV Tuner work in conjunction with my existing cable box? So I don't have to worry about a Cable Card?

Example:
Cable Box-->AverTV DVR-->HTPC-->TV

If so, I think this would be my best bet! I could return the DVR I have, get a normal cable box, and forgo any monthly fees!
With that setup, cable box must be on when DVR is recording. Also keep in mind if you use HDMI some shows may not be recorded due to HDCP. So use component output instead. You can only record one show at a time.
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