Question: Do I need a cable box?

Pembroke

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
My goal is to build a DVR to record cable TV programs. My cable provider is a small municipal telephone company, and when I started subscribing last year, they just ran a coax cable through the wall of my apartment. I connected it to my late-model TV, and presto! The thrills and yawns of the extended basic package.

So where does a DVR fit into this arrangement? Very few of them seem to have a coax input. It's digital cable, AFAICT--it gets pixelated every now and again. I suspect getting a cable box is the way to go. Can I purchase something like that, and avoid renting one from my cable provider?
 
#2
The sad truth is most cable companies are now or soon will be encrypting all signals so in many cases a cable company box will be required. An iView 3500STBII with a user provided hard drive will work with clear QAM signals. It's know to be flakey.
 
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