Question: Do I need a cable box?


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?
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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