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Old 04-07-2013, 02:01 PM   #1
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Default Record cable box output on PC

Hi,

I currently have a cable box with Time Warner Cable, which gives me many HD channels that would not be available over air (eg: fox soccer). I do not want to pay monthly fees for the Time Warner Cable DVR, but I do have a laptop I no longer use. Is there any way to plug the cable box into the laptop to act as a DVR?

thanks
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: Record cable box output on PC

Take your pick of devices. I don't know how well it's going to work with your setup. Newegg.com - Computer Hardware, Video Cards & Video Devices, Video Devices & TV Tuners, capture
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Record cable box output on PC

Maybe I should have added to my first post that I know very little about computers .

What is the difference between the different chips/devices in the link you gave?
How would I set it up?

Also, with this set up I was hoping to keep the cost under $100. If I'm not mistaken there are boxes for a bit more than that which can do exactly what I'm looking for, but I figured I could do it much cheaper if I used a spare laptop.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: Record cable box output on PC

Don't buy a tuner to record the cable box's output. This is a very kludge-y solution that's sure to have problems. This is what you want. It allows you to watch anything you can get on your cable box, except on demand.

You'll need a windows vista, 7, or 8 computer with windows media center. There's a plugin called "digital cable advisor" or similar. Run it and it will tell you if your computer is capable of cablecard playback (apparently it's kind of intensive). You may need to install a patch for it to work. This should be run before purchasing anything.

Assuming you meet the requirements, you will need to get the cable company to install the cablecard. There will probably be a small ($3 a month for cox) fee, but you can ditch the cable box which should more than make up for that.

This article gives good enough instructions for setup that I don't really feel the need to repeat them here. Just read it and follow along.


You should also get a media center remote (cheap, any one should work) as well as a keyboard/mouse solution. Do not just go out and buy a wireless keyboard and mouse. You want a trackball keyboard (this one is the best) or an application for your smartphone. Air mouse for ios is excellent. I have android, so I tend to use an application called remotedroid. If you use this, you'll want to set the application to start up with the computer, and use a solution like taskit to make it hidden.

Let me know if you have any questions. I had a cablecard tuner setup for years, so I should be able to answer anything.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Record cable box output on PC

Foothead is pretty much dead on. A tuner will not be able to record things properly for this setup as it can't change the channel your cable box is set to.

As a FYI, I'm in the process of doing this right now (I was just doing the basic cable where a normal tuner would work just fine). From Time Warner, a cable card is also $3 a month like it is for cox. They'll need to ship it out to you and that'll take 1-2 weeks from what I've been told.
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: Record cable box output on PC

Wow thanks for the replies.

I wasn't expecting to be actually able to lower my monthly fee's by getting rid of the box, but the setup you describe will probably actually save me money over time. However, on demand is a feature I do value. Time Warner does a good job of offering many shows free on demand. I often miss episodes and use the on demand feature to catch up. Is there any way to retain this feature?

If not I may just keep the normal cable box downstairs, and add the setup you describe upstairs. If it will only costs 3$ a month more than my current setup to add upstairs, it would be worth it, especially since I could use it to DVR.

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Old 04-09-2013, 12:47 AM   #7
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To best of my knowledge the cable card does not support on demand or time warners restart any time feature. Its the only downside to the card imo.
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:51 AM   #8
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I don't see it mentioned so if it already was I apologize, but with this set up you can have Windows record tv for you so you wouldn't need on demand for that
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: Record cable box output on PC

Thanks for the reply. I will consider whether it is worth it to keep my current box and add the card in a separate room, or just use the card in place of my current box. I have found times where I didn't even know I wanted to watch something and then found it on demand later.

I was looking at This and saw that the reviews were not the most positive. They mention dropping signal or just not working. Is this a problem and are there other (maybe slightly more expensive) boxes that do better?
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Record cable box output on PC

That I can't help you with. I'm splurging for this one - Ceton InfiniTV 4 Quad-tuner Card for Watching Digital Cable TV on the PC, PCI-Express x1 Interface - Newegg.com
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