AVS Addicted Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Des Plaines, IL
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Just in case you don't fully understand the situation:
You won't be able to pass coax through it and pick up any digital channels through it's built-in tuner except for the locals (and even those will be downscaled HD, which will defeat the purpose of even having HD if you only watch them through the recorder's tuner, and not the TV's). But if you're also getting Cartoon Network and Sci-Fi in analog, you'll pick them up with the NTSC tuner. If not, which I know is rarer in the case of Sci-Fi, the recorder's tuner won't pick it up at all.
The only way to record the non-local digital channels is through a line input using their digital cable box. You need their box to decrypt them (unless you're also getting them in analog, like I said).
With your HDTV's tuner you will also only pick up the locals in digital (though in full HD), and whatever analogs may be available to you. That's why these QAM tuners are really only called "Clear"-QAM - they only pick up the "in-the-clear", un-encrypted digital channels, and that's generally only the locals, and maybe a handful more. So you will need their box to get all of the channels you subscribe to that are available in digital.
Might only be a handful of channels that you won't get, but still.... you might as well just go back to only paying for extended basic analog without using their box - because you'll only pick up that much through either the recorder's or the TV's tuner anyway.
If you are still planning on using a cable box to be able to at least watch all the available channels live directly to the TV, fine - but you still will only be able to record from all of those channels through a line input in the recorder using their box.