The Mag has "hybrid" (switched analog/digital) tuner compared to your HDTV's "integrated" (non-switched) tuner, and it has ch. 1-125 analog and h. 1-135 digital, like all DVD recorders.
Your cableco likes to put their channels on high-numbered "virtual" channels which the Mag will tune on different numbers compared to other devices, as explained here:
You'll have to compare CONTENT rather than channel no. You can get some help identifying your specific channel assignments with one of the resources listed in the "Map Your Own" Solution described here:
Are you a cable subscriber? Has that cable company gone completely digital? The Mag535 has both a digital and analog tuner that will ONLY tune in channels that are unscrambled-meaning channels that do not require the use of a cable box (the local tv stations and perhaps a couple of home shopping chs).
IF your cable provider still sends analog chs thru, then the analog tuner can record those. But any channel that can only be viewed thru a box, can only be recorded over the 535's Line Input L1 or L2. Connected to the recorder using the yellow video, red/white audio wires.
You will not be able to watch another cable box ch when recording this way. If your tv is an HDTV, you can watch a local tv station on it's tuner while the 535 is occupied. (cable wire from wall to 2 way splitterr>splitter to tv and cable box>cable box to 535 with yellow/red/white wires)
Edit...and Wajo posted while I was typing all that.
It's not the recorders, it's the frickin' cable companies. They want to suck as much money from us as possible, and with the over the air digital transition, they've re-jiggered the cable delivery standards by scrambling signal transmissions to force us to use their boxes, which they get to charge us for, instead of allowing equipment manufacturers to provide digital tuners that would work on their systems without having to go thru the cable company.
So, if you wire things up correctly, you will be able to record from the cable box with the 535 while using the tuner on the tv to watch something else on a local station. It's a headache to be sure, but it's one of the few low cost-and relatively simple, options left.
The other (less complicated) option would be to buckle down and get one of the cable companies' dvrs-of course, which will cost a bit more each month....Those will allow recording more than 2 shows from any cable box channel at the same time. Only using a computer with multiple tv tuners can one perform same time multi recording. ..
They got us...and they know it. Grrr.
I was wondering if he used an Android tablet. Those keyboards do seem to have a mi nd of their own. You type one thing and you see something else.