My Toshiba D-R560 says: The builtin ATSC/NTSC/QAM digital/analog tuner allows you to tune analog or digital channels from OTA, or cable, including "cable in the clear" digital channels. It handles all my extended basic analog cable channels very well. I also used it to check out my OTA options and found the OTA gives me 30 DTA channels. Low is channel 3-1 NBC(HD), Highest is 50-2 Jewelry TV. It records the OTA digital channels crisp and clear. I also have it split to my cable in case I want to record a cable channel not available on OTA. Of course to do that I would need to rescan the channels so the NTSC tuner picks up all my cable analog channels. My Toshiba DVR670 also has the same tuners and works just as well. My added bonus here is the fact that this DVDR/VCR combo is capable of recording to a VHS tape from the ATSC tuner when the unit is set to Antenna input.
When scanned to my analog cable input, the units pick up my 70 basic extended cable plus 24 DTV stations.
I also have 3 NTSC tuner VCRs and right now they work fine with my analog cable. I did get 2 Zenith CECB (DTV Tuner converter boxes) for the future. I believe I will be able to use them as I did in the 1980's when cable first came to my home in Calif. This was before I got a cable ready TV set. I had to rent 2 STBs so I had one I could watch and the other went to my VCR for taping. Not fond of the fact that the future seems determined to send us consumers back to the past...until by some miracle the future will again have cable ready TVs...only they will be for digital...and no STBs needed.
(Sigh.......a nice dream..not impossible but not easy to happen for consumers).
Even though I do have my 1995 RCA analog TV which still looks great...I also do have 2 32" HDTVs, a Viewsonic which has "Antenna/NTSC + ATSC cable/CATV+Digital Cable....has a Clear Qam Tuner". The other is a LG, says it as NTSC-M, aTSC, 64 and 256 QAM, so I believe I am pretty set up for digital as far as TVs go and I do enjoy watching DVDs on the Widescreen TVs.
Hope this answered your question. I only briefly know about the Clear QAM since right now I am still in the analog world until my cable company moves everyone over to the digital. For simply TV timeshifting, right now analog works perfect, as I only watch tapes or DVDs and so all my machines are quite busy filling up our TV watching week. Daytimes are usually sports but evenings we look to our VCRs, DVD Players, and streaming from Netflix and a few other channels in our Channel Store.
Going to enjoy all the convenience as long as I am able to. I don't record anything to keep...only to watch one time...then reuse the recording space. Have enjoyed not having box rentals these past years...been there, done that years ago...not looking forward to going back to that sometime next year. But we do what we can to cope with what is given to us....and sometimes we do actually come out ahead of the plans of cable companies.