Originally Posted by paroots
Thanks. I was told in another thread that the 1212 would do what I described. Last week I called Hauppauge and they told me the 1512 would be a better choice for my application. A TiVo DVR with lifetime subscription is another possibility, but I want to consider both possibilities before making a decision. As I see it, it's a matter of PC software that is capable of accessing the buffer and sending video to an HDTV with a variable time delay. Hauppauge suggested that WinTV v7 could do that. I was hoping that someone could fill in the details.
The unfortunately-named PVR boxes do nothing more than take the output from a video source - cable box, satellite tuner, video game console - and convert it to a form that can be turned into a file on a computer. Yes, WinTV is one of a few applications that can mimic a DVR on your computer using the output from one of the Hauppauge boxes. BUT.. you still need the source, such as a cable box. So, you're still renting.
If getting rid of the cable box rental fees is your primary goal, then you have a few choices:
1. TiVo. The current crop of TiVo devices use a CableCard and will be able to display (and buffer) any digital cable channel you're currently paying for. However, TiVo still requires its own monthly subscription, though you can buy a lifetime package to get around that. It's a considerable outlay and the cost could take many years to recoup, depending on what your cable box is costing you now.
2. Add a tuner card to your computer. If you have Windows Media Center in your computer, just adding a tuner could be all you need. If all you're looking to buffer is programming from local television stations, hooking one of those to your cable or to an antenna might be all you need. If the channels you're looking to buffer are digital cable channels, then you'll need the Ceton Infiniti tuner card which uses a CableCard, much like the TiVo. The only subscription fee you'll incur is with the CableCard, and that varies by cable system.
3. Again, depending on the channels you need to buffer, there are a number of over-the-air solutions, though many of those are out of production.
All-in-all, unless you're really handy with computers, I'd highly suggest sticking with the cable company's DVR or going the TiVo route. Dealing with the Hauppauge boxes can be difficult, time-consuming and frustrating as you can tell from reading this and the 1212 thread. If you're looking for a plug-it-in-and-be-done-with-it solution, then the PVR boxes may not be for you.