I also don't have a TV(?) card in my computer (Windows 8) if it might be necessary to get there first.
(I am not very "techy" on these issues)
It sounds like you might need a filter between the cable box and your Emerson, like one of those described here?
In the case of a unit with built in hard drive, brand name and HDD are synonymous in his reply. We need to drill down whether your Emerson is being victimized by errant copy protection signals from the cable box, or whether the symptoms are due to the unit malfunctioning.
So, we need you to connect an old vcr or another dvd player to the Emerson and record something (an old, non copy protected, recording made before these issues cropped up) to the HDD (hard disc drive) and try dubbing it to a blank dvd, If you aree able to dub successfully, that tells us that your Emerson is still in good working order, and you are indeed, getting hit wil CP from Comcrap.