Originally Posted by rennert
Thanks very much for the quick reply, Tulpa.
I just really felt like I was missing something and wanted to make sure I wasn't being dense.
So I guess I'll stick with my Pioneer and just use it to record through the cable box. (Actually, I'll probably get the cable DVR box and use the Pioneer to offload/edit stuff I want to save on DVD)
Thanks again for clarifying it for me.
I think you might be missing a boat here. I have the Philips 3575's and Mag 2160 and sub. to basic analog cable. The cableco has to send all the channels in the clear that you could receive if you had an antenna. For everyone with a cableco that doesn't flaunt the FCC rule, that means 90-95% or more of their most-watched digital programs will prob. be on ABC-HD, NBC-HD, CBS-HD and FOX-HD. Some info on this is here.
My cableco, in a medium to small market, also sends, in the clear, ESPN-HD, ESPN2-HD, TNT-HD, TBS-HD, DISC-HD... all 16:9 widescreen digital channels with programs produced in and for HD (also the CW network).
With my PhilMag units 1st on the coax, I can directly record those channels, plus my 47 analogs that I pay for, without setting two timers (one in the box and one in the rec.). I used to record all my pro sports off ESPN-HD but now have NBC-HD also, which has started to rival ESPN for quality of equipment and broadcast of HD sports.
I do 90-95% of my timeshifting now with no box and with direct timer rec programs, and pay only for analog basic cable (lowest tier available).
One thing to note, even tho you might sub. to a "digital tier" for extra cost, there's no guarantee that you'll actually receive true digital signals, as described in this interesting article.
If you, or a neighbor, have a HDTV with digital tuner and no box, you should know exactly what channels you'll receive in the clear cuz the PhilMg will be able to tune the exact same channels w/o a box.
Much more info if you click #1 in my signature.