Best Way to turn Computer into DVR? Puzzled!


I am building a computer and am puzzled on the TV card thing. I want to be able to use my computer as a DVR instead of renting the box every month from Cox. Is there a certain card I need? Can I run a coax splitter, one to the tv digital box and the other to the computer and just have the HDMI cable on another input on my TV? What program is good to use? SageTV?

Another question is if I run my cable into my computer will I be able to view all the channels that Cox provides, in a way like the on-screen guide on the cable box? Like all 200+ channels?

I am building my computer and it will be a Phenom X4, 4gb RAM, and ASRock 880g Extreme3 motherboard. As of now I only have the on-board graphics: AMD Radeon HD 4250, but will be looking to get a new card. Any suggestions on that that won't break the bank?

I just don't want to end up buying components that I won't really need.

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  1. Assuming the Cox cable is anything like Comcast, you will still need one of their set top boxes (STB) in order to view and record ALL of the channels you currently subscribe to. I can't speak for Cox cable, but Comcast has encrypted the majority of their channel line up and the TV Tuner card cannot do the decryption.

    Right now, there is no way around this. Soon (we've all heard this before) Ceton Corp will release their Ceton InfiniTV 4 cable tuner card which accepts a cablecard from your cable provider and will be able to do the decryption and record without the STB.

    I've not used SageTV or MythTV. I've only used Windows Media Center and it works well enough for me. As for a discrete graphics card, I'd probably look at the ATI HD 56xx series cards (as I like to have some overhead), but you could probably get by with a little less (HD 54xx series).

    -Wolf sends
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