DVR box questions


Mar 1, 2009
Moving into a new place come the first of the year and got some questions about a very serious matter.....ENTERTAINMENT! :)

The new place has cable TV, but I don't have a regular television, and don't want to buy one. However, I do have a nice PC and monitor setup (at least I like to think so).

What I would like to do is get a DVR cable box and hook one end to the cable (obviously) and use an HDMI to one of my monitors. I plan to have cable for mostly watching local channels and some other stuff occasionally and use Netflix for my other viewing needs. For those of ya'll that don't know, Netflix instant watch has tons of stuff and what they don't have available for instant watch I can get on a DVD by mail. Really pretty sweet. We've got Netflix now and the past month, I've probably watched 5 hours of cable TV and the rest (a lot) has been exclusively Netflix.

Basically, is hooking a DVR to a PC monitor as simple as it sounds? The DVR box we currently have has its own remote control and can control sound, channels, and switching from input to input (cable to PC, PC to cable). My three monitors are all using DVI, but have HDMI and VGA ports un-used. Is there a certain DVR box that I should get over another? Also, is there a DVR box out there that will allow me to record shows from cable onto my PC and/or external hard drive?

Thanks, ya'll!


This is the setup that I currently have:

Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

Antec CP-850 850W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor

Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme 1366 RT CPU Cooler

Six 80mm cooling fans and one 200mm cooling fan.

ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound

ASUS EAH5870/G/2DIS/1GD5/A Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity

mushkin 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory

Times 2 (RAID 0) - Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit for System Builders

LG Black 6X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 6X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA
Internal Blu-ray Burner 6X Blu-ray Disc Burner & HD DVD-ROM Drive Model GGW-H20LK

Logitech G19 Black 104 Normal Keys USB Wired Standard Gaming Keyboard

RAZER DeathAdder Precision Optical Gaming Mouse - 3.5G Infrared Sensor

Times 2 - Western Digital My Book Essential WDH1U10000N 1TB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive

Boston Aucoustic speakers and sub-woofer with Philips home stereo wired into sub-woofer auxiliary out to stereo auxiliary in. Eight speakers in all, counting sub-woofer.

Times 3 - LG W2753V-PF Black 27" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Full HD 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor 400 cd/m2 50000:1 w/ Smart Package

APC Back-UPS XS, 865 Watts / 1500 VA,Input 120V / Output 120V, Interface Port USB

Computer desk: Workstation 72" x 72" x 30"Deep - OFM - 55224

Computer chair: Valerian Plush Fabric Chair, Black, 16686-US



Posting a list of your furniture on Tom's hardware is a first. Perhaps there should be a furniture badge, or a decorative badge.
anyhow, you need a tuner card, and I tried a Hauppauge and it worked OK. It plugs into your PCI or PCIe can use the Hauppauge software or windows Media Center. I found on a windows 7 computer that the Hauppauge tuner software had better TV picture quality than the widows media center.
You can then record TV, or set a timer to record...on the computer.
BUT you better have at least 3 GB RAM installed or more. And a hefty amount of free space on the hard drive.
it hooks up like this
Cable>Cable converter (premium decoder) box>PC tuner card cable input. The PC tuner is set to channel 3 if you are using a cable converter box.
If you are not using the premium box, you can hook the cable directly to the tuner, but I'm not sure how many channels you will get, maybe only a few.


Mar 1, 2009
Right on. Blazin' new trails! There should be a furniture section. When I was in the market for a desk that would support three 27" monitors, a home stereo head unit, battery back-up/surge protector, and full size computer tower with room to spare, I found VERY few pictures and virtually no information on the subject. I had to blindly spend over $500 on a desk. However, it worked out very well.

Seems like I read once upon a time about a DVR box that could transfer stuff (movies, shows) to a PC via USB. I would rather not use the PC as a DVR if I can help it.

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