Right now I subscribe to a cable TV service which requires a cable box hooked to my TV. I would like to purchase a DVR which would allow me to program the DVR to record programs at a scheduled day and time, like I used to be able to do years ago with my VCR. Is there equipment available that would allow me to do this, rather than rent another piece of equipment from the cable company.
If you use OVA channels then buying DVR makes sense,
With cable it usually doesn't unless you need greater storage capacity..
You would have to get something like a TIVO and that would require a cable card which you would have to rent from your cable provider and pay for service from TIVO (unless you got a box with lifetime subscription.)
If your cable box has av outputs you could connect a DVR to those connections but you won't get HD and may not be able to change channels on the cable box with the DVR which limits the programmability quite a lot.