One of the HTPC builders best friends is the CableCARD, something that was supposed to be available a long time ago and is finally hitting the market. It is a replacement or addition to the set top box or cable box that subscribers to cable TV are familiar with and once you install it and register a CableCARD with your cable provider it will receive the proper signal from them and allow you to view your cable channels. Some CARDSs now support multiple streams, allowing you to record a program while watching a different one or recording multiple streams simultaneously. Missing Remote breaks down the current market, describing the features and limitations of the various models available today as well as offering guidance on setting up your CableCARD.
"At a higher level, the technology was developed to protect consumers from being forced into having to rent set top boxes (STB) at increasing fees from cable companies (or MSOs) without an alternative. From a home theater PC (HTPC) perspective, it meant the ability to natively tune high definition programming from a cable provider (previously the options were only analog cable, or digital over the air broadcasts)."
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