A lot of people have asked me how they are able to get Television (including cable tv) onto their Revo. Under equipment in the Guide I list a bunch of options for over the air television (ATSC) including network attached and also USB powered. I use 3 USB ATSC tuners for over the air television. I don't pay for TV, but I also only get 13 or so channels...HD though. Now if you are a cable subscriber then recently there have been a few nice solutions that have come out to get your Revo recording Cable Television.
Step 1.) Pick the device:
You still have 2 options here. First is to go with a network attached tuner. This is a device that connects to your wired network via ethernet. These are great because you can put them anywhere in you house, and you can share them between multiple HTPCs in the house. The obvious choice is the SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME which offers 3 tuners built in. This will allow you to record 3 shows at the same time!
The second option here is to go the USB route. There are 2 USB devices now that offer this functionality. First is the Hauppauge WinTV DCR-2650 Dual Tuner Cable Card TV Tuner. Hauppauge is a trusted tv tuner maker that has been in the game for some time. This is a dual tuner which means you can record 2 shows at the same time. It is a bit cheaper than the HD Homerun Prime and will only run you $150. You can read a full review over at The Digital Media Zone.
Lastly, Ceton is coming out with a USB Quad tuner! Ceton is a big name in the tuner game now because they released the InfiniTV PCIe tuner which offered a quad tuner for HTPCs. This has by far been one of the most successful tuners to date. The Ceton USB tuner will be released September 19th for $300.
Step 2) Get a cable card
You will need to call up your cable company and get a multistream cable card. You can usually rent these from your cable company for about $3-$5 a month. This is still a savings over the $10+ that you pay to rent a cable box with a horrible interface.
Step 3) Cable card install.
You will literally need to have the cable card installed into the new device. You are now allowed to do a Self Install, however you can simply have your cable company come out, and type in some codes to handle this. Check out a nice article with pros and cons over at The Digital Media Zone
Step 4) record awesome television Just remember that you will not get "Premium content" like cable on demand or VoD. However now you have an awesome interface with Windows Media Center.
I hope this was helpful. If you have questions feel free to contact me.