Digital box w/o paying ransom

If I ever get cable again, I don't want to be held hostage to big monthly rentals for Verizon's digital box.
Is there a reliable way to buy a box that is sure to work for Verizon (tfui,tfui,tfui)?
HB
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On Saturday, May 31, 2014 4:03:24 PM UTC-4, Higgs Boson wrote:

get a cable card, it will fit many cable boxes and some tvs directly to decode the scrambled channels....
I use a tivo, bought a existing one with lifetime service:) so monthly fees EVER, except the 4 bucks a month for the cable card that plugs in my tivo:)
The TIVO records shows by name, brings them up on a grid to watch whenever I care too:) and allows easy skipping thru commercials:)
Prime time has near 20 minutes of commercials, which I skip right thru:)
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On Saturday, May 31, 2014 4:33:19 PM UTC-4, bob haller wrote:

Ditto on the cable card. It's the only way I know of to get cable without the cable company box. I have a Tivo too. I save $10 a month on what I would be paying for a cable box with DVR and then another $3 a month because the CC is that much less than the standard cable box without a DVR. So, I save $13 a month. It still takes several years to break even, paying for the cost of the Tivo and the lifetime service, but the Tivo beats the hell out of the Cablevision crap DVR.
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On Saturday, May 31, 2014 5:37:39 PM UTC-7, trader_4 wrote:

You guys are talking AFAIK about card that works WITH a cable box. I'm asking about NOT "renting" the cable box from Verizon or... but buying a cable box that does the same job. How much would it cost +-?
TIA
HB
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On Saturday, May 31, 2014 10:43:36 PM UTC-4, Higgs Boson wrote:

No, both of us specifically cited Tivo as an example. And I did the math where I went through not having a cable box. The cable card goes in the Tivo. I would think there are other DVRs out there or similar that work the same way. Some TVs accept cablecard as well, which is indicated by Digital Cable Ready.
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On Saturday, May 31, 2014 11:31:17 PM UTC-4, trader_4 wrote:

theres another detail:)
Recently TIVO released a new box called roamio. It will record either 4 or 6 channels at the same time. many lifetime tivos are being replaced by roamios, flooding the market with used regular digital lifetime tivos that take a cablecard.....
check craigslist, ebay or even goodwill. I heard of a fellow who bought a lifetime tivo at goodwill for 20 bucks:)
so such bargains do exist. I have 3 lifetime tivos here and am currently only using 2. I may connect the extra tivo to my outdoor UHF antenna.
Used digital lifetime tivos at 200 to 250 bucks appear plentiful, thanks to the roamio.
Untill you have used a TIVO you wouldnt know how convenient and wonderful it is....
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On 5/31/2014 7:37 PM, trader_4 wrote:

What am I missing? We have cable and it is simply a coax wire that comes into our house that I have then run into a amp/distributor that services every room in our house (three floors)...no box or boxes anywhere. This is the way it was done when the home was built and it is still this way. Are the boxes just for recording (which we don't do) or what?
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On Sunday, June 1, 2014 12:31:43 AM UTC-4, IGot2P wrote:

nearly all cable companies are encrypting all channels with a addressable box.
the company can authorize whatever specific channels they want too. your system likely uses filters to make premium channels visible.
cable companies went to digital channels so they can carry many more channels and internet too....
the last 10 years have seen major changes in cable, some make things better like more channels and better quality. ' others require addressable converters and other hassles....
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On 6/1/2014 12:59 AM, bob haller wrote:

News to me. I thought most cable companies were handing out DTAs.
My company (Bright House) did last month. And Comcast (aren't they the biggest cable company in the US now?) starting handing them out in 2010.
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On Sunday, June 1, 2014 1:15:07 AM UTC-4, Ron wrote:

I guess it depends on what you mean by "getting cable without the cable box." What you're referring to generally only allows for viewing the free local channels that you could get with an antenna. I took HB's question to mean that he wants cable service that the more typical cable customer would have, ie at least some of the many channels that require decoding. But you bring up a good point, it depends on what you really want. If it's just the locals, then as you say, they may be able to get that with just a DTA, that the cable company probably doesn't charge for. If they want a typical cable package that includes things like CNN, History Channel, FoodTV, Comedy Channel, etc, then they either need a cable box from the cable company or a Tivo or similar DVR, etc device, TV, etc that will accept a cable card. The cablecard has to be obtained from the cable company too and they charge a monthly fee, but at least with Cablevision it's $3 a month less than using their cable box. And using the CC with Tivo instead of DVR, saves another $10/mth, which is what Cablevision charges for their DVR.
Another thing worth pointing out in this area, that I should have pointed out before, is that AFAIK, the cablecards are oneway devices. You can use them to receive any of the encoded channels that you're paying for, but you can't use them for the on-demand, pay-per-view type services that you can order up with the cable company's own box/remote. That doesn't matter for me, because I never used that anyway, but if you do, it's a factor to consider.

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On 6/1/2014 12:31 AM, IGot2P wrote:

Which cable company? Very few cable companies are still running analog with local digital. My company went to complete digital last month.
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On Sunday, June 1, 2014 1:06:35 AM UTC-4, Ron wrote:

Good question. And it hasn't been done that way, ie no cable box required for cable, long before it went digital. At least not for the typical cable service package that most people have, ie that includes some of the many channels that you always had to have something more than just the wire to access.
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On Sat, 31 May 2014 17:37:39 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

I'll vouch for Tivo also (and I work at a cable co!!). But the Samsung GX-SM530CF caught my attention. No DVR or cable co VOD, a meld of cable services and online streaming. $130 at Amazon.
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On 6/1/2014 12:06 AM, Ron wrote:

Our provider is Starwest which you can find at http://starwestcable.com/ . We pay $439.45 plus tax per year and you can find our channel lineup at http://tinyurl.com/psdvml6 . Of course we could get more channels if we wanted them but we don't. This is the only provider in our rural area and they do not offer Internet thus we have to get DSL from the phone company. It is my understanding that our $36.62 per month is quite reasonable but for us it is not really a bargain because we simply don't use it very much.
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