Well, Comcast finally switched to all-digital cable in my area (near the Ballard PO). Since I just want the local and public-service channels, I don't rent any set-top box or card from Comcast. I do have a Tivo, but it only has the human-friendly channel numbers (e.g. 2, 3,4,5,...) rather than the actual digital channel numbers (e.g. 7-1, 68-101, and so forth). Thus, I can no longer record the cable digital channels, because Tivo's tuner sees their digital channel number, but the Tivo channel guide lists the (different) human-friendly channel number. By manually tuning, I can watch the digital channels live.
Apparently, here are my choices:
1) Get a CableCard from Comcast and plug it into my Tivo, allowing the Tivo to tune the human-friendly channel numbers. Con: I have heard that this will not allow me to tune all the unencrypted digital channels available (for example, no KBTC), and may also not include the HD versions of local stations, even though they are present as separate digital cable channels.
2) Do nothing and try to figure out how to manually record shows on the Tivo by date/time/digital channel number. Con: what's the point of having a Tivo, then?
3) Find/build some other DVR setup that will work as in (2), but without the monthly Tivo fee. Perhaps a Windows or Linux-based HTPC or something like that?
Any suggestions, folks? In particular, has anyone had experience with Comcast CableCards and free HD channels?