Question though: directed towards JWKessler (an anyone else who might know), what would happen if you connected your cable tv feed to the OTA tuner input?
has anyone tried to pull in a digital HD OTA signal directly thru it? I'm curious to test this myself but I dont have cable at home, I'd hafta take a receiver over to my folks house to try it.
The OTA tuner in Dish receivers (and I assume DirecTV receivers as well,) will only receive and decode over the air digital ATSC broadcasts picked up by an antenna. It will not receive the old NTSC analog TV over the air or from cable nor will it decode the digital QAM signal used by cable operators. If my VIP722 had a QAM tuner I would be a very happy fella!
Most modern TVs and the few outboard tuners you might find will receive both ATSC and QAM digital signals. I don't know why QAM isn't included in the Dish tuner, but perhaps it was omitted intentionally to avoid conflicts with cable operators.
I'm unaware of any third party device that will tune in and record a clear QAM signal without paying a monthly fee. TIVO has a $15/month fee or a one time $500 life time fee. I contacted my cable company about renting one of their DVRs but that won't work unless I subscribe to a full digital package and I'm unwilling to pay for two TV services with lots of duplicate channels.
If you are looking to be really educated on all of these standards here is a good place to start.
Edited by JWKessler, 25 February 2013 - 11:17 AM.