Change the hardware a bit and make thing proprietary. Just want to express my thought.
I cannot give specific brand models because the only item I've purchased so far is the LCD TV, Sony VT2430. My cable company is Fairpoint Communications. The signal for TV comes in to a modem and goes to each room in the home via ethernet. Each room has a set-top box. The only coaxial cable is from the set-top box to the TV. I have a minimal need for recording and currently use VCRs. The VCR is always set to record on channel 3 as the set-top box outputs to channel 3. This means I have to always leave the set-top box on the channel I want to record. I use two VCRs in two rooms so I can record two different channels during the same time period on the same day. I want to buy a DVR that doesn't require a subscription for service. I can look in the newspaper for the minimal programming needs I have. So far I've tried contacting Moxi and Fairpoint to learn if there is a consumer DVR that will control the Fairpoint set-top box. Neither chose to answer me. Is there such a thing as a consumer non-subscription DVR that will change the channel on the Fairpoint Communications (located in Yelm, WA) set-top box to the programmed channels so I don't have to leave the set-top box tuned to the channel I want to record? Fairpoint does have a DVR but I refuse to 'rent forever' at $19 a month. I want to buy my own DVR and be done with expenses.