said by rradina:
Still don't need a VCR. Buy a $75 Hauppauge WinTV board (or equivalent) and either hook up RF or composite video to your PC. Record the RF/composite directly to MPEG2.
The only issue: Do the VOD/DVR devices employ classic MacroVision copy protection? If so, then you'd need a small "black box" in the middle of the video to trim the MacroVision encoding. I believe they use "off screen" video scan lines to overwhelm the automatic gain governing circuits on recorders. Although your TV's presentation of the signal is unaffected, a recording ends up with wide swings in brightness which makes it too irritating to watch.