said by IowaCowboy:
If you want to own your own set-top box, go to Best Buy and go pick up a TiVo DVR. They are much better than the STBs and DVRs issued by the cable companies. And all you need for them to function is 1. A cable card (for the programing) and 2. One of the following a. High-speed Internet connection or b. a phone line (for the guide data) and 3. A TiVo subscription (I just buy the lifetime). Comcast WILL activate CableCards for TiVo boxes, Comcast WILL NOT activate proprietary equipment sold exclusively to service providers (even if they are lawfully obtained like some posters said about STBs in Canada) that is not leased from them. If you see proprietary cable equipment on Craigslist or eBay, there is a 99.96 percent chance it is unreturned equipment and/or most likely stolen.
Under the LAW of first sale exclusively to service providers will not hold up! 2. Unturned does not = stolen yes unpaid Unturned maybe stolen but if that fee is turned over to debt collection then other laws get in to the mix.
TiVo does not get you VOD (you are paying for the free VOD) and some time events PPV.
Also the boxes have cable card slots the fcc law forced them to add cable card slots to the cable boxes so you should be able to get your own box same one as the cable uses and just rent the card.