I currently have Mediacom's family cable package but not the HD receiver for the "free" HD channels. I'm trying to figure out what would be the best way to get HD as well as DVR (that could record in HD).

The one thing I really don't want to do is pay another monthly fee. Mediacom's HD receiver has a monthly fee, their HDDVR has a monthly and Tivo has a monthly fee (plus there is a small monthly fee for a cable card to use with Tivo).

I guess what I would really want is to purchase a Tivo-like device that is an (HD) DVR with its own tuner (or 2) that tunes encrypted HD channels, probably using a cablecard, but doesn't require a monthly subscription. Does this device exist and how much will it set me back?

Also, switching to Dish or DirecTV isn't really an option because we have Mediacom cable, phone and internet bundled and Mediacom's internet is a lot faster than what we could get through anyone else. Not to mention I would go nuts buying all kinds of sports packages that I can't afford if given the opportunity with satellite. And I would guess that their DVRs also will have a monthly cost.

I've also looked into an HTPC with a tuner that takes cablecards, but that is out of the price range, and currently is only supported on Windows. I have nothing against Windows, but I already invested in a nice Mac.

So, unless anyone knows of my dream device with no monthly subscription, I think I'm going to have to stick to watching TV I missed live on the internet, which is fine for shows but not so good for sports. At least there's ESPN3 ftw during the World Cup.