1. Are you having an issue with it?
2. A "DTA" (digital transport adapter) is essentially just decoder/converter for QAM (digital) broadcast signals. It's an external "mini-box" about the size of two decks of cards. It does not do On Demand or have a Guide.
Here's a video about how to install a DTA
3. A "cable card" is a decoder that you insert inside of something like a TiVo, to allow that equipment's hardware know how to decode the signal (and communicate back to TWC).
4. Built-in-to-the-TV analog tuners are on their way out. After the DCI (digitial conversion initiative) is complete, it will be required to have a DVR, STB, DTA, or Cable Card in order to get cable TV service with TWC. The DCI must be completed before Maxx can be rolled out (which is the reason behind all the recent infrastructure upgrades going on in phases in different areas)
Is this a DTA (Digital transport adapter, other name for a starter/standard tier cheapie cable box) or a TA, (Tuning adapter used with a cablecard device like Ceton, Tivo, SD or Hauppage)?
No, that would have to be a Cisco 1520 Tuning adapter which is very simply a cable modem for the Tivo.
What you got in the mail is for a DTA which is a no thrills cheapie cable box to give boxless "cable ready" sets cable programming since TWC is doing away with all "cable ready" ntsc and clear qam access.
Instead of DTA they should be called a SSB (starter-Standard box) and eliminate the confusion as all they'll do is the starter and standard tiers, no prefered or SDV like your Tivo with a TA and cablecard can do.
Hope that helps.