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The only equipment you can buy and use to watch linear video is a Tivo. You'd still need to rent a cablecard from Spectrum ($2 / mo.) to use the Tivo, but you'll also need to pay Tivo for guide data (which is probably more than renting a box from Spectrum) unless the Tivo comes with Product Lifetime Service (now called "all-in".
You cannot "buy" your own cable box and use it to watch any encrypted programming, which is pretty much everything nowadays... So it's:
1. Rent a box (linear)
2. Buy a Roku (IPTV)
3. Buy a Tivo (linear) & pay for guide service, rent a CableCard, and also get a tuning adapter (for the Switched-Digital Video Channels)
Agreed...your best option is to buy a used TiVo Roamio (not the OTA only version unless you are up for some fairly simple mods) with lifetime service included from Amazon, Ebay, Weaknees.
And if you hurry you can return the box you bought on Amazon and get your ill-spent money back, especially if either Amazon or the seller indicated the DTC would work on Spectrum cable.
Thanks for the info everyone. The Amazon seller didn't imply anything. I just assumed it would work. I thought I could buy my own the same way with routers and modems. It's like the cable company wants me to use the app.
I'm also old so the thought of having to pay the cable company for every tv now wasn't the reality in my mind. It's always been pay for one and the rest are free without extra boxes. This really stinks.
I can understand your comment about not liking the Spectrum TV app, especially with no way to go to a channel with direct input, but you might be able to get used to it.
To make it eaier to use, remember you can sort the channels by network name, so channels aren't repeated and are easier to find by scrolling, you can set up a list of favorite channels, and there is a recently watched channels section, too.
Anyway, good luck!
What you bought is a Digital TV converter used to convert over the air (antenna) TV signals for TVs sold prior to 2009.