Re: cable-card ready tv card
Hardware encoding isn't necessary with cablecard devices. It just decrypts the video stream and stores it verbatim, which is good because your cable company has encoding hardware that is far more efficient (better quality while having a reduced file size) than any consumer product could ever be, and thus by extension you gain the same benefit since you don't have to encode it again.
Unless you're talking about when you tune to analog channels.
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