Originally Posted by jroofjr
I've got a Premier XL with analog cable. Don't know what SDV or OTA are.
Switched Digital Video
They don't put the channel (by which I mean the actual content source, like CNN or Lifetime Movie Network or Speed) on the cable on a channel (by which I mean a frequency band 6MHz wide) until a customer asks for it.
The way the customer asks for it is to try to tune their cable box to that "content" and the cable box sends a request back up the cable to something at the cable company which is supposed to put the "content" on the cable and tell the cable box what the center frequency of that 6MHz band is so that it can tune to it. It isn't necessarily going to be at the same frequency it was yesterday or last week.
With a TiVo, not only does this require a cable card or two, it also requires a Tuning Adapter, which connects to the coaxial cable so that it can send the request back up the line to the cable company and connects to one of the USB ports on the TiVo so that the TiVo and it can communicate about what "channel" the TiVo wants to tune to in order to receive particular content.
If it had been designed by Rube Goldberg, it would have been more simple.
If you're using analog cable you don't have to worry about any of that yet.
Over The Air
Television station broadcasts, which are now digital and no longer analog, which your Premiere XL is capable of receiving with a good enough antenna feed.