Hello Mike. You would only be able to use either the serial cable or the ir cable for the channel changing. If your cable or sat. box is not set up for the serial cable you would need to use the ir cables. The small headphone jack looking end will be plugged into your Tivo unit and the other L shaped ends will stick out from the front of your cable or sat. box in front of the ir sensor. The ir input on the back of your cable or sat. box would not be used in this case. Sorry but these are the only 2 options available at the moment for channel changing. Using the ir cables causes the changing to be a little slower than with serial cables (around 3-5 seconds per channel change). The only other way that would be faster would be if you had cable directly plugged into the RF input on the Tivo. You would only be getting your basic cable channels but the channel changing would be much faster because the Tivo would be using it's internal tuner to change the channels. I hope this helps.