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It depends on the HD receiver that you get... Some have the firewire port active, so it can be done cheaply... Otherwise you would have to go for the the HD PVR from Hauppauge if you want to record in HD, which wouldn't save you that much in the end...
 

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A friend of mine has Bell and his receiver has a USB port that he simply plugged an external drive into.
He most likely already had a PVR model, and simply added more external storage... OTOH it was possible to modify some Shaw Direct receiver to do just that, or maybe I got both satellite provider confused... Either way, that's not typically how it works.
 
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