Brian wants to capture some of his cable TV signals in HD to his laptop. Leo says that High Definition content is copy protected via HDCP. He could do it via TIVO with a cable card and then use TIVO To Go. Or he can exploit the Analog hole. He can get a digitizing device that takes component or composite out and then use that to convert to bits and save it to his hard drive. The only issue is that he'll need FireWire to do it. USB 3 may do it, though. There could be a Thunderbolt video capture card and that would be a good idea. Blackmagic is his best bet. Hauppauge can also do it, but it would be heavily compressed.
Another good option is the Grass Valley ADVC110. But the problem is copy protection. It turns out that there are devices that ignore HDCP, though. An HDMI Splitter called the Vue HD 1x2 MN3D is designed to do it. But it's very illegal.