If you have yet to play with recording and playing TV via a TV tuner card on a PC, perhaps the Haupauge HVR-1800 TV Tuner Card might change your mind.  For ~$90 you will get a TV Tuner card that can handle ATSC HD (the over the air HDTV standard in North America), clear braodcasted QAM digital TV channels if you are lucky enough to live in an area where they are broadcast and a 125 channel cable ready TV tuner built-in for analog signals.  That will give you more flexibility than a cable box provided by your cable provider along with everything that the box provided originally.  Drop by Techware Labs to see it.

“The notion of a personal Home Theater PC (HTPC) is becoming more prevalent lately. Many ideas can go into the planning of an HTPC. Will it be able to stream video across the network? Will it act as a central media hub? Will it be able to view online videos? The most important question being, will it be able to record and playback TV? This is where Hauppauge shines. Hauppauge has been producing quality TV tuner cards for quite some time now. In the Linux community, their cards are near synonymous with MythTV. So does their latest addition, the WinTV-HVR-1800, have the goods to make it into your next HTPC build? Read on, and we’ll tell you.”

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