For my apt in Austin I didn’t want to spend $100/month on cable or satellite so i decided to try broadcast TV again, after using DirecTV for about 10 years. I still have DirecTV at our primary home in CO, but when we move to Austin full time in May or June ’07 we will be switching to cable if I can they have on-demand services.
Anyways, I purchased a HDTV tuner bundle (includes TV tuner card and Beyond TV lite software, for a DVR recorder too) at Fry’s for about $100 with a $40 rebate. I also purchased an antenna at Fry’s, but it didn’t’ work well, and one at Best Buy and it didn’t work well either. Finally I got one at Radio Shack and it worked very good. Good One, the 1st bad one, similar to the 2nd bad one. The good one from Radio Shack let you program in the best direction for each station, luckily in Austin all but one station can be received at about 80%+ signal strength from one setting\direction. The issue with the 2nd one is that it was too directional and it easily fell over.
So once you put the tuner card in your PC you then configure Beyond TV to detect the local stations, which it pre downloads based on your zip code. After it knows what stations you can receive it downloads a program guide, very similar to TiVo. Once the program guide has been downloaded you can setup setup auto-recording of your favorite shows by name, keyword, or times.
Beyond TV also has a web front-end that lets you add programs from anywhere. When we move to Austin full time we will probably switch to using Beyond TV with Beyond TV Link (lets you want programs from any PC on your network) with 3 tuners in an “Entertainment PC”