Have you cut the cord, but want to get back together with your TV? You can save a lot by turning an old computer into a combo TV receiver, DVR and streaming media box. You'll need some special gear — and patience. But in the end, you can save
Why limit yourself to a single tuner on an underpowered old laptop with a weak antenna.
I am using a Mini-Tower Windows 7 (32-bit) PC ($200 from eBay) and have four Hauppauge tuners (one dual PCIe, one single PCIe and one single PCI) in it. The four tuners only cost me $80 on eBay. The PC itself has a quad core Intel 775 Q8300 processor. I stuck in 2 cheap 2gb DDR3 sticks ($20) for 4gb ram (3.25GB usable) and an inexpensive 1TB hard drive. The graphics board is an nVidia GTS450 that I picked up for $65. Adding in the cost of a wireless keyboard & mouse alone with a roof mounted antenna, RG6 cabling, a 4-way RF splitter and the Windows Media Center remote and USB IR receiver gets me to a total cost of about $450.
The Mini-Tower is Grey in color and has some chrome styling and it looks great next to the glass/grey TV stand. I also like how the IR receivers (keyboard, mouse, remote) sit neatly on the top of it.
I have been using this system for over three years now so that works out to be less than $150 per year and will be even less the more years I have it.
With the roof mounted antenna I have no problems recording three different shows while watching live-TV even with rain coming down in buckets.
Sometimes CHEAP is too cheap. Do yourself a favor an spend a few more bucks for a system with no compromises.