Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren fight memes LG G1 OLED TV review SpaceX to send Artemis astronauts to moon Game of Thrones at 10 Apple's April 20 iPad event Child tax credit's monthly check

Get a dual-tuner CableCard adapter for $127

Rent a CableCard from your cable company, plug this USB receiver into your Windows 7 PC, and presto: you've got a fantastic dual-tuner DVR.

The Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 adds dual CableCARD tuners to just about any Windows 7 PC.
The Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 adds dual CableCard tuners to just about any Windows 7 PC. Hauppauge

I'm a longtime fan of Windows Media Center, which I've used as the hub of my entertainment center for many years. It's vastly underrated as a DVR; indeed, I'd say it's better than TiVo.

Just one problem: the only available CableCard adapter (a vital component for watching and recording cable TV) was Ceton's InfiniTV 4-- a great product, but expensive and compatible only with desktop PCs.

Finally, there's an affordable, external solution. The Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 is a dual-tuner CableCard adapter that plugs into a USB port. Pair it with a Windows 7-powered desktop or laptop and an M-Card from your cable company, and you've got the makings of a mighty sweet HD DVR.

Hauppauge sells the WinTV-DCR-2650 for $149, plus $10 for shipping. That's already a killer deal, especially compared with the InfiniTV 4 (which originally sold for $399 but now runs $299). If you're not in a major rush, you can pre-order the WinTV-DCR-2650 for $135.05 shipped. That's from an outfit called Bottom Line Telecommunications, which reports having 10 units on order.

Meanwhile, Comet Supply is taking preorders at $127.26, plus around $6 for shipping. That's the deal to beat, though it's classified as a "special order," so there's no way to know for sure when you'll receive your unit. (The WinTV-DCR-2650 is a brand-new product, and Hauppauge itself started shipping only a couple weeks ago.)

Lucky duck that I am, I've got a review unit in-hand--and it's working like a charm. Using a Comcast CableCard and a reasonably powerful laptop, I've been able to record two HD shows at the same time (even premium channels) while watching an already recorded show--just like with a TiVo.

But without the monthly fees. Microsoft levies no additional charge for using Windows Media Center's excellent program guide. Trust me: you will not be disappointed.

Even at $150, this thing is a steal. If you're looking for an inexpensive way to bring digital cable TV viewing/recording to your PC, there's never been a better option.

Bonus deal: The early bird gets the worm. And today only, you can get Early Bird for iPhone and Early Bird for iPad absolutely free. (It's normally 99 cents and $1.99, respectively.) This crazy-cute physics game is all about flinging a little bird in the direction of the worm, collecting bonuses along the way. (If you like this kind of thing, be sure to check out Contre Jour, which I reviewed yesterday.)