I was a bit surprised at how many of you disliked the recent AverMedia AverTVHD Volar USB TV tuner for $24.99 shipped (after rebate). Make sure to apply discount code EMCABAGDJ to get that final price.. However, I can take a hint, so here's a much cheaper TV-on-PC solution: Newegg has the
For those unfamiliar with the concept, a TV tuner lets you watch live TV (via cable or antenna) on your PC. You can also record and time-shift (pause) shows using bundled software or a third-party solution like Windows Media Center or SnapStream Beyond TV.
The AverTVHD Volar is a digital-only (ATSC) tuner, meaning it uses an antenna to pull down over-the-air digital channels. It comes with a small telescoping antenna, but you may want to connect something larger if you live in a remote area.
The tuner also comes with a carrying case, making it a travel-friendly solution. At home, this would actually be a great second tuner for someone who already has an analog (NTSC) tuner. (By the way, Windows Media Center supports up to four tuners.)
The AverTVHD Volar normally sells for at least $60, so you're definitely getting a deal here. The $20 rebate offer (PDF) expires January 12.