The Good The SiliconDust HD HomeRun Dual is an easy-to-install network tuner that can supply free over-the-air HDTV to Windows PCs in the home. Two tuners enable you to record or watch two programs at once, and share tuners across two devices. It works seamlessly with Windows Media Center.
The Bad TV choices are limited to free antenna-based or unencrypted cable programming. Wireless performance depends on the strength of your network; wired connections offer a smoother experience. Mac users should get the Elgato version, which bundles the necessary software.
The Bottom Line The Elgato HD HomeRun Dual is a decent way to get over-the-air TV on your PC, but its high bandwidth requirements mean you're better off opting for wired rather than Wi-Fi streaming.
SiliconDust HDHomeRun Dual
Editors' note: This review has been updated since its original publication to clarify the difference between the Elgato and SiliconDust versions of the product. See the "two versions" section below for more information.
If powerful, inexpensive consoles such as the PS3 and the Xbox 360 turned the once-popular gaming PC into a niche product, then by comparison a rash of cheap set-top boxes have crushed the need for the already-niche Home Theater PC (HTPC).
Yet, despite the proliferation of Apple TVs and Roku boxes, many people still want to watch TV on their PCs--whether they're hooked up to a separate TV or not. In fact, a recent survey suggests PC users spend an hour and a half a day watching video content on their devices.