Except for DVRs like TiVo that you own instead of lease from your cable company, it’s hard to find a new home-theater product or TV that accepts CableCARD, a conditional access card that lets you tune in cable channels including premium channels like HBO and Showtime. Now, Hauppauge Computer Works has announced a dual tuner CableCARD receiver that attaches by USB cable to your Windows 7 PC.
The Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 has no storage of its own. Instead, you use the hard drive in your desktop or notebook to record or buffer programs. Advantages over a conventional DVR include the ability to stream recorded programs to computers in other rooms via your wired or wireless network without adding a Slingbox-type device and to increase storage capacity as needed.
Also, a computer-based DVR can save you money over a set-top DVR. That’s because you rent the CableCARD from your cable company for $3 to $5 a month, which is typically $10 - $15 less than you’d pay to lease a DVR.
For more information about the WinTV-DCR-2650, see Hauppauge’s Features page.