Cord-cutters of the world, this one’s for you.
If you’re looking to tap those sweet, sweet TV signals that get broadcast over the airwaves for free, and you want to watch and/or record them on your PC, there’s one important ingredient: a tuner.
Most PC TV tuners are single-system affairs, meaning they plug into a USB port and deliver the goods to just that system.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could plug a tuner into your router, then share the over-the-air TV goodness with all your computers?
Ta-da: IceMonkey has the recertified SiliconDust HDHomeRun Dual TV tuner for $69.99 shipped. It has a list price of $129.99 and sells elsewhere for around $100.
The HDHomeRun Dual can pull in digital signals from cable (which can be hit-and-miss nowadays) or an antenna. I recommend pairing it with something like the Leaf Indoor HDTV Antenna, which currently sells for $35.99. That frees you entirely from the pricey bonds of cable TV.
True to its name, the HDHomeRun offers dual tuners. That means you can watch one live show while recording another, or watch a recorded show while recording two live shows.
I’ve used the HDHomeRun before, and I do have a couple caveats. First, it works best with systems running
Windows 7, though it’s also compatible with Vista Home Premium. Second, HD video requires a fair amount of network bandwidth, so the best performance will come from PCs that are wired to your router via Ethernet. Wireless can work, but in my experience it’s not always consistent.
Want to learn more? Read CNET’s review of the HDHomeRun Dual. I think it’s a mighty solid deal at $70 out the door, especially for those cord-cutters who want to keep their OTA and DVR prospects alive.
Bonus deal: Hoping to use your
iPad as a laptop replacement? You’ll need a keyboard. Today only, Daily Steals has the recertified Logitech Keyboard Case for iPad for $29.99, plus $5 for shipping. It sells new for $79.99. The case sports a full-size QWERTY keyboard and connects to your
tablet via Bluetooth. It’s compatible with the iPad 2 and new iPad.