When I upgraded my computer I had the bright idea of re-purposing my old computer into one that I could play all my media on and use my little USB TV tuner with (a home theater PC). This was a few months ago. It was originally meant to be a PC I could use as a PVR and media center, but I kept finding new things to do with it and it became an exciting project to find out all the things I could build into my kickass media center. I found I could put my GOG (good old games) games on it and play them on my HDTV. Then I discovered XBMC and the Lifehacker articles that showed you how to set it up. Before I knew it I was ripping all my DVDs (legally purchased of course) to XBMC to make an awesome media library that I could access without disc-swapping (and fantasizing about doing this with the Wii U, but without hacking it).
Then one day it was ruined when the little adapter that plugged my USB TV tuner into the rooftop aerial broke. I found out it was a spindly thing that had been struggling to support the weight of the cable all this time. So, I had to buy a new TV tuner. I didn't think this would be so hard, but it turns out it was much easier said than done. I drove around to five different shops (different companies) and none of them had anything of the sort. Eventually I did get one that would have been perfect...if it worked. The software installed alright but the thing wouldn't pick up any channels, even when plugged into the rooftop aerial. So I returned it. If anyone knows how to get Leadtek devices working on Windows 7 64 bit, please enlighten me.
Then my parents told me I should talk to this computer repair guy we know and he bought a new tuner (which was exactly the same product as before) and suggested I take the PC in to allow him to set it up. It was a job that should have taken a few minutes, but, according to my conversations with him, getting the tuner to work on ANY computer has proven a challenge (does Leadtek test its products?). Still, it was baffling, because he did say his customers have never had a problem with Leadtek tuners.
Now I've been without my HTPC for 4 days and without PVR capabilities for a week. I missed a new episode of Simpsons (my parents wanted to record something on both their tivo tuners) and my TV catch up service doesn't actually have any Simpsons episodes online (so you can't do catch up). It's just got clips and behind the scenes extras.
I'm itching to try out another experimentation with XBMC, but I can't until I get my PC back. This is one of those things that shouldn't be this hard or time-consuming. Yes I'm whinging, but it's just I'm beginning to suffer from PVR withdrawal. It used to be so easy to record things and watch them on my own schedule, but now I can't.