Well, it's not that bad to set up something like that.
1. buy a computer with a built-in TV tuner or one with tuner in it already. OR buy a USB TV tuner with IR Blaster.
2. Make sure the OS is at the Vista Home Premium so you can use the Media Centre for TV viewing.
Couple of things, changing channel can be slow and iffy and Media Centre doesn't do Mpeg 4 so prepare for some huge files.
bottom line, I am not that computer savvy and it managed to set up my laptop as a PVR.
ps. make sure your computer is powerful enough, I don't know what the min requirement is but my laptop is a Core 2 Duo T7100...
Sharp D64u 42" & 46" , PS3 , Toshiba Qosmio G40, Yamaha 6130B, Energy Take Classic