I've been looking at buying a tv tuner for my pc, but at least on newegg, they all seem a little sketchy. They all seem to have mediocre reviews and can range from $20 to well over $100. Do a lot of people just not know what they are doing or are tuner cards pretty unreliable? I just want something that can automatically record a tv show when it comes on (or at least let me setup a manual schedule). If it could keep subtitles that would be nice. I have the standard 125 channel analogue cable (U.S.) (although there is only channels 2-60 available). I don' need a remote and it can be pci, pci-e or usb.
I personally have a WinTv-2650 USB cable card tuner, and love it.
In windows media center when you mute the show the subtitles automatically appear and can just be turned on as well. The guide for scheduling recording is great and there are plugin's that let you set recordings from your smart phone or stream live from your pc. I also have MCE buddy running in the background converting all of my recording to M4V's and removing all of the commercials. You will have this same functionality whatever flavor of tuner (card or analog) you buy.
Overall my tuner card/DVR experience thus far has significantly exceeded my expectations. I have 3 monitors and its great having the news or whatever on one of the screens while working.