Pinnacle Systems recently offered to let me evaluate the Pinnacle PCTV HD Pro stick. This little gizmo lets you watch digital TV (including HD) on a Windows PC.
Today it arrived and I installed it. It consists of a USB dongle, to which one can attach the supplied coax antenna, or go out to a house's rooftop antenna (still a few of those around), or connect to cable or satellite boxes.
I opted for good 'ol broadcast. It installed easily and certainly displays over-the-air HD TV beautifully. I couldn't get the full electronic program guide (EPG) to load for my zip code (or any zip code nearby) but there's a bare-bones EPG to give you some inkling of what's coming up on each channel.
Older PC owners take note: The system requirements call for a Pentium 4 running at 2.4 GHz, a Pentium M running at 1.7 GHz or an AMD Athlon. I tried it on an AMD Sempron running at 1.79 GHz and the Pinnacle Media Center software duly warned me that "this may not be enough to display HD TV. Do you want to continue?" I did continue, and indeed my PC is only strong enough to receive most, but not all, the HD frames and audio. (It depends also on which station I'm trying to watch.) Other than that, at $99.99 this sure beats buying an HD TV for occasional access to broadcast TV.
One other cool thing: the software found and played a bunch of HD radio stations. They played fine on my underpowered PC.