(Skip this first paragraph and perhaps the second, to get to the central point of this thread.) I have been researching this question on and off again for at least a year, and the more I learn the dumber I feel. If I am lucky enough to get the information I am seeking, I am hoping it will benefit many others as well. Perhaps this information, or certainly at least parts of it, is/are scattered throughout these forums. I hope that this inquiry will gather the relevant information into one thread that others may find and benefit from as well. With all that said by way of introduction, here follows the crux of the matter. I have DirecTV, but I believe my question will apply to any satellite receiver. I experienced the convenience of a Panasonic Showstopper for Replay TV, but the unit burned out. I may or may not get it fixed. Point is, I want to find the most reliable, cost-efficient, and effective way to channel my satellite signals into my PC, view them, and record favorites to VCD, SVCD, or DVD. I am persuaded that hardwired MPEG encoding is best (if it is not proprietary), but I am willing to consider otherwise. Unless a system controls the DirecTV input somewhat the way my Showstopper did, the "125 channel input" is a waste, simply because the PC tuner will have to be set on channel 3 or 4. However, I realize that any "waste" may be a necessary trade off to obtain the best possible configuration of hardware and software that is currently economically available (my budget is very limited). For those of you responding with suggestions, please note that I prefer not to buy products that will be obsolete, non-upgradeable, or incompatible with related advances and upgrades in a very short time. I know this query is both overly optimistic and demanding, as all my own research and even "ruel's" website have left me totally confused. I also have a strong hunch that there is more to this lack of market clarity than my own ignorance or intelligence, but I do believe there are some intelligent and savvy computer/electronic wizards that have sorted their way through this maze to hardware/software configurations that get the job done as effectively and economically as present technology will allow. Now that I have stuck my neck out so very far in the above declaration, I hope there will be some responders who will prove me at least partially correct. If any of you readers know of potential constructive respondents from the other forums, please, yes PLEASE, refer them to this inquiry thread. Thanks to all, and especially to anyone who may significantly reduce the confusion I am experiencing in this knowledge quest.