The 80-channel satellite-broadcast counterpart to Freeview, inspiringly named Freesat, is set to launch soon so what better way to prepare for the occasion than a USB satellite tuner? Hauppauge certainly seems to think so as it has announced the WinTV Nova-S USB2.
Intended for users who already have a satellite dish, say for Sky, hooked up to their main TV, the WinTV Nova-S USB2 should make a decent secondary tuner for casual viewing. Hooked up to something like the Sony VGC-LT1S.CEK Media Centre in a bedroom or kitchen for example.
Hauppauge says the tuner will also allow a PC to view HD content, with appropriate software installed and powerful enough hardware, which is a great bonus. Sky HD may be fantastic, but it is rather expensive whereas BBC HD on free-to-air is, surprisingly, free - after a TV License few at least.
Scheduling is also supported in the software, so that broadcasts can be saved on a hard drive for later viewing. Single-program, daily and weekly schedules can be set up, which should cover the needs of most.
Freesat is set to launch in the summer, but you should be able to grab the WinTV Nova-S USB2 right now for £79.99. If that seems like a reasonable amount to part with to be prepared, and enjoy the current raft of free satellite channels, then set to it now.