depends on what you get. i'm guessing that anything that cost $300 is somewhat of a DVR system as well. one of the cheaper options is elgato's eyeTV wonder usb 2.0 which is based off of ATI's equipment. thus far is has some pretty steep requirements for recording shows but watching, u should be taken care of. all they offer for recording is mpeg1/2/4 which means too much CPU times is used encoding to keep up w/ the framerates, unless u have dual core G4+ systems. not cool for any of the Apple notebooks. they should allow a DV capture, which my iBook can handle readily, u could then just convert the DV to mpeg4 after the fact and delete the massive DV file. this of course would be too common-sensical for some software makers to allow for.
also, what kind of functions are u looking for aside from channel surfing?
what kind of mac do u have?
ok, i may have found a sweet option for you and me both!http://www.eskapelabs.com/myTVPVR.html
it has hardware compression for mpeg-1 & 2, so u can record "now" and compress to mpeg4 later if u want. u can also have it for less than $150
check and see if u can fnd some reviews before buying.
hmmm, looks like the drivers and OS version have a bit to do w/ user experience...a mixed bag. i'm gonna guess that alan might have mixed up his drivers w/ the wrong OS version...http://www.macupdate.com/reviews.php?id=9319
here's some screenshots of it...http://www.shspvr.com/smf/index.php?topic=8339.0
here's a froogle
make sure to check out the vendor at resellerratings.com, also make sure the item is in stock.