Thanks guys, for the suggestions.
I've been googling a bit, and combined with your thoughts, I think now my expectations were too high, perhaps unrealistic.
I've read something about Microsoft Media Centre being able to do what I want, but that's way too much work. I was hoping for a simple fix, but I guess the world is more complicated.
What is your PICTURE QUALITY expectation?
Do you require 16x9A or 4x3LB?
How much $$$ are you willing to spend
I'm only willing to spend about $50. And I don't want to do lots of work. I'm not sure how Replay would work in my scenario. I'm guessing you mean just setting it up to use it's timer to change my DTA50's channel?
PQ is not a great concern, as long as it's not less than what I have now, which is ok... not great, just ok (it's the sound that's crappy), and it's feeding an old Sony Wega CRT, so 4x3LB is fine.
Satellite is not really a consideration - I find it's not worth the cost for me.
It's looking now like I might have to settle for what I've got, namely, being glued to TCM only. There' s not that much else that really catches my interest anyway, except for once in a while, and maybe I can deal with those exceptions when they happen.
I think I can set up one of my Pio's to record my daily soap OTA, and the other two to get TCM, so maybe that'll be good enough.