I came her looking for answers but I see the same ole advise. I have had USB Hybrid Tuners, card tuners and different models of Hauppauge and Aver models (the only ones I found in stores nearby - within 30 miles) and the same thing always happens. First the tuner is to blame then it must be my hardware. I have used tuners since about 2003 (I think) they serve the purpose in a pinch. With a little planning, I get my favorite TV shows by other means while I watch others live, direct to TV feed.
Windows media recordings have always been over-bloated in size and poor in quality. Best way I can describe it would be like recording it in a 480i format and then exploding it to a 1080P big screen TV. I am able to watch 720P/H264/AAC3 MP4 recordings that are 234 MB with nearly crystal clarity and no pixelation while Windows' Media files are 2.5 - 4 GB for each one hour show.
I wish Microsoft would step up to the plate and say : <<My bad.. here's how you fix this>>