OK, I have ponied up the $119.95CDN for a Hauppage PVR-150 and have installed it in one of my boxes after giving up on the ATI card. Apparently ATI isn't interested in producing either Linux drivers or technical information about their TV cards.
Now the only problem is agreeing on a pronunciation of 'Hauppage' -- I've heard both Hop-hog and Haw-Pawdge -- but anyways. As soon as I ran Hardrake to add the TV tuner card, I was asked for the CDs that contain xawtv -- fine, install those and select NTSC, Canada (NTSC) and nobody as the choices. OK, that all installs fine. Now I've heard about xawtv on the Video4Linux mailing list, so I try that out. Oops. problems.
Apparently the DCOPServer wasn't running. (Huh??)
After some research http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-dcop/index.html?ca=dgr-lnxw12ConnectKDE it turns out it's some script platform thing. And it doesn't run because it can't write to
Maybe I need to switch to KDE and see if that works. Mysterious.