Many thanks to Benn (AK4AV) for passing along this article from the IEEE which describes how a $20 USB digital TV antenna tuner can be transformed into an impressive, flexible software defined radio:
The article incldes the following embedded video from the IEEE:
Here is another informative video via YouTube:
This year at the SWL Winterfest we had a presentation on the topic of $20 SDRs configured like those above. Some scanner enthusiasts had used them to receive satellite and many other VHF/UHF communications. I’ve heard of some devices being nearly plug-and-play easy to install and configure; others may take some minor tweaking. All of the SDR applications and drivers are either open source or free.
This page contains a wealth of information on the topic of RTL2832U based SDRs–it makes for a great starting point.
If you have experimented with thRTL2832U USB SDR, please comment below.