My personal belief is that a Hardware card is a good move regardless of whether your software needs it - your pc will be healthier for it. If you ran a Small formfactor pc in the lounge then having it work less and run cooler is better for it (and the fans will run less - hence less noise). If its a shared function pc then it will run other tasks while recording without slowing and without affecting the recording!. I suggest you buy the Hauppauge Card - then try GBPVR and if you preferred Beyond TV go that way.
The thing I like most about GBPVR is the lack of features - IE you can turn off what you don't want/need so its a very quick simple interface! I went this way to simplify recording and playback as compared to a VCR so I don't want something with too many options to confuse and slow usability. I want something where you hit two buttons and you are watching a recording or programming one.
If however you like bells and whistles like internet radio, Weather, New feeds etc then they are all there to plugin/switch on!
My next recommendation is a dual tuner like the Hauppauge 500mce - that way you can record two channels at once and it also helps recording back to back programs, you can record one with each tuner getting a 5 minute buffer for both so you don't end up with the first 5 minutes of show 2 on the end of show 1 because the channel was slightly off time. Nothing worse than watching show 1, deleting it and then going to watch show 2 a few days later only to realise you deleted the first few minutes along with show 1. Also by buying the 500mce (media center edition) its cheaper to buy as it doesn't come with a remote and you can shop around to get a remote that you like better or does more.
Sorry for the ramble! Hope if helped.
Intel i5-4440, 4096mb DDR3 Ram, Windows 7 Pro
2 x Hauppauge Nova-T 500 (2 out of 4 of these I've bought works! Great QC Hauppauge!)
1 x Hauppauge hvr-2200 and 1 x Hauppauge Colossus
500gb Seagate for O/S
2 x 500GB SATA3 WD Black in a Windows Stripe for recordings
All hidden in the garage with an Intel i5 NUC and a logitech Harmony one remote in the lounge for playback.
Panasonic 65" 2013 GT Series 3D plasma
New Zealand - Go Crusaders!