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The Digital Video Broadcasting terrestrial (DVB-T) standard is gaining more and more success with an increasing diffusion of apparatuses in many countries. To asses the design, production, deployment, maintenance and the performance of such systems, many measurements are required. In particular, channel power measurements and power spectra at the Intermediate Frequency (IF) and the Radio Frequency (RF) stages are relevant parameters to be measured as accurately as possible. In this framework the Authors are engaged to design and realize a cost-effective DSP-based meter for power measurement in DVB-T systems, able to warrant metrological performance as good as that assured by competitive RF instruments, reduced memory requirement and short measurement times. The core of the proposing instrument is the efficient estimation of the signal Power Spectral Density (PSD), estimated by using autoregressive (AR) parametric algorithms. This paper proposes significant improvements addressed to reducing the hardware requirements thus permitting the development of a cost effective measurement instrument. To this aim, the sequential implementation of parametric AR algorithms (Least Square and Burg) has been investigated. Optimized implementations of such algorithms have been proposed for reducing the memory requirement and the computational burden without compromising accuracy and repeatability. A number of experiments conducted in simulation environment and on emulated signals proves the goodness of the proposed enhancements to realize a cost-effective measurement instrument for D VB- T applications.