Easy TV recording for PCs
October 10, 2005
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I've been looking for a TV tuner/capture card for my PC. I'm a college student, so I'm looking for a cheap way to record some programs I will miss because of class.
Pairing a TV tuner card with an LCD for television recording and viewing is an increasingly attractive option for people with limited space, such as college students or Manhattanites.
It's as easy as plugging your TV signal (usually a coaxial cable from your cable company) into an
internal TV tuner card, such as the Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-350 ($199), or an external USB version, such as the sub-$100 Plextor ConvertX PX-TV100U, and using your DVR (digital video recorder) software's online program guide to schedule recordings.
Microsoft's Media Center OS
is a popular choice for managing your recordings and includes a handy remote control, but you can also use one of the many other media front ends on the market without replacing your PC, such as SageTV
, SnapStream's Beyond TV
, or MythTV
. ATI, with its All-in-Wonder line
, and Nvidia, with its Personal Cinema card
, also sell multimedia graphics cards that provide DVR functionality, in addition to a possible graphics upgrade to your current system.
As CNET's resident security expert, Dan Ackerman
covers the intersection of computers and home theater and has appeared in publications including USA Today, Sync,