Need help choosing a PC TV tuner? Determine where you will use it, what type of TV signal you will be use and which computer you will use the tuner with and selecting a PC TV tuner will be easy. Tuners are easy to install and set-up so in no time you will be watching and recording TV on your computer.
PC TV tuners are available as PCI cards (for desktops) and USB adapters (for laptops or desktops). PCI card tuners require you to have an available PCI slot and USB tuners require you to have an available USB port (most require a USB 2.0 port and many will not work with a USB hub). A PCI tuner card requires you to open your computer to install it whereas you simply plug a USB tuner into a USB port. Tuner cards are convenient if you only want to watch TV one desktop computer and don't want to add any more clutter to your desk. Many prefer USB tuners because they are easy to install, work with laptops and desktops and are easily moved from computer to computer. Which you choose depends on how and where you will use the tuner and your system parameters.
PC TV tuners are currently not compatible with high definition cable or satellite signals. Tuners are available that are compatible with over the air high definition signals but the cost a little more so if you if you don't pan on using an antenna save some money and don't buy a tuner that is compatible with high definition over the air signals. If you plan on watching over the air signals it is recommended that you buy a third party upgraded antenna (about $30). If you don't plan to use your PC TV tuner for traveling consider a desktop USB tuner which have onboard processors so it won't slow your computer down. If you plan on hooking your computer up to a big screen TV in your family room consider getting tuner that comes with a remote control.
01 October 2009 Hardware