Buying the proper TV tuner card for your computer may be a very difficult process. There are various products available but not all of them will be suitable for your needs. It is extremely important to know exactly what to look for when shopping for a TV tuner card. Part of this includes understanding the types of TV tuner cards you can purchase and the capabilities of these cards.
Benefits of a TV Tuner Card
First off, lets look at exactly what TV tuner cards can allow us to do. The most important benefit of a TV tuner card is that it allows you to both watch and record video from your television. This includes live streaming of television shows and movies alike. These videos will then be saved on your computer hard drive so you can watch them at a later date if you wish.
You can also use the TV tuner card similar to a DVR system as you have the ability to pause, rewind, and fast forward through a live media streaming. At the same time, you can use the device to look through upcoming TV programs and pre-schedule a recording if necessary.
After a video is recorded it will be on your computer. You are not limited to just watching the video on your computer though. Once the video is saved you could easily burn it in data format to a CD or in video format to a DVD. This will allow you to upload the video on a similar computer device via data format, or you can just throw the burnt DVD disc into your DVD player and watch it on your television. This can be extremely beneficial if you order an expensive PPV, movie, or want to record a full season of your favorite TV show.
You also have the ability to use two or more TV tuner cards at once. This will allow you to record video from one TV channel and watch a different TV channel at the same time. This can be extremely beneficial for families with a different taste in TV shows as no one will miss an episode of their favorite show.
Types of TV Tuner Cards
You have the option of choosing between an internal and external TV tuner card. Most people will choose the internal TV tuner card but there are advantages and disadvantages to each. The choice will most likely be a personal preference as some people do not wish to go through the effort of installing an internal card.
An internal TV tuner card is installed inside your computer to a pre-selected slot. Installing the card is not difficult but it will require opening your computer case to access the TV tuner card slot. You will not need to connect any cables or other pieces of equipment to the device.
Once the card is installed you will need to screw the cable TV connector to the specified port on the TV tuner card. Make sure you have the proper connection cable for this. Usually a cable TV feed/antenna is appropriate but many cards allow for other video input cables such as an S-video cable. There are certain cards that also allow FM tuners to be used.
Buying a TV Tuner Card
When shopping for a TV tuner card you will need to know what to look for. If you are looking for the highest quality streaming with your TV tuner card then the HDTV TV tuner card is your best option. This type of card works the same as other TV tuner cards but it is transferring the media in high quality signals only. This is especially beneficial if you are using a HDTV or high definition computer monitor.
If you are not using a high definition TV or monitor then there is no need for that specific type of TV tuner card. In this case you could just purchase a regular TV tuner card and not have any problems with it. There are also some situations where you could benefit from an external (USB) TV tuner card. For instance, if you would like to use your laptop for streaming video then this would be your only realistic option.
For the best set up possible you should purchase multiple TV tuner cards so you can record one channel and watch another one live. The best possible set up would also include HDTV TV tuner cards as you should have a high definition television or monitor in your entertainment room. However, make your decision based on your current set up and what exactly you want the TV tuner card to be able to do.