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How to Record Live TV on Computer

How to Record Live TV on Computer

If you are looking for guidelines on recording live TV on computer and enjoy your favorite shows anytime, this article will be a helpful read. I guide you through the procedure of recording live TV content directly to your hard drive, using TV tuner cards, USB TV tuners and digital video recorders.
Omkar Phatak
It may be Superbowl finals, NBA playoffs or the screening of the latest House MD episode, you want to record and cherish these television moments forever. Wouldn't it be great if you could record all these live programs directly on to your computer hard drive? That way you can relive the excitement of that last touchdown and that golden last minute slam dunk again.
Recording Live Television Feed
Recording live TV was never as easy as it is today. Thanks to developments in electronics technology and advancement in video conversion techniques, it is easily possible to convert television channel feed into videos, which can be stored on your PC. You can watch cable TV on computer, using special TV tuner cards. Here are three ways in which you can record live TV broadcasts on to your computer hard drive.
By Installing a TV Tuner Card
One of the simplest ways in which you can watch your television channels on computer and record programs, is through the usage of a TV tuner card. They are devices which provide video capture functionality when installed in expansion slots of your computer motherboard. Get the latest PCI express interface based TV tuner card like the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 which comes with a built in MPEG-2 encoder, that lets you record digital, as well as analog TV programs on your computer hard drive.
Once this TV tuner card is installed into your computer motherboard's PCI Express slot, you can feed TV output from your set top box into these cards using S-video or other video cable types. By using software programs like Windows Media Center, you can then record and save your favorite TV programs to your hard drive. All modern tuners are of the hybrid kind, with the ability to record ATSC, NTSC, as well as QAM digital TV output.
Use a USB TV Tuner
If you don't want to go through the hassle of installing a PCI express card, you can always opt for a USB TV tuner with plug and play facility. All you have to do is plug in the tuner into a USB port to record any over the air broadcast or set top box fed TV program, to your hard drive, using Windows Media Center or any other appropriate recording software. These devices are ideal for laptop users, who want to watch and record their favorite TV programs. Both analog, as well as digital TV channels can be recorded using USB TV tuners. Using video converter programs, you can convert the recorded MPEG-2 videos into appropriate formats before storing them on an external hard drive or a DVD.
Using a Digital Video Recorder (DVR)
A third option is to use a digital video recorder like TiVo, which functions like a TV tuner card, encoding TV signals and storing them onto an inbuilt hard drive, from which you can watch the recorded programs later. You can pause live TV and watch it at your own leisure later using these digital video recorders. These devices eliminate the need of getting your computer involved and let you watch recorded content on the TV itself, by playing recorded shows from internal hard drive.
Start recording your favorite shows and watch them anytime at your leisure. In a year's time, you will have the best sporting moments from the Superbowl to the Wimbledon and your best sitcoms recorded for your viewing pleasure. Create your own personal digital archive of the best television moments for posterity!