Turn Your PC into a TV

Do you have a nice monitor with your desktop or perhaps you are a college student on budget and can't afford a television set? The answer is to purchase a TV tuner. Most TV tuners are USB powered  and support both Windows and Mac OSX, so connectivity should not be an issue. While the set-up varies for each individual device and brand, they are all essentially the same! I found it easiest and most efficient using Windows Media Center (MCE) under Windows 7. I own a Pinnacle PCTV HD 800E. I had given up on it about two years ago as the device only worked with the packaged software from Pinnacle and not MCE. It just happened that one day, I was so amazed by Windows 7, that I gave it a shot and it worked like a charm! The TV tuner at that time was about 80$ on sale, nowadays one can find a decent one for 60$. If you are interested in purchasing one, you should first do the following:

  • Look up reviews for your tuner of interest
  • Possible connections (coaxial,RCA, etc)
  • HD capabilities (most are, future-proof)
  • Does your system meet the recommended requirements?