Watch and record TV from your PC

You can easily use the computer as a video recorder. Hard drives today are large enough to hold entire video archives of your favorite television shows. The purchase of a hard disk recorder is therefore superfluous, so that you can easily save several hundred euros. By connecting your PC to a picture tube in the living room, you can view the recorded material at any time. In this workshop you will read how to watch and record digital television via your PC.

1. TV tuner

The easiest way to turn your PC into a VCR is to connect a digital TV tuner to your computer. They come in different shapes and sizes. A DVB-T receiver with antenna is already for sale for a few tens. Displays the wireless Digitenne signal on your computer. Unfortunately, most DVB-T receivers for PCs do not have a module for a smart card, so that only the public networks are accessible. Other well-known standards for receiving digital television are via DVB-C (cable) and DVB-S (satellite).

2. Assembly

DVB-T tuners are available as USB adapters. In that case, you connect a USB stick with antenna. USB devices are not able to decode the television signal on their own, which means that the computing power of your PC is used. It is therefore preferable to use a PCI or PCI-E plug-in card on your desktop, possibly with an integrated smart card reader. These exist for all known standards. Check whether the correct connections are available on the card in order to connect a set-top box if necessary.

3. Windows Media Center

Manufacturers usually supply their own software to watch broadcasts. The quality of this varies. However, Windows Media Center is ideally suited to receive digital television and schedule recordings. In principle, all standards work with this program, although DVB-C tuners sometimes cause problems in practice. Creative manufacturers make DVB-C tuners pretend to be DVB-T tuners, so you can still receive this standard. Check a product's packaging for compatibility with Windows Media Center.

4. Settings

Windows Media Center automatically recognizes the TV tuner. Open the software and navigate to Tasks / institutions / TV / Set TV signal. The settings are different for each type. With a DVB-T receiver, confirm that the Netherlands is the correct region and enter the zip code. This eliminates the need for Windows Media Center to scan all frequencies. After the license terms, select digital antenna as a provider. If you use a DVB-C tuner, you usually first choose Antenna and after that Digital terrestrial not yet mapped.

5. Search channels

The program independently retrieves program and guide data. This process will take a few minutes as all frequencies within your area will be searched. Channels that have been found will automatically appear on the screen. Afterwards, you can view the final list. Are all channels included? When in doubt, click Search again. Provided the tuner is able to receive radio, the software also maps those stations. click on Next one and confirm with Complete. Return to the main menu by clicking the green logo at the top left.

Recent Posts