Video Capture TV Tuner Cards

Watching TV on your computer is possible if you use a special TV tuner card that allows you to broadcast live TV. This device could be either an internal card or an external peripheral that you connect with your computer. All of them connect to your antenna. Learn more about the TV tuner cards available and choose the best features for your needs.

Internal or External Device

While internal video capture cards are smaller, they require installation and may seem difficult to connect with your computer. External peripherals and USB devices connect more easily, but could become a nuisance if you need to travel, as you would need to take them with you separately.

Useful TV Tuner Features

Internal splitters allow you to watch one channel and at the same time record from another. On-board encoders help to handle the video without overburdening the computer's graphic card or CPU. TV tuner cards with IR blasters, so you could program your favourite remote, although they often also include a remote control as part of the package.

Computer Performance

Many TV tuners could influence your PC performance, and it might become worse during recording and playback. Tuner cards that do the video compression themselves have a lesser impact on computer performance. Optical audio inputs keep the audio quality high for both live TV broadcasts and gaming. Some TV tuner sticks provide cloud-based storage space, thus saving the space inside your computer.

TV Tuners for Laptops

Not all computers are ready to accept PCI cards. An USB TV tuner, for instance, is required for laptops. You could also opt for one if you do not want the hassle of installing a PCI card into your computer. Many USB stick tuners include viewing and recording software, a portable antenna and a remote control for easy use. Although the USB tuners do not typically offer dual-tuner convenience and you cannot watch two programmes at once, they do incorporate software for scheduling recordings.