Feeds

How to watch TV on your PC

PC as PVR

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

At the most basic level, it makes little difference whether you use a USB tuner or an internal PCI or PCI Express add-in card. You're talking about roughly 1GB of video per tuner per hour, which is well within the bounds of USB 2's bandwidth. However, it's a safer bet to use an internal card, especially if you also use a number of USB peripherals. And if you plan to make the jump to HDTV, you'll need a faster interface than USB 2.0.

Windows Vista can use multiple TV tuners
Windows Vista can use multiple TV tuners

Still, if you have a highly compact desktop PC, like you'll have little choice but to go for a USB tuner. You may well find that the tuner blocks one or more neighbouring ports, but USB tuners usually come with a USB extension lead.

This largely applies to laptops too. It's the work of a moment to unplug a USB tuner and aerial when you're off on your travels, but you're not limited to USB-connected devices. AVerMedia, for example, has a growing range of ExpressCard tuners such as the DVB-T Express X. Thanks to the bandwidth provided by the ExpressCard bus, it has headroom for HDTV.

AVerMedia ExpressCard TV tuner
AVerMedia's DVB-T Express X ExpressCard tuner

To the best of our knowledge there's no technical difference between PCI and PCIe add-in cards, although it's tempting to choose PCIe if only to make use of the PCIe x1 slots that you find on modern desktop motherboards. It's possible that the bandwidth and power of PCIe may have a beneficial effect as KWorld lists a dual hybrid card that has a PCIe x1 interface.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays
Bad computers might ask if you are Sarah Connor
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.