Television is one particular area of home entertainment that has not necessarily changed that much over the past few decades. What has changed is how people experience television. These days TV episodes can be experienced over the Internet or a host of downloadable or streaming options. However, one of the most popular items to creep into houses across the country is the personal video recorder or PVR. Many people already own and item that can be turned into a powerful PVR by the addition of TV card or TV tuner, that would be the personal computer or PC. There are several of these products available that can be purchased as external additions for a home computer for those reluctant to take the computer apart and insert a card. Here is a look at three of the best TV cards or television devices for a PC:
Happaugue TV HD Stick
The Happaugue TV HD Stick can be found wherever electronics are sold; this item retails for $79.99 at Best Buy or bestbuy.com. The Happaugue HD TV Stick serves as a miniature TV tuner for any computer connectible via USB port, but do to its size it is primarily favored by laptop users. It allows users to receive a variety of over-the-air broadcasts and watch them live on their computer. The device also allows for pausing, rewinding, and fast-forwarding shows, but also allows for full television episodes to be recorded to the machine’s hard drive. Of course, once recorded the shows can be viewed at leisure or burned onto DVD for viewing outside the computer.
Silicon Dust HD HomeRun Dual Digital Television TV Tuner
The Silicon Dust HD HomeRun Dual Digital Television Tuner is available at bestbuy.com for $149.99. This unit connects to the computer via Ethernet port, which can be a bit of a problem for anyone on a wired network; however, it allows the user to receive the bulk of the digital over-the-air channels and unencrypted cable broadcasts in the receiving area in up to 1080i resolution. It also allows the user to pause and rewind, etc live broadcasts, and also supports recording television to act as a PVR. Again, once on the hard drive the recording can be viewed later or burned to DVD for portability.
Happaugue Hybrid Video Recorder
The Happaugue Hybrid Video Record is available at Best Buy or bestbuy.com for $149.99. This unit connects to the computer via USB port, and allows for viewing of live television and the recording of those programs. It also comes with a remote control for easy viewing. For computers connected to televisions that do not contain a factory TV card, this has become something of the unit of choice. The simple connection process and ease of use, due to file formats, allow for quick and easy burning to DVD or sharing via a network, either wired or wireless.
All things considered, a number of different methods exist to have access to a PVR without having to rent a unit from a cable or television provider. By harnessing the full power of a home computer, users can watch what they want whenever they so desire. However, before committing to a TV card or tuner for the computer, users should be certain their computer meets the minimum requirements of the unit in question.