TV Tuner Card Options for Your Laptop Computer


Authored by Kumara Velu in Computer Hardware
Published on 01-12-2009

There are two ways you can watch television on your laptop computer. The first is watching streaming television over the Internet. The advantage of this method is you don’t have to install any hardware. The disadvantage is you need a fast Internet connection – broadband is a must. Even then with a normal speed broadband, buffering and loading your favourite show may just take too long that you give up in despair.

The sensible solution then is to acquire a TV tuner card. When it comes to laptops, you have two options for TV tuner cards.

You can use a PCMCIA tuner card, which is ideal if you have an older and slower laptop. If you have a newer and faster laptop, you can opt for a card with USB 2.0 connection. A USB TV tuner card enables you to alternate its use between your laptop and desktop computers.

Let’s now look at the types of TV tuners available for your laptop. The first question you should ask yourself before choosing a TV turner card is whether High Definition TV is available in your country. If so, you would want go for a TV tuner device which supports HDTV.

For those who will be enjoying HDTV in the near future you can still opt for a HDTV tuner card. In the meantime, you can enjoy SD television with the built-in NTSC tuner.

The TV tuner card we are going to look at here is the Laptop HDTV Receiver. This USB 2.0 model plugs into any USB port in your laptop and comes with an ATSC tuner which enables the card to receive HDTV broadcast to be streamed into your laptop. It is similar to the tuner a HD television set uses.

What’s more, the Laptop HDTV Receiver enables you to record HD video into your computer. You can record your favorite television programs in the MPEG-2 or AVI formats. You could then edit off the commercials and easily burn the recorded footage to a DVD.

The tuner comes with a HD antenna. A lengthy cable is also provided so that you could position the antenna in a position from where you could get a strong signal reception.

Do you have an HD-ready television which does not come with an ATSC tuner? The adapter that comes with the tuner card solves the problem for you. It converts the incoming HD signal into the HD 1080i format and redirects it to your television.

Another option you could consider is the Volar Max tuner card from AverMedia. If you’re looking for a laptop TV tuner card which works with Microsoft Media Centre, Volar Max fits the bill. It can work with both the XP and Vista versions. Apart from that it has the same features as other HDTV tuner cards.

If you’re in the United States, you could do well to choose a digital TV tuner card because after February 17, 2009 all television broadcasts will be in the digital format.


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