Instructables
Picture of Recording TV on your Desktop PC
This instructable will show you how to record your favorite TV shows from your Windows home computer. DVRs have become more and more popular over the years and estimates say that 42% of US households have one. For good reason too, because DVRs allow you to record your favorite TV shows and play them back at a convenient time for you. Anyone who is comfortable opening their desktop PC and installing a PCI card is capable of doing this, but if you are not comfortable with that (or you want to do this with a laptop) there will be a simpler USB alternative. Installing the PCI card will take about 15 minutes, and installing the drivers and setting up windows media center will take between 10 and 20 minutes.
 
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Step 1: Gather Components and Tools

These are the components that you will need, read carefully because there are two ways to do this:

• Windows Vista or Windows 7 Computer (This can be done with a Mac or Linux computer but this guide does not cover that.)
• TV-Tuner (This can be a PCIe card or a USB stick, refer to the links below for examples of each.)
• Phillips Head Screwdriver (Only necessary if using PCIe card)
• Cable subscription.

There are two ways to accomplish this, one is using a PCIe card TV-Tuner, the other is using a USB stick TV-Tuner. The USB stick does not require opening the computer so it is better for laptops or people who don't feel comfortable opening their computer. Before purchasing a PCIe card make sure the motherboard on your computer has an open PCIe slot and space for the card. Below are two links to recommended choices for two TV-Tuners:

PCIe TV-Tuner

USB TV-Tuner

Note: In the pictures I use an HVR-1800 TV-Tuner, it is similiar to, but not the same as the card linked above.