If you are purchasing a digital video recording, or DVR system directly from your cable or satellite provider, you'll probably reap the same great rewards as TiVo but at a fraction of the price. However, if you're somewhat knowledgeable about computers, you may be wondering, "How do I hook my DVR up to my computer?" More recently a cheap alternative has come about which provides all the great options and functionality, but can be done right on your home computer.
Here's how to access DVR through your computer.
- If you decide to convert your computer into a DVR, there are some key steps involved that will lead you on your path to enjoying one. The first step is to purchase a TV tuner for your computer, which will allow you to run your cable or satellite to your computer. When purchasing a one, you'll probably be presented with a program and instructions on how to set everything up for DVR. Know that there are many, many brands of them available on the market, and they have been getting constantly cheaper as the technology becomes more widely used.
- Windows media player supports TV tuner cards, and is an excellent way of setting up DVR. Windows media edition comes equipped with many video options, so if you are interested in making a computer your DVR and media hub, itnis well worth the upgrade or purchase.
- There are two very important things to consider when converting your PC. Video files can take up a huge amount of space; you have to constantly delete things to make room for using DVR. A hard drive any smaller is definitely not recommended. However, you can easily purchase storage options such as external hard drives to remedy this problem.
The second thing to consider is that if you aren't running a very powerful PC, or don't have a dual core processor, you probably won't want to be doing anything when your DVR is recording. If you are trying to do a bunch of heavy media or gaming on your computer while it is recording, you'll probably notice poor video quality with glitches and pauses, and audio feedback that gets out of sink. This means that if you do plan to use it when you'll need your PC for system intensive programs, you are probably best to buy a separate one, or find a dedicated computer just for DVR.
- Using your PC for recording is just as easy as TiVo. Plus, you can watch TV on your computer. Once you have run your cable through your computer, you should be able to flick through channels much like you would a TV, except it will display on your computer screen. Your program will come equipped with a task bar that allows for recording shows, and likely also a calendar that will work in sync with your computer clock, so you can program your it to record. The extensive options that other DVRs present will likely not be present on your PC one, as you may not have a TV schedule feature such as the one TiVo downloads for you.
Now that you have all the features worked out, it is really time to enjoy using your unit. So sit back, and watch TV on your PC. The digital video recorder (DVR) is a great tool, and one you probably won't be able to imagine living your life without. When you have all your shows programmed in, you'll be able to sit down, and watch a great program whenever you want to, without having to deal with the nothing-on syndrome. Enjoy, have fun, and see all the amazing things you can do with your DVR.