watch TV channels on computer

Posted on 2014-08-17
Last Modified: 2014-09-05
what are the hardware devices needed to setup to watch local TV channels on computer? Does it work for all countries?
Question by:grnow
    LVL 24

    Assisted Solution

    Different countries have different broadcast standards. In the US, we have ATSC, and you can get anything from a small usb dongle to a PCI card. Here is one inexpensive example

    In other countries, you would have to get different adapters.  Here's one that does PAL and SECAM

    Check this list to see what your country has.
    LVL 6

    Assisted Solution

    by:Neeraj Soni
    If you are talking about analog network then surely you need a TV Tuner card.

    If you already have a Set Top Box which converts the analog signal to digital signals then you might have an HDMI cable if your STB supports that. If STB support YBR cable and 2.1 channel audio then you need such 5 wired cables to connect your computer with your STB.

    On your computer, you can use VLC player use cable input as video source.
    LVL 31

    Assisted Solution

    You use a Video Capture Card and TV Tuner cards for this purpose. They come as internal cards, or external USB devices.

    Hauppauge makes good ones.

    Where and how it works all depends on the format that your TV provider gives you signal in. What input format your TV or video signal comes in will dictate which device you buy.

    Unfortunately the bad news is that many TV providers intentionally make it difficult for you to use your own capture device, because their signals are proprietary and cannot be understood by a normal capture card.
    Here are a few of the options, and you'll need to figure out which one(s) your TV provider gives you:

    ATSC, ClearQAM, NTSC:

       - Clear channels, unscrambled and available on a coaxial cable. The tuner is able to change the channel internally in software, and your computer can be configured as a PVR to record shows using software like Windows Media Center
       - Free over-the-air public TV broadcasts are often in this format

    HDMI, Component, Composite or Svideo:

       - Your TV provider gives you a set-top box which you must use to descramble the encrypted signal that they provide for you. The set top box outputs a signal in RCA Composite, Component or HDMI which normally goes to your TV, but in this case you'll instead connect it to the Video Capture Card in your PC.
       - You must manually change channels using their special remote, as you would if you had it connected to a TV. The PVR in your computer can't change channels unless you "train" it to blast out IR signals to the set-top box using the included IR "blaster" that simulates the remote control, but this is a flaky system at best.

       - This type of capture card can also be used to capture video output from any device - a DVD or VHS player, a gaming console, or another computer. You might use it for the purposes of recording and maybe streaming your gaming sessions online, archiving an old collection of DVD or VHS movies, etc.
    LVL 34

    Assisted Solution

    For your desktop you can get PCI or PCI-E cards that offer Worldwide analog TV access.

    This USB TV tuner receives worldwide analog TV, unencrypted digital ClearQAM cable TV and digital ATSC

    If you have DIRECTV there isno extra cost for streaming live TV on your computer, tablet, or mobile device. It is included with your DIRECTV programming package.,-tablet-or-mobile
    LVL 69

    Accepted Solution

    grnow  another solution that I use a flat screen TV as your monitor, I have one on the other computer here, it is a Teak TV 32 CM Digital flat screen.
     Then you can just switch from vga or hdmi  - computer to TV,  using the TV remote control select input source,
    you need to have a small antenna hooked up to your TV. Rabbit ears or omni directional work just fine.
    If your concerned about internet usage this works a treat.
    Select input source digital TVoptions

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