Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Turning Your PC into a DVR
Turning Your PC into a DVR
So now you have Windows 8 with Media Center, but no TV tuner card installed.
You are missing out on the main Media Center experience. With the help of
this section and an inexpensive TV tuner card, I show you how to turn your PC
into a fully functional DVR that will give any TiVo set-top box big competition.
Before you can get started, I must go over some minimum system
requirements so that you will be able to watch TV on your computer. Your computer
must have a video card with at least 128MB of RAM.
The most important aspect of adding a tuner to your PC is picking one that
is compatible with Windows 8 Media Center. Several tuner cards are on the
market, but not all are compatible with Windows 8 Media Center. One way to
find a tuner that Microsoft has certified compatible is to use the Windows Logo
product search page located at and search for compatible
Select your OS and then set the product type box to TV Tuner. You may have
better luck selecting Windows 7 Client instead of Windows 8 Client for the OS
because not very many TV tuner cards are made specifically for Windows 8.
All the Windows 7 TV tuner cards should work with Windows 8.
As you can see, you can add internal PCI cards and external USB devices to
your computer. The following are a few more models that are known to work
well on Windows 8:
Internal PCI-E: WinTV-HVR-1250
Internal PCI-E: WinTV-HVR-2250
External USB: Diamond ATI TV Wonder HD 750 (TVW750USB)
TIP Use the forum at to find even more compatible TV
tuners and tips to make them function properly if you have any compatibility
Installing the TV tuner is also easy, especially if you purchased an external
USB tuner. Simply plug it in and install the drivers that came with the device.
If you purchased an internal PCI or PCI-E card, just turn off your computer,
unplug the power, open the case, and pop the card in an open PCI or PCI-E
slot. Make sure to install the drivers after you power your PC back on, although
in some cases Windows 8 installs the drivers automatically as it did with my
PCI-E TV tuner card.
After installing your TV tuner card, you are ready to get started configuring
it in Windows Media Center. Make sure you have your antenna or cable feed
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