How to Use Your PC as a DVR System

For many people these days, their computers are more than just that. Apart from serving productivity tasks, computers today are used for entertainment purposes too. This explains why many homes tend to use their PCs for watching TV, listening to music and of course, watching movies. That said, you can also turn your normal home computer into a DVR system. And considering the amount of space saved by a single setup like the PC, it does seem like a good idea.


Get a TV Tuner

This is the first thing that you must take care of when making a DVR out of your computer. A TV tuner allows you to run your satellite or cable to your computer. No matter which TV tuner you purchase, instructions on how to install and use the same are usually bundled within the box. Among those instructions, some information about setting up a DVR is also likely to be present. There are many brands that make TV tuners and they seem to be getting cheaper every passing year. Some of the more well-known names include AverMedia, Pinnacle, Hauppage etc.


Setting Up Your Computer

The program to be used when turning your PC into a DVR is Windows Media Player. This is because it supports TV tuner cards, which is of utmost importance. Your computer’s inbuilt media player application also comes equipped with a number of video options. So if you intend to use your computer as a DVR for a long term, then either an upgrade or a purchase is highly recommended.

The other important thing to take care of when setting up a DVR on your computer is the hard drive storage space. The video files you will record through the DVR setup will have quite a large size. So unless your computer has a large enough hard drive, you will find yourself deleting recorded video files more frequently than planned. So make sure you have a large enough hard drive storage. It is also a good option to have an external hard drive for emergency storage needs.

Computer Processing Power          

It is recommended that your computer be powered by at least a dual-core processor if not more. Because otherwise, you pretty much cannot do anything else on your computer when the DVR is recording something. So if you want to use your PC for other tasks as well, either get a more powerful processor or get a separate computer for DVR purposes.

You can watch TV once you have this setup up and running. Although your TV tuner’s native software will present you with some useful features (like task bar, calendar etc.), do not expect it to match the ones offered by proper DVRs.

As the time is progressing with new innovations and updates, this concept of converting your PC to DVR would be outgrown by other ideas. However, this idea can be equally employed to gift the converted PC to your kids or use it for a specific purpose.


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