How do I watch or record TV on my computer?

To watch or record TV on your computer, you need three things:

  • A TV tuner

    There are many types of TV tuners, from internal expansion cards, known as TV tuner cards, to external TV tuners that connect to your computer through a USB port or IEEE 1394 port.

    Some computers come with TV tuners. If your computer doesn't have a TV tuner, you might be able to add one. For more information about TV tuners, see Get help for your TV tuner.

    Picture of a USB TV tuner
    A typical external TV tuner
  • A TV signal connected to your computer

    Depending on your TV tuner capabilities, it might be possible to connect a TV signal to your computer from an over-the-air antenna, a cable TV jack in the wall, or a cable or satellite TV set-top box. The types of TV signals available in your area will vary—contact your local cable or satellite provider for more information.

  • Software for watching and recording live TV

    There are several options for software that will enable you to watch and record live TV on your computer, including solutions from Microsoft and other software providers.

Need more help?