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Buy USB TV Tuner

Updated on March 15, 2011
USB TV Tuners allow you to watch TV on your laptop or home PC, without having to deal with unreliable internet streaming.
USB TV Tuners allow you to watch TV on your laptop or home PC, without having to deal with unreliable internet streaming.

Introduction to USB TV Tuners

USB TV Tuners are a quick and easy way to enable Digital or Terrestrial TV on your laptop or home PC.  Using USB TV Tuners is as simple as plug and play once you have installed the necessary software, and with some computers you do not even need to do that anymore!

USB TV Tuners are small, lightweight and easy to carry about with your laptop, and most will come with a small receiver, so you can pick up TV signals on the move.

Currently you can buy two particular kinds of PC TV Tuners, these are PCI TV Tuners and USB TV Tuners. Both of tehse have their pro's and cons, due tot he difficulty of finding a Laptop PCI TV Tuner card however, nearly all Laptop users will end up buying a USB TV Tuner card.

Why Buy USB TV Tuner vs PCI USB TV Tuner

A USB TV Tuner has several advantages over a PCI TV Tuner, but it does also have the occasional downside. The main benefit of a USB TV Tuner is quite simply down too ease of use. Not everyone wants to go digging around inside their PC, and it often makes more sense for someone worried about damaging their computer, to simply Buy a USB TV Tuner. With a USB TV Tuners simple plug and play installation, you can save a lot of the hassle which comes with installation when you buy a PCI TV Tuner.

The Benefits of a USB TV Tuner

Ease of use - USB TV Tuners are simple to install, and easy to use.PCI TV Tuners require you to open up your PC to install the PCI TV Tuner cards.

Flexibility - A USB TV Tuner can easily be installed in either a laptop or a PC. PCI TV Tuner cards are often hard to find for a laptop, and will be difficult to install.

The Negatives of a USB TV Tuner

Speed - If a USB TV Tuner is attached to a poor quality USB PCI card you may notice lag, jerkiness, and occasional freezes with your USB TV Tuner. This is an all too common problem with sluggish USB interfaces, which is fortunately becoming more rare.

You MIght Lose It! - USB TV Tuners are becoming increasingly small, and easier to lose if you are on the move, keep a close eye on your USB TV Tuner to make sure you don't lose it!

Buy USB TV Tuners

You can buy some really cheap USB Laptop TV Tuners out there for your Laptop or PC. As USB TV Tuners became more common their price dropped dramatically, so you can now pick them up for between $30 and $150, depending on the quality of USB TV Tuner you want.

My only advice would be, do not always go for the cheapest option. Low Quality USB TV Tuners can give a poor quality, bug filled, USB TV experience, spending a few dollars more could save you hours of frustration!

You might also want to look in to the differences between USB TV Tuners, Digital USB TV Tuners and HD USB TV Tuners when you are looking to buy USB TV Tuners. These can make a big difference depending on the quality of your hardware and signal strength!


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    • jstankevicz profile image

      jstankevicz 7 years ago from Cave Creek

      When I configured my desktop a couple of years ago, I included a PCI tuner, on a whim. Don't use it often but it is terrific to allow you to watch a sporting event or breaking news story, while doing your other PC stuff. Connected directly to Coax cable. Large monitor or dual monitor with this is a big plus. Haven't tried the USB version yet, seems a real convenience, but wonder about speed, feed delays. Nice Hub, thanks.

    • thisisoli profile image

      thisisoli 7 years ago from Austin, Texas (From York, England!)

      Most USB TV Tuners and PCI TV Tuners come with a portable mini arial. They work okay, but for best reception you will always find it best to plug your TV Tuner in to a home arial socket!

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 7 years ago from Australia

      These look like a great device if you are travelling around. What sort of antenna would you need to have ?