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Watching HD Content On Your PC With An HD TV Tuner

Mar 22, 2008
If you want to watch high definition content but don't want to pay thousands for a brand new television set, you can easily watch that very same content on your computer. Almost all monitors are capable of playing 720p content (which will look very nice compared to older formats), and one of the most popular monitor segments today is the 24 inch and above widescreen monitor, which is capable of displaying 1080p high definition content, the best looking format available today. However, to watch these beautiful shows and movies on your computer, you'll need an High Definition TV tuner.

Easy As Hooking Up a Mouse

Many people are wary about messing around with their computers for fears of harming some component, but HD TV tuners make it easy for everyone to watch high definition content right on their computer. Most tuners hook up to your computer by plugging into a USB port (just like most mice and keyboards use), and then that high definition content will play on your computer. New copies of Windows and MacOS can play this content out of the box, so you don't have to worry about that. All you'll need to do is install a driver (a language which allows the HD TV tuner to communicate with the rest of the computer), and in many cases your operating system will do this automatically for you as soon as you hook up the tuner.

HD Providers

It wouldn't make much sense to buy an High Definition TV tuner and then not have any content to use it for. Fortunately, many programs are cast off air and can be picked up by an antenna, and if you order a subscription service from any of the providers (major providers include Comcast and DirecTV, although there are many others), they will often lend or give you tuners. However, other high definition content comes in the form of next gen movie formats, mainly Blu-ray and HD-DVD discs. If you buy either of these, you'll need a Blu-ray or HD-DVD player, so it's best to make sure that you have the necessary hardware for what type of content you're planning on watching.

Remember, you need to figure out which content you'll be receiving (Blu-ray and HD-DVD discs, subscription services, and/or off-air content via antenna) before you buy the equipment. To watch the latter on your computer, you'll need an tuner to plug into a USB port, although subscription services will generally lend you a tuner (even if it plugs directly into your monitor). To see the world in high def, you need to go with an HD TV tuner.
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