Sep 20th 2012
Know How... 12
Make Your Computer a DVR
Toss out your DVR and save some money. Today, Leo and Iyaz show you how to make your PC record your favorite television shows and movies without the annoying fees from your cable company.
- We need a way to get our cable TV into our PC.
- There are a variety of external solutions.
- For the Mac: Elgato Clear QAM Tuner.
- Ceton PCIe and external solutions.
- For PC and Mac: HD HomeRun.
What You Should Know:
- Clear QAM: ClearQAM is becoming complicated, some cable companies offer nothing but local broadcast channels and they are typically hidden (for example, channel 7 becomes 87.2)
Cable Tuner Information:
- A tuner with a Cable Card is the way to go right now. Even if you don't need a Cable Card today, buy hardware that supports it or you'll have to buy more hardware in a year.
- Cable companies in the United States are required to offer Cable Cards, however they are not available from satellite companies.
- More information about Cable Cards in general.
Software Solutions for Windows:
- Windows 7 has a built-in DVR solution (and it's existed for years) called Windows Media Center. It’s guide free guide data and works with a variety of hardware.
- Mediaportal is an alternative for Windows Media Center. It’s free and open source, but guide data may be a bit wonky compared to Media Center.
- Using a PC as a DVR isn't as rock solid as using a dedicated box. You are subject to update windows popping up and other system-based interruptions that may annoy other family members.
I ditched my landline several years ago, however I took a different track. Xtreme Technologies XLink Bluetooth Gateway let us connect our mobile phones (upto 3) over bluetooth and use our existing home phones to make and receive calls. This system has worked great over the past 5+ years with 6 different mobile phones. I highly recommend the XLink Bluetooth Gateway for cord cutters.
- Joe Rawlins
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