USB HDTV tuners allow users to capture free HDTV broadcasts using an indoor or outdoor HDTV antenna. The USB tuner connects from the antenna to the HDTV USB Device, which then connects to a free USB slot on your computer. Once HDTV broadcasts are captured, software that comes bundled with the card is then used to view, record and time-shift the HDTV channel(s) that your antenna can pick up. This software typically includes an electronic programming guide for scheduling TV shows to record in advance using the Internet.
1. Hauppauge WINTV-HVR-950 TV Stick USB TV Tuner
The Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 950 is a USB TV Tuner that is simple to connect to any Windows Desktop or Notebook PC via USB. The WinTV-HVR 950 can be connected to Analog Cable coming into your house from your Cable Company or can pick up ATSC Digital channels using the included Antenna. Digital channels, including HDTV channels, can be played back and recorded using the bundled Hauppauge WinTV2000 software.
Check out review of the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 950 (wow, that name is a mouthful) to see if it's right for you.
2. Pinnacle Systems PCTV HD Stick USB TV Tuner
The Pinnacle PCTV HD Stick can tune free Over-the-Air ATSC TV (including HDTV) with the included antenna, or analog (NTSC) Cable TV from a coaxial cable. You can then use the Pinnacle TV Center Pro software to watch and record TV shows, and Pause Live TV - just like a TiVo.
Find out why we really like the Pinnacle Systems PCTV HD Stick.
3. Diamond Multimedia TV Wonder HD 600 USB TV Tuner
The TV Wonder HD 600 PCI Express high-definition DVR offers the ability to record HDTV (ATSC) signals, as well as NTSC signals. Attach an amplified high definition antenna or your TV cable and you can watch, pause or record analog and digital live HDTV on your PC or convert your recorded TV shows to take with you on your Portable Media Player.
4. AVerMedia A868R AverTV Volar USB TV TunerThe AVerMedia USB TV Tuner can record free over-the-air HDTV (ATSC) signals as well as analog NTSC signals. Includes a bundled Media Center sofware package called AVerTV 6. Also comes with an indoor antenna for picking up HD and SD TV stations.
5. Kworld ATSC 300U Plus TV HD Hybrid Stick 330 USB TV TunerWith the KWorld ATSC 300U USB device you can enjoy watching and recording HDTV (ATSC) and Analog TV (NTSC) on your desktop or laptop. The ATSC 300U includes a multi-function TotalMedia application and includes an Infrared Remote Control. With the TotalMedia Time-Shifting program, you can Pause Live TV and resume playback from where you left off. Free HDTV with the included indoor antenna.