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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

PCI or USB TV Tuner? Which one should you buy?

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Which TV Tuner is better?
Which TV Tuner is cheaper?
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of using a USB TV Tuner?
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of using a PCI TV Tuner?

Nowadays, many TV Tuners are available in the market. You can purchase it under 100 dollars so its really very cheap compared in the past. You can use it for your personal computer/PC and laptop/notebook. It also comes with 2 different interfaces: these are PCI cards and USB devices. In addition, some Video Cards also function as a TV Tuner. But before you decide on which TV Tuner you would like to buy, please read the text below.

Features, factors and other things you would consider before purchasing or buying a TV Tuner for your computer:

  • Video Recording - record TV shows
  • Time Shift Feature - buffer or record the TV signal by using your Hard Disk
  • watch it in full screen just like a normal TV
  • watch it in small screen (minimized window) to give space for you browser and surf the web
  • FM Tuner
  • Scheduled Recording
  • Image Capture or Screen shot
  • Video Quality
  • Sound Quality
  • Video Editing Software
  • Remote Control
  • internal PCI card or external USB card
  • Transmission type of your television: DVB-S, DVB-C, DVB-T
PCI Card Advantage/s:

  • your desk is free of clutter
  • one time installation, close your CPU and thats it
  • cheaper than USB

PCI Card Disadvantage/s:
  • can't use it on your laptop
  • you have to open your CPU again if you plan to use it on another computer
  • bad if your PCI slot is full

USB TV Tuner Advantage/s:
  • good if your PCI slot is full
  • portable, you can watch TV on your laptop or on your PC
  • quicker to install, just plug it in your USB slot

USB TV Tuner Disadvantage/s:
  • some USB TV Tuners are bulky enough to fit in your USB Slots which means you have to detach some of your USB components to make room for the TV Tuner.
I have probably missed something. I am not an expert with TV Tuners but I just want to share my ideas and opinion. So feel free to comment.

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