What to Consider When Looking For Digital And Analog TV Tuners For USB 2.0

USB TV tuners are small devices that are capable of transmitting television signal to your laptop, notebook, or desktop computer. They connect to your PC via a USB 2.0 port and also have a TV antenna plug to connect to a television signal source such as over-the-air antenna, cable, or satellite.

What Types Of Tuners Are There?

There are a few different types of tuners - analog, digital, and combo.

  • Analog - as the name suggests, these devices can receive only analog TV signal, which is transmitted similarly to radio. The video portion of the transmission uses the AM frequency and the audio transmission uses FM. The standard for analog transmissions is known as NTSC,
  • Digital - digital tuners can receive digital television signal. DTV is transmitted as bits of data similarly to how digital information is handled by computers. Digital tuners can also receive high definition television or HDTV. The standard for digital over the air transmission is referred to as ATSC, whereas the standard for digital cable signal is known as Clear QAM.
  • Combo - combo TV tuners are devices that consist of both an analog and a digital tuner and are able to receive analog and digital TV signal at the same time. With analog and digital TV stations on the air, the combo device is a versatile choice that can accommodate both signals.

What Features Does A USB TV Tuner Come With?

Due to its small size, a USB tuner is not only space-saving, but also very portable. Its plug-n-play technology makes it easy to use with multiple computers at home or the office.

  • The TV tuner allows you to not only watch but also record analog and digital TV, including HDTV, on your laptop or desktop computer. TV programs are recorded on the hard drive of the computer. A scheduler can be set to automatically record your shows at repeating times or only once.
  • The accompanying software that needs to be installed prior to use allows you to select channels and customize your TV watching experience. For example, you can choose to watch broadcasts in full screen mode or in a window.
  • Some USB digital TV tuners can work with Windows Media Center PCs. You can use the Media Center computer's controls to watch, pause, and record your favorite TV shows.